My Complete List Of Haircare Favorites
I’ll be honest, I’m pretty promiscuous when it comes to shampoo. But the conditioner? This is the MVP, especially for days when my hair looks like it might be starting to get a little brassy. I use Aveda’s Blue Malva Color Conditioner, which is absolutely excellent at toning down any yellow or orange hues and maintaining the ashy blonde tone I prefer. To be clear, the conditioner works to neutralize brassy tones in all hair colors, not just blonde. So brunettes should get in on this too. There’s also Aveda’s Blue Malva Color Shampoo if you want the one-two punch of anti-brass hair shower products. But according to my hair stylist, the shampoo isn’t as concentrated. As long as you’re using the conditioner, you (and your brassy tones) are covered. This Conditioner is also incredibly moisturizing and obviously since it’s Aveda, the scent is heavenly.
We don’t think about circulation in our heads very much, do we? But good circulation is essential for a healthy scalp and hair, which is why I’ve introduced Briogeo’s Scalp Revival Stimulating Therapy Massager into my routine. This affordable, handheld massager is designed to be used with your favorite shampoo, oil, or conditioner either in or out of the shower. (But of course in-shower is far more convenient!) This brush has rubber tips for comfort, and you’ll want to focus on smaller massaging circles to avoid tangles. It works wonders but also just feels SO GOOD.
Regular conditioning in the shower is a must. But I don’t think we talk about the inclusion of a second, leave-in conditioner often enough. I use Aveda’s Botanical Repair Strengthening Leave-In Treatment to protect against heat damage from styling (or the sun!) as well as breakage. This extra, double-conditioning step makes a world of difference, especially for those of us who style our hair quite a bit. I typically pick a day in the weekend and work it through my hair (especially the ends) when I wake up. Then throw my hair in a top knot and let it sit for the day before showering at night.
Every now and then, it’s necessary to work in a more intensive treatment. (This is especially important in the summer if your hair is often exposed to chlorine!) Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask offers a more intense moisturizing treatment than your daily routine, but can be used in the shower for convenience. It calls on help from a blend of B-vitamins, rosehip and argan oils, collagen and silk to deeply condition and protect against future breakage. If your hair is particularly parched though, you can apply this mask out of the shower, wrap your hair in plastic wrap for 30 minutes, and then rinse.
Yes, I use and love three different products that fit into the “hair mask” category. This is the third, but no less beloved than the other two. Olaplex is a darling of the haircare world for a reason. These salon quality formulas have garnered a cult following and that’s because they work really, REALLY well. I use Olaplex’s strengthening treatment Hair Perfector No. 3. Which his designed to be used 1-3 times per week. It needs to sit on your hair for ten minutes, so you’ll want to time things correctly. But the results are always worth it. If your hair is in any way damaged or compromised, this beloved treatment will bring it back to life. A true miracle worker.
P.S. Don’t be thrown by the small-ish bottle. A little goes a LONG way, even on thick hair.
Anything we can do to reduce damaging blow-drying time is a massive plus in my book. I have used Aquis’ Rapid Dry Lisse Hair Wrap Towel for at least three years now because it MASSIVELY reduces my drying time. The towel is suitable for all hair types. And uses ultrafine fibers that are split into strands thinner than silk to treat your hair like complete royalty. There’s actually some science to this too: The towel wicks water away from the keratin inside your hair. Taking it from a damage-prone, swollen state when it’s fresh out of the shower, to an evenly-damp state that’s perfect for blow-drying and styling with less damage.
When I get out of the shower in the morning, I get as much water out of my hair as possible with my regular towel. And then wrap my hair up into this turban. I then get dressed and start putting on my makeup. After my makeup is finished, I pull my hair out of this turban to find it significantly less damp than if I had let it air dry for that period of time. I then only need to blow dry it for a few minutes before styling.
I am likely not the first to mention this wonder product to you, and I shall not be the last. The specific product I use is Moroccan Oil Light, beloved for its antioxidant-rich argan oil and shine-boosting vitamins specifically formulated for finer textured hair. If silky smooth strands are what you’re after, look no further that this product. Don’t be confused. This “oil” is a dry oil that will not add any weight or greasiness to your hair. I simply work a tiny amount through my ends (usually when damp but I’ve done it dry hair too) and it adds tons of shine and bounce PLUS it wards off split ends. Anytime your hair is feeling dry or looking more like straw than human hair, this is your move.
Hair doesn’t like heat. This is a fact. It might LOOK awesome after heat styling tools have had a thing or two to say. But that doesn’t mean that it’s great for your hair. It’s really important to use a heat protecting product on your hair right before you begin heat styling. I use Briogeo’s Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection and Heat Protectant Crème. This is a lightweight product that blends rosehip, argan and coconut oils to protect your hair from damage caused by your favorite styling tools. It gives you extensive conditioning and helps avoid dryness and frizz. Such a hero.
