Between drug-store brands and higher-end salon products, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the many hair product choices available. So that’s why we chatted with professional hair stylists about their Holy Grail hair products. Hopefully, this list will help you stock your beauty arsenal with the best tools for achieving your perfect hair. These products address some of the most common hair concerns from flat hair to frizz.
And if there’s one takeaway from this list, a superb hairspray is the foundation of a gorgeous, long lasting ‘do. Read on for stylists’ top picks!
Where to Buy: Brilliant Spray-On Shine, Aveda ($29)
Why You’ll Love It: It cuts your blow-drying time in half.
The Secret: Irene Fernandez, stylist at Luxe Aveda Concept Salon in Corpus Christi, Texas, says she uses this protectant product every single time before styling hair. “This stuff is great because it adds a nice shine without weighing hair down. Plus, I love that you can spray it on rather than rub in on your hair with your fingers like you have to do with some shine serums. In my experience, it cuts blow-drying time in half!”
Where to Buy: Chi Keratin Mist Leave-In Strengthening Treatment, Ulta, ($16)
Why You’ll Love It: This treatment strengthens hair and calms frizz—even in the most humid climates.
The Secret: Fernandez relies on this keratin treatment to keep her hair strong and sleek. “Keratin is a big deal in south Texas. With the humidity here, frizzy hair a concern for a lot of us, and keratin helps. I use this about twice a week to strengthen my hair. But you don’t want to go overboard—too much can make hair feel brittle. I have coarse hair, and this helps my hair lay smooth.”
Where to Buy: Five Wits Rejuvenating Shampoo, Five Wits ($20)
Why You’ll Love It: For the purists, this cleanser preserves hair’s natural body and volume.
The Secret: Stylist Molly Weinreb of Blackstones NYC says this is a perfectly balanced cleanser with a lovely fragrance. “It’s a gentle yet effective cleanser that adds just the right amount of moisture without compromising your hair’s natural body and volume. And the scent is light, fresh, and smells good on everyone.”
Where to Buy: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, Ulta ($22)
Why You’ll Love It: Not only does it extend your time between washes without making hair dry, it also adds the perfect amount of texture.
The Secret: Weinreb uses this dry shampoo to extend time between shampoos. “I usually wash my hair twice a week—this stuff is great at soaking up excess dirt and oil while adding just the right amount of texture to keep my hair looking fresh. It’s great for mornings when you’re in a hurry or for when you’re trying to extend the life of a blowout.”
Where to Buy: SACHAJUAN Ocean Mist, David Pirrotta ($31)
Why You’ll Love It: It’s versatile. For wet hair, you can help add volume before blow-drying. For dry hair, spritz on to achieve a beach-y texture.
The Secret: Weinreb swears by this multi-use spray for achieving a variety of looks. “This is my desert island pick—hands down, Ocean Mist is the most user-friendly and versatile styling product in my personal and professional product arsenal. Use it on damp or dry hair and let dry to enhance your own texture, or blow-dry with it for volume with subtle hold.
Where to Buy: Paul Mitchell Super Clean Finishing Spray, Drugstore.com ($19.50)
Why You’ll Love It: It’s the ideal hairspray for lasting curls.
The Secret: Anja Lastric, hair and makeup professional and beauty marketing coordinator at Vilda Magazine, says this product is “a lovely finishing spray that doesn’t make the hair stiff. It’s perfect for making soft and bouncy curls last all day. Plus, it’s 100 % vegan!”
Where to Buy: Davines Nou Nou Hair Mask, Davines ($13 – $34)
Why You’ll Love It: This mask conditions and repairs even the most damaged hair.
The Secret: Lastric uses this rich mask to deep condition heat-damaged hair. “It’s a must for dry and brittle hair. I often use styling tools (which damage the hair), so between my salon appointments, I use this deep conditioning, moisturizing mask. It doesn’t weigh down my fine hair.”
Where to Buy: Blax Snag-Free Hair Elastics, Anthropologie ($2.95)
Why You’ll Love It: These elastics keep your style in place without damaging your hair.
The Secret: Lastric recommends Blax elastics for all hair types. “These are simply the best for all hair. If I use normal hair elastics, my hair will eventually slide out, which is really annoying. With Blax, I’m confident my ponytail will stay exactly where I want it, all day long. It works for all hair types.”
Where to Buy: Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3, Beauty Drama ($19.85)
Why You’ll Love It: It’s like giving chemically treated hair CPR.
The Secret: Megan Essendrup, owner of Bel Salone in Dallas, Oregon, uses this treatment for clients with chemically colored hair. “Olapex is the best deep-conditioning treatment, especially for chemically treated hair. It’s a three-step process that repairs hair and maintains the hair’s integrity. It helps strengthen your hair between chemical services.”
Where to Buy: L’ANZA Keratin Healing Oil Hair Treatment, Ulta ($44)
Why You’ll Love It: It’s a thermal protectant for up to 500°F, so never use hot tools without it!
The Secret: Ammon Carver, founder of Ammon Carver Studio in New York City, recommends this oil to all clients. “This ultra-healing blend of keratin protein and phyto IV complex is a light ‘must-have’ oil that leaves no buildup. It works for all hair types!”
Where to Buy: Big Sexy Hair Root Pump Volumizing Spray Mousse, Sexy Hair ($17.95)
Why You’ll Love It: It’s a foolproof way to give hair gorgeous body.
The Secret: Katy Barbour, stylist at Sweet Southern Glam Bridal Hair & Makeup in Charlotte, NC, uses this volumizing mousse as her secret ingredient for beautiful bridal up-dos. “I love this volumizing root lifter and have used it for years! It gives you the right amount of lift where it’s most needed. I like it because it’s not too heavy and won’t weigh your hair down, but it gives you tons of volume!”
Where to Buy: Chi Magnified Volume Finishing Spray, Loxa Beauty ($15.50)
Why You’ll Love It: It provides a hold the strikes the right balance between flexible and long-lasting for your hair.
The Secret: Barbour using this finishing spray with hot tools to create style that goes the distance. “This hairspray is amazing! I’ve tried so many, and this is my favorite! It gives you a flexible, lightweight hold that is still strong and long-lasting. It works awesome with heat as well to give you a long lasting hold.”