Ever see a product or read about it and truly wonder if it’s everything it’s cracked up to be? We did and we couldn’t rest until we found the truth. With the help of the amazing Second City Style team and some of you lucky readers, we put several products to the test to find the best of the best. With long, grueling weeks of testing hundreds of products, we have narrowed it down to our favorites. It was a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.
Shampoos and Conditioners
Best Dandruff Shampoo: Dr. Miracle’s 2-in-1 dandruff shampoo $8.99, www.drmiracles.com
Dr. Miracle’s 2-in-1 Conditioning Dandruff Shampoo is superb at ending dandruff and itchy, flaking scalp issues. This shampoo moisturizes as well as conditions all in one step!
â€œThis product was amazing! My hair was soft and my scalp was clean. With the harsh New York weather, my scalp would often times get dry and itchy and this product has saved the day!â€? -Chyrstine; New York, New York
Best Shampoo for Fine/Limp Hair: L’Oreal Technique Nature’ Therapy Mega Volume Shampoo $7.49, www.sallybeauty.com for locations.
Gently cleanses hair while giving it a boost!
â€œI must say that I was a skeptic, but I was proven wrong! It made may hair look and feel thicker!â€? -Amber; Brooklyn, NY
Best Shampoo for Curly Hair: KÃ©ratase Nutritive Bain Elasto-Curl (www.keratase-usa.com) Hydrating â€œbathâ€? for curly, dry hair.
â€œI thought my curls were a curse, now they are a blessing with this product. I absolutely love the way my hair looks and feels.â€? -Brandy; San Diego, CA
Best Shampoo for Damaged Hair: KÃ©ratase Resistance Bain de Force $23.99 (www.drugstore.com) Fortifying shampoo for weak hair.
â€œMy hair has been fried, dyed and damaged, so needless to say I was in need of some â€˜hairapy.’ I’ve seen a great improvement in my hair since using this product.â€? â€”Dana; Atlanta, GA
Best Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: KÃ©ratase Reflection Bain Miroir (www.keratase-usa.com) Shine infused shampoo for color treated locks. Protects hair from outside radicals.
â€œThis shampoo made my hair look as if I just left to salon…need I say anymore?â€? -Tina; Atlanta, GA
Best Shampoo for Dry Hair: Bhava To The Rescue Shampoo $18 (www.bhavasalon.com) Builds strength while moisturizing.
â€œThe shampoo lathered well and smelled great; didn’t leave my hair feeling stripped, but clean.â€? -Lauren; Chicago, IL
Best Conditioner for Fine/Limp Hair: L’Oreal Technique Nature’ Therapy Mega Volume Conditioner $7.49 (www.sallybeauty.com) for locations.
â€œWhen using it in conjunction with the shampoo, I loved it. And it smells fantastic!â€? -Naomi; Brooklyn, NY
Best Conditioner for Curly Hair: KÃ©ratase Nutritive Elasto-Curl Hydra-Toning Care (www.keratase-usa.com)
â€œCouldn’t live without it!!â€? -Brandy; San Diego, CA
Best Conditioner for Damaged Hair: KÃ©ratase Resistance Bain de Force (www.keratase-usa.com) Like the shampoo, this conditioner offers repair and protection for weak hair.
Best Conditioner for Color/Chemically Treated Hair: Pureology Serious Colour Care Hydracure Intense Moisture Hair Masque (www.pureology.com) With ingredients like shea butter, avocado, mango and jojoba, this masque sounds more like a delectable treat than something for your hair. This masque takes conditioning to the next level.
â€œNice fragrance! I like this texture for a hair conditioner (looks like whipped Vaseline). It was like a lotion for my hair.â€? -Carol; Chicago, IL
Best Styling Gel: Phyto Pro $23 (www.amazon.com) Sculpts and defines all hair types.
â€œI typically don’t like to use many products in my hair, but I absolutely adore this one. It defines and sculpts my hair.â€? -Tristan; Houston, TX
Best Styling Cream: Kiehl’s CrÃ¨me with Silk Groom $17.50 (www.kiehls.com) Moisturizes, protects and conditions. Derived of natural oils.
â€œSince trying this product, there isn’t a day that I haven’t used this product for a superb finish.â€? -Amorette; Atlanta, GA
Best Pomade/Wax: KeraCare Styling Wax Stick $17.10 (www.beautyclicks.com) Creates texture with a flexible hold.
â€œI use this product on just about all of my clients. It’s the best one that I’ve found.â€? -Stephanie, hairstylist; Atlanta, GA
Best Shine Enhancer: Garnier Fructis Style Brilliantine Shine Available at mass retailers nationwide or visit www.garnier.com for more details.
