Drugstore Or High-End Curly Hair Products? Does It Really Make A Difference?

Choosing the right curly hair products can be a little intimidating especially early on in your curly journey. With a plethora of products on the market, you’ll want to find something that your curls love, is accessible, and affordable. Today we’re talking about Drugstore Or High-End Curly Hair Products? Does It Really Make A Difference? To help you feel better informed when making this important decision. 

Are you struggling to find the right curly hair products? Girl, I get it! There are so many products on the market it can make your head spin!

Having curls my whole life, I have spent hundreds of dollars on curly hair products. And it can be so discouraging investing in products that don’t work or even worse damage your curls. 

So I developed a 4-step system for choosing the right curly hair products and I compiled it into a downloadable file as a quick guide to help you make an informed decision when purchasing products. You can print this download or save it to your phone as a quick reference. 

>>>>>>>>Click here to get the 4-step cheat sheet for choosing curly hair products

Product Guide

Being a curly girl since I can remember, it’s safe to say that I’ve spent my fair share of money on curly hair products. I was the girl in college rocking the LA looks crunchy gel curls. I think you could get that gel at the dollar tree for $1 back then. 

After going through many different products, there came a point that I felt, well, spent! So many products I used gave me the false hope that it would be the one thing my curls were missing.

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Fast forward many years later and I found myself running from my curls and hiding under overprocessed, heat damaged hair. My straightening iron was my best friend. But after a series of unfortunate events, and after suffering from postpartum hair loss, it became quite clear to me that I was going to have to start embracing my curls.

 But this time around, I was determined to not spend money on expensive products until I took the time to truly learn about my curls and what they needed. 

So to get started with my curls journey (for the umpteenth time), I decided to only use the products that I had on hand (which were not even for curly hair), and DIYs.

My thought was that I would experiment with the products I had on hand and make all the mistakes and then gradually invest in curl specific products that my hair loved.

I spent the good part of six months using DIY primarily from ingredients I already had in my kitchen. And to my surprise, I saw fairly good results.

Other than an occasional trial of a high-end product that someone gave to me, I pretty much only used DIY and a few very inexpensive drugstore products. 

My excitement surged at the prospect of my curls coming back but was followed by disappointment when I kept running into problems that I couldn’t fix. 

Things like over moisture, stringy curls, and itchy scalp kept resurfacing and I decided to purchase curl specific products. I spent the next few months experimenting with them and found that some were extremely effective while others were a no go for me. 

Soon after that, I started to notice that all the curly girl’s I followed that had curls I envied, were using high-end products. They would occasionally promote, review, or recommend drugstore products, but when I asked them what they used day by day, it was always a high-end product.  

It wasn’t until well into my 8th month on the curly journey that I decided to splurge and purchase a higher-end product. 

Note: My idea of a high-end product is something that you can’t get at the drugstore and is slightly more expensive than what you would typically pay. 

I followed very closely several curly girls who had similar hair to mine, found out what they were using, watched many different tutorials on how to use the product, and felt confident investing in it. 

The first high-end product I invested in was Bounce Curl. 

It was love at first use for me. My curls loved every product I used from bounce curl and my favorite was their clarifying cleanser because it’s very gentle. 

I’ve since gone through several other products like flora curl and curl smith and have been very happy with the results. 

If you would like a one on one product recommendation, you can fill out this form.

After months of testing both DIY’s, drugstore, and high-end curly hair products, I want to share with you a few noteworthy things and some of the pros and cons to all three. 

My favorite high-end product

Note: My curly hair product recommendation list is continually updated since I am always testing new product lines. 

My latest curly hair product fav is a line called Monat. 

While Monat products contain a plethora of beneficial ingredients, their purpose comes down to three well-rounded ingredients that work to repair and keep your hair healthy: 

  1. CAPIXYL™– A unique active complex that helps to strengthen and thicken hair while supporting natural growth.
  2. PROCATALINE™ – Featuring Pea Extract, this high-tech blend supports the appearance of healthy, younger-looking hair by helping to protect your tresses from environmental factors.
  3. CRODASORB – A powerful ingredient that helps preserve the natural pigmentation of the hair and keeps strands protected and strong.

With these three super ingredients, Monat products do a fantastic job of keeping your hair healthy, full, and shiny. 

Monat product do require that you follow their system in order to see long term results. 

If you are interested in purchasing Monat, you can fill out this form and I’ll help customize your order specific to your curls needs.

Drugstore Or High-End Curly Hair Products? Does It Really Make A Difference?

