Best drugstore hair products

Hair Products

If you buy drugstore hair products in bulk, make sure you buy products whose expiration dates are far away. Otherwise, you might end up wasting money in the long run on unused, expired products.

Which drugstore hair products should I get?

If you’re spending a small fortune on premium-priced hair products, you might be wondering whether drugstore formulas are suitable replacements for your go-to products.

Drugstore hair products aren’t what they used to be. The hair industry has made progress by leaps and bounds with products in the past two decades. There’s far more variety than there used to be as well, with many drugstore hair care brands expanding into more diverse, inclusive product lines.

Drugstore hair products vs. premium hair products

Pricing

The most apparent difference between drugstore and premium hair products is price. Some premium products cost as much as $60 per bottle, whereas drugstore options often cost less than 10 percent of that.

Results

Results are subjective when it comes to hair products, no matter how affordable or expensive. It’s not unusual for consumers to reach for some drugstore options over premium ones based on results. 

Redken All Soft Conditioner

Keep in mind that the vast price differences between premium and drugstore hair products may boil down to ingredient quality which may impact results. Some premium hair products have specialty formulations with high-end ingredients, such as this Redken deep conditioner. Products like these manage specific concerns, and the high concentration of their quality ingredients may yield better results. 

Drugstore hair products, on the other hand, may lack the high-quality formulation of their expensive counterparts. That’s not to say they won’t deliver satisfactory results, though. In some cases, specific drugstore formulas are every bit as effective as premium ones. 

What are dupes?

Dupes are more affordable versions of high-end beauty products. While it’s most often associated with cosmetics and skincare, there are quite a few drugstore copies of premium hair care products.

Finding quality drugstore swaps involves research as well as a bit of trial and error. Some blogs and beauty influencers dedicate much of their content to finding inexpensive swaps, going as far as offering comprehensive side-by-side comparisons. As expected, this makes your swap choice a simple one. 

For premium hair products that don’t seem to have a known inexpensive version, consumers often begin their search by looking for drugstore formulas with similar ingredients. 

How long it takes to see results with drugstore hair products?

Results are everything in the world of hair, and it’s no surprise that consumers want to see them sooner rather than later. However, no matter what a product’s marketing promises, results are rarely instantaneous.

L'Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner for Damaged Hair

Shampoo and conditioner, for example, may need to be used for several washes before consumers begin to notice results. This is also true with many hair products that target damage and dryness, including leave-in conditioners and some hydrating products.

John Frieda Frizz Ease Original Hair Serum

However, many thermal care products may produce quicker, more noticeable results. For instance, flat iron spray and frizz serum may manage flyaways and frizz within minutes of application and heat styling.

How much you can expect to spend on drugstore hair products

For the most part, drugstore hair products cost from $2-$16. Some value packs, like shampoo and conditioner duos, may run closer to $20-$25 depending on their sizes.

The best drugstore hair products

Wondering which drugstore hair products are worth trying? Here are a few popular options that are bestsellers. 

Hair spray

L’Oreal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray

L’Oreal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray

Hair spray is considered a staple hair product since it helps keep styles in place. L’Oreal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray, touted as the gold standard for Red Carpet events, offers a weightless hold that is humidity- and sweat-resistant.

Sold by Ulta

Hydration mask

SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Hair Masque

SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Hair Masque

Hydration masks can soothe and smooth dry, dehydrated hair, not to mention they may help restore shine. SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Hair Masque has a luscious formula with manuka honey and mafura oil that locks in moisture from root to tip.

Sold by Amazon

Hair serum

John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum

John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum

Hair serum is considered a go-to product to boost shine and control frizz. For example, John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum is infused with silk protein and seaweed extract to smooth hair and repel humidity.

Sold by Ulta

Dry shampoo

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo - Clean & Classic

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo makes it easy to keep hair looking clean between washings. A long-standing favorite, Batiste Original Dry Shampoo, is praised for its subtle clean scent and residue-free finish.

