2020 Beauty Awards: The Hair Care Products We Swear By
Our team of editors and beauty pros tested hundreds of products to find the year's best in beauty. Here are their top picks on hair care.
When it comes to your hair, there are only two options: Fight it, or work with it. If you’re open to the latter, welcome to the club—it’s nice here, and hair is smoother than ever! But that doesn’t mean it’s simple. Different hair textures require their own approach, whether you’re dealing with color-treated hair, fine strands, coils, grays, and everything in between. And finding what works best for you can be a challenge in its own right. Fortunately, there are more options than ever, which our testers representing a range of hair types, from textured to straight, rinsed, sprayed, and scrunched in order to find the very best. These hair heroes will save the day, giving you stronger, healthier hair in the process.
Best Hot Tool
Anyone can master a blowout with this genius dryer and brush combo. The oval design allows you to blow dry your hair without using a round brush, and charcoal-infused bristles help keep hair clean when reviving second-day hair. Bonus: Brush head detaches for easy storage.
Best Scalp Scrub
This scrub is exfoliating and pampering treatment for dry, itchy scalps. Simply apply the scrub to your scalp before showering, massage it in, and chill out for about 10 minutes. It’s no mess applicator that eliminates any cleanup time! Bonus self-care tip: Apply your favorite face mask while you wait.
Best Dry Shampoo
This dry shampoo refreshes hair, absorbs excess scalp oil, and gives hair a lift at the roots. (One tester even called it the best non-aerosol dry shampoo she’s ever tried.) It’s also available in two shades (light and dark) to work for a range of hair colors.
Best Detangling Conditioner
Every curly girl looks for a conditioner with enough slip. What is this “slip” I’m talking about? It’s the way your fingers or detangling tool can “slip” through your hair and get each strand nice and coated with minimal pulling. In almost 10 years of being natural, I have yet to find a conditioner that glides through hair and moisturizes as effectively as this one. I was laughing with so much delight as I applied it in the shower, that my fiancé came to check on me to see what was going on!
Best Shampoo and Conditioner
These daily formulas minimize frizz with a combination of moisturizing aloe and hemp. Some shampoos can be a little too drying for hair, leaving it tangled and straw-like. Not this clean version, which is free of harsh sulfates and parabens. It cleanses hair with a combination of moisturizing aloe and nutrient-rich hemp—while minimizing frizz, too. One tester raved about its refreshing scent.
Best Scalp SPF
Unless you’re spending the day indoors, your hair and scalp are as vulnerable to sun damage as the rest of your body. This reef-safe, lightweight spray keeps the sun from drying out hair and burning the scalp, all without leaving any greasy film or residue behind.
Buy It: Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Defense Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 ($12, Walgreens)
Best Dry Conditioner
For the dry shampoo-obsessed (or those who can go multiple days between washes), this delivers lightweight moisture and shine to frizzy or dry ends. Similar to dry shampoo, dry conditioners can be sprayed onto hair between wash days for an instant refresh without getting your hair wet. Apply throughout the bottom half of your hair to smooth and detangle while fighting frizz.
Put an end to frizz once and for all with this leave-in conditioner, which offers on-the-spot detangling and all-day smoothing and shine. Infused with a deeply moisturizing combo of coconut oil and cocoa butter, which lends it a light, beachy scent, it quickly softened one tester’s curls without weighing them down.
Buy It: Garnier Whole Blends Smoothing Leave-In Conditioner ($3, Target)
Best Heat Styler
If you blow-dry your hair on a daily basis, a heat protectant is essential. This spray goes above and beyond; not only does it protect against damage, but it also smooths and helps detangle hair before you style. One tester loved the shine it gave to her hair.
Best Hair Oil
This lightweight treatment oil provides instant hydration, smoothing, and shine and it smells divine! A drop or two replenishes dry, damaged hair. with just a few drops in your palm and apply to damp or dry hair, focusing on dry or damaged areas mid-length to ends.