14 Best Drugstore Hair Products to Cater to Different Hair Needs

Written by Alvira Dsouza, Hair Expert
Updated on Feb 15, 2024
Best Drugstore Hair Products
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Hey there, haircare enthusiasts! I'm excited to discuss something game-changing: the best drugstore hair products that rival those expensive high-end options. Curious why I'm so enthusiastic about these budget-friendly wonders? Let me share the scoop.

Imagine having fabulous hair without the hefty price tag. Yep, that's the magic of these affordable wonders. From nourishing shampoos to miracle-working serums and volumizing mousses, I've rated these picks based on quality, effectiveness, and the ability to deliver on their promises.

I've dabbled in the universe of haircare goodies, conducting my trial-and-error marathon. After experimenting with numerous hair care products, from affordable hair oils to popular hair serums, I've discovered some incredible finds that expand further towards effective hair care. These vast picks deliver results that match those expensive brands, catering to various hair types and needs without breaking the bank.

Get ready to boost your hair game without spending loads — cause’ these picks will upgrade your hair routine big time!

14 Best Drugstore Hair Products

In my top listicle, a standout is this silk-press serum by Garnier Fructis. Surprisingly simple yet effective, it's a game-changer for taming thunder. Ideal for those with unruly or frizzy hair, its argan oil-infused formula smoothens strands without weighing them down. After trying it, I was pleasantly surprised; it effortlessly controlled my flyaways, making my hair smoother and shinier without any greasiness. Its blend of argan oil and apricot delivers on the promise of sleek locks, making it a go-to for daily styling needs.

Pros
  • Lightweight formula
  • Glossy finish
  • Suitable for thick hair
  • Convenient to use
  • Grease-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
Cons
  • Not ideal for fine hair
  • Best for Last-Minute Haircare

    Batiste Original Dry Shampoo

    Batiste Original Dry Shampoo
  • A dry shampoo, like the Batiste Original, is a beauty essential for its versatile perks. Suitable for various hair types, it's a quick fix, eliminating excess oil and grease. After trying it, I found it instantly refreshed my hair, adding body and texture without an overpowering scent. It's a must-have for those busy days, perfect for the gym, office, or on-the-go touch-ups. Further, its scent is clean, subtle, and simply wonderful, which makes this dry shampoo an excellent choice for a quick hair refresh without the need for frequent washes.

    Pros
    • Works on various hair colors
    • Volumizes limp hair
    • Leaves hair revitalized
    • Budget-friendly
    • Paraben-free
    • Sulfate-free
    Cons
    • Can leave a white residue if not distributed well
  • Best for Healthier Hair

    John Frieda Frizz Ease Serum

    John Frieda Frizz Ease Serum
  • Add in this all-in-one hair serum by John Freida, and transform your unruly locks into a sleek and smooth mane that defies humidity and heat damage. This iconic serum is a must-have for drugstore hauls, now with an updated formula suitable for both wet and dry hair. Perfect for unruly locks, it transforms thick, coarse hair into silky smoothness. Acting as a shield, it defends against heat damage and humidity for a good amount of time. Infused with argan, coconut, and moringa extracts, this weightless serum hydrates and tames dry, damaged hair, making it a go-to for that salon-smooth finish at a budget-friendly price.

    Pros
    • Ideal for heat styling
    • Perfect for heat-damaged hair
    • Long-lasting formula
    • Good quality for the price
    • Cruelty-free
    Cons
    • May flatten the hair
  • Best for Nourishing Hair

    Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Sleek Smoothing Oil

    Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Sleek Smoothing Oil
  • Another gem in my list from Garnier Fructis is their smoothing Moroccan argan oil. This formula suits frizzy, unruly hair, providing a smooth, glossy finish. Ideal for taming flyaways, its lightweight texture nourishes without weighing hair down. The oil gets seamlessly distributed on damp or dry hair, offering frizz control and enhancing shine. While it's a fantastic option for making the hair manageable and improving its texture, individuals with very fine hair might find it a bit heavy, so I recommend it for thick and high-to-medium porosity hair types.

