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Introducing COSMO's First-Ever Hair Awards: the Best of the Best in Haircare

Tried and tested by our beauty editors and industry experts 💁🏾

A comprehensive list of the best-rated hair products that even our eds have nicked from the beauty closet  consider that the official stamp of approval! Get your pens (and bank cards) ready to shop these haircare must-haves as tried and tested by the COSMO beauty team and some of our industry peers.

Wash Day

Free up some space in your shower for these essential cleansers.

The Best Shampoo

Palmer’s Olive Oil Smoothing Shampoo

R79.99 at Clicks | SHOP NOW

Vitamin E is one nutrient that many people often overlook when it comes to haircare. It’s a natural antioxidant that does so much for hair growth and scalp health. Olives are a great source of vitamin E, and this shampoo contains plenty to strengthen hair, fight frizz and boost shine.

The Best Conditioner

TRESemmé Botanic Moisture & Replenish Co-Wash

R79.99 at Clicks | SHOP NOW

To our curly and afro-haired girls, pay attention. If you’re looking for a cleanser that doesn’t leave your strands dehydrated, this is the one. Its gentle formula with coconut milk, coconut oil and aloe vera helps restore and keep moisture levels intact as you wash, so the end result is softer strands that are easy to detangle and style.

The Best Shampoo for Colour-Treated Hair

Kérastase Blond Absolu Bain Lumiére Hydrating Illuminating Shampoo

R330, available at all Kérastase salons nationwide

There are a few reasons why this shampoo deserves constant praise – firstly, its universal formula helps maintain all types of blonde, no matter what tone or texture you are. Secondly, it contains our all-time love, hyaluronic acid, making it great for those with thin hair as it improves hair density and gives your strands a fuller and softer feel.

The Best Mask

Davines The Renaissance Circle Hopeless Hair Extreme Repair Mask

R145, available at participating salons

A mask that revives and brings life back to all kinds of injured hair – whether from sun damage, heat styling, harsh chemicals or colour. It restores lifeless strands bringing healthy shine, moisture and softness immediately after use.

Treat Yo’ Self

Hair strengthening spoils to add to your bathroom cabinet this winter.

The Best Oil

Winner: Tresemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Oil

R79.99 at Clicks | SHOP NOW

This oil is so good, our beauty ed took it to Coachella! It blends keratin and marula to give you silky and soft strands. A little goes a long way as it smoothens and boosts shine without weighing your hair down. It tames frizz, keeps flyaways at bay and overall, leaves hair looking nourished.

Runner Up:

Davines Oi Oil

R570, Scarhair.co.za | SHOP NOW

The beauty gods worked overtime putting this oil together, and the results are heavenly. Ever heard of roucou oil? Well, it’s about to be on your radar now. Rich in beta-carotene, it stimulates the production of melanin in hair, so you can enjoy enhanced hair colour and vibrancy. Roucou oil also has some serious photoprotective properties, shielding hair from harmful UV rays and heat damage.

The Best Sun-Damage Protection

Joico Defy Damage Protective Shield

R540, The Retail Box | SHOP NOW

I really recommend this when styling with hot tools. Apply it to damp hair then go on with your blow drying or flat ironing. You’ll notice your strands in a much softer and smoother condition even after heat has been applied to them. This may be due to its moringa oil-infused formula, which improves hair strength while reducing the appearance of spilt ends.

The Best Leave-in

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Multi-Action Leave-In

R330 | SHOP NOW

This lightweight leave-in treatment brings together shea butter, manuka honey and yogurt to help resurrect even the driest and most brittle hair. It’s light in texture, moisturises extremely well and leaves curls looking super-defined and bouncy.

Slick Stylin’

Those final extras that’ll give your hair the ultimate finishing touch.

The Best Innovative Hair Tool

GHD Glide Hot Brush

R2500 on ghdhair.com/za | SHOP NOW

GHD’s latest tool is all about sleek and effortless styling. Overslept? Don’t stress. Cheat a good hair day with this revolutionary hot brush that heats up to 185°C, allowing you to fake the look of a salon blow-dry with minimal frizz and healthy shine.

The Best Hold Spray

GHD Final Fix Hairspray

R280 on ghdhair.com/za | SHOP NOW

A holy grail product that’s yet to be matched by any other hairspray. It does its job and it does it well, providing hair with all-day staying power. No need to stress about whether your up-do will stay in place or if your faux beach waves will fall flat; this spray will ensure that your look is put together without compromising on movement.

The Best Dry Conditioner

Waterl>ss Weightless Dry Conditioner

R149.99 for 160ml at Clicks | SHOP NOW

Like a traditional conditioner, it leaves hair soft, hydrated and refreshed in just a few sprays applied to your mid-lengths and ends. The best part of it all is that it’s formulated and suitable for all hair types!

The Best Root Concealer

L’Oréal Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer

R99.95 at Clicks | SHOP NOW

Got grey roots but sick of dyeing? Or maybe you’re in need of a root touch-up but have zero room to schedule in a salon visit? Well this spray is the definition of ‘fake it ‘til you make it’. Available in a variety of brown shades, this temporary colour spray was designed specifically for concealing grey roots. Simply spritz once or twice over any areas of concern and you’ll get instant and immediate coverage.

The Best Dry Shampoo

Sorbet High and Dry Volume & Texture Shampoo

R89 at Clicks | SHOP NOW

Revive day-old curls with a volumising dry shampoo that’ll add a little spring to your kinks. This dry shampoo soaks up unwanted grease and deodorises strands, giving your hair a clean and freshly-washed feel. 

The Best Heat Styling Spray

TRESemmé Heat Defense Spray

R89.79 for 300ml at Clicks | SHOP NOW

Probably one of the best heat protectants for weaves and wigs. Personally, my wig goes through a tremendous amount of heat as I style it often, but this spray manages to keep the texture of my wig soft and provides natural-looking shine.

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