Beauty

15 products that help keep hair healthy before your next cut

When a cut is out of the question, these hair products do the trick.

15 products to keep hair healthy until your next cut Credit: CHI / Function of Beauty

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Coupled with the rising temperatures and increasingly intensifying UV rays, going months without a cut can wreak havoc on our hair. It’s tough to say when we’ll feel safe being up close and personal with our hairdresser again, but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice healthy hair while we wait for daily life to resume to normal.

While it’s important to be wary of claims that any given hair product can reverse damage at a cellular level or fix split ends, you can go the extra mile to prevent damage with these 15 top-rated hair products, from serums to sprays.

1. A shampoo that gives Topanga-worthy volume

Be Free Shampoo
Credit: Be Free by Danielle Fishel

When I think of Boy Meets World, Topanga’s iconic, lush mane comes to mind. Lucky for us, Danielle Fishel, the actress behind the quirky character, created her own hair care line called Be Free that managing editor Kate Ellsworth found was free of ingredients thought to harm hair and the environment, like sulfates, phosphates, and phthalates. No wonder she gives the shampoo rave reviews for restoring her hair’s natural shine.

Get the Be Free Shampoo at Be Free by Danielle Fishel for $19

2. A hair treatment with 14,000 reviews on Amazon

Olaplex hair treatment
Credit: Sephora

Named one of the top hair masks of 2020, the cult-favorite Olaplex brand claims this treatment is so much more than a conditioner, but instead an “at-home bond builder” that provides “real, structural repair that works from within.” That’s just a fancy way of calling it a deep conditioning leave-in treatment, which is undoubtedly crucial in warding off sun and heat damage. According to one reviewer: “This is the only product I have ever used that has truly repaired my hair after all of the bleach...In ONE USE this product visibly and textually repaired my hair so well, it’s insane.” Simply work it into washed strands from root to tip, set for 10 minutes, and rinse.

Get the Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 at Amazon for $28

3. A mask that masks tons of damage

Briogeo hair mask
Credit: Briogeo

Miracle products don’t exist, but Briogio's deep conditioning mask with over 113,000 fans on Sephora comes pretty close. Rosehip oil reduces frizz, algae extract strengthens strands, and almond oil seals your hair's cuticle for extra shine. Our beauty writer Jessica Kasparian suggests applying it to washed hair for five to 10 minutes two or three times a week. Customer reviews suggest this mask is ideal for both curly/dry and thin/oily hair types.

Get the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask at Sephora for $36

Coola Hair Mist
Credit: COOLA

Coola's cool hair mist coats overlooked areas like your scalp with SPF 30, while ingredients like panthenol and monoi oil help restore your strands’ natural moisture and shine. It’s water-resistant up to 80 minutes and is safe to use on color-treated hair, making it ideal for beach and pool days. Reviewers are also obsessed with its refreshing ocean salted sage scent.

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Get the Coola Scalp and Hair Organic Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 at Ulta for $26

5. A custom hair serum

Function of Beauty serum
Credit: Function of Beauty

What beauty writer Jessica Kasparian and I can both agree on is that Function of Beauty makes hair care a fun experience as each product is literally tailored to your hair type and needs. Each bottle is filled with everything your hair needs (like nourishing natural plant oils) and nothing it doesn't (like sulfates and parabens). When I ordered the Function of Beauty’s custom hair serum, I was struck by how deeply it moisturized my hair without leaving it with a greasy, oily film. I opted for the strong pear scent, and routinely rub a dab on my split ends throughout the day just to get a whiff.

Get the Function of Beauty Custom Hair Serum at Function of Beauty for $19

6. A heat-protecting leave-in conditioner

Ouai leave-in conditioner
Credit: Sephora

Gone are the days of reserving our heat protecting products for styling tools like irons and curlers—the sun can take its toll on our hair, too. This leave-in conditioner from Ouai with celebrity hair artist Jen Atkin is best used on damp hair. Before heading to the beach, spritz your hair with water, apply the leave-in conditioner, and enjoy shiny, smooth hair without the fear of hair so damaged that only a cut could remedy it. One happy customer says, “This is lightweight and protects my hair and hair coloring against heat, Texas sun, and pool conditions.”

Get the Ouai Leave-In Conditioner at Sephora for $34

7. A Barbie-themed take on an old favorite

Chi silk infusion
Credit: Chi

I’ve used CHI products all my adult life, from its hair straighteners to its popular Silk Infusion, so when I found out about its Barbie-themed iteration of the cult-classic treatment (same strengthening plant proteins, new adorable pale pink packaging), I knew I had to have it. I use it on damp or dry hair to retain moisture and shine that’s usually hard to come by during the summer months. It works like a charm, and that scent is truly something I wish I could smell all day.

