7 hair products my hairdresser says you need

woman combing hair in the shower

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know that after years of typical beauty editor hair experimentation, I’ve sworn loyalty to my hairdresser, the Toronto-based Bill Angst. (If the pic below looks familiar, you may have seen him on CityLine—check out a couple of his AMAZING hair makeovers here and here.)

Quite simply, I think he’s the best in the country—and actually, he was doing my hair loooong before I got into this biz. But as a beauty editor, the temptation of free cuts gets hard to resist. After getting burned too many times to count (too-short bangs, lopsided bangs, overly-feathered Farrah Fawcett ‘dos…), I finally vowed that I wouldn’t let ANYONE ELSE touch these tresses. If you’re lucky enough to be one of Bill’s clients, you stick with him for life.

Bill Angst 7 hair products my hairdresser says you needBill recently launched his website, called Billy’s House of Charm (billangst.com), which you should definitely have a peek at.

You should also check out this article, which I came across while Google-stalking him.

I was especially interested in his product recos—even though the story was done a few years ago—so I thought I’d borrow a few from the list (with my own commentary, of course) for today’s post.

I’m sure he’s since added a few favourites to this list, so next time I go in for a cut, I’ll see if I can get him to spill.

But in the meantime, here are 7 hair products to consider adding to your arsenal:

1. Hotheads Brush

Hotheads brush 7 hair products my hairdresser says you need

Bill’s favourite brush. It has three types of bristles that work together to distribute hair evenly as you brush; they also direct air to the centre in order to speed up drying time. It also has a heat sensor: the barrel changes colour to allow you to set hair at the optimum temperature. Find them at Delineation in Toronto.

2. Blow dryer with an ionic charge

T3 Hairdryer 7 hair products my hairdresser says you need

Ionic hairdryers are not only quieter, but they also WORK way faster than regular dryers. Seriously, I’ll never go back. My personal fave is the T3, but here are some other, lower-priced recos. Tip: for smoothing out the top layer of your hair, use the nozzle. For curly hair, use the diffuser.

3. Carbon Comb

carbon comb 7 hair products my hairdresser says you need

What’s a carbon comb, you say? It’s made of actual carbon and unlike the typical “bendy” combs, doesn’t have any give, so you can really comb firmly through the hair. Some, like FHI’s, have anti-static properties too. Find them at beauty supply stores.

4. Mason Pearson brush

Mason Pearson brushes 7 hair products my hairdresser says you need

Yes, they’re pricey, but I’ve never once regretted springing for a Mason Pearson brush years ago (on Bill’s recommendation, of course!). The quality just can’t be beat—but don’t use them for blow-drying or they’ll melt! Bill likes the ones that have a combo of boar and nylon bristles. Find them at upscale beauty retailers.

5. Hot Rollers

Conair Ion Shine Hot Rollers 7 hair products my hairdresser says you need

Hot rollers have sort of fallen out of fashion with the advent of flat iron-created curls lately, but they still have a place in your toolkit. I actually use mine (the Conair Ion Shine set, pictured above) quite a bit—not for creating tight curls, but more for soft waves and achieving a bit of lift and body. Tip: before you put in the rollers, spray each section of hair with hairspray to help the curl set.

6. MOP D-Curl Straightening Balm

Mop D Curl Straightening Balm 7 hair products my hairdresser says you need

This is a leave-in conditioning balm that suits all hair types and won’t weigh hair down. This would be great for summer, when even straight-haired types like me get a bit of frizz. Apply it to damp hair and then blow-dry.

7. MOP Defining Cream

Mop Defining Cream 7 hair products my hairdresser says you need

If your hair needs a bit more moisture or control, work this in to damp hair and then blow-dry or let air-dry. Again, it works for all hair types and helps smooth down the hair cuticle. The finish is matte, not shiny.

So now tell me…

Are you using any of these products? Which hair products can’t YOU live without?


Jill D (29secrets.com)
Friday, July 16/2010 at 11:57 am

I’m all over the tools: the T3 dryer, the Mason Pearson and the Conair hot rollers. I’m hopeless with a curling iron, so those rollers let me get my curl on


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, July 17/2010 at 3:27 pm

It’s true – unless I have at least 20 min to fiddle with the flat iron, I prefer to throw in the Conairs!


Friday, July 16/2010 at 11:59 am

Got the hairdryer and the comb. Also live for Kevin Murphy Beach Resort–best texturizer I’ve tried.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, July 17/2010 at 3:28 pm

I agree! Been using it since it was called Kusco Murphy (his previous company – found it when I lived in Australia).


Friday, July 16/2010 at 2:34 pm

Any tips for chin-length fine limp hair? I’m always struggling to find volume.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, July 17/2010 at 3:48 pm

What products are you using now? (Shouldn’t be anything too heavy if your hair is fine + limp.) I have the same hair type and I use a lot of root-lifting sprays, beach hair texturizers and of course if you do a nice blowout with a round brush that also helps. Velcro rollers (or Kevin Murphy’s ones – which are AWESOME) can give you some body without curl.


