The budget-friendly way to get great hair

HOUSTON Some hair stylists swear by their tools and products, but some of their favorites can really break the bank, like a brush for a hundred bucks; who can afford that?

But Beauty Expert Rachel Gower put together her favorite budget friendly hair tools and products for us.

"Almost every single high-end hair product has a lower-cost alternative that works pretty much the same way," Gower said.

Take for example the Mason Pierson brush; it's a cult favorite among celebrities.

"The Mason Pierson brush is the Hallmark of all brushes," Gower said. "It's a $108, and they range up to about a $158."

But for those us who want a similar brush at a fraction of the cost, Gower recommends the Phillips hair brushes, which range in price from $10 to $32 and can be found at local salons. "The Phillips hair brush is very similar to the Mason Pierson," she said. "It has the same sort of bristles."

If you are in the market for a round brush, Gower says "the gold standard of round brushes is a boar bristle round brush."

But she recommends a boar and nylon combination -- and it's half the price.

"So all boar would be about $35, and a boar/nylon combination would be about $18," Gower said.

When it comes to nutrition for your hair, vitamins are a great way to support healthy hair. But there is a big range in price. Take for example a vitamin called Phyto -- it's $50!

"But in my opinion, it's missing a lot of the really important ingredients that you need to support healthy hair growth," Gower said.

So instead, Gower says go to your drug store and look for hair, skin and nail vitamins for about $15. Just be sure the vitamins contain at least 3,000 micrograms of biotin, plus zinc and folate.

When it comes to shampoo and conditioner, Gower says she loves Kerastase.

"They make a wide range of products," she said. "The product that they make for color-treated hair, specifically highlights, is ChromaRiche."

But the shampoo and mask together is about $100, yet for about $40, you can buy Goldwell's shampoo and conditioner.

"The Goldwell product is also a larger size, so you are getting more product for a lot less," she said.

For those who have color treated hair, Gower says root touch up products are a must have item. The pricey touch up pens cost up to $25; but if you head to your local drug store, you can find essentially the same product for $5.99.

Here's what else you can buy if you love it, but can't afford it:

  • Mason Pearson Hair Brush (about $108) vs. Phillips (about $32, available at salons)
  • Boar Bristle Round Brush (about $35) vs. Boar/Nylon Combination Round Brush (about $18)
  • Phyto Phytophanere Vitamins (about $50) vs. Nature's Bounty Hair Skin Nail Formula (about $15)
  • Oscar Blandi Root Touch Up (about $23) vs. Fanciful Touch Ups (Walgreens, about $5.99)
  • Kerastase Bain Chroma Riche (about $36) & Masque Chroma Riche (about $60) vs. Goldwell Dual Senses Shampoo (about $20) & Conditioner (about $20)
  • Shu Uemura Essence Absolue (about $67) vs. Moroccan Oil (about $45)
  • Elchim Ionic Hair Dryer (about $300) vs. Chi Hair Dryer (about $145)

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