Trust us, these are the must-have haircare solutions for 2024, as voted by our Marie Claire UK Hair Awards Judges

From greasy scalps to limp curls

Marie Claire UK Hair Awards 2024 - Haircare Solutions - gettyimages 1287384257
(Image credit: Future)

Each and every one of us has faced a hair dilemma, whether it's self-induced by styling or figuring out how best to look after your specific hair type. It can be pretty all-consuming until you find the right solution.

Covering all bases, from greasy scalps and thirsty curls, to chemical damage and hair loss, at some point most of us will deal with a hair conundrum that we're desperate to get to the bottom of.

Luckily now more than ever, targeted hair care solutions are widely available on the market, in fact, there are so many now it can be hard to actually whittle down to the most effective picks. That’s where our Marie Claire UK hair awards come in. Tried and tested by our expert panel, these products have been rigorously trialled by the judges to showcase the best haircare solutions in the industry. 

Want to see the rest of the winners? Complete your washday wish list with Tremendous Treatments, Breakthrough Acts, Superstar Stylers and At-home Salon Saviours.

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 hottest haircare solutions for 2024…

Best Shampoo for Thinning/Hair Loss

Winner: John Frieda PROfiller+ Thickening Shampoo

Judge and Trichologist Ricardo Vila Nova described this shampoo as one “that respects hair texture,” which is key when you are dealing with hair thinning and loss. This shampoo helps to reduce breakage thanks to the biotin and the hyaluronic acid keeps hair hydrated. If your hair often falls flat and needs a little lift, this is a good, lightweight addition. 

Highly Commended: 

Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Hair Fall Shampoo

Best Conditioner for Thinning/Hair Loss

Winner: Nanogen Conditioner for Everyone 

Intense enough to aid with thinning hair but light enough to use every day, this conditioner is a real crowd-pleaser. It contains a unique blend of peptides and extracts that help to strengthen hair from root to tip. It’s rare that you find a conditioner that you can use on fine hair from root to tip that doesn’t weigh the hair down which is why we have to shout about it when we do find a gem like this. 

Best Shampoo for Oily Hair

Winner: Oribe Serene Scalp Oil Control Shampoo

Yes, this is quite possibly the most photogenic shampoo on the market, but also the most effective for a less photogenic issue– greasy scalps. The formulation encourages a healthier, more balanced scalp, working on the microbiome. With regular use this will control oil production and allow you to go longer between washes - so you have a better scalp and more time for luxe shelfies. Judge and Marie Claire UK's Senior Beauty Editor, Katie Thomas, said "I know for a fact that my husband has been stealing this from me and using it every morning in the shower - a sign of good things, considering he typically uses his shower gel."

Highly Commended:

Noughty Back To Balance Oil Controlling Shampoo

Best Volumising Shampoo

Winner: Hair By Sam McKnight Cool Girl Volume Cleanse Shampoo

“Love this. It's my fave,” says judge Marie Claire UK's Executive Beauty Editor Shannon Lawlor. The formula is ramped up with fermented rice water to strengthen hair and the brand’s trademarked ingredient voluminis to thicken your strands with moveable body. The light texture cleanses hair well with a fresh, floral scent that you’ll be swishing until your next hair wash. Real cool girl energy.  

Highly Commended:

R+Co Bleu Ingenious Thickening Shampoo

Best Volumising Conditioner

Winner: R+Co Bleu Ingenious Thickening Conditioner

Body, bounce and shine are three things this conditioner promises and delivers in abundance. If you often forgo conditioner because you’re worried about the weightiness it can leave, you don’t have to with this light but moisturising conditioner. It gives the best of both worlds, helping keep your texture ultra-lifted and full of body. “The volume is insane,” confirms judge Shannon Lawlor. 

Best Shampoo for Natural/Textured Hair

Winner: Adwoa Beauty Blue Tansy Clarifying Gel Shampoo

Because coily hair is the driest curl type, you naturally end up using a lot more product to nourish and define. Which is why a clarifying shampoo is an integral step for bringing limp and lifeless curls and coils back to life. By ridding the scalp of product build up, curls are bouncier and more defined. 