    Pros
    • Suits both straight and curly hair
    • Paraben-free
    • Vegan and cruelty-free
    • Smells amazing
    • Smoothens coarse strands
    • Offers antioxidant protection
    • A little goes a long way
    Cons
    • Might be too heavy for very fine hair types
  • Best for Volume and Hold

    John Frieda Volume Lift Thickening Spray

    John Frieda Volume Lift Thickening Spray
  • The John Frieda Volume Lift Thickening Spray is a remarkable addition to your styling routine. Specifically designed for fine or flat hair, this spray creates noticeable volume and lift without feeling sticky or heavy. This sublime spray adds fullness and texture to your mane, offering lasting results that hold throughout the day. 

    For best results, simply spritz on damp hair, focusing on the roots, and style as desired for amplified volume and thickness. While it delivers on its promise of lift, individuals with very fine hair might want to use it sparingly to avoid potential heaviness. Overall, a reliable choice for a voluminous and bouncy hairstyle.

    Pros
    • Ideal for color-treated hair
    • Suitable for all hair types
    • Silicone-free
    • Unscented
    • Weightless formula
    Cons
    • Not ideal for regular use
  • Best for Dry Hair

    Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisture Conditioner

    Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisture Conditioner
  • Indulge in the blessing of caviar-rich luxury within a drugstore gem — the Nexxus Humectress Moisturizing Conditioner. Salvation for dry hair, it's a fusion of elastin protein and green caviar, designed to strengthen and visibly repair. Locking in moisture, this conditioner transforms hair into a silky, smooth wonder, keeping its natural flow intact. It's like a moisture therapy session, rejuvenating dry locks to salon-like perfection. 

    Crafted by salon experts, this deep conditioner revitalizes without weighing hair down, thereby reviving its vitality and vibrancy. Rooted in science, it's formulated with up to 24-hour moisture, understanding that hair's foundation is protein-rich offering the ultimate nourishment and care for dry strands.

    Pros
    • Ideal for dry hair
    • Restores elasticity
    • Composed of natural ingredients
    • Moisturizes the hair
    • A little goes a long way
    • Formaldehyde-free
    • Unscented
    Cons
    • Not ideal for oily hair
  • Best for Fine Hair

    SexyHair Big Blow Dry Volumizing Gel

    SexyHair Big Blow Dry Volumizing Gel
  • In my lineup of the best drugstore products, the SexyHair Big Blow Dry Volumizing Gel stands tall. Promising 94% more volume and lift, it's a game-changer for blowouts. When I put it to the test, this heat-activated gem did wonders. When I tried it out, it amplified my hair, delivering impressive volume and lift without the sticky residue. Adding to that, its thermal protection up to 450˚F shielded my strands during styling. The result? A bouncy, fuller mane with a silky texture — a go-to for achieving that salon-worthy blowout right from home.

    Pros
    • Dairy-free
    • Boosts luster
    • Residue-free finish
    • Humidity-resistant
    • Cruelty-free
    • Great for low-porosity hair
    • Ideal for all hair textures
    Cons
    • Underwhelming hold
    • Seems slightly watered down
  • Best Hair Serum

    OGX Nourishing + Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum

    OGX Nourishing + Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum
  • Within the realm of top luxury hair care brands, OGX’s Anti-Breakage Serum shines as a standout amidst drugstore hair products. This hair elixir acts as a savior, fortifying, repairing, and hydrating hair for a luminous, healthy allure. Ideal for all hair types, it strikes a balance — nourishing without weighing down strands.

    Composed of goodies such as coconut oil, coconut milk, and whipped egg white protein, this serum embodies nature's prowess, imparting shine, strength, and smoothness. Infused with vanilla bean extract and the essence of tiare, its divine coconut, tangerine, and warm vanilla scent make it a sensorial delight. In my opinion, this serum is a must-have for brittle strands.

    Pros
    • Nourishing ingredients
    • Travel-size
    • Replenishes the shaft
    • Restores strength and elasticity
    • Ideal for breakage-prone hair
    • Non-greasy
    • Pleasant scent
    Cons
    • Not ideal for oily scalps
    • Not vegetarian
  • Best for Professional Styling

    L’ange Glass Hair Thermal Blowout Primer

    L’ange Glass Hair Thermal Blowout Primer
  • As a fervent admirer of L’ange's diverse hair styling tools, the Thermal Blowout Primer stands out among the best drugstore hair styling products. This essential primer, activated by heat, becomes a vital shield for strands, offering both smoothing benefits and essential thermal protection. Enriched with antioxidant-rich calendula and chamomile, it fortifies against environmental stressors while amplifying natural shine. 

