Much like any jungle, the island of Manhattan has its own set of smaller, distinct ecosystems. The line between uptown and downtown isn’t merely a matter of city blocks—it’s a whole different way of living. Uptown embraces a buttoned-up, refined, and classic sensibility, while downtown is cool, edgy, and modern. Uptown is Bergdorf Goodman, and downtown is its rebellious, rock-and-roll little sister.
The Bumble and bumble salon was born uptown in the late '70s, but this precocious brand’s heart was always downtown. While some salons were cutting precise lines, Bumble and bumble was teaching young stylists to shear textured ends with a straight razor. When bobs were sleek and meticulous, Bumble and bumble invented the “bad bob,” a wild, choppy cut with a lot of attitude. Much to our delight, Bumble and bumble products are just as cheeky and fun as the salon's signature bad bob.
Bumble and bumble
Founded: By Michael Gordon, in 1977.
Based in: New York City
Best known for: Salon-quality products with a fun, youthful edge.
Most Popular Product: Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer
Fun Fact: Remember the bra strap headband trend in the late '90s? We can thank Bumble and bumble for creating the look (then called the "Bb.Band") at Milan Fashion Week.
Other Brands You’ll Love: IGK, Amika, Verb
“Bumble and bumble helped to reinvent the standards of haircutting, styling techniques, and aesthetics,” says Amber Garrison, Bumble and bumble's global brand president. “We helped free hairdressers from a paint-by-numbers mentality—guided by a fearless, nonconformist approach to hair.” The brand's irreverent ethos is traceable right down to the name of the company. Founder Michael Gordon has said “Bumble and bumble” was meant to be light and nonsensical—a more approachable take on very serious salons.
That break-the-status-quo attitude is what makes Bumble and bumble's products so fun to use. The entire line is gender-inclusive, Garrison says, and covers products needed for any type of confident self-expression you could think of: Surf Spray for beachy texture, Sumotech styling cream for a punky pixie cut, Curl Defining Cream for moisturized natural styles. “We celebrate individuality through our products,” she says. With the right Bumble and bumble lineup, you should be able to be one person on Monday and someone completely different on Wednesday. You can embody uptown on Thursday, and downtown on Friday.
Ready to get wild? Ahead, discover the best Bumble and bumble products that we loved the most.
One of the brand's most recognizable products, Bumble and bumble’s salt spray is an OG in the beach hair game. It also happens to be one of the easiest texture sprays we’ve ever used—it’s as simple as spraying on damp hair and calling it a day. (Fun fact: the distinct matte bottle is inspired by a wetsuit, and the shape is meant to mimic scuba tanks and hardware.)
Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Ultra Rich Shampoo and Conditioner
Those with dry or color-damaged hair will seriously benefit from the hydrating six-oil blend and hyaluronic acid in this shampoo and conditioner. The duo also boasts 72 hours of smoothness and definition for curly or natural hair types (and happens to smell like freshly sliced melons). But users beware: The bottle says “For dry to very dry hair,” and it means business. If you have thin or oily hair, this duo could weigh it down.
Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat and UV Protective Primer
Garrison says this multitasker is the brand’s number one best-selling product, and it’s easy to see why. Not only is it a heat primer, but it conditions, detangles, and protects color from fading. That’s a lot of boxes for one humble bottle to check, meaning less products on your hair at the end of the day—and we love a simple routine when we can get it.
Hairdresser's Invisible Oil
This is one of those products that just adds a little something to a finished style. You might not be able to totally define it, but it’s definitely better—smoother, cleaner, and softer. Like, way softer. Can’t-stop-touching-our-hair softer. It’s clear, lightweight, and a must-have for any hair type.
Curl Defining Cream
There are a lot of curl products out there, but not all of them help to define curls without leaving hair feeling crunchy and stiff. This UV-protective cream makes moisture a priority with a nourishing blend of oils and butters (avocado, coconut, and jojoba oil; as well as shea and cocoa butter) without sacrificing any style benefits.
Thickening Dryspun Texture Spray
Product is a scary word when you have thin, flat, or oily hair because it typically means adding weight (which only makes all of these problems worse). That’s not the case with this airy texture spray, which looks, smells, and behaves like a hairspray, but actually leaves your hair touchable, flexible, and truly lifted. “It’s a New York Fashion Week backstage favorite,” Garrison says.
Prêt-à-Powder Dry Shampoo Powder
Something we appreciate about a dry shampoo powder versus a spray is that you can really give special attention to any spots that need a little extra oil absorption and lift. This bottle is tiny, but a little can go a long way. After applying a puff or two of this formula to our roots, our day-old style looked refreshed and bouncy once again.
Bond-Building Repair Styling Cream
Healthy hair days are good hair days—the more you take care of your scalp and strands from the inside out, the better your hair will look. “This is a multitasking super styler that instantly makes hair three times stronger compared to untreated hair,” Garrison says. While we can’t boil down the percentage, the honey bond-building complex in this nourishing cream did leave our hair feeling healthier than before, and we appreciated that it worked for both air-dried and blow-dried styles.
Sunday Clarifying Shampoo
The law states that Sunday is self-care day (well, even though it doesn’t, it should). In that spirit, we love the idea of Sunday being the day to detox your scalp and hair from the week's product buildup, pollution, minerals, and hard water damage. This shampoo has both tetrasodium EDTA and citric acid, making it a great weekly clarifying product.
Sumotech Flexible Creme Solid
This creamy paste styler is about as all-purpose as a product can get, featuring beeswax and polymers to give hair hold and flexibility all at once. Use a dab on short hair for volume at the roots, spiking up strands, or slicking it back—the sky’s the limit. (We also might have used this product in the early 2000s when piece-y bangs were all the rage, so you know its effectiveness stands the test of time).