Ride or Die Beauty: The Best Hair Care Products of 2017

2017 Ride or Die Hair Care Kit by Stephanie Ziajka from Diary of a Debutante

I don’t know about y’all, but with all the beauty reviews on the internet, it’s tough to get a feel for someone’s actual favorite beauty products. Sure, a product is great if it gets sent to you for free– but would you actually pay $45 out of pocket to repurchase? That’s why I love writing about Ride or Die beauty. Ride or Die beauty products are the ones currently sitting on your vanity. They’re the ones you don’t leave town without. To accompany my Ride or Die Makeup and Ride or Die Skincare posts, I also wanted to round up my Ride or Die Hair Products! These are the products that got me through the past year– and most of my adult life, as well. After dying my poor dark brown hair blonde (twice), I’ve become somewhat of a connoisseur in effective reconstructive hair products over the years. Now that my hair is healthy, my main priority is keeping it that way. 

For reference, my hair is thick, fine, and oily… thanks primarily to my heritage. It’s naturally straight, although it air dries into an unruly mess unless I use the right products. If you have a similar hair type, and especially if you’ve ever colored your hair, these products will work wonders for you! Click any product on the below collage for specific product details or scroll down to the bottom of this post for an itemized description of everything featured. If you have any trouble viewing content, please disable your ad blocker. I promise my site won’t spam you!

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Shampoo

Nexxus Emergencee Shampoo has been my go-to since my pageant days. As a resident shampoo shifter, it’s the only shampoo that I’ve ever repurchased more than 5 times. You can read a full review on the Nexxus Emergencee line here

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Dry Shampoo

I’m Italian, and I have thick hair. Translation: I’m very oily, and I can’t go more than a few days without washing my hair. I’ve tried just about every product under the sun, and not very many dry shampoos are actually effective on my hair. That being said, Drybar Detox, Eva-NYC Freshen Up, and Moroccanoil Dark Tones are the only products I will use. Eva-NYC Freshen Up is the most affordable (It’s only $12 per bottle), and a little product goes a long way. Drybar Detox is great because it’s light and effective in deodorizing dirty hair, which is a big issue for me. It does, however, leave a little bit of a white residue, although you can easily shake out. 

If I had to choose one (where’s the fun in that?), Moroccanoil Dark Tones is probably my favorite. I’s also the most expensive. All Moroccanoil products smell amazing, and their Dark Tones dry shampoo makes my hair feel freshly washed after every use. However, it’s specifically formulated for darker-colored hair. If your hair is blonde, lighter brown, or red, you won’t be able to use this product. 

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Conditioner

Again, I can’t say enough good things about the Nexxus Emergencee Line. The Nexxus Emergencee Conditioner completely saved my bleach blonde pageant hair when it felt like it was about to fall out. Whether you’re preserving damaged hair or you want to maintain hair health, this $17 conditioner is worth every penny. 

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Hair Oil Treatment

I love everything about this Moroccanoil product. Just the tiniest drop of Moroccanoil Treatment detangles your hair, speeds up drying time, and gives your hair an unbelievably gorgeous shine. I use this to tame frizz when I’m letting my hair air dry, and it’s always softer and more manageable afterwards. Plus, it’s the best smelling product I’ve ever used. I started using this hair oil in high school, and I don’t think I’ve gone more than a week without using it.

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Hair Masks

For a little bit of background, my hair is naturally dark brown (ie. almost black). On two separate occasions, I decided to dye my hair blonde to compete in pageants. It takes a lot of bleach and a lot of toner to turn black hair into blonde hair, so I’ve become accustomed to using hair masks to keep it from falling out. When my hair’s structural integrity was the most vulnerable, I used Nexxus Emergencee Reconstructive Treatment. It’s formulated for intensely damaged hair, so regardless of how hopeless you think your situation is, this product works wonders. If you buy each tube individually, it can get expensive. However, you can purchase a more economical 4-pack on Amazon to save some money. For more info on how to properly use this treatment, click here

If you live anywhere with humidity (here’s looking at you, Florida), Redken’s Frizz Dismiss Mask is awesome. Its humidity-resist complex provides nourishment and deep conditioning to even the most damaged, frizz-prone hair. Above all else, increased softness and manageability are the most notable upsides to its use. I recommend using this product when you plan on blow drying your hair right afterwards. Whenever I let my hair air dry after use, the results are never quite as good. 

