The average woman shells out $50,000 on hair care over the course of her life (and Jennifer Aniston has been known to spend $56,000 in one week). Don’t be a statistic! When should you shell out extra cash for salon hair products, and when will Suave do the trick?
Shampoo: Go Over-the-Counter
Most drug store brands use the same active ingredient as salon brands, which is why most experts say you’re safe to go with a drug store shampoo. So, never again buy expensive salon shampoos! For the full scoop, we spoke with Helena van Zandbergen, a celeb stylist whose credits include VH1’s The Good Life and a Trina Turk ad campaign.
Conditioner: Consider Salon Brands
Most hair experts find salon products superior when it comes to conditioners. Van Zandbergen says that most people end up going through bottles of salon shampoos and conditioners a lot more slowly than over-the-counter brand products because the salon formulas are more concentrated. But, even if you buy salon brands instead, don’t go overboard. Van Zandbergen told us her picks for reasonably-priced salon conditioners.
Color-Enriching Products: Consider Salon Brands
According to van Zandbergen, most drug store brands that claim to be color enriching aren’t as good as salon products. The difference, she says, is that salon products are designed by stylists themselves, whereas the other products tend to be created by scientists in a lab. If you have colored hair, you’re probably spending around $200 every three to four months in order to maintain it. So, it’s worth your while (and money) to buy the best products to enhance that color, enabling you to get the most from your investment—and maybe even stretch out those coloring appointments.
Picks: Paul Mitchell brand, which van Zandbergen recommends for color-treated hair. Although it’s generally sold in salons, the Paul Mitchell Color Protect Daily Shampoo costs only $9.
Big Sexy Hair: Go Over-the-Counter
There’s nothing worse than a terrible—or sticky—hairspray, but we’ve found what we need in drugstore brands, rather than heading out to a salon specifically to buy hairspray.
Picks: Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray ($13.50) is a fun, lightweight product that’s easy to use and even smells pretty good. We like that it adds volume and oomph to our look in addition to holding our style.
No Matter Your Hair Type, Make Sure It’s Protected
If you have dyed hair, don’t buy something for normal hair; if you have thick hair, don’t buy a volumizer. In addition to finding the products best for your hair type, use a heat protectant when you use a blow-dryer or a straightening iron.