In 2020, we let our hair grow out, learned how to do our own dye jobs, gave ourselves bangs, or decided to say eff it and buzz it all off. This year? Oh yeah, we still did all that. But this time we had a little bit more access to our hairstylists â€” and, thankfully, more opportunities to let others bask in the glory of how damn good we look.
And just because outside is open doesn't mean that we're abandoning the products that got us through all this time. No sir, we're doubling down and giving gold stars to the hair-care products that were our ride or dies. The shampoos that got our scalps in check, the volumizers that plumped our strands up to high heaven, and the dry shampoos that helped us oil-train our hair all deserve recognition â€” and we are pleased to give it. Below, get into the hair-care products that stayed by our sides through another year of lockdowns, reopenings, and weird, "Is-this-really-safe?" gatherings. We truly have nothing but gratitude for these products. And while you're at it, check out the rest of our 2021 Best of Beauty-winning products.
Shampoo and Conditioner (Curly): Nexxus Curl Define Shampoo and Conditioner
Shampoo & Conditioner (Kinky Hair): The Mane Choice Manetabolism Rejuvenation Solution Extra Healthy Shampoo and Conditioner
The Mane Choice Manetabolism Rejuvenation Solution Extra Healthy Shampoo and Conditioner coddles kinks, hydrating and reducing breakage to encourage softness and fullness all over.
Shampoo and Conditioner (Fine Hair): Pantene Silicone Free & Fragrance Free Pure Clean & Clarify Shampoo and Conditioner
Never in all our flyaway days did we expect Pantene Silicone Free & Fragrance Free Pure Clean & Clarify Shampoo and Conditioner to deliver so much polish with so few ingredients. We've seen the light.
Shampoo and Conditioner (Dry Hair): SheaMoisture Papaya & Neroli All Day Frizz Control Shampoo and Conditioner
Parched hair takes to the tropical-smelling SheaMoisture Papaya & Neroli All Day Frizz Control Shampoo and Conditioner, which smooth rough patches and restore calm, like a toddler to a juice box.
Shampoo and Conditioner (Color-Treated Hair): John Frieda Blue Crush for Brunettes Blue Shampoo and Conditioner
Shampoo and Conditioner (Color-Treated Hair): Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo
Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo rids cool blondes of unwanted warmth.
Shampoo and Conditioner (Damaged Hair): Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner
The hair-care system of the future, Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner contain a novel set of molecules that buffer against breakage, making damage a thing of the past.
Shampoo (Dandruff): Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength Dandruff Defense Intensive Itch Relief Shampoo
Infused with cooling menthol and a hefty dose of selenium sulfide, Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength Dandruff Defense Intensive Itch Relief Shampoo banishes flakes and soothes itchiness after one wash.
Clarifying Shampoo: Carol's Daughter Wash Day Delight Water-to-Foam Shampoo With Rose Water
The mild surfactants in Carol's Daughter Wash Day Delight Water-to-Foam Shampoo with Rose Water behave like mini magnets, attracting buildup without stripping hair.
Co-Wash: Kristin Ess Ultra Hydrating Curl Co-Wash
Consider Kristin Ess Ultra Hydrating Curl Co-Wash the smartphone of co-washes: It automatically locks moisture in and impurities out, so curls practically style themselves.
Scalp Treatment (Scrub): Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub
Remember the most luxurious scalp massage you ever received? Here it is, in a jar. A dreamy concoction of sugar and coconut oil, Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub boosts circulation and enhances calm.
Scalp Treatment (Mask): Aveda Invati Advanced Intensive Hair & Scalp Masque
The plant-based polymers in Aveda Invati Advanced Intensive Hair & Scalp Masque plump and fortify individual strands, adding renewed body and fullness.
Scalp Treatment (Tonic): Royal Oils by Head & Shoulders Nighttime Scalp Tonic Lotion
The tingly blend of zinc and peppermint oil in Royal Oils by Head & Shoulders Nighttime Scalp Tonic Lotion relieves dryness and lifts away buildup to prolong the life of protective styles.
Leave-In Conditioner: Pantene Miracle Rescue 10-in-1 Multitasking Spray
The holy grail of detangling, Pantene Miracle Rescue 10-in-1 Multitasking Spray bestows a staggering list of shine-boosting, frizz-busting benefits. Let us spray.
Mask: TPH by Taraji Mask On
For kinks and curls, TPH by Taraji Mask On delivers softness without compromising springiness.
Mask: ColorWow x Chris Appleton Money Masque
And even those with fine hair will find ColorWow x Chris Appleton Money Masque richly rewarding; the decadent formula rinses clean, leaving behind nothing but shine.
Styling Product (Curl Milk): Mielle Organics Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk
Mielle Organics Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk cushions curls and locks in luster with a rich cocktail of omegas, proteins, and plant extracts.
Styling Product (Curl Definer): Intelligent I-N Bell-Curve Curl Cream
Intelligent I-N Bell-Curve Curl Cream provides weightless hold and lasting definition.
Styling Product (Curl Definer): The Doux Big Poppa Defining Gel
The Doux Big Poppa Defining Gel makes curls pop without a bit of stiffness.
Styling Product (Curl Refresher): Mizani CoCo Dew Pre-Styling and Restyling Spray
Styling Product (Volumizer): Joico Rise Up Powder Spray
An ultrafine powder that vanishes on contact, Joico Rise Up Powder Spray gives roots a substantial boost.
