You should buy or eat flax oil/flax oil capsules, as well as fish oil capsules... works wonders for the hair. Don't overload on the products... make sure to leave your conditioner on for atleast 5 minutes... and never put shampoo on your ends. Taking daily multivitamins will help as well!!!
I have oily, very thin, flyaway hair, so using conditioners of any kind makes it look dirty and flat. I've found, however, that if I go to bed with lots of a thick conditioner like Pantene (or the generic equivalent) in my hair, then shampoo it out in the morning, it really does soak in and leaves my hair shiny. Been a while since I've done it, think I will tonight!
My hair was in HORRIBLE condition after I had it highlighted at a salon about a year ago. I bought Redken All Soft Heavy Cream, used it in my shower that night and immediately afterwards it was like my hair had never been colored! I mean obviously it was still blonde but the condition was completely restored like it hadn't been colored at all. Now I use the entire Redken All Soft line and would never use anything else!! Its not expensive either.....$14 for the Heavy Cream and about $9 each for the Shampoo and Conditioner. I've tried sooo many conditioners and this is the only one that got my hair this freaking soft!
Now, this might sound gross but give it a try!
Dampen your hair and then put some mayo in it! Put enough in to saturate your hair, and cover all the ends. Then wrap a plastic bag around your head, or put a shower cap over it. Leave it sit for about 30 minutes and then shampoo and condition, and your hair will feel great, promise!
another tip: before going into the shower, use your favorite conditioner(never use pantene Pro-V... it's been known to not actually penetrate the hair, rather... it just coats it. in the long run, the coating runs out and your hair is left more damaged then before)... spread it all over your hair. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, when you shower... wash it all out, and shampoo and condition as usual.
My mother applied coconut oil to my hair twice a week (warmed up a little) when I was a kid. I have been doing it myself for a long time now. Of course I am East Indian and I have the thick long shiny hair because of it. Just put it on at night and wash your hair in the morning. The warm oil massage to your scalp will calm you and help you sleep much better too. This is the BEST natural and affordable way to keep my hair looking AWESOME! If you don't want to warm up the oil then just apply directly from the bottle and blast your hair with a hairdryer for a few seconds.
Another thing I have added to my hair conditioning treatment is Ojon restorative hair treatment. I love it! But it costs around $50.00 and you did say that you didn't want to spend $30.00 or more. This stuff does last a long time, not for me since my hair is so long but if you have short hair I suppose it's well worth a try.
Do you live near a Sally Beauty Supply? If so, they have a package of deep hair conditioner with placenta in it. I'm not sure what the exact name of it is, but it says "placenta" in the title, so you'll know which one it is. It's only $1.09 (used to be 98 cents, but it went up) and it works so well. It's gross to think about what's in it, but it really, really helped my hair when I over dyed it. I still use it about once a month and it keeps my hair pretty healthy looking. Sometimes, if my hair is feeling extra dry, I keep it in over night. I hope this works for you.... I know how it is not to have a lot of money to spend on yourself. I'm a poor college kid so anything cheap that I can find that works is a miracle!