Splurge vs steal: The best hair treatments


Between salon appointments, an affinity for heat tools and unpredictable weather conditions, it’s no easy feat keeping our tresses lustrous. To help repair any damage caused by chemicals, heat, Mother Nature and whatever else may come our way, there’s nothing better than a good hair treatment.

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Of course, one hair mask isn’t going to suit all hair types, so we’ve taken the best from the splurge circuit and bargain bins to give all your different hair textures and styles a chance. From curly and coarse to oily and fine, these are the best expensive and cheap hair treatments worth spending your precious pennies on. 

Splurge: You might gasp a little at the price tag of the Kérastase Paris Age Recharge Masque, but rest assured that for 60 clams this luxurious mask will transform your dry, dull and dreary locks into a work of art. Its aim is to rebuild, reconstruct and strengthen the hair from within, as well as restore split ends, weak and rough cuticles, and thirsty tresses in need of a serious overhaul.

Steal: Proof that good things come in small packages, the Schwarzkopf Extra Care BB Cream is a multitasking wonder that helps to prevent breakage, protect split ends, replenish moisture to dry or damaged hair, control frizz, and help to detangle hair. For $10.99 it’s almost too good to be true!

Splurge: When a brand has a reputation for working miracles, you pay whatever price. For 68 big ones, the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Treatment won’t let you down. Containing ceramides which reinforce strength and protection, and enhance shine, the treatment is formulated to restore your hair’s natural protective varnish, limit colour fading and add shine. As far as we’re concerned, it’s worth every penny.

Steal: Working in as little as three minutes (!!!) the Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Damage & Colour Repair Treatment Mask works to make your hair more resistant to damage, leaving it looking healthy from root to tip. Oh, and at $9.99 a pop, it’s a steal. We’ll take five.

Splurge: If you’re going to indulge in something this year, make it the Kérastase Densifique Serum Jeunesse. The formula features an impressive line-up of ferulic acid, a UV filter and vitamins C and E to nourish and protect. It also contains Stemoxydine – a snazzy, scientifically-patented molecule that significantly amplifies hair density to boost shine, strength and suppleness. 98 bucks for thicker hair? I’d pay that.

Steal: One way to get your locks looking lush on the cheap is with the help of L’Oréal Paris ELIVE Fibralogy Double Serum. For $9.95, this treatment contains more than its fair share of filloxane, which helps thicken hair fibres. A price not to be sneezed at, this is one to add to the arsenal. 

Splurge: One curly hair treatment that won’t weigh your ‘do down is the Clairol Professional Curl Definer Stabilizer. What’s so good about it? Well, this fancy formula hardens the keratin structure of your hair, leaving it moisturised with bounce, elasticity and shine. Say hello to $44.50 worth of damn good-looking curls. 

Steal: Schwarzkopf Professional BC Bonacure Moisture Kick Defining Cream is a hydrating cream that provides curl definition and protection against heat and dehydration. The cream intensively moisturises and improves hair’s manageability. To use, rub a small amount into the palms of the hands and work through damp hair. At just $19.50 you’d be a fool not to try it.

Splurge: Give it up for the Redken Frizz Dismiss Mask that’s sulfate- and sodium chloride-free and works to smooth unruly, dry, frizz-prone hair. If you’ve got a spare $35.95 then make sure you spend it here. A must for city girls barraged daily by urban pollution. Worth every pretty penny? Ab-so-lutely

Steal: For just 17 buckaroos, the John Frieda FRIZZ-EASE ® Miraculous Recovery Intensive Masque means serious business. Among restructuring ingredients, milk protein, vitamin E and avocado oil, this mask delivers moisture to dehydrated hair so that it’s soft, silky and oh so glossy.  

Splurge: We’d buy Aveda anything just for the smell alone, but luckily, this $55 creamy Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Treatment Masque impresses more than just our olfactory system. Oils like meadowfoam, sunflower and jojoba penetrate to hydrate even the thirstiest of tresses. No more dryness, here!

Steal: Are your locks in need of a serious overhaul? This weightless, non-greasy Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Nourishing Treatment oil absorbs quickly into the hair and strengthens your strands, both inside and out. And the best part? It’s all for under 20 big ones.

Splurge: Nothing feels more luxurious than $42 worth of oil massaged into your noggin. A few drops of the L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Serum de Force and this unique blend of primrose oil and Powerdose Light will bring your scalp – and hair – back to life. 

Steal: Get your dose of the good stuff with this invigorating and soothing treatment. At just $17.95, the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Treatment is formulated with essential tea tree oil and salicylic acid to soften the skin. Oh, and with its blend of lavender, tea tree and peppermint, it might be worth mentioning it smells bloody good. 

Do you have a favourite hair treatment?

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