Hundreds of products come across our desks every month, but not all of them deliver on their claims or live up to the hype. (Not everything that goes viral on TikTok is a miracle worker.) This is our exclusive curation of the best-in-class hair-care products receiving rave reviews from our team and hitting shelves right now.
Part of an entirely new collection for the brand—the Clean Stylers Green Aerosols—this talc-free, vegan dry shampoo utilizes an innovative technology called Solstice Propellant, which is the first aerosol that doesn’t deplete the ozone. According to FEKKAI, it features ultra-low global warming potential to reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 99.9 percent. This earth-friendly approach is a big step forward for the hair-care industry, as aerosols are terrible for the environment, yet dry shampoo and hairspray are two of the most popular items in the category.
After 10 months of testing in Fekkai salons by 25 stylists, the brand landed on the perfect mist that is ultra-fine and sheer, so all hair colors can use it without an ashy residue, even dark brown and black colors. It’s also super lightweight in my hair, yet has enough kaolin clay in it to soak up oily spots with ease.
“We are the first luxury hair-care brand to defy the gravity of performance by being sustainable, clean and highly effective,” says founder Frederic Fekkai. “When the first electric cars were launched, they had very few clients. Today, Tesla, Audi and Porsche all have electric cars. In my view, we are the Tesla of sustainable hair care.”
We’re big fans of Nutrafol supplements—they really work, and derms love them too—for anyone experiencing thinning hair. Part of the brand’s Scalp Microbiome line, this new silicone-free conditioner works to complement the brand’s nutraceuticals by providing additional support to keep the scalp and hair shaft healthy.
Vegan and lightweight, the conditioner’s main goal is to defend hair before damage from daily styling and environmental aggressors occurs, which it accomplishes with a mix of ximenia oil, sea buckthorn, fermented amino acids and other botanicals. It strengthens hair from the inside out by protecting it at various levels of the cuticle and cortex. In a clinical study, the conditioner improved hair moisture by 86 percent.
According to the brand, “Other conditioners claim to reverse or repair damaged hair, but this is impossible because hair is not living. This science-backed formula uses natural ingredients to provide multilayer protection so hair can stay strong, smooth and healthy.”
This silicone-free styler helps reduce frizz by 99 percent(!), by creating a heat and humidity shield of sorts on the hair with cassia bark style polymer, and purportedly lasts 48 hours. It helps keep your style intact for that long, too. In the brand’s testing, they found that hair was five times smoother after a blowout with this product than without it; it also protects against heat damage up to 450 degrees using ionic peptides.
“Silicone makes a little layer on the outside of your hair, which is why we use hemisqualane instead,” says founder Jonathan Van Ness. “Orchid milk moisturizes the hair and also helps prevent color fading. I also love that the texture of the cream is super light.”
Use one or two pumps on damp hair, depending on the length and texture of your hair, and then blow-dry and style to reap the benefits.
This new blowdryer brush—the trend is still one of the top in the category and our editors love them—uses infrared and ionic technology to dry, style and volumize hair simultaneously. It also features a mixed-bristle brush in two different sizes to effectively grab every tiny hair (I’ve tried some that have barely any grip!).
Choose either the 2- or 3-inch for your main oval barrel (it’s tourmaline-infused, ceramic for frizz-fighting too) and then select the attachments (sold separately) that you want based on your specific hair type and styling goals.
David Mallet Pure Shampoo and Conditioner ($38 and $42)
Born in Australia and based in Paris, celebrity hairstylist David Mallet is the mane man for Hollywood elite like Kate Winslet, Tilda Swinton and Natalie Portman. If you’re among the fortunate few who get to visit him at his New York salon when he’s in town, a haircut runs around $700.
His hair-care collection also oozes luxury, and this new Pure duo is no exception. Free of fragrance, PEG, silicones, sulfates, dyes, and mineral oil, the shampoo repairs dry, damaged hair using wheat micro proteins and amino acid salts; the conditioner is infused with organic coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter to moisturize, nourish and restore shine. I also love the minimalistic packaging that looks chic as ever in my shower niche.
VERB Curl Foaming Gel ($20)
The newest product in VERB’s curl line, this first-of-its-kind foam-to-gel was created in collaboration with hairstylist, curl specialist and content creator Mell Guido of Manes by Mell, who was integral in its ideation, packaging and formulation. The brand has been taking preorders for the past couple weeks, and managed to amass a waitlist of more than 5,000 people!
