So, after your amazing (or not-so-amazing) haircut, you want to keep it nice and pristine. The shampoos, conditioners and magical gels/sprays/mousses at the salon may seem nice. Then again, of course, you could save some money by visiting your local drugstore. Don’t dis RiteAid here; they sell great hair products, if you know where to look. Get ready for an A, B and C break down.


John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Luminous Color Glaze

Afraid to color your hair? Can’t even mention the word ammonia? This is the product for you. Like gentle hair coloring combined with a conditioner, it turns your dull-looking hair into a brilliant but natural hue. If it works for brunettes (and even black-haired people like me), I figure it works for blondes and redheads as well. The plus side: It will leave your hair feeling softer and smelling salon-like.

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-in Conditioning Cream

Even Asian people like me get frizzy hair. That’s where the leave-in conditioner comes in. Although this product is a cream, if you don’t lop a giant handful at your head, it feels light and just right. Put it in right after you towel-dry your hair, and it will help straight-haired people stay frizz-free for up to two days. For curly haired people, use whenever applicable. Works best when your hair is try. The plus side: Your head will smell like a citrus.


Dove 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner

Yo momma uses Dove. That’s because your mother is smart. For its price, Dove shampoo (of any kind) is excellent value. One, it makes your hair feel light and clean. Two, it makes your hair baby soft. The after smell is refreshing. For those on the go, this is the essential product.

Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo Original Formula

What? Coal tar in your hair?

OK, this is a controversial nomination. But for unfortunates like me who are plagued by dandruff, it really works. Head and Shoulders is for sissies. T/Gel attacks the problem at its roots like a fighting machine. While the shampoo might not have the best smell, it is compatible with any conditioner, unlike Head and Shoulders. Or put in some leave-in conditioner afterward so your head won’t smell like that of a tarboiler.


Sauve Humectant Shampoo and Conditioner

Sometimes the knockoff brand works just as good as the original. But Sauve fails. This products smells like sickly candy. No matter how much you put in your hair, it leaves it feeling dry and frizzy. In trying to match the quality of Nexxus, it falls short — by a lot.

Sunsilk Anti-Flat Weightless Volumizing Creme

I saw it on sale for $3.50. It looked lovely in a happy yellow pump bottle. But it gave me Margaret Thatcher hair. (Sunlike is a UK-based company, by the way.) I didn’t know “anti-flat” meant turning me into a 80s parody. Think God the whole Sunsilk line is going back to the chemists’ lab.


White Rain

Don’t even go there. Unless there’s only $2.00 left in your wallet. We’re in a recession, but at least get a bottle of Sauve.