Style

5 Hair Problem Solvers

Five Best Hair Products for the Summer

A good hair day is one of life’s simple pleasures (and a confidence booster every time). But hair can often do the exact thing you wished it wouldn’t. After years of testing products as a beauty editor, I’m happy to share five all-stars that will guarantee gorgeous hair all summer…

Five Best Hair Products for the Summer

If you want defined curls
A brush can feel like an enemy to anyone with wavy or curly hair (like me), whereas a good product is your best friend. To stop your hair from turning into one big poof, spritz Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancing Spray 10 to 12 inches away from damp hair. It defines each curl and helps them stay in place all day. Plus, the spray helps solve flat-on-top-curly-underneath situations.

If you’d like more shine
Does your hair ever just feel dull? A few drops of Sachajuan Intensive Hair Oil applied to wet or dry hair will add shine and luster (both immediately and over the long-run). The argan oil and antioxidants hydrate and smooth hair, and the fatty acid omegas help repair split ends. I love, love, love this one; it makes my hair super glossy. Bonus: The scent is citrusy and delicious.

If your hair needs volume
For those with thinner hair, Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse will give you extra oomph. Apply an egg-size amount on damp hair from the roots to the tips and to create thickness and produce a voluminous look. It will also help keep your style in place all day without any of that 1980s crunchiness.

If you want to banish frizz
Now that humid temperatures have arrived, I’ve been looking for something to tamp down my frizzy halo. R+Co Foil Frizz + Static Control, which has a cult following, prevents flyaways without weighing down hair like some anti-frizz products can. Plus, the formula is free of sulfates, parabens and phthalates.

If you’d like sexy texture
Piece-y waves look effortlessly beautiful in warm weather — but achieving them isn’t always easy. If your hair feels lifeless, spritz Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray on the middle and ends, then scrunch with your hands to add grit and pretty texture. Every beauty editor I know swears by this one — it really works. Travel tip: If you’re skipping a shower, use it on your roots like a dry shampoo.

One of the best parts of shopping for beauty at Nordstrom is their free samples with purchase. You end up with a bunch of awesome brands to try. (We loved checking out a sample of this eye patch kit, which came in our box.)

Have you tried any of these? What are your haircare go-tos?

P.S. Five things I learned as a beauty editor, and a one-minute trick for pretty eyes.

(Photos by Ana Gambuto for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Nordstrom, a retailer we love for its fantastic customer service, free shipping and returns. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)

  1. Janice says...

    My dry, frizzy, broken, thinning hair was transformed by Wen the first time I tried it, it was amazing. It grew inches and doubled in thickness in a matter of months. After a few years they must have changed the formula, because my hair got dry and frizzy and started falling out, and never quite recovered. I’ve found the best dry shampoo is Dove. Still searching for a shampoo that is a good as the original Wen.

    • Jill says...

      It’s good you stopped using Wen. There’s a lawsuit going on that it caused women to lose their hair. I used it as well and feel fortunate I don’t have bald patches. Try Hair Story. It’s similar in concept to Wen but all natural and better

  2. Caroline says...

    Captain Blankenship Mermaid Waves! #worthit

  3. I actually just cut my hair myself for the first time ever, and it looks amazing :) I was so tired of going to the hairdressers, spending 60 euros and still coming out with a style I hated. Now I have exactly what I want and it was free. So now I have money for styling products :)

    • Jen says...

      Details please…

  4. Meems says...

    I use the following for my thinning hair:
    > Aveda’s Ivanti line (Shampoo/Conditioner/Root Spray)
    > Aveda volumizing tonic and thickening spray (just started using both last month) It enhances my wavy hair, adds a little curl and smells natural.
    > Caviar Volumizing Mist (I purchased the travel size set of Caviar @ Sephora during the holidays and loved it. A good alternative for the Aveda products)
    > Clairol Hair Food Dry Shampoo (inexpensive)
    > Silk pillowcase (dreamy)
    >Toppix Hair Building Fiber Powder to cover thin spots. I have used this for five years and it is my holy grail product!

  5. Nicole says...

    Nothing natural and aerosol cans– no thanks! (And a bit disappointed to be honest)

    • Agreed. Was hoping for some more natural/organic products.

    • Katie says...

      What about Aveda? You wouldn’t consider that natural?

  6. Kelbel says...

    Can I have all of the above?!

  7. Kaitlin says...

    Curly hair over here. Live and swear by the Verb line of products. Cheap and they work well!

    • Corey says...

      Thanks for the suggestion! I’d never heard of the brand before, but it seems like just the line I’ve been searching for. Affordable, high-quality, cruelty-free, no sulfates…. yay! Is there any product in particular you’d recommend?

  8. Nectar says...

    Has anyone tried Functions of Beauty Shampoo/Conditioner yet?

    Dying to try but wondering if it’s worth it.

  9. Emma says...

    Curious about products for air drying straight hair! Help!

    • Tanith says...

      I don’t know much about completely air-drying straight hair, but what my hairdresser(s) told me to do was to blow dry on low, and warm, and try to dry the roots and get most of the water gone on the length of the hair, but to STOP before the length of your hair is completely dry (the roots should be dried though) and let the length air-dry the rest of the way.

      I hope that helps a bit!

  10. CJ says...

    Tips from my hairdressers over the years from a self-proclaimed hair junkie:

    -Tons and tons of water when you shampoo- like drench your head and add shampoo and then keep adding more water. This not only product and makes the bottle last longer but it distributes it more evenly and thins it out. Most high quality shampoos are concentrated and therefore most people use way more than needed.