This non-greasy shine spray is infused with fruit micro-waxes which gives the hair long-lasting lustrous shine.
â€œMy hair was left with a nice natural sheen and the product also conveniently worked as an anti-frizz spray.â€? -Rachel; Chicago, IL
Best Overall Hairspray: Aveda Air Control $23 (www.aveda.com) Aveda Air Control Hair Spray offers a flexible long lasting.
â€œAttempting to wear my hair curly in Miami could have proven to be a disaster if I didn’t have this product. It gave me a light-feeling hold that enabled my hair to look bouncy without the stiffness of a hard hold hair spray. My curls lasted all day and night in the Miami humidity!â€? -Natayle; Atlanta, GA
Best Volumizer: Phytovolume Actif Volumizer Spray for Limp and Fine Hair $24 (www.beauty.com) The Phytovolume Actif Volumizer is comprised of keratin amino acids which adds body, nasturtium tones the hair shaft and beet root alcohol acts as a natural, non-drying alcohol substitute.
â€œAs I’ve gotten older, my hair began to seem flat. The Phytovolume was a life saver!! I use it with my roller sets and LOVE the finished product!â€? -Sarah; Houston, TX
Best Straightening Product: Aveda Hang Straight $17.50 (www.aveda.com) Have flyaways or in need straightening hair, look no further, this product is for you.
â€œI couldn’t live without this product! I have naturally wavy hair, but wear it straight just about everyday. It’s great on damp or dry hair and makes my locks super straight and non-frizzy.â€? -April, Atlanta, GA
Hair Styling Tools
Best High Powered Blow Dryer: T3 Tourmaline Bespoke Labs Featherweight Ionic Blow Dryer $200 (www.amazon.com) Dries hair 60% faster than most dryers in its league. Made with genuine tourmaline-infused components, lightweight body and makes hair smoother, thicker and shiner.
â€œIt had me at â€˜Hello.’ I didn’t realize how badly I needed to update my hair dryer until trying this. My hair dried in no time and looked sleek, shiny and bouncy. I don’t know how I lived without it!â€? -Natayle; Atlanta, GA
Best Mid-Level Blow-Dryer: Tourmaline Tools by Hot Tools Tourmaline Ionic Professional Dryer $84 (www.hottools.com) with the use of negative ions, this dryer improves moisture and shine while reducing frizz and drying hair.
â€œAfter my old dryer began smoking on me I knew that it was time to change dryers and possibly invest more than $10 into it. This hair dryer dries my hair fast and makes it look amazingly shiny. It is definitely worth the investment.â€? -Catherine; Atlanta, GA
Best Flat Iron: FHI Heat Platform $138 and Bio Ionic Smooth Conditioning Straightening Flat Iron $200 (www.amazon.com) Yes, it was a tie. Want to look like you were just made over by the best stylists in New York or Hollywood? These should definitely be your pick.
â€œI fell in love with the FHI flat iron after my stylist used it on me. It was UNREAL the way it made my hair look and feel.â€? â€”Kathleen; New York, NY
â€œThe Bio Ionic flat iron made my hair feel soft . . . can you believe it? It looked AND felt absolutely amazing!! I never own another flat iron again!â€? -Simone; Atlanta, GA
Best Flat Iron and Curler in One: T3 Tourmaline Domed Duality $160 (www.amazon.com) This iron not only straightens but also curls! Who knew!
Go sleek to glam in minutes! The T3 Tourmaline Duality Series irons are made to straighten or curl! The negative ionic properties promote healthy hair.
â€œI typically have tons of curling irons and flat irons in my bathroom, this has allowed me to downsize. Now, I only have this iron and it does everything five irons would.â€? -Patricia; Loganville, GA
Best Curling Iron: Hot Tools Marcel Grip Curling Iron $39-$47 (www.amazon.com and www.hottools.com)
â€œI’ve been on a quest to find a great curling iron that was fool-proof. I can look no further.â€? -Monet; Atlanta, GA
Must-Have Hair product: Adjust-A-Curl 4 pack $16/10 pack $40 (www.maxiusbeauty.com). Do you find yourself digging through several sizes of curlers to curl your hair? You can stop that with the Maxius Adjust-A-Curl! It conforms to any size that you need and when done, it lies flat so it doesn’t take up much room in your cabinets.
â€œLooking for comfortable large and small rollers used to be an undaunting task, not any more. These curlers are comfortable and easy to use!”
Wait! There’s more! I’ve only just begun to let you in on the best products that we tested for our Beauty Olympics. Check back next week for more!
11. Phyto Pro
Beauty Questions? Please contact our Beauty Editor: Second City Style Feedback.