These are the best at-home hair products to buy if you're keen to book fewer salon appointments, according to the Marie Claire UK Hair Awards judges

Because salon appointments aren't cheap

At-home Salon Saviours - Marie Claire UK Hair Awards 2024 - getty images 1460122384
(Image credit: Future)

While a weekly salon appointment for ultimate hair upkeep sounds dreamy, for most of us it’s far from reality and often this can stop us from getting the cuts and colours that we want lest we become chained to the stylist’s chair. It’s time to add some freedom back into your hair choices with these award-winning products that’ll help to maintain your salon styles for that bit longer. 

Whether you have bleached hair that needs to be re-strengthened or re-toned or a curly cut that you need to keep defined, these products wowed the Marie Claire UK Hair Awards judges for their efficacy.

Want to see the rest of the winners? Don't leave without visiting our roundup of the most Tremendous Treatments, impressive Breakthrough Acts, Superstar Stylers and the ultimate Haircare Solutions.

How are the products tested and judged?

The Marie Claire UK Hair Awards judging panel is formed of a host of industry pros from professional hairdressers and salon owners to journalists, content creators and hair experts to ensure that all products are thoroughly put through their paces.

Here are the products to keep your hair in check between appointments for 2024…

Best Colour Shampoo

Winner: Color Wow Color Security Shampoo

It’s in the name why this brand is king at keeping coloured hair looking incredible. To allow your colour to pop every wash, you need to properly cleanse it before treating and styling so this shampoo's singular focus is to clean the hair and scalp of any build-up and debris without any harsh sulphates that’ll strip colour. “The formula feels really nice and lathers well in the hair,” says judge and Colourist Samantha Cusick, “It also smells so good and my colour definitely had more shine.”

Highly Commended:

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo

Best Toning Shampoo

Winner: PROVOKE Touch of Silver Go Icy Platinum Effect Shampoo

"Lovely product to use, it really makes the hair feel healthy and definitely cools down warmer tones. Great product,” says judge Lorraine Naughton, managing director, OB-1 Hair & Inside Outside. Maintaining brighter, ashier blondes can feel like a lot of upkeep with brassier tones creeping in between salon visits. This winner from PROVOKE is easy on the pocket and fantastic on the hair and often crops up on the best purple shampoo lists. It contains a triple toning technology that works on a smaller molecular level to allow the dyes to penetrate further into the hair's surface and tone for longer so you also don’t have to worry about your colour every time you wash. 

Highly Commended:

Revive by Superdrug Purple Shampoo

Best Toning Conditioner

Winner: OLAPLEX No.5P Blonde Enhancer Toning Conditioner

If you’re looking to bring back ashier tones to your blonde hair while also fortifying the bonds damaged while bleaching hair, this is a 2-in-1 conditioner for you. It gives soothing hydration from root to tip without creating heaviness and, of course, features the OLAPLEX Bond Building Technology in the formula so you can maintain your colour and your hair’s health in one, uncomplicated wash session. Katie Thomas, Marie Claire UK's senior beauty editor, uses it religiously on her bleached hair: "This conditioner is always on my bathroom shelf and I'd be lost without it."

Best Shine-Boosting Shampoo

Winner: Alfaparf Milano Professional Semi di Lino Diamond Illuminating Low Shampoo

“This is beautiful,” says judge and Hair Stylist Errol Douglas, “It feels really refreshing. It’s sulphate-free, which is great. Palm-friendly bottle and love the mechanism.” This low-foam shampoo contains the brand’s Shine Fix Complex which is formulated with linseed extract and omega 3 and 6 to smooth the hair structure for shinier hair and longer-lasting colour. If you live in a city you’ll also benefit from the protection the formula gives against pollutants and environmental aggressors, the enemies of shiny hair. 

