Best hair products 2021- our W&H Hair Award winners are in!

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We all want amazing hair. But it can be hard to find the best hair products just for you—whether you’re curly, straight, long, short, naturally glossy or in need of a condition boost. That’s why team woman&home, along with our esteemed industry judges have done the hard work for you, to reveal our 2021 woman&home Hair Awards. 

After months of trying, testing and assessing the best hair products and tools for every hair type and styling need—from the best hair dryers to the best shampoo and conditioner for every hair type—our panel of industry professionals have whittled down the very best that the hair industry has to offer into this definitive list of recommendations. 

Every product here is has our w&h seal of approval and is guaranteed to make your hair happier, styling easier, and to be as genuinely life-enhancing as we all know know a great hair day can be. 

From  from enhancing colour to boosting volume, tackling frizzy hair and getting a shinier home blow-dry, these are the hair buys we love now and know you will too. Happy hair days!

2021 woman&home Hair Awards categories 

  • Haircare 
  • Styling
  • Colour
  • Hair health
  • Tools
  • Special recognition 

Our judging panel 

Special thanks to our panel of  judges whose hard work and expert insights made the woman&home Hair Awards 2021 possible. This year’s judging panel included:

CHARLEY WILLIAMS-HOWITT
Group Beauty Director 

SARAH COOPER-WHITE
Group Beauty Director 

SAM MCKNIGHT 
International hairstylist

KEN O’ROURKE 
A-list hairstylist 

MICHAEL DOUGLAS 
Session hairstylist

BEN COOKE 
Hairstylist and co-founder of Lockonego salon

ZOE IRWIN 
Creative Director at John Frieda Salons

LUKE HERSHESON 
CEO of Hershesons salons

CHARLOTTE MENSAH 
Hair artist and afro hair specialist

EMMA GUNAVARDHANA 
Beauty Influencer and host of the Emma Guns Show podcast

Best hair products—presenting our 2021 woman&home Hair Awards winners

Best hair products 2021—Haircare

Whatever your hair needs, this is our pick of the best hair products for the ultimate in hair cleansing and conditioning. Keep these essentials in your bath or shower for great hair days every day. 

cantu

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo

Winner: Afro haircare

Blended with softening ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil, this gentle cleanser is one of the best hair products to give curls, kinks and coils the texture factor. 

‘Afro hair is surprisingly delicate and needs a hydrating shampoo to attract moisture to the hair and keep dry, brittle strands in check. This one is a must for gentle cleansing and ensuring fragile strands stay in great condition.’ Sarah Cooper-White

Kerastase Chronologiste Masque Intense Regenerant

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Kerastase Chronologiste Masque Intense Regenerant

Winner: Anti-ageing haircare

Rewind the clock on stiff, brittle and straw-like hair with skincare-inspired ingredients that reinstate a soft and silky swish. 

“Leaves hair nourished, stronger and with a youthful shine. But the intense formula won’t weigh your hair down.”  Zoe Irwin

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo

(Image credit: Alterna)

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo

Highly commended: Anti-ageing haircare

Max out on hydration and restore elasticity with this healing hair duo. Expect a smooth, shiny, frizz-free finish. 

“This feels really luxurious and leaves hair feeling very soft and nourished.” Josh Wood

OGX Hydrate + Defrizz Kukui Oil Conditioner 385ml

(Image credit: OGX)

OGX Hydrate & Defrizz + Kukui Oil Conditioner

Winner: Frizz haircare

Enriched with Hawaiian Kukui nut oil, this frizz-fighting conditioner acts like an invisible helmet against humidity. The new pH balanced formula is much kinder on the hair and scalp, too. 

“Zaps frizz and leaves hair silky and smooth. A must for hair wash days.”

Charley Williams-Howitt

Living Proof restore repair mask

(Image credit: Living Proof)

Living Proof Restore Repair Mask

Winner: Intensive conditioner

One of the best hair products for dry, damaged hair. After just one treatment with this superhero treatment there’s a 70% reduction in broken, split ends. 

“I love the smell plus the squeezy tube is easier to use than a messy tub. Leaves hair feeling soft, looking shiny and in great condition.” Sarah Cooper-White

Schwarzkopf Professional Fibre Clinix Fortify Treatment

(Image credit: Schwarzkopf)

Schwarzkopf Professional Fibre Clinix Fortify Treatment

Highly commended: Intensive conditioner

For over-processed, over-styled, over-it hair, this magic mask rebuilds the hair structure from within for stronger, healthier hair. 

“A noticeable difference from the first use. It does not leave any residue on the hair. Hair felt stronger after a few uses.” Luke Hersheson

TRESemmé Moisture Rich Shampoo & Conditioner

(Image credit: TRESemmé )

TRESemmé Moisture Rich Shampoo & Conditioner

Winner: Daily high street haircare

No frills bottle, all the thrills results. It hones in on damage with laser-like focus, locking moisture in to the areas that need it most. 

