Who doesn’t like to save money? All of us, right? But who can’t help wondering if drugstore hair care is equal to the higher-priced stuff ... not when there’s a possibility of having shinier, healthier, head-tossing locks. So, is a $36 shampoo better than a $7 one? You’re in for a surprise. Bargain brands sold at drugstores and mass retailers often match, outperform or sprint ahead of more expensive brands to address grownup hair concerns. Here are penny-pinchers from $2 to $21 to count on.
1. Moisture-boosting shampoos and conditioners
Premium brands look glam, smell great and are often featured in the best salons, specialty and department stores. At $50-plus a bottle they grab social media attention and get raves from celebs and their stylists. Affordable shampoos and conditioners have stepped up their formulas with more moisture, humectants and emollients via plant-based oils and extracts (same as dry skin care!) — and a clean, green agenda to top it off. Try a cruelty-free duo in sustainable packaging like Anomaly Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner ($7 each, target.com) with aloe vera, coconut and jojoba oils, murumuru butter; Suave Almond & Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner ($5 each, riteaid.com) with those headlining nourishers; or Love Beauty and Planet Smooth & Serene Argan Oil & Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner ($7 each, riteaid.com) in a bottle that is 100 percent biodegradable.
There are very few people over age 50 who think they have the same amount of hair they did at 30 or even 40. Whether your locks are limp, flat, thin or fine (and this is true of straight, wavy or curly hair), women are always seeking extra amplification. Expensive body boosters by brands like Kerastase, Bumble and Bumble, Oribe and Ted Gibson (at $32 to $52) are great, but so are their lower-priced cousins — such as John Frieda Volume Lift Fine to Full Blow-Out Spray ($13, target.com), Bed Head Queen For A Day Thickening Spray for Fine Hair ($20, ulta.com), Verb Volume Dry Texture Spray ($20, ulta.com) and TRESemmé One Step Volume Mist for Fine Hair ($7, walmart.com) — that effectively (but temporarily) expand the height, width or overall oomph of your hair. These mist-on formulas are light and leave hair looking voluptuous, bouncy and touchable.