    -Use an old t-shirt to dry hair- not a towel. A towel only roughs up the cuticle of your hair and works against what we’re usually going for- smooth gorgeous hair.

    -The more you wash, the oilier it gets. Try skipping a day on the weekend and let it get nice and greasy. Eventually your scalp will stop producing as much oil and you can skip more days. Wear a hat, use dry shampoo, baby powder etc. Whatever you have to do.

    – When you condition, don’t always put the product at the roots. I condition my roots once a week and instead use a leave in that I lightly spritz near roots. This helps go longer between shampoos too. The more product you use, the more weighed down hair will feel.

    -Pull hair away from your face to tame the greasies. If possible, the less your face touches your hair, the better. SO pull up the front section whenever possible and you’ll find you get less greasy.

    -Use a satin pillowcase. I hear this is such a good thing for your hair but haven’t tried it yet.

    -Alternate your regimen. Just like all things, you need to mix it up from time to time. Keep several different products in your shower and rotate them to refresh your hair routine.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, these are amazing tips, CJ!!!

  11. Jesse says...

    I’ve been using New Wash (by hair story) and their Balm for two months and it’s been pretty miraculous. I have thick, wavy, going grey hair. Davines was my go to, but even the Oi Shampoo and Veg Miracle conditioner was drying. I also have really sensitive skin so even coco based cleansers give me a little itchiness and slight rash. I have to wash a little more often now, but no conditioner necessary! I use a pea size drop of the Balm, and let it dry. Then I use a drop of Davines Oi Oil and a hot curling rod to smooth out the waves (and make the wash last longer). I highly recommend New Wash for people with thick hair and or sensitive skin. It takes a little work and getting used to (you need to really use a lot of the wash, massage it in a ton, and rinse completely) but I have been getting compliments on my hair for the first time in years. Not bad for 40 :)

    • Christy says...

      Love Davines Oi line, I’ll have to try New Wash. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • Maria says...

      I’m not sure if this is just something that worked for me, but here goes. I’m postmenopausal and my hair has been really going thin and grey these past few years. Vitamins and biotin didn’t help. I stopped eating meat for other reasons and the results have been surprising. I literally had to hide bald patches in back, and they’re gone now, my hair is thicker. Also, my hair has gone darker. My hairdresser commented on it last time she cut it. I didn’t believe you could reverse grey hair, but the new growth is clearly darker. I know it sounds weird, but anyway, it might help someone else, so I’m putting it out there.

  12. Maddy says...

    You are missing dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse, if you want to avoid over-shampooing your hair – and extra softness and shine! :)

  13. Lauren E. says...

    I received a sample of Garnier’s new Whole Blends Moroccan Argan and Camellia Oil Extract conditioner in the mail and I was absolutely blown away. I was an Aussie 3 Minute Miracle girl and this did an even better job at softening up my wavy-frizzy-unruly chest length hair. Plus it’s ridiculously affordable.

  14. I’ve had mixed results with the Oribe, and especially don’t recommend it for dry shampoo if you have fine hair like me! I use Aveda’s dry shampoo powder nearly everyday after trying so many things and it works well and has a great applicator that poofs it out! I second Kerastace as having good products, but lately I’ve been really into Kristin Ess’s new line, particularly her beach wave spray, which does wonders for my naturally wavy hair. Ugh, hair stuff is so hard!

    http://www.shessobright.com

  15. Caitlyn says...

    Can you please do a post on thinning hair as women age? I’m only 32, but my hair has gotten so thin! It’s super embarrassing and stressful and I would LOVE it if you did a post on anything I can do to prevent it from thinning further or to help regrowth (if that’s even possible!). I know I’m not alone… but I feel like it’s this dirty secret no one talks about. And you guys always talk about the stuff that I can’t seem to talk to people IRL about… so maybe you could help? <3

    • Sarah says...

      You are definitely not alone! I have always had fine and thin hair and I lost a ton of it along my hairline postpartum after my second child. It is embarrassing and stressful as you say and since I am only turning 30 this year I worry about the future! Maybe different hairstyles to help with this? I wonder if going super short would help, but then I think about grandmas with their permed hairdos that you can see straight through :s yikes!

    • Kem says...

      I’m struggling with that, too, Caitlyn, Ever since I had my third child eight years ago, my hair has thinned to the point I don’t ever wear it down. Help!

    • emily says...

      Caitlyn, I’ve recently started using castor oil after reading it’s many people’s go-to solution for thicker hair (test first but for me, eyebrows and lashes, too!), and I had a stylist in my hometown who swore by the Nioxin product line specifically for thinner hair. Love to read a post or hear anyone’s feedback on those or other solutions as well!

    • EM says...

      Try prenatal vitamins! Your condition may be due to something other than a vitamin deficiency, but prenatal vitamins definitely thickened up my hair. It’s worth a try! I use organic/real food ones, mykind organics!

    • Helen says...

      You are definitely not alone! I’m turning 34 next week and have been dealing with thinning hear for a few years. It is indeed embarrassing and stressful so I would love a post on this as well.

    • Lindsey says...

      Try taking biotin supplements. It is the ingredient in prenatal vitamins that helps hair grow. It has made my hair fuller and really shiny!

    • Summer says...

