Hair Products 101

Celebrity stylist Luke O’Connor on how to use mousse and more

With the thousands of hair products available today, how do you know which ones you really need? Luke O’Connor — celebrity stylist, Suave hair expert and co-owner of LuKaRo salon in Beverly Hills — gives his list for the ultimate styling arsenal.
 
A Great Foundation
 
“Start with the basics,” O’Connor says. Using the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type will help it look and behave its best. For example, if you color your hair, use products that help keep the shade vibrant. A great universal shampoo and conditioner system is Suave® Professionals® shampoo and conditioner system. “It helps with the frizz and gives incredible shine,” O’Connor notes.
 
Hair Spray
 
“Hair spray is a must because it can do so many things,” O’Connor says. But you need to know how to use it. “Most people think you just point and spray, but it’s not that simple.” If you want volume, hold the hair spray eight to 10 inches from your head so it delivers a fine mist. “It will get in and under any layers and fall softly over the surface so the hair is suspended,” he points out. “When you want to define the hair, say, around the hairline, come in close and hit the strands directly,” O’Connor advises.
 
Mousse
 
Mousses are back in style, primarily because new formulations don’t leave hair hard and sticky the way they used to. “A mousse is also perfect for a variety of hair types,” O’Connor notes. But the most important thing is that you apply the product exactly where you need it. “I always start with Suave® Max Hold Volumizing Mousse at the roots, then I rake the rest through the hair,” he says. “It gives the hair guts.”
 
Gel
 
Gels are today’s styling chameleons. “You can customize a gel for whatever your need,” O’Connor says. For women with thick, heavy hair, a little gel at the base gives support. For curly hair, he dilutes the product and uses it to define some of the curls. “Make the product work for you by changing the strength and consistency with water — it’s like having a tailor-made styling tool.”

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