The Wow Factor: 18 Hair Must-Haves
The Wow Factor: 18 Hair Must-Haves
The Wow Factor: 18 Hair Must-Haves
From a motorized brush to a shampoo that cuts down on your drying time, these products and tools will change your life (or at least your beauty routine). Check out what InStyle staffers turned testers have to say.
Best Fragrance For Your Hair
- WOW! "I lathered up in the A.M., and my hair still smelled fresh and citrusy in the afternoon!"
- HOW Who needs perfume? This aromatic shampoo—infused with botanicals like rosemary, geranium, lime, and lavender—lingers in your locks long after they're dry.
- Minardi Luxury Color Care Weightless Wash No. 1, $26; minardicolor.com for salons.
Best Curl Refresher
WOW! "It got rid of the greasies with no chalky residue—and gave some much-needed volume."
HOW Designed for dry, coarse, or curly hair, this foam-based waterless cleanser (with aloe vera extract among its ingredients) goes on feeling wet, but once dry it leaves strands hydrated so they appear freshly washed.
Suave Professionals Waterless Foam shampoo, $3; at select drugstores.
- WOW! "This removed every bit of buildup without making my fine hair feel like straw."
- HOW Talk about a great one-two punch! A blend of oils, including avocado, strip dirt and grime from strands while adding moisture.
- Shu Uemura Art of Hair Cleansing oil shampoo, $55; shuuemuraartofhair-usa.com.
Best Quick-Dry Duo
- WOW! "I was skeptical, but it worked. This shampoo and conditioner shaved 20 minutes off my usual 45-minute blowout."
- HOW Credit the cool "vapor-boost system," which reduces the amount of water absorbed into hair shafts during a shower—to cut drying time in half!
- It Factor Quick Blowdry Shampoo and Conditioner for Medium to Coarse Hair, $45 for set; itfactorbeauty.com for salons.
Best Do-It-All Gadget
- WOW! "After working this brush through my thick strands to smooth them out, my blowout lasted an extra day."
- HOW With 500 watts of hot air blowing through the bristles, this styler glides over damp (or even dry) hair to create a sleek look with ease.
- John Frieda Salon Shape Hot Air Brush by Conair, $40; amazon.com.
Best Speed Dryer
- WOW! "Though it's lightweight, this device delivers a powerful blast of heat. My arms didn't ache after using it!"
- HOW Weighing around 16 ounces (a bit more than a standard-size water bottle), this nimble dryer zaps moisture with an impressive 1,800 watts. Plus, infrared heat actually penetrates cuticles to dry strands from the inside.
- Solano 3300 Xtralite dryer, $160; ulta.com.
Best New Brush
WOW! "It slid through my coarse waves—no easy feat. Even better: It actually helped my hair dry faster."
HOW Not only is this paddle brush a great detangler, it also has tiny pieces of microfiber between bristles to help wick away excess moisture from damp strands.
Goody Quik Style paddle brush, $12; at Walmart.
Best Body Boosters
WOW! "How clever is this? Round brushes that can be used as hot curlers for mega volume!"
HOW A push of a button detaches the top from the handle. So you can dry a section of hair with the brush, then wrap strands around the barrel as you would with a roller; pop off the head and leave it in while you snap on another to continue styling.
Body Up Pro brush system, $150 for introductory kit; 800-613-3841.
- WOW! "These funny-looking clips were an incredibly easy way to get pretty, romantic, and rippling waves."
- HOW By clamping a few over a 1-inch section of damp hair, a curved shape is imprinted on strands. Blast with a blow-dryer and let cool before releasing. Voilà!
- Kevin Murphy Wave clip, $4 each; kevinmurphy.com.au for salons.
Best Hydrating Iron
- WOW! "The plates in this iron release oil, which seriously moisturizes; it even took me fewer passes to straighten my curls."
- HOW Shine-enhancing argan oil (an 8.45-ounce bottle comes with the iron) is emitted as steam to hydrate and help repair hair. Strands are left sleek and spectacularly glossy.
- Corioliss K2 Vapour Infusion iron, $249; corioliss.com.
Best Hairspray—That Just Got Better
WOW! "It gave my hair tons of hold—with no stinky smell!"
HOW Thanks to a super-secret technology that minimizes the fragrance in its styling polymers, the barely detectable aroma in this spray disappears seconds after you spritz.
L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold hairspray, $15; at drugstores.
Best Hot Rod
WOW! "I've tried curling irons, spinning irons—you name it—but nothing gave me a sexier bed-head look than this!"
HOW You don't have to be extra-coordinated to use this tool: Just take a handful of strands and wrap them around the barrel; its "wavy" shape ensures some pieces will seem more tightly wound than others. The result: breezy, just-got-back-from-the-beach hair.
Goody Heat Wave Creator, $33; at Target.
Best Updo Assistant
- WOW! "This simple invention made styling my hair ridiculously easy."
- HOW OK, this rubber cuff won't win any points for style, but the square centerpiece is actually a magnet that grips pins, so you won't need to hold strands in place with one hand while searching around for clips with the other.
- Ricky Care Magnetic pin bracelet, $15; rickysnyc.com.
WOW! "I rubbed this serum into my hair before blow-drying and didn't have as many fly-aways afterward. What's more, my ends looked less frazzled."
HOW A scissor chop is the only way to permanently remove frayed tips. But this light lotion has a polymer that helps split ends temporarily bind together.
Tresemmé Split End Sealing serum, $4; at drugstores.
Best Volumizing Flatiron
WOW! "I always tease my crown to get more height after straightening. But a few strokes with this tool gave me the same full effect."
HOW It's all about the curved edges on this iron. They can give hair a rounded shape, so with a twist of the wrist you get instant uplift!
CHI Magnified Volume Ceramic Volumizing iron, $168; at Ulta.
Best Hot Curlers
- WOW! "I don't use rollers often because the waves they create never last. But when I took these out of my hair, it had bounce all day!"
- HOW The secret behind that staying power? Tourmaline-infused curlers that have an aluminum core, which helps them retain heat longer (for up to 20 minutes, to be exact).
- T3 Voluminous Hot rollers, $99; sephora.com.
Best Highlight Coverage
WOW! "This spray-on root concealer made it very easy to micro- target strands. And the golden shade matched my hair color perfectly."
HOW The tint sprays out of a narrow nozzle to give the most precise coverage possible. This wash-out formula, available in gold or platinum tones, is designed for blondes who want to cover dark roots.
Rita Hazan Root Concealer for Highlights in Golden Blonde, $24; at Sephora.
Best Fake-Out Color
WOW! "I went redder one day and added ombre streaks the next—it was so fun!"
HOW The mousse-like substance seeps through holes in the brush-on applicator. Just stroke it through strands, let it dry, then marvel at your new temporary highlights. The hue washes away after one shampoo. (Note: The blond shade looks best on light hair; it can appear a tad ashy on dark locks.)
Alterna One Night highlights in Ravishing Red, $29; at Sephora.