Walk into any beauty store or Target and you'll find literally dozens of hair dryers, volumizers, curlers, and shampoos. At the same time, it's safe to say, combined, our office of women has tried most of them. We're constantly testing new tools and products to find the best out there, and are here to tell you which we swear by (until we test something better, that is). Inspired by DermStore's recent relaunch and sale (their new site is targeted to help you find more products and we're loving their new sleek look), we're sharing our favorite hot tools, the towel half of us use daily, and our most life-changing, or at least hair-changing, products:
Hair type: Thick, colored, wavy/frizzy, and short
Ideal style: Effortless waves
Styling time: 40 minutes
In order to get my daily short waves, I follow a precise process over two days. First, I wash my hair with Oribe's Gold Lust Shampoo and Conditioner at night, and then brush it out and let it air-dry slightly. Using this Elchim hair dryer, I blow-dry my hair to be fully dry, before going over each section with my T3 straightener, and then finally heading to bed. The next morning, I begin the second step of the process by sectioning my hair into two distinct layers, top and bottom. Taking my straightener, I slowly tap down each strand to create slight bends and waves. The trick is to barely touch the hair with the hot tool (doing so will make harsher lines than necessary). I finish with my favorite Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray and tousle my roots. Although it takes time, the process is actually quite simple, and having it split up over two days makes it totally worth it.
Hair type: Fine, colored, wavy, and short
Ideal style: Parted in the middle with loose waves
Styling time: 10 minutes per day
I have three goals when doing my hair every morning: That it doesn't look greasy (the bane of my existence), that it take under ten minutes, and that it look at least relatively cool/wavy. It's taken me years to figure out my hair styling game, but I've finally found a routine I love that involves some combination of a blow-dry brush, wand in 1.5", and Kristin Ess styling products. I'm not picky about shampoo, but to wash my hair I usually use Aesop Shampoo (which I bought based on aesthetics and smell alone, but it works great!) and Goop Exfoliating Shampoo once a week. I try to wash it every other day now that it's colored, to maintain its health, and condition it once every three days or so with Aesop conditioner. As soon as I wash my hair, I wrap it in an Aquis hair turban, which cuts down on frizz, then brush it out and style it one of these three ways! If I use any product, it's Kristin Ess's Blow Dry Mist (with heat protectant), Kristen Ess's Air Dry Crème, or Living Proof Full Dry Volumizer (which is the only volumizer I've found that doesn't make my very fine hair look greasy!). Note: If I'm heading somewhere I want to look extra nice, like a wedding, I always do my hair this way.
Hair type: Long, fine, and all over the place
Ideal style: Casual Hollywood waves
Styling time: 20 minutes
You know the term "combination skin"? I personally want to coin "combination hair" – because mine can't make a damn decision. It's super curly underneath and slightly wavy on top (then add in a couple of pesky cowlicks) which makes it impossible to just walk out the door and feel put together without styling it. Generally, I shower in the evening (using my natural Sisters shampoo and conditioner (with Living Proof's Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo twice a week for a deep clean), and always use this Aquis hair turban my mom turned me on to while I finish my nighttime routine. I add some Ouai Air Dry Foam, then sleep on it. When I get up, I spray a bit of Living Proof's Restore Instant Protection Spray through my hair since I style it five days a week and don't want to damage it. I add large, billowy waves with my Hot Tools curling iron or my double barrel curling iron (similar here), and use Living Proof's Flex Hairspray to keep them in place and tame flyaways. I finish it off with Oribe's Texturizing Spray (it truly smells like perfume for your hair) and walk out the door. Luckily, my hair holds curls pretty well, so it can last through another day (and sometimes looks even better on day two!).
Hair type: Straight, fine (but a ton of it), and short
Ideal style: Beachy bedhead
Styling time: 8 minutes
Most days I don't do anything to my hair, I just wake up and head out the door. On days where I want a more styled look or need to add life to my day two hair, though, I pretty much have nailed only one style: the messy beach wave. Because I have such a round face, most curls (and waves, TBH) end up making me look somewhere between orphan Annie and a poodle. This style is the easiest way to achieve beachy, California girl locks without completely betraying my face structure. The process is simple: I wash my hair the night before (with Briogeo shampoo and conditioner), brush it out with my wet brush, add in this R+CO shine cream, and go to bed. When I wake up, I turn on my T3 hair straightener (which I swear on my life by) and section my hair into two sections, to cut down on styling time. Grabbing chunks at a time, I work my way down the strand, bending and curling the piece to make it look loose yet styled. I finish with some R+CO volume spray and head out the door! When it inevitably falls slightly, it still looks purposeful and chic.
Hair type: Straight, fine, thin, and long
Ideal style: Sleek and straight
Styling time: 5 minutes
TBH, I've never had beachy, lush, shampoo-commercial hair. It's fine, thin, and super prone to breakage. My usual styling routine is more like an "anti-style" (a.k.a., I woke up like this), because the years have taught me that too much blow-drying and heat styling on my hair type is really counterproductive. Thus, I spend a lot more time and money on hair care than hair styling. I'm a big Aveda girl and have been since high school (Fun fact: Aveda HQ is in Minnesota, and my home state pride is pretty intense). I rotate between the Cherry Almond Shampoo for softness and the Blue Malva Shampoo to keep my blonde from getting brassy (without staining my shower—blondes, you know what I'm talking about). The Damage Remedy Reconstructing Conditioner is also completely worth it, once you get over the sticker shock. After a shower, I'm incredibly passionate about my Tangle Teezer, which is the cheapest, best invention ever created for those of us with long hair. A hair mask is also essential to my routine (I throw it in while I get my @$$ kicked on the Peloton one to two times per week); right now this one is my favorite. And finally, a boar bristle brush completely changed the game for me. After a super-quick flatiron pass on very low heat (with heat protecting spray!!), I brush it out with the boar brush, and, voila.
Hair type: Thick, wavy at the bottom, long
Ideal style: Straight and sleek
Styling time: 10 to 12 minutes
Similar to Katie, I often don't touch my hair since I've realized that the less product I use, the better my natural hair looks. That said, I do keep an arsenal of products to use when I have an event to go to or just want to change things up. My hair doesn't hold a curl so recently I've learned to embrace a straight, sleek look. The day before I want to style, I give my hair a thorough wash with a clarifying shampoo, followed by a deep conditioner (and usually leave the deep conditioner on for 5-10 minutes while I apply my favorite face mask). I brush, then towel-dry my hair and let it completely dry overnight. For styling, I part it down the middle, brush it, then put a few drops of Moroccan Oil in my hands and run my fingers through my hair, focusing mainly on the ends to prevent breakage. (As an aside, I bring this travel size of Moroccan Oil everywhere with me for emergencies ranging from hair fly-aways to dry skin.) Finally, I straighten my hair with this brush which has a built-in heating pad to evenly distribute heat, resulting in perfectly smooth and sleek strands every time. I'll often add a few more drops of Moroccan Oil, then pull my back with a silk scrunchie (to avoid kinks) while I do my makeup.
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