You can be cheap when it comes to your hair
19 budget hair products that will do justice to your mane asset
In Indian kitchens, onions enjoy an exalted status. The little flavour bombs find their way into chutneys, salads and curries, and no self-respecting biryani would dare show its face without a liberal sprinkling of caramelised onions. Their influence stretches beyond the kitchen too, into traditional beauty cabinets. Weekly champis from dadi featured the star ingredient in her homemade oil, and while its pungent aroma meant everyone steered clear of you for the rest of the day, the feel of her soft hands massaging your head made it worth it. Sadly, we’re back to social distancing from dadi and her onion oil champis, so you may have to consider budget hair products for the time being.
Whether you’re looking for a hydrating hair mask or a hair growth serum or a curl cream, we’ve identified high performance products from budget brands that are easily available online and in neighbourhood stores. All while retaining those extra zeroes in your bank account.
Skim through our selection of budget hair products and you might stumble onto your new best friend. And remember, nothing on this list will cost you more than Rs 1,000
Budget hair products for every need
For dry hair
Matrix Biolage Ultra Hydrasource Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner
Matrix Biolage’s hydrating shampoo and conditioner pampers the hair just enough to give it a velvety feel and chasni-like sheen without weighing it down. The nourishing formula deeply conditions very dry, thick hair.
The shampoo and conditioner are backed by the powers of aloe vera and formulated with cupuacu butter and apricot kernel oil that moisturise hair and prevents it from frizzing or looking like hay even as the nip in the air gets nippier.
₹662 (currently on sale)
Earth Rhythm Hair Butter
From hibiscus extracts rich in amino acids that produce keratin to shea butter and all its anti-inflammatory properties to kukui nut oil, this hair butter from Earth Rhythm deserves a spot on your bathroom shelf.
Unlike the sticky, heavy texture of edible butter, this winner on our list of budget hair products will not cause your hair to fall flat. It works as hard on dry hair as you do to complete each level of Candy Crush. You can use this hair butter as a continuing treatment before you shower (evenly distribute from root to ends and leave it for 30 minutes to 2 hours) or you can use a small amount after a shower as a leave-in conditioner.
Wella Professionals INVIGO Nutri Enrich Deep Nourishing Mask
I’ve wrestled with dry hair for a long time so I know that choosing the right hair products can feel like you’re mining for gold. After a lot of trials and even more errors, I stumbled onto this mask and hust a few washes later, it felt like someone had breathed life back into my drab and dull hair.
It’s enriched with vitamin E and goji berry, designed to provide optimum hydration and restore nourishment. This mask made my coarse hair cotton-like and manageable.
Juicy Chemistry Marula, Argan and Lavender Hair Oil
Achieving DIY beachy waves is not as easy as YouTube tutorials make them look. When you’re left with dry and frizzy hair that would rather be on your pillowcase than head, you’ll want to add this hair oil by Juicy Chemistry to your shopping cart.
While marula oil is rich in antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids that nourish and moisturise, lavender oil soothes the scalp and argan oil restores and repairs damaged hair.
For best results, it is recommended to apply this hair oil and leave it for an hour or overnight.
For oily hair
The Earth Collective Hair Cleanser, Oily Hair
This shampoo is formulated to cleanse oily hair without drying it out. It’s made with kaffir lime that cleanses and nourishes hair, jojoba that provides hair with necessary vitamins and minerals and grapefruit that is rich in vitamin C, which adds a sheen to the hair and gives it bounce.
Innisfree My Hair Recipe Refreshing Treatment
Working hard to combat an oily scalp and condition the hair, this is a silicone-free hair treatment made from ingredients like jeju pine, wormwood extracts, cedar and cypress tree extracts that soothe and cleanse the scalp.
Use it as a pre-wash to clean and feed the scalp with nutrition. Leave it on for 3-5 minutes and then gently champi it through your hair for even distribution.
Juicy Chemistry Plantain, Bamboo and Charcoal Dry Shampoo
Thanks to Juicy Chemistry, we now have a worthy dry shampoo on this list of budget hair products. While the plantain extracts nourish and protect hair, the activated charcoal acts like a vacuum cleaner, sucking in all the dirt and extra grease. This dry shampoo also contains grapefruit and lemon essential oils that stimulate blood flow and soothe the scalp.
If you’re someone who would rather tie a messy bun than wash your hair everyday, this dry shampoo will be a valuable arrow in your quiver.
For curly hair
Earth Rhythm Murumuru Butter shampoo bar
The Murumuru butter shampoo bar was one product I had wanted to try ever since I started following the CG method. It’s convenient and leaves hair feeling silky, frizz-free and manageable. It also helps to detangle hair and anyone with curly hair knows how much of a pain that is. The murumuru butter cleanses and hydrates the hair while vitamin E acts as an antioxidant to nourish and promote scalp health.