Best Shine-Boosting Conditioner

Winner: Redken Acidic Color Gloss Activated Glass Gloss Treatment

If you’ve tried the Redken Acid Bond Concentrate range, you might be wondering how you can improve upon the tech in that formula, but the brand has honed in on its colour house roots to specifically work on enhancing shine with the Acidic Color Gloss range. This, the standout treatment is as close as you’ll get to an in-salon gloss on the high street. Whether you have bleach blonde or virgin brown hair, everyone can benefit from this easy-to-use treatment when your hair is just looking a bit dull and lacking shine. “Really really loved this and as someone who gets her hair coloured, this is the perfect product for in-between appointments,” says Katie Thomas.  

Best Shampoo for Curly Hair

Winner: Hairstory New Wash Rich 

To get salon-worthy curls at home requires nourishment and co-washing is a great starting point to achieve that. Judge and Managing Director of Bleach London salons Alisha Dobson noted that this winner worked in a very similar way to co-washing; “It’s still a stand-out brand in the cream wash world with great sustainability.” If you prefer to use a non-foaming cleanser on wash day then this is a must-try. Declaring foam as the foe, New Wash Rich combines your cleansing and conditioner in one with a wholly hydrating formula. It’s paraben-, phthalate-, sulphate- and detergent-free. So how does it work to clean the hair? Well, essential oils and naturally derived cleansers cleanser and mimic the skin’s moisture barrier for a healthy scalp and happier, less stripped curls.

Highly Commended:

Color Wow Hooked 100% Clean Curl Shampoo with Root-Locking Technology

Best Conditioner for Curly Hair

Winner: Trepadora Coconut Almond Detangling Conditioner

This 100% vegan conditioner works to soften and detangle even the coiliest hair - a must-have for all curl types. “I like that this conditioner can be used as a masque, or a leave-in or rinse out too,” said judge, Hair Stylist Neil Moodie, “A good multi-purpose product.” Oh and if you love a tropical scent the blend of coconut, banana, pineapple, vanilla and caramel will have you smelling your strands all day.

Highly Commended:

The Hair Lab by Mark Hill Miracle Curl Conditioner

Best Creative Colour Product

Winner: Wella Professionals Color Fresh Mask

With many of us being more time-crunched than ever, a hair mask that’s going to condition and restore a bit of richness to your colour that’s faded in just 10 minutes is a hair dream come true. The formula contains avocado oil to nourish strands and will help revive any colour service from blonde that’s gone brassy to copper that’s lost its oomph. Katie Thomas gave this product high praise: "I think this is such a clever product. On those days when you need to add vibrancy to your colour (which let's be frank, you probably spent quite a bit of money on) you can pop this on and be on your way with fresh, glossy hair."

Best DIY Colour Product

Winner: eSalon Custom Hair Colour Set

“What an incredible idea and concept! I love what the team is doing,” said judge, Session Hair Stylist Syd Hayes. For a long time, the gap between at-home and professional hair colour quality was gaping but eSalon launched with the hope of addressing that, bespoking colour that looked individual. Custom Hair Colour Set is a winner thanks to how personalised you can make it from the colour itself to the longevity of the formula. 

Highly Commended:

Josh Wood Colour, Icy Blonde Gloss

Best Hairdryer

Winner: Dyson Supersonic

Let's be honest, it's very rare that at-home blow dries look as good as the ones you get from a stylist. However, tools are getting cleverer and easier to use, which means that that bouncy blow dry feels much more achievable. Hairdryers don’t get much smarter than this. Unlike traditional hair dryers, the Dyson Supersonic measures air temperature 40 times a second to regulate temperature output so you’re getting consistent heat across your hair. Thanks to its intelligent heat control technology it helps to prevent extreme heat damage, resulting in less breakage and more shine. “It definitely looks after hair like no other dryer does,” notes judge Neil Moodie.

