Sure, stylists have access to the best of the best when it comes to hair products and tools. And yes, often times that means their kits are loaded with luxurious (AKA pricey) goodies. But that doesn't mean they don't love a good drugstore deal as much as the rest of us. Since they're not limited by budget, you can feel confident knowing that any cheapies they are using have to be good. We asked top hairstylists to share the bargain buys they can't get enough of. Check out their nine drugstore hair product picks here—with prices like these, we say go ahead and buy them all.
This sudser is a stylist fave more because of the ingredients it doesn't contain, rather than those it does. "There are no harsh sulfates, salts or surfactants in the formula that can strip, dull or damage your hair," says celebrity hairstylist Arsen Gurgov, founder of the eponymous salon in NYC. It's also safe for color-treated hair, gentle enough for all hair types and an especially great option in the winter when hair is dry and can tend to look lifeless, he adds.
Nate Bova, senior stylist at the Warren Tricomi Salon at the Plaza in NYC, is a big fan of this brand. "Many drugstore hair products are full of harmful chemicals and preservatives, but SheaMoisture uses mostly organic, fair-trade, cruelty-free ingredients. And even though it looks more like a brand for ethnic hair, there's something for every hair type." Gurgov is also a fan, especially of this mask: "It contains argan oil, which is great for moisturizing the hair. The molecules are small enough to penetrate the hair shaft and add hydration and luster," he explains.
We're not going to name names, but you've likely seen a similar—though much more expensive product—out there. But according to Gurgov, there's no need to splurge, since he regularly uses this as an inexpensive alternative, both on damp hair to prep it for styling and after blow-drying to add shine.
Stylist Adam Bogucki, owner of Lumination Salon in Chicago, uses this hot tool on his clients and often recommends it, too. Not only is it easy on the wallet, it also creates on-trend "lived-in" curls and texture, and is less damaging than a traditional curling iron, he tells us.