I was turned onto Bumble and Bumble last last year when we were spending the winter in Maine. My hair was super dry and in desperate need of hydration. Bb. Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Pre-Shampoo Masque was a lifesaver! You apply if before hopping in the shower, and it leaves your hair soft, silky, and ultra-manageable after one use. Now that we’re living in Missouri, I’ve been using the Invisible Oil Pre-Shampoo Masque in the colder months and Redken’s Frizz Dismiss Mask during the hot and humid summer months (and yes, it gets surprisingly humid in the midwest). 

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Heat Protectant

Drybar Hot Toddy Heat & UV Protectant is a lightweight lotion that protects hair from heat up to 450 degrees, helping seal split ends and prevent dryness, damage, and breakage. It’s smells great, and it works well for all hair types. Also, if you color your hair, drybar Hot Toddy protects you from UVA and UVB exposure that can fade color and consequently dry out your hair and scalp.

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Leave-In Treatment

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product has been my go-to since high school. My hair is long and thing, so it has a tendency to tangle easily. I first started using It’s a 10 for the detangling properties, and I had no idea it was so versatile. Among its ten known benefits, it detangles, protects hair color, boosts volume, prevents slip ends, controls frizz.. I mean, it seriously does it all. Regardless of the climate you live in (wet, dry, hot, cold), this incredible leave-in treatment works wonders. You can actually check out a product review I wrote over 4 years ago– as embarrassing as the post is, it’s evidence that It’s a 10 has been a longtime favorite. 

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Hairsprays

I have a lot of hair, so I need a hairspray with strong hold. Bumble and Bumble Bb. Strong Finish Hairspray gets the job done without any stiffness or flakes! I’ve also started using Ouai Texturizing Hairspray for its awesome texturizing properties. It works like a hybrid between a dry shampoo and a strong hold hairspray, so it’s great for every day use. I primarily use Bumble and Bumble for fresh hairstyles and Ouai for second day refreshers and textured beach waves. 

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Mousse

I rarely use mousse, unless I’m creating voluminous curls with either hot rollers (a pageant tactic) or a hair straightener. I can’t stand the crunchiness that most mousses leave in my hair.  If, however, “the bigger the hair, the closer to Jesus” is your motto, you can’t go wrong with Big Sexy Hair Root Pump Plus. I scrunch some in my roots while it’s still wet, and it gives my roots visible volume and helps create the most gorgeous bombshell curls.

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Finishing Spray

Whenever I blow dry my hair, I always finish it with a spritz of Bumble and Bumble Bb. Hairdresser’s Dry Oil Finishing Spray. Since my hair is so thick and fine, it tends to get a bit unruly whenever I blow dry it. This dry oil finishing spray tames frizz, softens hair, and adds an instant (and aromatic) boost of shine. Also, it’s very lightweight and doesn’t collapse any volume, which is an issue I’ve had with other finishing sprays.

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Curl Enhancers

I really only wear two different styles of curls. It’s either boho beach waves or voluminous curls. For voluminous curls, I use mousse and a ton of hairspray. For beachy waves, I use OGX Coconut Curls Styling Milk and Frizz Ease Clearly Defined Gel. OGX Coconut Curls smells amazing, doesn’t leave my hair feeling stiff or crunchy, and keeps my waves in tact all day. I use it to revive second-day curls. Frizz Ease works best on damp hair, which is nice for days I want to give my hair heatless curls. It gives my curls a reliable hold without leaving any crunch or stickiness behind. 

