January 30, 2023

Celebrity beauty brands are not my thing. I’m somewhat of a product snob, and I go into the testing process of any celebrity-backed beauty brand with a hearty serving of cynicism. My reasoning is that despite the fact that some of my favourite stylish celebrities make for great beauty inspiration, I know they’re no experts when it comes to products. In reality, it’s the countless people responsible for their makeup and hair looks that really hold the secrets.

The one area of beauty that I will almost always turn to expert advice for is haircare. The reason for this, I’ll admit, is mostly selfish. You see, I have never been able to style my own hair in a way that oozes effortless glamour. I always leave the salon feeling like my only hope is to have an expert on hand every day (like the A-listers do). And out of all of the hairstylists that I’ve worked with over the years, it’s always the stylists who boast celebrity clients who really know what’s up. Celebrity hairstylists require products that work quickly, are long-lasting, and champion versatility—and these are all of the things I crave from my haircare.

Best celebrity haircare brands: Alexa Chung

So it will be of no surprise that whenever a celebrity hairstylist launches their own haircare brand, I’m the first in line to try it. A quick way to get celeb-like lengths at home? Sign me up. And over the past year or so, I’ve been spoilt for choice. With the likes of Jonathan Van Ness, Andrew Fitzsimons (a favorite of J.Lo and the Kardashians) and George Northwood (Alexa Chung’s go-to) all launching their own line of products, it’s fair to say celebrity-stylist haircare has really been having a moment.

But can expert-formulated brands really deliver celeb-standard hairdos? I’ve given every single one a try, and these are most definitely some of the very best haircare brands around.

1. Undone By George Northwood

Stylist to Alexa Chung, Daisy Edgar Jones and Meghan Markle, George Northwood is what we in the beauty industry would describe as hairstylist royalty. His signature looks champion an effortlessly “undone” look that still leaves hair looking expensive. It makes sense, therefore, that his haircare brand (which is stocked in Boots) embodies his styling ethos, with lightweight wet products and texturising styling sprays. You’ll be left with lengths that look worthy of the red carpet, just with a bit of cool-girl grit.

Undone by George Northwood Undirty Shampoo
Undone by George Northwood
Undirty Shampoo

If you like your hair to feel clean but look a little bit lived in, this stuff really does the job. 

Undone by George Northwood Undirty Conditioner
Undone by George Northwood
Undirty Conditioner

With fermented minerals and sugar beet, this conditioner helps to give hair a healthy-looking shine without weighing it down with moisture.

Undone by George Northwood Wave Holding Spray
Undone by George Northwood
Wave Holding Spray

If your hair struggles to hold a wave or curl, spritz this spray through lengths before styling for heat protection. It also prolongs the life of your waves—the results are truly extraordinary.

2. Arkive Headcare

Adam Reed boasts a number of big-name clients from beauty editors to celebs, and he’s also responsible for countless high-end fashion looks backstage at fashion weeks. Having spent years consulting for big-name brands about the kind of products they should be making, this year, Reed decided to take matters into his own hands and launch Arkive Headcare. With products suitable for everyone, the line-up focuses on treating the hair and scalp while providing a truly enjoyable experience. The formulas are gorgeous, and I look forward to washing my hair knowing that I’ve got some Arkive on the shelf.

Arkive All Day Everyday Shampoo
All Day Everyday Shampoo

This no-fuss conditioner is ideal for regular use. Baobab protein helps to strengthen the hair while the scent is sweet, floral and musky all at once. It is impeccably luxe.

Arkive All Day Everyday Conditioner
All Day Everyday Conditioner

If your hair is prone to knotting and matting, I urge you to give this restorative conditioner a try.

Arkive Future Youth Treatment Mask
Future Youth Treatment Mask

I don’t have time for hair masks that need to be left to stew for 20 minutes, which is why this 3-minute treatment is ideal. With baobab protein, shea butter and coconut oil, it makes for the ultimate antidote for parched hair.

