In the quest for beautiful hair, many of us are willing to spend a small fortune. This often includes splurging on high-end products, exclusive to salons and beauty stores. With my own hair, the extra expense has been worth it. I love the results I’ve been getting (not to mention the self-esteem boost!), but it takes a big bite out of my budget.
So if you don’t want to give up your expensive favorites, like myself, the only thing you can do is try to get the cost down. That being said, below are some of the best techniques I use to save big on my favorite salon hair care products like Olaplex and It’s A 10.
1) Buy your hair products from J.C. Penney
J.C. Penney is one of my favorite places to buy high-end hair care products. If you compare their prices with Ulta and Amazon you will find that J.C. Penney matches or beats their prices the majority of the time. And since J.C. Penney is authorized to sell salon products, you know what you’re getting is genuine and safe to use. They also offer returns on their products as well as a rewards program for additional savings.
Some of the brands you can find at J.C. Penney include Joico, Nioxin, Biolage, Redken, Paul Mitchell, and Chi. And thanks to their collaboration with Sephora, they also carry brands such as Olaplex, Living Proof, Ouai, and Christophe Robin. Please note that a couple of their brands (such as It’s a 10) can only be bought in-store.
What about Amazon?
I still encourage you to price check J.C. Penney with Ulta and Amazon, but be very careful with Amazon. Sometimes you can find a really great price, but it’s usually due to the fact that the product is being sold by an unauthorized reseller. So you may be buying an altered product that won’t be as effective as the real thing.
Some of the salon brands like Paul Mitchell, do in fact let Amazon sell their products, but it can be hard to distinguish authentic listings from unauthentic ones.
2) Shop during one of Sephora’s or Ulta’s sales
Sephora is one of the few places I trust to buy products like Olaplex and luckily for me, they have sales where I can save a few bucks. For some sales, you are required to be a member of their Beauty Insider program, but signing up is completely free and they even give you a free gift during your birthday month.
Another option to save at Sephora is to open one of their credit cards. Credit cardholders get 4% back on Sephora purchases which sometimes doubles to 8% during special events. You also get 15% off your first purchase if you’re approved for a Sephora Visa. If you have damaged hair and you plan on spending a lot of money, it might be worth it. Just make sure you check the terms and conditions first.
Ulta is probably my favorite place to buy high-end hair care products, especially now that they carry Olaplex. Plus, they often have amazing sales like their Gorgeous Hair Event and the Love Your Skin Event where you can snag great deals. And on that note, make sure you also check them out on Black Friday. This year I saved $20 on my favorite leave-in conditioner.
Like Sephora, Ulta offers its own credit card where you can save 20% off your first purchase plus other perks. Again, check the terms and conditions and make sure it’s something that’s right for you before applying.
3) Use discounted gift cards for additional savings
Since the coronavirus started, discounted gift cards have been a lot more difficult to find, at least the decent ones that were worth purchasing. But if you are able to get your hands on one, you can combine it with other coupons or cashback offers to save big. Three of my favorite ways to get discounted gift cards can be found below.
Use your credit card points and get 10% off
Right now, one of the best places I get gift cards is through my own credit cards. My Chase Freedom Unlimited card, for example, is always offering a selection of gift cards for 10% off including those for Ulta, Sephora, and J.C. Penney. Keep in mind, you have to own a Chase credit card that earns points to purchase the gift cards and you are saving 10% in points, not cash.
Take online surveys
A second way to get gift cards is by using survey-taking sites. Instead of purchasing a gift card at a discount, you earn them by taking surveys, watching videos, and doing other small tasks. Survey-taking sites can be a bit tedious (slow-going) so I recommend that you have a certain product or dollar amount in mind so you have something to aim for.
Purchase through Raise.com
The last way I like to get gift cards is through Raise.com. On this site, you have two options. If you are a new customer, they often run a great promotion where you can save an extra 10% off an already discounted gift card. So if you find a $100 gift card that is discounted to $93, you can take another 10% off and pay only $83.70. That means your basically getting a free $16.30 to spend.
4) Buy liter sizes or purchase value sets
With larger-sized products, you typically pay less per ounce than you would with smaller products and if you can wait for them to go on sale, you can save even more. Ulta usually has a sale on liter-sized products a few times a year, but I would check J.C. Penney first, as they tend to have really good deals on liters year-round.
Another good way to save is to buy value sets, which usually come with a matching shampoo and conditioner. One of the things I always recommend is that you only buy sets with full-sized products. The sets that come with sample-sized products aren’t worth the money. Typically, value sets are the most abundant around Christmas so it’s the best time to stock up.
Know any other ways to save on hair care products? Please share in the comments!