Dermatologist Shirley Chi says there are a number of drug stores products that perform as well as the pricier versions.
"May not be exactly the same but it will give you a lot more bang for you buck," said Dr. Chi.
Her first pick for dry, damaged hair was Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask. It costs only $7.
"You put it all in your hair, you leave it in your hair for several minutes and then it leaves you hair nice and sleek and shiny," said Dr. Chi.
Dr. Chi says the concept behind conditioner is to coat and smooth down the the outer layer of hair called the cuticle.
She also likes one by Garnier Fructis, also $7, but essentially accomplishes the same thing as more expensive masks.
"And these are comparable to the $40 to $50 product," said Dr. Chi.
For mild dandruff, she says Head and Shoulders is hard to beat, but difficult dandruff needs a medicated treatment.
For intense itching, Dr. Chi recommends extra strength T-Gel which is $9.69. After a few weeks, if it doesn't work, don't buy any more products. At that point, she says you need to see a doctor to get something prescription strength.
If you dye your hair, be aware: chemicals in permanent dye can be harder on your hair than other types of color.
"The more permanent the hair color is and the lighter that you go, generally the more damaging it is," said Dr. Chi.
Instead she recommends semi-permanent dye you can wash out. Natural Instincts is one good example.
And to reduce damage, only touch up your roots when possible so you don't add chemicals to the rest of you hair.
Two in one shampoo-conditioners may look like a bargain, but they may not be a good choice.
"What they're trying to do is remove your hair's natural oil and replace it with an artificial kind of sebum or oil. And that just neither cleans well or conditions well," said Dr. Chi.
A few more doctor approved tips include: color treated hair needs a pH of 7 or less. Some lines you might see in a beauty supply store may include the pH level on the box. And to make your hair care products last longer: buy a clarifying shampoo to remove any chemical buildup.
Web Extra Information: Dr. Shirley Chi's Drug Store Hair Care Picks
- Color-treated hair: shampoos and conditioners with a pH level of 7 or less
- Dry damaged hair: Neutrogena Triple Moisture Mask $7.49, Garnier Fructis Deep Fortifying Nourishing Mask $7.79
- For mild dandruff: Head & Shoulders Classic Clean $7.39
- Difficult dandruff: Neutrogena Extra T-Gel $6.69 to $9.69
- For all hair: a clarifying shampoo such as Neutrogena Anti-residue Shampoo $7.59 every other week to remove product buildup.
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