For the past 16 years, the Glamour Beauty Awards have celebrated the products that have changed our routines forever: conditioners that transform curls, eye creams that reverse time, lipsticks that make us feel ready to take on the world. But if there’s one thing that makes us even more excited to rummage to through thousands of products (yes, thousands, and trust us, we do), it’s hearing the feedback from you.
That’s where our Glamour Beauty Awards Readers’ Choice nominations come in. From foundation to nail polish to fragrance, our editors narrowed down a list of the products you can’t stop talking about, and now we’re asking you to vote on your all-time favorites of the bunch. The polls are open for the next four weeks—click here to cast your votes!—then we’ll tally up the winners. They’ll be announced on March 23, along with the rest of the Glamour Beauty Award honorees.
In the meantime, you can study up on—or shop—all the products up for nomination in our Readers’ Choice hair category. Check them out, below, then don’t forget to vote.
Best Shampoo and Conditioner
Sure, they’re not the most exciting products out there, but like a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, a great shampoo and conditioner can start your day out right. These shampoos (and their conditioning counterparts) are the ones that come up time and time again as the duos that get the job done (“the job” being making your hair look damn freaking good).
A must for curly girls, co-washes cleanse hair without stripping coils and kinks of their bounce, which is exactly why reader Sasha Bannister loves the DevaCurl No-Poo. “I have 3b curl pattern hair that can be extremely dry and frizzy after a shampoo,” she says. “I switched to DevaCurl No Poo about four years ago, and while it does take a while to get used to the no suds, it’s the first shampoo I’ve found that can cleanse and moisturize my hair.” No surprise it’s looking to reclaim its spot as a Readers’ Choice winner, but it’s got its work cut out for it with so many other faves in this year’s mix.
Best Hair Mask
A good hair mask is the phone-a-friend equivalent of hair care: Slapping one on is an instant lifeline that can bring dull, dry, or heat-damaged hair back from the dead. The following options are the best of the best. Seriously, three of them took home awards for our various hair categories last year (one for straight hair, one for curls and waves, and the last for readers’ choice). Will a newcomer beat them out this year? Well, Briogeo’s hardworking formula repairs stressed-out strands without any sulfates or silicones, while Ouai smells like a fancy L.A. spa.
Best Dry Shampoo
If you’re anything like us—crazy busy, chronically late, a little lazy—dry shampoo is not just a necessity, but an everyday hero when it comes to making it look like you actually showered. These formulas soak up grease in a flash without leaving a chalky residue behind. Klorane and Batiste lean more powdery, Dove and TRESemmé have more of a micro-mist, while Living Proof has oil-eliminating molecules that actually clean your hair.
Once considered a curls-only product, the leave-in category has expanded to cater to all types and textures. Briogeo’s lightweight texture makes it ideal for fine hair, while Pattern’s is formulated specifically to give curls and coils the lasting hydration and definition they need. Oh, and did we mention it has Tracee Ellis Ross’s seal of approval? Because she helped make it.
Best Scalp Treatment
Here’s something we never thought we’d say: Dandruff shampoo is officially chic now. In the past year, scalp treatments went from being an embarrassment we pushed to the back of the shower to the prettily packaged bottles we bragged about—and it’s for the better, since having a clean, hydrated scalp directly relates to healthy hair. Past Beauty Awards winners like Leonor Greyl (which Violet Grey beauty director Maureen Choi calls “the scalp equivalent of an antioxidant serum”) and Head & Shoulders go up against the classics, including Christophe Robin’s scrub literally every hairstylist is obsessed with.
The quickest way to add a some lived-in cool to your hair is a texturizing spray. A good texturizer should add grit and body without weighing hair down—a hard balance to nail, but these options do. New kid on the block, Sexy Hair Surfrider, has actual moonstones in the formula (to keep your hair shiny, not matte), while perennial top-seller Living Proof gives ample hold and piece-y texture without any crunch. Meanwhile, Joico smells like a day at the beach—and makes your hair look like you’ve been there too.
