The experts have spoken—these are the best hair styling products money can buy

These Marie Claire UK Hair Awards 2023 winners style your hair to perfection and *actually* last all day

Marie Claire UK Hair Awards 2023 Styling Winners
(Image credit: Future)

After pre-oiling your hair, using the best shampoo and the curl-defining conditioner of dreams, it's time for styling products to work their magic.

And when they don't, it's close to heartbreak. So, our expert panel of judges have tested pretty much all of the styling products out there to bring you the best curl enhancer, the best dry shampoo, the greatest hair oil on the block and many more. 

For this year's Marie Claire UK Hair Awards, our panel of expert judges tested hundreds of products across our Wash & Care, ColourStylingSustainability, Tools & Accessories and New to Market categories to create a definitive edit of the best in hair. Keep scrolling for all the Styling winners (trust us, you don't want to miss out on these ones)... 

Best Beard Product

Winner: Mauli Rituals Nourish Post-Shave & Beard Oil

Judge, Adam Reed was a huge fan of this sumptuous beard oil. “I loved this product and will carry on using it," he said. “It treated both my beard and skin and smells beautiful.” 

The Mauli Rituals Nourish Post-Shave & Beard Oil is made in the UK and features a combination of nutritious watermelon seed and black seed oils, which combined are rich in vitamins A, B and C, as well as omegas 6 and 9. These all help to calm the skin if used post-shaving and eliminate toxins from the pores too.

Highly Commended: STMNT Grooming Goods Beard Oil 

Best Blow-Dry Product

Winner: Drybar Jump Start Quick Dry Blowout Serum

Drybar are known for their salon blow dries fit for the red carpet, but also know that a professional-esque blow dry at home can be an arduous task, which is why this serum from is such a welcomed addition. Thanks to the innovative formula, this serum protects hair and speeds up blow-dry time, plus the best bit is that it’s silicone-free so can be used and layered with any other styling product without weighing the hair down. 

Highly Commended: MONAT Smoothing Anti-Frizz Blow Out Spray

Best Curl Enhancer

Winner: Trepadora Papaya Slip Taming Potion

This flexible styling lotion can be used for diffusing curls after cleansing, air-drying or resetting curls if you just need a little extra frizz-calming action. Once set in place, scrunch to soften the hold when curls are completely dry. “[It's a] gorgeous product,” said judge, Karen Williams. “It really helped define my curls and held them in place. It's great if you want a more controlled curl look.”

Highly Commended: Living Proof Curl Enhancer

Best Dry Shampoo

Winner: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo

Extending the time between hair washes with a dry shampoo is sometimes inevitable, but even so, nothing tends to come close to actually washing your hair. Well, the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo may have just given your traditional duo a run for its money. 

The can's delivery system gives an even application, so the fast-absorbing powders can soak up oil, sweat, and odour. Then, the new powder removal system removes activated powders for a fresh start without any visible or textured residue, making it great for all hair types, colours and textures. Plus, in this advanced formula the brand has added its optimised conditioning ingredient blend to refresh the scalp, balance sebum levels and leave hair feeling soft, shiny, and more manageable.

Highly Commended: Hairstory Powder 

Best Hair Fragrance

Winner: Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62 Hair and Body Perfume Mist

It’s hard to get a whiff of this scent and not feel instantly warm—like the sun is beating down on you even if you’re on your 10th day in a row of rainy British weather. This iconic scent captures the sunshine of Rio, all with a moreish blend of sunny, summery notes of pistachio, salted caramel and vanilla. As judge, Sunil Makan said, “Nothing quite evokes the holiday feeling quite like Sol de Janeiro—with just one spritz you're transported to a far-flung location."

Highly Commended: Authentic Beauty Concept Eau de Toilette

Best Hair Oil

Winner: L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Anti-Deposit Protector Concentrated Oil

So many factors are working against us having the best, shiniest hair, especially if you colour it. Metals in our tap water can alter and dull down colour, making more frequent trips to the salon inevitable. This inventive oil not only smooths when styling hair, but thanks to the ingredient glicoamine it penetrates the hair fibre to remove the excess copper inside hair fibres. “One of the best hair oils I have used!” said judge, Grace Lindsay. 