“Leaves hair soft and silky and I like the very large bottles that last a long time. Eco wise it’s good.”  Charley Williams-Howitt

Wild Science Lab Leaf + Seed Root Reboot Damage Rescue Shampoo & Root To Tip Damage Recovery Conditioner

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Wild Science Lab Leaf + Seed Root Reboot Damage Rescue Shampoo & Root To Tip Damage Recovery Conditioner

Winner: Daily haircare (high end)

Specifications

RRP: £20 (shampoo) £23 (conditioner)

Give weak, low-energy hair a proverbial shot in the arm with this energising, restorative combo, enriched with organic hemp seed oil and aloe vera to enhance shine and softness. 

“I loved these products. The herbal scent is unusual and they leave hair looking and feeling soft, lightweight and shiny. I used every last drop, which is unusual for me as I’m always moving on to the next thing!” Sarah Cooper-White

John Frieda Blue Crush for Brunettes Blue Shampoo & Conditioner

(Image credit: John Frieda )

John Frieda Blue Crush for Brunettes Blue Shampoo & Conditioner

Winner: Colourcare for brunettes

Crushed blue pigments knock out and neutralise the orange, brassy tones that creep into brunette hair. Expect shiny, salon-fresh coolness. 

“Perfect for perking up dull, drab looking brunette strands without reaching for a bottle of hair dye.” Sarah Cooper-White

pureology

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Pureology Hydrate Colour Care Shampoo & Conditioner

Winner: Best haircare for coloured hair

Specifications

RRP: $59/£34.15 for both

Thick, coarse, coloured hair? Meet your hair’s saviours. This caring pair softens and silkifies the rough, dry feeling of dyed hair. 

“LOVE these products. The shine on my hair was incredible and the smell was great. Great for keeping coloured hair looking fresh and vibrant.” Sarah Cooper-White

Best hair products 2021—Styling

For salon-worthy styles look no further than these the best hair products for styling. These everyday heroes will help you zap frizz, boost volume or smooth wild strands. 

Hairstory Hair Balm

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Hairstory Hair Balm

Winner: Curl definer

The perfect daily moisturiser for curls and coils. Creamy, not too heavy, calms frizz without going all crunchy. 

“Great on curly and even very dry over processed hair. Its rich formula really nourishes dry ends,” Ben Cooke

Living Proof Curl Definer

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Living Proof Curl Definer

Highly commended: Curl definer

‘I loved this. It smells great, not too overpowering and it doesn’t leave a residue on your hands. Definitely one of the best hair products if you have curly or wavy hair. Ken O’Rourke

Lee Stafford Scalp Love Skin-Kind Dry Shampoo

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Lee Stafford Scalp Love Skin-Kind Dry Shampoo

Winner: Dry Shampoo (high street)

A great value alternative to moisture-sapping dry shampoos, with hydrating ingredients and gentle oil absorption.

“This clever product ticks all the dry shampoo boxes –  absorbs excess oiliness and creates volume but it’s also formulated with hyaluronic acid meaning sensitive scalps are calmed and there is no residue left on the skin.” Charley Williams-Howitt

Alterna My Hair My Canvas Another Day Dry Shampoo

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Alterna My Hair My Canvas Another Day Dry Shampoo

Winner: Dry Shampoo (high end)

As fancy as it’s possible for dry shampoo to be – featherlight in texture with a summery floral scent.

“This is a great dry shampoo. Great strong aerosol, not too powdery and a gorgeous smell.”

Ken O’ Rourke

aussie

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Aussie SOS Heat Saviour Conditioning Spray

Winner: Heat Protect

Light, unsticky protection for hair in a handy lightweight spray – smells delicious too. 

‘I wash and blow-dry my hair most days and this keeps my strands protected and looking healthy and shiny.’ Charley Williams-Howitt

Beauty Works 10-in-1 Miracle Spray

(Image credit: Beautyworks)

Beauty Works 10-in-1 Miracle Spray

Highly commended: Heat protect

‘Love the 10-in-one benefits. This left my hair looking and feeling healthy and soft after using heated tools. Sarah Cooper-White

Redken Oil For All Invisible Multi-Benefit Oil

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Redken Oil For All Invisible Multi-Benefit Oil

Winner: Smoothing

Delivers on its promises – light enough for fine hair yet nourishing enough for thick, curly types. Clever and versatile. 

“Left my hair looking sleek and shiny after blow drying without any annoying flyaways.” Sarah Cooper-White

Authentic Beauty Concept Nude Powder Spray

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Authentic Beauty Concept Nude Powder Spray

Winner: Volumising

A silicone-free formula that strikes the perfect balance of boosting texture without being gritty or claggy. 

