Though we envy the lush, perfectly tousled manes of the likes of Blake Lively and Lily Aldridge, at the end of the day, their hairstylists are the ones who should really be taking credit. (Well, their hairstylists and maybe a bottle of Viviscal, $40). Celebrity hairstylists, like makeup artists, have access to the most luxe products on the market—only the best for Gigi Hadid’s strands, after all. A $35 texture spray? They’ll have two in their kit at all times. A tiny vial of some top-secret hair oil worth more than your clothing budget? Not out of the ordinary. Which is all great and everything, but what about us mere mortals? What are we to do about our sad, lifeless strands when a $50 styling cream is out of the question?
With non-industry folk in mind, we asked some of Hollywood’s top hairstylists for the products they love that are less traumatizing to the wallet. These products grace the aisles of your local Walgreens or CVS and get toted around to red carpet glam sessions with their more expensive counterparts (and performing just as well—or even better). From a magical root-boosting lotion to industry's favorite frizz-fighters, we've got all the best drugstore products hairstylists swear by.
The Hairstylist: Bridget Brager
Clients: Kate Bosworth, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Kiernan Shipka
Brager's Praise: "I love this dry shampoo because it works! It removes excess oil and adds a really nice texture to day-old hair. It’s the best drugstore dry shampoo by far.”
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Thermal Polishing Serum
Brager's Praise: “It’s a great heat protector when used on damp hair and great for adding shine after you style. I used to use the brand in high school and I find it's still a staple drugstore favorite.” Note: The product has been discontinued.
The Hairstylist: Bryce Scarlett
Clients: Diane Kruger, Lily Aldridge, Frieda Pinto
Scarlett's Praise: “This is the best lightweight, workable hairspray.”
The Hairstylist: Adir Abergel
Clients: Kristen Stewart, Reese Witherspoon, Rooney Mara
Abergel's Praise: “The key to creating a glamorous red carpet look is the right amount of volume. This product helps create the right memory at the foundation. A volumizer helps to expand the cuticle and allows hair to hold shape during styling. I like to apply this product throughout wet hair.”
(Scarlett agrees, saying this product “offers lots of volume and leaves no unwanted texture in the hair.”)
Abergel's Praise: “It’s a smoothing hair spray that helps create an instant barrier against frizz, and creates beautiful shine and bounce.”
The Hairstylist: Jennifer Yepez
Clients: Gigi Hadid, Zendaya, Joan Smalls
Yepez's Praise: “This oil is great for taming frizz, nourishing the hair, and adding shine. It won't weigh your hair down, even if your hair is on the oily side. It’s perfect for that Victoria's Secret tousled hair.”
Nexxus Diametress Volumizing Leave-In Conditioning Crème
Yepez's Praise: “It leaves the hair voluminous and shiny without weighing it down, and smells so good. It helps hydrate and moisturize the hair and is the perfect styling cream for blow-drying and curling the hair.” Note: The product has been discontinued.
The Hairstylist: Rob Talty
Clients: Nicole Scherzinger, Jaime King, Eiza Gonzalez
Talty's Praise: “This is one of my favorite products for protecting and nourishing hair; it gives it that luxurious feeling. Simply spread through damp hair and style as usual, whether that’s air-drying or blowing it out. Your hair will feel great!”
Talty’s Praise: “It’s great for giving fine hair that boost of fullness for voluminous looks with that tousled texture.”
The Hairstylist: John Ruggiero
Clients: Chloe Sevigny, Chrissy Teigen, Rashida Jones
Ruggiero's Praise: “When I need for hair or wigs to be fixed into place without moving, I always go for this ‘80s throwback spray. There's nothing that gives hold quite like it. It's awful for the health of your hair [in the long run], but if that's not a concern and you want gravity-defying hold, I highly suggest it.”