    With its humidity-resistant barrier, it ensures enduring styles by providing a mirror-like finish, particularly in blowouts. After thorough testing, I wholeheartedly recommend this primer for its transformative power, delivering smoothness, protection, and an impeccable finish to your styling routine.

    Pros
    • Activated by heat
    • Smoothens hair
    • Reduces frizz
    • Ideal for constant use
    • Sulfate-free
    • Paraben-free
    Cons
    • Some users may find it slightly heavy if over-applied
  • Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioning Treatment

    Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioning Treatment
  • I’ll spill the tea on Aussie's 3-Minute Miracle Moist! Let me tell you, this gem works wonders on all hair types — it's like magic in a bottle! The kicker? It's from the Hall of Fame of cheap hair care products and a legend among affordable options. Seriously, it's been rocking the best drugstore hair products list since 2016. Packed with Australian superfruits like aloe, jojoba oil, and sea kelp, this conditioner is the ultimate hydration hero.

    It's a revitalizing spa day for your hair, leaving it deeply moisturized, silky, and smooth. It’s the ultimate quick fix in the world of drugstore hair products, leaving hair deeply moisturized, manageable, and smelling oh-so-fresh!

    Pros
    • Compostable
    • Ideal for dry hair
    • Shows quick results
    • Contains nourishing ingredients
    • Suitable for all hair types
    Cons
    • Some may find the scent too strong
  • Kristin Ess Hair Weightless Shine Air Dry Creme

    Kristin Ess Hair Weightless Shine Air Dry Creme
  • Meet the Hair Air Dry Crème by Kristin Ess — a true multitasker in a bottle! This gem? It's the secret sauce for that enviable texture, shine, and frizz control. It's a hair magician that transforms any texture — straight, curly, thick, or fine — into a polished, effortless masterpiece. Enriched with scalp-safe ingredients and suitable for all hair types, it's a shine restorer and frizz tamer. 

    What gets me going about this product is that it not only smoothens coarse strands but also hydrates and repairs, giving dry hair the much-needed love and care. One can get that air-dried chic hair effortlessly with this time-saving miracle!

    Pros
    • Ideal for all hair types
    • Allergen-free
    • Color-safe
    • Keratin-safe
    • Unscented
    • Paraben-free
    Cons
    • May not provide enough hold for certain hairstyles
  • Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo

    Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo
  • Dive into affordable luxury with the Pantene Shampoo with Hair Treatment, a treasure trove for your locks. This duo, often hailed as the best drugstore moisture shampoo and conditioner, is a game-changer for dry hair. Packed with Pro-V nutrients, antioxidants, and pro-vitamin B5, it's a nutrient-rich cocktail that hydrates and repairs. What’s good is that the shampoo pack comes with the Miracle Rescue Intense Rescue Shot, which works wonders in revitalizing your hair. This power-packed combo ensures two times more effect, providing 72+ hours of hydration and repair. Suitable for all hair types, it's a must-have for those seeking salon-quality moisture on a budget.

    Pros
    • Super affordable
    • Fantastic for dry hair
    • Color-safe
    • Ideal for daily use
    • Hydrates intensely
    Cons
    • Inadequate for extremely damaged hair
  • TRESemmé Total Volume Hair Spray

    TRESemmé Total Volume Hair Spray
  • Here’s a styling essential that takes your mane to new heights — the Total Volume Hair Spray by TRESemmé. This hairspray is a volumizing maestro, effortlessly lifting and holding your style in place. It's a breeze to work with, providing a flexible hold without stiffness while enriching hair with collagen and vitamin B5. Particularly beneficial for fine or flat hair, it injects lasting volume and bounces.

    After putting it to the test, I loved how it added noticeable fullness and kept my style intact throughout the day. Many reviewers laud the formulation for being smooth and effective without benign heavy on their fine hair. If you're after a hair spray that gives you the volume you crave without the stiffness, this is your new go-to.