With Adwoa Beauty being so new to the U.K., you’ll be wondering what on earth you did before you tried the range, and this shampoo is definitely a standout. “As a clarifying shampoo I expected this to leave the hair feeling dry after but the hair was left soft,” said judge Naomi Brooks, a salon owner and educator. “It [...] didn't need to be counteracted with a hydrating shampoo.” If you’ve winced at the idea of using a clarifying shampoo to rid your hair of build-up it’s understandable with other more traditional clarifying shampoos stripping hair of its natural moisture en route to squeaky clean hair. This wonder wash contains blue tansy oil, jojoba oil and bamboo extract to ensure hair retains its slip and shine while you wash.

Highly Commended: 

As I Am Classic Coconut Co-Wash

Best Conditioner for Natural/Textured Hair

Winner: Skincare by Dr.V Cuticle Repair Conditioner

Naturally textured hair has a little bit of a rep for being drier and more porous than other hair types. That’s because as the hair kinks and coils it gives the cuticles on each strand the chance to lift as it bends. If you have noticeably dry and easy-to-tangle hair this conditioner works to repair the cuticle at each bend and it wowed the judges. “Amazing product, concept and execution,” said judge Naomi Brooks. “My hair was left feeling soft, smooth and supple. I used it on my high porosity hair and the results were great. Luxury packaging too. I was very impressed.”

Highly Commended: 

As I Am Hydration Elevation

Best Hydrating Shampoo

Winner: Innersense Organic Beauty Hydrating Cream Hairbath

Both pros and consumers alike love this luxe shampoo for total rehydration. It uses essential oils of sage and tamanu to help balance oil for a healthy scalp whilst nourishing emollients encourage the smoothing down of the cuticle. “This is very hydrating,” said judge, Hairdresser Anne Veck, “the hair feels amazing afterwards.” Judge and Stylist Karen Williams agrees; “Everything about it from the design to the actual product is premium.”

Highly Commended: 

Augustinus Bader The Shampoo

Best Hydrating Conditioner

Winner: As I Am Jamaican Black Castor Oil Conditioner

Castor oil is often spoken about as a must-have for stronger hair but have you ever tried to use it in its rawest form? It’s ultra-gloopy and sticky - the last thing you want to coat your hair in. So, we have to rely on brands utilising the star ingredient in clever ways. This conditioner uses nanotechnology to combine vitamin C and Jamaican Black Castor Oil for softer, nourished hair. “My hair was really easy to brush through - super detangled,” said judge Katie Thomas after use.

Best Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Winner: L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Absolut Repair Molecular Shampoo

Some of the best hair products borrow from skincare science and that’s exactly what this shampoo from L’Oreal Professionnel does. It’s made with a 2% peptide bonder and five amino acids to rebuild the molecular structure of hair. If you’ve been in a toxic relationship with bleach, chemical straighteners or hot tools this shampoo will be the cleanse that starts to bring it back from the brink. Dryness and damage normally go hand-in-hand so the fact this is also sulphate-free is great for not stripping moisture. "Good god this is a good shampoo, not only does my hair feel stronger and more resilient, but it smells completely beautiful too," says Katie Thomas.

Highly Commended: 

Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo

Best Conditioner for Damaged Hair

Winner: Hello Klean Hard Water Conditioner

Hard water is a silent assassin for hair washes in built-up cities, but luckily Hello Klean is here to help. If you think about the limescale build-up that you spot in your kettle,  just imagine what it’s doing to your hair (and skin for that matter). This conditioner revives hair that has been affected by hard water to restore elasticity with rice protein and hyaluronic acid. “The product smells delicious without being overpowering,” notes judge and Marie Claire UK News Editor Jadie Troy-Pryde. “And I really like how thick and creamy the consistency is. My hair is naturally curly and can be frizzy if not styled properly, but this made my hair feel really soft and nourished.”

Best Heat Protector

Winner: Schwarzkopf Keratin Heat Protect Spray

Heat styling your hair regularly no longer has to mean a death sentence for your strands with the innovative formulas on the market. This winner gives up to 230°C heat protection while blow drying, curling or straightening while also protecting your hair from the elements for up to three days. With added keratin, the spray blocks out humidity leaving locks frizz-free and under control. “I like this product,” says judge and Celebrity Hairdresser Lorraine Dublin, “it’s light and doesn't leave the hair feeling sticky.”

