10 Women on the Hair Product That Changed Their Routine Forever
04.10.18

In my experience, hair products either don’t work, work incredibly well for a short period of time, or — most rarely — are immediately effective and continue to be over long-term use. Products in the latter category can be hard to come by, but they’re the ones you buy over and over for years, give as gifts and push on friends with an unnecessary urgency. I can think of mine immediately (Bumble & Bumble Invisible Oil and Prêt-à-Powder, for two, another below), and judging by the number of hair recommendations flying around the office at any given time, I had a feeling the rest of team at Man Repeller would, too. So I asked everyone to pick one and tell me about it, and the results are below: 10 hair products we’ve individually found to be long-haul game-changers. Scroll down to find out what they are and then push yours on us in return!


1. Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Shampoo

Recommended by: Haley Nahman (hi), Deputy Editor
How I describe my hair: 
Incredibly thick, wavy, voluminous and coarse
What I use it for: 
Since my hair is thick and coarse, I try to go at least three days between shampoos, ideally even more because it takes so long to wash and air dry it. I use a lot of dry shampoo between washes and get buildup on my scalp as a result. I started using Philip Kinglsey to see if I could get my scalp to feel squeaky clean again. It did the trick and more.
Why I love it: 
I didn’t realize what the regular buildup on my scalp was doing to my whole head of hair until I got rid of it. After I started using this shampoo my hair has felt finer, silkier and fresher. Also thinner — in a good way (thick-haired people will know what I mean; I’ve always wanted slightly “lankier” hair). The buildup is gone too. It’s a hard feeling to describe, but it’s been so dramatic I keep pushing it on people who have similar problems.
Tips:
 Really work it through. I follow it up post-shower with this Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Toner.


2. Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream

Recommended by: Crystal Anderson, Operations Manager
How she describes her hair: 4A naturally curly/kinky African American hair
What she uses it for: My hair is natural and thick as all hell, so I use this cream to soften my curls and make them more manageable. I put this on my hair straight out of the shower when it’s damp and then go about my morning routine. I also use it as a pick-me-up on the days I don’t wash my hair.
Why she started using it: All curly natural girls have about 400 products in their bathroom closets, because finding a product that works for your hair is HARD WORK! I picked this up one day because it smelled awesome and looked like it would be the perfect consistency for my fro.
Why she loves it: It’s soooo easy to use. A little goes a long way and it doesn’t weigh my hair down or make it look or feel oily. Adversely, it also doesn’t make my hair feel crunchy or dry!
Any tips? A little goes a long way! It’s also great as an edge tamer for those baby hairs!


3. Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioning Cream

Recommended by: Ashley Hamilton, Social Media Editor
How she describes her hair: Thin and prone to frizz
What she uses it for: I use it every day post-shower while my hair is still damp to maintain my waves and stave off poofiness.
Why she started using it: I picked it up randomly at a Target in high school (the way most Target purchases come about). I’ve ventured into other methods of de-frizzing and used dozens of other products from $3-to-$50 range but somehow this product always makes it back into the rotation.
Why she loves it: Everyone claims to de-frizz but few have truly mastered it. This one’s hits the perfect balance of smoothing hair without flattening it. I almost always leave the house with wet hair and this is a key element of not becoming a poodle around 10:45 a.m.


4. Dry Bar Sparkling Soda

Recommended by: Emily Zirimis, Visual Manager
How she describes her hair: Wavy, frizzy and thin combination hair (both oily and dry)
What she uses it for: Smoothing my hair after straightening it or blowing it dry
Why she started using it: I got this product after the office got to try out a bunch of samples from an MR event with Dry Bar!
Why she loves it: For years I tried to replicate that after-the-salon-silky-smoothness that I just couldn’t seem to achieve at home no matter how many primers I used without my hair getting greasy, fast. This was the first product that felt lightweight, smelled great and makes my hair ACTUALLY feel like I just left the salon. I don’t straighten my hair very often but when I do, this product feels like a treat.
Any tips? Once I get out of the shower, I use a wet brush to take out any remaining knots, prime with Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer (another great product!) before blow drying. Once dry, I straighten my hair, brush it again, then spray the Dry Bar Sparkling Soda onto my tips. I do 4-5 sprays, run my fingers through my hair and then flip it around to get a good bounce.


5. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle

Recommended by: Jasmin Aujla, Senior Partnerships Strategist
How she describes her hair: Straight, quite thick and smooth, but gets greasy very quickly (like the day after I wash it)
What she uses it for:
To keep greasy hair at bay
Why she started using it: Name any dry shampoo and I’ve probably tried it. When I moved to the U.S. someone recommended Klorane and, once I tried it, I was sold. They also sell it in the U.K. now, which is great!
Why she loves it: As someone that has naturally very oily hair, this is one of the very few products that makes it manageable. I don’t like to wash my hair more that three or fours times a week, so I go through a lot of this stuff.
Any tips? My hair always feels greasier after I’ve slept on it so I apply dry shampoo before bed, tie my hair up and then touch up in the morning if necessary.