      I also have thinning hair! I lost a lot after my 1st child, then I lost sooooo much more with my second. It makes me so sad. My youngest is 4 and I thought I would have grown some of it back by now, but nope, I’m still loosing. I’m glad I’m not alone in this…..

    • As a lifelong thin-haired lady (including a very-close-to-balding patch on the top of my head!), I swear by Biosil and prenatals. My hair feels thicker, shinier and healthier when I’m taking them and friends and family always comment on my hair now. It also seems to work well for my lashes and skin. Add a little dry shampoo or salt spray (I like Blow Pro) and you’ll truly see a difference. I’m finally wearing my hair down again regularly after years of clever updos.

    • Tara says...

      Hi there! I had SO.MUCH.HAIR for forever and lost a bunch after both kids, and then it just kept getting thinner and thinner. A few years back the outer portions of my eyebrows just disappeared, and there was a lot more “forest” between the “trees” at my hairline. I joked, regretfully, that I looked like I had gotten hair plugs. I saw a dermatologist, an endocrinologist, took a bunch of tests and finally (through another dermatologist, who took about 15 seconds to figure it out) got diagnosed with a form of alopecia–frontal fibrosing alopecia to be exact. I am 49 so not exactly ready for the retirement home yet and there is no “cure” but we are embarking on a program to try and keep what I have now. So, all this to say you might also want to consult with a dermatologist to check on things!

    • dana says...

      I’d love a post on this too. I’ve been to the doctor and still don’t have any answers. I’d love tips on how to style thinning/very fine hair. =)

    • Hannah says...

      Would love a post about this as well. I have tried biotin, Nioxin, oils, vitamins – so much money (and hair!) down the drain! Nothing seems to work. It’s so sad!

    • emanuella says...

      I just found out my longtime friend has been getting hair extensions for years. Her hair became thin after extensive radiation therapy and never quite grew back to the way it was before. When I asked her why she wore extensions, she said proudly “yeah, I had a problem and then I fixed it.” Point is- it looks great, it was well concealed for the past 8 years and it makes her feel good. I’m not thinning *yet* but I’m happy to know there’s a solution I wouldn’t have thought of :)

    • Jen says...

      For thinning hair 2 things that changed my hair completely

      1. Mason and Pearson boars hair brush
      2. Just natural hair thickening shampoo and conditioner

      I also started washing my hair once ever 6 days

    • Helen says...

      I’ve tried everything under the sun: biotin, castor and coconut oils, vitamins, Rogaine and every other hair growing spray. Nothing has helped and my blood tests don’t show a deficiency in anything so I started acupuncture a few months ago to see if that would do anything. I would like to say that it has helped but I’m not entirely convinced yet. I’m also looking into PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) therapy in case my situation gets worse. Has anyone heard good things about it?

    • Susan says...

      I was concerned with thinning hair until I made two changes: 1). I started using argan oil daily 2). I gave up the pony tail (I cut my hair chin length). Good luck! You might also want to mention your concerns to your gyno – hormones may play a part.

  16. Lara says...

    Thank you so much for the hair product recs! My hairstylist told me a few days ago I need to go “no heat” for the summer because I’ve damaged my hair so much from curling it. I’m desperately trying to find no-heat alternatives that still make me feel put together like my curling iron did. Hopefully these will help.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      There are a lot of good air-drying products our there! Bumble and bumble Don’t Blow It Fine (H)air Styler is great!

    • Jenn says...

      Check out Caruso steam rollers. I have had these for about 20 years or so, and though they don’t give you the most modern curl (think retro curls/waves) they are great to do the night before! Plus all they use is steam to set so they don’t do so much damage to the hair. It might be an option for you….http://amzn.to/2q729w8

  17. Lisa says...

    I have fine hair which is straight, regardless of what you do with it. I’ve found that the kerastase products really work for me, particularly the thickening spray (it feels like you have twice as much hair) and their elixir spray (which has the bonus of smelling really nice)

  18. I have some go to products that may be hard for readers of this blog to find, because they’re sold in Brazil (!), but I’m curly AND thin haired, and live in drizzly São Paulo, plus I do lots of business travel to awfully humid Rio de Janeiro.

    My first tip is to embrace your curls if you have them – it’s so much better to rock even frizzy curls, than walking around with that awkward blow dry or half straightened hair.

    My second tip is to never ever ever use a comb or brush. Once you get out of the shower, when you’re hair’s still damp, just run your fingers through to get the excess loose hairs out and use your regular curl-creator leave in conditioner or spray, and scrunch your hair – then let it AIR dry.

    Finally, for me, the hair cut is more important than any style product. I’ve sworn against bangs, because they’re just too much of a hassle, and since I have very thin hair, I always try to keep a set of layers in the back, and just an overall choppy look, to make my curls curlier, and and never keep it much longer than shoulder length, or else I get that awkward poof from my neck down.

    • Corey says...

      As another girl with curly hair (and who also has to deal with awful humidity), I second these suggestions! Embracing your curls is really the best way to go.

      Polyana, would you mind sharing what products you use? I live in Uruguay and will be in Brazil next month, and am always on the hunt for the perfect product :)

  19. AR says...

    Tresemme Platinum Strength Shampoo and Conditioner seem to work well enough for me :D

    (Refined) coconut oil for an hour before shampooing does wonders too!

    My hair is frizzy, and I’ve given up combing or straightening, but this current combo of products is helping my hair look [almost] neat.

  20. Amanda says...

    a before and after photo of each product would have been helpful (and fun!)

