A Beauty Editor Shares Her Go-To Products for Healthier Hair and More Manageable Locks

Make this the year of good hair days.

By Langa Chinyoka

Good hair isn’t just about genetics. Sure, some people are blessed with resilient, glossy, and manageable locks while others of us have to put in a little more effort. But you can fake it until you make it—all it takes is some strategic use of the best hair styling products on the market.

There are an infinite number of hairstyles you can try. Beachy waves, slicked-back 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 fretting over hairstyles that don’t make it past lunch. We’re all looking for that perfect hair styling product that is both effective and effortless. Luckily, finding it might be easier than you think.

Featured image of Iskra Lawrence by Michelle Nash.

woman with long hair sitting on couch best hair styling products
Image of Cyndi Ramirez by Belathée Photography

Tips for Healthier, Hydrated 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 to hair care and skin care alike: 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 coveted effortless look in no time—whatever your style of choice. 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 for your hair type. Pomade, hair wax, mousse, styling cream, and hair masks galore. But choosing the right one is the question.

The holy grails of hair care include anything that feeds your hair as it styles it. Nothing ruins a look more than breakage and product buildup. The best products focus on hydration and nourishment while supporting your hair 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 heavy-duty, hydrating products to prevent dryness while maintaining a firm hold.

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Image of Lauren Ireland by Emma Bassill

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 brittle. Sometimes, it’s tempting to go for anything that works and deal with the damage that comes. But trust me: there are unicorn products that hold your hair in place without doing harm in the process.

First, focus on quenching your thirsty strands. Thick, curly hair is prone 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 on your hair. Look for smooth, lightweight textures to avoid the dreaded crunch, and don’t leave behind buildup.

The Best Hair Styling Products for Fine Hair

If your hair is hard to style, you might be at a loss with hair products. A lot of products can weigh your hair down, especially if your hair won’t hold a curl without a lot of help.

Opt for mousses and texture sprays to give your hair volume. And while hair oils might be great for your overall hair health, use them lightly when you’re seeking styling success. Hair stylists recommend foams, powdered hair-building fibers, and root-lifting sprays that create the illusion of thicker hair.

babba rivera ceremonia founder
Image of Babba Rivera by Belathée Photography

The Healthiest Hair Ingredients and Products

When it comes to products that keep our hair its healthiest, it’s important to look for those that nourish and repair your hair structure, making it easier to style it in the long run. Think lightweight natural oils that 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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Image of Sanetra Nere Longno by Michelle Nash

Chemicals and Ingredients to Steer Clear Of

Increasingly, more and more of us are choosing clean shampoos and conditioners to avoid stripping our strands in the shower. We’re also more aware of the dangers of excessive heat styling. Hello, heat protectant and Dyson Airwrap dupes.

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

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Parabens (Propyl, Methyl, and Butyl)
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Formaldehyde
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)
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Image of Catherine McCord by Teal Thomsen

The Best Hair Styling Products for All Hair Types

Every product is curated with care by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Ceremonia Açai Style Refresher

u003cpu003eRejuvenate hair between washes with this resculpting mist, infused with Ceremonia’s signature scent. Superfruit Açai’s powerful antioxidants reshape strands and extend the life of your style.u003c/pu003e

Act + Acre Dry Shampoo

u003cpu003eSorry to say it, but your aerosol dry shampoo might be full of carcinogens. This rice and tapioca-based powder is a clean alternative to make your style last longer between washes.u003c/pu003e

Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil

u003cpu003eEverything from Olaplex is worth the hype. If you’re rocking a slicked-back look, try this styling serum oil to tame frizz, enhance shine, and nourish your strands from scalp to tip.u003c/pu003e

KeraCare Styling Wax Stick

u003cpu003eTame flyaways with the incredible hold of this styling wax stick. The castor oil-rich formula is magic for hair strengthening and growth. Brush over your edges to touch up any style in a flash. u003c/pu003e

Briogeo 3-in-1 Leave-In Spray

u003cpu003eA superfood blend that’s literally a green smoothie for your hair. Not your average leave-in spray, it detangles, conditions, and protects hair from environmental damage. Use it on damp hair to lock in protection and moisture before your products.u003c/pu003e

The Best Hair Styling Products for Straight or Fine Hair

Colour Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray

u003cpu003eThis beloved keratin-like spray is a must-have for fine hair. Smooth and volumize for silky, frizz-free results with humidity-blocking technology that lasts through multiple shampoos.u003c/pu003e

Sachajuan Fibre Paste

u003cpu003eYour new favorite nourishing hair paste provides texture and a robust, flexible hold while retaining moisture. Use on wet or dry hair for a durable, non-greasy finish.u003c/pu003e

Innersense Organic Beauty I Create Lift Volumizing Foam

u003cpu003eApply this mousse-like styling foam to wet or dry hair to smooth and add volume It also helps refresh your roots between washes.u003c/pu003e

The Best Hair Styling Products for Natural or Curly Hair

Bread Beauty Supply Hair Cream

u003cpu003eWith its soft-serve texture and hydrating results, this curl cream is a go-to styling product that treats your hair while you wear it. It enhances curls without any stiffness. No crunch, just curls.u003c/pu003e

Camille Rose Aloe Whipped Butter Gel

u003cpu003eA silky soft butter made of rich aloe vera gel crafted to provide moisture and lightweight styling hold. Not flaky, not sticky, just right.u003c/pu003e

Pattern Beauty Strong Hold Hair Gel

u003cpu003eFor a strong but flexible hold, this gel lasts long without damaging or drying your hair in the process. Mix with your favorite leave-in conditioner for a curl-holding wash-and-go look.u003c/pu003e

Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste

u003cpu003eSlick and sculpt the most stubborn edges. This smooth-textured paste doesn’t flake or make your curls greasy. Its rich but lightweight ingredients include castor oil, shea butter, mango seed butter, jojoba oil, and vitamin E oil.u003c/pu003e