6. Bb. Straight Blow Dry

Recommended by: Leandra Medine, Founder
How she describes her hair: Intellectually curious, emotionally unstable
What she uses it for: To chill my curls the fuck out. I know some women endeavor to do the opposite, and I am a member of this category occasionally, but mostly I prefer when my hair looks wavy. Not just wavy, though, messy wavy. But not messy wavy in that contrived way you get when you go to a hair salon and ask for bed head — hairdressers tend to use products that make your hair really greasy or stringy to achieve this look and I prefer when my hair looks soft but like, you know, “I woke up like this.” (Literally, though.) Bb. Straight helps me get there. YOU KNOW?
Why she started using it: I frosted my tips in 2012 (back then we were calling it “ombre”) and the hair stylist at Bumble and bumble who did it to me used the Bb. She put it in my hair before blow drying it and said it made hair straightening much easier. I asked for a bottle, she gave me one, and after the next time I showered (so about three weeks later), I ran one squeeze worth through my hair anticipating that I would blow dry it shortly thereafter but got distracted and never did. When it dried I was like, “Holy cacao! My hair is wavy, not curly. Is this a symptom of the product I just applied?” Fast forward six years and we are still in a serious relationship.
Why she loves it: I think it is the only thing I have used so consistently for such an extended period of time, and it has never disappointed me.
Any tips? If you have curly hair that is relatively soft, prefer when the curls look more brushed out and don’t know how to get this look without first straightening your hair and then adding a shit ton of product, I recommend washing your hair before bed, ringing it out with a dry towel, applying a squeeze’s worth of the product, brushing it out, executing your desired hair part and tying it back really tightly into a cinna-bun. Once this is all done, sleep on that, literally and figuratively.


7. Hairstory New Wash

Recommended by: Nikki Bent
How she describes her hair: Thick, curly, dry
What she uses it for:
I’ve been working on simplifying my morning routine and love using this product because it washes, detangles and conditions my hair. I can use it everyday and not worry about drying out my hair and scalp.
Why she started using it: I overheard some of my curly-haired teammates gushing over how much they love New Wash and how their hair looks good even just after it’s air-dried. Since I exclusively let my hair air-dry, I started to research it and was surprised to find out New Wash contains no detergent or synthetic compounds. It’s meant to replace traditional shampoos and conditioners which, according to the creators of the product, are drying everyone’s hair out. Between the testimonials and the new approach, I had to give it try!
Why she loves it: New Wash conditions my hair so well that if I’m in a rush, I can leave the house without putting additional product in and my hair doesn’t get crazy frizzy or dry. Added bonus: it smells great!
Any tips? While I’ve heard from others that the bottle goes quickly (the instructions suggest you apply it root-to-tip), I prefer to use it mostly on my ends, so haven’t had that experience.


8. Tony Moly Haeyo Hair Nutrition Pack

Recommended by: Harling Ross, Fashion Editor
How she decribes her hair: Dry, curly and voluminous
What she uses it for: I use it as a hair mask after shampooing.
Why she started using it: I read an article in InStyle with the headline “This Mayonnaise-Inspired Conditioner Makes for Glorious Hair” and was immediately intrigued. When I looked for it online it was sold out almost everywhere, which made me even more intrigued. I ended up calling in a press sample with the intention of trying it and potentially writing about it, which I did. Afterward, I kept using it weekly because I loved it so much.
Why she loves it: It makes my (dry, frizzy, curly) hair feel SO much healthier. Oh, and it smells better than any smell I’ve ever smelled.
Any tips? Leave it in for about 10 minutes and then rinse well.


9. Gold Lust Transformative Masque

Recommended by: Amelia Diamond, Head of Creative
How she describes her hair: Long, wavy on a good day, oily-out-of-nowhere and dry from my earlobes down (although it’s seriously gotten so much better thanks to this product).
What she uses it for: I get regular balayage, which dries out the ends. Last year, you literally could not get a brush through my hair without getting the brush caught up in a snarl of tangles, so Paul Fox, who cuts my hair, “prescribed” this mask.
Why she loves it: It works. I leave it on my ends once a week (after shampooing and regular-conditioning, which I have brought down to about three times a week) and it’s helped to repair all the bleach-related damage. It’s expensive, $66 a bottle, so I use as little as possible, but it’s worth it — I have tried enough home remedies (like the time I used avocado toast to fix my split ends; the time I made an apple cider vinegar rinse; the time I unnecessarily poured oat milk on my hair) to feel good about my investment in a product dedicated to repairing bleach damage. Plus, it smells SO INCREDIBLE — and the smell lasts — that this could count as your perfume for the day, too.


10. Deva Curl Decadence Milk Conditioner

Recommended by: Nora Taylor, Managing Editor
How she describes her hair:
3C naturally curly
What she uses it for:
I use it as a co-wash in between shampoos and deep conditioners.
Why she started using it: I got my first Deva cut at this new spot when I lived in Chicago (I went in because my friend told me they had beer, could cut curly hair and had dogs running around) and left feeling like the whole Deva curl thing was worth the hype. Earlier this year I upgraded from the regular conditioner (also good!) to the Decadence and never looked back.
Why she loves it: It smells amazing, has great slip so it’s perfect for detangling, and it makes my hair super soft.
Any tips? Buy the gigantic bottle! It’s a better deal and you’re not running out to grab conditioner every three weeks.

