styling assistants

Hair decoder: styling assistants
Can’t figure out which hair product is right for you? Here, top pros offer heady advice

Our expert advisors: Martine Cazorla of The Parlor Hair Studio and hairstylist to the best-tressed in Vancouver; and Didier Cousin of Salon Boutique Glam, the bon-chic headquarters for Montreal’s fashion pack

Gel: fake the wet look du jour

Shine serum: add lustre to straight, polished looks

Volumizing spray: blow out your hair into stratospheric sexiness

Hairspray: style chic and smooth ponytails

Mousse: create groomed movie-star waves

Pomade: define and texturize your do

Styling Cream : tame wild locks into chic laissez-faire hair

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Styling Assistant: Gel

Perfect for: faking the wet look du jour
Ideal candidate: curly or straight, but definitely medium-to-thick
Wearing it well: Choose a flexible-hold gel for a truly slick do. (Strong-hold gel may leave a powder deposit when you touch it, so the look loses shine.) Whether it’s pulled back into a french twist or simply slicked back away from your face, apply a dollop to wet hair and style your locks into shape.
FYI: To tame extra-thick or coarse hair, recruit the power and hold of a moulding paste.
Caution: Those with fine hair should avoid this look—it will make your locks appear even finer.
Photo: at Louis Vuitton

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Hot Pick:
Total Control Shaping Gel
Give your style intense, long-lasting hold with a soft feel. This Pro-Vitamin gel formula is serious stuff, combining superior performing technology versus several leading gels with incredible touchability and shine.

Styling Assistant: Shine serum
Perfect for: adding lustre to straight, polished looks
Ideal candidate: naturally straight hair or any texture that easily goes straight with a flatiron
Wearing it well: Working with one drop at a time, warm the product in the palms of your hands and smooth it onto dry flatironed hair. Add the serum section by section, moving in a circle around your head, then blow-dry again. (Got thin, limp hair? One or two drops will do for you.)
The right buy: Test the product at the store by rubbing a dollop on the back of your hand. If it evaporates quickly, you’ve found a winner that will wash out easily with shampooing.
Caution: Avoid your scalp and roots, otherwise your hair will look greasy.
Photo: at Costume National

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Hot Pick:
Smooth & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum
Take dry, damaged frizz-prone hair and make it smooth, sleek and shiny. Lightweight serum works to instantly transform unruly hair into virtually frizz-free tresses that last.

Styling Assistant: Volumizing spray
Perfect for: blowing out your hair into stratospheric sexiness
Ideal candidate: medium-textured hair—not straight, not curly, just in between
Wearing it well: Liberally spritz your towel-dried hair, especially at the roots. Blow-dry at high heat using your fingers to lift the hair away from your scalp (or you can blow-dry with your head upside down). When it’s almost dry, use a round brush to tame your hair into a full-bodied shape, continuing to brush your locks up and away from your head.
FYI: Start with a volumizing shampoo to achieve the fullest effect possible.
Photo: at Bill Blass

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Hot Pick:
Body Builder Volumizing Mousse
Pop the cap and give it a shake. Feel substantial? This could be your most crucial styling tool: a lightweight mousse packed with bodifying elements. It aims to bring every strand off the scalp, reinforce its upward mobility, and hold it there all day long.

Styling Assistant: Hairspray

Perfect for: styling chic and smooth ponytails
Ideal candidate: slightly wavy or naturally straight hair
Wearing it well: For evening, dry your hair thoroughly before flatironing (flatiron even if you already have straight hair). Next, comb your hair flat (take your time) and coat with a light- or medium-hold hairspray. Then, comb it carefully into a ponytail.
FYI: Plagued with flyaways? Try styling your hair while it’s towel-dried, using a bit of mousse or gel to mould your locks into place. Then, style and finish with hairspray.
Photo: at Prada

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Hot Pick:
Classic Hairspray, flexible hold
Wow! The Pro-Vitamin formula of Classic Hairspray Flexible Hold gives you all-day hold and healthy-looking shine for natural-feeling hair.

Styling Assistant: Mousse

Perfect for: creating groomed movie-star waves
Ideal candidate: straight, wavy and everything in between
Wearing it well: Don’t be shy. Apply a quarter-sized amount of mousse onto damp hair, then round-brush your hair dry. Next, put on your hot or Velcro rollers and let them sit while you’re doing your makeup. Then take ’em out and, voilà, you look gorgeous.
FYI: Cheat extra shine by using one drop of smoothing serum to coat the surface of your hair. Apply it lightly—no tugging or pulling.
Caution: Avoid using a setting or straightening lotion to mimic this look’s polish or your do will fall flat in an hour.
Photo: at Roberto Cavalli

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Hot Pick:
In Control Shaping Mousse, extra strong hold
This classic mousse is a great do-it-all for when you need a little lift, for hair that’s growing out, or to boost a favorite hairstyle.

Styling Assistant: Pomade

Perfect for: defining and texturizing your do
Ideal candidate: piece-y, razor-cut hair (think Keira Knightley’s Domino do)
Wearing it well: Start with a nickel-sized amount rubbed between your palms, then texturize and style with your fingers, adding more pomade only if necessary. If you have a long, layered shag, use pomade just at your ends to give your look oomph and definition.
Photo caption: at Anna Molinari

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Hot Pick:
Texture & Shine Defining Pomade
Love your layers! The Pro-Vitamin formula of new Texture & Shine Defining Pomade creates a piecey look with all-day hold and healthy shine.

Styling Assistant: Styling cream
Perfect for: taming wild locks into chic laissez-faire hair
Ideal candidate: dry, naturally wavy hair
Wearing it well: Scrunch it into dry hair, always starting at the middle section, working through to the ends, and finishing at the top around your face. NB: Begin at the roots and your hair will look oily.
How much: Start with a quarter-sized dollop and add in increments depending on the length of your hair.
Caution: Fine-haired gals, this stuff will weigh down your thin mane. To get the same effect, try mousse instead.
Photo: at Gucci

Hot Pick:
Ultimate Finish Perfecting Crème
Its advanced Pro-V formula revitalizes the look of dry, dull hair and makes it look smooth, shiny, and healthy.
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Pantene Pro-V Expressions –
Pantene Pro-V Expressions –