Hair Care 101: How to Save on Hair Products

May 20, 2021 | Beauty, How To Save Money

Want to get the gorgeous mane you've always dreamed of without breaking the bank? High-quality hair products are expensive, but today we're sharing secrets that will help you save a TON on your hair care routine!

hair products on a bathroom vanity, from Fun Cheap or Free

Myth or fact? Hair products from the grocery store are just as good as the ones you'd buy at a salon. We'll reveal the truth about drugstore hair care and more, plus share a few brilliant hacks you have to try!

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When it comes to hair products, find out when to save, when to splurge, and how to save when you do splurge! These mind-blowing tips will save your mane and your money. Are you ready?!


woman buying shampoo at grocery store, from Fun Cheap or Free

We asked our friend LauraLee, a licensed cosmetologist, to share her opinion on grocery store or drugstore hair products. What did she think? Well. Let's just say we're shocked! Here's what she said:

“Please do me and your hair a favor and DO NOT buy your shampoo, conditioner, or products from the grocery store!! You are NOT getting the bargain you may think.”

Yikes! Here's why buying drugstore hair products isn't the best idea:

  • Chemicals – The drug store brands have harsh chemicals that can cause dry scalp and other problems.
  • pH Levels – The pH levels you'll find in store-brand products aren't the same. Fun fact: the pH levels found in some drug store brand shampoos can even be used to perm your hair! That can't be good, right?!
  • Gray Market – When you buy hair care products from a grocery or drugstore, you fuel a gray-market industry that deals in counterfeit, stolen, or outdated merchandise. No bueno!

And the bottom line? If you're buying your shampoo from the grocery store, you're paying way too much for the quality you're getting in return! So if you don't like wasting money, heed this warning.


Jordan page curling hair, from Fun Cheap or Free

Okay, so now that you know why it's not the best idea to skimp and buy the cheap stuff, you're probably wondering how you can afford the good stuff! That's a fair question, considering the top salon brands can cost $30 or more per bottle. Eeek! These tips will help you save a few bucks without sacrificing quality:

  • Find a Friend Who Works in Hair Care – Licensed professionals can get on average 50% off of retail price on products and styling tools! Don't be afraid to ask your friend to hook you up with those deals. Most hairstylists are used to it and more than happy to help.
  • Shop Sales – Ask your hairstylist friends to clue you in on when they're running product sales! And don't miss out on the big bottle semi-annual sale that Ulta runs every year. It's typically in January, right after Christmas, and it's an awesome way to stock up on a year's worth of products for way under retail price. If you get gift cards for Christmas, you can really cash in!
  • Sign Up for Rewards – When you sign up for rewards programs through beauty stores like Ulta or Sally Beauty, you'll get discounts and freebies on your birthday and can also earn points to redeem for discounts!
  • Don't Sleep on Big Box Retail Stores – Did you know that many big retailers, like Macy's or JC Penney, sell hair care products, too? They sure do! Check and see if your nearest location has a salon or shop online! They often run weekend doorbusters deals, so check the flyers.

Pro Tip: Check Wayfair, too! You can set alerts in their app to get notified when a sale on your favorite brand starts! If you see a deal, act fast. Most of their salon-quality products sell out quickly.


pouring vinegar into a spray bottle, from Fun Cheap or Free

Alright, ready for some hacks that will blow your mind? You can use household products to keep your hair in tip-top shape for just pennies! Here are a few of our favorite household items that double as hair care:

  • Club Soda – Use club soda to remove build-up from shampoo, conditioner, and products. Every two to three weeks, pour it all over your hair, wash it out, then shampoo it as usual. Then pour more club soda on your hair, rinse it, and condition as usual. This is safe for color-treated hair, too!
  • Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is hair care royalty. Use it as a hair mask, rub it on your scalp, or condition your ends. It helps with dandruff control (because it is anti-bacterial), adds body and shines dull, lifeless hair, moisturizes, softens, and conditions dry hair and scalp, increases hair growth, and reduces split ends. Phew! That was a mouthful.
  • Vinegar – Mix a few teaspoons with water, spray it on your hair, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse as usual. It adds shine, removes build-up, and helps dissolve odors! Vinegar is pretty much magical.
  • Mayonnaise – Moisturize and add shine with mayo! Just use it as a shampoo, allow it to sit for ten minutes, then rinse.

Pretty cool, huh? Have some fun trying out these little tricks! Now, are you ready for some of the most random but awesome tips? Find out how to fight frizz without any products, and more!


woman towel drying her hair, From Fun Cheap or Free

Okay, whether you want more shine, less frizz, or more money in your pocket, try one of these easy hacks:

  • Try a Cold Water Rinse – Want those gorgeous locks to shine? After washing your hair, finish off with a cold water rinse.
  • Grab a T-Shirt – To reduce frizz, ditch the towel for your wet hair, and leave that for your body. Instead, reach for an old t-shirt. The fibers in body towels rough up the cuticle on your hair shafts and cause frizz.
  • Use Less Shampoo – Most people use WAY too much product! Here's one of the best ways to save money and help your shampoo and conditioner last a lot longer. Start putting a dime-sized amount of product in your hands, then lathering before you put it in your hair. If you need to add a little more, you can, but go easy! You can even buy a nifty little scalp massager on Amazon for under $10. They help you get a nice lather with just a little shampoo.

Pretty genius, right?! The cold water rinse might sound scary, but it really does work, so give it a shot!


Alright, now you know all the secrets to keep your hair healthy and strong! It is worth spending a little more on hair products that work, but it's also possible to save money.

So, since we've shared our best tips, will you share yours? Leave a comment below and let us know how you save money on hair care!

Image with text that reads "hair care 101" from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for more money-saving beauty tips?

Shine on, girl!


  1. Jenalee

    What a great post! I love getting all the tips you can for hair! I am excited to try the coconut oil! I recently been freaking out because my hair is thinning a ton!!! I know that some of the problem is due to medical issues I just went through but what are things I can to to help keep my hair thinning or strength my hair so it does loose more strands??

  2. Lauralee

    Jenalee, Nioxin has great products for thinning hair. I would recommend using that and well as a good nutritional supplements. Everyone's hair has a life cycle and due to different things it can be shorter and fall out more often due to hormones and different things. I'm glad you enjoyed the tips and if you have an more questions you can post on my hair tips and tricks page on Facebook, it is linked on this post.

  3. Hair extensions

    Enormous post indeed! To take good care of hair often I'm investing lots of money and glad to find some helpful tips to save money. Thanks for some great recommendation.

  4. hair loss

    Wow Nice tips. Interesting post here!

  5. nucerity

    I will try this oil soon !!

  6. Jenny @ Support Your Beauty

    I have proven that coconut oil is very effective to my hair. I am using coconut oil fresh from the fruit when treating my hair. Grate the coconut and extract the juice, then apply to your hair when taking a bath and rinse as desired. You will have a healthy hair.

  7. Ryan Willich

    Wow, Nice View and great hair care tips. Definitely going to follow your tips.:)

  8. Sara

    TJ Maxx often has the salon brands for a deep discount! That’s where I buy all of my hair products.


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