Collages by Louisiana Mei Gelpi. 

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  • Jennifer

    Yo MR ladies, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but some of us have the thinnest, finest hair of all time… of all time!

    • Ash

      Right! My hair is super fine but I have a good amount of it. If I put too heavy of a conditioner on it, it gets super greasy or too conditioning of a conditioner (dunno if that’s a thing) it makes my hair super duper staticky and way too soft. I’ve yet to find the thing that makes it soft and healthy-looking while not turning into Albert Einstein trying to impersonate a swamp monster.

      • Jennifer

        “Albert Einstein trying to impersonate a swamp monster” is my true aesthetic.

    • Liz

      I also have super fine, v. thin hair that’s also very curly. I’d try to volumize with hairspray, but that left my hair really crusty and crunchy no matter what kind I used. I kind of accidentally discovered Big Sexy Hair’s Powder Play product, and it basically changed my life. It’s a powder that you put on your roots, and it makes your hair texturized and much less slippery. It’s kind of pricey for how long it lasts, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice because it works so well.

      • Jennifer

        I’ve tried the Not Your Mother’s variation of this, and felt like it left my hair kind of… matted? I’m not sure what exactly it was, but it felt odd. Does this leave a weird feeling in your hair, or is it so good that it’s worth it?! ha

        • Liz

          I know what you mean! It’s a really strange product- it’s kind of wet, but it’s a powder (?!?). It’s almost kind of sticky on your scalp. BUT It makes my hair feel so much fuller and thicker, and it’s much easier to style because hair bands, etc. aren’t sliding around as much. I use Nioxin shampoo and conditioner (another fantastic brand for thin hair!) and I do shampoo every day, but I haven’t noticed any issues with my hair or buildup or anything.

    • Adrianna

      Back when I shampooed my air every day, I swore by the #3 Garnier Fructis Leave-In Conditioning Cream. It was the best $4-5 I spent. I recommend adding water in the bottle to deliute it.

      My thin, fine hair looks a lot better now that I shampoo every 2-3 days and stopped conditioning (for the most part). I’ve tried a variety of shampoos (drug store to fancy to indie organic brands) and it honestly always looks the same. I generally don’t look too greasy now that my scalp adjusted to fewer shampoos, but I still rinse my hair under water pretty vigorously. I spray some dry shampoo the *night before* if I suspect it’ll look greasy. I treated myself to some Oribe dry shampoo/hairspray, and it does work! The price tag is a bit high though

    • Dying. I have been wondering recently how Haley gets her hair the way she does because I think it looks so good (older photos of her have me recalling it used to be really straight) and I was praying that was her natural and the waves were something she could teach me but now my hopes and dreams are dashed!

    • Erica

      I also have very sad, fine hair, super straight but holds curl. the Ouai volume shampoo and conditioner is the best in-shower i’ve found! pre-blow dry I also love their volume mousse for when i want my hair wavy/straight/smooth and bumble and bumble surf spray for when i want it teased and wavy/curled!

      • Jennifer

        I was just introduced to Ouai through my birchbox! Loving their rose hair/body oil. Gonna give the volume mousse a try too!

      • Kiks

        The bumble surf foam is so amazing.

        Lately I’ve been embracing the 90s aesthetic and just wearing my super fine, chin-length hair with a middle part and tucked behind my ears — basically no styling at all. It’s been liberating but also I feel like I’m nine years old again.

    • Ari

      I have fine, greasy type hair and recently found a MIRACLE CURE (for me, anyway) which is Jason’s thin and fine shampoo (in a blue transparent bottle) and a conditioner from The Body Shop which ACTUALLY claims it’s for dry hair but it works for me anyway. I think the secret is that I’ve finally achieved sulfate-free valhalla after years of mistakenly using LUSH shampoo bars, which do have sulfates (although I still love LUSH for other stuff).

      This is absolutely one of those things where someone will tell me that the sulfate free thing is a scam, maybe it is, maybe I’m just hydrating myself better these days but no one will convince me I don’t NEED this shampoo-conditioner combo like I need food, water and sleep.

      • DelphineGarnier82

        My hair is wavy, thick and generally naturally dry and I vouch for avoiding sulfates. My hair was harder to deal with when I used shampoos with sulfates and conditioners full of silicones. It just looked like a total mess and I had to put more effort into making it look decent when I didn’t avoid those ingredients.

      • Jennifer

        I made a similar mistake at LUSH 🙁 Gonna try this shampoo!!

    • Kim

      I’m only here to give you the Funniest Comment Ever Award, please, accept it.

      • Jennifer

        I’ll take it!

