11 Drugstore Hair Products Celebrity Stylists Say Outperform Their Luxury Counterparts
Picture this: after spending a few hours scrolling through #hairtok, you start to feel some serious strand envy. Then, almost by magic, your Sephora cart suddenly fills with various shampoos, conditioners, and hair-styling products to boost shine, create volume, and enhance your natural texture. Before you know it, you’ve lost a few valuable hours of sleep and a sizable chunk of your hard-earned paycheck. Sound familiar?
A beauty habit can be expensive—no surprise there. What is surprising, however, is how effective (not to mention inexpensive) products from the drugstore are. So much so that celebrity hairstylists regularly use them on themselves and their high-profile clients. From texture sprays to hot tools, these hardworking hair helpers promise not to break the bank. Keep scrolling to add them to your own cart without wasting a single extra minute of your precious time or money.
To increase shine
If you color your hair, listen up. “The perfect in-shower shampoo, acidic glaze, and conditioner for getting your hair’s pH back to normal post color,” says Jonathan Columbini, L’Oréal celebrity hairstylist and colorist, “Use it to maximize shine and promote healthy hair.” After you rinse your shampoo, spritz in the glossing treatment then follow up with the hydrating conditioner.
Ashley Streicher, who works with A-listers like Mandy Moore and Emily Blunt, never travels without this mask. Unlike other treatments, which require 5 minutes or more, this stuff smooths strands in 60 seconds flat. It’s made with avocado oil to add moisture and increase shine.
Calling all hair types. “This lotion works with your natural texture, and gives your hair a break from incessant heat styling,” says Columbini. It softens and smooths strands, delivering instant shine no matter how you choose to style your hair. After showering, work a dime-sized amount through wet or towel-dried hair to enhance your natural texture.
To enhance natural texture
To achieve that “back from the beach,” tousled look, Columbini recommends a spritz or two of this salty spray. Dead sea salt and kelp create texture and separation. Use after styling to add volume and body.
“This spray is one of the best on the market,” says Streicher. Add some texture and definition by spritzing all over, or focus the spray on your midshaft and ends for lasting hold.
Spray this dry shampoo around the hairline to refresh second-day hair. Tapioca starch mops up excess grease and oil while simultaneously adding lift to your roots. Columbini loves the light consistency, which he says won’t weigh down your look.
“This is my go-to drugstore shampoo and conditioner duo,” says Streicher. “Formulated without any silicones, parabens, or dyes to gently clean your scalp and hair. The shampoo cleans and nourishes the scalp and hair, and then the conditioner detangles and adds the perfect amount of moisture.”
“I keep one of these in the shower to work through my conditioner,” says Lacy Redway, celebrity hairstylist and Unilever global stylist. “It’s super comfortable on the scalp and designed for wet hair so I don’t have to worry about breakage as I’m brushing.”
Finding the right elastics is important to preserve your style (no creasing here!), combat breakage, and help you avoid the dreaded ponytail headache—but there’s no need to drop any major coin for the sake of the cause. “These elastics come in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes, and they offer a comfortable hold for all of your styling needs,” says Streicher. What’s more, a mere 6 bucks will score you a pack of 37 elastics, which means you’ll have plenty to keep in your purse and on your bedside table…no matter how many you inevitably lose.
It’s hard to find an effective curling iron that won’t break the bank, but according to Streicher, this one performs just as well as its luxury counterparts. “Hot Tool curling irons are what I prefer to use in my tool kit,” she says. “They create off the charts hold, and they are offered at an accessible price point.” The 360-degree swivel cord means you won’t get tangled up in the cord.
“This classic hairspray is amazing for taming flyaways and holding your hairstyles all day,” says Redway. Spray onto a fresh set of iron-induced curls to guarantee some second-day wear, or use it to lock your blowout in place in even the most humid weather.
If you want to hack your hairstyling routine to avoid damage, consider this video required viewing:
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