Im a hair snob. Give me prescriptive, salon-quality products over off-the-shelf haircare any day. But this weekend I was staying with a friend and rather than lug bottles of shampoo and conditioner (I needed all the space in my overnight bag for wine bottles), I had to use hers. On Sunday morning I cleansed and conditioned using LOreal Elvives Damage Care, then followed up with a slick of my usual Moroccanoil, £29.95 (well, a leopard cant completely change her spots) and finished with a super-fast rough dry (no nozzle on the dryer eek).
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What struck me straightaway was how much quicker my hair took to dry. Once dried it looked all shiny, bouncy and perfectly styled (I simply used a wide tooth comb and my fingers) I didnt reach for the straightners like usual. I headed straight to the nearest Superdrug and bought the shampoo and conditioner they were even on a two for £3 offer.
So clearly sometimes less is more, which got me thinking where should you spend and where can you save on hair care?
Shampoo and conditioner
Many cheaper brands are packed with silicones that make your hair behave, yet dont really fix your underlying problems. But, post-weekend-revelation, Id recommend alternating with mid or lower priced ranges to make your pricier products go that bit further.
Youll only use this once or twice per month, so its worth getting a good-quality version. My go-to brands? Kerastase and Ojon.
I swear by Redkens Extreme Anti-Snap Treatment, £15.35. I used to spend evenings pouring over split ends, but now theyre tricky to find. Heat protectors come under this heading too, FYI. Not using these products is false economy, split ends are the surest way to ruin your hairstyle. Also, you may be able to go that little bit longer between trims.
When it comes to hairspray, LOreal and Elnett are the only two words you need to know. Schwarzkopfs Supersoft Shine Spray is another well-priced product that really adds shine to lacklustre hair, £2.29.
You should never brush wet or damp hair as it will cause breakage. Pick up a cheap wide-tooth comb from Boots or Superdrug and use it instead. My tip: start combing through the ends, working your way up to the roots gradually if you comb from root to tip straight off youll end up with a knotted mess.
Here, go for mid-range prices not super-cheap, but not gasp-inducing expensive. I love Revlons Cord Magic, £25 (from Boots and Argos) it has a great nozzle (so you can direct the heat downwards for a neat blow dry), its powerful (2000 watts) for fast blowdrying (less time under heat = healthier hair) and it has a retractable cord and folding handle for easy storage.