I Rely on $75 Treatments for My Rats Nest-Prone Hair, but This $9 Shampoo Gets the Job Done Just as Well

The hydrating formula gets rid of frizz and adds shine.

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I Rely on $75 Treatments for My Rats Nest-Prone Hair, but This $9 Shampoo Gets the Job Done Just as Well


Generally, my hair is relatively healthy. But every few years, usually after one balayage treatment too many, my Wet Brush ceases to effortlessly glide through and detangle my locks. This is when I am forced to bring in the big guns: Hydrating, thirst-quenching shampoos, conditioners, and other treatment products to nourish my dry locks back to health. Obviously, expensive treatments like Olaplex’s $60 hair perfector and K18’s $75 repair mask are on this list, but there's one hydrating shampoo that always gets the job done just as well — and it’s just $9 on Amazon. 

I first discovered Acure’s Ultra Hydrating Shampoo about seven years ago on the shelves of my local Whole Foods store. My hair was super thirsty as it was in the middle of a brutal Chicago winter. I had just given birth to my second child, so I was also experiencing some serious post-pregnancy hair shedding. I was attracted to Acure, not only because of the price tag, but the fact that all their products were vegan and certified cruelty-free, and made without mineral oils, parabens, petroleum, and formaldehyde. 

Acure Ultra Hydrating Shampoo 100% Vegan, Ultra Hydrating Moisture & Omega Fatty Acids, , Yellow Argan Oil & Pumpkin, 8 Fl Oz


Shop now: $9 (Originally $10); amazon.com

The brand’s hydrating shampoo and conditioner were my first purchases from the line. From the very first time I lathered the almond-y, sweet-smelling shampoo into my hair, I knew it was a keeper. After that initial wash, my unruly locks combed out a little easier, and once dried, were noticeably less frizzy and even shinier. Within a week, my hair felt significantly more hydrated. And after a few months, I noticed regrowth. Was this my imagination? According to science, probably not. 

Fatty acid-rich argan oil and pumpkin seed oil are two of the hottest essential oils for hair health. And guess what? The shampoo is formulated with both. Studies show that topical application of pumpkin seed oil can promote hair growth, while argan oil helps maintain moisture and increase elasticity. 

Recently, after a balayage treatment left my hair once again feeling tangled, dry, and rats nest-y, I ordered another set of Acure’s Ultra Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner on Amazon. And guess what? After the first shampoo and condition, my hair felt instantly hydrated. Recently, I started using it in my 7-year-old daughter’s hair, which is incredibly fine and prone to frizz and tangles, and have noticed an immediate improvement; it looks smoother, shinier, and overall, more manageable. 

Don’t just take my word for it. “This is the best shampoo and conditioner I've used and I'm 64. It made my hair silky again and not dry after using another shampoo for years,” wrote one of the many Amazon reviewers just as obsessed as me. Another fan, who “struggled” with her “frizzy wavy/curly hair” ordered the shampoo after “feeling frustrated” of years trying other more expensive shampoos. “From the first wash, it was such a night and day difference! No frizz, just smooth, moisturized waves and curls,” she maintained

Other things I love about Acure? While I haven’t tried all of the brand’s products, the ones I have used never irritate my sensitive skin (I have a tendency to break out after using certain products) or weigh my hair down. Along with a shampoo and conditioner, Acure also makes an Ultra Hydrating Body Wash that has the same gloriously subtle scent as their haircare items. I suggest ordering all three — it will cost you less than a single bottle of shampoo from the salon. 

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