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning that If you purchase through clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

In this post, I’ve divided curly hair products into three groups. DIY, drugstore, and high end. I’ve listed the pros and cons of all three as well as my personal experience with them.

DIY Pros

Easy and affordable

DIY was the first curly hair products I got started with. Mainly because I had spent many years and a lot of money on fancy products that weren’t right for my hair. 

One thing that makes DIY attractive to curly girls is that most of them require only a few ingredients (many that are already in your kitchen) and they’re easy to mix and use. 


DIY products are accessible because you can pick up the ingredients at any drug or grocery store. Which makes them super accessible for most people. 

Fun to make and experiment with 

Making and experimenting with DIY curly hair products can be really fun. It’s like a science experiment in your kitchen. There is just something special about being able to make a product and use it.

DIY Cons 

Can be time-consuming 

While most DIY recipes are fairly simple, there is a level of time commitment. It takes more planning and forethought than just jumping in the shower and washing your hair. 

Don’t have the same results 

DIYs are hard to depend on. Because they are made in your home it’s hard to make them the same every single time. Which in turn yields different results.

It takes a lot of experimenting

It takes time and experimenting to nail your curly hair DIY. I recommend keeping a detailed track of everything that works and everything that doesn’t. A simple notebook and pen will work or you can get this custom curl tracker made specifically for the curly girl. 

Drugstore Products Pros


After a few weeks of experimenting with DIY’s, I started exploring drugstore products. And I’m happy to say that there certainly are some products found at the drugstore that can get you great results. And for that I am grateful! 

The two drugstore brands that I’ve had the most success with listen below….

  • Shea moisture – I love their shampoo, conditioner, and deep conditioner combo. I also love that the products are fair trade, cruelty-free, and ethically traded 
  • Aussie Instant Freeze Gel – I always have one of these on hand and it has never failed me. The most affordable gel that works for sure.

Easier to experiment with 

If you are new on your curly journey, there is going to be some level of experimenting. And it’s hard to experiment with expensive products because you don’t want to waste them.

I recommend a newer curly girl to stick with drugstore products and practice with different application techniques. Then you can gradually work your way up to higher-end products when you are more familiar with your hair and what it needs. 


Because they can be found in the drugstore, these products are typically more accessible. This makes it easy to pick up on your weekly shopping trip rather than having to order online or go to a specialty store. 

Drugstore Products Cons:

Require more effort 

I’ve found that drug store products tend to take a little more effort when it comes to styling. I’m not sure what it is, but in my experience, high-end products are easier to do a quick style sesh and wear. 

Be careful of low-quality ingredients 

Always read the label on your products. Many drugstore products contain harmful ingredients that can have a long term effect on your hair. 

Don’t last as long

I’ve had a hard time getting drugstore ingredients to last as long in my hair while high-end products refresh better and I can get more wear out of them.

High-End Products Pros 

Require less effort 

When you find the right high-end products, styling will be seamless. When I discovered bounce curls, my styling time reduced dramatically. I especially love their curl clumping cream. It seems like every time I use it, my curls are happy. 

High-quality ingredients

These products usually use high-quality ingredients that are healthier for your hair long term. Always check your labels.

Better long term results 

When it comes to having better long term health for your curls, high-end products will be a better fit because they are made with better ingredients. Remember that you always get what you pay for. 

High-End Products Cons

Can be expensive 

There is no denying the fact the high-end products cost a lot more. You need to decide if it’s worth the investment. 

Not super accessible 

Since most of these products will need to be ordered online, they aren’t accessible for everyone and can take a while to ship. This makes it a little harder to get your hands on them.

Run the risk of purchasing and it not working for your curls

Like any hefty investment, you always run the risk of spending money on a product that won’t work. 

My biggest tip is to follow a few different curly girls with similar hair types, find out what they use, watch as many tutorials on how they use the products, and then make an educated purchase. 

The best high end curly hair product that is well worth the money is Monat. I’ve been using and loving the results.

In Conclusion:

Drugstore Or High-End Curly Hair Products? Does It Really Make A Difference?

If you are new to the curly girl method, you will have some experimenting to do. I recommend starting with an accessible drugstore product that you can experiment with. Shea moisture is always my first recommendation.

Once you have learned about your curls and have experimented enough to know what they need, then It’s time to invest in a product you love. 

But always always always do your research and watch tutorials before you make a large purchase.



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P.S >>>>>>>>Click here to get the 4-step cheat sheet for choosing curly hair products


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