Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Do you think salon shampoo/conditioner is better for your hair than drugstore brands? What do you use?

Temptalia's AnswerHonestly, my hair is really NOT fussy. Since I don’t style it very much, I also don’t use a lot of product or tools on it, so it stays in good shape (and I don’t dye it, either). My favorite shampoo is pricey, but for me, it’s because I can go 2 days between washings vs. the average shampoo/conditioner which is just 1.

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114 thoughts on “Do you think salon shampoo/conditioner is better for your hair than drugstore brands?

  1. Avatar of Alisha Alisha in WI

    I get the salon stuff at Ulta or JCPenney salon when it’s on sale. It’s worth it for me because I have pretty long hair that is fine and tangles easily. I also dye it…and backcomb…and straighten…and curl it. LOL. For me it’s more about the conditioners than anything.

    • Avatar of Tiffany Tiffany S

      I stock up on the jc penny salon sales, I have very curly hair so I need a lot of moisturizing shampoo and conditioners but I also use pantene for curly hair.

  2. Diana

    I think i just prefer salon because I used to use pantene which made my hair fall out. Which is your favorite shampoo? I’ve been using Joico K-Pak which works pretty well.

    • The last shampoo/conditioner I really loved was LiQWD (Volumizing).

    • Pantene shampoo made my hair fall out too.

    • Christine

      I am using Pantene right now, have for awhile and I ahve been having problems with losing more hair then usual…I actually thought it was my thyroid giving me problems but I had it tested and its just fine…now I amwondering maybe my hair doesnt like Pantene as well??

      • Jessica K

        That’s weird, my hair was shedding like crazy too. I never even thought that it could be the Pantene that I was using. Hmmm…

    • When I use pantene my scalp gets itchy and dandruff flares up. :s I didn’t think so many people had negative results.

      • I love the scent of the new pantenes, but I can’t use them for this very reason, once I start to use them my hair starts shedding like crazy….

  3. Avatar of Jo Jo

    I don’t do much to my hair at all…Combing is a good day!! But I do use a salon shampoo. It was £14 ($20 I think…?) but I have had it 6 months and still plenty left. I also used to have to wash every 1 1/2 or 2 days, now it is 3 :) Then I use a little drugstore conditioner on the tips of my hair and nothing needs to be done for days :D

  4. Ashley

    Honestly, Salon shampoos and conditioners are better for you because they contain nutrients that go deep into the hair. Drugstore brands have some too, but also contain wax to just coat the hair and make it glossy. Natural/organic brands are the way to go if you are on a budget.

  5. Sarah

    I do notice a difference when I use higher end shampoos/conditioners. My hair is SUPER thick and a pretty weird texture – not straight but not really naturally curly either. it gets very frizzy, but strangely enough it straightens very nicely – but takes a while! My favorite is ISO Bouncy Cleanse. I use it even when I’m going to straighten my hair because it just leaves it SO soft.

    To save some money I alternate with drugstore (I have Pantene and tresemme right now) when I know I’m just going to throw it up in a ponytail.

    While we’re on the topic tho, I want to know if I’m the only person who is OCD and has to use the same brand/type of Shampoo and Conditioner when I wash my hair?
    This leaves me with a problem because I usually use Shampoo up first (b/c of washing twice when my hair is oily or not using regular Conditioner b/c I’m doing a deep conditioner/mask). I end up using the leftover conditioner to shave with!

    • I always finish conditioner before shampoo, and I always just do shampoo once, followed by conditioner. I also like to use a set!

      • Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

        I use a set too, but if I don’t condition after shampooing, I deal with tangles and unmanageability when I style it.

    • Avatar of Ana Ana G.

      Ahahaha..I have the same OCD then. I MUST use the set of shampoo/conditioner of the same brand as well. Right now I’m using Shiseidos’ TSUBAKI Damage Care Shampoo and conditioner but I also love Redken and L’Oreal ones.

      • Avatar of Alisha Alisha in WI

        what redken do you use? I’ve tried the so soft and it was okay…I need a bit more moisture. Any recommendations?

