If you’re into hair (and who isn’t?), you know it can be a pretty significant expense. But there’s no need to go for the world record for Most Hair Products in a Bathroom. As Allure’s resident hair expert, digital editor Jihan Forbes is used to doling out hair-care tips around the office. “I get questions and asks for product recommendations every single day,” she says. And just like you, Jihan knows not everyone has an unlimited budget. That includes Chandi McCright, the college senior Jihan shares her insider hair secrets with in the video above. If you’re looking for an affordable hair-care regimen, you’ve come to the right place.
Start with your scalp. That’s where good hair health begins, so make sure you’re getting rid of buildup and flakes (especially from dry shampoo and styling products) with your shampoo and conditioner. Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Shampoo and Conditioner will do that and more: Not only will you not have to worry about an itchy scalp, but this duo helps a lot with frizz, too.
Towel off, but not with a towel. Friction is brutal on hair. Reduce it — and the frizz it causes — with a no-cost hack to your post-shower routine. “Instead of a terry-cloth towel, dry your hair with a T-shirt,” suggests Jihan—it’s softer and easier on the hair.
Be a hair scientist—experiment. You may need to do a little trial and error to find what works for your particular hair. Try a few different oils—argan oil or coconut oil do wonders for a lot of people with dry hair. You could even grab the extra-virgin olive oil from your pantry. If it doesn’t work for you, hey, you’ve still got a use for it.
Give it a break. If you are dealing with a lot of damage from heat styling, step away from the flatiron. Try switching up your look with styling and accessories that make your hair look polished but don't require the stress of heat on the hair. "When my hair isn't cooperating, scarves always come to my rescue," says Jihan. "I can't tell you how many times I woke up looking like a kidnapping victim but showed up to work getting compliments — all because I tied some nice-looking cloth around my messy hair and kept it moving."
Water, water everywhere. OK, maybe not that much water. But keep a small spray bottle around: A quick superfine misting loosens curls — no need to fully rewet your whole head. And for anyone, with any hair type, adding a little water can activate whatever styling product is already in your hair from the day before, so you don’t need to waste more (and weigh down your hair).