Sold by Ulta

Repairing conditioner

Hask Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner

Hask Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner

Repairing conditioners may help protect hair from long-term dryness and damage, especially from color treatment or heat styling. Hask Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner softens and smooths hair, leaving it with a silky, glossy finish once it’s dry.

Sold by Ulta

Thermal protection spray

Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray

Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray

It’s essential to protect hair during heat styling, including straightening and curling. Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray is a heat-activated product that creates a smooth, protective layer that helps heat-styling tools glide through hair.

Sold by Ulta

Volumizing mousse

Aussie Headstrong Volume Mousse

Aussie Headstrong Volume Mousse

A bit of volumizing mousse goes a long way when it comes to lifting roots. Aussie Headstrong Volume Mousse, which works well with fine hair, boosts volume and holds it in place all day long.

Sold by Amazon

Hair gel

Got2b Glued Styling Spiking Glue

Got2b Glued Styling Spiking Glue

Gel is a style-defining essential for curls, spikes and chunky layers. Popular for its water-resistant formula, Got 2b Glued Styling Spiking Glue offers a strong hold, even in humid conditions.

Sold by Ulta

Purple shampoo

L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate-Free Purple Shampoo

L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate-Free Purple Shampoo

Purple shampoo minimizes brassy tones on color-treated hair, including blonde and gray shades. L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate-Free Purple Shampoo is a non-stripping, sulfate-free formula that hydrates hair while it neutralizes tones.

Sold by Ulta

Shampoo scrub

Love Beauty and Planet Delightful Detox Shampoo Scrub

Love Beauty and Planet Delightful Detox Shampoo Scrub

Detox shampoos, which have risen in popularity, lift product build-up from the scalp and hair. Love Beauty and Planet Delightful Detox Shampoo Scrub, one of the most affordable options on the market, uses naturally-derived ingredients like charcoal, menthol and bergamot.

Sold by Ulta

Hair oil

Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Softening Hair Oil

Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Softening Hair Oil

Hair oil coats strands in a glassy veil of moisture and makes hair easier to style. Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Softening Hair Oil, for example, is formulated with aloe, shea butter and sweet almond oil and is suitable for most types of curly hair.

Sold by Amazon

Sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner

Pantene Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner

Pantene Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner

Sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner sets are ideal for everyday use because they’re gentle on hair. Pantene Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner has a pro-vitamin formula with moisturizing rose extract.  It’s free of harsh chemicals like parabens, dyes and mineral oil.

Sold by Amazon

All-in-one hair product

Not Your Mother’s All Eyes on Me 10-in-1 Hair Perfector

Not Your Mother’s All Eyes on Me 10-in-1 Hair Perfector

Save time and money by investing in an all-in-one hair product. Not Your Mother’s All Eyes on Me 10-in-1 Hair Perfector is a feature-rich option that moisturizes, strengths, manages frizz and even offers thermal protection.

Sold by Ulta

Nourishing shampoo

Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate Shampoo

Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate Shampoo

Nourishing shampoos are often recommended for dry or damaged hair from overprocessing. Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate Shampoo is a creamy, luxurious formula that soothes parched hair with aloe, shea butter and coconut oil.

Sold by Ulta

Texturizing spray

OGX Flexible Aspen Extract Dry Texturizing Spray

OGX Flexible Aspen Extract Dry Texturizing Spray

When it comes to beachy waves or air-dried hair, a texturizing spray is the perfect finishing touch. OGX Flexible Aspen Extract Dry Texturizing Spray is excellent due to its lightweight formula that creates fullness and offers an all-day hold.

Sold by Ulta

Leave-in conditioner

Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Intensely Smooth Conditioning Cream

Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Intensely Smooth Conditioning Cream

Leave-in conditioners are a favorite post-wash product for their smoothing, softening potential. Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Intensely Smooth Conditioning Cream has an Argan oil infusion that manages frizz and leaves hair shiny.

Sold by Amazon

 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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