    • Fat Tony

      I’m really curious to hear what my fine-haired ladies have to say about how often they wash their hair! My hair is very fine and greasy plus I have dandruff (its a GORGEOUS combo, highly recommend) and I’ve tried so many different hair washing routines trying to find the best ones. I always feel like I should be washing my hair less but the people who seem to be ok going multiple days without washing their hair usually have very thick and/or dry hair which couldn’t be farther from my hair type. Right now I was my hair every other day and I think that’s worked the best so far, but I would love to get any recommendations on products/routines from people with a similar hair type, help a sister outtttt

      • Adrianna

        My hair used to get super greasy practically before a full day went by. First, I stopped conditioning my hair. I’ll use conditioner maybe twice a month now. I shampoo my hair every three days now, and it took some time for my scalp to adjust. I just had to deal with wearing a hat if I felt self conscious.

        The big game changer was rinsing my hair and scalp with water. This sounds obvious, but nobody actually tells you to do this when advising you to not to shampoo

      • L-MO

        I wash my hair almost every day. My hair’s color treated so I have to use conditioner or I can’t comb it when it’s wet, and I use product in it so I need shampoo to get it out. Everyone is different so whatever works best for you is probably right! I’m not gonna stop washing my hair every day just because a lot of people don’t.

      • dtjb

        I’m the owner of fine hair and flaky scalp, too. I swear by Aveda Scalp Benefits shampoo and conditioner for keeping my scalp in check. My scalp goes haywire if I use anything else. I also have been using a volumizing cream called Anti Gravity by Kevin Murphy for the past few months. A tiny bit gives my hair a lot of life even if I air dry. Good luck fine hair ladies!

        • Fat Tony

          Thank you my fine-haired queens!!

      • Sophie Kollaja

        Fine and dandruffy over here too! What has helped me more than anything and made it possible to not wash my hair every day has been using a shampoo brush (linked below)! I get in there with my T-Gel and gently brush my scalp while my hair is all sudsed up to release flaky bits and residue which leaves me with much lighter feeling/more lifted hair. Not sure if it’s the best thing for your scalp skin but, hey, it helps and feels so good.
        https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HHZAM04/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_7?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A17IX8V994H9UF

      • Jennifer

        I usually go every other / every three days depending on what my plans are. I’m planning to try every single product in this thread, but I have really been loving Living Proof’s PHD Dry Shampoo! I hardly have to use any, and my hair looks and smells amaze.

    • AJC

      A million times yes. Stylists always hair shame me for how thin, baby fine and easily tangleable my hair is. I also have to wash my hair every single day because it shows grease like nobody’s business. My life changing recommendations are threefold. Seven years ago I discovered Joico Body Luxe Shampoo and Conditioner at TJmaxx and it changed my life. It really does thicken my hair without weighing it down. For extra body I used to be all about Big Sexy Root Pump Plus… but that seems hella toxic so I switched to Lanvett & Chin Sea Salt Texturizing Mist – 3 sprays is all I need.

    • Amanda Stanhope Goddard

      I literally never leave comments on anything but as someone with quite possibly the stringiest, thinnest hair ever I need to spread the gospel and inform y’all of a product that has legitimately changed my life since discovering it last month. The holy grail itself? IGK 1995 2-in-1 Shampoo & Texturizer. The bottle looks like something you may have picked up at Claire’s in the 90’s (appropriate given the name) but I kid you not the vaguely immature packaging is worth it. My hair is the kind that looks best on the second day and I mean tail end more-dry-shampoo-than-hair-on-my-head second day…half-a-bottle-of-bumble-and-bumble-surf-spray-and-more-than-a-little-help-from-a-wand second day. BUT now, I wash my hair with the life changing magic that is 1995, step out of the shower and air dry and guess what? My hair looks the exact same as if I blow dried it, saturated with every “effortless wave” product known to man and wanded it for an hour. Forgive the lengthy post but if you couldn’t tell, my fine limp locks and I are v v passionate about this one.

      • Molly

        I’m SO excited to try this – my hair is baby fine and gets greasy by the end of the day! Ordered already!

      • Jennifer

        I never comment either! Thanks for this – I’m super excited to try it! Do you really not use conditioner with it?!
        Btw, this description “more-dry-shampoo-than-hair-on-my-head second day…half-a-bottle-of-bumble-and-bumble-surf-spray-and-more-than-a-little-help-from-a-wand second day” made me LOL and also think we are true hair twins.

        • Amanda Stanhope Goddard

          I hope we’re hair twins and this works as well for you as it does for me!! I really don’t use conditioner! If my hair is feeling super dry I will put a teeny tiny bit on the ends to help with detangling BEFORE the shampoo/texturizer but other than that just the IGK product!

  • NikNak

    Drybar Detox Brunette! I love that I can use a ton of this and my hair doesn’t look gray after! I dump baby powder in my hair before I sleep and then wake up and use this stuff.

    (day 5 of hair down and still looks good! A new record!)

    https://www.thedrybar.com/detox-dry-shampoo-for-brunettes

  • KNN

    “If you have curly hair that is relatively soft, prefer when the curls look more brushed out and don’t know how to get this look without first straightening your hair and then adding a shit ton of product” – best eureka effect ever. thank you.

  • MKP

    @Nora Taylor where in Chicago did you get your haircut!