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Temporary Root Concealers

A good temporary root concealer is the best way to save money (and sanity) between hair appointments. Unfortunately, as a retired pageant girl with lots of experience taming roots, very few products qualify as “good.” The only temporary root concealers I’ve ever had any luck with are EVERPRObeauty Gray Away Root Concealer Spray and Root Touch-Up Magnetic PowderGray Away Root Concealer Spray has become my dirty little secret in can. The Black/Dark Brown color matches my hair perfectly. Its well-designed pinpoint applicator targets and sprays away any visible roots in seconds. For thick, long brown hair like mine, I couldn’t ask for a more effective non-sticky formula. 

For quick touch-ups on the go, I use Gray Away Root Touch-Up Magnetic Powder. The magnetic powder is much more compact and easier to carry with you for spontaneous application. Its packaging is so darn cute, too! You just pop off the base of the compact, which is actually a hidden dome sponge applicator, dip it in the powder, and sweep over your roots or gray hairs for super precise control and coverage in hard-to-reach areas, like the hairline and temple. For a full product review and tutorial, click here

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Paddle Brush

Ashley Brooke turned me on to the Wet Brush a few years ago, and I’ve never gone back. My hair tangles very easily, and it’s the most painless brush I’ve ever used. Plus, it’s so affordable and can be found anywhere from Walmart to Sephora. The Wet Brush Flex Dry was recommended to me by my stylist, since it’s actually made to withstand heat from a blow dryer. In all honesty, I’ve blow dried my hair with my classic wet brush a zillion times, and it still works great. The Flex Dry just minimizes dry time by about 5 minutes. 

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Round Brush

When I want to give myself a blowout, I use my Fromm 1907 Square Thermal Rounder Brush. I love the square brush head, since it can be used to create a variety of looks. It works great and offers both flat and round brush styling. It’s quite literally the best of both worlds. It also makes my very thick and unruly hair feel smoother and less frizzy. Definitely worth the $18 price tag!

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Teasing Comb

In my pageant days, I became an expert in teasing. Not all teasing combs are created equal, though. The Fromm Diane Dual Teeth Teasing Comb is under $3, and I have 3. It has two-tiered bristles for volume and styling precision, and unlike most combs, I still haven’t broken one yet! 

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Blow Dryer

I’ve always been a big fan of Conair, and I love the new Infiniti Pro 3Q Styling Dryer! It’s under $100, and it dries my hair 5-10 minutes faster than my previous dryer. It’s surprisingly quiet, too. The Infiniti Pro 3Q features 3 heat and 2 speed settings to work for all hair types, plus Frizz Defense conditioning ions that enhances shine and reduces frizz. You can read my full review here

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Styling Wand

The T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand is the most expensive hair tool I’ve ever purchased. As painful as the price tag was, it was one of the best beauty investments I’ve ever made. I mean, three curling irons in one? Not a bad deal when you really think about it. This wand is really easy to use and works well with all hair types. It’s also ceramic and has 5 heat settings, reaching a maximum of 410 degrees. My only caveat is that the barrel heats up very quickly. Beware of potential burns on your first few runs with it. I’ll admit, I had a few.  

Ride or Die Hair Care 2017: Best Hair Straightener

I’ve been using a CHI since I started straightening my hair. I’ve never had a reason to switch– I just love their styling tools. This particular straightener is awesome, primarily thanks to its 1.25″ plates. The larger plates make for easier styling for longer hair in less time. The CHI G2 Ceramic 1.25″ Hair Straightener heats up super quick and makes my daily morning routine so much quicker. It’s also great for creating long-lasting curls when I’m traveling and can only bring one tool with me! 


What are your Ride or Die hair products? If I left anything awesome off the list, I’d love to hear your feedback. I’m always looking for new products to try! Also, if you loved my Ride or Die hair care round-up, you’ll also love my 2017 Ride or Die Makeup and Ride or Die Skincare posts! Feel free to comment or email me with any questions or concerns!

This is a sponsored post with EVERPRObeauty. Thank you so much for supporting the brands who make Diary of a Debutante possible! As always, the opinions in this post are mine alone.

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