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I've tried dozens of hair products — here are 5 I always re-buy

What's in my beauty cabinet? From dry shampoo to leave-in treatments, these hair care products are worth the hype.

split screen of hand holding open jar of hair scrub and brunette woman wearing white shirt taking selfie in mirror with pink phone case
I take really good care of my hair — 5 products I always re-buy (photos via Kayla Kuefler).

If you've read my bylines on Yahoo Canada before, you may know that I have a thing for hair care. Growing up, I accompanied my mom to the hair salon so often that her lifelong hairdresser remains "Aunt Anne" in my phone. I understood hair care to be an integral part of someone's self-care routine, and consequently, have dabbled in serums, conditioners and masks essentially from childhood.

Quick overview

Because I have tried a shocking amount of hair products (a perk of the job!), I'm always eager to share with friends (and strangers on the internet) what's worth their dollar and what's worth skipping. To see five hair products I re-buy and recommend time and time again, scroll below.

split screen of hands holding and using living proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
My hair care holy grail: Living Proof's Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo (photos via author & Living Proof)

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo

  • Award-winning dry shampoo that actually cleans hair by absorbing oil, sweat, and odour

  • Suitable for all hair types

  • Sephora shoppers say "no other [brands] compare to this."

Honestly, it pains me how much I love this dry shampoo. I wish I could tell you, "No, spending $40 on dry shampoo is absurd. Get the cheap one!" But that would be a lie. Living Proof actually cleans your hair by absorbing oil, sweat and odour while adding body and texture. Your cheap dry shampoo may give you a few more hours of life, but Living Proof can give you days — yes, days — of good hair. Again, the price tag is steep, especially considering how much you will love and use it; but I swear it's worth it.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is available in three sizes: Standard, mini, and value.
$40 at Sephora
split screen of hand holding  jar of NEXXUS Clean & Pure Scalp Scrub (Photos via author)
The NEXXUS Clean & Pure Scalp Scrub (Photos via author)

NEXXUS Clean & Pure Scalp Scrub

  • Purifying scalp scrub designed to gently exfoliate the scalp and remove impurities, including product and oil build-up

  • Use in lieu or in addition to your regular shampoo

  • 4.3-star rating on Amazon, 3,700 reviews

Until a hairdresser introduced me to a scalp scrub, the idea of using one seemed rather unnecessary. However, after many months and hair washes since that appointment, a scalp scrub is now a constant in my hair care routine. My scrub of choice, the Nexxus scalp scrub, provides a deep, detoxifying clean to remove impurities and build-up on the scalp (think: leftover dry shampoo, hairspray, etc.), leaving you with a salon-worthy clean. I use it before shampooing my hair about once a week and can't sing its praises enough.

NEXXUS Clean & Pure Scalp Scrub exfoliant for healthy hair and scalp.
$19 at Amazon
split screen of brunette woman with curly hair wearing pink button-down shirt talking selfie and hand holding L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Oil 1001 Uses Hair Mask with Coconut Oil for Dry and Damaged Hair, 300ML
I have been a loyal fan of this $8 hair mask for four years: Here's why

L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Oil 1001 Uses Hair Mask

  • Wallet-friendly hair mask

  • "Amazon's Choice" pick

  • Nourishes hair for up to 48 hours

I have written at length why I love this $8 hair mask, but it bears repeating. L'Oreal's Extraordinary Oil 1001 can be used in the shower, as an overnight mask, or as a leave-in treatment. I've been a loyal fan of the product for years, admiring its results as much as its $8 price tag. In a world of $40 dry shampoos, an under-$10 hair mask is just what the accountant ordered.

L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Oil 1001 Uses Hair Mask with Coconut Oil for Dry and Damaged Hair.
$8 at Amazon
I used up the The Ordinary Sulphate 4% Shampoo Cleanser for Body & Hair — here's why (photos via author & Sephora).
I used up the The Ordinary Sulphate 4% Shampoo Cleanser for Body & Hair — here's why (photos via author & Sephora).

The Ordinary Sulphate 4% Shampoo Cleanser for Body & Hair

  • Gentle, fragrance-free hair cleanser

  • Removes oil and dirt without drying out your hair

  • Sephora reviewers call it their "saving grace."

If you want to get back to the basics and give your hair room to breathe, this is the hair cleanser for you. Unlike traditional shampoos, The Ordinary's Sulphate 4% Cleanser is low-foam but delivers an effective, to-the-root clean for your hair and scalp. I use it every 2-3 shampoos when I want a break from product build-up and need a good, simple hair wash.

A mild, low foaming, colour-safe shampoo cleanser.
$10 at Sephora
Amika's Dream Routine Overnight Hydrating Hair Mask in blue bottle and close up shot of hand with hair product
Want silky hair? Try Amika's Dream Routine Overnight Hydrating Hair Mask.

Amika Dream Routine Overnight Hydrating Hair Mask

  • Hyaluronic acid-infused overnight hair treatment mask designed to boost moisture

  • Leaves hair 3x more hydrated by morning

  • 4.5-star average rating on Sephora

As far as lightweight overnight treatments go, I really like Amika's Dream Routine Overnight Hydrating Hair Mask. It's infused with hyaluronic acid, coconut water and blue/green algae and doesn't leave hair feeling heavy. I put it on the bottom third of dry hair before I go to sleep and wake up with healthy, hydrated strands.

Hyaluronic acid-infused overnight hair treatment mask.
$44 at Sephora

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