    • Nora Taylor

      Penny Lane in Logan Square!

      • Rachel M

        My first comment but I KNEW it was Penny Lane by your description. They are the best!

  • eva

    anyone try olaplex? i’ve heard it’s a lot of people’s ~miracle~ product

    • Jessica

      I have platinum blonde bleached hair and I use Olaplex about once a week or so now. You can leave it on for ages so I usually leave it overnight. It is really excellent for damaged hair, helps repair the brittleness I get from the bleach and makes it feel strong and healthy again.

    • Basil

      I’ve had the treatment after getting my fine straight hair highlighted. It made such a difference – normally after highlighting my hair gets very dry, but with olaplex it doesn’t – it feels soft and looks great. I bought the frequent use product off amazon and do it when I can. It definitely makes a difference

    • Kiks

      Yeah, I’m usually really skeptical of such things but Olaplex is legit.

      I’m well overdue for a fresh bottle and I can definitely see a negative change in my hair texture without regular treatments.

    • CeeGee

      Olaplex was life changing for me. My hair is long, wavy, frizzy, thinning; roots are oily, ends are dry and my hair generally lacks “oomph”. I leave the Olaplex on for 15+ minutes with one of those self heating caps (discovered the self-heating element while cap was on my head, I was like wtf? but it’s great) and then I rinse and blow dry. Try to do it 1x week. The results are crazy good and last even if you wash and shampoo between treatments.
      As it says on the bottle, it’s not a conditioner, it’s a bond builder, so it helps your hair get it together without aggravating any conflicting issues, so add root-to-tips with no fear. First time I tried it, I was ABOUT to avoid putting it on my roots because I thought it would just make it super greasy and sad as per usual with these treatments. SO glad I went for it and added to my roots as well.

  • New Wash is my holy grail too. My wave is probably most like Haley’s, but it’s not quite as thick. It’s fine but course, and while the fineness tames it a bit, there’s a lot of it. It’s dry from yearly mellow balayage. New Wash at night followed by a bit of air drying before bed, a bun situation like Leandra (repeated each night to keep my wave and prevent tangles), and then some oil (Sachajuan) on the ends each morning. Perhaps a dry shampoo (the Klorane oat one) on day 3 or 4, and washing again on night 4. It’s low maintenance while balancing looking reasonably done without being over the top.

  • Morrocan Argan Oil – it calmed my thick, wavy hair incredibly well

    xo http://www.stylefile.in

  • Micha

    THANK YOU LEANDRA. I’m growing my curly hair out of a really short (think mia farrow rosemary’s baby) cut. I’ve been looking to not get rid of my curls, but just elongate them so I can feel like it is growing and not just say “fuck it” and cut it all off again. bless you.

  • Amanda Sprecher

    Hey hopefully someone on the MR team or in this message board an answer this – re: not washing your hair every day. When people say they only wash their hair once a week or so – are they showering? Are they wetting their hair and not using any shampoo instead? I know some people use shower caps but say post-gym if your hair is all sweaty and tied back, if you do that every day do you just skip shampooing? I have scoured the internet for an answer and have found none.

    • Alina

      Hi! I wash my hair twice a week (no gym sessions for me, just walking to and from work) and in between washes, I use dry shampoo at night and wake up in the morning with non-greasy hair. In the morning, I use clips to hold my hair up (and not get weird ponytail holder creases) and then use a shower cap while I wash my face and body. Many of my friends do the same! They’ll either time their gym workouts with hair washing days or blow dry the roots then use dry shampoo to get out any sweat. Hope this helps!

    • lianeandthemusic

      Hi, I wash my hair once a week! By washing once a week, I mean I use a dedicated cleanser once a week (DevaCurl No Poo). Usually once in between I will wet it in the shower, condition, and restyle. The rest of the time I use a shower cap. I do shower every day. I also don’t work out that often anymore, but when I did I made sure to tie my hair up in a pineapple, and to be honest, with the schedule I keep, my hair never smelled bad, but I have a lot of it and it’s thick. Sometimes I would actually go to the gym with deep conditioner in my hair and then do my weekly cleanse right after.

    • Personally, I try to wash my hair every 3days, 4 if I can stretch it – so twice a week. But I shower every day, I just tie my hair up in a bun and wash my body!

      As for exercise, I don’t go to the gym every day but if I know I’m going to be working up a sweat then I just try to coordinate my hair washing around that. In a pinch, I’ll wash my body and use dry shampoo/blast it with a hairdryer to get myself through the day – I’ve actually received compliments after doing this, although I’ll always try to avoid it when I can for hygiene’s sake.

    • Leandra Medine

      Can I be honest? I only wash my hair 1-2x a week and that’s how frequently I shower! Baths notwithstanding tho. It’s not very clean but neither am I

    • Ari

      I have a friend who only uses water but to be honest I don’t think her hair looks great. I wash my hair every three days and that’s PERFECT for me, but I don’t go to the gym, I just do yoga. My boyfriend runs a lot and will often follow a run with a shower but without a hairwash, and I only notice how bad it smells if I literally give him the kind of cuddle where I smell his scalp. There’s squeaky clean and then there’s clean enough to get by, I guess?

