Are Professional Haircare Brands Worth the Money?

by Nicholas Mirabella

Everyone at some point or another has forgotten to buy more shampoo, conditioner, or hairspray and has had to run to the drug store for a quick replacement.   After seeing the difference in price they often ask themselves -  "Why don't I always use these products.  Do I really need to spend more money on a professional shampoo. Is it going to make that big of a difference in my hair?”  Well, the overall answer to all those little questions is YES!  Now, I would be lying if I said that all products sitting on the shelves at your local Walgreens, CVS, or even Wal-Mart are bad. I believe that in any haircare line, professional or not, there are a few great products.  

When it comes to off-brand haircare products that offer a bottle of shampoo for $2.99 you have to be a little wary.  Sulfates, Propylene Glycol and other harsh chemicals can be used as fillers to make think you are getting a deal for that 12 oz. bottle of shampoo. These fillers will strip color, break down healthy-hair proteins and irritate sensitive skin and eyes. 

But let’s get back to why professional hair care products are actually a better choice, and keep our focus on shampoos.  Shampoo is one of the most important factors that contributes to the health of your hair. Hair is an acid, and professional shampoos keep your hair’s natural pH level. The primary difference between an off-brand and professional brand is that professional salon brands offer higher levels of the proteins and vitamins necessary to keep your hair and scalp healthy.  As a result, salon brands will be higher in price, but absolutely worth it to support your hair's health.  Think about the type of meat you get at a fast food restaurant.  Do you think that your basic fast food restaurant can afford to sell Grade A top quality meat at a dollar a burger?  Nope.  Would you eat that meat thinking it was the best thing to put in your body?  Nope.  It's the same story with the big companies that sell you a 20 oz. bottle of shampoo for $3.00.  It's just not possible to sell you top quality anything at a cheap price. 

Store-bought shampoos contain the harshest of sulfates. What are sulfates, you ask? They are the main ingredient that helps your shampoo lather and cleanse. There are two different words you usually see in front of the word sulfate. One is Sodium Laurel Sulfate, and the other is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Both are detergents that remove oil.  However, sodium laureth sulfate is less of an irritant. This is the ingredient which is found in professional hair care lines. 

Sulfates will also have a huge effect on how long your hair color stays vibrant and fab. Just think about your black clothes in the washer and how fast they fade; the same goes for your hair color when using non professional shampoos. The hair color washed out of the hair, washing your dollars down the drain.  Another huge ingredient to stay far, far away from is sodium chloride - which is salt.  Sodium chloride will ultimately dry out your hair like no other.

Most over-the-counter products also have a higher content of waxes, which coat the hair making it seem soft and shiny when wet, but when dry, leave hair feeling parched and brittle.  Another thing to look out for is, expired or old professional products on the shelves of drug stores.  Many salons who are going out of business often sell their old products or unused products to local stores at a discount to try to recoup some money, these products are often old and no longer as effective.  The same goes with non salon professional website, like eBay or Amazon; these products are often old, tampered with and not backed by professional guarantees. 

Do your hair and you bank account a favor and buy professional products from a reputable professional merchant.  


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