Can you say 'great hair days on a budget?'

By Melanie Rud
February 20, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

It's a universal truth that everyone wants to have great hair. It's yet another universal truth that no one wants to have to shell out big bucks in order to achieve said great hair.

While stylists have access to and often use some of the priciest products out there, you know that they appreciate a good deal just as much as the rest of the world. (Related: Hair Products You Need If You Work Out Often)

So, what would top hairstylists buy if they had to stick to a budget of, say, $30? Check out their Ulta hair product MVPs below, then get to shopping.

Ulta
Ulta
Ulta

Dry Shampoo + Mask + Volume Mist

The Stylist: Michelle Pasterski, stylist at 3rd Coast Salon in Chicago

Batiste Dry Shampooo: "This cult-favorite dry shampoo refreshes hair, absorbs oil and grease, and even adds a little volume," she says. Not to mention, if you're going through dry shampoo as often and as fast as most active women, it's always nice to have an affordable option. (Buy It, $9, ulta.com)

Redken Color Extend Blondage Anti-Brass Mask: In a travel-friendly size, this is perfect for anyone with cooler blond or even cooler brown hair who wants an instant brightening boost. "The purple pigments counteract any unwanted yellow tones, and the formula also softens your hair," says Pasterski, who suggests taking it with you on vacation for a quickie color pick-me-up. (Buy It, $6, ulta.com)

Rusk Thickr Mist: Choice for anyone with limp locks, Pasterski relies on this for adding "a ton of volume." Still, it won't weigh down your hair or leave it feeling residue-y, just light and fresh. (Buy It, $15, ulta.com)

Total: $29.50

Ulta
Ulta

Thickening Spray + Bobby Pins + Hair Ties

The Stylist: Philip Downing, TIGI UK Academy Creative & Education Director

TIGI Bed Head Superstar Queen for a Day: This thickening spray gives incredible texture and volume to the hair. Choice for braids, updos, or ponytails, "it gives great support and creates that covetable second- or third-day hair texture," says Downing. (Buy It, $20, ulta.com)

Kitsh Bobby Pin Set: "I always have bobby pins on hand to quickly change-up a style, and I love that these come in black, brown, and blonde," says Downing. (Buy It, $4, ulta.com)

Scunci Mixed Size Rubber Bands: Find a hair necessity more important than the good ol' elastic, I'll wait. Downing stocks up on these, which he lauds for being affordable, coming in different sizes, and offering both clear and black options. Use them to secure a cute hairstyle for your morning workout, and keep it in for an easy transition to work. (Buy It, $4, ulta.com)

Total: $28

Ulta
Ulta
Ulta

Blonde Shampoo+ Dry Shampoo + Texture Spray

The Stylist: Tauni Dawson, senior stylist at Nine Zero One Salon in Los Angeles

Joico Travel Size Blonde Life Brightening Shampoo: When your blonde hair is starting to look a little lackluster, suds up with this guy before you book a pricey salon appointment. This is great for bringing the color back to life, removing build-up and making it more vibrant and shiny, she says. (Buy It, $5, ulta.com)

Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Dry Shampoo: "I love this for absorbing oils and adding volume to the hair," explains Dawson. Bonus points for the fact that it doesn't leave behind a visible, powdery residue (and smells ah-mazing). (Buy It, $6, ulta.com)

Ouai Travel Size Texturizing Hair Spray: Stash this mini multi-tasker in your purse or gym bag for great hair anytime, anywhere. "It delivers the perfect balance of texture and hold, without being sticky," says Dawson. (Buy It, $12, ulta.com)

Total: $23

Ulta
Ulta

Dry Texture Spray + 10-in-1 Perfector

The Stylist: Raven Hurtado, a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago

Kenra Professional Platinum Dry Texture Spray: For that effortless, piece-y, 'model off duty' hair (that, let's be real, looks great), Hurtado recommends reaching for this spritz. It delivers mega texture and volume, as well as hold that lasts up to 48 hours, ideal if you want to stretch out a style for more than a day. (Buy It, $22, ulta.com)

Not Your Mother's All Eyes On Me 10-in-1Hair Perfector: Mult-tasking is the name of the game when you're on a budget (or want to limit the number of products in your gym bag). "I love using this because it detangles and protects your hair from heat styling, while also adding shine and smoothness," Hurtado says. Other benefits include fighting frizz, increasing moisture, mending split ends...you get the picture. (Buy It, $7, ulta.com)

Total: $29

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