It’s no secret that great products can make or break a hairstyle. But did you know that using the perfect hairbrush can do more than half the work? The right brush can give you mega volume, eliminate frizz, or turn your locks into one silky, straight creation. We spoke to Nexxus Creative Director Kevin Mancuso, who gave us the 411 on hairbrushes, to make sure we never use the wrong brush again.
1. To Neaten Curly Or Kinky Hair
When it comes to tight curls, the trick to smoothing out your locks is to loosen things up. “If you have tight curls or curls with a lot of kink, the wider you’ll want the spaces between bristles,” Kevin said.
He recommends Denman Classic Styling Brushes ($10.75, Soap.com) with six to nine rows of bristles. “These brushes feature white, nylon pin-like bristles,” Kevin said. “It is great for most hair textures, except fine or thin textures or hair that has low density.”
2. To Get Sleek, Straight Hair
My heart goes out to the big-haired girl who wants a sleek, straight look. It can be near impossible to get a frizz-free blowout. “The best way to control a curl when manipulating it with a brush or your fingers is to first care for your hair with the right shampoo and conditioner, followed by styling products that form hair into brush-able curls,” Kevin said.
“For almost any hair type or length, the Denman Paddle Brush ($11.95, Folica.com) is great to help detangle hair and very easy to use” for a fast blow out—it creates a “smooth, sleek look,” Kevin said. “This brush is great for most hair types and textures, fine or thin hair textures, or hair that has low density.”
3. To Detangle (Wet) Hair
It’s not uncommon to step out of the shower with knotty, messy hair, and unless you’re Heidi Klum, brushing it out with your fingers is not an option. “Brushes that have wider spaced bristles are best to help detangle hair, however in some instances, a comb works best for detangling. Brushes that have natural bristles, flexible nylon bristles, padded/cushioned brushes and bristles are gentler on wet hair.”
One of his favorites? Mason Pearson Nylon & Boar Bristle Brushes ($115, Sleekhair.com), which are “medium cushion brushes with natural bristles and single nylon quills that provide good grip and control for smoothing hair.”
4. To Get More Voluminous Hair
Tired of the Jennifer Aniston look, and longing for body? There’s a brush for that. While big, round brushes are great for smoothing fly-aways, little, round brushes are the trick to adding more texture.
“In general, round brushes are best for adding shape and volume; the smaller the diameter of the brush, the more bend and wave you’ll add to the curl,” Kevin said. He really likes YS Park Brush ($44, Precisionshears.com) from Japan, because it has natural boar and nylon bristles that give a glossy look, without losing volume in your hair.
Knowing what brush to use is great, but there’s one question that still remains: How much do you need to spend on a brush?
Hairbrushes well over $100 (outrageous even for a beauty writer!) have crossed our desks, and while we were shocked at the price, we soon learned that you get what you pay for.
“I find that a quality brush is worth the investment—there is a noticeable difference in the way quality brushes are balanced,” Kevin said. “It’s easy to find a less expensive brush that ‘does the job,’ but most of those brushes use bristles that are either too flexible, bristles that are not flexible enough or lose their bristles.”
Is there a brush you’d swear by?
Summer is our favorite time of the year filled with outdoor cocktail parties, relaxing days at the beach and backyard BBQs. We want our hair to look its best during this season, but that can be a challenge. Between the sun, humidity and dips in the pool, how is our hair supposed to hold up? No worries…we have you covered! Here are the hottest trends for tresses and the perfect products to help you nix bad hair days and get your locks into tip top shape.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, $24
This salt spray creates tousled, messy waves that are low maintenance and so boho chic. The summer is the perfect time to try this sexy look. Spray and scrunch into damp hair and let air dry. Exactly what we want for the summer…simple and easy. And, it feels great to skip the blow dryer all together!
Fun Colored Hair
Sultra Hair Mascara, $24
Looking to change up your look this summer? This Hair Mascara is a great way to add a pop of color to any outfit. It comes in four different electrifying colors like ‘Ultra Pink’ and ‘Royal Velvet’ and it is safe for any hair type and color. Simply run the mascara-like wand through the desired strands of hair and after a few minutes you’ll have colored tresses that last up to two days and washes out after one shampoo.
Fish Tail Braid
A fishtail braid worn to the side is the perfect hair style to bring you from days at the office to nights on the town. It’s easy to do and is super stylish. Accent with a funky hair tie or bow and you are good to go. Watch our how-to video to get this hot look!
