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Are salon shampoos worth the cost?

We've all been there...the Sunday paper contains coupon after coupon of BOGO shampoos and conditioners and your supply is running low. The deals these mass-producing companies offer are quite the sell when compared to an expensive shampoo/conditioner combo sold at your local salon. Some labels on the cheaper brands even match the ingredients found on the salon label. They both smell great and they both clean hair, right? The short answer is, sort of...

It is true that some drugstore shampoos contain the same ingredients as salon quality shampoos. However, in most cases, they are not of the same quality or concentration. Most contain so much water that the effects of the quality ingredients are undetectable and it requires a much larger amount of the product to get the job done. They rely on high alcohol content to strip the hair of its natural oils and appear "clean" rather than the high quality surfactants in professional products that cleanse the hair and leave the oils behind. Stripping the hair of its natural oils causes the sebaceous glands in your scalp to overproduce oil to compensate, which leads to greasy roots and dry ends. High alcohol content will also pull the color from your hair. After all that money and time at the salon to get your color perfect, only to go home and wash it out! Also, the amount of drugstore shampoo needed to lather up far exceeds the required amount of salon shampoo. A handful of the drugstore brand would have the same effect as a quarter size amount of the professional product. So, in the end, you'll find yourself buying more of the drugstore product and getting worse results.

Lets talk conditioner. The purpose of conditioner is to pack the hair full of moisturizing agents before closing the cuticle layer of the hair that was blown open by the shampoo. Our hair is acidic, with a pH of 4.5-5.5. Salon conditioners are packed with the necessary moisturizing agents and essential oils in a thick, acidic solution. Most drug store brands are packed with silicone that builds up on the hair and leaves it feeling soft, but not moisturized from within. Its sort of like when you wrap something in saran wrap...sure, its shiny and smooth on the outside but its still just plastic. The build up can lead to breakage and bald spots as it becomes too heavy for the strand to carry. This build up from these conditioners can literally be scraped off your hair strands. Yuck...

Then we have the salon brand shampoos available for purchase in the drug stores. In the industry, we call this "diversion". The problem with diversion is that the products didn't make it to the salon shelf for a reason. The reason can vary, which leads to really unpredictable outcomes. Sometimes, the reason is as simple as they wanted to change the packaging and had to sell off whatever they had left. Although, here's a common problem with that...

This photo has been passed around professional hair forums lately. Can you see what's going on in that picture? Some company that I've never heard of, has repackaged their product with a commonly known professional brand. Yikes! So, here you are thinking you're using one thing, and who knows what is actually in that bottle! Not to mention that often times, people pay more for these professional brands in the drugstores than they would in their local salon.

There's also been cases of finding expired products, discontinued products, or products that did not pass inspection on the drug store shelves. I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out why they didn't pass...

Lastly, you're missing the professional behind the product when purchasing from these stores. I just spoke with a client yesterday about the products she uses. She was telling me about how brittle and dry her hair has been feeling and that she has been experiencing a knotted mess everyday that has led to breakage and shedding. I could tell by the feel of her hair what was going on, but I went on to ask what she uses at home and we went through the regular routine. Shampoo, conditioner, detangler, and a keratin mist. Boom. There it was...she was suffering from protein overload. Keratin is the protein that gives hair its strength, and is vital. When you have too much of it, it causes brittle, dry, breaking hair. So here she was, buying all professional products but because she was missing the "professional" behind these products, she was doing herself a great disservice. If you're going to invest in quality products, you should take advantage of having someone prescribe the right products for you that will get you the desired results. The manufacturers themselves only guarantee results when coming from a professional, because it does make a difference!

Come see us at Bantam Salon & Spa for a full diagnosis of your hair needs and a recommendation for the suitable products for you. We'd be happy to help out!

Have a beautiful weekend!


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