        • Alyssa

          If you need something for A LOT of moisture/protein, try Redken Extreme. I really like that one for damaged hair. My sister destroyed her hair by bleaching/coloring too much and it’s helped get her hair back to feeling somewhat normal. Otherwise the Redken Real Control is a great one too. That one is good if your hair is just feeling dry and makes it nice and smooth and shiny (I think this one may be the best for what you’re looking for based on your above comment about the type of styling you do). It used to use it for a while when my hair was just feeling a little dryer and more dull than usual and it helped a lot. I have fine hair so I usually use something for volume and body (like Body Full) but this wasn’t too heavy at all. All Soft is great (I love the smell) but I think it’s better for frizzy or brittle hair. I think it’s a good one for high textured hair.

          Hope that helps! Where in WI are you from? I live in Grafton (20-30 mins north of Milwaukee).

        • Sarah

          Glad I’m not the only one with this kind of OCD! I’ve used a couple Redken ones before – the one I really like is Smooth Down, which a sales girl once told me in a super hush-hush voice “this is usually for black girls type of hair”…glad I didn’t listen to her, because it worked really well for me! it was super funny that she said it like that tho.

          I also liked all soft, but it didn’t do anything magical for me. Same with the Fresh Curls. It did the job, but I didn’t find it was any different that something 1/3 the price (like from the drugstore)

    • Rhona

      I do this too! I hate using a shampoo without it’s ‘partnered’ conditioner. Drives me nuts. I currently have a number of shampoo’s lining up waiting for a friend to be used again!

      I currently use OJON shampoo and conditioner for dyed hair. I’m quite obsessed with shiny hair and find drugstore products just make it look dull.

    • Avatar of Kristina Kalex

      I’m OCD like that too. I also run out of shampoo first, but instead of using my conditioner to shave, I buy a travel size bottle of “matching” shampoo to use until my conditioner is gone.

    • Sam

      I read somewhere that it’s important to consistently use the same brands of shampoo/conditioner on your hair. It’s not good to constantly change ingredients and formulas. So in this case I think it’s good to be a little OCD! :)
      And I don’t care how good it smells or what it promises, Pantene Pro-V is not good for your hair! The girl who cuts my hair says its full of wax and she tells all her clients not to use it.

      • Sarah

        I’ve also heard that about Pantene, and while I do use it on occasion, I don’t use it consistently.

        I’ve heard both ends of the spectrum – some people say changing up your shampoo/conditioner routine is good for your hair, and I’ve also read that it really doesn’t make any difference.

  6. I don’t do much to my hair apart from dye it 2-3x a year and I’m really loving Lush Rehab Shampoo with their conditioners (any). It lasts me 2-3 days between washes and never greasy or gross.

    Shiseido Tsubaki line is the same, but its a little harder to find.

    I HATE drugstore hair stuff because its all just silicone, nothing is really absorbing into the hair and it really weighs it down, plus it gets greasy fast!

  7. Janet

    I must be really low-maintainance… My hair is good with whatever, so I basically buy whatever’s on sale at the drugstore…

    • Brenda

      I have seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp, so I alternate between three different drugstore dandruff shampoos (each one has a different active ingredient). For conditioner I do use salon brands, but I purchase only when on sale. I don’t dye or blow dry my hair that much, so this works for me.

  8. I’ve yet to find the best shampoo/conditioner combination for my hair. Half the time, the conditioner just makes my hair greasy, and the other half makes it drier. It get so static-y in the winter, no matter what I do. I’m currently using Redken Clear Moisture shampoo/conditioner, and, while it cleans and shines my hair, it’s still full of static.

    I welcome any suggestions =) I’m so sick of winter static!

  9. Unfortunately, my hair has always been high maintenance. Being naturally fluffy/frizzy, It requires salon formulas that provide a smoother, sleeker texture. I mix it up but currently I’m using Matrix in the orange bottles.

    • Avatar of Alisha Alisha in WI

      so do you think they’re working out well? Thinking about tryin’ em! Ulta has liters of them on sale I think.

