I think salon hair-care products are a rip-off.
There. I said it. And I say it with trepidation, because my Most Excellent Hair Stylist Sarah is reading this, and I adore her (partly because she is lovely, and partly because she wields enough power to give me bad hair days for six months.)
But it’s true–I’ve tried the expensive shampoos and products before, and I honestly cannot tell any difference. I think that we are so desperate for good hair (and OH, do I understand this desperation) that it’s easy for the fancy shmancy salon companies to convince us that $18 shampoo matters.
And based on my own experience, I don’t think it does.
That’s not to say that all shampoos are created equal. You may have to kiss a lot of toads before your cheap haircare prince. A lot of it depends on your hair type of course, but I think that most of us can find a drugstore variety that will work for us. Here are the cheapies that work for me (prices are what I pay at my own personal mothership):
SHAMPOO: Suave Professionals (I use the “volumizing” one). I have used this stuff for a couple of years. It’s lathery, it smells great, and it gets my hair clean. Is there any more we should expect from our shampoo? (In the interest of disclosure, I need to tell you that the Suave people sent me some free samples, but they sent me samples of the stuff I was already using–which really, REALLY works for me.) COST: $1.88
CONDTIONER: Suave Professionals. The “partner” to the shampoo above. I don’t condition my hair every day; if I do, it gets a little limp. Generally, I only condition a couple of times a week. COST: $1.88
MOUSSE: Tres Semme Curl Care. Lots of body, no stickiness. Works for me. COST: $3.23
HAIRSPRAY: Tres Semme Tres Two. My hat is off to those of you who require a quick spritz of hairspray. Not me. I am a Southern women and a child of the ’80s, and as such, I cannot fully let go of the big hair. It’s not huge hair, but it’s not small, either. I have used this stuff for probably about ten years. It is the perfect weight: firm hold, but it’s not too crunchy. COST: $2.98
ROOT LIFTER: Garnier Fructis Style. This is a handy little styling tool I first added a few months ago, and it works great. If you have straight, fine hair (*raising my hand*), this stuff will really give you some body. COST: $2.94
BONUS: Baking Soda. Seriously. My Most Excellent Hair Stylist Sarah told me this trick. Every few weeks, make some baking soda paste (add enough water to make it the consistency of shampoo). Comb it through your hair while you’re in the shower and it will remove all the old hair spray reside. Which comes in handy, if you’re a fan of not-small hair. COST: pennies
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