    • dayman

      Definitely depends on the person! I’ve never understood how people can not get their hair wet in the shower, I feel like the water gets in no matter what I do, but I’ve always had good luck with brushing beforehand and just rinsing in the shower. This is all I do even if I worked out that day (unless it’s shampoo day anyway) and it always works for me! Everyone’s different though so I’d say just try rinsing/not rinsing and see what works for you!

    • miranda

      wows okay i’m finally making an account just so I could chime in here! I was surprised that this is what everyone else means! I have curly hair and after 2 days without water and sleeping on it, my hair just looks very very sad so i need to get her wet! Personally when I say that I “wash my hair 1-2x a week” I mean, usually I use shampoo in my hair 1-2x a week, but I get my hair wet every time I shower. no shower caps in my house! on the non-shampoo days I’ll sometimes use just conditioner (and not that much of it) but sometimes i just use water! or I wash with just water but then add product afterward. This all stays true regardless of exercise, and oddly the days when I shampoo don’t necessarily follow exercise. So long answer to a short question! but just wanted to say that personally, with curly hair i always need to get my hair wet if I’m showering (albeit don’t shower ever day) and I try to shampoo basically as lil as possible.

      • miranda

        also after reading the comment below about someone whose friend only washes with water and it doesn’t look great, i did have a terrifying moment of, “is that me?” but after some deep reflection i decided no, it’s definitely not, my hair is great. point is- everyone has to figure out their own thing! my hair routine is also VERY different now that i live in a city/bathroom with very very hard water.

        • I read the same comment and had the same thought!

      • Yes, same. I shower every day and to “reactivate” my waves/curls, I have to get it wet. I shampoo/condition every other day though, since I workout a lot and don’t really think I could go a third day without shampooing the sweat/grime/gym funk out of my hair…

    • Micha

      I only wash my hair twice a week, but shower every day. I just use a shower cap. I have curly hair, so to reset my curls, I spray it with a sea salt spray (currently Herbivore Sea Mist) in the morning. Maybe because I have curly hair, and I like the frizzy angel baby look, the humidity or steam that ends up forming in the cap doesn’t bother me. Though when I straighten my hair, I put on like two shower caps and end up doing this weird dodging motion to make sure no water gets anywhere near my hair, cause that shit took too long to ruin.

    • Davida

      My advice would be: don’t sweat it (pun intended) :). I wash my hair (as in shampoo and condition it) once a week/ twice a week, if I’ve been working out I lean more towards twice a week but generally my rule of thumb is when I feel it’s getting greasy I’ll wash it the next day. I have super curly (3A) hair and it kindly has a ‘pre-greasy’ day when it feels bit gross but doesn’t look like it’s greasy and i use that as a heads-up, an I-should-probably-wash-my-hair-tomorrow indicator. However I shower most days (if I’m not running late), and depending on whether I can be bothered I will condition, just wet, or tie my hair in a top-knot to keep it dry and then use product (Shea Moisture coconut and hibiscus curl and style milk is LIFE-CHANGING!) to redefine curls and moisturise.

    • Amanda Sprecher

      Wow! This was truly enlightening. Thank you for your input everyone- ive been interested in try the new wash but was always resistant to the shampoo-ing 1-2x a week idea because I thought it meant showering less. I am gonna try some shampoo-less washes coming up. For the record I have pretty fine hair that gets greasy quick so I’m a shower every other day kinda gal.

    • L-MO

      RE: the whole not washing hair thing – I have very fine thin hair with no weight to it, and I need to use hairspray just to control it so it doesn’t look like I’m in my own personal hurricane 24/7, so just rinsing is going to turn it into a un-combable mess. I do have a friend I work with with fine, thin hairwho doesn’t wash it very often, and I’ve been approached by co workers on a few occasions to talk with her about her stinky hair. She can’t smell herself for some reason, but everyone else can.

    • hallie

      late to the party here but i wash my hair about once a week, by which i mean shampoo & conditioner. i shower every morning after my run and “wash” by getting my hair wet and doing a brief scalp massage to both cleanse my scalp a bit and to distribute any oil from root to tip. i think brushing can also do that, though i am pretty lucky to have very straight, thick hair that behaves quite well without brushing or blowdrying. if i notice it’s looking a bit dull in between washes i’ll use a bit of jojoba oil before hopping in the shower or condition (no shampoo)!

    • Emma

      Just my personal experience–I live in a super humid climate and sweat a lot. My hair can’t even go near water (rain, shower, etc) without frizzing unless I put some kind of conditioner in it so I usually shampoo and condition every time I take a shower (usually every other day–a little gross lol). I can’t even use the bathroom if one of my roommates has just taken a shower and it’s all steamy, my hair just freaks out. Also, I have an oily-ish scalp and super coarse dry ends, wavy thick hair.

  • Erin S

    Does anyone have a dry shampoo recommendation that is non-aerosol and has a relatively “clean” formula?! I’ve been using Captain Blankenship’s … and I like it … but boy is it messy!!!