The top knot is our favorite go-to hairstyle for the summer. It looks classic chic and is the ultimate no-fuss style. Whether you like a tight and perfect prima-ballerina knot or you prefer a messier rocker one, there is a look that will suit your own personal style. Tip: asos.com sells a hair donut which can be placed in the hair to achieve the perfect round “donut shape.” It comes in both small and large sizes. Or, if you are DIY-er, you can create your own hair donut. Simply take an old tube sock and cut off the toe, creating a cylinder shape. Roll the top of the sock down until you reach the end, leaving you with a perfectly round donut.
Nexxus Frizz Defy Oil Shine Treatment, $14.99
Nexxus makes an amazing oil shine spray that works miracles when fighting the frizzies (smells great too). Infused with Moroccan Oil, this spray gets your hair looking smooth and shiny without leaving any residue. It’s the perfect summer go-to product.
Living Proof Restore Revitalizing Spray with Heat & UV Defense, $26
Use this Revitalizing Spray to help mend your damaged locks. It defends against UV damage and it’s safe for color treated hair. Spray this on before you host your next backyard BBQ and you’ll have protection all day. Love that it’s light weight and it polishes even the driest of hair.
We love trying all the latest beauty products out there and sharing our finds with you. There are tons of new products for smooth hair, soft skin or long lashes. Which should you try? Read on for our faves.
Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, $42
When Rachel Zoe claims to be a fan, you know its got to be “MAJOR!” This tinted moisturizer is perfect for summer as it provides light, skin illuminating coverage as well as sun protection. And coming from one of our favorite makeup brands, it’s no surprise the shades are gorgeous.
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation, $42
Illamasqua is known for their highly-pigmeneted, dramatic makeup, but this foundation is natural and beautiful. It goes on so smooth and has staying power. Plus you can layer and blend for the right amount of coverage for you. It isn’t cakey at all and has a mild fragrance.
Simply Vera Vera Wang Cosmetics Transforming Shadow Duo, $19.50
Vera Wang’s line for Kohl’s has now expanded into cosmetics. The formulas and packaging are so luxe you won’t believe they aren’t from a high end department store. The eye shadow duos are the perfect size to keep in your purse and come in an array of shimmer-y and matte shades that go on smooth and don’t crease.
Kiehl’s Activated Sun Protector Sunscreen for Body SPF 50, $23
Kiehl’s new sunscreen not only protects you from the sun but is also full of antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients such as goji berry, vitamin e and wheat. It’s perfect for sensitive skin, too!
Maybelline Volum’ Express The MegaPlush Mascara, $7.99
This new mascara’s gel mousse formula doesn’t flake and creates super long lashes that almost look fake. The unique flexor brush ensures lots of product gets on your lashes without clumping. Plus, you can’t go wrong with this drugstore price!
Nexxus Pro-Mend Split End Treatment Daily Shampoo, $9.50 and Split End Binding Daily Conditioner, $17
If you’re prone to split ends between cuts you’ve got to try Nexxus’ new shampoo and conditioner. Their pro-mend line is formulated to treat dry, damaged hair and bind split ends. The scent is addictive and keeps your hair smelling fresh between washes.
Eclos Anti-Aging Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream, $24.99
We recently discovered Eclos’ line of plant stem cell products that is amazingly moisturizing with great anti-aging properties. The moisturizer smells fantastic and isn’t greasy…it will leave your skin feeling super soft!
Shop the Full Story: Our Favorite Summer Hair Care Products
It’s no secret that getting your hair to look great in the summer can be a big challenge. Sun, sand, salt, chlorine, and humidity take a toll on our hair, and that can lead to a less-than-desirable look. In order to get those gorgeous summer locks, we put these (and so many more) products to the test and did the lathering, rinsing, and repeating for you. We might even have the cleanest hair in New York City! Read on for our favorite picks for summer hair care, including the old stand-bys as well as the hottest new products available. Tip: It is important to switch off between at least two shampoos, conditioners, and styling products to get the best results.
Pantene Pro-V Medium-Thick Hair Solutions Shampoo
Pantene is known for being a great and affordable hair care brand. We love the classic clean scent, which is undeniably Pantene. This shampoo leaves you with silky soft and smooth hair.
Buy Now, Pantene Pro-V Medium-Thick Hair Solutions Shampoo, $4.07
Nexxus Aloe Rid Gentle Clarifying Shampoo
Spent too much time in the pool? Light-haired girls especially tend to suffer from the dreaded chlorine green. Nothing works like Nexxus aloe rid to get out the green and restore your hair to its natural shine. This product has been around forever but does the job best!
