Standing in the hair product aisles of any store is a magical but super stressful situation. There are products everywhere  and all of them are making huge promises like “no frizz ever again!” or “your hair will shine like the top of the Chrysler building!” Or maybe that’s just me quoting the musical, “Annie.” Whatever.

Stress no more and avoid over-purchasing on products you don’t need! I break it down and tell you exactly which essential hair products you need to have in your hair arsenal.

1. Hairspray

hair essentials - hair spray

A good one that doesn’t make your hair into a crunchy and solid wad of hair is key! Even if you don’t use hairspray often and if you don’t typically like to have your hair teased to the heavens, hairspray is perfect for fixing flyaway hairs. Spray some on a toothbrush, use it to smooth down those baby hairs and you’re good to go! L’Oreal Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Bold Control Hairspray is heat and water resistant, plus it’s under $5!

2. Dry Shampoo

hair essentials - dry shampoo

Ideal for those days when we have second (or third) day hair and it’s starting to look a little oily or it just needs a refresher! Dry shampoo is absolutely amazing, it makes your hair look cleaner and smell awesome. Batiste Dry Shampoo is my favorite because it comes in so many different scents and it even comes in tinted shades so darker-haired ladies can avoid the white residue from dry shampoo.

3. Heat Protection Spray
hair essentials - heat protectant spray

Any heat styling tool you use on your hair should ONLY be used if you apply this stuff first. On the list of essential hair products, this is number one. Seriously, fried and damaged hair is not cute. Use me circa 2011 for example, where I used the flat iron every day (most of the time sans any heat protection) and ended up with totally fried and damaged hair. Avoid it at all costs, you’ll thank me later. The CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray is perfect for standing up to even the hottest tools!

4. Hair Oil

hair essentials- hair oil

My hair stylist says that nothing is better for damaged/dry hair than applying some kind of oil to the bottom 3/4 of damp hair. Whether you’re using heat on your hair or not, hair oil will help keep your hair healthy and shiny. The Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil has olive, avocado and almond oils and can be used on your face, skin and hair. While I cannot vouch for using a hair product on your face or skin, I will say that hair oil can transform your hair!

5. Leave-in Conditioner

hair essentials - leave in conditoner

This is great for making your hair healthier and softer! It’s also convenient because you don’t need to wash it out, so it saves you time. Miracle Leave-In Potion Plus Keratin is perfect because it’s in a convenient spray bottle and it has Keratin, one of the best ingredients for your hair!

6. Clarifying Shampoo

hair essentials - clarifying shampoo

This should be used once a week or once every two weeks in order to clear out the build up in your hair. Using all sorts of products like dry shampoo and frizz creme can build up and this shampoo helps to get rid of any build up in your hair! This is especially important for summer–it removes salt water and chlorine build up very well! OUIDAD Water Works Clarifying Shampoo is a clarifying shampoo with rave reviews!

7. Texturizing Spray

hair essentials - texturizing spray

This isn’t a total essential, but it’s perfect for getting beachy waves even when it’s not summer. Texturizing spray is a great way to add an extra va-va-voom to your hair! Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sea Salt Texturizing Spray is one of the most popular texturizing sprays on the market and the best part is that it’s under $5!


What are your essential hair products?

Paige DiFiore is a Journalism and Graphic Design student at Marist College. She owns enough makeup products to feed a small country (well, if they ate makeup) and she will literally drop everything just to pet a dog. When she isn't daydreaming about owning a pug and making it Instagram famous, she is ruthlessly playing board games and aspiring to someday be the goddess of a religion that's yet to be discovered.