Store vs Salon products, what’s the real deal?

The age-old question. Are salon products worth the price or are they the same thing as what is sold in your local grocery store? I am strictly talking brand vs generic here… buying salon products outside of a salon is another topic we will get to later in the blog.

Ok friends let me be real with you for a moment. Don’t you think if suave did everything it said it did for that price every salon in the world would be using it? I mean we have to buy the product to use on clients and to retail, if we could buy a $2.00 product that was just as good, trust me we would. Stylists all want one thing, for you to be happy and love your hair when you leave our chair. We have to use products that will compliment your service. If you have ever wondered why your hair never looks as great as it did when you left the salon, it is 99% likely the products you are using.


So whats the difference?

  • Quality ingredients.

A quick glance my leave you thinking they have the same thing, oils and a cleaning agent. Lets even go as far to say they both have avocado oil listed, But how much and what and how is it sourced? The truth professional products have more vitamins and high quality beneficial  ingredients for the health of your hair. Those lower priced grocery store finds have more fillers with a smaller amount of lower quality benefical ingredients  which is why they are sold at a lower cost, they cost less to make.
for instance.. Youve probably heard a stylist say use sulfate free, here is why.  All shampoos have a lathering agent The safest ( and more expensive agent) would be sodium laureth sulfite, you find that in almost all professional shampoos vs your grocery store find which will have some version of sulfate in it, either sodium laurel sulfate or ammonium laurel ( or laureth) sulfate. Sulfates are hard on your scalp and hair because they literally rip hair of its natural oils and color right along with it.

  • Fillers

Fillers can be anything at all to take up room, “fill” in the shampoo so that it costs the company less money to create the product. Ingredients such as wax and animal fat are among many other gross products commonly found in your grocery store products that leave a build-up on the hair shaft, this gives the illusion that your hair is softer when it’s really not. What it is really doing is creating a waxy build up.

  • PH balance. It’s important.

A good shampoo would have a pH level between 5 and 7 (neutral). Store bought products have unsteady pH levels ranging from 4 to 9 while salon products are always within the safe 6 pH range. For example, a study found that Professional products like Matrix Amplify had a pH of 6.76 and Redken All-Soft had a pH of 5.59. Can you say perfect? Now you may have been told your PH is off or have been recommend a ph balancing/correcting product. The only way you want a different pH is if the condition of your hair requires it. Unlike store brands, professional products are available that can neutralize and balance levels of pH, so that your hair issue can be resolved while other issues are protected from occurring.
I could go on and on. But let’s keep it simple. No matter what shampoo or product you buy, there is a retail price vs wholesale price and the companies making the product are “making money”. What’s different is the price because of the quality of the product and it’s ingredients. Normally quality products are concentrated and use less, so value wise they equal out when the cheaper products have to be replaced more often.

Bottom line, You invest in salon services, professional products are your insurance to keep that investment looking good and healthy!


What are your favorite products and why?

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