    • Meredith says...

      Yes!! I second this great idea! Can you please do that?!

  21. Ellen says...

    My hair go-tos are super-simple… For the last five years, I’ve washed it baking soda & conditioned it with apple cider vinegar (a tablespoon in a bottle of warm water). My hair gets oily so much less often than back when I relied on shampoo.

    • Going to try that, thanks Ellen!

    • Ellen says...

      Terrific! I should warn you that there is a bit of an adjustment period until your hair stops overproducing oil. (For me, my hair was extra oily for a couple of weeks until it got used to the new regimen.)

  22. Anna says...

    I have to admit how incredibly disappointed I was with all Living Proof products. What’s worse, their customer service was horrendous. Super bummer.

    • Maggie says...

      +1

    • Audra says...

      I’ll confess, I don’t often splurge on expensive products but I bought some of their thickening cream and it was AMAZING.

    • susie says...

      I LOVE their Prime Style Extender product, it really is the best. My ‘second-day hair’ is so much better now. I use nothing else except the Prime (besides a bit of hair spray).

    • Christy says...

      Their shampoo and conditioner was dreadful.

    • Libby says...

      I will say that I bought a travel-sized Living Proof thickening creme to try
      (with high hopes!) and was also disappointed. However – I was applying it to dry hair. I have very fine, thin straight hair that I always let air dry.

      Recently I decided to give it a go again and applied the thickening creme to damp hair (like 10 min after towel-drying my hair). I got two separate compliments at work that day and had the fuller, thicker-looking results that I had hoped for!

      I have not tried any of their other products yet though.

  23. Lo says...

    The Oribe has been on my wish list for the longest time, but I fear it won’t touch my heavy hair!

    It’s wavy-but-not-really, with tight curls on the underside and each strand is fine. There’s just sooooo much of it!!

    Lo

    • Mallory says...

      Do not underestimate the power of oribe dry texture spray! It’s magic – I swear!

    • Prathi says...

      My hair is thick as well. It’s also curly, but when I blow dry it straight, I use the Oribe Apres Beach spray to give it textured waves. It’s incredible, and might work better for you than the dry texture spray to bring out your natural wave.

  24. What about the best Dry Shampoo? Suggestions please!!

    Slightly off topic, but another hair dilemma… how to keep your hair looking good after wearing a bike helmet? I’m thinking some sort of braid could look cute, but definitely need help!

    • Shannon says...

      Completely agree! I have the hardest time finding any style that stays put or even a down-do that keeps its volume (and, definitely, curl) after commuting to work.

    • Jamie says...

      My favorite drugstore dry shampoo is Batiste. I’ve tried THEM ALL! The best high end I’ve tried is the Living Proof and Amika. Amika is slightly better in my eyes. It’s a lot lighter (but buildable) and doesn’t make your hair feel gritty.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Klorane has a great and affordable dry shampoo!

    • Kimberly says...

      I love the Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo. It’s SO good. Smells amazing, adds volume, lifts out grease. I’ve tried almost every one on the market (I’ve been dry-shampooing since 2002) and this is my favorite one. http://bit.ly/2pm60Y7

    • Lauren E. says...

      I second Batiste! It’s fantastic.

    • Kathryn says...

      I swear by Klorane for dry shampoo. I love it!

    • Nectar says...

      Klorane or Ouai!

    • emanuella says...

      I really like One Love Organics Dry Locks. Bonus- its got a pretty clean ingredient list.

    • RR says...

      Living proof dry shampoo is totally life changing.

  25. I’ve never had a good hair day. My hair is so fine and limp and drab I can’t ever make it look voluminous and bouncy. I’ll try mousse and an upside down blow dry AND a curling iron and it’ll be big and bouncy for about an hour and then it all goes limp again. The closest I’ve gotten to for real voluminous hair was when I used a sample of Davines Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner followed by their volume spray. It gave me some omph that lasted all day long. Only problem is, it’s super expensive! I’ve been milking the sample and saving it for special occasions. I just might have to splurge one of these days.

    • Cynthia says...

      I’m the same! Fine, limp hair that kind of fizzles out when it gets past chin length. I’m almost 40 and I still haven’t figured out that magical combo that works every time. Every good hair day I’ve had is a gift, and it’s almost like I can remember each and every one of them.

    • Sheila says...

      Velcro rollers and a great layered cut are your friend for volume. Go easy on the product– it’ll weigh down that fine hair. Blow dry hair, use some volumizing spray (not mousse) and then throw those velcro rollers in on the warm hair and finish getting ready. I like to aim for 40 minutes but really even 15-20 makes a marked difference.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Love this tip, Sheila! Thanks for sharing!

    • Kelley says...

      For anyone with fine, limp hair, I recommend trying Rock Your Hair Bombshell Big Hair Powder. This product has been a game changer for me. It helps me maintain some volume through the day and gives my hair some structure. I know there are other brands people like (e.g., B&B), but I’ve never tried them, so I can’t tell you how this one compares to those. Play around with it to find the amount that works best. I actually didn’t like it until I figured out how much works best for my hair. You can sprinkle a bit on top of your head right from the bottle and work it in a bit, but I like to put it under the top layers of my hair at the roots. I sprinkle it on my fingers and carefully direct it under there. If you use it right from the bottle, it comes out pretty fast, so be careful or tape off some of the holes. Using too much causes it own problems, so finding the optimal amount is key.

