Impatient Idas love testing hair products for Best of Beauty. Why? Because you don’t have to wait a long time to see results. The beauty of wave sprays, purple shampoos, deep conditioners, and the like, is that they’re typically made for you to see them work in the amount of time it takes you to care for and style your hair.
It took a single use of the Anomaly Bonding Treatment Mask for us to know that it was a winner — that soft-but-strong feeling it left our hair with was one we wanted to experience over and over again. The DpHue ACV Daily Scalp Serum instantly made our scalps feel clean and refreshed. Playa’s Wave Spray revealed our glorious natural waves within seconds of application.
But just because the results are fast doesn’t mean they’re lacking longevity. Though, yes, we’ve had to pore through hundreds — hundreds — of hair-care products, many of them are so good that they made it into our respective personal stashes. So if you see any Allure staffers out there with great-looking hair, know that one (or several) of the products that made this list are to blame.
Now, it’s your turn to check them all out — read on for the best hair-care products we tried this year and when you’re done, check out the rest of the 2022 Allure Best of Beauty winners.
Best of Beauty Awards 2022: Hair
Jump to your favorite category or keep reading to see every shampoo, conditioner, and curl cream:
Best Shampoo & Conditioner (Damaged)
Dove Hair Therapy Rescue & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner
Why it won: Since the best defense is a good offense, Dove Hair Therapy Rescue & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner use ceramides and peptides to repair existing damage and strengthen strands for the long-run.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner (Dry)
Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner
Why it won: Ask not what your hair can do for you, but what you can do for your hair. And if yours feels stripped or strawlike, the solution is probably to use Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner, made with replenishing lipids.
Best Clarifying Shampoo
Olaplex Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo
Why it won: Product buildup, dirt, and oil go “poof!” when you wash with Olaplex No.4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo. And the same hair-repairing bond builders that put the brand on the map swoop in to help strengthen.
Best Shampoo and Conditioner (Fine)
Andrew Fitzsimons Body Volume Boosting Shampoo and Conditioner
Why it won: If you can practically hear the “pfffftttt” of your hair deflating at midday, Andrew Fitzsimons Body Volume Boosting Shampoo and Conditioner are for you. The featherlight formulas add lasting body and are infused with follicle-stimulating caffeine, which makes strands appear temporarily thicker.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner (Color-Treated)
Pureology Strength Cure Sulfate Free Shampoo & Conditioner
Why it won: You don’t spend four hours at the salon every six weeks just to drop the ball between appointments. Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo and Conditioner prioritize keeping color vibrant by way of gentle cleansers and built-in UV filters.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner (Curly)
Hair Food Hair Food Mango & Aloe Curl Definition Shampoo
Why it won: If you are so taken with the tropical scent of Hair Food Mango & Aloe Curl Define Shampoo that you use more than you probably need, like our art director Alexandra Folino, fear not: The lightweight formula cleanses curls so gently, you almost can’t go overboard.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner (Kinky)
Pantene Gold Series New Lengths Root Stimulating Shampoo + Root Rejuvenating Conditioner
Why it won: The key to happy, healthy coils is hydration, hydration, and did we mention hydration? That’s why Pantene Gold Series New Lengths Root Stimulating Shampoo and Root Rejuvenating Conditioner are packed with moisturizing apricot oil and green tea.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner (Dandruff)
Head & Shoulders Clinical Dandruff Defense Sensitive Shampoo
Why it won: Head & Shoulders Clinical Dandruff Defense Sensitive Scalp Shampoo pairs antifungal selenium sulfide with calming aloe vera, so even sensitive types can reap its dandruff-fighting benefits.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner (Bar)
Tangie Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
Why it won: Tangie Shampoo and Conditioner Bars have (way) less packaging than your average shampoo and conditioner, but can go toe-to-toe with the best of ’em when it comes to cleansing, detangling, and moisturizing.
Why it won: “Honestly, my hair looked great all week after using Shaeri Co-Wash,” says staff editor Jihan Forbes of this hydrating, detangling shampoo alternative. Hey, it’s not bragging if it’s true.
Best Scalp Treatment (Scrub)
Reverie Suna Exfoliating Shampoo
Why it won: Reverie Suna Exfoliating Shampoo earned our prize both for what it’s got (purifying rhassoul clay and moisturizing hibiscus flower extract) and what it’s not: a rough-and-tough physical exfoliant.
Best Scalp Treatment (Mask)
Briogeo Charcoal + Tea Tree Cooling Hydration Scalp Mask
Why it won: For itchy, irritated scalps, Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Cooling Hydration Scalp Mask provides an instant sense of relief we can only compare to finally getting to a bathroom after being stuck in traffic. Ahh, that’s better.
Best Scalp Treatment (Tonic)
dpHUE ACV Daily Scalp Serum
Why it won: When we stop to consider that scalp care is skin care, it seems right to apply dpHUE ACV Daily Scalp Serum nightly. This oil-free blend keeps our scalp in perfect harmony by hydrating at the same time that it gently exfoliates.
