In honor of TODAY's "Hair Essentials" series, Good Housekeeping style director Lori Bergamotto shares the best of the best when it comes to legendary hair products.
Amp up your everyday style with tested tools and products that promise to straighten, detangle, and dry your tresses to help you master a salon-perfect look. The Beauty Lab at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute put nearly 250 products through more than 10,000 tests to measure shine, volume, smoothness, and more. These stylers — which boost, tousle, and tame — came out on top.
John Frieda Luxurious Volume Building Mousse
Want a lift? This mousse ($6, amazon.com) got a perfect Lab score for adding (and upholding) fullness. Our consumer testers loved that this standout for staying power "never made hair sticky or heavy." Said one, "Even the next day, my hair was looking full!"
Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-Frizz Serum
Never fear frizz again! Even our at-home testers in sweltering Florida were impressed with this serum ($8, amazon.com), describing it as "the only one that kept hair frizz-free for the entire day." Over 90 percent of panelists said they'd keep using this consumer favorite and Lab performer.
Tester Tip: Apply lightly to sections of just-washed hair to keep it smooth.
It's A 10 Miracle Super Hold Hair Spray
Set it and forget it with this combination of marathon staying power and a non-sticky feel ($19, itsa10haircare.com). This held curl through hot and humid conditions in the environmental chamber. In real-world tests, women noted that it "kept hair from getting frizzy on the most humid days." And they liked that it "looked natural, with no white flakes or dryness."
Dove Style + Care Extra Hold Hairspray
Hair stayed polished and pliable with this flexible-hold mist. Dove won high marks for its surprisingly light formula ($6, amazon.com). "It kept my hair looking and feeling natural," said one tester. As an added perk, panelists often cited the "clean, fresh scent."
Tester Tip: Mist a baby toothbrush with hairspray to smooth down wispy strands around the crown and hairline.
Color Wow Root Cover Up
Brush up and stop stressing. Just a couple of strokes at the crown will shade your gray or soften dark roots ($35, ulta.com). Blonds adored the root coverage, but there were raves from virtually every color category for these six velvety shades. A surprise benefit: Testers found that it helped to hide "a few hair-loss spots" when dusted on the scalp.
Irene Gari Cover Your Gray Professional Root Touch-Up
Color your roots gone with this no-mess concealer crayon (available in three shades). The crayon ($7, amazon.com) colored even hard-to-reach roots on curly hair with ease. Panelists claimed that they could "feel confident it would last all day."
TONI&GUY 1-Inch Curling Iron
Make waves that last with this magic wand ($30, target.com). The budget styler outperformed several pricier models. Consumer testers preferred its "nice size" and found it easy to use. Plus, it "curled hair very quickly," creating spirals that "held throughout the day." What's not to like?
FHI Platform Nano Weight Pro 1900 Turbo Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer
This FHI big gun beat out 19 other contenders for fastest drying time. Curly- and wavy-haired testers in particular appreciated how easy this was to use, praising its long cord, "good placement of controls," and diffuser attachment. Its super-high Lab scores for drying time and imparting shine made this model a standout. The highest setting generates impressive heat, so hold this dryer ($120, fhiheat.com) at least six inches from your scalp to prevent scorching.
Be sure to check out the rest of Good Housekeeping's 2014 Hair Award winners.