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.
INALA Triple Threat Tonic ($27)
La La Anthony knows a thing or two about hair care, and her new brand INALA was inspired by her own experimentation with hair and scalp products over the years. This new three-in-one, water-like treatment acts a primer, styler and refresher and helps increase shine and hydration and reduce frizz and breakage using her signature ingredient rice water, as well as biotin and soy amino acids. It’s also oil-free, works on all hair types and can be used on wet, damp or dry hair depending on what you want to achieve.
“I wanted to take the benefits the Power Potion and Reset Rinse give our scalp and strands and create a product that’s packed with those same nutrients and can also boost our style day to day,” says founder La La Anthony. “Our Triple Threat Tonic does just that—in three ways! This leave-in gives a boost of definition and shine after I wash, in between my wash days, and when I pull pack my hair in my signature pony. It’s so versatile.”
A soothing gel formula that feels light and refreshing on the scalp rather than heavy and greasy, this efficacious serum contains the brand’s Superpower blend, which includes biotin, niacinamide, rosemary extract, and patented ingredient procapil, which has been clinically proven to make hair look thicker and denser over time.
I like the blunt-tip applicator that makes it easy to run through your hair—it works on all hair types, from straight to coily—without catching, but you can also drip it onto your head and massage it in that way.
“This is one of the biggest innovations we’ve had since our launch,” says brand founder Sonsoles Gonzalez. “Scalp care is incredibly important for everyone, but more so if you’re over 40 because your skin is changing, and your scalp is skin. The health of your scalp affects how your hair grows, how much your hair is thinning and how much hair loss you’re experiencing. And for those who are experiencing thinning or hair loss, as well as discomfort on their scalp such as dryness, irritation or flaking, this is the product to use.
We ran a consumer perception study for two months with women over 40 and got fantastic results: 84 percent of women saw baby hair grow back, 89 percent noticed immediate relief on their scalps and 87 percent said their hair was growing healthier.”
LolaVie Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner ($29 each)
Since its launch last year, one of the brand’s most requested products has been shampoo and conditioner. But we know any new addition to the collection has to pass Jennifer Aniston’s personal test on her famous strands, and we’re so excited these finally made the cut. Like the rest of the range (I’m a big fan of the Glossing Detangler), the new duo features the same proprietary LolaVie Bond technology that uses chia seed extracts to protect the hair cuticle and provide overall strengthening.
The refreshing signature scent is also the same throughout, and both products are vegan, color-safe and made with at least 96-percent naturally derived ingredients. One of which is eco-friendly bamboo essence, which allows the brand to formulate without water in an effort to help conserve it. The conditioner is also silicone-free, and instead uses coconut alkanes to give the hair a silky-smooth feel (without the extra weight or greasiness).
CHI AirTwist Curling Wand ($109)
For those who wish they could curl their hair with a flat iron like a celebrity stylist to get that beachy texture we all crave, this tool not only makes it possible, but also much easier. The ergonomic design with rounded edges and dual floating plates allows you to twist and create a wave, ringlet or bouncy curl, depending on the look you’re going for, and Cool Air technology locks in the style so it actually lasts, even on fine hair. Additionally, the built-in ion generator sends negative ions into the hair to squash frizz and boost shine.
It’s the smoothness of a flat iron coupled with the curl of a curling iron, but it doesn’t weigh down your style—you can still achieve a bouncy blowout!
The brand’s deep-cleansing, sulfate-free shampoo gets a big upgrade with this new formula featuring supercharged ingredient Secret Code P-151, which includes Peptibrid (a proprietary form of peptide), Peptide Complex, and Vitabrid CG, a patented, 12-hour active vitamin C. It sounds technical because it is, but here’s what it does: It makes it easier for your scalp (skin) to absorb the peptides, which in turn boosts collagen production and strengthens the scalp to reduce hair fall.
