Throughout all my testing and trials of other products, however, I tend to return to the "old faithfuls" that have worked for me from the beginning.
Here they are:
I've been using this since 2003. In fact, I started using this hairspray when the company had just began marketing it like crazy. You used to be able to go online, as a professional, and order a "sample". That sample was a full size can! All my beauty school friends were ordering their own cans and we all fell in love with Kenra.
It's a strong hold, but is flexible and quick-dry. It never flakes or weighs your hair down. I could keep going on and on about it but I'll just wrap up with this: whatever you are looking for in a hairspray can be found in Kenra Volume 25.
I discovered Aquage at a beauty show. They were using their products to demonstrate shine and manageability. When I saw a stylist spray the Uplifting foam on a client's roots and the product just foamed and grew, I knew it was a winner. I tried it for myself and have been using it for years. It is the best.
I've tried wet spray root lifters, mousse that you spray in your hand and then try to cram into your hair, and basically any other kind of volumizer our there. None is as effective as Aquage Uplifting Foam.
It does leave a slight texture at your roots that is completely invisible. And that is what shows that it's an effective root lifter. You need to have the texture to get the lift and hold.
If you don't like to feel any product in your hair, but you want volume, plan on having flat hair. You need to have a strong product to lift your roots from your scalp and hold them their all day.
3. Redken Body Full Shampoo
**see update below
When Tigi discontinued the best shampoo and conditioner ever, I was devastated. It was super inexpensive and absolutely wonderful. They relaunched a new version and it was horrible.
So that is when I retreated back to Redken Body Full. It's a clean feeling, very sudsy shampoo that is great for lift. And yes, I shampoo everyday. Based on the amount of product in my hair I would never be able to wet it, condition it, and style it again. I have to shampoo. If you are able to go a few days between-good job. But if you can't, don't worry about it. Shampoo isn't the worst.
4. Redken Exteme Condtioner
**see update below
I love this conditioner because it strengthens but doesn't weigh down. Redken just relaunched their Extreme line packed with even better proteins for extra strength! I use this because my hair is heavily colored and I style with heat every day. I need to use it. And it's wonderful.
**be careful not to overdo protein. There is a point at which it can end up making your hair brittle if you use too much. Alternate Extreme conditioner with a different conditioner every few days, or only use extreme conditioner 2 times a week if you begin to feel like your hair is getting brittle.
A great alternative conditioner that I have been enjoying is Pureology's Hydrate Light. This feels great on the hair and smells incredible!
4 1/2. Redken Extreme Cat
**see update below
This is a concentrated protein spray that will help strengthen and smooth your hair from the inside out. I spray this on my wet hair that has just been shampooed and then slick on conditioner right over it. The conditioning part of my hair, when I was it, is an intense process. I like to load up on protein when my hair is wet since it is more susceptible to products actually sinking in to the interior part of the hair.
If you use this, you will notice a different. Your hair will feel stronger and smoother. And you'll feel good about doing something great for your hair.
*I don't use this daily. I would say, on average, probably 3 times a month.
So those are my dailies. Those are what I travel with, what I always have backstock of, and what I absolutely need to make my hair do what I want it to do.
**A little update on daily products!
Since I have so much exposure to new and different hair products I like to change it up every once in awhile. Lately (the past few months), I've been using Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner. It's made my hair feel phenomenal, and negated my need for a protein/strength spray. It also gives me plenty of volume even though it isn't a "volumizing" line.
This is not to say I no longer like body full, extreme, or extreme cat--I've simply been using some new products lately.
I recommend Pureology, and I do feel that they are a higher quality that justifies their price. However, Redken is still a great provider of hair products at great prices.