An Expert Cautions Against Spending Big Money On Certain Haircare Products

Haircare might feel like a unique and personal experience for everyone, but it is important to keep in mind that it's also a multi-billion-dollar industry. The products you buy to keep your hair healthy and presentable aren't just there to make your life easier; they're on the market primarily to make a profit for a company. With this in mind, it can be difficult to decipher which haircare products are actually necessary for your hair's health and which ones are better left on the shelf for someone else to spend their hard-earned cash on. (You won't catch us wasting money in this economy.)


Fortunately, Glam had the opportunity to speak with master hair stylist and haircare expert Natalie Palomino of North Authentic to get the skinny on which haircare products aren't worth the price. Here's what she had to say about when it's best to save your money and walk away from the latest haircare gadgets and concoctions. 

Microfiber hair towels

You've probably been told by hair stylists, friends, your mother, and the internet's feisty beauty community at large by now that traditional terrycloth bath towels are damaging to your hair. "Terrycloth can have tough bristles that rough up your cuticle, causing breakage and over-drying, which eventually leads to frizz and split ends," Natalie Palomino explains. This knowledge, of course, has created an opening in the market for many different types of specialized microfiber hair towels that can cost upwards of $25.


While Palomino agrees that you should skip the terrycloth, she also admits that special hair towels aren't really necessary. "Hair professionals highly recommend swapping [terrycloth towels] out for a microfiber towel," she confesses, "but even an old T-shirt will do. Opt for an old T-shirt instead of breaking the bank on this item." T-shirts are also frequently recommended for those who wish to utilize the plopping method for curly hair

Split end mending products

Regardless of what haircare companies often claim, there is no way to mend a split end, no matter which $50 cream you reach for. "Once you have split ends, the only thing you can do to mend them is to cut them off," Natalie Palomino confirms. "Menders mask the damage by smoothing out ends, but that is a temporary fix contributing to a longer-term problem."


Once a hair has split at the end, the damage will continue up the hair shaft and eventually break the hair off completely. When this happens to many hairs, your hair as a whole can end up taking on a super uneven, shaggy appearance. "I always tell my clients," Palomino tells Glam, "either I will cut your hair or nature will... and I have a way better idea of what will look flattering on you." We're not about to argue with a master of hair.

Co-wash products

Co-wash is another term brought into the mainstream by those seeking to wear their naturally curly or coily hair without using damaging heat or chemicals to tame or straighten it. Rather than washing delicate curly hair often with traditional shampoo, many curlies prefer to wash their hair using conditioner only and have nicknamed the process co-washing. Eventually, the practice became popular enough for products specifically designed for co-washing to show up on store shelves, often referred to as cleansing conditioners.


Regarding co-washing, Natalie Palomino insists, "Most lightweight conditioners will do. Conditioners often have minimal cleansing agents, so using the conditioner you already have in your shower can do the trick." No reason to juggle multiple products or spend more money when the bottle sitting right in front of you is likely just as capable as a pricier specialized version. Even if you don't love the results you get from your usual conditioner, try out another one before you make the switch to a product marketed at co-washers. 

Curling wands

In the early 2000s, clampless curling wands hit the mainstream and overtook the hair curling world. These innovative hot tools changed how we wrap our hair and solidified the loose beachy wave's place in modern hairstyle history. But is it necessary to ditch your traditional curling iron and replace it with a modern wand to achieve those loose and carefree waves?


Natalie Palomino says there's no reason to make the swap from iron to the wand if you haven't already. "Any curling iron that is worth its weight will distribute heat to the clip if you avoid opening the iron through the handle. This means that if you ignore your handle, you in essence have a wand," she explains. "Save your money on this one." The moral of the story seems to be that many of the items you already have at home can be used in creative ways to accomplish the same tasks specialty products do. Always take a look around your home before you decide to upgrade your haircare arsenal.