Highly Commended: 

Drybar Hot Toddy Heat Protectant Mist

Best Shampoo for Fine Hair

Winner: R+Co Dallas Biotin Thickening Shampoo

“I really liked this shampoo - the scent was glorious, my hair felt great and looked more voluminous,” said judge Katie Thomas. This shampoo adds volume in abundance without coating strands or leaving that unbrushable texture. The saw palmetto berry extract in the formula alongside biotin, pro-vitamin b5 and coconut oil hydrates and repairs hair while adding body to help it appear thicker. “The brand should be commended for the formula being 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and Leaping Bunny certified, as well as for its move towards a smaller carbon footprint with its post-consumer resource (PCR) packaging,” notes judge Ally Head, Marie Claire UK’s senior health & sustainability editor.

Highly Commended: 

Absolute Collagen Thickening Shampoo

Best Conditioner for Fine Hair

Winner: Absolute Collagen Thickening Conditioner

A relatively new brand on the block, Absolute Collagen has become a beloved brand among beauty insiders and this conditioner is a stand-out hit. Judge and Hair Stylist Michael Douglas called out the “good science” behind the formula, which is made in-house by the brand’s trichologist. The soluble collagen wraps around the hair’s cuticle to boost thickness on the outside and collagen amino acids work their way internally into the cortex of the hair so you have thickness boosted from the inside too. Genius. 

Highly Commended: 

SACHAJUAN Ocean Mist Volume Conditioner

Best Dry Shampoo

Winner: amika perk up dry shampoo

A good dry shampoo can completely revive hair in between washes and a bad one can make you want to wash your hair immediately after application. This genius formula from amika is talc-free so leaves no white residue but soaks up oil on the scalp to give hair that freshly done look for a little bit longer. Judge, Hair Stylist Errol Douglas says, “This is by far my favourite product.”

Highly Commended: 

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat & Ceramide

Best Hair Extensions – Weft

Winner: Remi Cachet Elegance Nano Weft

Traditionally for weft application, thicker hair was needed to hide the bulkiness of the weft and hold the weight, but not any more thanks to innovative designs like this by Remi Cachet. This has a super fine weft with an extra slim flat top - the track is just 0.7mm thick and 3mm deep., which means that wefts can now be an option for those with finer hair or looking to cover hair loss - you have more extension choices than before. 

Best Hair Extensions – Tape

Winner: SWAY Hair Extensions Seamless Tapes

Bespoking your hair extensions is a lot easier the more colour choice you have, to seamlessly blend with your natural hair. SWAY has a huge shade range (49 to be exact) meaning that your stylist likely won’t need to whip out the dyed to match your tones. The tape sits flat, making them feel undetectable and the lightness of each piece will have you forgetting you even have them applied. “A great product with a clear sustainable vision, too,” says Ally Head. “Not only is its ‘ONE 4 ONE’ GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP with ONE TREE PLANTED donating tens of thousands of trees, but they're innovating in the sphere with its biodegradable mailers which include recyclable hair extension pouches, labels and stickers all made from recycled materials.”

Best Hair Supplement

Winner: JSHealth JSHealth Hair + Energy

Supplements have become such a vital part of so many beauty routines thanks to our lifestyles getting busier and us lacking the nutrients needed. Luckily, these supplements enrich your routine to encourage a happy, healthy mane of hair. Far from a standard hair, skin and nails supplement this winner contains Iodine from JSHealth Kelp and zinc for the continued maintenance of healthy hair while also helping to keep your energy levels topped up.

Highly Commended: 

Viviscal Hair Growth Vitamins For Women

Moérie Dietary Supplement Capsules

Best Haircare Range for Kids

Winner: Vosene Kids

“The concept is brilliant,” says mum of two Katie Thomas of the Vosene Kids range. Why? Well, as well as being an effective kids’ hair wash routine, the products feature head lice repellent to actively stop an outbreak from happening. Both the 3-in-1 shampoo and the post-wash spray include ingredients like tea tree oil, lemon eucalyptus oil and citronella to deter head lice. The products work well as a duo or can be used alone effectively. 

Highly Commended:

Rossano Ferretti Parma Fantastico Kids

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.