    • Amy

      Suave has an orange bottle system that is almost identical to the Matrix Sleek. I had a lot of success with it. If you hate it, you only wasted a couple of dollars.

  10. xMissxAndristx

    all of my hair products are paul mitchell. i used to use various store brands and my hair was never shiny and always super brittle. i blow dry about 50% of the time, no other heat, no dyeing. other than the products, i treat it the same… and i’ve like a complete difference. super shiny and silky now

  11. my hair isn’t the issue, it’s my scalp! so whether it’s a drugstore or salon brand, it needs to be SLS free for it to not give me a reaction.

  12. Dorna

    Yes, mainly because i don’t have to wash it as often when I use the pricier stuff (as you said). I have pretty good hair, but it really gets an extra oomph with Nexxus Therrape and Humectress. I get these gargantuan 44oz bottles from costco and I don’t need to use nearly as much product as I did with Pantene, so they usually end up lasting me several months.

  13. Hanne

    I have a sensitive scalp, so I’m very careful what kind of shampoo I put on it. I would never buy a drugstore brand that dries out my scalp even more. I could use cheaper conditioners, but I like to spoil myself with something Redken, Kerastase or Sebastian ;)

  14. Avatar of Sarah Sarah

    I have thick, wavy hair that I color, and I used to only use salon brands like Pureology, Matrix Biolage, etc… but I started using the L’Oreal Everpure to try to save money, and I’ve been really happy with it! I like the smoothing kind. I don’t know if it’s better or worse for my hair, but I don’t have to wash it every day, and I haven’t noticed any difference in breakage. I’d definitely recommend trying it to anyone who is used to salon brands and looking to try something from a drugstore brand. However, when I tried other drugstore brands like Pantene and Herbal Essences, my hair got really dry and stopped looking shiny from all the product buildup :(

  15. waxlips

    I have really problematic hair, so i have no choice but to use professional haircare. My scalp is very sensitive and flaky, hair is dry and fine, so i use special products for scalp (Philip Kingsley tonic, Leonor Greyl sulfate-free shampoo) and for revitalizing my hair (Philip Kingsley Elastizer). I also need a good serum to make my hair look healthy..

  16. Jean

    I used to do hairdressing for a little bit so I’ve heard all the sales talk but honestly, it really doesn’t make a difference to me. It may to other people who have special needs–really fine hair, really damaged hair, etc–but my hair just needs a nice shampoo and conditioner. I get Aussie’s and that’s about as high as I’ll go. I just don’t buy into the whole “salon products are better” deal because it really honestly is chemical procedures and heat procedures that mess up your hair, such as dyes, perms, straightening, etc. I was taught all the sales gimmicks and lingo but honestly it’s a lot of BS so I didn’t like it… and now that I’m not doing hairdressing anymore I don’t have to sell it anymore either!

    • ms.mad

      Aussie is the WORST product in the world!It coats your hair so much, that if you were going to have a type of chemical done(perm, foils ect.) the product would actually have to eat through the buildup. It coats your hair so bad and then it makes is so dirty and greasy. The smell of the product is so obvious. Salon products are 100times better. they don’t leave awaxy coating on the hair. Aussie also does not cleanse the scalp and hair! What a salon or stylist recommends is not BS. Maybe if a stylist doesn’t have confidence in themselves and their occupation& no proper knowledge they don’t know how to advise a client then they might need to talk up a sale and they probably don’t believe in themselves as a stylist and a product. I guess maybe thats why you don’t do hair any more. A stylist doesn’t know everything when they get out of school. Its all about experience and knowledge.

      • Avatar of Veronika Vickee

        Now this sounds like a sales pitch! I personally love aussie and not only has it repaired my hair wayy more than any salon product (I’ve tried TONS amd spent hundreds of dollars) but also cleans much better. And I think it smells amazing, much better than the overly perfumy salon brands that often smell like old lady. I get complimented all the time and my hairdressers can never beleive how healthy my hair is despite how much I process it. When I used salon products my hair looked like steel wool. Never going back.