    • kay

      oscar blondi pronto dry shampoo- looks like its sold out most places but walmart has it
      https://www.walmart.com/ip/Oscar-Blandi-Pronto-Dry-Shampoo-1-oz/45597217

    • Leandra Medine

      I’d also love one that doesn’t make your hair fall out. I was crazy about Klorane for a while but found that I was losing a weird amount of hair from it. Probably would not have noticed had I not been pregnant but when I discontinued use, hair stopped falling out

      • M Rae

        same! i definitely had to rethink my dry shampoo addiction cause i was also losing tons of hair. i made a ‘rule’ that if im in a pickle and use aerosol dry shampoo, it has to be washed out within a day, cause i think it was the caking-on for 2 or 3 days that really effs things up. now i stick to little ol’ B&B pret-a-powder and sparingly use living proof phd.

    • Micha

      Giovanni Powder Dry Shampoo. I have basically black hair and it absorbs really well. I used to use Captain Blankeship, but for the price/amount I use, I couldn’t justify it. This shit is around $7 and is amazing. https://www.iherb.com/pr/Giovanni-Eco-Chic-Hair-Care-Powder-Power-Dry-Shampoo-1-7-oz-50-g/62893?gclid=CjwKCAjwwbHWBRBWEiwAMIV7E-5zQNww7fj9tv9xgVQV6JiCPyJd-7gpMpH7LofR8OCd6fCE2FhVfRoC1BsQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    • marissa

      Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo!! It comes in this nifty little container that helps you fan out the powder, but it’s not a pressurized aerosol can or anything. It smells amazing, actually works, and its the one dry shampoo that doesn’t make me feel gross with it sitting in my hair. Would 10000% recommend.

    • in LOVE with Rogue and Co. ‘Badlands’ dry shampoo/styling paste. you only need a teeeeeny bit and it absorbs all oil and adds lift and texture to your hair. It’s been a game changer for me.

  • Kenzie

    Nora!!! Please tell me where this salon in Chicago is

    • Nora Taylor

      Penny Lane! I love them and miss them.

  • Ema Dell’Orto

    I have thick and dry hair and I use Leonor Greyl’s oil before shampoo. Incredible ! You don’t’need a mask after ! And after I put some drops on the ends. French are very into oil before shampoo nowadays

  • Lucy Negash

    Just got a sample of the Klorane dry shampoo, and I’m hoping it works miracles like it does for you, Jasmin. Did you find any differences btw the shampoo with oat milk, and with nettle? Do you prefer one over the other?

    Also, @Haley Nahman – can you share your thoughts on the Invisible Oil and Pret a Powder, please?! 🙂

  • “Intellectually curious, emotionally unstable”

  • Maggie

    Ouidad Climate Control for thick curly (prone to poofy) hair!!! it weighs the curls down so you’re not a poodle and makes them a lil more wavy than ringlet-y. Also it doesn’t make your hair crunchy. This is the only product I will ever use, amen.

  • dayman

    Great idea for an article! I’d just been thinking about all my past hair struggles and how I actually haven’t had any in the past few months since I found some products I really like. For me the major gamechangers have been Kristin Ess The One shampoo and conditioner–the spiel on the back says something about it cleaning really well while still leaving hair soft and shiny and I actually agree. My hair type is fine but dense and in between wavy and straight (same on the “wavy on a good day”!), and I always felt like shampoos either dried my hair out leaving it poofy (and it would get greasy fast) or would make my hair so smooth at first but not clean enough over time leaving it all flat and straightened. This is the perfect in between for me! My hair feels clean and bouncy after washing but not all dried out, and I can actually go longer between shampooing. I also have so many styling products but the only one I really use is Bumble and bumble invisible oil primer, so shout out to that. And finally the wet brush which I could not live without!

  • ladybirda

    Christophe Robin salt scrub has cured my flakes forever and I will be buying those 50 dollar tubs for the rest of my life. Could probably Macgyver something with sea salt and essential oils but I like my fancy French hair stuff.

    • silla

      I agree! Love it for that punished and pure scalp feeling (can you tell I’m Catholic). However I am kind of wondering whether it’s causing splittage in the rest of my hair? Cos it’s so intense it could actually be breaking some of my lengths? ANY THOUGHTS???

      • ladybirda

        Maybe? I moved to a tropical climate and am in the water every day so my hair is also being punished by salt/chlorine/UV rays/being put up in ponytail all the time, so it’s hard to tell if it’s the shampoo specifically, but the ends could definitely use some TLC. But then I also just need a haircut too.

      • M Rae

        i go hard in a conditioner mask (davines makes amazing ones) after using christphe robin salt scrub cause yeah, i feel like it turns the lengths of my hair to straw…totally un-brushable. i have even been known to pre-coat the bottom half of my hair in a light conditioner prior to using CR salt scrub just to protect it! but the clean fluff afterwards is worth it.

    • Bea

      Have you tried the Lush Big shampoo? I haven’t tried the Christophe Robin but from what I can tell they’re pretty similar!