Monday, August 16/2010 at 10:33 am

WAY behind on my follow ups :)

Because my hair is in bad shape I’m using a damage repair shampoo/conditioner from Kerastase. Then when my hair is still wet I’ll use a bit of Biosilk to hopefully prevent any damage from the upcoming blow dry. I’ll blow dry my hair with a round brush then use Mark Anthony Instantly Thick Hair Thickening cream … but it doesn’t do much. Maybe I’m using it wrong …

I don’t have enough hair (or patience) for velcro rollers; the longest pieces are barely at my chin. So rollers are not an option.

I’m also worried about adding products that could potentially damage my hair further, so if you have any suggestions that would be safe for damaged locks PLEASE let me know!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, August 18/2010 at 12:10 pm

Ah I see the problem now. It’s going to be tough getting volume if you’re using damage-repair stuff – they’re too moisturizing. Unfortunately I think you kind of have to choose one or the other… I haven’t seen any products that do both.

I’d probably concentrate on the damage for a few months if it’s really bad. Kerastase makes good stuff so that should really help. What Biosilk product are you using? Just make sure it’s specifically for protecting the hair from heat – if it’s just a serum that might not be enough.

Try to be as gentle on your hair as you can until it’s in better condition. If you can get away with air drying I’d even do that for a while. The round brush can also be damaging if you do it every day, so maybe try to ease up on that? I’m not sure if your hair is long enough to do this but sometimes I just roll mine up into a bun while it’s still damp, let it dry like that, and then you get some nice waves…

As for the Marc Anthony cream… haven’t tried it but thinking a cream might not be the best. I’ve had the most success with the sprays – I think they’re more lightweight and you can really get in there at the roots. (Then just blow dry your hair upside down, if you can, to get the lift at the roots – will be less damaging than running the round brush through it.) Kiehl’s makes a really good one (Root Lifter? I think is the name)… that one’s probably my favourite.

I don’t think any of these products will cause additional damage… if anything they’ll help protect your hair. The thing you need to be worried about is the heat styling and anything tugging at the hair (eg brushing or even towel drying needs to be gentle).

I hope that helps! I guess I should put this into its own post!


Friday, July 16/2010 at 2:36 pm

T3 hairdryer (I also have the flat iron) is definitely worth the money.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, July 17/2010 at 3:49 pm

I concur! I like the T3 dryer better than their flat iron though… for straightening I still haven’t found anything I like better than my Chi.


Friday, July 16/2010 at 11:31 pm

The Hotheads brush is brilliant. The spiral patterned bristles release really easily and never get stuck. (Am I the only one who gets other round brushes hopelessly knotted up in my hair?) And I love my Mason Pearson (mini head massage while brushing), although I winced paying so much for a pocket sized brush.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, July 17/2010 at 3:50 pm

I know – $100 for a brush is a bit excessive. But seriously – you can’t go back to using Goody or whatever after you try a Mason Pearson.
And yes, I have trouble with round brushes too – the Hotheads is on my list to try.


Saturday, July 17/2010 at 1:28 pm

The Hotheads brush was designed by Michael Victor, owner of Delineation; Hotheads is the name of his own line of hair products (including the muppety Hand Dry Hair Glove). How’s that for beauty trivia? *grin*

Love the T3 dryer (my travel size one conked out after its first use, though), and have the flat iron too. And a Mason Pearson. Funny that I don’t blowdry or straighten or even brush my wavy hair these days, though. Sheesh. But if I want to, I’ve got what I need to get the job done right, yes?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, July 17/2010 at 3:51 pm

You ARE a beauty geek! thanks!
I’ve heard a lot of stories about T3 conking out… yikes. I had to get my travel one replaced as it died too but I thought that was because I used it with the wrong voltage in Europe once.


Saturday, July 17/2010 at 8:58 pm

Don’t even mention T3s dying – I’d hate to have to buy another. They’re another life saver – although you don’t realize how brilliant they are until you’re forced to use hotel hair dryers – all that noise and heat and they still don’t get the job done. (I didn’t know about the Hothead drying glove – thanks Janine. I do love all things Muppet-y.)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, July 19/2010 at 9:14 am

I need to see that drying glove! And yes – hotel dryers = terrible and frizz-producing.


Friday, August 6/2010 at 4:23 pm

Are u nuts? We are in recession, I can’t afford any of those……where have u been?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, August 9/2010 at 1:01 pm

No, I’m not nuts! But the point of this blog is to talk about the great products out there (as well as news, tips, how-tos, etc.). Sometimes it’s drugstore stuff, sometimes it’s more higher-end. I’m not saying you have to buy anything – just sharing what I know.
If you’re looking for more affordable options, I just posted a review of Joe Fresh Cosmetics – everything is under $10:


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