  17. I used to buy drugstore shampoos/conditionners but switched when I started coloring my hair. My hair is very long and dyed every 5 weeks or so, so I think they deserve a little something special. lol I use Paul Mitchell which I think is not too expensive especially when you buy the 1000ml bottles.

  18. I NEED super hydrating shampoo, and so far Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo and conditioner is the best I’ve tried.
    I would like to try a nicer shampoo. Does anyone have a good suggestion for super hydration?

    • Also, I do straighten my hair frequently, but have never dyed it or do much else.

      • Avatar of Alisha Alisha in WI

        Well, I’m not so sure about shampoo but for drugstore I like that mane and tail…moisturizing formula or something. I got it at sally’s. I like aussie 3 minute miracle. So far biolage ultra moisturizing has worked out the best for me overall and even though I’m always trying out new things I always go back to it.

    • Avatar of Jennifer Jenna

      Anything by Kerastase, it’s expensive but it’s the best IMO! I don’t even need conditioner, but if you need it they have great ones too! I’ve used other products when I’ve ran out and I can totally see and feel the difference.

  19. Alina

    My hairdresser says that even the cheapest professional shampoo is better than the most expensive drugstore one

  20. Anne Marie

    My hairdressers have encouraged me to use salon products and I find them to be better; I also need to use less of the product. I switch around, but right now I prefer Kenra.

  21. Silvia

    I prefer to use salon stuff, even though I have to buy products online because Italian drugstores don’t sell salon brands. And I don’t want to spend a fortune buying them at salons…
    I can go 3-4 days between washings, and right now I’m using TIGI S Factor, which is pretty good. I style it quite a lot so CHI silk infusion is my life savior, I wouldn’t go anywhere without it!!!

  22. Me

    Came down to ingredients for me — lathery shampoo makes my hair fall out, enough that there’s a handful on the shower floor. Even with salon brands. Switched to conditioner-washing (cowashing) and there’s a few hairs, if any, on the floor.

  23. Ivona

    I like the Lush products for hair. I use I love Juicy shampoo to moisture my hair and the American Cream conditioner. Every now and the I use Retread conditioner for deep conditioning. I do have long hair so I use a hair treatment every second week. So that I have to wash my hair very 3-4 days and don’t have as much tangles.
    Befor I used the shampoo and conditioner of Nivea, my hair was a mess and I had to wash it every second day.

  24. Avatar of Sophia sophie

    i used both (salon and drugstore shampoo) and i don’t really see a difference! I have allot of hair and its straight, so i don’t dry it too much or straighten it, i don’t even style it! i think conditioners are worthless (for me). I dye my hair (Red) and i only use a shampoo and a hair mask. I have 2 at the moment, Herbal essences and a salon shampoo…both for colored hair. I think the salon one destroys my color :P
    I wanna try out Syoss, i hear great thinks about it!
    Does anyone have an opinion on that?

  25. Sarah

    YES! I think Salon products are SO much better than drugstore! I cannot use drugstore on my hair, I’ve tried to, but nothing tames my frizz like hq products

  26. Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

    I have tried to switch back to drugstore hair care, but it weighs my fine, straight hair down. I’ve been using Aveda for at least 15 years and nothing works better on it.

  27. I am trying to grow out my hair again after donating it to charity, so I am very picky with what I use. I will heat-style my hair maybe 3 times a year and I don’t dye it. I have noticed that I can’t just use whatever in my hair at any length. The formula matters a whole lot. If I spend a few bucks, the odds are that I get better results. And I only wash my hair maybe twice a week or I end up with an oily scalp and dry ends. >.<

  28. Leia

    I recently switched to organic drugstore shampoo and I’m really satisfied. I don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals breaking out my face anymore. It’s affordable for me and my hair is healthier than when I was using high end shampoo/conditioner.

  29. Heidi

    I love salon products, but they can be really pricey. I shampoo and condition with drug store brands, and if my hair feels dry, I use my salon brand once or twice to restore the condition. I find this works well and you save money!