  • BK

    Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Hair Oil for bleached hair that’s all I have to offer

  • Alexandra Sabater

    Reverie’s EVER Recovery oil is the best find…I have very thick, curly hair. I recently got some intense highlights, including some bleach, for the first time. My hair was frizzy and messy and I was considering doing one of those botox treatments to keep it in check… then i found EVER. Its expensive, but one pump calms my frizz and adds shine without making it greasy. Plus it has an amazing musky scent.

  • Hil

    I bought Phillip Kingsley when Haley recommended it because our hair is kind of similar and I’ve been suffering(!) from an itchy scalp for years. I’ve used different products and nothing works. I’ve started washing my hair almost every day because the longer I go the itchier it is. I had my mom inspect my scalp and she say she it looks totally normal and the itch is all mental (thanks Mom). I used the Phillip Kingsley shampoo every day for almost a week and i can’t say it improved anything, but around that same time I started breaking out on my neck and the side of my jaw by my ears. A few days ago I thought maybe it was from the shampoo and stopped using it to find out. Anyone else experience that? I’ll see if it clears up now that I’ve stopped. Don’t want to condemn Phil prematurely!

    • additionalmayonnaise

      You might have scalp psoriasis! I would ask a derm (I only realized I had it after YeARS of itchy scalp. One time the itch was so bad I thought I had lice so I went to a walk in clinic to confirm and they were like no girl def psoriasis). ~good times~ since there is no cure for psoriasis, it’s aggravated by stress and most of the medications are just steroids. The think that’s helped me the most is washing every day (fwiw I use new wash and sub in the Christophe Robin scrub once a week), because psoriasis is just your skin cells multiplying too quickly and causing buildup.

      • Hil

        You might be right! I used to wash my hair about twice a week but for the last year it’s been more like every other day and now for the past week it’s been every day. I’ll keep up the every day and hopefully it helps. I guess it already does since the itch is definitely worse the second day. I’ve thought about getting that scrub so maybe I finally will now!

        • additionalmayonnaise

          proud member of the daily wash club lol. I think using shampoos that don’t have detergent (ie sulphates) helps a lot. Both new wash and Christophe robin pass that test, which makes me think they’re worth the $$$.

    • Luca Kádár

      I used to have SUPER itchy scalp as well and this shampoo cured it instantly (I never had a serious dandruff problem, it was just flaking from the scratching): http://www.bioderma.com/en/our-products/node/ds
      Plus I wash every other day now and only use Bioderma shampoo. The above one as a treatment for like 2 months when I need it, and the plain green one otherwise. Also, I stopped using conditioner and never looked back.

      • Hil

        I wish I could try this but the only place I could find that ships to the US charges $18 shipping and that doesn’t seem worth it! Hopefully someday it will be available here 🤞

    • Permanent Bishface

      I used to have super itchy scalp, to the point where I wanted to cry sometimes. I stumbled upon the realization that castor oil, which is in soooo many products for Black folks, was the culprit making my scalp itch. Some people are sensitive to it, apparently, and if you don’t clarify your scalp correctly, it can just get worse. Once I removed that from my regimen (really hard to do, btw 😠), my scalp was transformed.

      All that to say that it might be a certain ingredient in your daily products that’s killing your scalp. Worth looking into, for sure.

      • Hil

        Oh interesting! Thanks for the tip! I wish this was easier to figure out. When I used standard shampoos and conditioners it was itchy and now that I use new wash it’s still itchy and when I tried Phillip Kinglsey it was still itchy. I’ve tried different scalp treatments and nothing changed. Right now I’m not using any extra product in my hair. Nothing makes it better or worse! I’ll probably try neutrogenia t/sal next. I also checked if new wash had castor oil and nope.

  • Nathyn

    Is the below sulfate/paraben free?

    Tony Moly Haeyo Hair Nutrition Pack

  • Nate

    Is the below sulfate/paraben free?

    Tony Moly Haeyo Hair Nutrition Pack

  • Junglesiren

    Thanks Crystal Anderson for mentioning your hair type. That’s very helpful. Most black women know their hair type, usually ranging from 3C to 4C, because we spend a lot of time on YouTube trying to find the thing that works for us. I’m definitely going to try the Curly Curl Cream. Yes, I’m one of those natural kinky girls who has a storage room just for the various products I’ve used… and didn’t work. Maybe Curly Curl is my new girl.

    • Crystal

      Of course!! Us Natural girls have to share the love, when we find something that works! That said I’m thinking about trying the Tony Moly Haeyo Hair Nutrition Pack that Harling swears by! I’ll keep you posted!

      • Harling Ross

        DO IT

  • Becca

    Yes! I completely understand what you mean by wanting your hair to feel thinner! I always see commercials for thicker hair and I’m like where’s the shampoo to make my hair thinner? Looks like you found it?

  • Michelle

    Haley we are hair colour & texture twins! (And skin tone/ eye colour). I have always found your looks and style relatable – maybe this is somewhat why!

  • Annisa

    Hey Haley, I’ve been looking for a scalp-focused shampoo that is safe for keratin-treated hair, does the Phillip Kingsley shampoo affect the longevity of your keratin treatment?