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Somewhere in your bathroom there’s probably a shelf or a drawer full of hair products you don’t use: too-heavy conditioner, too-sticky wax, powdery dry shampoo. You probably spent a lot of money on these products and you don’t want to throw them away, but you don’t want a bad hair day either, so you tuck away all these not-quite-right products hoping that someday you’ll find a use for them. Now that day has come. You can pull all those products out of the drawer and through the power of cocktailing, make exciting bespoke creations. Click the notes to learn more. –– Laura Martin 

What is cocktailing? I love margaritas, but I would never drink a glass of straight triple sec. Many alcohols taste best when mixed with other ingredients to create balance. Cocktailing hair products works the same way, by blending different products together you can add a bit of the benefits of each while minimizing the overpowering aspects.

Create balance with opposites. One of the best ways to begin mixing products is to think about minimizing what you don’t like about a particular product by adding it’s opposite. Soften a too-stiff gel with a bit of leave-in conditioner or lighten up a heavy oil with a handful of mousse.

Feel it in your hands before you put it in your hair. One of the advantages of mixing products before putting them on your head is that you can see and feel what happens when they combine. If products clump, separate, or become overly stiff in your hands, simply wash down the drain and try something else.

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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