beauty awards

The 14 Best Hair Care Products of 2021, According to Health Editors

We test more than a hundred new beauty products each month—and these take the cake. Here are our top picks for all your hair needs.
By Lisa DeSantis
April 13, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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  • Blow-Dryer
    T3 Fit Dryer

    This small (less than a pound!) but mighty machine is giving dryers twice the size a run for their money. Its IonAir technology dries hair just as quickly as larger models, and more quietly, too. The crowning glory: its ergonomic design, which makes drying hard-to-reach spots a breeze.

    $150
    SHOP IT
    sephora.com
  • Curl Styler
    SheaMoisture Papaya & Neroli All Day Frizz Control Styling Gel

    According to Bridgette Hill, a certified trichologist in NYC and Health Advisory Board member: “Every coily-haired client should have this product in their arsenal. Glycerin maintains the moisture on this type and texture. And it allows lipids to penetrate, too, versus sitting on top of hair.”

    $16
    SHOP IT
    Amazon
  • Air-Dry Styler
    TRESemmé Effortless Styling Air Dry Cream

    “This closes the hair cuticle to smooth flyaways. I love to use it to enhance natural waves,” explains Mark Townsend, a celebrity hairstylist in L.A. and Health Advisory Board member. (Psst: This is his secret to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s no-blowout waves!)

    $5
    SHOP IT
    ulta.com
  • Hydrating Scalp Mask
    Neutrogena Healthy Scalp Hydro Boost Deep Treatment Hair Mask

    The skin on your scalp is the same as the skin on your face, so give it the same love! The brand’s Hydro Boost facial moisturizer is a cult fave—this is the scalp version. Hyaluronic acid quenches dryness, reducing itching and irritation.

    $8
    SHOP IT
    walmart.com
  • Curly-Hair Mask
    Pattern Treatment Mask

    “Amino acids—in conjunction with moringa seed extract— fill out hair strands to smooth and stretch coils without ruining the curl pattern,” explains Hill. Apply to wet hair, and put a shower cap on top—it traps the heat from your head, which helps the mask penetrate better. Rinse after 15 minutes for springy, strong spirals.

    $25
    SHOP IT
    ulta.com

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  • Curl Tool
    Conair Curl Collective Combs

    Curl patterns are unique, so using one cookie-cutter comb to care for them doesn’t make sense. These clever combs (with spaced-out prongs) were designed for curl types 2, 3, and 4 to allow for easier detangling without breakage. They ensure coils stay intact and bouncy, says Hill.

    $5
    SHOP IT
    ulta.com
  • Dry Shampoo
    Crown Affair The Dry Shampoo

    This chic jar and kabuki brush combo is here to replace your not-so-eco-friendly aerosol cans. Its standout ingredient—Japanese persimmon powder—absorbs oil and leaves hair smelling fresh. Our tester loved targeting shampoo right where she needed it without inhaling a cloud of product.

    $38
    SHOP IT
    crownaffair.com
  • Smoothing Treatment
    Joico Defy Damage Sleepover Overnight Nourishing Treatment

    Imagine if you could achieve your dream hair without lifting an arm? This overnight miracle worker has a liposome delivery system that continually releases bond-building lipids so you wake up to healthier hair—no rinsing required.

    $25
    SHOP IT
    ulta.com
  • Thinning Treatment
    RevitaLash Volume Enhancing Foam

    “The trusted brand is amazing for brows and lashes,” says Justine Marjan, an NYC and L.A. celebrity hairstylist and Health Advisory Board member, and it promises similar results for hair. The weightless foam is composed of lipids, peptides, biotin, and panthenol to strengthen and prevent breakage.

    $150
    SHOP IT
    dermstore.com

This article originally appeared in the  May 2021 issue of Health Magazine. Click here to subscribe today!

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