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3 Things a Hairstylist Would Never Have in Their Beauty Cabinet (And What to Buy Instead)

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OK, we know it's part of our jobs to share the latest shampoos, conditioners and styling tools with you. But with all of the options that are out there, you’ve got to be selective about deciding what’s worth splurging on, right? And who better to help us than a professional hairstylist? Jennifer Nast, a hairstylist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger in NYC shares the three things you don’t need in your beauty cabinet (and what you absolutely should have instead). 

1. Shampoos With Sulfates

“I never recommend using shampoos with sulfates, as sulfates remove too much natural oil and moisture from your hair and scalp,” says Nast. “Additionally, they can also fade hair color and strip away the shine from your strands.” 

So, what does Nast recommend instead? Sulfate-free shampoos. They are gentle cleansers that remove build-up and keep strands nourished. However, it’s important to still scan through the ingredients even if products are labeled ‘sulfate-free.’ Some terms to look out for include Sodium Lauroyl Isoethionate, Sodium Lauroyl Taurate and Sodium Cocoyl Isoethionate, which are all types of sulfates. 

Shop sulfate-free shampoos: Playa Every Day Shampoo ($28); Act + Acre Cold Processed Hair Cleanse ($28); Living Proof Full Shampoo ($30); Rahua Classic Shampoo ($36); Virtue Labs Recovery Shampoo ($40) 

2. Cotton Pillowcases

Here’s a sign to retire your cotton pillowcase once and for all. ​​“Cotton pillowcases absorb your hair’s natural oils, which leaves it dry and brittle. Without this extra level of hydration and protection, split ends can happen,” says Nast. We’re supposed to be looking forward to beauty sleep, not a beehive of tangled strands in the morning. 

So, what does Nast recommend instead? Silk or satin pillowcases. This fabric reduces breakage and frizz, and also feels more lightweight and breathable than cotton pillowcases. Plus, they’ve been dermatologist-approved for sensitive skin, so what’s not to love about them? 

Shop silk accessories: Bedsure ($7); Brooklinen ($59); Lunya ($78); Blissy ($80); Slip ($89)

3. Expired Products

Yes, you heard about throwing away expired makeup and skincare products, so it only makes sense to give that same attention to your haircare collection. “Old and expired products can harbor bacteria that can damage the hair,” explains Nast. “A general rule is to throw out any opened products after 36 months.”

So, what does Nast recommend instead? Some much-needed spring cleaning and perhaps even a professional consultation. “I always suggest checking in with your hairstylist for their recommendations on what products meet your hair’s needs. This way you can avoid purchasing in excess and ending up with tons of open, barely used products sitting around,” she advises.

Looks like we'll be penciling in some (beauty) spring cleaning this weekend.