Best Leave-In Conditioner (Light, In a Spray)
LolaVie Perfecting Leave In
Why it won: LolaVie Perfecting Leave-In does the most (smooths, hydrates, and protects) by way of one of the least-heavy formulas out there, as verified by our fleet of fine-haired testers.
Best Leave-In Conditioner (Thick, In a Tub)
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Leave-In Conditioner
Why it won: A scoop of SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Leave-In Milk quenches thick strands and curls with a mix of shea butter, honey, and baobab oil.
Best Hair Mask (for Kinky and Curly Hair)
Anomaly Bonding Treatment Mask
Why it won: In a dream world, we’d have a personal stylist to ensure every strand on our head is perpetually soft and shiny. Back here on earth, we have hair masks. Anomaly Haircare Bonding Treatment Mask uses quinoa and vegetable proteins to smooth frizz and give curls back their bounce.
Best Hair Mask (for Fine Hair)
ColorWow x Chris Appleton Money Masque (for Fine Hair)
Why it won: Chris Appleton x ColorWow Money Masque leaves our hair looking so glossy and healthy, we almost forgot we’re overdue for a trim.
Best Curl Cream (for Tight Curls)
TPH By Taraji Curls 4 Days
Why it won: Somehow, coils and kinks appear both softer and more defined when we rake TPH By Taraji Curls 4 Days cream though just-washed hair.
Best Curl Cream (for Looser Curls)
Skimdo Original Curl Styling Cream
Why it won: Skimdo Original Curl Styling Cream is great for adding volume to layers of curls, says commerce producer Sarah Hoffmann. “And if you apply it when your curls are wet, it doesn’t weigh down your hair at all,” she adds.
Best Curl Refresher
Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Touch-Up Gel Cream
Why it won: Humidity, windstorms, drastic changes in temperature: Sometimes it feels like the world is out to sabotage our curls. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Touch-Up Gel Cream combines the hold of a gel with the moisturizing benefits of a cream to wrap each of our spirals in what feels like a much-needed hug.
Living Proof Full Dry Volume & Texturizing Spray
Why it won: Living Proof Full Dry Volume & Texture Spray adds a little something-something to hair best described with words like “bleh,” “blah,” and “meh.” A patented molecule increases the space between hair fibers for a lifted effect that lasts all day.
Best Wave Enhancer
Playa Endless Summer Spray
Why it won: Our neurosis may say uptight New Yorker, but thanks to Playa Endless Summer Spray, our hair says laidback Southern Californian. A dash of pure sugarcane adds texture and enhances natural waves without leaving strands parched.
Best Finishing Oil
JVN Complete Nourishing Shine Drops
Why it won: “My hair is too fine to use oil,” said absolutely no one after trying JVN Complete Nourishing Shine Drops. Meadowfoam esters (for sheen and smoothness) meet hibiscus extract (for antioxidant protection) in this incredibly lightweight formula that we like to rake through our midlengths and ends.
Best Frizz Smoother
Nexxus Ultralight Smooth Frizz Defy Cream Serum
Why it won: Since humidity tends to ignore the “Do Not Enter” sign we paste to the back of our head every summer, we’re trying a new approach: Nexxus Ultralight Smooth Frizz Defy Cream Serum forms an invisible, frizz-blocking barrier around individual strands that lasts for up to 72 hours.
Best Blowout Cream
Fekkai Clean Stylers Straight Balm
Why it won: A few pumps of Fekkai Clean Stylers Straight Balm can shave more than a few minutes off your blowout: The lipid-enriched formula helps strands respond better to heat styling. “My hair felt softer and looked sleeker after blow-drying than it usually does,” says commerce writer Jennifer Hussein.
Best Mousse (for Volume)
DesignMe Puff.Me Volumizing Mousse
Why it won: DesignMe Puff.Me Volumizing Mousse “delivers bounce without any stiffness,” says senior copy manager Dawn Rebecky, who also admired its fluffy texture.
Best Mousse (for Setting)
African Pride Olive Miracle Non-Flaking Foam Setting Mousse
Why it won: For those who do want a little bit of stiffness, African Pride Olive Miracle Non-Flaking Foam Setting Mousse works best. Comb a dollop through towel-dried hair to lay the groundwork for more structured styles like curls and braids.
Best Edge Styler
Kiss Colors & Care Edge Fixer
Why it won: Some edge-control products have enough hold that you can set ’em and go about your day — that is, until a parade of flakes makes its way to your shoulders. With no flaking and no white cast, Kiss Colors & Care Edge Fixer is the right kind of forgettable.
Tancho High Grade Hair Stick
Why it won: Editorial assistant Talia Gutierrez waited two months to get her hands on the sold-out Tancho High Grade Tique hair stick. Turns out the push pop-style pomade went viral for a reason: It easily eliminates flyaways for the slickest of slicked-back ponies.
Best Twisting Cream
Mielle Pomegranate & Honey Twisting Soufflé
Why it won: The recipe for the perfect curl-defining twist-out cream goes something like this: sweet almond oil, shea butter, aloe — wait, now we’re just reading the ingredient list for Mielle Pomegranate & Honey Twisting Soufflé.