  26. Jane says...

    Love Sachajuan! I was gifted their scalp treatment shampoo for Christmas, and I love it. It’s the only thing that helps with my itchy scalp and dandruff. Amazing and so worth the price.

    • emanuella says...

      Yes! This is the only anti-dandruff shampoo that has actually worked for my boyfriend and his dandruff was soooooo bad.

  27. Tiia says...

    I have type 1a hair (as in fine, will not hold a curl to save its life) – I still never know what to do with it, so always wear it up!

  28. elizabeth says...

    I got hooked on Purely Perfect when J. Crew carried it in their “In Good Company” category. It’s great for my fine, wavy frizzy hair – it’s a “no poo” approach that worked for me. I also apply some Argan Oil after my shower and air dry.

    However, now PP has switched to Hair Story (http://hairstory.com/) and I’ve yet to make the switch (I stocked up when J. Crew and Urban Outfitters put PP on clearance). Hair Story gets rave reviews but haven’t seen any comments on it from CoJ readers!?

    • Shannon says...

      I’ve been wanting to try No Wash for a while now — but you’re right, I really have to look for reviews rather than hearing about it any other way, and it’s sooo expensive I’d like to know it’ll work!

  29. Megan says...

    I have shoulder length, super thick, wavy, curly, some semi-straight, frizzy hair. Everyday is sort of a surprise. I find having a good haircut, never bleach, and a whole lot of acceptance goes a long way. Yet, I have been contemplating going short, pixie short, but always seem to chicken out at last minute. One of these days!

  30. Court says...

    I really take issue with having baby-fine hair. It gets greasy gross after 24 hours. Fortunately I have natural wave and I can do the beach wave look—a curling wand is the best for this. I have been experimenting with dry shampoos and texturizers for years, and interested in as close to no-toxin as possible. Recently I found the R+Co dry shampoo texture paste. It’s a miracle! My volume and texture is unprecedented, and it lasts for 3 days! For me, the R+Co paste is WAY better than the Oribe texture spray, the latter was too expensive and too sticky.

    • Lizzie says...

      I also have super fine hair that is dirty/ greasy after 24 hours. And regular dry shampoos just make my hair feel dirtier! I’ve heard R+Co dry shampoo is the best, but have been nervous to pull the trigger. Something about the fact that its a paste makes it hard for me to imagine applying it to my roots… Should I go for it??

    • Megan Cahn says...

      R+Co also has a spray dry shampoo that I love, but yes, it’s definitely a splurge! I’d recommend Klorane as a more affordable option.

    • Grace says...

      I also use the R+Co paste, and it is indeed amazing. My stylist also recommends using it for volume boosting on days when your hair is just too flat. It’s called Badlands and comes in a pretty small container, but a little bit goes a long way.

    • Court says...

      Lizzie, you should totally go for it. As Grace said, a little goes a long way. Since it’s a paste, you take a pea-sized bit, and rub your hands together and it melts, then run your hands through your hair at the roots. I paid around $20 for a jar, and have had it for at least 3 months, and have barely used 1/3 of it. It does make your hair a bit dryer feeling, but not as “dirty” as other dry shampoos feel. I used to use the Khlorane powder dry shampoo, but didn’t like the ingredients, and that the powder would just sit on my scalp. The paste is better because you can control where it goes on your hair.

    • Nicole says...

      Try arrowroot powder as a dry shampoo if you are looking for something that isn’t toxic. Cheap, all natural and it works on my fine, greasy after 24 hours hair. :)

  31. Amy says...

    How do you all handle crazy gray hairs?! My natural hair is uncolored, fine, and straight, but my new grays have a wirey, kinky texture. They make me crazy! I’d love to embrace the texture and go wavy-ish, but it always ends up super frizzy. Otherwise, I’m left to straighten it everyday, but, let’s be real, who wants to do that all summer long? Trying to move toward more natural body/hair products, which only complicates matters. Help!

    • Ker says...

      I’m in the same boat! Those grays are so wirey.

      I am finding that figuring out how to go gray naturally is difficult.

    • Erin says...

      Same! I’m having to re-learn how my hair works as it gets gray. Would love to hear about products for hair left naturally gray.

    • Kate says...

      Yes, me too! My hair is fairly light and wavy, but I generally blow dry it just because it’s sort of unpredictable (some days it will be cute-wavy, and some days will be sloppy-wavy). And then there are the grays poking out like antennae.

  32. Corey says...

    I just wanted to say thank you for including some cruelty-free brands on this list. I try to buy cruelty-free cosmetics, and sometimes it can be frustrating as the products advertised on beauty blogs or in magazines are all tested on animals. I have super curly hair that easily gets out of control with any amount of humidity, so I’m always looking for new product recommendations, and I’m excited to try a couple of these!

    • Julie says...

      Agreed! I will only buy cruelty-free products.

    • Ferrell says...

      Yes! I will only buy cruelty-free and am always really excited when I can potentially purchase the recommended products.

    • Corey says...

      Glad to know there’s other readers who are in the same boat :) If you have any recommendations for other good cruelty-free brands, I’d love to hear!

  33. Emma says...

    The Be Curly spray leaves hair crunchy, gross. The Be Curly cream is actually decent though. When I blow dry my hair straight I love the “It’s a 10” dry oil spray for protection and hydration.

    • Karen says...

      Second this – be curly cream all the way for non-poufy, non-crunchy waves. Works wonders for air drying my super thick wavy hair during humid summers.

