12 Essential Hair Treatment Products Our Staff Can’t Live Without
Healthy, glossy, and downright gorgeous hair is in your future.
Abby Miller, Head of Creative & Production
There is nothing more luxurious than settling into a nice, long scalp massage, and the Ceremonia Power Duo set makes this at-home pampering ritual a breeze. The set includes their cult-favorite Aceite de Moska Oil, as well as their perfectly palm-sized Scalp Masajeador. I've been using it as a hack to grow out my hair this winter. Usually my hair starts to break and get damaged when I try to grow it long, keeping me forever stuck at shoulder-length hair (sigh). But since using this once a week, I've actually noticed my hair staying healthier and stronger.
I'll be honest, my hair-care regimen is probably the most neglected part of my routine. Usually by the time I am in the shower, I'm already running late, so I'm always looking for products that make hair care simple and easy. Playa has been the answer to my hair prayers. The brand's founder, Shelby Wild, created Playa with the mission to create a multi-purpose line of products that repairs and styles while requiring less time in front of a mirror (yes, please!). This Weekly Reset Kit is perfect for lazy hair girls like me. You get instant results with only two easy steps. The salt scrub detoxifies and treats, while the masque deeply moisturizes and soothes. I usually save it for Sundays when I can give myself a little self-care moment, and the results of a shiny and healthy mane last all week.
This is the hair mask I reach for when my hair is at its most desperate and damaged SOS state. I discovered it a few years ago after I spent a few weeks on the road for a shoot and forgot to bring my own shampoo and conditioner. I ended up using the little hotel-provided products (gasp), and my hair was not happy with me afterwards. It was so damaged and split I thought I was going to have to chop it all off and start over, until my friend convinced me to try the Regenerating Mask. I swear it reversed all the damage of the previous weeks in one use. Its secret ingredient is prickly pear oil, which is touted as the rarest and most expensive oil in the world and is packed full with fatty acids and vitamins C and E. Basically, it's a miracle worker and should be in everyone's cabinets.
Hannah Baxter, Senior Beauty Editor
Scalp care is non-negotiable if you want truly healthy hair (that's also free of product buildup or dry, flaky skin). Every month I use a physical scrub to really massage my scalp and give it a deep cleanse. This formula uses perlite, a type of volcanic rock formed by rapidly cooling lava (flex), rather than salt—which is a more traditional scrub ingredient—since salt can often disintegrate before it reaches your scalp. It exfoliates, unclogs your pores, and utilizes celery seed extract to hydrate and soothe. The brand also uses 100 percent ocean-waste plastic in its packaging. Take note—you'll need to follow with a good shampoo and comb through some conditioner to rinse out the perlite particles. It might take a few rinses, but trust me, it's worth it.
If you struggle with scalp irritation, whether it's from a protective style or just the cold, dry weather, a soothing serum can provide the relief that you desperately need. This new launch from Tracee Ellis Ross' hair-care line combines lavender, rosemary, and peppermint oils to calm itchiness and invigorate your skin. The scent is absolutely divine, and your scalp will feel more hydrated in a flash. This isn't a rinse-out, so I usually style my hair as usual, and then once it's 90 percent dry, I'll target my part and anywhere that's feeling particularly irritated and apply a thin layer. Easy!
Anyone who frequents their colorist's chair knows that all that bleach and added chemicals can seriously dry out your hair. That's why adding a deep-conditioning mask a few times per week is essential to keep your hair hydrated and free from breakage. Celebrity stylist Chris Appleton (he's behind some of J.Lo's most iconic looks, in case you're not familiar) is already the global creative director for Color Wow, but this is his first product collaboration with the brand, and it's guaranteed to give you that signature shiny, glass-like finish for which he's known. Blue sea kale and Mediterranean algae are the star ingredients here, which help to repair damage and leave you with silky-soft hair, no matter your hair texture or thickness. I'm adding this to my shower rotation to help my highlighted hair stay extra glossy—TBD if it helps me look a little bit more like J.Lo.
Leya Kaufman, Head of Sales
My master hair colorist, Gion Vincent of Sam Brocato Salon, gave me this protective treatment to take home once, and it's now one of my favorite weekly rituals. While I'd welcome any excuse to extend my shower time by five minutes, I really see a difference in my hair when I'm using this. I swear it keeps my highlights from damaging my strands and doubles as a post-sun exposure protectant, too. It has certainly earned its rightful full-year forever place in my hair-care routine.
And when it's been too long since my last haircut back in Soho at the Sam Brocato Salon with expert stylist Stephen Wang, I buy time with this split-end savior. I have to apply it sparingly and solely on my ends but it elevates the end result of any at-home DIY blowout and keeps my cut looking fresh, even when it's time to go back for a trim. Which, by the way, is so long overdue...
Occasionally, I'll find myself over-washing my hair and unintentionally leaving it brittle or dry. When that happens, my naturally wavy hair starts to frizz and become unmanageable. Enter Briogeo's Fairwell Frizz Leave-In Conditioner. While I don't use this daily, I try to work it into my routine when I've been washing too aggressively or have somewhere important to be–even if that's just a 10:30 AM Zoom call.
Alex Bair, Senior Manager, Sales
This year I'm making my hair just as much of a priority as my skin. My hair tends to be a bit more on the oily side after a day or two of not washing, but I have found that hydrating, nourishing treatments really do wonders. This IGK 3-Minute Hydration Hair Mask is deeply restorative and not only keeps my hair looking fresh, but it prevents future damage.
Having thick locks makes me super prone to poof and frizz when those humid New York days roll around, so a hair oil is an absolute essential in my beauty cabinet. I don't love to “do" my hair in the morning (I'd rather focus on skin care), and an oil is perfect for those looking for a quick hair fix that gives off the illusion of shiny, styled strands. I love how this AG Hair oil is super lightweight, adds softness, and protects against heat. It's truly a holy-grail product that everyone needs to try.
OK, trust me when I say that discovering Olaplex was a highlight to my pandemic life. All their products are amazing, but this one in particular, the No. 3 Hair Perfector, is a complete game changer. After getting in the shower, I lather this stuff all over from roots to tips. Then I put it in a high bun and leave it in for five to 10 minutes while I focus on the rest of my shower routine. The key is using shampoo and conditioner after you wash out the treatment. I promise, use this once a week and your hair will feel stronger and healthier in no time.
Want more stories like this?
This Surprising Superfood Can Strengthen and Repair Your Damaged Hair
Intimidated by Hair Oils? Here’s How to Use Them Without Looking Greasy
3 Skin-Care Treatments Celebrities Swear By Before Walking the Red Carpet