Buy Now, Nexxus Aloe Rid Gentle Clarifying Shampoo, $12.99
Organic Surge Moisture Boost Shampoo for Dry or Frizzy Hair
It’s always nice to go organic and use all-natural products, especially during the summer. For those ladies who prefer to be eco-friendly AND look naturally gorgeous, this lightly scented product really gets your hair feeling clean. It has an incredible beachy almond scent we love!
Buy Now, Organic Surge Moisture Boost Shampoo for Dry or Frizzy Hair, $5.99
Serge Normant Meta Velour Conditioner
This is from Serge Normant’s new hair care collection. Hair feels well-conditioned without any residue. A great new product to add to your regimen.
Buy Now, Serge Normant Meta Velour Conditioner, $24
Herbal Essences Touchably Smooth Conditioner
Herbal Essences products always smell amazing, but this one blew us away with its fun floral scent. It creates the softest, lightest-feeling hair. You won’t believe this product came from a drugstore!
Buy Now, Herbal Essences Touchably Smooth Conditioner, $7.49
Terax Hair Care Crema Ultra Moisturizing Daily Conditioner
A tried-and-true celebrity favorite. This daily conditioner deeply moisturizes without weighing down hair and works wonders for detangling.
Buy Now, Terax Hair Care Crema Ultra Moisturizing Daily Conditioner, $48
Living Proof No Frizz Straight Styling Spray
Living Proof is getting exceptional amounts of praise from everyone who tries this product. Spray it on before you blow dry to prevent frizz, repel humidity, dirt, and oil to prolong the life of your blowout. Apply more as a finishing spray without fear of product buildup. This amazing new product really works!
Buy Now, Living Proof No Frizz Straight Styling Spray, $19.99
Sebastian Shaper Professional Zero Gravity Hairspray
This is our go-to hairspray because it provides the perfect hold and sets your style without that crunchy, sticky feeling. Hair still has lots of movement and you can still run your fingers through it!
Buy Now, Sebastian Shaper Professional Zero Gravity Hairspray, $10.51
Keratin Complex Products
We are obsessed with all the styling products from Keratin that we tried, including the hair spray, styling oil, mousse, root lift spray, and nourishing spray conditioner. This new line of keratin-enhanced products gives you the look of a professionally styled coif at home.
Buy Now, Keratin Complex Products
Dove Flexible Hold Aerosol Hairspray
It can be difficult to find inexpensive hair products at the drugstore that compare to the salon products, but Dove makes it easy. We love the flexible hold and the scent of this aerosol hairspray. A must for keeping hair in place whether it is worn down and polished or up and messy.
Buy Now, Dove Flexible Hold Aerosol Hairspray, $3.50
Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine Spray
Blowouts can leave hair looking dull, especially in the summer. Try topping off your ‘do with one of the great products from the MOROCCANOIL line, like the Gold Glimmer Shine oil for sheen without the grease. Spray a little extra on the ends!
Buy Now, Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine Spray, $25.80
Dry shampoo is great to use between washes because it removes the oils that build up at the roots, especially during the summer. We also like to use it when styling for added texture (like when we create a fishtail braid).
Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray
This dry shampoo smells citrusy, which is perfect for refreshing “day-two” hair. Plus it goes on clear, not powdery.
Buy Now, Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray, $23
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Aerosol
This dry shampoo has been a favorite of ours for years! Smells great, and does the job well.
Buy Now, Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Aerosol, $18
T3 Refresh Volumizing Dry Shampoo
We love this formula because it matches your hair so you don’t have to worry about the telltale white powder on your roots.
Buy Now, T3 Refresh Volumizing Dry Shampoo, $25
Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray
Spending a day at the beach is not always convenient when you want those fab-looking beach waves. Capture it at home with Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray —this product creates those naturally sexy waves that mimic the combination of salt water, sand, and wind.
Buy Now, Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, $22
Frederic Fekkai Marine Summer Hair Beach Waves
Fekkai is synonymous with beautiful hair, so it’s no wonder his Marine Summer Hair Beach Waves really creates an authentic look. Spray on damp hair and scrunch for best results.
Buy Now, Frederic Fekkai Marine Summer Hair Beach Waves, $24.48
John Frieda Beach Blonde Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner
Everyone can use a little leave-in conditioner after a day at the beach. To nourish and treat your hair while still rocking that fresh-from-the-beach look, spritz this on after shampooing.
Buy Now, John Frieda Beach Blonde Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner, $7.95