What are Some Different Kinds of Hair Styling Products?

J. Beam

There are an abundance of hair styling products on the market, with professional products being sold in salons and discount ones available in drug stores and at mass merchandising retailers. The most notable difference between professional and discount brands is price, but some professional products may be worth the expense. A both price points, products like mousse, gel, pomade, and gloss are available.

Hair spray can be used to help hold a style in place.
Hair spray can be used to help hold a style in place.

While many people have a brand preference, many more are simply overwhelmed by the selection of hair styling products. Trying to discern what each product is and what it is intended for can be complicated, and the labels often don’t help. By familiarizing themselves with the various types of products, people will be able to make quicker selections and find the right products for their hair.

Hair styling products.
Hair styling products.

A basic overview of the many different kinds of styling products is as follows:

Want to automatically save time and money month? Take a 2-minute quiz to find out how you can start saving up to $257/month.

Hair gel is a popular hair styling product.
Hair gel is a popular hair styling product.

  • Mousse — Mousse, sometimes called styling foam, is a styling product that is packaged under pressure and expands when released. It is much lighter than other products, and some brands are created as a combination leave-in conditioner and styling product. Mousse works well for most hair types, but people who have dry hair should avoid products that contain alcohol. Those who require strong hold or who are looking to maintain a short, molded hairstyle might want to try gel or pomade instead.
  • Gel — Gel can be quite versatile, and it's available as either a spray or direct application. Spray products are good for a quick, overall covering, but they generally provides less hold than direct application hair gel. The direct application type requires the person to work it in evenly by hand, but it typically provides a stronger hold. Hair gel works well for “scrunching” curls and helping create sleek shapes. Again, people with dry hair should avoid hair gel containing alcohol.
  • Pomade — Pomade and wax are generally the same or very similar products. They can be great for hair that is short and/or dry, and they are essential for sculpted hairstyles. Pomade is a waxy-like substance that may feel greasy in the container and on the hands, but once worked into hair, it provides sheen. Though it feels heavy and may take more than one shampoo to wash out, pomade and hair wax do not dry hair out like some styling products do, and they often provide superior hold.
  • Glossing or Polishing Drops — Also sold as anti-frizz serum among other names, these are silicone-based hair styling products that are designed to smooth rough hair shafts, reducing or eliminating frizz. Most products are applied in small amounts and can be used on wet or dry hair. Users should be careful, however, because to much can make the hair look heavy and greasy.

There are of course other hair styling products available. Finishing products refer to hair spray or any product that is applied to the hair after it is styled to maintain it. Protecting products, such as heat protectants, are applied to the hair before using any heat-styling tool. The best way to find which products work for a particular hair type is to experiment with different ones. Individuals who have a trusted hair stylist may want to ask him or her which types of products he or she would recommend.

While hair gloss treatments can be performed at a professional hair stylists' place of business, there are also products on the market that advertise similar results to consumers.
While hair gloss treatments can be performed at a professional hair stylists' place of business, there are also products on the market that advertise similar results to consumers.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


There are so many different types of hair care products. I actually learned many of the different types of hair care products from a graphic put out by head2toefit. It is quite informative and is fun to look at. I didn't really know the difference of pomade and hair wax but now because of this graphic, I now know the difference.


ilovejapan5- I love heat protecting sprays. Besides protecting my hair when I blow dry it, they also help to control my frizzy hair. I also love anti-breakage serums. You apply these serums to wet hair just after you get out of the shower. It helps to make sure your hair doesn't break from repeated styling.


I always use a heat protectant serum when blow drying or flat ironing my hair. A heat protectant can also come in a spray or gel form. You apply the serum to wet hair just before you blow dry your hair.

These sprays help to protect your hair from damage when using heat styling tools. These serums also leave your hair feeling silky and smooth. I would recommend that anyone who uses heat styling tools to always use a heat protectant serum or spray.

Post your comments
Forgot password?