It works the same way as any shampoo. Run the bar over damp hair, work up a lather and rinse, rinse, rinse.
BBLUNT Curly Hair Prepoo with Coconut Water & Aloe Vera
When you have curly hair, it’s crucial to add an extra step of moisture to your hair wash routine. This pre-poo by BBlunt is powered by aloe vera. It hydrates, helps you detangle without wanting to pull out your hair and smells like a tropical paradise.
Before you shampoo, apply this prepoo all over your hair, detangle with a wide-toothed comb, do a satisfying champi and leave it in for 15-30 minutes.
Fix My Curls Curl quenching hair butter
This hair butter by Fix My Curls is your curls’ super supportive best friend. Once found, there is no going back. The rich consistency of the butter locks in the moisture, defines the curls and keeps the frizz monster away. It gives your hair a happy and healthy bounce and that’s all we can ask for.
A word of caution though. It is recommended to apply only a coin-sized amount on soaking or damp hair. Stay away from the scalp to avoid product buildup which causes the hair to look sticky and fall flat.
Curl Up Curl Defining Cream
Finding a curl cream you love is like finding your life partner. To get there there is a rollercoaster journey that has made every curly-haired girl want to give up and run into the arms of a straightener for solace. But once you’ve found a curl cream that makes your hair feel things you never thought possible, all the trial and error with budget hair products becomes worth it.
This cream is made with power-packed ingredients like argan oil, shea moisture and flaxseed extracts. This curl cream hydrates to banish frizz and perfectly holds your curls in place. Just remember when it comes to curling products, little is more.
₹656(currently on sale)
Budget hair products to combat hair fall
Arata Super Shampoo
If you wake up every morning to the nightmarish sight of your pillow covered in hair strands, then this Arata Super Shampoo may be able to help you. It is formulated with onion oil, argan oil, and apple cider vinegar. Each of these key ingredients work their own therapeutic magic to strengthen hair and improve circulation in the scalp. Using this shampoo regularly will repair damage and restore shine. It thoroughly cleanses and nourishes hair without stripping off its natural oils.
Minimalist Hair Growth Actives 18% Hair Serum For Hair Fall Control
A potent combination of peptides and extracts, this hair growth serum by the Minimalist is said to slow down hair fall in just a few weeks and promote new growth. This is for all those people who pull out more than a few strands of hair every time they run their hands through it.
The formula strengthens hair, making it thicker and fuller. It’s designed for daily use. All you have to do is apply a few drops on your scalp before a wash and massage it in. Leave it overnight and you may see a change in 4-6 weeks.
Hair Fall Control Serum Re’equil
No hair care regime is complete without a strong serum holding everything together and adding nourishment. This hair fall control serum by Re’equil comes in an easy applicator bottle (I can’t be the only one who is excited by this).
It’s suitable for people with all hair types facing hair fall and should be used twice a day on a dry scalp.
L’Oreal Paris Hair Regime Pack – Color Protect Shampoo + Conditioner
When thinking of colour-safe shampoos and conditioners, our minds usually gravitate towards brands that have the tendency to create a gaping hole in our bank accounts. This L’Oreal Paris shampoo and conditioner is your drugstore saviour, thoroughly cleansing and conditioning hair while also smelling divine.
Its formula uses a UV filter that protects your hair and ensures your colour pops for a long time. Why make your bank account bend over backwards when you can just ask your local chemist wale bhaiye for help?
Schwarzkopf Professional Bonacure pH 4.5 Color Freeze Treatment Masque
Have you noticed the boost in your confidence when you walk out of the salon with a fresh colour job? There is a skip in your step, a smile on your face and your hands just can’t stop playing with your hair. It makes sense that you would want to feel that way all the time. The Schwarzkopf Professional colour freeze masque can help you achieve that by locking in the pigment while still nourishing your hair.
The cream-based product strengthens the hair structure and retains colour. It is also enriched with amino acids that work their way into the deeper layers of your hair and repair damage. Use this as a conditioner on towel-dried hair.
L’Oreal Paris Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer Spray
This is one of the products you will always find on my dresser because my mother is too lazy to keep going in for a touch-up. If you, like my mother, hate visible gray hair but can’t find the motivation to go to the salon every 15-20 days, the L’Oreal Paris Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer Spray works like magic.
This instant root concealer will prove to be a lifesaver when guests come over unannounced or your weekend plans suddenly get more exciting that your originally date with Netflix. Just like makeup concealer, this touch-up spray covers any gray hair giving it a seamless, blended look. It’s not a permanent or even a long-term fix but it’s mess-free solution that will do its job until the next time you shampoo.