Do we really *need* a heat protectant spray? (The short answer is no, if you’re using any other styling product—like mousse, serum or leave-in conditioner.) And what about the fifty different kinds of shampoos, conditioners and masks that are out there? With so many options in haircare, it can get very overwhelming, so we asked Wes Sharpton, resident stylist at New York salon Hairstory, for his honest take on what to skip when shopping.
3 Things a Professional Hairstylist Wouldn’t Buy
1. A Separate Shampoo And Conditioner
Good news for any product minimalists (or space-deprived) folks out there: According to Sharpton, we don’t need to keep a separate bottle of shampoo and conditioner in our showers. “Many shampoos strip the hair of moisture, so we use conditioner to try and make it feel soft again,” he explains. In other words, we’re adding a step where it doesn’t need to be. Instead, he recommends swapping in a co-wash or cleansing conditioner to cleanse and condition your strands in one go, and foregoing traditional shampoo.
2. Brushes With Metal Cores
“Brushes with metal cores tend to heat the hair up too much, which can cause unnecessary damage,” says Sharpton. Alternatively, he recommends looking for brushes with a wood or plastic core and boar bristles, which give a smoother, shinier finish.
3. Budget Blow Dryers
“In my experience, they don’t heat up enough to really smooth the hair out,” explains Sharpton. “They also have a tendency to give out faster. I’ve had a Twin Turbo 2600 dryer for years, and despite how much I’ve used it throughout that time, it still works as well as it did when I got it.”
As for all of those different styling products...
“This is where the grey area comes into play,” admits Sharpton. As he (and most stylists we’ve spoken to about this topic) explains, it’s difficult to give hard and fast rules about whether or not you need any single styling product because it comes down to your individual texture and what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, someone with coarse, curly hair who wants to wear their hair natural may use a cocktail of styling products, whereas someone with fine, straight strands would be better off using less products to avoid weighing down their hair.