“I’d recommend this for adding bulk on the parting and as one of the best hair products for shorter hair, to add a little grip at their hairline.” Emma Gunavardhana

White Hot Hair Shooshing Creme

(Image credit: White Hot )

White Hot Shooshing Crème

Highly commended: Volumising

“I get loads of questions about grey hair styling, so it’s fab that there’s specific products to help. Gives great texture, shine and can be reworked throughout the day. Really nice smell too.” Michael Douglas

Best hair products 2021—Colour

Whether you colour your hair at home or need something between salon appointments, these must-haves are the best hair products for beautiful colour.

Wella Professionals Color Fresh Mask

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Wella Professionals Color Fresh Mask

Winner: Instant colour

A 10-minute colour fix for hair in need of a refresh, use in place of your regular conditioner for a healthy, vibrant finish. 

“A brilliant way to give hair a temporary update. Lots of fun shades or choose something closer to your natural colour for a toning effect.” Sarah Cooper-White

Schwarzkopf Oleo Intense Permanent Oil Colour

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Schwarzkopf Oleo Intense Permanent Oil Colour

Winner: Permanent colour

Infused with nourishing oils, this multi-tasking formula works to hydrate and colour hair all at once. It boasts 100% grey coverage too. 

“I can’t remember the last time I coloured my hair at home, but needs must and this covered greys and got rid of tell-tale roots. It was easy to use too.” Charley Williams-Howitt

Clairol Nice’n Easy Root Touch Up

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Clairol Nice’n Easy Root Touch Up

Winner: Root Touch Up (permanent)

A stopgap solution for stubborn greys in between salon appointments, this fuss-free root touch up works in just 10 minutes. Results last for up to 3 weeks.

“Inexpensive and usually on offer, this is easy to use and creates very little mess. The final result is glossy and seamless.” Emma Gunavardhana

L’Oréal Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer Spray

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

L’Oréal Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer Spray

Winner: Root Touch Up (temporary)

Diffuses a veil of colour over salt and pepper strands for a natural finish. It’s refreshingly low maintenance too, and will stay put until your next shampoo. 

“This is a lifesaver when you can’t get to the salon or haven’t had time to colour your roots.”

Sarah Cooper-White

Best hair products 2021—Hair health

Worried about hair loss or density? Add some of these SOS products to your shopping list. These are the best hair products for thicker looking, healthier hair.

Toppik Hair Building Fibres

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Toppik Hair Building Fibres

Winner: Hair Loss (instant)

Perfect for creating the illusion of thicker, fuller hair, these naturally derived fibres seamlessly mask thinning hair.

“It’s easy to use, delivers the desired result and doesn’t have a huge amount of transfer despite the fact the pigments are loose and sprayed.” Emma Gunavardhana

The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

Winner: Treatment

A must-have remedy for slow and sparse hair growth. Its powerful peptide complex and potent natural extracts transform your locks.

“Baby hairs started growing within the first month. Leaves your hair fuller and thicker within weeks. Easy to use.”  Luke Hersheson

Hairstory Scalp Brush

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Hairstory Scalp Brush

Winner: Scalp care tool

Remove product build-up, massage your scalp and stimulate hair growth in one – it’s fantastic for deep cleansing dirty roots. 

“If someone liked scalp massages then I’d say this is a nice way of slotting a DIY one into their day. It’s small, easy to use, easy to store and recyclable.” Emma Gunavardhana

Innersense True Enlightenment Scalp Scrub

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Innersense True Enlightenment Scalp Scrub

Winner: Scalp care product

A luxurious pre-cleanse treatment that works hard to remove impurities and soothe an irritated scalp. A hair care hero in our books. 

“Deep exfoliation, a real refresh for the scalp. Love the fragrance.”

Josh Wood

Nioxin Recharging Complex

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Nioxin Recharging Complex

Winner: Supplements

“The most effective hair growth supplements you can buy. They’re your essential nutrients to ensure healthy, beautiful hair.” Zoe Irwin

Best hair products 2021—Tools

For a salon-worthy style make sure your tools are the creme de la creme. This is our our pick of the best hair products and tools, from detangling brushes to ultra luxury straighteners and everything in between. 

Manta Mirror

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Manta Mirror

Winner: Brush

One of the gentlest, most flexible detangling brushes we’ve tried, now with a very useful mini-mirror on the grip.

“Easy to use as it fits in the palm and does the job of detangling very well.” Sam McKnight

Tangle teezer wet detangler

(Image credit: Tangle Teezer)

Tangle Teezer The Wet Detangler

Highly commended: Brush

“Makes light work of tangles, relatively pain free and easily cleaned so very hygienic,” Sam McKnight

Revamp Progloss Deepform Ceramic Straightening Brush

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Revamp Progloss Deepform Ceramic Straightening Brush

Winner: Styling Brush

Styles, detangles and de-frizzes in one swipe. Great smoothing without leaving hair rigidly poker straight. 