  34. Amanda says...

    I absolutely love Oribe texture spray, and often use it as a replacement for dry shampoo to give my hair a rest. I have really fine hair, so another product I love to use on my roots is Aveda’s Pure Abundance Hair Potion. You just sprinkle some of this “magic” dust anywhere on your roots that you want some more volume, massage with your fingers, and ta-da! A bottle of it is a bit on the pricier end of things, but a little goes a long way so it last’s forever!

  35. Bets says...

    I have been look for a frizz fighter FOREVER, can’t wait to try your suggestion. Thank you!

  36. Kara says...

    I recently had to do a lot of re-experimenting on what works for my curly hair due to a move from humid Midwest to dry California and having a baby, and I’ve FINALLY figured it out. Deva Curl Low Poo once a week-ish with Deva Curl One Conditioner, which is also what I use when I shower but don’t shampoo every other day-ish. Don’t rinse the conditioner out completely. After shower when hair is still wet but not soaking, I mix a half quarter size amount of Oribe Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream with the same amount of Arrojo Frizz Control (discovered from a past Beauty Uniform post!) and coat hair with it and lightly scrunch, focusing on ends, underside, and top layer, i.e. what you can see when wearing it down. Air dry. My hair is medium-fine but there’s a ton of it. Type 3A curls.

    • Emma says...

      I love this, I have similar hair and have a similar routine: although I move between Moroccan Oil shampoo/conditioner and KeratinComplex shampoo/conditioner. I mix Invisible Hairdresser Oil with DevaCurl cream and let it air dry for an hour before leaving my house!

  37. Tyler says...

    Just had to come here and say.. I stopped washing my hair a few weeks ago! I just rinse with cold water, and “wash” with warm water once a week. It took about 3 weeks for my oil production to subside (it was a rough couple weeks) but now I totally see the light of the whole “no-poo” method. My hair has volume and texture, but no frizz, and my natural oils condition it and hold whatever style I want. Conventional silicone and sulfate hair products were just too damaging for me. Anyway… if anyone has ever considered it, I highly recommend! I understand its not for everyone, but you can have great hair, no products needed :) Just a boar bristle brush to spread the oils from the roots to the ends. Just have to shout it from the rooftops I’m so pleased with the results!

    Also – not sure if you could talk anyone on your staff into doing it, but I think it would make a really fun I Tried It, kind of like Stella’s brows!

    • Kelly says...

      I would love to hear more about this.

    • Jill says...

      That is why I loved Wen, but I immediately stopped using it when I heard it was causing hair loss in some people. There is even a law suit going on. Some people think “clogged pores” on your scalp can keep new hair from growing and that is why those “no poo” shampoos like Wen cause problems. But I think washing once a week should be ok. I shampoo every 2-3 days and condition every day.

    • Ker says...

      Yes!! More on this please. Stella should try it :)

    • Ellen says...

      If Stella (or anyone else at Cup of Jo) were to try this, the key would be to actually try it for long enough that their hair stops overproducing oil! (It can take a few weeks, so there is kind of a transition period…) I was bummed back when Caroline tried natural deodorants for just a day each, & then wrote about how most of them didn’t work for her…when more of an adjustment period was probably necessary (since it can take a little while for the body to adjust to not being blocked up by the aluminum holding sweat in).

  38. Alexandra says...

    Love R+Co products. Another good one is the Curl Primer to define your curls. I like it better than the Aveda product even. It also smells really good.

  39. For me, good quality shampoo and conditioner is worth it’s weight in gold. I love Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet and Kerastase Cristalliste Bain. Expensive but every day is a great hair day!

    • Carrie says...

      Love this suggestion- going to look into it right away! I’ve always wanted to try Oribe but never have due to the price.

    • B Schmitt says...

      Agreed! I find the Kristin Ess version to be just a tad bit heavier, but that just means a little goes a longer way. And for the WAY cheaper price, it’s a great substitute!!

    • Cassie says...

      I love the Kristin Ess texture spray and the curl defining creme. These are replacing my Morrocanoil products. Cheaper and easier to find…I’m at Target all the time. lol

  40. Lis says...

    My holy grail hair product is Bumble and Bumble invisible oil. I have thick, heavy hair that feels coarse and dry, not soft. I put 2-3 drops of this oil in my hair after a shower and it’s pretty magical. My hair feels soft and smooth, and less frizz. I hope they make this stuff forever! Also one bottle lasts me about a year. My other hair trick is for people, like me, who use really gentle shampoos. Once a month or so, shampoo with a cheap clarifying shampoo. I use Suave Clarifying, which is $2! The reason is that your hair products build up on your hair, particularly if you use gentle shampoo. The cheap clarifying shampoos use detergents which are too harsh for everyday on dry hair, but are great and getting all the residue off so it’s squeaky clean! I can tell when it’s time to do this because it starts to feel like my hair products aren’t “working” anymore. It makes a huge difference.

    • Emma says...

      Yes, I have curly hair but when I straighten it I always put that invisible oil on my ends.

    • Amy says...

      Agreed, especially in the winter with dry hair this oil is magical.

  41. Molly says...

    I have curly hair and I know I’m not supposed to brush it, but I’ve never been clear on what I’m supposed to do instead. I can’t stand the feeling of not-brushed hair, so I brush, but what AM I “supposed” to be doing? Wide-tooth combing it? That hurts like hell! Just spritz and finger comb? That seems messy, but probably better than the poofy fuzzball I end up with after brushing.

