My Favorite Hair Care Products + Tools.

By: Jen Shoop

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You may have noticed that I’ve been focused on my hair in 2024. I’ve always felt meh about my hair — it’s ultra-fine and resistant to any and all attempts at volume, and it doesn’t hold a curl but somehow easily bends in weird ways. I’ve been trying to grow it out and take good care of it this year, because I do believe that a good outfit day starts with great hair. Below, a few of my favorite products I’ve discovered (or returned to, as they case may be):

+Mielle Rosemary Scalp Oil. I blend this with Anablue’s hair treatment oil and work into my scalp a few times a week, adding a little dropper-ful to massage into my ends, too. I think this has made the biggest difference in giving me healthy-looking hair while I try to grow it out. My hair is shinier and stronger, and the ends don’t look shaggy and sad, as they have in years past when I’ve grown my hair out. I like to tie my hair back in these terry scrunchies when I apply these oils.

+In the shower, I love Roz’s Foundation Shampoo and Conditioner (very similar in smell, lather, and experience to Oribe, but less expensive, and you can refill the aluminum bottles with these pouches) or Davines Oi Shampoo and Conditioner. My one gripe with Davines is that they put their products in unhelpful bottles. I prefer a pump style bottle for both! But that Davines scent is beyond heavenly. I can’t stop smelling my hair when I’ve washed with this! I find the conditioner is great when my hair is on the drier side (in the winter) — it’s heavier than the Roz.

+When I want a good, deep cleanse, I use Goop’s Gtox Salt Hair Scrub. It is incredible and somehow leaves hair voluminous and springy — as if you’ve really, deeply cleansed your scalp and your hair is just happy and bouncy as can be because of it. (All of my favorite Goop products here — there are a lot! I’m a Goop fangirl.) If I need an extra deep cleanse, I use this little scalp scrubber tool. Awhile ago, I used a shampoo that had protein in it and I just could not get the residue out until I used the salt scrub and this tool — I’m so grateful for this combo!

+When my hair is looking the opposite — dry, frizzled — I use this Crown Affair Mask. It literally changes the texture of my hair into a soft pillow!

+I am constantly playing around with the priming / detangling products. There are so many good ones! Right now, I usually use the hair milks from either Roz or Davines first, before detangling. I’ll spritz on towel-dried hair and find this helps with the detangling and priming process. I am sparing with the amount — like half a pump of each, applied mainly to the ends, as my hair is fine and can be easily weighed down by too much product.

+I always use this detangling brush to get the knots out of my wet hair. I’ve used it for years, since my mother tucked it into my Christmas stocking. A must have. The palm style brush gives you a lot of control. Once it’s detangled, I use the Mason Pearson (<<on sale at Gilt). They are pricey but they last forever and ever and are a truly fantastic product. I read somewhere that it’s about the way they distribute oil through your hair? I have no idea, but they work wonders. And for a round brush — I have used this Spornette for years and years now.

+Just before blow-drying, I apply another product. Lately, I’ve been loving this “glass hair” product from L’Ange, applied after my hair is about 2/3 of the way dry and once I’ve sectioned it for blow drying. The mist is ultra-fine, which I appreciate — I hate when a product applies in dense concentrations, especially given the fineness of my hair. I don’t know that it gives me “glass hair” but it does yield a very smooth blow out, with a great finish/polish. I use this when I want a sleeker look. If I’m going for more volume/texture/bounciness, I’ll use a combo of Roz’s AIR Thickening Spray and Root Lift Spray. All of the products I’ve mentioned here are good for folks with finer hair, but you must still use sparingly.

+For hot tools, I have been loving my T3 Airebrush (also available at Sephora). It’s like a more powerful version of my Revlon 1-Step. It has a cool air setting that apparently “seals” the blow out — I really think this is true, and I also think the T3 is better able to achieve tension with my hair strands, which yields a sleeker result. Sometimes I do a rough dry with my ancient ConAir blow dryer first. I’ve been planning to upgrade to a Dyson AirWrap for a few months now — I’ve been lording it over my own head as a reward for achieving a personal goal — and will eventually bite the bullet. I know so many of you worship this tool! I do have to mention that I’ve been having my hair blown out professionally quite a bit (more on that below) and a lot of the stylists rave about the Dyson for personal use but say they’d never take it on a professional outing, as they aren’t reliable! Several have said theirs have died / been on the fritz while mid-session. Take that for what you will! Interestingly, almost half of the stylists that have come to do my hair in my home have used this DryBar blowdryer! Some of them have said this is because they also work at DryBar and are simply used to the tool (and/or maybe the company gives them one for free?), but several have insisted it’s the most powerful and reliable dryer on the market.

+Speaking of DryBar, for sectioning hair, I have a pack of these hair-sectioning clips that have lasted an actual eternity. I think I bought them over a decade ago and they’re still going strong. They don’t snag as much as the cheaper Amazon ones.

