I really struggled to narrow my picks for this edit down to a lucky 10. When it came to assessing my haircare stash, I realised that [unlike my makeup and skincare collections!] I actually have a pretty much equal balance between luxury and affordable products. There is so much variation between hair types [perhaps more than with skin, because we must also take into account thickness, length, and style] that it makes it harder to hit gold with products, and no two people ever seem to have the same experience with a product - especially when it comes to styling.
For that reason, the majority of the products below are haircare, and have been selected with thought as to how they perform in the locks of others. Luckily for me I've had a more than willing test subject. Whilst my hair is long, straight, and thick, my mum's is the complete opposite [short, thin, super-curly]. Below you'll find ten products which we both use and love, and which [oh so helpfully] cash in at less than a tenner.
Aussie Miracle Recharge Leave-In Conditioner I’ve tried many more luxe alternatives, but none have quite surpassed the prowess of this Aussie staple; and for that reason it’s been a staple in my haircare routine for a good six years [possibly the longest reigning product in my entire beauty stash]. Firstly, it smells incredible, and the scent really lasts [who needs hair perfume?]. It has a super light formula which doesn’t leave a single trace of build-up or stickiness, and a little goes a long way. When my hair was at its longest/knottiest, this was the only product which could get it into a brushable state, and even now I can’t quite bear the thought of brushing without it.
Schwarzkopf Got2b Hairspray Volumising Hairspray* Let's face it, when we pick up our cans of hairspray and douse our locks in those heady fumes, we're more often than not doing so with the intent of keeping a voluminous 'do in place. So what better than a product which not only gives hold and last, but also gives the oomph to match? It goes without saying that this does leave your hair stiff and tacky come sunrise; but is more than worth it.
L’Oreal Elvive Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner I’ve waxed lyrical in regards to this budget haircare duo on many an occasion, and will no doubt do so for years to come. Of the many and varied volumising ranges on offer in Boots, this is the only one which really truly works [for me at least]. The science behind it is simple; a patented ingredient [ ] which swells each individual hair shaft [sounds like nonsense I know]. Not only does this give me instantly volumised hair, but the effect lasts right through until the next wash.
Bleach Reincarnation Mask* When it comes to giving your hair a weekly dose of TLC, there's no better treatment than a intensely hydrating deep repair mask. And what better than one so cheap that you can afford to layer it on thick, without regard to frugality? Formulated for coloured hair [those most dry and damaged of locks] this is packed with the big gun ingredients of the haircare world. It acts like a hairbrush in lotion form, detangling the worst knots and leaving hair straight, smooth, and healthy.
L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Mist Hair perfume, shine serum, frizz-tamer; call it what you will, this super-fine mist is everything you need to add a finishing touch to your locks post-styling. Its doesn’t leave any buildup so you can spritz it in abandon and rest assured that you’ll boast soft, swishy, and divinely scented locks all day long.
Boots Coconut Oil For the quickest, easiest, and most effective of hair masks; melt a tablespoon’s worth in the microwave [in 5 second increments until melted] then apply to wet hair, wrap up in an old t-shirt, and sleep. You’ll wake up in the morning with stiff oily locks, so head straight to the shower and wash your hair [I usually opt for a buildup removing shampoo like the Klorane below], forego conditioner, and [once dry] expect the smoothest, softest, lightest head of hair you’ve had in a long time. Post-salon hair in a £3 jar from Boots. I told you it was easy.
Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturising Spray This is often touted as a dupe for Oribe’s Dry Texturising Spray, and I have to admit that it is about as close as you’ll come to the real thing without spending a small fortune. The only difference is that this does have a slightly heavy/tacky effect a la hairspray, so does call to be washed out. It’s not the kind of product you could spritz through your locks on a daily basis, but is ideal for one-off occasions, nights out, or if you know you’re going to be washing your hair the morning after. It provides instant volume, texture, and keeps even the most gravity defying styles in place all night long.
Schwarzkopf Omega Repair Beauty Balm* This light gel-like serum reminds me [in every way but the scent] of the Sachajuan Shine Serum, which I adore. I don't buy into the whole "BB cream for hair" notion at all, this certainly ticks all of the boxes required of a quick-use on-the-go hair treatment. A small amount applied to the ends of my hair leaves them super soft and sleek, but without making them sticky or clumping them together [hallelujah!]. It claims to boost hydration levels and repair hair structure, and prevent split ends in the long-run, but I'm still swooning over that texture.
Klorane Nettle Shampoo Banish limp oily hair, and replace it with soft voluminous locks in just one wash. This is an ideal product for a weekly deep cleanse; guaranteed to remove all and any buildup without stripping away natural oils. It's an ideal [and affordable] dupe for Bumble & bumble's Sunday Shampoo. Thank me later.
Tommy Guns Fig & Plum Shampoo and Fig, Plum, & Marshmallow Conditioner It isn't often you come across a brand which couples everyday products and a budget price tag with to die for scent formulations and luxe packaging, so here is one to watch [read : buy in bulk]. As a fig fanatic [and I'm equally partial to plum FYI] this was the standout from the range for me [see also : Blueberry & Ginseng, Pomegranate & Orange, Jasmine & Nettle, Bergamot & Manuka Honey]. Aimed at calming frizzy hair, this duo has worked wonders in completely repressing the flyaways which plague my locks during the winter months. Together, the fig and plum extracts calm, soothe, and protect hair from the elements. The conditioner contain the welcome addition of marshmallow, which helps to prevent breakage and encourage elasticity.
What are your under £10 haircare heroes?