Although a great shampoo and conditioner can start you off on the right foot (and a fab serum can help tame tresses and add shine,) the difference between a decent look and great finish is all in the styling. There are some amazing affordable products out there that are pushing the boundaries and removing the need for professional products in order for you to achieve a professional finish – great when you’re short on pennies or are simply more concerned with saving up for a sunny break. Although there are tonnes to choose from, these six provide all I need for a refined ‘do without scrimping. Introducing six great budget buys that help your hair look anything but…
1. Dove Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo (£4.59)
Most dry shampoos can leave hair feeling chalky, sticky or grubby, but this little can of wonder removes excess oil and adds volume without any residue. The formula is completely transparent and leaves hair feeling refreshed, perfect for using both on freshly washed and ‘day two’ hair alike. There’s no white residue on hair and hardly any product feel at all, ensuring it’s a perfect replacement for the can of Batiste lurking at the back of your dressing table.
2. V05 Plump It Up Dry Backcoming Spray (£3.79)
One of my recent most favourites, this adds tonnes of volume without leaving hair feeling sticky. Most of my other volumising products add root lift but leave lots of residue and a crunchy feeling, but this lifts and adds texture without overloading hair. It’s definitely not a replacement for a bit of good old backcombing, but it definitely adds a bit of oomph when you need it most. It’s fab on clean hair as it easily brushes out and can be re-styled with ease, making it great for festivals.
3. Toni & Guy Cool Defining Cream (£7.49)
Launched in collaboration with Marchesa and perfectly timed for London Fashion Week, this lightweight and non-tacky cream adds moisture to hair while simultaneously helping with definition and control. It can be used either on damp hair to perfect your finished style, or used on dry hair to finish a look and prevent flyaways. I tend to stay away from creams and such as they weigh down my hair, but this helps to control waves and dry ends without adding that heavy product feeling.
4. L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickness Creation Serum (£6.99)
One of my favourite launches of 2014, L’Oreal’s Fibrology range actually helps to expand each individual hair to increase its diameter and ensure a thicker result. This serum can be applied to wet hair before drying (in addition to a regular serum as it doesn’t help calm frizz or create a smooth finish,) and the result is a subtle injection of volume. The product remains in the fibre for a long-lasting and cumulative effect when used every time the hair is washed, leaving your barnet feeling much fuller with very little effort. It really does work and it’s practically a steal at only £6.99 for a bottle that lasts months.
5. The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Miracle Solid Oil (£8.00)
I’ve written about this genius product before (read my original review here) but essentially this is a handy pot of solid argan oil that can be used to define hair, tame flyaways and add a touch of shine on the go. It’s incredibly lightweight, meaning you can build up the product throughout the day and not worry about overloading hair or creating a greasy finish. It’s the perfect travel accompaniment and an essential desk companion.
6. John Frieda Full Repair Flyaway Tamer (£10.99)
Ok, I know that this is 99p over my budget – but it is on 3 for 2 in Boots right now, making it technically fall under my ten quid barrier. When this handy handbag friend was launched the bloggersphere went wild for it, expecting many copies to follow. However, nobody else seems to have realised how much of a good thing John Frieda are on to: the mascara wand allows for precise application and catches annoying flyaway hairs with ease. It’s great for perfecting a look, although you do have to be careful not to overload hair or you’ll end up with a crunchy finish.
Are you a fan of any of these products? Do you have any hair budget buys you can’t live without?