While most beauty pros can wax poetic about their favorite
cheap mascaras and bargain hairsprays, they give the world of affordable shampoos and conditioners considerably less love. Don't take these products lightly, though — especially if you're on a budget. Besides cleaning and conditioning, this duo can keep your color true, your scalp healthy, and your miscellaneous woes (frizz, split ends, and so on) in check.
Ahead, members of our own beauty team and a few A-list Hollywood hairstylists share the drugstore hair products they love — all of which clock in at under $15.
The Expert: Khalea Underwood
, R29 beauty writer
Color-treated curls and coils
"After getting my very first dye job in December, my curls started shedding like crazy because color-treated hair craves moisture. It was difficult to wash-and-go during the winter months, so I always made sure to do some really intense conditioning every few days. Cantu's anti-fade conditioner works just as well as my pricy
— my curls are always soft and defined, and my copper color looks gorgeous afterward."
Anti-Fade Color Protech Conditioner,
The Expert: Samantha Sasso
, R29 beauty writer
Dehydrated, fine hair
"My scalp is about as temperamental as I am when I'm hungry. If it's washed too much, it dries out. But if I use formulas filled with moisturizing properties, it's oil city. This shampoo is middle ground. It clarifies to remove all the gunk, hydrates, and adds just enough lift."
Anti-Gravity + Hydration O2 Shampoo, $8.29, available at
The Expert: Thatiana Diaz
, R29 beauty writer
"Someone recommended this formula to me years ago when I was dealing with breakage and I haven't stopped restocking it in my shower since. It not only strengthens my hair, which helps my strands to grow longer, but it really gets the job done when it comes to cleansing. I always feel brand new after just one wash."
Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo,
The Expert: Scotty Cunha
, hairstylist to Kylie Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, and Lucy Hale
Any hair type
"It's natural, paraben-free, blah blah, but it
works! And it's great for all hair types because it's really conditioning, but not too heavy, so it won't weigh down straight hair. It's great for conditioning color-treated hair, and it will also help control frizz on curly hair."
Hair Repair Shea & Grapefruit Deep Conditioner,
The Expert: Underwood Best For: Textured and curly hair "It usually takes a whole lot of pre-poo oil, loads of product, and a prayer to detangle my hair when it's dry... but with this thick conditioner, the process is cut in half. It works like a deep conditioner, and takes out the hassle of fussing with a goopy mask."
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioning Treatment,
Mi-Anne Chan, R29 beauty writer
Normal to dry hair
"I'm a huge fan of this brand's
, so I was stoked when I discovered the shampoo. The hydrating formula didn't disappoint and left my hair feeling clean, but not deprived of moisture. It's a win-win!"
The Seaweed Bath Co.
Argan Shampoo, $12.99, available at
Chan, R29 beauty writer
Any hair type
"As a beauty writer, I've had plenty of opportunities to try pricey shampoos, but I always go back to this one. Seriously, I rave about this shampoo to anyone who will listen. The scent is super-refreshing, and [it's] really pleasant to use. I wash my hair every day, which I know some people will scold me for, but this one has such a gentle-but-clarifying sulfate-free formula that it doesn't cause me any problems at all."
Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo, $3.99, available in-store at
The Expert: Underwood, R29 beauty writer Best For: Dehydrated coils "I'm always skeptical when products promise to deliver a 'salon-grade' experience. But I quickly ate my words after getting a wash with the new Damage Slayer system. My 'fro was really dry — like, tumbleweed dry — but once my stylist finished my coil-out, I was surprised at how springy and soft my hair was. Maybe I'll skip a few bi-weekly appointments and treat myself at home..."
Dark and Lovely
Damage Slayer The Restorer Shampoo,
The Expert: Cat Quinn
, R29 beauty director
Color-treated, dry, or damaged hair
"I grabbed this from my roommate's shelf the other day when I ran out of my own $28 conditioner and was seriously impressed by the results. While I didn't
the smell (a bit too honey-sweet for my taste), I air-dried my hair and put it in a bun and when I took it out it was so smooth and shiny it looked like I had gotten a blowout."
Whole Blends Repairing Conditioner, $3.49, available at
Sasso, R29 beauty writer
"I bought this shampoo on a whim and it blew my mind. I've never experienced such a transformation with such an inexpensive product. My ends had never been softer and my shine levels are through the roof — even after air-drying."
Total Repair 5 Restoring Shampoo, $3.99, available at
The Expert: Ryan Richman
, hairstylist to Lorde, Ashley Tisdale, and Sarah Hyland
"This shampoo is great for damaged and coarse hair, because it helps to strengthen it and leaves hair really smooth."
Intensive Repair Shampoo,
The Expert: Richman Best For: Color-Treated Hair "This shampoo protects color treated hair and enhances color!"
Elvive Color Vibrancy Intensive Protecting Shampoo ,
The Expert: Quinn Best For:
Fine- to medium hair
"When I want really clean, full roots, this always does the trick. I've been using it since high school."
24 Hour Body Salon Shampoo,
The Expert: Aviva Perea
, hairstylist to Brittany Snow and Beth Behrs
Medium to thick hair
"I call this my go-to product... The silicone-free formula gently cleanses hair, and preps it perfectly for conditioning."
Emergencee Reconstructive System Shampoo, $9.99, available at
The Expert: Lexy Lebsack
, R29 senior beauty editor
Fine to thick hair
"This clarifying shampoo is super
strong, so don't even think about using it every day. However, if you use it a few times per month it will cleanse every bit of buildup out of your hair. I have highlighted (and therefore, more fragile) hair, so I only use it once a month, but even so, I can immediately tell the biggest difference. It's strong, but when used correctly, it will make your hair bouncier and respond better to all your other products."
"This mask is incredibly thick, smells great, and you notice a difference in your hair after
use, which, for under $10, is pretty impressive. It makes my hair feel softer — even right after I get it bleached!"
Advanced Haircare Total Repair Extreme Emergency Recovery Mask, $6.99, available at
"For a solid 10 years, Creme of Nature was all I knew. My mom and aunts used the brand's shampoos and conditioners on their relaxed hair for years. The packaging has changed, but the refreshing scent and ridiculously creamy formula remains the same.
Crème of Nature
Moisture & Shine Shampoo With Argan Oil, $4.99, available at
Lebsack, R29 senior beauty editor
"This rich conditioner has long been my drugstore stand-in when my hair feels parched, or just after bleaching, and I don't want to splurge on something more expensive. It makes my strands feel smooth and soft without weighing them down."
Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner, $4.22, available at
The Expert: Sheridan Ward
, hairstylist to Chloë Sevigny and Lana Parrilla
"This is infused with naturally-derived cleansing extracts including seaweed. It works best at balancing the hair's moisture levels."
Active Naturals Pure Renewal Shampoo, $7.99, available at
The Expert: John Ruggiero
, hairstylist to Chrissy Teigen and Ashley Bell
"This formula automatically transforms the most brittle hair, leaving it soft, silky, and smooth," Ruggiero says.
Bumble and bumble
Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo, $12, available at