The best hair styling products for your smoothest blow dry ever

Knowing what the best hair styling products are can be a tricky old business

Woman applying styling product
(Image credit: Getty)

There are so many hair styling products there, from serums and sprays to creams, lotions and balms – so many, in fact, that working out what to use and how to use it can seem so complicated  many of us don’t bother. But it is worth persisting. Along with the best hair dryers for the job and a few expert tricks on how to blow dry at home, the best hair styling products will truly enhance your drying experience, not to mention your finished style. 

Another great thing about using the best hair styling products is they can help you achieve the look you want without resorting to hot tools quite as often. The funny thing with hair is only a tiny percentage of women are ‘born with it’ (you know the ones – all effortless shine and swishiness). As for the rest of us, we work to fake it: Hot irons, sticky sprays, time spent building and backcombing… It’s a battle barely worth the short-lived spoils. So, why not try a kinder approach? 

Read on to discover our beauty editor-approved hair products, plus tips from top hairdressing talent. Whether you’re looking for the secret weapon to shine or the product that helps you air dry  without frizz, this guide will help you get to know the best products for you, while caring for your crowning glory at the same time. 

Your hair will always be your hair, but it can also be your happiest hair ever if you treat it well. Let’s talk shine, root lift, brilliant products and easy styling tricks – less faff, more fabulousness. Happy days! 

1. Best hair styling product for smoothness 

You’ve seen those shimmering manes in haircare adverts. Common sense says it can’t just be the best shampoo and conditioner, so what’s the secret? Hair health is key (trim off split ends, don’t fry it on the highest dryer heat) and the rest comes down to your cuticles, which need to be smooth and unruffled to reflect light. 

I like silicone-based serums, which effectively – albeit temporarily – coat strands for serious shine and stop moisture getting in or out, killing frizz. Try classic-for-a-reason John Frieda Frizz Ease. 

John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum

(Image credit: John Frieda)

John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum

2. Best hair styling product for bulk

A-list hairdresser Larry King told me once, “I love mousse – I put it on 90% of people, girls and guys.” No wonder he’s keen. The good old foamy stuff bulks out every single strand, so hair immediately feels thicker, plus holds volume and root lift like nothing else. 

Bad memories of crispy 80s hair? Modern formulas give all of the guts with none of the crunch. I love EVO Macgyver for serious swish that won’t make you wince every time you touch your hair.

Evo Macgyver Multi-Use Mousse

(Image credit: Evo)

Evo Macgyver Multi-Use Mousse

3. Best hair styling product for hold 

Blow drying styling products into damp hair adds structure without that gunky feeling of adding them in dry. L’Oreal Professionnel Tecni Art Pli is a fine spray with superlative hold. Its style-shaping powers are proven by the fact that it’s used so often at fashion weeks it’s practically the official scent backstage.

L’Oreal Professionnel Tecni Art Pli

(Image credit: L'Oreal)

L’Oreal Professionnel Tecni Art Pli

4. Best hair styling product for sleekness

Sometimes the best styling results come from the unlikeliest sources, such as consultant trichologist Sally-Ann Tarver’s tip for parched hair. “If your hair is feeling dehydrated, take a handful of solid coconut oil (the stuff used in cooking), melt it by rubbing it in your hands, smooth through and leave it on overnight. Wash and dry the next day and it will look sleek and shiny for the next few washes.” 

Vita Coco Extra Virgin Coconut oil

(Image credit: Vita Coco Coconut oil)

Vita Coco Extra Virgin Coconut oil

5. Best hair styling product for shine 

We’d all like a bit more shine, but few of us realise a major dullness culprit has been hiding in plain sight – washing. “Water contains minerals and metals that build up, dull hair and even change the colour, especially if you have hard water or live in an old building with copper pipes,’’ explains New York super-stylist Joseph Maine

The solution is a clarifying treatment like Colour Wow Dream Filter, a pre-shampoo spray that grabs on to hair using an ionic charge, then washes out taking unwanted minerals with it. It takes three minutes and, after using it, my other half asked if I’d had my highlights done (and he’s not one to notice these things). 

Colour Wow Dream Filter

(Image credit: Colour Wow)

Colour Wow Dream Filter

6. Best hair styling product for height

If there’s one thing every woman wants, it’s volume. A bit of root lift looks healthy, sexy and flatteringly ‘pulls’ facial features up. As well as using root-lifting and strand-bulking products, volume actually starts in the shower with your shampoo. 

Pureology Clean Volume Shampoo removes build-up and softens hair without weighing it down, then make sure you condition mid-lengths to ends only. 

Pureology Clean Volume Shampoo

(Image credit: Pureology )

Pureology Clean Volume Shampoo

7. Best hair styling product for a drying detox

You know it’s a sensible idea to go barefaced or skip that evening glass of red a couple of times a week, and the same goes for heat styling. Lazy Sundays are great for this, as are holidays, and a great product will help you create some texture without the need for heat. 

Try Percy & Reed Beyond The Beach Texture Spray and follow Paul ‘Percy’ Percival’s air drying tips: “Spritz through towel-dried hair, then manipulate with your fingers as it dries into your desired look for beautiful beachy texture.” 

Percy & Reed Beyond The Beach Texture Spray

(Image credit: Percy & Reed )

Percy & Reed Beyond The Beach Texture Spray