Typically we see gel-to-foam formulas (mostly in cleansers), but this unique innovation transforms from a foam to a creamy gel on contact, helping to set curls—types 2A to 4C—in place and give them strong hold to stay all day. The product also features VERB’s first proprietary ingredient: SunflowerCurl Complex, which deeply moisturizes and nourishes hair. In third-party testing, it reduced frizz by 84 percent for up to 72 hours at high humidity, and it’s proven to make curls softer and 85 percent easier to comb, scrunch, twist and style.
“We wanted to create a curl product to enhance our curls, and our VERB hair routine,” says Mell, a longtime fan of the brand, especially its Curl collection. “Together we made the product of our curly dreams that is hydrating, defrizzing and versatile to style curls, coils and waves. Our goal was to create a product that would work on all textures and different curl styles to make hair both look and feel amazing.”
For the man in your life who’s experiencing thinning hair or hair loss, this three-step system (you can buy/use them all solo too) is the most luxurious way to stimulate some new growth. According to the brand’s research, two-thirds of men are affected by hair loss by the age of 38, and about 85 percent by the age of 50. The culprit is high levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male steroid hormone, and these products contain the brands new Stimulating Complex (a mix of Procapil, caffeine and menthol), which helps prevent DHT from forming.
Balmain Homme’s rich, signature scent is also a nice shower upgrade with notes of invigorating bergamot, intense amber and woody sandalwood.
CHI LAVA PRO Hair Dryer ($337.50)
We’re used to seeing LCD digital temperature displays on our stylers like flat irons and curling wands, but now we’ve got it on a blowdryer, too (with four heat settings). And if you’re like me, I’m always thinking my blowdryer is too hot, but I still want the full-power mode. When my forehead gets red, I know I’m in dangerous territory, but my hair takes forever to dry!
Other advanced features include magnetic attachments (a diffuser, precision concentrator and smoothing nozzle), three speed settings and the brand’s ceramic technology that reduces hair damage and increases shine. Plus, the best part in my opinion: It weighs less than a pound. And when your hair takes forever to dry, this is a prerequisite for any blowdryer. It also has a unique self-cleaning function: Take off the back cage, hold the cool shot button and voila!
The protein bonds in our hair are susceptible to damage every single day, whether it’s from chemical processes like hair coloring or environmental factors like heat, sun exposure and pollution. Over time, it leads to dry and brittle hair that needs serious TLC, aka good bond-repair products.
The key ingredient in this new three-piece, color-safe collection from the Avon x CHI collab—there’s a shampoo, conditioner and an oil serum—is a naturally derived plant-based bonding agent with a small molecular weight that deeply penetrates the hair follicle to repair the damaged bonds. It also contains keratin for a much-needed strengthening boost to improve the hair’s elasticity. With each use, hair also becomes softer, shinier and more hydrated.
Sam Villa Pro Results Single-Waver ($110, launching soon)
Not your standard waver, this new tool from Sam Villa has a unique U-shaped single barrel (it’s ceramic-coated to help buffer the hair from heat damage) that pinches the hair in the perfect way to create salon-worthy waves. If you want a tighter, smaller, crimpier wave, use smaller sections of hair, and for that more effortless, beachy look, go with larger sections. The heat settings adjust up to 430 degrees depending on your hair type and texture, and I love that it’s dual voltage so you can use it on all your international travels with no worries.
“This is a super versatile tool because the plates have an awesome bevel to them that creates a lot of creative opportunities without getting creases in the hair,” says Andrew Caruthers, cultural ambassador for Sam Villa. “Depending on your section size and how long you leave the iron clamped, you can create very soft, natural-looking waves or a very defined texture.”
According to Google Trends, there’s been a 60-percent increase in search terms for “best hair thickening products” in the last 12 months. The first styling product in the brand’s best-selling Intense range, this lightweight, vegan mist utilizes volumizing rice and flax proteins and pea peptides, as well as thickening amaranth seed extract to give new life to fine, flat hair. You can apply it on dry or damp hair (and even on your roots—it’s not greasy), and then blow-dry or style as you wish.
In an independent user trial with 120 participants with fine to medium hair who were concerned about hair loss or thinning hair, 92 percent agreed it left their hair looking and feeling instantly fuller.