Just in case the crazy amount of sea salt sprays haven’t clued you in, textured hairstyles aren’t going anywhere. And while beachy formulas get a lot of attention, but there’s an entirely different genre of products that you should explore: hair texture pastes and balms. What do they do and why should you use one? We talked to the pros and broke down everything you need to know about these misunderstood hair products.
They give you more you control.
Unlike beach sprays with spray nozzles that distribute the product everywhere, texture pastes give you more control of specific placement. “Sometimes sprays are a little hard to use due to its wide spray application,” explains Sarah Rappoit, Master Stylist and Education Cordinator for ION Studio. “The amount applied can be hard to determine.” With texture pastes, you know exactly how much you’re putting in your hand and applying to your hair. What’s more, the product can me manipulated to mold your hair into different shapes.
They can be used on dry and wet hair.
Rappoit says that a product like Davines Pliable Paste ($28, davines.com) can be used on damp hair and air-dried for a “second-day look” or on wet hair and blow-dried for something more lived-in. In addition, Senior Stylist at Cutler Salons Micki Charles says you can apply a texture paste directly on the ends of dry hair for a tousled look.
Texture pastes are softer to the touch.
Products like Davines pliable paste, Leonor Greyl Baume Bois de Rose Modelling and Sculpting Balm ($49, saksfifthavenue.com), and R + Co Dry Shampoo Paste ($28, barneys.com) create movement in hair without leaving behind that dry, brittle and crunchy feeling like many beach sprays do.
They’re great for short hair.
Rappoit explains that texture pastes work wonders for shorter hairstyles like bobs or even in barbering. “It allows you to see the intricacy of the layering in the cut or distinguish the color of the clients hair,” she says.
They have a setting power.
Similar to a hairspray, but with way more flexibility, Charles says you can use texture pastes to secure hair in updos that you don’t want to slip out of place. Bonus, you can also use it to gently tame stray hair or fly-aways.
It’s best for bedhead.
Sea salt sprays may rock for beachy waves, but when you want bedhead, turn to texture pastes. That sexy, subtly messy look is what you’ll get. Bed Head by TIGI’s JOYRIDE ($30, ulta.com) is a texture balm that actually breaks up into a user-friendly powder to create those messy waves.
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