Affordable Shampoo/Conditioner Similar to Living Proof PHD
June 30, 2015 10:08 AM   Subscribe

I like having nice hair, but I don't like spending over $20 each for shampoo and conditioner. I've gotten really good results with Living Proof PHD products, and am looking for similar drugstore products, hopefully in the $10-15 range.

I have medium thickness, naturally curly hair that straightens easily with a blow dryer and straightening iron. It's currently just above shoulder length, and I wash and straighten it every three days or so. I recently discovered Dry Bar Hot Toddy as a styling product and love it, and when I used it with PHD shampoo/conditioner, my hair was soft and frizz free without feeling greasy. I'd really like to find decent a shampoo/conditioner that provides similar results without costing quite as much.

Brands I've tried:

Loreal EverCreme (too dry)
Matrix Total Results Sleek Shampoo/Conditioner (too greasy)
Devacurl "No poo" products (too greasy/didn't feel right - I missed the lather)
Redken (various combinations of shampoo/conditioner - both dry and greasy)

I'm willing to spend the money on the PHD products if I absolutely have to, but would love to hear about others' favorite moderately priced shampoo/conditioners.
posted by odayoday to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
My hair sounds similar to yours, so: Do you live in the vicinity of Trader Joe's? Their Tea Tree Tingle shampoo and conditioner are cheap and awesome.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:28 AM on June 30, 2015

I have thick, wavy hair that frizzes and poofs out easily. My favorite thing is to use Suave Naturals conditioner for a conditioner-only wash -- that is, I don't use any shampoo, just wash with the conditioner. It's -cone free, so it doesn't leave my hair greasy or weighed down, but it seems to induce much less frizz and poof than using any kind of shampoo. And it costs $1.50.

No, it doesn't lather much, but my hair behaves so much better that I was OK with getting used to that. I use a lot of it (enough to saturate all of my hair and scalp) and massage/scrub my scalp the same way as I would with shampoo, and after rinsing, my hair and scalp feel clean.
posted by snowmentality at 10:38 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

My SO has naturally curly hair that tends to "frizz and poof" easily, and we have both been using the "no-[sham]poo" method for over a year now and we both love it. It has tamed her hair and caused her to be less reliant on product overall.

The basic gist is to "wash" using a 1:3 baking-soda-to-water solution and "condition" using a 1:3 or 1:4 solution of apple cider vinegar and water. The smell of the vinegar rinses away, but some people add essential oil to the conditioner (tea tree oil is another option).

I had a really problematic scalp before switching to this and now I have no more issues. Her hair is shinier, more manageable, less frizzy, and is overall great.

Just another option to consider.
posted by majorsteel at 10:59 AM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

What I have found with LP:PHD products is that I don't need to use them every time to get the benefit, nor does using them every time necessarily make my hair better. It's basically diminishing returns; by the 3rd wash or so I get a lot of build up. So to even out the cost, I wash every other time with LP:PHD, the other time with Tresemme (which is average quality; I wouldn't not recommend it, how's that for damning with faint praise?).

Also I find I can use the LP:PHD 5-in-1 styling treatment on the "off" wash which is almost just as good as the poo/conditioner itself. Or I'll wash my scalp with something different and just use LP from my ears down.

Also I resist the urge to use lots of LP shampoo. It doesn't lather much, but that doesn't mean I need more than the typical quarter sized amount to get my hair clean.

(I only need to fully wash my hair 1-2x per week, and just wash & dry my bangs if my hair looks tired.)

So basically I'm in the same boat as you, I just reaaaaaly stretch it out.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:11 AM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

I use Living Proof PHD shampoo and conditioner and I share your sentiment exactly, regarding both the effectiveness and the price. What I've found is that their Prime Style Extender does the same thing for less. My guess is that the real benefit is their vaunted patented molecule that softens the hair and coats it to repel dust, oil and other environmental pollutants. In my experience this leave-in cream does all that, and you don't need to use their shampoo and conditioner first. When I use this cream after any shampoo and any/no conditioner, my hair (fine-ish, wavy-ish, caucasian) is softer and less frizzy and looks fresh a day or two longer, just like when I use the PHD shampoo/conditioner combo.
posted by rada at 1:56 PM on June 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

I like Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose shampoo. It's like $8-10 and I just use the shampoo because it has argan oil and if you leave it in too long it makes your hair look greasy. I use enough to get a lather and then rinse immediately. I let my hair air dry and it looks and feels pretty good. My hair is naturally wavy and shoulder length, sometimes I'll blow dry or straighten it but I usually just air dry. I wash every other day or two and a bottle can last me about 3 months easy.
posted by lunastellasol at 3:28 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Dude with nice hair 2nding majorsteel's baking soda & apple cider vinegar solutions. I started out with apple cider vinegar and it was fine. Then I tried regular vinegar because it is much cheaper and it made no difference. Supposedly the pH of apple cider vinegar is closer to what one's hair should naturally be, but I can't tell.
posted by falsedmitri at 7:54 PM on June 30, 2015

Never tried Living Proof but sounds like we have similar hair. I'm really liking Matrix Sleek Lisse shampoo and conditioner at the moment. I'm also trying to wean myself off of the really expensive stuff (Kerastase, etc) and a stylist recommended this line to me. Really good. My hair tends to pouf but it's been way less frizzy with this shampoo. Also wanted to chime in to second that Suave Coconut conditioner is also surprisingly good now and then if you don't use it all the time.
posted by biscuits at 9:52 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Renpure Organics Argan Oil conditioner is the best value I have found for conditioner. (I have fine naturally curly/wavy hair). Note: I don't straighten my hair.
posted by typecloud at 9:24 AM on July 1, 2015

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