If you’ve ever wondered how celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Dua Lipa achieve seamless and stunning hair transformations, Chris Appleton is your answer. The celebrity hairdresser has been a key player on Kardashian’s glamor squad for years, and is also on speed-dial numbers for Jennifer Lopez (remember J.Lo’s bombshell hair during the 2020 Super Bowl?) and Lipa.
From snatched ponytails to streamlined midsections, Appleton helped establish some of today’s biggest hair trends. For summer, the stylist likes a more casual look with the revival of the ’90s Pam Anderson-inspired updo. “This retro-inspired look is so chic for summer to keep you cool but stylish,” says Appleton.
Another go-to style for the season is the center bun, which is great for “keeping your effortless glam on point while looking good, with little time or effort required,” he says. “Whether sleek and polished or low-key messy, this cool girl look is a lofty take on the basic updo.”
To master these hairstyles, Appleton has a trusted arsenal of products on hand. Here, the stylist shares his top 10 favorite hair products and tools for the silkiest, healthiest hair.
$28 at Color Wow and Amazon
“This is my secret to creating ‘glass hair’. It delivers incredibly silky, smooth, shiny results that are completely moisture resistant so hair won’t frizz or puff out whatever the weather,” says Appleton of this anti-frizz treatment.
$45 at Color Wow and Sephora
“For me, it’s all about beautiful texture,” says the hairdresser. “That’s the basics—always. I won’t even attempt to create a look until I’ve completely nailed that rich looking gloss first. To achieve this, Appleton created an ultra-nourishing hair mask that helps strengthen and repair hair. “It immediately evokes the glamor factor. That’s why I constantly urge my clients to keep up with their conditioning treatments and Money Masque is what I call a step-by-step preparation. †
$399 at GAMA Professional and Amazon
“This hair dryer has so much power, it dries hair seven times faster than other hair dryers and helps achieve the ultimate blowout,” Appleton says. “ It’s ultra-light and the attachments are so easy to use.”
A favorite hairbrush among professional hairstylists, Tangle Teezer’s Ultimate Styler works through dry hair without tugging or pulling. “This brush is a go-to for dry styling. I use it to add volume and texture or a smooth, sleek finish to any look,” says Appleton, adding, “The best part is that it’s super soft so it doesn’t break the hair.”
$26 at Color Wow and Amazon
This hairspray is one of the secrets behind the sleek ponytails you see on Appleton clients including Kim Kardashian and Dua Lipa. “Completely clear and super light, I usually spray it on a brush and stroke over sections to create hold and build up the style,” Appleton says. “No stiffness, stickiness or yellowing! It gives a long-lasting style that moves naturally.”
$29 at Color Wow and Amazon
“No style is complete without this Shine Spray,” shares Appleton. “It gives the hair that EXTRA mirror-like, reflective shine. It’s lightweight and not greasy at all, which is important.”
A staple for styling hair, the Mason Pearson boar bristle and nylon brush is an investment worth making, according to many professional stylists — Appleton included. “This timeless tool is a classic and great for brushing out waves and curls,” he says. “It increases the volume when brushed through the hair, which gives a nice fluffy finish. It is also great for ponytails as it keeps the hair close to the scalp when pulled back.
$24 at Color Wow and Amazon
Appleton says the wrong shampoo — one that leaves residue — can prevent super-shiny locks. To avoid dullness, he uses this Color Wow option. “This is my favorite shampoo for everyone and all hair types because it is sulfate free and residue-free — meaning no silicones or ingredients that can weigh down and dull hair,” explains Appleton.
$34.50 at Color Wow and Amazon
The hairdresser calls this perfecting powder “the ultimate real-life retoucher”. The multi-dimensional temporary color comes in eight shades and is a must-have according to Appleton. “You can use it anytime, anywhere and it will help you until your next salon visit,” he says. “Waterproof and sweat-resistant, this is your go-to for filling in highlights, thinning or sparse areas along the hairline.”
$20 at Color Wow and Amazon
For extra shine, this protective serum gives a glossy finish and also protects the hair from heat and UV rays. “I like to use it on ponytails or even for sleek looks as it helps control flyaways while still being super weightless so the hair doesn’t look heavy or greasy,” he explains.