Asking for a friend, but how many hair products in one's bathroom is considered normal? While some people may only need a bottle each of shampoo and conditioner (or hell, even a two-in-one if you're that low maintenance), those of us with curls, highlights, or generally dry ends usually need to give our strands a little extra love. This, of course, leads to more products piling up in the shower and on the bathroom counter, leading us to question—is this normal?
Apparently so, at least at InStyle HQ anyway. We asked five editors with very different hair types to describe their routine to us in full, from the shower to every single styling product involved. Read on to get the breakdown in full.
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1. Kim Peiffer, Executive Editor
"I’ve been getting highlights for a long time, so I would categorize my hair is dry and damaged. I love to be blonde! I don’t wash it every day in an effort to keep it as healthy as possible, and when I do I use Oribe. I love using the Oribe Gold Lust Repair and Restore Shampoo and Conditioner ($49 and $52; net-a-porter.com). Then, I dry it with my Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer ($400; sephora.com) and a Mason Pearson Paddle Brush ($150; nordstrom.com). When it's fully dry, I apply a few drops of Oribe Gold Lust Hair Nourishing Oil ($55; net-a-porter.com) at the ends. I work out a lot, so on days when I don’t wash my hair, I am addicted to Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo ($22; sephora.com). I spray it right at the roots post-gym and it makes me blowouts last for days longer. I also recently discovered the Aveda Pramasana Scalp Cleanser ($35; nordstrom.com). It was recommended by my colorist David Adams at Fourteen Jay, and I’m obsessed with it. If you use a lot of dry shampoo like I do, give this a whirl. It makes your head feel squeaky clean and removes any product buildup."
2. Alexis Bennett, E-Commerce Editor
"I’m pretty much a product junkie. Whenever I neglect my routine, my hair becomes a dry frizzy mess. After deep conditioning, I like to add a leave-in conditioner. Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk ($20; ultra.com) has been my go-to. Then, I like to pile on a few favorites to help define my curls. I’m currently obsessing over the way the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Clumping Curl Gel ($10; walgreens.com) and Eco-Styler Olive Oil gel ($12; amazon.com) work together to sculpt my texture without too much shrinkage. After I finger comb both products through my hair, I like to make sure my baby hairs are sleek with some old-fashion Ampro Style gel ($6; amazon.com). In between wash days, I keep my hair hydrated with a mixture of Jamaican Black Castor Oil ($14; amazon.com) and water."
3. Victoria Moorhouse, Digital Beauty Editor
"My hair routine has changed drastically since the spring. In April, I began my blonde hair journey, so I had to cut down the washes significantly and make shampoo and conditioner switches for the sake of my new color. When it’s a wash day, I rely on shampoo and conditioner duos like Rita Hazan True Color Shampoo ($26; sephora.com) or a color-safe shampoo, then Leonor Greyl Paris Crème Régénératrice' Conditioning Mask ($43; nordstrom.com) as my deep conditioner. Once a week, I’ll use a purple shampoo to keep the brass at bay and usually opt for Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo ($46; nordstrom.com). I almost exclusively air-dry, and my hair dries fairly straight with a slight natural wave. I usually style my hair back in a low bun, totally let it go, or sometimes I add in some texturizing products and use my curling wand. If I’m just adding texture with product and skipping the heat tools, I’ll use Kevin Murphy Bedroom Hair (kevinmurphy.au for locations) because it adds an airy, tousled texture and lots of volume, hence the name. Sometimes I’ll opt for a few spritzes of Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($46; nordstrom.com). If I do use my curling iron, I’ll first use OUAI Memory Mist ($28; sephora.com), which helps prolong your style and then I’ll add in some waves. Finally, I’ll spray in Oribe Superfine Hairspray ($36; nordstrom.com) to secure the style. I try to do a mask once a week, and I’ve been loving Leonor Greyl Paris Masque Quintessence ($145; nordstrom.com) or Bumble and Bumble While You Sleep Overnight Damage Repair Masque ($49; sephora.com)."
4. Marianne Mychaskiw, Associate Beauty Editor
"My hair is thick and wavy, but I usually wear it somewhat straight, so I'm constantly hoarding products that simultaneously hydrate and act as armor against heat styling. I have a few blonde highlights, so I use the Paul Mitchell Blonde Shampoo ($14; ulta.com) to keep them from turning orange, and once a week, I'll use the IGK Smoke & Mirrors Cleansing Oil ($29; sephora.com), which I can usually double as a conditioner. Otherwise, I'll follow the purple-tinted shampoo with Rita Hazan's Ultimate Shine Gloss in Breaking Brass ($26; sephora.com)—I'm terrified of having my hair turn orange, if you couldn't tell—and use Hazan's True Color Conditioner ($26; sephora.com) right after. Immediately out of the shower, I'll mist on a layer of Ouai's Smooth Spray ($26; sephora.com) for equal parts hydration and the addictive scent, then run the Kristin Ess Working Serum ($14; target.com) through my mid-lengths and ends. What happens after that depends on how lazy I'm feeling. Catch me when I'm lazy, and I'll fall asleep on it wet and deal with flat ironing or curling it in the morning. If I'm feeling particularly ambitious, I'll blow-dry it completely. Either way, I finish the entire routine with two more pumps of the serum through my ends, and use the R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo ($29; nordstrom.com) to stretch out my time between washes."
5. Erin Lukas, Beauty Writer
"Disclaimer: My hair routine is going to make me seem extra, but since I only wash my hair twice a week, I’m usually only styling my hair everyday. Basically, it takes a lot of effort to look effortless. My hair is thick, coarse, dry, and prone to frizz so I try to hydrate it as much as possible in my routine. I like washing it with Bumble and Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo ($31; sephora.com). It’s super hydrating, detangles, and offers UV Protection. Aside from dryness, my other main concern is keeping my dyed dark brown hair from getting brassy, so I follow up with Leonor Greyl’s color-protecting Crème de Soin a l’Amarante Conditioner ($78; nordstrom.com). Post-shower, I run a dime-sized amount of R+Co High Dive Moisture + Shine Crème ($27; nordstrom.com) through my damp hair to for extra moisture and to try to keep frizz under control. Then, I spray Kevin.Murphy’s Body.Mass Leave-In Plumping Treatment ($39; kevinmurphy.com.au for salons) on my roots. I had stress-related hair loss, and I’ve been using this ginger and essential oil-based spray on the patch of regrowth near my growth to help the hairs growing back in appear thicker. My hair is naturally straight, but I’ve been wearing my hair wavy since I went back to a lob cut at the beginning of the summer. After I curl my hair in one-inch sections using a curling wand, I spritz Living Proof’s Instant Texture Mist ($27; sephora.com) all over and lightly scrunch my hair to bring out my waves. Next, I spritz IGK’s Down & Out Dirty Spray ($29; sephora.com) on my mid-lengths to ends to give my waves a piecy, lived in texture. I finish by lightly spraying my strands with Bumble and Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Dry Oil Finishing Spray ($34; sephora.com) to cut any frizz and boost shine. Anyone who has ever had bangs knows that they can get greasy really quick. I like running a pump of Ouai’s Dry Shampoo Foam ($28; sephora.com) through my fringe to give it a refresh. This foam formula is great because it makes it easy to apply just the right amount of product exactly where your hair needs it."