  30. Avatar of Vero Veronica

    I didn’t think there was a difference until I actually started using a salon brand (Fekkai Glossing Shampoo & Conditioner). Yes, it is spendy, but the results are worth it. I go longer between washes, less tangles, less split ends and my hair overall feels softer. I’ve NEVER seen an overall improvement in my hair from using a drugstore brand. Usually it’s great the first wash and then becomes significantly worse after each wash.

  31. I’m not picky and neither is my hair. For reference, brands like Loreal and Organix have shampoos and conditioners that don’t contain sulfates. I know a lot of higher end brands don’t contain them so now you can pay less and get virtually the same product. Anyway, I do love Redken All Soft. When I catch it on sale, I buy it.

  32. Andie

    I prefer sulfate free, and there is slim pickings at the drugstore, so I get salon formulas.

  33. Autumn

    Maybe it’s just because of the nature of my hair, but whether a product is salon or drugstore makes no actual difference to my hair… and I’ve tried A LOT! My hair is super thick and super spiral curly. It’s not a frizz-ball, not dry, and generally very easy to manage. Perhaps that’s why it doesn’t matter what I use! The same goes for styling products. I could use a $30 bottle of Redken or a $.99 bottle of LA Looks (ya know the huge clear bubbly looking crap!) and the end result is the same… can you believe it?!

  34. Annika

    I don’t know which one John Frieda is (I suppose in the middle?) but it suits my hair perfectly. I use the Root Awakening Shampoo and Conditioner. Although, LUSH Vaganese gave my hair some serious shine when I was using it, but LUSH shampoos are quite drying and I like to use sets, too.

  35. Niki

    As a woman of color, most drug store shampoos strip my hair and drug store conditioners don’t give my hair are not moisturizing, so I use Nexxus Phyto Organics line of product and my just LOVES LOVES LOVES these sold in salons only products.

  36. stephanie

    No. It’s a preference and there are some good drug store brands out there. Personally for black hair, I like sulfate free options. I have found some at target at a good price point.

  37. Avatar of Jill AnGeLwInGz

    I read somewhere that the shampoo doesn’t matter, it’s a good quality conditioner that makes a difference in your hair. I am still on the search for the perfect shampoo and conditioner. My hair is long, curly, thick, and I color it 2-3 times a year. I don’t use any kind of heat on it. I wash and condition every day. I use natural unrefined coconut oil as a leave in conditioner/ styling product daily. I was using Matrix Biolage for a while and it didn’t do anything for my hair. I recently purchased a try-me kit of the new Redken line with the marine extracts and what not from Ulta. I haven’t used it long enough to see any improvements but the shampoo is clarifying so maybe it will help to get some of that greasy coconut oil out of my hair for a while. Any suggestions for my hair type?

    • I suspect whether shampoo matters depends on your hair. If I use the wrong shampoo it dries my hair out so badly it’s a wreck for a month, but fortunately I figured out that mostly the problem is that my hair can’t cope with sulfates. I have curly hair too but it’s medium-length and not all that thick (curls give it volume, fortunately, so it LOOKS like a lot).

      • Avatar of Alisha Alisha in WI

        I agree with you. Used Suave at my mom’s house for a couple days and took FOREVER once I got back home to get it to not feel like straw!

  38. Marcela

    I’m a “happy medium” kind of person. I won’t buy the cheap $2 drugstore shampoos/conditioners nor the $30 salon ones. But I do buy the in-between ones, like Organix for about $7 a bottle (amazing variety of scents and formulas). In terms of quality and formula, I believe there is definitely a big difference between low end and mid or high end but not so much between mid and high end.

  39. Ru

    I’m not sure if it’s better for your hair, but I’ve def noticed a difference when I use salon products: my hair looks less weighed down, smells and styles better, and is softer. I can’t say all salon products are gems though, and I’ve found some drugstore that can be gems (I like Aveeno, and sometime Tresseme).

  40. sam

    i’ve found that redken works really well with my hair though i try to stick to drugstore prices

  41. sarah

    I alternate shampoos, but they’re all salon brands—i’m picky about my hair!

  42. Katie

    This, exactly. My hair reacts very poorly to any product with sulfates (it gets super frizzy and dried out), so I stick to a specific brand of salon conditioner and various organic shampoos.