    • Hannah says...

      Yeah I’m not exactly sure what to do either….people say not to brush your hair when it’s wet, but that’s the only thing that works for me since I have really thick, curly hair. I usually only brush my hair in the shower after I’ve washed it, which I do once a week. I brush it with either a Wet Brush or a wide-tooth comb/pick thing while it still has conditioner in it. Throughout the week, I just comb it through with my fingers while I’m rinsing out conditioner.

    • Ravina S says...

      I’ve found the subreddit on curly hair to be a lifesaver! (https://www.reddit.com/r/curlyhair/)
      I always thought I was destined to have poofy triangle hair forever. Not so! I’ve found some great products and routines that work for me and my fine curly hair.

    • Kara says...

      Have you tried brushing BEFORE you shower? Then finger comb it when your conditioner is in. I do that with my curly hair, and it keeps it un-tangly and doesn’t hurt, plus you still get the satisfaction of brushing your hair.

    • Emma says...

      I brush when wet, oops.

    • Christine says...

      I use a comb in the shower after I’ve put conditioner on my hair. It spreads the conditioner and pulls out tangles and loose hair in one. I haven’t used a hair brush on my curls in probably 20 years or more.

    • Sara says...

      YES to Christine’s comment. I finger-comb my hair with conditioner on it 80% of the time, but the other 20% I use a wide-tooth comb. Never brush. Also never shampoo, only conditioner. My hair is still crazy but I have almost non-existent “bad hair days.”
      Yay for being 40 and finally knowing how to care for my curly hair!

    • elizabeth says...

      I have very wavy to curly hair and it can look different every day. I have spent years not brushing, but I def developed scalp problems from this… I bought a mason pearson brush and now i brush a couple of times a week before i shampoo and wash my hair. I can’t describe how this completely cured my scalp issues and made my hair much shinier and healthier. You have to be careful not to over brush to avoid completely destroying your curl pattern, but I now believe that occasional brushing with a high quality brush is essential for a healthy head.

  42. Jill says...

    Jo- your readers have the best advice. I have been looking for new hair products to add definition to my somewhat wavy hair and am enjoying all the comments. Thanks everyone for the tips.

  43. Kali says...

    “Plus, the spray helps solve flat-on-top-curly-underneath situations.”

    You just summed up my eternal hair frustrations in one sentence. SOLD!

    • Rebecca says...

      lol same!

    • Sarah says...

      This problem has grown progressively worse with each of my pregnancies (three in total). I now have barely wavy hair on top and downright kinky hair underneath. Wah!

  44. Tanith says...

    Volumizing Tip!!

    Instead of spending $15-27 on Living Proof Volumizing Mousse, just get the L’Oreal Boost It Volume Inject Mousse for around $5. I’ve been using this for at least 3 years and it has never failed me. Just follow the same instructions for the Living Proof above and you will save yourself a lot of cash =)

    (FYI – I have super fine, hair and not a lot of it!)

    • Carole says...

      OOhhh thanks for this!!!

  45. Shannon says...

    Anyone have a recommendation for a product that relaxes curls a bit? I don’t need help with definition or frizz, but I wish I could get my tight spirals to loosen up a bit.

  46. Trish O says...

    The Be Curly line just makes my head a big ol puffball. But the Aveda Dry Shampoo is the best. I also think SachaJuan makes an amazing beach spray.

  47. I have thick curly hair and I actually don’t use any products at all.. even shampoo! I wash my hair once every week or two using baking soda and apple cider vinegar, sometimes I rinse with beer or lemon juice to make it thicker and shinier. Every once and a while, I treat my hair overnight with olive oil, and wash it out the next day. I love the way it looks and feels, and I haven’t used a hair product in over 5 years now!

    • jillygirl says...

      I’m considering this regime lately and want to clarify: are you saying you also wash out the olive oil with only baking soda and vinegar? I must use way more olive oil than you because that would never work on me…how much oil do you use? Thanks!

  48. Jo says...

    Any bright ideas for making curls stay in straight, heavy hair? I use heated rollers or tongs , and feel rather wonderful for about 5 minutes, but they are gone before I leave the house!

    I’m going to a wedding on Saturday and have been experimenting the past few days, last night I even slept in granny rollers !

    • I have struggled with this problem my entire life!! I remember sleeping in foam rollers before Easter Sunday every year. The only way I have been able to get a curl to stay in my hair is by texturizing first with dry shampoo, then using the curling wand to curl piece by piece. For my wedding, the stylist had me wash my hair, then used texturizing spray and dry shampoo to give my hair a “dirty” texture (Paul Mitchell has a decent texturizing spray although an “beach wave” spray should help). Good luck!

    • Jk says...

      i have thick, stick straight hair. the only thing that’s ever worked for getting curls to stay in my hair is a flat iron. there are a ton of YouTube videos to learn how to do it! good luck!

    • caroline says...

      A CURLING WAND! They hold curls in my hair without hairspray and literally nothing else has ever done that. My friend with fine straight hair was amazed by my curling wand that she bought it that second.

    • Lis says...

      Are you using hairspray? When I curl my hair with a curling iron I separate my hair into three sections (horizontal layers) and spray hairspray after I do each section. Then, try not to touch the curls throughout the day.

    • I find that pinning my hair after curling it, until it has completely cooled, has helped retain the curls longer. It looks a little crazy when the pins first come out, but then relaxes nicely.

