I have expensive taste in beauty products, but dig deep in my seemingly bottomless trove of things I do not need and you’ll find plenty of affordable picks mingling with the Kérastase, the Annick Goutal, the La Prairie, the Clé de Peau Beauté. There are some true gems among them, that I will not deny, and sure, there’s a Revlon lip color and a Maybelline eyeliner that I really, really love. It’s fine.
There are also some cheapo favorites of mine that I will probably never cop to owning—we’re talking real bottom-of-the-barrel dollar-store stuff. And up until right now, I’ve never before admitted that I regularly restock my supply of göt2b hair products. Consider this a coming out of sorts.
By all appearances, göt2b is bad. The packaging is truly terrible; it’s so lurid to the eye I wouldn’t blame even the most open-minded of drugstore connoisseurs for passing it over. In that sense, I’m kind of a bleeding heart, if you will, for giving such a low-market brand a fighting chance. I’m lying—I’ve been using göt2b since before I had the sense to know that it seemed pretty bad. When you’re 12 and trawling the drugstore aisles in search of something that will help you flat-iron your hair to a stick-straight crisp and infuse it with the sweet, sweet scent of strawberries made in a meth lab, göt2b is as good as it gets.
But there’s a reason I keep coming back to it, and it’s not all to do with nostalgia. Some of these products are really, genuinely great, even better than their higher-priced, better-regarded drugstore counterparts. I can’t speak for some of their more questionable offerings, like the “max-control” styling gel formulated specifically for “spiking,” or the “blasting freeze spray,” but POWDER’ful, $3.99, (capitalization theirs) is better than any other styling powder I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried them all. A wave-enhancing texturizing spray that leaves hair feeling soft yet looking deliciously windblown is hard to come by, but Beach Trippin’ Salt-Infusion Waving Spray, also $3.99, fits the bill and then some, with a light coconut fragrance that only just lingers.
So the packaging is bad. So what? I can’t hate on göt2b as a brand, and neither should you; in fact, it’s a division of Schwarzkopf, a legit professional hair care company that employs great celebrity stylists and makes great products under its own name. This is all just to say that I’m patting myself on the back for having “discovered” göt2b before I cared about pseudo-apothecary aluminum tubes and glass pump bottles and sleek sans-serif lettering on white labels. If you want seriously effective styling products at a hilariously low price, let me know—I’d be more than happy to blindfold you, lead you through the drugstore, and talk you right through it.