    Pros
    • Unscented
    • Great for fine or flat hair types
    • Adds noticeable fullness and bounce
    • Works for versatile hairstyles
    Cons
    • May feel a bit sticky if over-applied
  • Hair Food Curl Refreshing Spray

    Hair Food Curl Refreshing Spray
  • Just like how a plant needs that extra boost of goodness to grow into a mighty tree, your hair craves a hairspray that nurtures without causing harm. Enter the Mango & Aloe Curl refreshing spray, the savior for rejuvenated ringlets that won't drag your locks down. It's a charm for those with curly or coily hair, defining and rejuvenating the hair effortlessly. A simple spritz on wet or dry curls, a scrunch, and voila — revived curls sans the drenching effect. Enriched with mango and aloe, it's a nourishing blend, ensuring your hair gets what it deserves without any undesirables. Embrace the goodness, and let those curls thrive!

    Pros
    • Ideal for low-porosity hair
    • Natural ingredients
    • Controls frizz effectively
    • Lightweight formula
    • Lovely mango scent
    Cons
    • May need reapplication for longer-lasting hold

    After my thorough review, I've penned down key tips on maximizing the efficiency of these top-notch drugstore products!

    How to Select the Best Drugstore Hair Products for Yourself?

    Choosing the best hair products at a drugstore can be overwhelming with the plethora of options available. However, understanding your hair type, specific needs, and ingredients to look for can simplify this process. Here’s a guide to help you navigate through the aisles and select the best drugstore hair products for yourself.

    1. Understanding Your Hair Type: Before anything else, identify your hair type — straight, curly, wavy, or kinky — and its unique characteristics like texture, density, and porosity. This awareness serves as a compass in navigating the expansive realm of hair care. For instance, curly hair demands specialized attention, requiring products designed explicitly for curly hair types to maintain its bounce and definition. Hot tools and drugstore shampoos might not always promote hair health, unlike salon-quality or celebrity stylist-approved products. Considering factors like hair growth, colored or darker hair, or even hair loss concerns, discerning the efficacy of drugstore hair care products against favorite salon-quality alternatives becomes imperative. Tailoring selections to finer hair types or addressing the hair shaft's health and integrity should be a priority for achieving and maintaining healthy hair growth.

    2. Identify Your Hair Concerns: Assess your primary hair concerns — dryness, frizz, damage, lack of volume, or color-treated hair — to navigate the best drugstore hair products. Understanding your specific needs helps narrow down options. For high-porosity hair, seek shampoos that lock in moisture and prevent excessive absorption. Similarly, in drugstore options, look for sulfate-free, hydrating shampoos rich in oils or proteins to seal the hair cuticle. Tailoring your choices based on specific concerns ensures you find drugstore products catering to your hair's unique needs, just like high-end options do.

    3. Read the Labels: When browsing through the shelves, pay attention to the labels. Look for key phrases like "sulfate-free," "paraben-free," or "for color-treated hair," depending on your requirements. Understanding your hair's needs and any sensitivities you might have to certain ingredients can guide you toward suitable products.

    4. Ingredients to Look For: Certain ingredients can benefit specific hair types or concerns:

    • Moisturizing Ingredients: For dry hair, look for products containing ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, or glycerin to provide moisture and hydration.
    • Protein-based Ingredients: Products with proteins like keratin or collagen are excellent for damaged hair, helping to strengthen and repair.
    • Lightweight Formulas: Those with fine hair should opt for lightweight, volumizing products that won't weigh down their hair. Ingredients like rice or silk proteins can add volume without heaviness.
    • Hydrating Oils: Argan oil, jojoba oil, or avocado oil can benefit most hair types by providing nourishment and shine.

    5. Product Selection for Different Hair Types:

    • Curly Or Wavy Hair: Consider products like curl-defining creams or sulfate-free shampoos that help maintain natural curls without causing frizz.
    • Dry Or Damaged Hair: Look for deeply moisturizing conditioners, hair masks, or leave-in treatments to restore moisture and repair damage.
    • Fine Or Limp Hair: Volumizing shampoos, lightweight conditioners, and root-lifting sprays can add volume and texture without weighing down the hair.

    6. Consultation with a Professional: If you're unsure about what products will suit your hair best, consider consulting with a hairstylist or a trichologist. They can offer personalized recommendations based on your hair type, concerns, and needs.

    Selecting the best drugstore hair products involves understanding your hair type, identifying your concerns, reading labels for suitable ingredients, and being open to experimenting with different products. It’s about finding the right balance between what your hair needs and what the products offer.

