Best Products for Every Hair Type

Whether your hair is thin and straight or coarse and curly, we've got expert advice and top products that will help you look your best.

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Thin and Straight


These fragile strands lack any natural fullness and tend to fall flat, says Jeni Thomas, Ph.D., principal scientist for Pantene.

To create maximum volume, look for lightweight products with the words thickening, amplifying or body-building on the label, says Harry Josh, John Frieda International Creative Consultant.

Blow-drying is a must: Heat activates stylers so they can work their magic. Set on medium to high and keep the nozzle moving to avoid burning your scalp.

Must-Have ProductsNexxus Diametress Luscious Volume Shampoo, mass retailers, $14. A translucent cleanser with no heavy conditioners to make hair greasy.

Samy Fat Hair "0" Calories Amplifying Mousse, mass retailers, $7. Super lightweight with a pretty, fresh scent.

Pantene AgeDefy Advanced Thickening Treatment, mass retailers, $19. Use daily for at least a month to increase the diameter of each individual hair fiber.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Fine to Full Blow-Out Spray, mass retailers, $6.50. Adds fullness and leaves strands silky enough to run your fingers through.

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Coarse and Curly


Dryness, split ends and breakage are a triple threat, says Dove celebrity stylist Mark Townsend.

Hydrating treatments, including shampoos and masks, remoisturize and repair simultaneously. Thicker strands can handle the heavier consistency of oils and serums. Townsend likes versions with coconut or almond extracts, which penetrate the hair shaft.

Must-Have ProductsL'Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Power Moisture Hydrating Shampoo, mass retailers, $5. Really locks in water to quench dry hair.

Pantene Advanced+ Keratin Repair Split End Fuser, mass retailers, $13. Creates a seal around ends to temporarily fuse broken edges.

Pureology Precious Oil, for salons, $40. A blend of sunflower seed, coconut, olive and jojoba seed oils strengthens and softens.

Herbal Essences Honey, I'm Strong Rinse Off Treatment, mass retailers, $5. Apply once a week in the shower for a major moisture boost.

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Fine and Wavy


This texture gives the appearance of fullness, but there's also a high risk of frizz and flyaways, says Nexxus Salon Hair Care creative director Kevin Mancuso.

Prevent frizz by using a nourishing shampoo and conditioner. Enhance your waves with either a spray or a mousse formulated specifically for curly hair. Always apply to damp strands and use your fingertips to distribute product evenly.

Must-Have ProductsClear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Frizz Control Nourishing Shampoo, mass retailers, $6. Includes a powerful combo of vitamins (B, C and E), nutrients and soothing aloe vera.

Dove Color Care Leave On Conditioner, mass retailers, $4.50. A weightless cream that detangles and adds shine.

Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancing Hair Spray,, $20. Its refreshing citrus fragrance won't compete with your perfume.

Redken Curvaceous Wave Ahead Texturizing Mousse, for salons, $18. The airy foam defines ringlets and enhances all-over volume.

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Thick and Straight


Heavy and easily-weighed-down tresses quickly lose their shine, says New York–based trichologist Dr. David Kingsley.

Try a root-boosting spray to add height at the crown, suggests Kingsley. If you pull hair taut, spritz and then blow-dry, the style will hold some body up top.

Alcohol-free heat-protectant spray is essential before using a curling iron or flatiron. Bring back luster with a moisturizing treatment, like a hair mask.

Must-Have Products
Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Extreme Smooth Shampoo, mass retailers, $2.50. Wash with this rich formula for a sleek finish.

Living Proof Full Root Lifting Spray,, $26. A quick spritz near the scalp keeps locks from going limp.

Oscar Blandi Pronto Heat Protect Spray,, $23. A true twofer: protects from temps up to 450 degrees and works as a hair spray to set any style.

Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Deep Conditioning Shine Mask, mass retailers, $3. Infused with mega-popular argan oil for a blast of brilliance.

Originally published in the February 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.

This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and styles are subject to change.