And the winner is… Top salon haircare picks in celebration of the 29th annual Contessa Awards

When it comes to hair, I feel like most people have their go-to hairstylist. I’ve had a handful of them throughout my life, and for a while there, I didn’t seem to care much about who did my hair, I just wanted them to do a good job.

Right now at the moment I have a regular gal who I recently reconnected with via Instagram.  Just like every other industry, the hairstyling industry is definitely taking advantage of social media to build their portfolios and network with brands and clients.  I bet you the last time you stepped into your hair salon there was a ring light in the corner and your stylist asked to take a pic of their work so they can post it on the ‘gram.

Aside from Instagram, the other things I look for in a salon are the awards they’ve won. Here in Canada the Contessa Awards are the biggest professional beauty awards in the country. Since 1998, the Contessa Awards have recognized the best and brightest stars in the hairstyling industry.

Happening this year in Toronto on November 12, 2017, the Contessas are a photo-based competition that only professionally certified hairstylists, nail, and makeup artists are invited to enter. Submissions are evaluated by a panel of industry experts on originality, creativity, fashion appeal, model suitability, and technical execution. The judges also take into account the overall look and feel of the photo collection, including makeup and wardrobe. This year, the competition has also added a new category, International Hairstylist of the Year, where top hairstylists from around the world were invited to enter as well.

Also new this year, the Contessas are partnering with the Movember Foundation, which is developing a curriculum for barbers to become “Movember Certified”, so they can spot signs of mental health distress in their male clients (love the idea of this). Since hairstylists also act as counsellors in a way (we all open up to our hairstylist), Movember understands the relationship between barber and client and how much trust clients place in the safety of a conversation with their barber. The Movember Foundation wants to use this as a tool for change.

In celebration of the Contessa awards this year, they sent me their media bag filled with tons of the industry’s most-beloved professional hair products (plus a little something something For CND Creative Play for my nails). Some of the products I had tried previously, some I’ve been excited to try, and others were totally new to me.  All the products in here are salon brands and are beloved by the professional hair industry.

Since there was so much in here, I picked a few items as my top picks, some of which I already have in my collection.

Revlon Style Masters Volumizer & Refreshing Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is a must and although most dry shampoos are great for volume in general, this one is perfect for extending the life of your style, cleaning your hair and refreshing it at the same time. This dry shampoo leaves a pleasant fragrance on the hair, getting rid of excess oil and thankfully leaves a minimal amount of powdery residue, making it perfect for any hair colour or type.

Oligo Professional Blacklight Blue Shampoo

I recently dyed my hair blonde so a purple or blue shampoo is a must. Since it was going a little too yellow, I went in to get it toned and my hairstylist highly recommended that I use a purple or blue shampoo to get rid of any yellow or brassiness. This brand is completely new to me, however, this is the bluest shampoo I have ever seen. It’s literally like the colour of blue hair dye.

The Oligo Blacklight Blue Shampoo For Blonde Hair is formulated for highlighted, bleached, white and natural blonde hair, which eliminates brassiness and refreshes faded highlights, leaving hair looking cleaner and brighter. This is enriched with 11 amino acids and argan oil, which moisturizes, strengthens hair structure and repairs surface damage. Since this is so blue, they recommend using this once a week or whenever you feel your hair is looking a little brassy.

Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo

This is a product I’ve had in my collection for a while and every time I whiff it it transports me into an Aveda salon. Instead of an aerosol, all you simply do is squeeze the bottle to release the dry shampoo. This contains naturally derived powders that absorb excess oil and impurities and is suitable for all hair types.

The best part about the AVEDA shampure dry shampoo though is definitely the scent, it contains an aroma with 25 pure flower and plant essences, including certified organic lavender, petitgrain, and ylang ylang.

Joico Blonde Life Brightening Masque

Another product I already have in my collection and love is the Joico Blonde Life Brightening Masque. I actually used this when my hair was ombre and I found that it made the blonde parts of my hair look more brighter.

Apply this after the Blonde Life shampoo (or really, any shampoo) and then leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing. It will instantly hydrate, soften, and amp up your blonde hair, neutralizing any brassiness or yellowness. I find the Blonde Life line in general to be an awesome line if you have blonde hair. It’s nice to use on days when you don’t want to overdo it with the purple or blue shampoo.

Goodwell DualSenses Just Smooth

This shampoo and conditioner line is new to me but provides your hair with manageability and frizz control, leaving your looks feeling soft and giving you amazing shine.

I did try this out this past Sunday and found my hair looking and feeling very soft and smooth. It also is wonderful for colour-treated hair thanks to the unique FadeStop Formula and contains Kukui Nut Oil, known for its moisturizing effect.
OSIS+ Session Label Powder Cloud

I’ve been using the OSIS+ volumizing powder for years now so I was really excited to try out this new formula. This powder spray is perfect for root lift, volume, and a matte texture. The super fine powder mist has Lava Rock which enwraps individual hair strands for a texturized result.

Spray it on your roots for major volume and to keep your style in check.

Apparently I have a thing for dry shampoo and texturizing sprays since most of the products I chose on here are great for volume. I always get suckered in by the products that hairstylists use on my hair and I have to say that these professional hair items really do make a difference.

Make sure you check out the winners from the 2017 Contessa Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards after November 12 and let me know your favourite professional hair brand products.

Please note, I received this product from PR. All opinions are my own.

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