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If you’ve ever wondered how your hairstylist is able to make your locks look so good, I’ve got some good news for you: a lot of it is the product. Yes, your stylist has skills, but he/she has also perfected the art of product usage. Every styling aid has it’s place, but there are a few that stand out from the pack, products that perform multiple functions and work on almost everyone. A good stylist knows the art of product isn’t just about selection, it’s also how much you use, when you apply it, and what area of the head it goes on. Click the notes for a list of professional hairdressers MVPs and multiple ways to use each one. –– Laura Martin

Refinish Dry Shampoo: This product doesn’t leave a residue like most dry shampoos, but it does absorb oil, create separation, and add volume. I use it liberally after a blowout and it adds hold like hairspray while preventing creasing roots. I add it to natural waves for root lift and texture. I use it as a prep for updos to help pins stay in place and to make hair look fuller.

Holding Spray: Aerosols are great for setting a completed look, but this light and shine styler does so much more. Add to gelled styles for wet-look that lasts. Spray on before using hot tools to protect hair and add shine. Create style memory that’s easy to brush through. Mist on roots to make flyaways disappear.

Hair Creme: Apply before air drying to add satiny smoothness and prevent frizz. Scrunch into ends for soft definition. Run through ends to smooth after styling. Apply before braiding for soft control. Use before blowdrying for polish and light grip.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA. Follow her inspirations on twitter @LarMarStyle

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