A beauty editor shares her go-to products for healthier hair and more manageable locks

Good hair isn’t just about genetics. Of course, some people are blessed with resilience, blankand manageable locks while the rest of us have to pitch in a little more effort. But you can fake it till you make it – all it takes is some strategic use of the best hair styling products on the market.

There are an endless number of hairstyles you can try. Beachy waves, back worn buns, and even spontaneously cut bangs à la Emily in Paris all have their place. But agonizing for hours in front of the mirror is not on my 2023 bucket list. Neither is worrying about hairstyles that don’t make it past lunch. We are all looking for the perfect hair styling product that is both effective and effortless. Fortunately, finding it may be easier than you think.

Selected image of Iskra Lawrence by Michelle Nash.

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Tips for healthier, moisturized hair in 2023

Wherever your hair journey takes you, there’s one lesson to learn sooner rather than later: Play the long game. The secret to good hair is healthy hair. The best hair styling products work hard for your hair in the short and long term. By choosing products that restore your natural texture, heal damage and prevent split ends, you’ll find yourself spending less time on your hair for better results.

The second lesson is the cornerstone of both hair care and skin care: choose products tailored to your needs, not what looks good on the Sephora shelf.

With a nourishing, curated hair care routine in your arsenal, your hair will have that effortless look you’re after in no time – no matter what style you choose. Read on to discover the best hair styling products for thick, fine, curly and straight hair. Oh, and everything in between.

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The best hair styling products

When it comes to the best hair styling products, the answer is simple: whatever works best your hair type. Pomade, hair wax, mousse, styling cream and hair masks galore. But choosing the right one is the question.

The holy grail of hair care includes anything that nourishes your hair while styling it. Nothing ruins a look more than breakage and product build-up. The best products focus on hydration and nutrition while supporting your hair’s texture.

For your best hair ever, choose products based on your hair needs and texture. If you have thinner hair, focus on lightweight products that add volume and prevent breakage. If you have thick or curly hair, you need more powerful, moisturizing products to prevent dryness while maintaining hold.

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The best hair styling products for natural hair

If you have thick curly 3A-4C hair, finding a styling product that actually works is hard enough. Let alone one that doesn’t make your hair crazy. Sometimes it’s tempting to go for whatever works and deal with the damage that comes. But trust me: There are unicorn products that keep your hair in place without doing any damage in the process.

First, focus on quenching your thirsty strands. Thick, curly hair is exposed to dryness. Try curl creams and leave-in sprays that lock in moisture to make your hair easier to style. Then find products that don’t flake and dry your hair. Look for smooth, light textures to avoid the dreaded crunch and leave no build-up.

The best hair styling products for fine hair

If your hair is difficult to style, you may have doubts about hair products. A lot of products can weigh your hair down, especially if your hair doesn’t hold curls without a lot of help.

Choose mousse and texturizing spray to give your hair volume. And while hair oils can be good for your overall hair health, use them lightly when seeking styling success. Hairstylists recommend foams, powdered hair-building fibers and root-lifting sprays that create the illusion of thicker hair.

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The healthiest hair ingredients and products

When it comes to products that keep our hair at its healthiest, it’s important to look for those that nourish and repair your hair’s structure, making it easier to style in the long run. Think lightweight natural oils which are full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential oils to help your hair grow and repair itself.

Some ingredients to look for include:

  • Castor oil
  • Argan oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Shea butter
  • Olive oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Hyaluronic acid
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Chemicals and ingredients to avoid

Increasingly, more and more of us are opting for clean shampoos and conditioners to avoid stripping our strands in the shower. We are also more aware of the dangers of excessive heat styling. Hello, Heat Shield and Dyson Airwrap dupes.

But you should take the same care with your hair styling products. Stay away from chemicals such as:

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Parabens (propyl, methyl and butyl)
  • Propylene glycol
  • Formaldehyde
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Triethanolamine (TE)
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The best hair styling products for all hair types

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The best hair styling products for straight or fine hair

The best hair styling products for natural or curly hair

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