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Best Inexpensive Hair Products Promise No More Bad Hair Days

A past post in which I wailed and whined about my very bad hair day started it. You may recall I mentioned volumizing, styling techniques, and a great can of hairspray. That brought an avalanche of desperate queries, suggesting to me that perhaps I’m not the only one dealing with an occasional bad hair day!

baby orangutan having a bad hair day

Which volumizer? Hairspray? What? Where?!

Not long after, we visited the world of shampoos and conditioners. That stirred up lots more questions and very specific ones as in exactly which products?

So today, I’ve decided to tell. Exactly. Specifically. And trust me when I say that  I’ve tested many—none of which are sponsored, all of which I buy myself.

From time to time I see these products at stores like Walgreens, King Soopers, Target, Walmart, but never all of them simultaneously in the same place—except at Amazon. I am convinced that overall, Amazon consistently has the best prices. However, don’t take my word for it! Shop around to compare.


Currently, I’m using Love Beauty and Planet Shampoo Blooming Color Murumuru Butter & Rose (such a long name) shampoo. Loving it a lot. It is sulfate-free, chemical-free, no parabans which makes it suitable for all hair types whether colored or not. Made in the USA and available in drugstores and also Amazon.



My hair is dry, I live in a dry climate. It is (surprise!) color-treated, and I am loving Pantene Fortifying Damage Repair with Castor Oil Sulfate-Free conditioner.

Since I get at least 4 days out of a hairstyle, this size lasts me a long time.

Styling cream

Just a tiny amount of John Frieda Anti Frizz Fixation Styling Cream that I work well into my wet hair softens my hair and creates shine without weighing it down. This really makes blowing dry so much easier, too. I’m convinced this helps my hairdo to be revivable for four days (seriously, I don’t shampoo daily) without losing its shape and manageability. Love this stuff.


Volumizing Mousse

This has been a challenge. Long-time followers may recall my favorite, Got2b Fat-tastic Thickening Plumping Mousse by Schwartzkopf. It was the best ever and affordable. Shockingly, it was dicontinued. I was flabberghasted as were 1000s of others who’d come to rely heavily on this volumizing mousse.

I’ve made phone calls, sent letters, and still, the company has nothing to say but kind regrets. It’s gone and Schwartzkopf has no plans to bring it back. Don’t be fooled! Walmart.com still offers that product for under $10. Don’t fall for it. It’s a horrible fake and not returnable.

Good news: After lots of testing and much returning, I have a new favorite—Kenra Platinum Thickening Mousse 12. While a bit pricey (a little goes a long way, one can lasts a long time), this mousse is lovely. It does exactly what I want a volumizing mousse to do, without leaving my hair sticky or crunchy. Always shop around. You may find a better deal at your local Ulta or beauty supply store—I haven’t yet, but hope springs eternal.


kenra thickening mousse in a canKenra Platinum

Thickening Mousse 12


AMAZON $23.99



Once my hair is dry, and it’s the way I want it, I grab a small dab of Living Proof Amp2 Instant Texture Volumizer. Using my fingers, I work this through my dry and styled hair. It sets the style and makes it so easy to do the final styling, which I do with my fingers. What I love is that it stays touchable (never crunchy or stiff) and lets me give it that  “piece-y” look. It really does create visual texture and that’s what I’m going for.




In my lifetime, I’m sure I have tried out every kind of hairspray known to womankind. I even hold the distinction of having the hair and makeup woman on the Leeza Gibbons Show tell me I had bullet-proof hair—that’s how stiff it was when I sat down in her chair. She came this close to needing a jackhammer to get me ready for showtime.

She, mercifully, introduced me to Sebastian Professional Shaper Hairspray, (not Shaper Plus, which I find too heavy and stiff). I have used it for years, and still do. This hairspray has everything I want: Great hold, dries instantly, very lightweight, and—the best part—it is brushable. I spray once in the morning (it takes so little to get the job done) and that’s it for the entire day. Then I brush it all out right before bed. It is fabulous.




It’s not the absolute cheapest (I’ve blown through so many cheap hairdryers in my life), but the INFINITIPRO by CONAIR Hair Dryer, 1875W is right up there near the top in affordable, quality hairdryers.

This is a beauty, producing the two things I need most in a dryer: high heat and high power. It dries my hair fast without drying out my hair. It really is a fabulous blend of beauty and function for so many reasons you can read about.



There they are, the seven hair products/tools I use, love, and depend on to keep bad hair days at bay!


First published: 6-16-17; Revised, updated: 8-16-23



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1 reply
  1. barbara l harrison says:

    Best hair spray ever: Kenra Volume Spray 25
    Wonderful shampoo; Trader Joes Shampoo Bar
    Always use a micro fiber hair towel to dry hair
    Sleep on satin pillow cases and you’ll see an enormous bed hair result.

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