Best Dry Shampoo (Travel-Friendly)
I Dew Care Tap Secret Mattifying Dry Shampoo Powder
Why it won: We’re not ashamed to wield a full-size dry shampoo at our desks between meetings, but we’ll admit that I Dew Care Tap Secret Mattifying Dry Shampoo Powder, which is dispensed through a glorified makeup puff, is certainly a more… discreet option.
Best Dry Shampoo
L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Air Volume Dry Shampoo
Why it won: L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Air Volume Dry Shampoo soaks up oil without leaving a telltale white cast. After you’ve cleaned up your roots, spritz a little along your lengths for extra body.
Best Bond Builder
K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask
Why it won: About three years ago, whispers of a product that could help rebuild damage to keratin bonds caused by chemical treatments (therefore making hair look shinier and healthier) began permeating the halls of Allure HQ. Today, we’re shouting from the rooftops about the magic that is K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask.
Best Hair Color (Permanent)
eSalon Custom Hair Color Set
Why it won: You don’t have to have a degree in chemistry to use eSalon Custom Hair Color Set. The brand partners you with an expert colorist who will mix your perfect blend, then ship it to your door along with unique-to-you instructions.
Best Hair Color (Semi-Permanent)
Good Dye Young Darker Daze
Why it won: We need to update the hair color listed on our driver’s license to aubergine because after using an eggplant-colored shade called “Make It Happen” from the Good Dye Young Darker Daze collection, we can’t imagine ever going back to brown.
Hair Color (Gloss)
L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss
Why it won: It’s nice when someone says your hair looks great. It’s even nicer when someone says you look great. L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss — in 16 shades, including five striking variations on silver — imparts the sort of subtle, fresh-from-the-salon sheen that puts an extra spring in your step.
Hair Color (Root Coverage)
Madison Reed Root Perfection Root Touchup Kit
Why it won: If you’re starting to resemble a skunk, you’ve got options: Madison Reed Root Perfection Root Touchup Kit contains a permanent dye (available in eight shades) that covers grays in just 10 minutes.
Madison Reed the Great CoverUp Root Touchup
Why it won: For an even faster, albeit more temporary fix, dust Madison Reed The Great Cover Up Root Touch Up + Brow Filler along your part. (In other words: Madison Reed has you covered.)
Best Hair Color (Temporary)
Overtone Coloring Conditioner
Why it won: Though the result of applying Overtone Coloring Conditioner will fade away as you shampoo, the memory of your colleagues’ expressions when you showed up to your corporate gig with rose-gold hair is certain to last a lifetime.
Best Hair Towel
The Volo Hero Hair Towel
Why it won: The journey to great hair can begin with a single step, like swapping your regular towel for a gentler, more absorbent one. Wrapped around damp strands, Volo Hero Hair Towel speeds up dry time considerably and creates less frizz than its cotton counterparts.
Best Hair Bonnet
Evolve Satin Wide-Edge Bonnet
Why it won: The stretchy band across Evolve Satin Wide-Edge Bonnet helps smooth your edges while you sleep. Plus, it’s voluminous enough to accommodate thick curls, braids, and weaves.
You Go Natural Luxe Ribbed Twisted Turban (when you want to spend some $$)
Why it won: The satin-lined You Go Natural Luxe Ribbed Twisted Turban suits shorter hair and protective styles — and comes in a beautiful range of earth tones.
For Furry Friends
Burt’s Bees for Dogs Oatmeal Shampoo
Why it won: A bath using Burt’s Bees for Dogs Oatmeal Shampoo left Billie, a German shepherd mix with sensitive skin, wagging her tail. No wonder: Colloidal oat flour helps soothe itchiness and irritation.
Tangle Teezer Pet Teezer De-Shedding & Dog Grooming Brush
Why it won: Tangle Teezer Pet Teezer De-Shedding & Dog Grooming Brush has two lengths of bristles to simultaneously remove surface debris and de-shed double coats. As per Allure‘s commitment to testing products on multiple hair types, the palm-sized brush got two paws up from both Billie and Sushi, a long-haired Japanese chin.
Best Paddle Brush
British M Flex Gentle Brush
Why it won: Sure, it looks like a flyswatter, but the vented paddle on the British M Flex Gentle Brush serves a greater purpose: It flexes to the curves of your head so you can get closer to the scalp as you blow-dry and detangle.
Best Round Brush
Harry Josh Pro Tools Magnesium Thermal Round Brush
Why it won: The Harry Josh Pro Tools Magnesium Thermal Round Brush is full of secrets. Below the ceramic-coated barrel, inside the soft-touch handle, lies a detachable pick that makes short work of sectioning hair during blowouts.
Planet Goody Palm Brush
Why it won: Innovation doesn’t always mean reinventing the wheel. Sometimes, it means adding a loop to a detangling brush so you can hang it in your shower. Smart move, Planet Goody Palm Brush!