3. JVN Hair

Jonathan Van Ness needs no introduction. He has become a celebrity himself in recent years and has a wealth of haircare knowledge from his many years as a hairstylist. JVN Hair is so much more than a celebrity haircare brand. It offers a totally inclusive and gender-neutral line of products that are, without a doubt, some of the best I have ever tried.

JVN Hair Complete Air Dry Cream
JVN Hair
Complete Air Dry Cream

If you have wavy, curly or coily hair, this cream will help to moisturise strands and define curls without adding extra weight or crunchiness. Likewise, it left my poker-straight hair looking significantly smoother and shinier.

JVN Hair Complete Pre-Wash Scalp Oil
JVN Hair
Complete Pre-Wash Scalp Oil

As someone with grease-prone hair, I assumed this scalp oil would exacerbate the problem, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It helps to soothe an irritated or itchy scalp instantly and doesn’t leave behind a trace of oily grease. 

JVN Hair Complete Instant Recovery Serum
JVN Hair
Complete Instant Recovery Serum

I genuinely think this could be my favourite hair product ever. I have only used it three or four times, but so far, the results have been so impressive that I can’t quite compute it. It strengthens the hair, boots softness and shine, and protects against heat damage while it’s at it. My dry ends have never felt softer.

4. Hershesons

You might know of the Hersheson name through its family-run, London-based salons. Father and son haircare extraordinaire duo Daniel and Luke Hersheson have been running salons together for years. In recent years, Luke Hersheson has made a name for himself styling the hair of some of Britain’s most iconic celebs, including Victoria Beckham, Kiera Knightley, and Dua Lipa. The iconic Hershesons aesthetic champions an effortless, undone look that, thankfully, can be achieved with just a couple of products.

Hershesons The Everyday Essentials Brush
The Everyday Essentials Brush

This brush smooths hair with unparalleled ease and leaves strands looking silky and shiny.

Hershesons Almost Everything Cream
Almost Everything Cream

It does exactly what it says on the tin. This handy cream does pretty much whatever you want it to. Whether you want to texturise, boost shine, tame flyaways or create a slicked-back ponytail, Almost Eveyrthing Cream has you covered. I tend to steer clear of styling products (my fine hair hates them), but I’ll never go away without a bottle of this stuff.

Hershesons Zhoosh Foam
Zhoosh Foam

Another product I don’t ever want to be without is Zhoosh Foam. You apply it to dry hair, work in with fingers, and allow it to dry. All in all, it takes about 30 seconds to apply, and roots are left boosted and malleable.

5. R+Co

When three of the hair world’s biggest names get together to create a haircare brand, you get R+Co. Founded by Thom Priano and Garren and Howard McLaren, R+Co makes products that are every bit as good as you would expect. McLaren has decades’ worth of experience in styling and education, Priano specialises in men’s grooming (his clients include the likes of Harry Styles and Brad Pitt), and Garren has worked with some of the industry’s biggest names (including Giselle and Linda Evangelista). While the range is relatively large, it’s the styling products that really stand out for me.

R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo
Death Valley Dry Shampoo

Not only is this a great dry shampoo (it doesn’t leave hair feeling gritty or sticky), but it also smells absolutely divine.

R+Co Rainless Dry Cleansing Conditioner
Rainless Dry Cleansing Conditioner

I have yet to find a product quite like this one. Created with celebrity hairstylist Jenny Cho (if you also swoon over HoYeon Jung’s hair, Cho is the person to follow on Instagram for some serious inspo), this product acts like a dry shampoo but doesn’t add a hint of texture. Instead, it absorbs grease and leaves hair flowing with natural movement.

R+Co Zig Zag Root Teasing Texture Spray
Zig Zag Root Teasing Texture Spray

If it’s textured lift you’re after, this body-boosting spray will give roots the volumising lift they require.

6. Chris Appleton + Color Wow

Chris Appleton is the man behind some of Kim Kardashian’s most iconic hair looks as well as J.Lo’s bouncy waves and Ariana Grande’s sky-high ponytail. Within the industry, he is famed for his ability to give hair a glass-like, expensive finish. When he collaborated with Color Wow to produce a hair mask, there was a struggle to keep it on the shelves.

