Dear Budget Babe,
I've often heard (and read) that hair care is the one thing we fabulous women shouldn't scrimp on; and, up until this point, I haven't. However, as a newlywed and recent college graduate who now has expenses in spades, I just can't bring myself to pay the usual $20+ a bottle for shampoo, conditioner, etc.
Do you have any product suggestions that will keep my hair shiny and healthy, and my wallet happy?
Dear Savvy Reader,
I think great hair is largely determined by 1) genetics, 2) diet and lifestyle (i.e. the foods you eat, whether or not you smoke, how stressed you are, if you're taking any medications, etc.) and finally, in last place, 3) the haircare products you use.
Don't get me wrong: I love experimenting with different shampoos and conditioners, I love the packaging, the fun botanical ingredients, the pretty fragrances and colors, but let's face it - they all use the same few basic ingredients. What I have found is that the differences in quality are very subtle, and that cheap shampoos and conditioners are just as good as expensive salon brands
. I wish it weren't so - I wish I could find a pricey product that gives me the strong, lustrous hair you see in commercials, but it just ain't gonna happen.
So without further ado, my all-time favorite cheap shampoo and conditioner is Pantene Pro-V
. The shampoo leaves hair clean without overdrying, and the conditioner is super rich and creamy. A small dab goes a long way. Neither has an obnoxious lingering fragrance.
I recently rediscovered another old classic after spotting it in my friend's shower (it was in plain sight, I swear): Suave Naturals
. My friend has AMAZING hair, so when I learned she used Suave I was all over that. I bought a bottle of the Suave Naturals water lily and aloe conditioner and it's fantastic. Great texture, no residue, no nasty perfume smell.
Lately, I've also been trying to learn more about organic/natural/eco-friendly bath and beauty products that are still budget-friendly, so I've tried the store brands at both Trader Joe's
and Whole Foods
and I must say, they're solid products. I especially like the Whole Foods 365 brand mint shampoo and conditioner - tingles the scalp, smells great, works great. What's more, they're economical and supposedly better for you and the environment.
Beyond shampoo and conditioner, I'm a big fan of Sunsilk
styling products. If you want to spend more on say, deep conditioning treatments or products that defrizz and define your tresses, I'd say invest in the products that work best for your hair - this is where I've found that products tend to vary more noticeably by brand and price.
What are some of your favorite hair care products? Does the price matter? Share in the comments...