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Cocktailing and Layering Styling Products

"When building the foundation for your hair style, product layering is so important."
- Melissa Stone, Stylist at Juan Juan Salon in Beverly Hills, CA

"Cocktailing" and Layering Styling Products

Like fragrance, food or the perfectly blended Bellini, superb styling is all about mixing. Combining products in your hands before applying or layering them throughout your styling process will produce different results. No two heads of hair are identical so why feel bound by convention or one-size-fits-all instructions on the bottle? Let creativity and customization be the secrets to your styling success. It's cocktailing time.

Cocktailing DOS

  • DO take a chance. Creativity is key! Don't be afraid to mix it up. Trial and error will lead you to the right product combo that works for your specific hair type and style. And if you're really not happy with the results, Folica has a 30 day guarantee.
  • DO evaluate your hair length, thickness and texture before choosing products. Determine what your hair needs. Moisture? Shine? Volume?
  • DO decide what style you want to create. Do you want to encourage texture, or create sleek straightness? Considering your style ahead of time helps you pick products that will support it - from your shampoo to finishing spray.
  • DO use a heat protectant when heat styling with hair dryers, flat irons or curling irons. Some products do double duty and offer heat protection with styling benefits. (A fave: the Sedu Anti-Frizz Polishing Treatment with Moroccan Argan Oil.)
  • DO remember: less is more. For liquid styling products, a good rule of thumb is to start with a dime size amount for shoulder length and shorter styles. Try a quarter size amount for longer hair. You can always add more (but it's hard to undo product overload).


  • Start by reading a product's directions. You don't have to follow them but it's good to get an idea of a product's intended use, and to be aware of any warnings.
  • Think Chem 101: Oil and water might not mix well. Check each product's ingredients and if you're getting odd effects, (the products separate or clump rather than blending) this could be why. In particular, silicone or oil products can get goopy and make hair look greasy if they're mixed with water-based stylers.
  • Be hair-color conscious. If your hair is highlighted or dyed, use products that nurture and protect your hue while styling your 'do. Look for products that are designed for color-treated hair and read reviews to see if other people with color-treated hair have tried it too.
  • Avoid alcohol based products if your hair is dry, damaged or very curly. Alcohol can dry hair even further, causing damage and frizz.

Cocktailing Recipes

House specials from the Folica headquarters:

Recipe for Sleek & Straight


Jessica, Marketing
Hair Type: Naturally wavy, some frizz, medium thickness, shoulder length

Recipe for Beachy Texture


Lauren, Buyer
Hair Type: Naturally wavy, thick, long

Recipe for Full Volume - Three Twists


Lizzy, VP
Hair Type: Medium thickness, wavy, long, highlighted

Lizzy's fave way - If hair is dry and slightly dirty (already has a few layers of product in it):

If hair is clean and dry:

If you simply must wash:

Recipe for Shiny Flowing Waves


Charlene, Buyer
Hair Type: Straight, thick, shoulder length

Recipe for Ringlet Curls


Rachelle, Content Manager, HairJunky
Hair Type: Naturally curly, thick, color treated

  • Skip the shampoo (yes, really) and use conditioner only (it's called co-washing). Curling hair conditioners moisturize and add shine.
  • Spray hair completely with Leonor Greyl Algues et Fleurs 5.2 oz and scrunch with a towel.
  • In the palm of your hand, mix together a curl cream like Miss Jessie's Quick Curls and a gel (don't be afraid of gels- they've improved immensely since the 80s). Pull through hair gently, always working down the hair shaft to avoid roughing up the cuticles and causing frizz.
  • Blow dry on low heat with a diffuser, cupping hair as you go. Get a faster dry with more shine and no frizz by using a hair dryer with ceramic, ionic and tourmaline technologies: Sedu Revolution Pro Tourmaline Ionic 4000i Hair Dryer.
  • When hair is dry and still warm, spray a section with a light hold hairspray, remove the diffuser and blow a few seconds of cold air onto the section to set. Repeat until you've got a head full of ringlet curls.
  • Mist all over with shine spray. Beautiful.

More Curly Hair Cocktails

Naturally Curly

Contributed by readers at curly hair haven,

"Any curly girl or stylist will tell you they have become makeshift chemists, creating their own mixtures of products in their search for the perfect solution for curls and kinks. Our readers will try any combination of conditioners, gels, mousses, serums, creams and pomades." - Michelle Breyer, Founder of

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