Ask a Hairstylist: Which Products Are a Waste of Money?

Anthony Nader

Ever wish you had a personal hairstylist at your beck and call, ready to offer expertise on all your pressing hair dilemmas? We did, too, hence our Ask a Hairstylist series featuring celebrity hair guru Anthony Nader. (He’s responsible for styling many an A-lister, and coifs just about every beauty editor in Sydney. Oh, and he's styled hundreds of runway shows and editorials, including our very own shoots with Bridget Malcolm and Samara Weaving.) In this series, Nader offers up the next best thing to a 24/7 hairstylist: a seasoned pro willing to answer all your burning (not literally… we hope) hair questions.

In this month’s column, we asked a tricky (and potentially controversial) question—which hair products are a waste of money? We asked Nader to walk us through how to pick the right products, plus tell us the ones you should avoid and explain why they're a waste of money. Ahead you'll find Nader's take on the hair products to steer clear of. (And don't worry, your dry shampoo is safe!)

Scroll on for Anthony's tips on what you should and shouldn't be spending your money on. 

DON’T BLOW YOUR BUDGET ON AN EXPENSIVE HAIRDRYER

"You know those ones that cost hundreds and hundreds of bucks... you don't need them (unless they can also do your laundry, right!). A hairdryer that #MeansBusiness will set you back between $100-$200 and you’re hair strands will still love you for it. Look out for key words on your new purchase like 'Thermal', 'Ionic', 'Heat Protector' or 'Ceramic Technology' just to name a few."

YOUR FLAT IRON DOESN’T NEED TO BE GOLD PLATED 

"Anyway, I’m more of a Platinum kinda guy anyway. Who needs gold? There are so many flat irons in the market that it can be daunting to the consumer that isn’t tech savvy and doesn't know what to look for.

My biggest requirements when investing in a flat iron or curling tong are:

  • A temperature control that you can adjust because not everyone needs 230 degrees of hot plates moulding their strands. This is especially necessary if you have bleached hair as it doesn’t warrant such a high temp as you don’t want your hair to snap off.
  • Ceramic is the key to shinier locks, so look out for this on the box when making your purchase. Models love when I use my ceramic hot tools on photo shoots as it makes their hair appear brighter and healthier."

Try this GHD Platnium Hair Straightner ($265).

PICK THE RIGHT DRY SHAMPOO

"Picking a dry shampoo can be hard work, but not anymore! And besides, how many different ones do you need in your cabinet? To narrow down the selection, ask yourself these questions while you're testing them and of course keep in mind the price point factor:

  • How's the fragrance? Do you want to smell like a soft scented rose petal or a European beach vacation? Either way, make sure your next purchase is one that doesn’t offend your office colleges in the board room.
  • Do you want a powder or a spray? You choose and decide what works best for you and your hair. Also, do you prefer an aerosol or not? Something else to think about."

Try Head Muk's Dry Shampoo ($25).

HOW MANY DIFFERENT MOROCCAN OIL’S ARE THERE ANYWAY?

"Look, I’d love to get to Morocco to experience the exotic landscape and beautiful culture, but in the mean time I don’t need to give my right arm to get myself an expensive product brand that tricks me into 'the more I spend/the more I’m absorbed into thinking I’m at a spa in Marrakesh' kind of deal.

Just look out for the key ingredient, and in this instance Argan Oil is your go-to for promoting healthy, shine- boosting hair strands. Also get more mileage with your bottle of oil by applying it on damp hair and then see how much shine you have when it's dry." 

Try Agadir's Argan Oil Hair Treatment ($22).

BUY 100% NATURAL BOAR BRISTLES

"Once again you don’t need to splurge out on a brush that zaps up your funds for the week. Do your homework on what’s going to last you for the years to come. Boar bristles are vital because for one, they promote a healthy scalp (by massaging while you glide your brush from roots to ends), but also they don’t cause your strands to break like synthetic bristles sometime do. You can pay hundreds of dollars for this type of brush, so happy shopping for better hair days ahead."

CHOOSE YOUR BLONDE-ENHANCING SHAMPOO WISELY

"Now let’s be totally frank here, girls, and take a walk down the violet path to cleaning out your brassy toned hair strands. We all know that there are a million variations of these cosmetic shampoos to help you maintain your 'natural' blonde hue, but which one do you choose? And do you go to a salon or a supermarket to make your purchase?

It’s a tough one, but what you do need to decide is how much do you need to tone that brassiness out of your hair so it looks natural, and at what price? It also comes down to the shades of the product depending on how natural you want your blonde to be. Is the product a light shade of mauve? Or is it violet or is it purple? These three variations really do determine how good your blonde strands are going to appear to get you to where you want to be. Now does that mean that you're happy with a supermarket brand, or a salon professional brand that costs more? Only you can judge this one, but I will say, with price comes quality."

Opening image: Trop Rouge.

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