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Hair products are usually marketed to a specific hair type: straight, wavy, curly, colored. But these distinctions often have very little to do with what hair actually needs. Some curly hair is fine, some coarse. Some chemically treated hair is still oily, some dry. Following your hair type in product selection can get you into trouble. So how do you find the products that will make your hair look its best? Click the notes to find out. –– Laura Martin

Focus on what the product does. Instead of looking for styling aides that match your hair type, look at what they do. For example, if your hair feels dry, look for products that add moisture and shine. Don’t worry if they’re not for your type.

Think about your hair texture. Instead of type, look for products that match your texture: coarse or fine. Thick, creamy products are a no no for fine strands, whether curly, straight, or colored. The thickness of your individual strands plays a huge role in how hair will react to product.

Talk to your stylist. Your hair stylist spends forty hours a week experimenting with hair products, she knows exactly what works, how it works, and what works together. If you want to try something that her salon doesn’t carry, chances are she’s still familiar with the product, just ask.

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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