  49. Lucy says...

    And the Oribe Beach Spray is the shizz (same canister). I get out of the shower, spray it on, put my bike helmet on, ride to work, and somehow hair always looks good. It’s a miracle.

  50. I’ve gotten really into the Herbal Essences Dry Shampoos! The pink grapefruit smells incredible and is super volumizing! Even if I haven’t washed my hair, my husband is like damn! How do you always smell so good? :P

  51. Jenna says...

    I recently discovered a shampoo/conditioner line that I really like called Art Naturals. It makes my hair feel like I just left the hairdresser. I am not sure if it works for all hair types – my hair is extremely thick and pretty straight but I have been really happy with it.

  52. I also love the Sachajuan Finish Cream. You can actually use it on wet or dry hair, and just a little bit in my damp hair really helped tame frizz without making my oily hair feel dirty immediately after washing it. One of the only products that felt like it really worked for me!

  53. SachaJuan makes a volumizer I use as a dry shampoo and LOVE IT.

  54. Poppy says...

    More product recommendations for thick, curly hair? I’ve tried Aveda’s Be Curly line, but always looking for other recommendations to moisturize, fight frizz and minimize the coarseness and snarls. Tall order, I know.

    • J says...

      I love DevaCurl products (specifically the daily cream conditioner and styling cream, left in wet hair to air dry). I don’t have thick hair, though, so I can’t speak to that.

    • Hannah says...

      I’d also recommend DevaCurl, especially the Arc Angel gel. I use a combination of products though. I’ve spent years trying to find the perfect formula that’s actually affordable (it isn’t easy!).

      I wash my hair about once a week with Lush’s Curly Wurly shampoo, but I take a shower every morning, so I just condition everyday with OGX’s Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner. Then I towel dry for about ten minutes, spray with a leave-in conditioner (I’ve used Infusium since I was like 13), then work in some Loreal EverSleek Leave-in Cream (not the EverCurl–for some reason it doesn’t work as well), then follow up with the DevaCurl arc angel. Then I let it air dry.

      That seems like a really long process, but I promise it isn’t. I literally spend like 5 minutes on my hair each day. Sometimes I use a hair mask when I have time. I really like coconut oil or the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Mask. For reference, I have really curly, thick hair (type 3B).

    • Poppy says...

      Thank you!!

    • emanuella says...

      Innersense is an amazing line!

    • elizabeth says...

      I always go back to devacurl. The one condition is a perfect product. I love no poo too, but I have found that i need to mix it up to prevent build up and scalp irritation. I alternate living proof no frizz line with devacurl and they are both excellent brands. I stay away from all silicones. I think they are terrible for curls.

    • Allie says...

      I’ve got a head of thick, curly, red hair and I haven’t had as much luck with DevaCurl as these other gals — always left me wanting more. I have leaned more towards the AG curl line (their cream is nice — holds well but doesn’t leave your curls crunchy) and recently have been trying Davines products. They smell fantastic!

      I have also found that only shampooing once a week has been good for my curls. And like a lot of other readers I use an in-shower comb to release those tangles and get all the extra hair out.

      Good luck! When you find your products it makes a world of difference!

  55. Laura says...

    Living Proof does the BEST dry shampoo. And I actually prefer Bumble and Bumble’s thickening dryspun finish to the Oribe texturizer.

  56. Sarha Beth says...

    I bought some argan oil recently to up my skincare game. The first time I used it I ran a little bit through my wet hair post shower, and what a game changer! My hair, which has always been curly, is suddenly defined and much less frizzy, and somehow the wash lasts longer, too! I’ve been using 8 or 10 drops, and focusing on the ends and underside of my hair. I’ve long used the MoroccanOil products, but the straight oil was way better. Who know!
    I’m still working on upping my skincare regime, though…

    • Diana says...

      Argan Oil FOREVER!
      It’s a little expensive, but after getting a sample bottle and loving it, I had no hesitation before shelling out for the full size.

      I run it through my hair post shower and rub it on my T-zone and any other dry spots before bed. It’s amazing.

    • dana says...

      Do you guys buy a certain brand or will any argan oil do?

  57. S says...

    Live and die by DevaCurl products. I’ve never had better curl definition and such soft hair!

  58. Anna says...

    I religiously apply Bumble and Bumble’s Dry Oil Heat Protectant on damp hair before I blow dry and style. I initially used it because it made my hair smell so good, but months later I can tell the difference in the health it promotes in my hair. I give it as a gift now to my girlfriends, and everyone now swears by it! http://m.sephora.com/product/P386464?skuId=1602960

    • Meg says...

      What’s the texture of your hair? Do you think this would work on fine-haired ladies?

  59. Jessica says...

    My hair is a barometer–I can tell the humidity by the curl/frizz quotient. My move to the desert from Atlanta has been the best hair move ever!!

    • Yes! My move from lake-filled Minnesota to LA had such a huge impact on my hair. I never knew I could have hair that wasn’t frizzy!

  60. Clara says...

    My current go-to is the leave-in conditioner from the Kristin Ess line at Target. I’ve been able to wait almost double the time I usually wait inbetween haircuts and my hair has stayed pretty healthy! I makes your hair so soft and smooth!

  61. Sarah King says...

    Going to try out the Sasha Juan! Thank you, Megan!

  62. omg I’m dreading humidity! my hair puffs up like crazy.
    will have to try a few of these.