  43. Avatar of Alannah Alannah

    I have very short, super curly hair and I really can tell a difference when I find a brand that “works”. I’ve been using Bumble & Bumble for a while now, which is ridiculously expensive, but I use very little so it lasts me a long time. I love it, so I doubt I’ll ever switch!

    I used to find drugstore brands that worked for me (there was Jose Eber, then some UK import that Target had for a while with their Boots collaboration), but they always get discontinued and I have to find something else that works! I’m glad that I know I won’t have to do that with B&B.

  44. For the most part, yes, but I lucked out and discovered that the $2.50/16oz Trader Joe’s stuff works just as well on my hair as $18/8oz salon stuff I used before that, so now I can wash my hair without breaking the bank. Anything with sulfates turns my hair into a dry, breakage-prone haystack. Also I have to use like 3x as much conditioner as a normal human to keep my hair from drying out, so cheap conditioner is important to me. What I do spend the big bucks on is styling product — right now I’m using a giant bottle of Devacurl Angell, and it smells horrible but works great.

    I also don’t do anything to my hair; I don’t even blow-dry it, and I only wash it every two or three days because more than that dries it out.

  45. carrie

    My hair is super short (think pixie) and I dye it, so the salon stuff is worth it – a bottle lasts me sixth months (or longer) easily.

  46. I never buy in the drugstore.

  47. JoElla

    I think your water quality really comes into play with shampoos and conditioners. My water is so hard that the salon stuff just does not work for me. So until I am ready to shell out the money for a water softener system, I will stick with a good quality drugstore products.

    Last year it was colder than normal in my area, and our heater was running nearly 24/7 (forced gas heat) and the only thing that saved me was the Garnier Triple Nutrition shampoo and condtioner. It didn’t leave my hair a greasy mess the next day, made it shiny and helped with static.

    I also like their hair mask, however, if you wash and wear it feels rather tacky. But if you blow dry, it gave me glossy shiny hair without having to use boatloads of products.

  48. zombiilove

    God no! Much like my face care products, I’ve found indie products to be better for my hair than anything found in a store. They’re chock full of the good stuff instead of being thinned out with cheap fillers like silicones and whatnots.

  49. Shel

    My hair is long, wavy and I have a ton of it. I started having my stylist do the Keratin Express Brazilian treatment on it to make it more manageable and easier to dry. I’ve always switched up my S&C, but for financial reasons mainly used drug store products because I need to use a lot on my hair. When I started the Brazilian treatment, I needed sulfate-free products, so I bought Pureology. Pretty expensive–$110 for 2-33 oz. bottles (which my teen daughter now uses as well as all her friends, who “love” to get ready at our house because of my stashes of beauty products). I’m sure its a combination of the two, but WOW! A day doesn’t go by without someone commenting on my hair. I absolutely love Pureology and because its so thickly formulated, I use about half of what I used to require.

  50. Liz Mc

    I have wavy, thick, wild shoulder length hair that I color every 2 or 3 months and straighten every time I wash it (or else I get Pee-Wee Herman cowlicky “hair horns” all over it).

    I’ve found that the shampoo doesn’t matter much but the conditioner DOES. And since it’s gotten drier as I’ve gotten older it’s more picky now about the conditioner.

    I hate paying top buck for the salon conditioner so I’m always trying out new drugstore ones. So far the best has been the Salon Selectives for dry hair.
    But what I really like more than anything is the conditioner tubes that come in the hair dye box.

  51. Abby

    I usually keep a set of salon stuff that I use once a week to rehydrate (yay Matrix Biolage!), and “maintain” it using drugstore brands. So far I found that JUST shampooing with Dove leaves my hair feeling really soft and moisturized enough, but I love the smell of Matrix too much to ditch it.

    • slick

      My hair is completely normal and straight, and I don’t do anything to it at all. Therefore, drugstore vs. high end doesn’t really make a difference for me. My mom is a hairdresser, so growing up I used all the HE stuff like Paul Mitchell, Joico, Matrix, etc. As an adult I just get the Infusium23 from the drugstore ($6 per bottle) and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. I wish the same could be said about makeup, lol!!