Speak of the devil! Since we do love heat styling, let’s make sure we’re using tools specifically engineered to avoid hurting our strands. I use Dyson’s Supersonic Hair Dryer, which you’ve no doubt seen all over the internet. I can report it is truly worth investing in—there’s a reason it’s the universal preference of every hairstylist. Let me give it to you by the numbers: The Dyson dryer increases smoothness by up to 75%, shine by up to 132% and decreases frizz and flyaways up to 61%. That’s a LOT BETTER than the dryer with the completely tangled cord and questionable heat settings you’ve had under the bathroom sink for too long.
It’s my favorite. And it’s pretty much everyone’s favorite. It’s Living Proof’s Perfect hair Day Dry Shampoo. It’s the one dry shampoo that actually CLEANS your hair—eliminating oil, sweat and odor that causes bad hair days. My trick: I actually use this on freshly clean, dry hair, not just when I need to revive greasy hair. If you apply it on clean hair, I find that it acts preventatively by warding off greasiness before it starts and drastically extends the life of my blowouts. Less hair washing means less hair drying and styling, which means healthier hair. Wins all around.
When hairspray with a flexible hold that lets me work with my hairstyle a bit is called for, I really love Aveda’s Air Control Hair Spray. You don’t need to take my word for it. Just look at the reviews. It gives me a light, flexible hold. But it doesn’t weigh down or stiffen my strands which is key when trying to achieve an effortless ‘do. Also, it smells divine and LASTS, which is really important, or else why bother? You can layer it on for more hold. But for situations when you really need your hair to stay put, I prefer…
Aveda’s Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray has a name that exudes the kind of confidence we’re looking for in a firm hairspray. If you need a strong, long-lasting hold from your hairspray that can also laugh in the face of humidity, this is the go-to. You’ll want to apply this one in more of a mist-style fashion, and leave your locks alone once you’ve applied it! This is also fantastic for controlling stubborn fly-aways when wearing your hair up.
There are two volumizers I work with to make sure you can see my hair from space. First, Oribe’s revolutionary Dry Texturizing Spray. This is a really unique product that offers a fullness and texture that I’ve never found with any other product. With the Oribe, you want to apply it when your hair is already dry. I’ll add it to my roots when I feel my dry shampoo isn’t giving that area enough oomph. And it’s easy to work with when styling your hair. For damp hair, I have had amazing success with Aveda’s Volumizing Tonic which I’ll apply before I blow dry if I’m going for a look that I really want to be voluminous. It really works (as evidenced by the reviews) but doesn’t make your hair feel grimy like so many volumizing products.
You know I live for my hot roller hair routine and I have to say that I absolutely love the consistency of the heat delivered from these T3 volumizing hot rollers. It’s not just about adding body, which they certainly do, but it’s about making it last, too. The two different sizes are ideal for avoiding anything in the Shirley Temple category, allowing you to create large voluminous waves or big bouncy curls, it’s up to you. One thing I do suggest is buying metal U-shaped clips for these rollers like the ones I recommended in my hot roller tutorial, as opposed to the plastic butterfly clips that come with this set. They’re available on Amazon or at any beauty supply store. And they will prevent you from creating any of those unintended crimps in your hair.
Just remember: The first two times you use hot rollers you’ll be convinced that you hate them and that I’m crazy. You have to give yourself about three tries before you’ll get the hang of how best to place the rollers and how to make your hair wrap evenly around the barrels (watch my tutorial vid here to start). Once you’ve practiced, you’ll be hooked like I am because it honestly cuts down your styling time by 90%. Truly. It takes me two minutes and 45 seconds to put my hair in rollers in the morning and then I let them set for five to ten minutes while I do something else. After they’ve set, I pull them out, brush, apply a spritz of hairspray and I’m out the door looking like I’ve spent hours in a salon.
Of course we need tools to actually brush our hair and keep it from existing as one giant knot. For post-shower detangling, I love Tangle Teezer’s Ultimate Detangler Hairbrush to work through any knots without causing breakage. This is also great for little girl’s hair too! For styling, my go-to brush is Raincry’s Restore Large Reinforced Brush. Lastly, when I need extra volume for an updo (or perhaps a regional beauty pageant of some kind), I opt for Drybar’s Texas Tease Teasing Brush, which gets the job done.
Last but not least, I have to share my holy grail hair ties. For me, the L.Erickson ponytail holders are unmatched. They are so effective, comfortable and effortless for any number of up-do’s and they really prevent creasing and breakage while somehow also maintaining a strong hold on your ponytail or bun. They come in tons of pretty colors, and I also appreciate how incredibly comfortable they are to wear around your wrist!
Believe it or not, you can buy every single product above at Nordstrom (aka, the mothership). Are there even brands in existence that aren’t sold at Nordstrom anymore? There are LOTS of reasons to be shopping with Nordstrom right now, and they pretty much all have to do with convenience. Nordstrom offers free shipping and returns and curbside pickup, which is a service that has SAVED ME too many times to count, especially during the pandemic. There’s also a little something called The Nordy Club, where you can accumulate points and rewards for shopping, exclusive access to special events, and benefits tailored to you. Becoming a member is easy (and free!), so check out all the details here.
Thanks to Nordstrom and ShopStyle for partnering on this post!