Get the CHI x Barbie Silk Infusion at Ulta for $29.50

8. A non-greasy keratin-booster

Eufora keratin repair
Credit: Eufora

When I’m looking for protection against sun and heat, but my hair is already on its third day of not having been washed (i.e. greasier than a Quebec poutine), I opt for Eufora’s repairing spray. It has a weightless formula made with quinoa proteins and aloe leaf that restores my hair's elasticity. That means I can protect my sweaty head without making it look sweaty—a.k.a. everyone’s happy.

Get the Eufora Nourish Fortifi Keratin Repair at Amazon for $14.99

9. A softening detangler

Unite detangler
Credit: Unite

It’s no secret that all that fun in the sun (and in the water, and on the sand) can create unruly frizz, and thus bird’s nest-levels of knots. This must-have conditioning detangler from Unite gently untangles my hair, which allows me to comb or brush it without further breakage (though we do recommend using a Wet Brush to avoid damaging hair). Bonus: its water-based silicone blend is perfect for heat protection, while hydrolyzed rice protein is said to promote strength and shine. Think of it as a leave-in conditioner with immediate benefits.

Get the Unite 7Seconds Leave-in Detangler at Amazon for $25.07

10. A printed, protective shower cap

Ecotools shower cap
Credit: Walmart

Our beauty writer notes a shower cap won’t itself repair your hair, but the way it limits daily shampoo use likely will since you’ll be cutting down on your exposure to drying detergents. She notes that allowing your scalp’s natural oils to coat the cuticle can go far in preventing and reducing frizz, which can often be a symptom of damage. One reviewer calls this one from EcoTools “the best shower cap I've ever used,” noting that its fabric-lined interior helps keep hair extra dry in the shower while providing another layer of comfort.

Get the EcoTools Shower Cap and Storage Case at Walmart for $12.25

11. A detoxifying shot of purifying shampoo

Vitabrid Shampoo Shot
Credit: Vitabrid

Did someone say “shots?” Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp—and if you’ve got all kinds of products building up at your cuticle like SPF mist or thick styling creams, you’ll love this clarifying scalp treatment made with vitamin C, bamboo charcoal and baobab oil as much as I do. Simply mix a third of the gel-to-milk shot into your hand along with your normal dose of shampoo, and work into your scalp to strip away any icky debris. You’ll be left with a tingling, cooling, and clean sensation that feels especially refreshing during the summer.

Get the Vitabrid C12 Purifying Shampoo Shot at Vitabrid for $23.50

12. A weightless hair oil for smooth strands

Playa hair oil
Credit: Playa

We’ve all had this conundrum at some point during the summer: our scalp is greasy and our ends are fried from sun and swim. With this feather-light oil made of moisturizing coconut and sunflower, you can easily target the ends of your hair that need a boost of shine without weighing anything down. What’s great about its applicator is that it isn’t a spray nozzle—the dropper allows you to wield full control over the application process. I had a similar experience to this reviewer: “It literally changed my hair. I have always been known to have frizzy hair and when I used this product I had girls coming up to me asking what products I use because I had no frizz in the humid Florida state I live in.”

Get the PLAYA Ritual Hair Oil at Sephora for $38

13. A protective microfiber hair towel

Aquis hair towel
Credit: Aquis

The rough, terry bath towels you use on your body might be damaging your fragile hair if you use them immediately after the shower. Opt instead for a gentler microfiber towel designed to protect your strands from breakage in between cuts while also cutting down on drying time. One reviewer finds her Aquis hair turban so useful she bought one for home use and one for travel: "I love my turban. After showering, I put it on first, then towel dry me! Keeps my shoulder-length hair from dripping on me and the floor! Don’t settle for cheap terry imitation, tried that once, mistake!! Love this thing."

Get the Aquis Super Absorbent Hair Turban at Amazon for $20.99

14. A drying balm that doesn't dry out hair

It's A 10 Miracle Silk
Credit: It's A 10

I’m always looking for products that tick off several boxes—most of which involve saving time and money. For a does-everything-but-your-taxes hair balm, look no further than It’s A 10’s smoothing balm. Because it has a gel-like consistency, it moisturizes without leaving a film of grease on your hands or hair. The best part? I’ve found that applying it on dry hair cuts my drying time in half, which makes letting it air dry in the summer months a total breeze and reduces the damage that styling tools would cause.

Get the It’s A 10 Silk Express Miracle Silk Smoothing Balm at Ulta for $20.99

15. A top-rated hair mask that revitalizes strands

Moroccanoil Mask
Credit: Moroccanoil

When my hairdresser recommended I buy Moroccanoil’s intense argan oil hair mask from the salon, I was a bit skeptical. To ease my doubts, she used it on my hair after a cut and bright ashy blond highlights application. And let me tell ya: it left my hair so soft, it didn’t feel like I had just submitted my hair to hours and hours of heat and sun damage that very week. I’m glad she sold me on it and I reach for it every time my hair needs a little pick-me-up in the summer months.

Get Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask at Amazon for $42

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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