      But for people with specific hair needs, I can see Salon brands working better. I have friends that have morning hair routines that take twice as long as my makeup routine – which isn’t quick by any means! Its mind boggling, lol.

  52. Jodie

    I personally like salon products like Redken and Bedhead better because they are usually a thicker consistency compared to drugstore brands, and they coat my curly hair a lot better.

  53. Heather

    I have bleached hair, so I use Schwarzkopfs blue shampoo to keep the white from turning brassy.
    I have Keratin Complex smoothing treatment in my hair and I think that is responsible for the silkiness of my hair more so than any rinse out products.
    I did like try and like Moroccan Oil conditioner though.

  54. Avatar of Quinctia Quinctia

    To be honest, the only time I’ve noticed a difference in my hair is when I used the Herbal Essences formula for curly hair. I have wavy hair naturally, and whatever they put in that stuff seemed to bring it out a little more.

    However, my little sensitive nose has been getting worse over the years and after a bottle of Herbal Essences Tousle-Me-Softly made me sick all day after using it on my hair the night before, I switched to strictly organic stuff.

    Since I was already getting picky with the scents, I decided to go whole-hog. No more silicones or sulfates. No dyes. I’ve tried a variety of brands and they all seem to perform equally well, though I didn’t like how Burt’s Bees stuff felt while I was using it in the shower. I think Desert Essences’ Apple Ginger stuff smelled the best, but it’s not sold in as many stores as some other brands, so I’ve only used it once.

    I did color my hair back in October, and I used the box-in conditioner for that a few times, but I still have half the squeeze tube left as I didn’t want to use too much of something that wasn’t organic like my other products.

  55. Avatar of Stacey Stacey

    From someone who has had fried hair, and gone to a salon and left with Alterna shampoo/conditioner, yes, they make a difference. Like a 180 degree difference. And my hair stylist friends yell at me if I buy drugstore ANYTHING for my hair. The chemicals used in them are different, and the salon products contain less damaging and less harsh chemicals.

  56. Liliane

    I prefer organic hair care, but in general I’m surprised how big of a difference there is to the quality of pro hair care and drugstore products. Most professional brands contain not nearly as much silicone as drugstore products, also mostly it’s not dimethicone but some other types of silicone, which are less irritating at least to me. Still I stick to my organic brands, which are a bit pricey but really have worked wonders on my hair..and the price gap to professional hair care is not that big.

  57. tinaaki

    i havent used a salon shampoo but in my opinion they are not worth the money since they are way too expensive to use every day or at least every other day. If i try a shampoo that will dry out my hair i will simply wont buy this brand again but if sth like that happens with a salon shampoo it will be harsher since i paid much more money

  58. Livi

    I have dry, frizzy, HUGE, wavy/curly afro textured hair, which is thick, and coarse. [but I'm pale as a white wall, ahaha] Which I straighten and dye all the time.
    I just use Axe [yes, the stuff made for boys] Dual Shampoo+conditioner [Makes my hair sooo soft since its formulated for guy's usually coarse hair] and then Garnier Fructis Color Shield Conditioner.
    My hair is soft, shiny and smells good, and also is semi-manageable and I haven’t had any problems with breakage c:
    A While back, I used biolage and it dried out my hair :/

  59. joi

    I just recently started using Belegenza hair stuff and it has made a huge difference in my hair..so I am sticking with it even though it is so expensive. Nothing I have used from a drugstore or expensive salon stuff has been as good.

