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October 22, 2010

Splurge vs. Steal: Beauty Bargains

No need to break the bank over your routine. Beauty pros help you navigate the shelves to determine what's worth the splurge, and where you can save.

girl with long full brown hair

Photo Credit: Don Flood

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Dramatic Color: You can do easy root touch-ups at home, but "when you're making a big shade change, like brunette to blonde, there's no substitute for the salon," says Aura Friedman, a Wella colorist who routinely helps M.I.A. switch shades.

Cuts: Investing in a great haircut that grows out without losing its shape can mean less time and money spent on products and maintenance. Keep in mind that "regular trims are imperative for women with finer hair to prevent split ends and limp strands," says San Diego salon owner Jet Rhys.

Highlights and Lowlights: Strategically placed color will grow in better, meaning fewer touch-ups. "For fall, I prefer to paint deeper tones on the underside of hair so that it looks natural as it grows out," says Friedman. "Or if you love a celebrity's hair in a photo, only a professional colorist will know where to apply highlights and lowlights. You can't get that from a box."


Bang Trims: "Blowdry your bangs as you would normally, twist hair in 2-inch sections, and snip the ends until you've reached your desired length," says Rhys.

Maintenance: "If you take care of your hair health, you can go longer between salon visits," says Rhys. Fine or color-treated hair types should use gentle, sulfate-free shampoos. Medium to thick hair needs moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and proteins.

MC RECOMMENDS: Pantene Beautiful Lengths Replenishing Mask, $5; Avon Advance Techniques Color Protection Lock-In Treatment, $8; L'Oréal Paris Ever Strong Bodify Shampoo, $7; TRESemmé Naturals Radiant Volume Conditioner, $5.

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