    How to Use Drugstore Hair Products?

    Using drugstore hair products effectively involves a few simple steps to maximize their benefits for your hair type and concerns:

    1. Follow Instructions: Always read the instructions on the product labels. Different products have varying application methods and usage frequencies. Adhering to the instructions ensures you use the product correctly for optimal results.

    2. Shampoo And Conditioner: Apply shampoo to wet hair, massaging it into the scalp and then rinsing thoroughly. Follow with conditioner, focusing on the mid-lengths to ends, and leave it on for the specified time before rinsing. For extra hydration, consider leaving the conditioner on for a few minutes longer.

    3. Hair Treatments: Hair treatments like masks or deep conditioners should be applied after shampooing and left on for the recommended duration. Some might require heat activation, so using a shower cap or warm towel can enhance their effectiveness.

    4. Styling Products: Apply styling products like mousses, serums, or sprays to towel-dried or dry hair, depending on the product type and purpose. Distribute evenly and style as desired, using heat protectants before using hot styling tools.

    5. Less Is More: Avoid using excessive amounts of product, especially with leave-in treatments or styling products. Start with a small amount and gradually increase if needed to prevent product buildup.

    6. Consider Layering: Layering products can be beneficial for addressing multiple hair concerns. For example, using a leave-in conditioner followed by a styling cream can provide moisture and control frizz simultaneously.

    7. Maintenance: Consistency is key. Use the products regularly and consistently to see noticeable improvements in your hair. However, be mindful of overusing certain products, as this can sometimes have adverse effects.

    8. Adapt to Your Hair’s Needs: Pay attention to how your hair responds to different products. Adjust your routine based on the changing needs of your hair, considering factors like climate, season, and any treatments or styling you undergo.

    By understanding the specific purpose of each product and following proper application techniques, you can effectively incorporate drugstore hair products into your routine to achieve healthier, more manageable hair.

    Conclusion

    Exploring an array of the best drugstore hair products, my standout recommendation is the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum. This gem's ability to conquer frizz while imparting a lasting shine is impressive. It caters to various hair types, offering a sleek, polished finish without weighing hair down. However, the journey to finding your ideal product amidst the assortment requires considering your hair's unique needs. My guide aims to simplify this process, offering insights into ingredients, suitability, and benefits. This helps you discover your ideal product among the vast selection. Happy shopping! May your hair journey be filled with fantastic finds and endless good hair days.

    FAQ's

    Are drugstore hair products bad for hair health?
    Not necessarily. While some drugstore hair products may contain ingredients that can be harsh or unsuitable for certain hair types, many offer quality options with beneficial ingredients that cater to various hair needs without causing harm when used appropriately.
    Why are drugstore hair products cheaper?
    Drugstore hair products are often cheaper due to lower production costs, simpler packaging, and the use of more economical ingredients. They might forgo high-end branding and marketing, allowing them to offer affordable options accessible to a wider range of consumers. However, their payoff can sometimes be way better than what some luxury or high-end products offer.
    How do you know if a drugstore product doesn't suit your scalp and skin?
    Signs a drugstore product doesn't suit your scalp and skin include itchiness, redness, dryness, excessive oiliness, or irritation after use. If you experience these reactions, discontinue use and consider products designed for sensitive or specific skin and scalp conditions.

    Why Trust Pinkvilla

    Alvira Dsouza, our esteemed in-house hair care expert, emphasized the quest for stellar hair care within drugstore selections. Recognizing their untapped potential akin to high-end brands, she unearthed a standout: the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Sleek Smoothing Oil. Enthralled by its transformative prowess, she lauded its ability to impart unparalleled shine, tame frizz effortlessly, and restore hair vibrancy, solidifying its position as her go-to recommendation.

    Our product experts study the specifications of every product we suggest and try them out to bring what’s proven to be worthy of your money, time, and energy. We also have subject matter experts from various fields like Fashion, Skincare, Haircare, Home Decor, and Health and Fitness onboard to make sure our suggestions are credible and trustworthy. You can trust Select to be your faithful shopping guide for all the right reasons!

    Author BIO
    reviewer
    Alvira Dsouza
    Hair Expert

    With a keen eye for detail and a passion for hairstyling, Alvira is a certified Hair Expert who brings the latest tre More