Highly Commended: Monpure Ultralight Healthy Hair Oil

Best Heat-Protecting Product

Winner: Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer

This number one, best-selling treatment is a precursor to better heat-styling. It’s proven to cut frizz by up to 50% when compared to untreated hair, and thanks to the UV filters in the formula, you get protection against the drying effects of the sun and colour protection from fading for up to 16 washes. The six-oil blend helps to provide conditioning, moisture, nourishment, softening and smooths the hair, plus you get protection for up to 232 degrees celsius. 

Highly Commended: Curlsmith Miracle Shield

Best Hold Product

Winner: Justice Professional Extreme Hold Hairspray

It’s not often you look to hairspray for nourishing the hair as it styles, but thanks to this formula, this spray proves a true multi-tasker. The ingredients include peptides, amino acids and vitamin B. The quick-drying formula offers all-day shine and extended hold for any style. “I really liked this hairspray,” said judge, Shannon Lawlor. “It wasn't sticky or tacky-feeling and genuinely kept my hair in place all day. I particularly liked the added soy protein for elasticity.”

Highly Commended: Rossano Ferretti Parma Favoloso Style & Shine Pomade

Best Multi-Tasker

Winner: Hair by Sam McKnight Happy Ending Balm 

With the amount of steps in our beauty routines, any multi-tasking products are welcomed, especially when they are as effective as the Hair by Sam McKnight Happy Ending Balm. This product, which can be used on wet or dry hair, not only helps seal the appearance of split ends but also helps to nourish, tame frizz, defluff, smooth and can define texture on curls and waves. It contains pro-vitamin B5 and shea butter to soften as well as shine-boosting vegabead microcapsules.

Highly Commended: Chāmpo Leave-in Perfecting Cream

Best Shine Product

Winner: Innersense Organic Beauty I Create Shine

A product that gives shine but doesn’t coat the hair can be hard to come by, but this lightweight silicone-free oil is the perfect accompaniment to any styling routine. The macadamia and cranberry seed oils smooth and seal in moisture while the antioxidant-rich sunflower and sesame oils shield strands against damage. The formula is capped with lotus flower leaves for a subtle floral fragrance. 

Highly Commended: ALFAPARF MILANO PROFESSIONAL Semi Di Lino Cristalli Liquidi

Best Split-End Treatment

Winner: Sebastian Professional No.Breaker Hybrid Bonding & Styling Spray

Split ends have to be the biggest bane of hair styling, right? When you can’t reach the salon for a much-needed snip, a split-end treatment bides your time in between. This pro spray from Sebastian is a hybrid care and styling spray, dealing with the health and appearance of split ends while maintaining volume. Formulated with apple acid and styling polymers, the leave-in lotion deeply penetrates the hair cuticle, repairing styling damage and chemical processes by creating new bonds within the hair fibre.

Highly Commended: Schwarzkopf Professional Bonacure Clean Performance Repair Rescue Sealed Ends+

Best Styling Product for Natural/Textured Hair

Winner: Creme of Nature Pure Honey Hair Food Avocado Smoothing & Frizz Control Styling Mousse

This mousse provides multiple styling opportunities for coily hair for excellent hold without a cast. It’s formulated with the brand's signature blend of pure honey, natural coconut oil and shea butter for softness and sealing hydration, while natural avocado oil helps with eliminating flyaways. “I loved this product. I have used it for a variety of styles including finger waves and rod sets,” said judge, Lorraine Dublin. “I would recommend it for the hold capacity and the retention of moisture.”

Highly Commended: Rossano Ferretti Parma Intenso Softening and Smoothing Serum

Best Texturiser

Winner: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

This iconic spray is so highly regarded for great reason—it’s a fast route to impeccably glam hair with added volume and touchable texture. With humectants to encourage moisture retention, hydrolyzed wheat protein to strengthen, condition and renew damaged hair and zeolite crystallines to absorb and trap dirt and oils, even if you're on day-three hair your style can look super fresh.

Highly Commended: Hair by Sam McKnight Cool Girl Barely There Texture Mist

Best Volumiser

Winner: Color Wow Raise The Root Thicken & Lift Spray

 “A brilliant thickening spray with great fragrance,” said judge, Syd Hayes. “It really gives full volume and lift.” If you have hair on the finer side, this spray offers ounces of lift without stiffness or stickiness, plus it’s formulated with unique, clear polymers that won't change or dull your hair colour. When applied evenly to the roots and brushed through, it creates a 'spring' around strands to boost bounce and build body. 

Highly Commended: Living Proof Full Dry Volume & Texture Spray

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.