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The Best Hair Products and Tools for Fuss-Free Hairstyles

Down on your locks? Our handbook of time-saving hair products and do-good tools will have you turning heads in a flash.

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Lynda Churilla
Lynda Churilla
Lynda Churilla
hair styling products
Lynda Churilla
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Make Waves

The newest spring hair trend: a messy mane. These texturizers will give you a sexy I-woke-up-this-way look.

1. For Curly Hair: Tame frizz and define ringlets by applying Aveda Be Curly Style-Prep ($24, aveda.com) to damp strands. It contains wheat protein and macadamia nut oil to keep tresses touchable, not tacky.

2. For Wavy Hair: Give tousled curls some hold -- and shine galore -- with nonsticky Shu Uemura Art of Hair Yokan Craft Texturizing Melt ($33, shuuemuraartofhair-usa.com).

3. For Straight Hair: Spritz on Redken Nature's Rescue Radiant Sea Spray ($17, redken.com for salons), which uses sea algae and aloe vera to add volume.

4. For All Hair Types: Part gel, part cream, Bumble and bumble Bb.Texture Hair (Un)Dressing Creme ($26, bumbleandbumble.com) gives hair instant texture, movement, and body.

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Power Tools

The right gear can make or break your strands -- literally. Here, our high-tech choices for different styling needs.

WANT: To dry without damage

GET: The heat emitted by Remington T-Studio Pearl Ceramic AC Professional Hairdryer ($40, Target stores) transfers conditioners to hair as you dry, leaving it soft, not strawlike.

WANT: To pump up the volume

GET: The curved center of Conair Color Contours Brush ($12, Pathmark stores) keeps locks in place for maximum control and lift while you dry.

WANT: To curl or straighten

GET: Umberto Beverly Hills ICU10 Ionic Ceramic Styler ($80, target.com) easily achieves any look, thanks to its rounded edges.

WANT: To fend off flyaways

GET: RickyCare No-Frizz Combs ($6 to $8 each, rickysnyc.com) are made of an olive oil-infused plastic that smooths and adds shine as you comb.

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Color with Confidence

No need to worry about goof-ups. These at-home dye kits have mousselike formulas that are simple to use.

The Perfect Hue

John Frieda Precision Foam Colour ($13, drugstores) comes in 20 different shades.

No-Fuss

Clairol Nice 'n Easy Color Blend Foam ($10, drugstores) has built-in highlights, so your tone looks natural.

Oops-Proof

L'Oreal Paris Sublime Mousse by Healthy Look ($10, drugstores) spreads on evenly and flawlessly.

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Speed-Dry Your Hair

New products claim to slash minutes from your styling routine so you can get out of the locker room fast. FITNESS staffers put them to the beat-the-clock test.

1. Blow Ready Set Blow Express Blow Dry Lotion ($21, ulta.com)

Time saved: 5 minutes

"I usually let my hair air-dry while I'm getting dressed and then blow-dry it. This lotion cut my drying time in half!"
-- Christie Griffin, digital director

2. Matrix Design Pulse Thermo Glide Express Blowout Creme ($14, matrix.com for salons)

Time saved: 4 1/2 minutes

"I was able to dry my long hair in only nine and a half minutes. It made my style supersilky."
-- Lauren Kukafka, assistant art director

3. Sally Hershberger Professional Hair Care Go with the Blow Thermal Styler ($13, Ulta stores)

Time saved: 5 minutes

"My hair dried quicker, but it wasn't as frizz-free as usual. I'll probably pair it with a smoothing cream next time."
-- Kristen Diederich, senior Web editor

4. Tigi Catwalk Sleek Mystique Blow Out Balm ($20, tigihaircare.com for salons)

Time saved: 11 minutes

"My drying routine went from 25 to 14 minutes! This balm also gave me a nice wave, and my hair felt ultrasoft."
-- Argy Koutsothanasis, fashion director

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2011.

Watch a how-to video to do the perfect blow dry

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

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Claresi wrote:

Annick: I hate slides. Would prefer all-in-one page! Info good however

4/15/2011 12:44:35 PM Report Abuse
coxramya wrote:

When you are reviewing products, and having testers state how quickly their hair dried, we really need to know what type of hair they have! This means, do they have thick or thin hair, are they people of color, and what is the length of their hair!

4/15/2011 10:08:32 AM Report Abuse
bmarkert1 wrote:

I normally love when you recommend products, but this really makes me question your recommendations and not trust them.

4/15/2011 09:56:59 AM Report Abuse
bmarkert1 wrote:

Did you test any of the foam hair colors? I checked reviews online before recently dyeing my hair, and found way more negative reviews than normal. JF foam was the only one with positive reviews; the other two had A TON of negative reviews: badly designed bottles (not pumps), inaccurate hair color (light brown black, blonde not blonde); healthy hair becoming stiff, dry & straw-like; foam that is not really foam & hard to use & full of bubbles that pop/splatter dye all over you & the room.

4/15/2011 09:56:03 AM Report Abuse
v_mcqueen1 wrote:

What about African American hair? We work out too...

4/15/2011 09:50:38 AM Report Abuse

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