Celebrity Hairstylist Adir Abergel on Drugstore Hair Products

Celebrity hairstylist Adir Abergel works on all the best girls, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Anne Hathaway. One could say his signature is beautifully textured hair that still moves, but lacks frizz. Who better, we thought, to school us on the overwhelming sea of anti-frizz serums, oils, and finishing creams at the drugstore? Before you even start shopping, Abergel has strong opinions on your post-shower routine: “Use a paper towel to dry your hair,” he says “A lot of people use towels, which create friction—but use paper towels and dry your hair from the bottom up.” Then, he says, you can move on to the product of your choice. But how to know if that should be a serum, cream, or oil?

A lot depends on what kind of hair you have—heavier oils work best on coarse, curly hair, while fine hair benefits from a lightweight cream. But the way you use the products is as important as their ingredients. “I tend to put oil on wet hair, on the ends, because I feel like it actually acts as a protectant,” Abergel says. “It coats it just a tiny bit so you’re not damaging your hair as much.” He saves the creams for post-styling—even the ones that say apply to damp hair, pre-blow dry. “The secret is to disperse it through your hands like hand cream,” he says, rubbing it all the way up his wrists and even onto the backs of his hands, “and then I apply it. Most people end up squeezing it into their hand and putting it directly on their head and that’s where you get into trouble.”

By the end, with his hands slicked with oils and creams, Abergel says, “In all honesty these formulas are amazing. They’re not that different from high-end formulas, other than the packaging and the scent—and maybe the amount of conditioning ingredients because the drugstore brands can’t afford those beautiful essential oils—and they work!” But which were his favorites? Keep reading!