Best Shine Serum
Shine serums do more than what their name implies; they’re the perfect finishing touch to smooth frizz and flyaways in seconds. These picks go above and beyond: John Frieda’s Dry Oil nourishes dry ends with acai and avocado oil, while Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny Serum uses weightless silicones to stop frizz in its tracks.
Best Wave Spray
Even if you’re landlocked you can still get the mermaid waves of your dreams thanks to these easy formulas. While wave sprays traditionally use sea salt to give hair that fresh-out-of-the-ocean vibe (like 2019 Readers’ Choice winner Bumble and bumble), brands like Ouai and Amika have recently brought new innovations to the category with salt-free sprays that mimic the beachy look without the stickiness typically associated with them.
Best Curl Booster
Gone are the days of taming your curls into submission. These products maximize coils to their full glory. Take, for instance, SheaMoisture’s hair mask, a 2019 Beauty Awards winner and fave of cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson’s. “The level of moisture and curl definition that it delivered made my hair feel like a million bucks—for less than $20,” she said. Even better? The past few years have seen a surge of new WOC-owned brands that celebrate texture. Among them include Tracee Ellis Ross’s Pattern and Afro-Dominicana founder Lulu Cordero’s Bomba Curls.
Best Edge Control
When it comes to slicking down baby hairs, laying edges, and sculpting swoops and spirals, an edge control with serious hold but none of the crunch is a must. This year’s competitors include drugstore classics and a brand-new Instagrammable brush that’ll keep your edges firmly in formation.
The ’80s (and its crispy, crunchy updos) undoubtedly gave hairspray a bad rap, but stiff hair is a thing of the past. These formulas nail the balance of being lightweight, non-sticky, and crunch-free while still keeping styles in place, and then some. Whether you’re looking for an option that’s safer on the planet (meaning aerosol-free) or a price that won’t set you back too much during your next Target run, there’s a little something for everyone.
At-Home Hair Color
Boxed hair color has come a long way since your last attempt, we promise you. Not only are the off-the-shelf options so much more intuitive to use (like 2019 Beauty Award winner, Clairol, which celebrity hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew called “gentle” and “vibrant”), but also there’s a whole new slew of customizable kits you can choose from, like Madison Reed’s at-home balayage kit and eSalon’s custom color set. With the latter, for example, you take an online quiz and upload photos of what you want and what your hair looks like now, and the brand will hook you up with a DIY kit that’s individually tailored to your desired look and hair type. The future is here.
At this point the Dyson Supersonic needs no introduction. Since it hit—or, more appropriately, dominated—the scene when it launched four years ago, the $400 dryer has remained steady on the best-seller charts (along with winning a Glamour Beauty Award). It’s back to hold down its Readers’ Choice win, alongside a number of stellar, slightly more affordable options. Curly girls will instantly recognize DevaCurl’s famed dryer (its “hand” diffuser brings curls to life like few others), while anyone who occasionally watches YouTube likely knows about the rabid fanbase Revlon’s brush dryer has. If somehow you’ve yet to try any of them, now’s your chance.
Best Flat Iron
If you haven’t fired up a straightener since 2009 (for your side bangs, obviously), we’ve got some good news for you. The latest iterations of flat irons straighten hair without damage or drama. In fact, they often go above and beyond, and can curl, smooth frizz, and even condition your hair. Two 2019 Beauty Awards winners—GHD Classic 1″ Styler and Kristin Ess 3-in-One Flat Iron—go head-to-head with three new options.
It’s hard to reinvent the wheel when it comes to a curling iron—you simply wrap your hair around the barrel, right?–but these contenders do just that. Dyson’s innovative Air Wrap (which uses air to curl hair instead of heat) garnered a waitlist of more than 100,000 people (!) after selling out in 2018, while T3’s top-selling style (and Beauty Awards winner!) features a convertible wand so you can create just about any style of curl you want.