+For extending a blow out, I can’t speak highly enough about my new Mane thermal brush. It heats up in seconds and then I use it to curl my ends back under and give my hair body and life after it’s been slept in. I am honestly astounded at how well it works, and it only takes a minute or two to run through my hair. In love. When my hair starts to look a tad greasy, I cannot implore you enough to try this dry shampoo from Vegamour. I really like the Living Proof stuff, but eventually I found I could not stand the smell. Vegamour is even better, without the smell.

+I also did buy this splurgey hair perfume from Byredo. I love the clean, crisp Blanche scent! I find this is fantastic for refreshing hair when it’s a day or two old, or (I hope this doesn’t weird anyone out) if I’ve done my morning exercise and not washed my hair afterward. I’ll rinse my body, but I can’t imagine having to wash and blow dry my hair every single day! How do you all handle this?! (Right now, I’m doing the Heather Robertson 12-Week Program so am exercising almost every day of the week, but on the days I tack on a run, I’ll also wash and dry my hair; the days I just do HR at home, I’ll just rinse my body.)

+I keep this tiny brush in my purse most days. It is SO good. Sometimes, if I’m really short on space when traveling, I’ll only bring this!

+For tying my hair back, I’m in love with Slip hair ties — they hold hair in place without snagging. Quince has a really good “look for less” product, too! I gave a few to my sister and she freaked out — we both love these things but can’t stand spending money on them. Ha!

+Last but not least, I have been indulging in more regular professional blowouts, usually at home with Glamsquad. I always feel like a million bucks afterward. I find the stylists more consistent than the ones at DryBar and it’s so much more convenient! (Also, if you use the codes they offered us — $20 off for new users with code JenniferS and $15 off for repeat users with code JenniferS15 — they aren’t that much more expensive than going to a salon. I think a blowout via Glamsquad is around $80 in the DC area, including tip, whereas the last time I went to DryBar, I paid $68 or so, including tip. All my promo codes are here.)

+A few products/ideas I’m intrigued by at the moment: 1) I somehow stumbled upon a hair stylist’s account and she insisted that the secret to great hair days is a double shampoo first. She said the first shampoo preps and the second actually cleans. I don’t know what you think of that, but I’ve been doing this the past few weeks and I do notice that the second shampoo lathers really beautifully. I do worry I might be over-using/wasting product and possibly drying out my hair though. 2) My friend Stephanie mentioned on Instagram that the key to great hair is a silk pillow case. How many of you use one? Slip has an iconic one I’m eyeing, but I hate the way it will mess up my beautiful bed vignette! 3) People have been going wild about Crown Affair’s Dry Shampoo. Hard to imagine it could top my now-beloved Vegamour, but it’s on my radar to try when I’m next out.

What other hair tools and products do you love?

P.S. What goes into your “everything shower“?

P.P.S. Great beauty products under $20.

P.P.P.S. Bringing focus to everything we do — one of my top mantras.

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8 thoughts on “My Favorite Hair Care Products + Tools.

  1. Hi Jen!
    I love my silk Slip pillowcase. I have a few and have given several as gifts. One of my friends told me her daughter took the one I had sent her as a birthday gift.
    The over thing I love about these pillowcases is I no longer get creases in my face since I started using them like I used to get from the cotton cases,, no matter how high the thread count was.
    I think it’s worth using these, even if they don’t match the rest of the bed linens.

  2. +1 for a silk pillowcase! I switched to a silk one last year — we had an incredibly stressful year and I noticed I had SO much hair falling out (I’d see it on my pillow upon waking in the morning). After using the silk one I noticed a lot less hair on my pillow. Something about the texture I think — it doesn’t catch/snag hair as much as cotton pillowcases when you move around while sleeping. Also, I tend to run hot at night (aaahhh perimenopause) and it keeps my head and neck cool at least. It’s supposedly good for your skin too? If you’re concerned about the overall look of your bed, I would put the silk case on and then the decorative sham or pillowcase then just take that outer layer at night. It’s another step though… otherwise get 2 silk ones so you have two matching pillows? But I’d say using a silk pillowcase is worth it! I have 2 cases so that one is always ready even on laundry day (I line dry them).

  3. I have curly/wavy hair so my routine and products are very different than yours, but I wanted to say that a silk or satin pillowcase is such a nonnegotiable for me. I notice a huge difference when I travel and have to sleep on something else! I also wash my hair maximum twice a week and just use dry shampoo/refresh it in between.

  4. I also have superfine straight hair. I swear it has never done an interesting thing in its life. I am springing for a haircut by a new-to-me stylist who specializes in cuts for fine hair here in NY and I am hoping it’s worth the steep price tag!

    1. HAHA – “I swear it has never done an interesting thing in its life.” Amen! Mine is determined to be boring.

      Let us know how the stylist works out! Great idea.


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