Highly Commended:

Neäl & Wølf HERØ Ionic Technology Hair Dryer

Best Heatless Curlers

Winner: LILYSILK Heatless Silk Curling Headband And Scrunchie Set 

If you’re looking to alternate between heat and heat-free styling or just want to stop heat styling altogether, heatless curls have been proven to create long-lasting styles and if done right can give you the look of a salon-worthy blowdry. This set from LILYSILK is made from 100% Silk Charmeuse and is one of the most affordable on the market while still being so effective. “As someone who hadn’t previously tried this sort of heatless curler tool, it was surprisingly easy to use,” said judge and Marie Claire UK Junior Shopping Editor Valeza Bakolli. And she noted that “the cushioned design made it comfortable to sleep with.”

Highly Commended:

Cordina Hair Flower Curl

Best Hair Perfume/Fragrance Mist

Winner: Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62 Perfume Mist

When you walk out of the salon, your hair always looks incredible. But it also smells amazing. The hair is actually one of the places that perfume experts advise spraying for the best impact as it clings to the hair well and as your locks move the scent reveals more. And with this scent from the iconic brand, you will want to keep sniffing your hair; “This just smells so, so good,” enthused judge and Marie Claire UK's Executive Beauty Editor Shannon Lawlor. It’s the concoction of pistachio, salted caramel and vanilla that makes it smell like summer all year round, and who doesn’t want that joy?  

Highly Commended:

Cantu Protective Styles Hair Freshener

Best Hair Extensions – Clip In

Winner: Milk + Blush 22" Ultra Seam 

Sometimes we want to switch it up, right? And if we booked in for an appointment every time we fancied a change, it could end up costing a small fortune. But this winner from Milk + Blush allows easy at-home changes. Simply pick from a plethora of colours, including highlighted blends, and clip your wefts in for a new look. With different length wefts, you can customise for your hair needs and thickness for a seamless blend. 

The clip-ins are hairdresser-approved with judge Samantha Cusick saying, “LOVED these, they blended into hair well.” Judge Ally Head, senior health & sustainability editor at Marie Claire UK also noted the brand's sustainability efforts as well. “It's great to see that not only is Milk + Blush innovating in the field with its product, but they're prioritising sustainable business practices, too. They should be commended for its "Ethical Sourcing Policy", use of green energy sources at its HQ, and waste-reduction partnership with Matter of Trust.”

Highly Commended:

Beauty Works 18" Half-Up Hair Set Clip-In Extensions

Best Quick-Fix Hair-Removal Tool

Winner: ANSWR Exfoliating Hair Removal Drop

If you choose to remove your body hair, tricky, short little hairs are the worst. Not long enough to wax but long enough to give that stubbly, bumpy feeling… Well ANSWR has the answer. “I found this exfoliating drop to be great for removing short hair that was still slightly under the skin,” said judge Valeza Bakolli. And it couldn’t be simpler to use; just pull the skin taut and rub in a circular motion to buff away hairs. Clever. 

Best Semi-Permanent Hair-Removal Tool

Winner: Philips Lumea IPL 9900 Series

The upkeep for in-clinic hair removal treatments isn’t for everyone and carving out time in our overstuffed diaries can be hard. So, if IPL hair removal works for your skin and hair combo, then it’s a great at-home option and this from Phillips gives excellent results. “I definitely noticed a reduction in hair growth after just three sessions, and I liked that the sessions were every other week rather than weekly (made it really convenient and so suits busy people),” says judge Jadie Troy-Pryde, news editor at Marie Claire UK. “There are lots of AI features which bring it forward from the IPLs of a few years ago, and the supporting app has lots of features to track your progress.”

Keeks Reid
Keeks started her career in beauty journalism in 2013 as editorial assistant at Blackhair and Hair magazines working her way to Acting Editor of Blackhair magazine at 23 years old. She now works with a range of companies, from consumer and trade magazines and websites to beauty brands and salons. She regularly contributes to Cosmopolitan, Who What Wear and most recently became a regular on ITV's This Morning.