Staff tested: Hair products
We tested the latest styling serums, volumizers and shine pastes. Here’s what we thought of each product
L’Oréal Paris Hair Expertise Volume Collagen Body Boost Root Lifting Spray
This targeted spray uses collagen to strengthen and plump fine roots weightlessly.
My fine, short hair tends to flatten after blow-drying, so it needs all the volume help it can get. After washing, I sprayed this mist at the roots, combed it through, then blow-dried as usual while brushing hair upward for extra lift. My hair not only had more volume, it still had it by the time I got to work. I like that this can also be used to refresh hair once it’s dry.
-Margaret Nearing, Senior Editor
Dove Hair Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum
This blend of argan and almond oils is made to absorb rapidly into dry, frizzy hair, leaving it smooth and shiny.
My long hair tends to get frizzy, so I’m a big fan of hair serums. I’ve tried many, but they can be expensive and I find they don’t smell that great. I loved the sweet scent of this hair serum. I used two pumps on damp hair and after letting it air-dry, my hair felt soft and was frizz-free. It feels totally weightless and it makes my hair look super-shiny.
-Stephanie Han, Art Director
Joico Structure Define Lightweight Shine Wax
Applied sparingly to short-to-medium-length hair, this delivers flexible hold, separation and shine for a textured look.
I have thick, coarse hair, the ends of which curl in every ?direction except the one I want. This styling paste promises “light hold with maximum shine.” It delivers on the hold part, as it did tame the unruliness. As for the shine? Not so much-maybe because I used the very least amount possible (I’m paranoid about having helmet head, thanks to a certain national political figure).
-Ruth Hanley, Copy Chief
Joico Structure Define Lightweight Shine Wax ($20, 100 mL)
Schwarzkopf Professional BlondMe Volume Miracle Cream
This styling cream promises an “amplifying effect” and added strength for fragile blonde hair.
Good timing: I had just had my long blonde hair highlighted prior to trying this styling cream. I combed it through towel-dried hair and then blow-dried with a round brush. My hair was left soft and easy to style, yet still had lots of body. And since it’s specifically for blonde hair, I felt that my fresh highlights were getting some protection.
-Melissa Greer, Associate Web Editor
Schwarzkopf Professional BlondMe Volume Miracle Cream ($20, 150 mL)
Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Beach Texturiser
This strong-hold, oil-free lotion with honey and citrus extracts enhances curls and volume.
Wow, a “sexy surfer look” (the label’s promise) was extremely appealing in the middle of winter when I tested this. I blow-dried my hair (which is pretty long right now), rubbed a dollop of the shimmering, coconut-scented lotion on my palms and crunched my hair all over. Voila: big, messy hair with a touch of texture-not suitable for when I have to look polished, but for other times, I’m all over this.
-Bonnie Munday, Editor-in-Chief
Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Beach Texturiser ($22, 150 mL)
Marc Anthony True Professional Strictly Curls Curl Envy
Shea butter, avocado oil and provitamin B5 aim to defrizz coarse hair to define curls.
I don’t blow-dry my thick wavy-to-curly hair at home (hello, professional blow-outs). Instead, I air-dry to “embrace” the wave-but need a styling product to keep it smooth. I simply combed this through towel-dried hair and let it do its magic: It put the kibosh on the frizz. (And it’s good value for the money.) I’ll need to play with quantity, though, as it weighed my hair down a bit.
-Rhonda Rovan, Beauty Editor
Marc Anthony True Professional Strictly Curls Curl Envy ($10, 177 mL)
John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray
Heat-activated polymers keep flat-ironed strands smooth and straight for three days after styling.
I prefer my wavy hair straight, so I spend a lot of time drying and styling it. I’ve had it straightened at a salon and loved the results-but not the four hours it took! I combed this through wet hair, and blow-dried while brushing. Finally, I flat-ironed (as per instructions). It was straighter than usual afterwards-and, yes, it stayed sleek for three days. Works for me.
-Jennifer Walker, Senior Content Editor
Giovanni Natural Mousse Air-Turbo Charged Styling Foam
This medium-hold foam has certified organic aloe leaf juice and sunflower seed oil.
With its eco-friendly self-foaming pump, this styler has a light and airy foam texture (different from a traditional mousse) that absorbed quickly with little combing through. To boost the body in my long, straight hair, I worked a few palm-fuls into the roots after towel-drying, and blow-dried with a round brush. The volume lasted all day-but so did a tacky feel. ?I’ll use less next time.
-Jennifer Masseau, Associate Editor
Giovanni Natural Mousse Air-Turbo Charged Styling Foam ($11, 207 mL)