The Right Way To Add Texture To Your Hair

There's no denying that "texture" is the hair-product buzzword du jour. The term covers the formulas used to create the roughed-up, lived-in, imperfect, or full and thick looks that so many of us crave — but not everyone has naturally.

Between texture spray, beach spray, teasing powder, and hair balm, the influx of body- and movement-boosting buys on the market is seemingly endless. However, not every texture product is created equal. For example, a salt spray and a dry, aerosol formula will make your hair look completely different.

To decipher the options, we quizzed Matt Fugate, a hairstylist at Serge Normant Salon in NYC. Ahead, he breaks down different products that offer texture and provides tips for how to use them. Which one will work for you? You'll never be left wondering again.
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Salt Spray
Salt spray is considered by many to be the mother of all texturizing products, but Fugate says you should only use it in certain situations. "This is good for any style that you want to look piece-y and mussed," he says.

If your hair is long, Fugate suggests using a salt spray after using a curling iron to give it more of a beachy wave. If you have short or mid-length hair, "salt spray will give you more of a wet look," he says. Beach sprays are also great for prepping fine hair for a blowout or rough-dry; they deliver structure that makes curling or braiding easier.

French Girl Sea Spray, $12, available at Etsy.
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Texture Powder
You're right to assume that texture powder (also called teasing powder or teasing dust) is not well-suited for your entire head. That's because these formulas are normally packed with ingredients that provide serious, can't-run-your-fingers-through-your-hair structure. That being said, a little sprinkled onto the roots or on a braid will give you instant fullness.

"These are great for root amplification," Fugate says. "They're especially good for mod styles, like huge blowouts, or Bardot updos." The best way to use a texturizing powder is to sprinkle a bit at a time around your roots, massaging as you go, until you've reached your desired volume. "They're better for creating volume than removing oils," Fugate says.

Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder, $27, available at Sephora.
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Texture Spray
Texturizing spray is a staple in many hair routines — and for good reason. This type of spritz is super-versatile, but Fugate says it's best for reviving a blowout on the second day.

"Flip your hair and spray from root to tip to add more guts to the hair," he says. "Then, finger-fluff the roots and shake your head to create movement." Tip: Don't brush your hair (or mess with it at all) once there's a texturizing spray in it, or you'll brush out all the benefits, Fugate says.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, $44, available at Oribe.
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Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo isn't just boss for soaking up excess oil — you can also use it as a texturizing spray in a pinch. "It's great for making the hair look more matte and less oily," Fugate says. So those fuzzy, non-greasy waves you're always trying to achieve? That's when you want to reach for dry shampoo.

It's easy: Fan out your hair by tipping your head to one side, then slowly layer the product into your roots and mid-lengths. Massage the roots for volume — but again, don't brush or you'll risk brushing out the thickness you just created.

Ouai Dry Shampoo, $24, available at Birchbox.
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Texture Creams & Balms
These are great for creating sexy bedhead on mid-length strands, Fugate says. Think: rumpled, woke-up-like-this textures our favorite models-off-duty rock on a regular basis. They're really heavy, so they're great for fluffy hair because they give it some weight.

"Use it on the bottom sections of the hair to tame and separate it," Fugate says. Be careful if you're putting the product on the top of your head — it can look matted down and crunchy if you use too much.

Hairstory Hair Balm, $36, available at Hairstory.
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Pomades, Waxes & Potted Balms
Those with short hair who are looking for a lot of hold will love themselves some hair balm. "It's very thick and gives high control to short hair," Fugate says. "It's also great for sculpted styles like finger-waves." He warns that this is a very unforgiving product, and that you'll be able to spread it better if you warm it up in your hands first. "It's great for sweeping your hair back, and is also good for a wet, combed look," Fugate says.

Boogie's True Hair Fiber, $10, available at Dollar Shave Club.
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Thickening Mousse
"This is used almost exclusively on fine hair," Fugate says. "But the trick with mousse is that it needs to be styled right away." Mousse works best on damp hair, which is then dried in sections. "If you apply it to wet hair and let it air-dry, you won't get the same effect," he says. "It will just become a weak gel." Translation: Stick to salt spray for air-drying and mousse for a pre-blowout boost.

Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse, $15, available at Ulta Beauty.
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