Hair Care Buying Guide

Styling your tresses at home has never been easier or more affordable. This hair care buying guide covers everything from shampoo, conditioner and treatments to hairspray and styling gel.

Hair Care 101

Creating great looks at home starts with determining which hair products are right for your hair type and texture. Whether its shampoos, conditioners, mousses or waxes, there's a wide array of different brands and formulations to choose from. You should search for products that will help get the look you want, be it smooth, straight, curls, more volume, more shine or even more moisture. Some products target specific concerns, such as scalp care, frizz, split ends/breakage, and oily hair or dry hair. You can also find eco friendly products, hair treatments and nutritious oils designed to restore the health of hair damaged by heat styling or harsh chemicals. So skip splurging at the salon and start caring for your own mane. You'll save time and money and spare yourself any more bad hair days.

Types of Hair Care Products



All shampoos will clean your hair, but some offer extra benefits such as moisture, strength, volume and curls. Others can help protect your hair colour, repair hair damage or help revitalize aging hair. Moisturizing shampoos hydrate hair and leave it soft and silky, while dry shampoos soak up oil between washings to keep your hair looking its best. Deep-cleaning and clarifying shampoos can remove product buildup and chemicals when your hair needs extra help. Dandruff shampoos, which target the fungus that causes flakes, can be used to sooth itchy or sensitive scalp conditions.


Using the right conditioner and treatment can take your hair from frazzled to fabulous. Conditioners and treatments help repair hair by restoring moisture and proteins that rinse away. They also protect hair from everyday stresses, like heat styling, chemicals and harsh weather. Smoothing and detangling conditioners help to keep your hair manageable, and to tame those annoying flyaways. Volumizing and thickening conditioners can strengthen fine hair strands, while moisturizing and colour-protecting conditioners help boost hydration for dry, over-processed hair. Most conditioners are designed to be applied and rinsed out in the shower, but leave-in conditioners and treatments are gently rubbed through wet hair and left in to detangle, easy-style and restore hair health. 

Mousses & Styling Foams

Mousses and styling foams give hair shape, volume and definition. These stay-put hair products let you create interesting styles with flexible texture yet plenty of hold. Mousses and foams work best on half-dried hair, so pat your mop with a towel until it’s slightly damp and apply mousse liberally to the root area before styling. Some mousses and foams let you create the latest looks while adding a much-needed boost of moisture, volume and UV protection. Shop for products that will help you achieve the look you want while taking care of your specific hair concerns. 

Hair Gels

Hair gels are water-based styling products that provide hold while also giving your hair a wet look. They're available in varying degrees of stiffness to help you shape your strands into the latest styles. You can create a casual look by rubbing gel into damp hair with your fingertips or a sleek, smooth style by working it in with a fine-toothed comb. You can easily manipulate gelled hair while it's wet, but it will become stiff and firm once the gel dries. Gels can be used to give straight hair a slicked-back look, add definition to ringlets and curls and reduce frizz and flyaways.

Hair Pomades & Hair Waxes

Hair Pomades and hair waxes are beeswax-based styling products used to create sculptured looks, define curls and add texture and hold. Pomades are lighter than waxes, making them ideal for thin, fine hair and more natural results. Waxes work best on messy styles for defining layers and creating a tousled look. Both hair waxes and pomades may leave residue behind, so use them sparingly (a good cleansing shampoo will restore your natural look). To create your desired style, apply product to your fingers, pull sections of hair to define a style, and shake out your hair to loosen the look. Pomades and waxes can be used to define long layers, shape short hairstyles, banish flyaways and create bouncy curls.

Hair Clays, Putties and Pastes

Clay-based styling products, such as hair putties, hair pastes and hair clays, are made of kaolin clay to create sculptured styles and matte, textured looks. They provide greater hold than waxes and pomades and are great for taming thick, unruly hair. Add a small amount to the palms of your hands and work it through the ends of your hair, using your fingers to shape and separate it into pieces. Clay-based styling products can leave residue after rinsing your hair, so you may want to use them sparingly or for special occasions. A good cleansing shampoo will restore your natural look.


Hairsprays can help style your hair and hold a primped, polished look in place all day long. They're available scented or unscented, with varying degrees of hold to compliment your style.  There are two basics types of hairspray: aerosol and non-aerosol. Both provide the same benefits for your hair, but non-aerosol sprays are more eco-friendly. To apply hairspray, you can simply spray some in your palm and run it over the surface of your hair for smoothness and shine. Or you can flip your hair over and spray the roots for high-volume hairdos and amped-up styles. You can also apply hairspray as you flat-iron or blow-dry to set each strand and lock looks in place, or spray your hairbrush to help tame fly-aways and eliminate static.

Hair Treatments

Sometimes your tresses need a little extra TLC. There are a variety of hair treatments designed to restore the health of hair damaged by heat styling, direct sun and chemical treatments. For example, keratin treatments strengthen and fortify strands, while moisturizing treatments hydrate hair and restore elasticity, lustre and shine. Smoothing serums reduce frizz and flyaways for silky-smooth, manageable hair. With so many responsibilities filling your day, it's easy to neglect the health of your hair. You should treat your hair on a regular basis with the specific care it needs to restore your strands to their former glory. 

Hair Oils

Derived from natural plant sources, hair oils contain nutrients and vitamins intended to nourish hair and restore hair and scalp health. For example, tea tree oil and olive oil massaged into the scalp promotes hair growth and combats dandruff. Vitamin-rich neem oil and argan oil can make your strands softer and smoother, tame frizz and treat split ends. Nut oils like macadamia oil, almond oil and coconut oil are rich in proteins that promote healthy hair growth and prevent hair breakage. You can purchase hair oils on their own or look for them in your favourite hair products.

Hair Styling Tips:

  • For a side-swept look, use a boar bristle brush to work a texturizer through dry hair.
  • As you dry your hair, flip it upside down for an extra volume boost.
  • Avoid tight ponytails or buns that put tension on your hair.
  • Use a wide-toothed comb instead of a bush on wet hair to prevent damage.
  • Use hair dye sparingly and stay within three shades of your natural colour to stretch out touch ups.

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Hair Maintenance Tips:

  • Wet your hair thoroughly before applying shampoo to minimize breakage
  • Wash your hair sparingly (twice a week is ideal) in cooler water to let your scalp replenish its natural oils and prevent dryness and damage
  • Apply conditioner every time you wash your hair
  • Use a weekly deep conditioner, serum or hair mask to remove buildup and to revitalize / restore damaged hair
  • Limit heat styling to once a week to avoid damaging hair
  • Get haircuts or trims every six to eight weeks
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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