It’s also loaded with a DHT blocker to help prevent hair loss, antioxidants to shield the scalp from environmental aggressors like UV rays, and B vitamins that keep the skin barrier of the scalp healthy. It offers all of these benefits without weighing the hair down, and in fact, it actually works to deliver some volume too. Another feature I want to mention is that a separate conditioner is not needed when using this shampoo because it’s designed to both hydrate and smooth the hair.
If you think you’ve held a lightweight blowdryer before, wait until you pick up this one. It weighs in at less than a pound, and when you have as much hair as I do (and it holds a lot of water), that makes a huge difference in your routine. But even more show-stopping than the weight is the smart settings, which include automatic heat measure technology that automatically balances air and temperature 100 times per second. Essentially, it allows hair to dry faster with less heat and more air pressure, meaning less damage.
In testing against the brand’s undisclosed leading competitor, the blowdryer dried hair 75-percent faster, and as a busy mom, every minute is precious. It also has a self-cleaning function, which helps maintain the efficiency of the dryer and prolong its life span.
From Beachwaver’s brand-new collection comes this luxurious scalp elixir, and we all know a healthy scalp is the foundation for healthy hair. “This is such a cool product,” says brand founder Sarah Potempa. “If you’re looking for a really good oil to soothe your scalp, this one will moisturize it and make it feel really good while also making your hair feel smooth too. There are only five plant-based ingredients in this oil—argan, marula, sunflower seed, jojoba and black cumin seed—and that is my favorite thing. You can also apply it before you blow-dry because it kind of has a natural heat protectant in it.”
I like to use it once a week at night as a treatment, applying it to my scalp in sections where my hair parts naturally and massaging it in. You can leave it on for up to 10 minutes and then wash and condition like normal. My hair looks noticeably shinier and feels softer. Also, though it’s free of synthetic fragrance, there is a natural earthy aroma that comes from the black cumin seed oil.
After long summer days in the sun, your hair might be a little dull and fried (I know mine is, and I’m usually always in a hat, too). This serum will help restore its natural luster with pearl extract, which contains amino acids that help stimulate the formation of keratin.
It also provides the deeply nourishing benefits of algae extract that make hair feel softer and smoother. Apply a small amount to clean, damp hair (it has a little bit of a nice detangling effect too) and then blow-dry or style as usual. (Always start with less when using any hair serum, and then build up if you need more, but there’s nothing worse than going too heavy-handed and then having to wash your hair again.) I also like to twist a little bit into my ends when they look split and dry, and it instantly makes them look healthier.
Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Ultra Rich Deep Conditioning Mask ($43, launching September 12)
A new addition to the brand’s best-selling Invisible Oil Ultra Rich collection, this deep-conditioning mask is ideal for those with dry hair, and especially hair types 4A to 4C that are coily and naturally dry.
Infused with biomimetic hyaluronic acid, which you typically only see in skin care, as well as Kalahari melon seed oil and Bumble’s signature blend of six oils—coconut, argan, macadamia nut, sweet almond, grape seed and safflower—the cream drenches hair with long-lasting moisture. In fact, it claims “to deliver 100-plus hours of hair-quenching hydration, frizz reduction and high humidity protection until your next wash.” So if you only wash your hair once a week, which many people do (even more so as a result of the pandemic), this is a great treatment to try.
After shampooing (try the shampoo from this collection to boost the smoothing benefits), apply the cream on damp hair from root to tip and leave on for up to five minutes, then rinse.
UNITE BOOSTA PLUS+ Hair Serum ($52, launching September 6)
A must-try for those with fine hair in search of thicker, fuller hair (the whole BOOSTA collection is great for this), this lightweight leave-in treatment utilizes two key patented ingredients—baicapil and procapil—that restore and energize hair follicles to promote healthy hair growth and prevent hair loss. It’s also vegan, safe for color-treated hair and doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue.
On wet or dry hair, part your hair into sections where it’s thinning and apply the serum directly on the scalp, massaging it in as you go. Be sure to use a full dropper full each time to really reap cover the area, and don’t forget your hair line, which is where most people see their first sparse spots. According to the brand, “with daily use, you will see visible results within 90 to 120 days.”