Styling Product (Volumizer): Verb Volume Dry Texture Spray
Verb Volume Dry Texture Spray adds the sort of tousled, piecey texture that used to require a curling iron â€” or surfing lessons â€” to achieve.
Styling Product (Wave Enhancer): Living Proof Curl Enhancer
The moisture-repelling molecules in Living Proof Curl Enhancer form a sleeve of sleekness around your waves, producing languid bends with a glossy sheen.
Styling Product (Defrizzer): NaturAll Club Avocado Curl Custard
Unlike heavy formulas that kill volume along with frizz, NaturAll Club Avocado Curl Custard keeps tight kinks intact.
Styling Product (Defrizzer): Living Proof Curl Moisturizing Shine Oil
For looser spirals, Living Proof Curl Moisturizing Shine Oil disappears into hair, deflating puff while preserving curves.
Styling Product (Finishing Oil): Fekkai Shea Butter Intense Oil
Packing the moisture-rich goodness of shea butter into a lightweight elixir, Fekkai Shea Butter Intense Oil glazes over flyaways and disguises split ends without dragging hair down.
Styling Product (Blowout Cream): Calm SexyHair Wetfix & Chill All Style Dry CrÃ¨me
Laced with fatty acids and CBD, Calm SexyHair Wetfix & Chill All Style Dry CrÃ¨me is essentially a dispensary of fullness and shine.
Styling Product (Mousse): IGK Big Time Volume and Thickening Mousse
IGK Big Time Volume and Thickening Mousse delivers full-on girth in an airy fluff.
Styling Product (Mousse): Rucker Roots Texture Styling Mousse
Rucker Roots Texture Styling Mousse provides just enough moisture and hold to give your styling tools a major assist.
Styling Product (Twisting Cream): TPH by Taraji Twist and Set
It took a whole lot of testing to find a formula capable of sculpting elongated spirals. TPH by Taraji Twist and Set gave us standout twist-outs every time.
Styling Product (Edge Tamer): African Pride Moisture Miracle Edge Styling Wax
They may be wispy-fine, but baby hairs are essential to our style. African Pride Moisture Miracle Edge Styling Wax gives them the respect they deserve with aloe (to condition) and coconut water (to strengthen).
Styling Product (Pomade): Jillian Dempsey Roadie Hair Pomade
The artfully faded denim of stylers, Jillian Dempsey Roadie Hair Pomade provides offhand texture with a cool, semimatte finish.
Styling Product (Hairspray): R+Co Bleu Featherlight Hairspray
Either R+Co Bleu Featherlight Hairspray is made from the wings of Pegasus, or someone discovered a molecular complex that provides hold and promotes swingy- ness. Yeah, we're going with Pegasus.
Styling Product (Dry Shampoo): L'OrÃ©al Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Air Volume Dry Shampoo
A blast of L'OrÃ©al Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Air Volume Dry Shampoo delivers immaculate roots. And a silky finish. And impressive volume. And a delicious scent. Other than that, it's totally undetectable.
Hair Color (Permanent Color): Madison Reed Radiant Hair Color Kit
Hair Color (Permanent Color): eSalon Custom Hair Color Set
You have to fill out a lengthy questionnaire before the pros at eSalon formulate a Custom Hair Color Set for you, but the results really do approximate a salon visit â€” minus the visit.
Hair Color (Gloss): L'OrÃ©al Paris Le Color Gloss
Apply L'OrÃ©al Paris Le Color Gloss straight from the tube to enhance color and shine through at least five shampoos.
Hair Color (Root Coverage): ColorWow Root Cover Up
The tiny, tinted zinc particles in ColorWow Root Cover Up cling to wiry grays and won't let go until we shampoo.
Hair Color (Root Coverage): dpHue Root Touch Up Kit
And dpHue Root Touch Up Kit is totally intuitive. After mixing, paint the formula directly on roots for seamless, goof-proof color.
Hair Color (Rainbow): Good Dye Young I'm Bored Hair Makeup
In shades like Add to Cart (powder blue) and Binge Watch (retro red), Good Dye Young I'm Bored Hair Makeup offers a temporary break from the ennui of everyday hair color.
Hair Towel: Volo Hero Towel
Volo Hero Towel hugs our hairline without tugging on baby hairs and absorbs dampness without ruffling cuticles, cutting drying timeâ€” and damageâ€”in half.
Turban/Bonnet: Glow By Daye Premium Satin Bonnet
Designed with two layers of satin and a sleek perimeter to protect edges, Glow By Daye Premium Satin Bonnet reduces friction and moisture loss. Bonus: The drawstring ensures a snug fit, whether we're turning over in bed or going about our day.
For Furry Friends: Ouai Fur BÃ©bÃ© Pet Shampoo
Those who confuse Ouai Fur BÃ©bÃ© Pet Shampoo with a human shampoo aren't exactly barking up the wrong tree. Packed with aloe vera, the hydrating formula leaves hair and coats of every breed soft and shiny.
For Furry Friends: Tangle Teezer The Ultimate Detangler Hairbrush
When you're done, the bendy bristles of the Tangle Teezer The Ultimate Detangler Hairbrush gently glide through long coats, reducing stress for your pet and tumbleweeds on your floor.