We love hearing about holy-grail hair products through word of mouth or just by stumbling upon them in the haircare aisle of Ulta. But we have to admit, there’s nothing like product recommendations from top hairstylists. Hair is their lifeblood, after all, so when they tell us that they swear by a certain shampoo, mask, or styling product, we take their word as gospel.
Out of curiosity, we wondered which products popular NYC salon owner and master stylist Nunzio Saviano would call his desert-island hair brands. No, they’re not all from a drugstore, and they might take a little extra digging in the piggy bank to purchase, but despite their price tags, they work, and they work well. Want to know more? Check out his top three picks below!
Chances are if you’ve set foot inside a prestige hair salon, you’ve seen Oribe stocked on its shelves. This could in part be because of the salon’s partnership with the brand, but also because it trusts in the products and know they’ll deliver top-notch results to clients.
“As a stylist, we can only go so far with a haircut, and these products allow us to perform to the maximum,” says Saviano. They’re innovative and each finishing product makes the hair look different. All of the products also have an amazing fragrance. They’re a high-quality brand.”
“It gives a lot of shine and a little bit of hold, so the curls get shiny while it defines and separates them,” explains Saviano.
Ah, the volumizing spray to end all volumizing sprays. Says Saviano, “I use it about six inches from hair, and when I spray it, it gives the hair body, texture, shine, and a tousled look. You use it like you would a hair spray, except it’s not a hair spray.” No, it’s a volume-building, sexy texture–creating product only dreams are made of. (Can you tell we love it too?)
If you want to maintain your color while keeping it healthy and moisturized, this is the shampoo for you. It’s a part of this editor’s usual rotation of shampoos and has kept her blond highlights looking freshly painted on for months after the color was done.
“This is a luxury brand, and whatever product you use in the line, you know it will leave the hair healthy,” says Saviano. Each product is powered by active ingredients and high-tech molecular complexes to give you the best version of your hair possible. Just be weary of purchasing its products from drugstores as these are not authorized retailers (and you want to make sure you're only getting the real deal, right?).
“This is a very light gel that you apply from root to end all over the hair for ultimate body and volume. If you don’t like mousse, it’s the perfect alternative, and you don’t have to worry about how to apply it. It’s 2.5 ounces, so you can travel with it, and you don’t need that much, so the bottle lasts for a long time.”
"It’s fabulous—it doesn’t make the hair greasy; it gives separation, shine, and texture. This is great for short or midlength hair. On dry hair, just rub a little on your hands to separate the ends and get a textured look.”
Brittle hair doesn’t stand a chance against this ultra-hydrating rinse-out mask that helps reconstruct the hair from the inside out.
“R+Co is a fun brand at a price point that’s affordable yet still high in quality,” says Saviano. Famous for products like Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste, it’s got a West Coast chic–meets-desert theme and is beloved by all the cool girls. Aside from the efficacy of the products the line boasts, each one is an experience in itself. Beauty Director Deven Hopp calls the Cleansing Foam Conditioner “the most fun I’ve had washing my hair in a while.” For lift, styling, and just all-around healthier strands, take a look at some of Saviano’s picks below.
“A good blowout starts in the shower, and the combination of this shampoo and the Bel Air Smoothing Conditioner is a great way to get a smooth, sleek style,” he explains.
“Death Valley” may seem like an extreme name for an oil-sopping spray, but trust when we say your roots won’t be as parched as the arid hot spot. Instead, you’ll get amazing-smelling, refreshed hair that will trick others into thinking you just got a blowout.
Flyaways, split ends, and lackluster hair be damned. This oil creates smooth and sleek tresses without looking greasy or flat.
Want some other winning hair products that won’t break the bank? Try out these amazing drugstore offerings.