“I’d recommend it for home use, definitely. Easy to use and a very nice design.” Ken O’Rourke.

BaByliss 9000 Cordless Waving Wand

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

BaByliss 9000 Cordless Waving Wand

Winner: Curler

Finally, a wire-free curling and waving wand that performs as well as it’s plugged-in predecessors. Extra points for reassuring safety features. 

“I would certainly recommend this, it’s now a permanent part of my kit.” Ken O’Rourke.

GHD Helios

(Image credit: GHD)

GHD Helios Professional Hair Dryer

Winner: Hairdryer

The fastest, kindest and – let’s be honest – sexiest dryer we’ve seen from GHD. A true all-rounder that justifies every penny of it’s price. 

“The GHD Helios dries super fast and leaves hair shiny. Good cool setting and aesthetically pleasing too.”

Sam McKnight

Slip Pure Silk Turban

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Slip Pure Silk Turban

Winner: Innovation

Luxurious overnight protection for curls, coils, braids and more. Made from 100% silk in chic designs including our favourite, leopard print. 

“Highly recommended for hair health – hair felt lovely and silky.” Charlotte Mensa

Dyson Corrale

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Dyson Corrale

Winner: Straighteners

Cordless, stylish, damage-reducing and as adept at waving as it is straightening. Unless you’re on a tight budget there’s nothing not to love about this luxury styler.  

“I love the flexible plates and the cordless ability and of course its of very high quality build”. Michael Douglas.

Best hair products 2021—Special recognition

In our special final category we want to shout about the best hair products and brands that are doing great things. These deserving winners are well worth having on your radar.

Josh Wood The Miracle System

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Josh Wood The Miracle System

Winner: Best at home

Incomparable to standard box dyes, this incredibly nourishing home hair colour system creates a professional, salon-worthy experience.  

“Super easy to use. The smell is good and the miracle shot a great addition for healthy hair. Colour results are always great and there’s good online support for choosing the right shade.”

Michael Douglas

Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Shampoo

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Shampoo

Winner: Best for teens and tweens

“Ok, not specifically for kids, but my tween daughter loves using these products on her hair. She actively enjoys washing her hair – a feat in itself. The packaging is ideal for girls and the pleasant smell isn’t too sickly. Great at helping detangle long hair that doesn’t get brushed enough! Great value too.” Sarah Cooper-White

Monat junior range

(Image credit: Monat )

Monat Junior range

Winner: Best for babies and toddlers

Gentle but effective on little ones’ hair, the tear-free range makes bath time an enjoyable experience all round.  

“This works a treat on kid’s hair that’s prone to tangling.” Charley Williams-Howitt

Garnier Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bars

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

Garnier Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bar

Winner: Sustainable product

Say hello to plastic-free hair care that doesn’t compromise on efficacy. Hair is cleansed, hydrated and shiny without excessive, polluting packaging. 

“These are incredible. Lather up so well, but don’t leave hair feeling dry and squeaky. Just nourished and shiny. They smell great too. Bravo Garnier for doing their best to be completely sustainable and certified cruelty-free too.” Sarah Cooper-White

L’Occitane en Provence

(Image credit: Pixeleyes)

L’Occitane en Provence

Winner: Best sustainable brand

A brand that’s shown wholehearted commitment to sustainability and environmentally-friendly initiatives. We salute you and your green thinking L’Occitane.

‘Using L’Occitane is always a treat on hair wash days, but the fact that the products are now more sustainable and environmentally friendly makes it even better.’ Charley Williams-Howitt

Save our salons

Apart from friends and family, who did you miss most during lockdown? We guess it may be your hairdresser. And we are so thankful to how speedily salons rallied round to help us in our times of need, with emergency care packages, online tutorials and by making their spaces safe for us when we do return. 

So with salons so cherished to us, it’s startling to know that since our first lockdown ‘56% of salon owners are now having to consider closing their business,’ says Luke Hersheson. ‘79% of salons owners say they are unlikely to take on any apprentices due to COVID-19 and 71% of salon owners said they had no support from their landlords by way of rent reduction, which is enormous.’ 

So, how can we support our salons? 

Show your love for your hairdresser by sharing images on social media tagging your salon in the posts. This will help hair salons to get new clients through their doors as soon as they can reopen. 

You can also write a letter to your local MP expressing your support for salons and asking for a reduction in VAT. The #ChopTheVAT campaign is asking the UK Government to cut the VAT for hair salons from 20 percent down to 5 percent, as they have done for the hospitality industry. 

“Salons are doing their bit to keep clients safe and it feels time for the Government to do its bit and keep the industry afloat,” says Josh Wood.



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