Color Wow + Chris Appleton Money Masque
Color Wow + Chris Appleton
Money Masque

If you prefer your hair products to be free of silicones, I’ll warn you now that this is not the product for you. However, if like me, you like the strand-smoothing, gloss-boosting, shine-inducing effects of silicone, you will never regret spending your money on this product. Every time I use it, someone compliments me on how glossy my hair looks. 

7. Andrew Fitzsimons

Another Kardashian-favourite stylist, Andrew Fitzsimons is famed for his ultra-long, rich-looking hair creations. So imagine my joy when I discovered that his new haircare range was genuinely affordable. The products, which contain a bunch of really impressive ingredients and high-tech complexes, are all about embracing and elevating what you already have.

Andrew Fitzsimons Discreet AF Dry Shampoo Spray
Andrew Fitzsimons
Discreet AF Dry Shampoo Spray

This stuff lives up to its name. A dry shampoo that doesn’t leave hair looking grey or feeling weighed-down? I’ll take 10 cans.

Andrew Fitzsimons Repair Leave-In Conditioner
Andrew Fitzsimons
Repair Leave-In Conditioner

A hair product that contains a bonding complex quite as impressive as this one for less than a tenner is quite remarkable. Spritz onto damp hair and let the nourishing ceramides condition dry ends while the bonding complex does its strengthening, shine-boosting work.

Andrew Fitzsimons Virgin Repair Moisture Mask
Andrew Fitzsimons
Virgin Repair Moisture Mask

For deeper nourishment, this rich hair mask helps to strengthen hair from within the strand, minimising the risk of breakage, frizz, and dryness.

8. Oribe

You might not know this, but the man behind this super-luxe haircare brand, the late Oribe Canales, was one of the most influential hairstylists of the ’90s (and probably of all time). With the likes of Cindy Crawford, J.Lo and Christy Turlington as devoted clients, Oribe redefined what glamour looked like for so many. In 2008, he (along with co-founder Daniel Kaner) set out to create hair products that would give luxury a whole new meaning. When I sat down for dinner with Kaner recently, he mused over the way that Oribe was dead-set on creating products that were better than anything else on the market, oozed luxury and smelled like “lipstick, sex, and as though you crawled into a Birkin bag and died.” I couldn’t have summed up Oribe products any better myself—they truly are the best of the best and the pinnacle of luxury.

Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo
Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo

Not only does this shampoo strengthen and fortify both scalp and strands to leave hair looking the best it ever has, it also leaves you smelling seriously rich.

Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Conditioner
Gold Lust Repair & Restore Conditioner

Yes, Oribe products are expensive, but I have never regretted spending a penny of the £53 this conditioner costs. I challenge anyone to use it once and not instantly repurchase another bottle.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
Dry Texturizing Spray

This styling product is considered to be one of the best ever created—full stop. It adds lived-in texture to hair like no other texturising mist can. 

9. Ouai

Jen Atkin is a celebrity hairstylist that totally personifies California cool. She has, after all, worked on the hair of California’s coolest personalities. I’m talking Kendall Jenner, Shay Mitchell and Hailey Bieber. And her haircare brand couldn’t be more on the mark. Ouai (pronounced way), evokes the feeling of soaking in the rays of Californian sunshine while delivering effortlessly healthy hair.

Ouai Detox Shampoo
Detox Shampoo

A best seller from the brand, this shampoo gives hair an intense detox-like cleanse and doesn’t leave lengths in knots.

Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub (St Barts)
Scalp & Body Scrub (St Barts)

Never has a more wonderful tropically scented scalp scrub existed—like tropical fruit and orange blossom all rolled into one super-exfoliating, build-up-removing formula.

Ouai Thick Hair Treatment Masque
Thick Hair Treatment Masque

If you haven’t guessed already, Ouai products smell great, and this mask is no exception. Available for fine, medium and thick hair, it caters to all hair wants and needs.

Next up, from J.Lo to Rosie HW, celebs swear by this best-selling mask for amazing hair.