  60. Bumble and Bumble’s Creme de CoCo Conditioner has changed my life!
    It sounds dramatic, but it’s true! I have color-treated, medium length hair that’s fine, wavy/curly and I have A LOT of it! Creme de CoCo has the right “weight” to it that it tames my frizz, but doesn’t cut down on volume. I’ve cut down the amount of products I used to use to tame my hair during styling from 4-5 to 1-2. I also haven’t seen a spit end since I started using it about a year and a half ago. It’s expensive, but I buy it by the liter to get a better value ($1.69 per ounce vs $2.75 per ounce for a standard 8oz bottle)
    Currently I use Aveda’s Blue Malva shampoo and beyond the amazing smell I don’t think it works better than Sheer Blonde, which is what I was using before I got hooked on B&B. I think I’ll go back to using B&B’s Gentle Shampoo and then get a purple shampoo from a drugstore as an occasional a week “de-brass” for my blonde hair.
    PS- I’m afraid to use the Creme de CoCo shampoo because I fear it might be too much weight combined with the conditioner. Does anyone have any experience with this?

  61. Anneliese

    The best shampoo I’ve found for my oily hair is Phyto Phytosylic Scalp Exfoliating Shampoo. I can go for as long as 2-3 days without washing it and even then I often only have to wash it once. It’s also fantastic for those who have oily scalps but still suffer from itchiness and dandruff

    • lauren

      My hair is in pretty good condition but its long, frizzy and thick! I always used drugstore haircare ( l’oreal, v05, aussie, herbal essence etc) untill recently when i tried fredderick fekkai glossing, i liked it as it made my hair shiny but after using it for about 10 months alternating with drugstore i just didnt think it was that much better than drugstore, i didnt leave my hair any less frizzy as i still had to either straighten or blow dry straight. Then i tried the dove intensive repair and fell in love especially the deep treatmeant! It made my hair feel so much softer than the fredderick fekkai! Then for xmas i recieved the redken all soft set and i love it, it manages to cut down on frizz although it lacks, moisture. So overall im still looking for my hg shampoo and conditioner! Dove is probably my favee for now with freeddderick fekai glossing every now and then for moisture!

  62. Monica

    Salon haircare is so much better for your hair than anything you will get at a drugstore. it isnt full of fillers that can potentially damage your hair down the line, and about 3/4 of the time, you end up paying more but getting more because you use less.

    most salon shampoos, like Pureology and Moroccan Oil are concentrated, so you need about a quarter size of both shampoo and conditioner, so thus your bottle lasts much longer.

    i work in a salon and recently discovered Pantene is full of animal fat. that is disgusting.

  63. Jennifer

    i know that matrix biolage does wonders for my hair. i’ve tried other salon brands and I can honestly say that they weren’t that much different/special. but biolage makes my hair super healthy, shiny and nongreasy. Also when I swam a lot before I noticed that I can go swimming everyday and it seems like i get no chlorine damage or split ends. Holy Grail!

  64. Julie

    My hair actually does really well with Pantene.
    It looks like I am in the minority here.
    Organic shampoo and conditioner (Aubrey) stripped and ruined my hair. It was falling out.

    I ended up buying Pantene conditioner and my hair is healthy again.
    Hair stylists always want you to buy the products they carry in the salon :)

  65. Avatar of Roberta Roberta

    I LOVE Frederic Fakkai’s shampoo for color treated hair. I dye my hair every 2 months and it keeps it super soft. I try to get the salon sized from Sephora when they have their F&F Sale

  66. Amanda E.

    I dye my hair every 3 months, and a drugstore shampoo just won’t cut it when it comes to keeping my color intact. I’ve noticed that even Frederick Fekkai isn’t great quality anymore, now that it’s sold at drugstores. The best brand I’ve ever used is Pureology, which is about $28 for a medium sized bottle. But it keeps my naturally dark hair super blonde, so it’s worth it!

  67. Eva

    I wouldn´t say that all drugstore shampoos are worse than salon ones.
    I am hardly ever using either one. I found a few etailers who offer shampoos that are SLS and silicone free. I especially love the shampoos and conditioners from CocoaPink.
    About once a week I use one with SLS since my hair seems to need it. The current ones are LUSH´s Washaday Greens and Antiphilitron.
    Since changing to mostly SLS/silicone free shampoo my hair looks a lot better and I am not losing as much as before. But that may also be due to the fact that I found a good henna to colour my hair and use some really great conditioners that manage to make my hair look and healthy without weighing it down(big plus if you have fine hair! I never found a drugstore conditioner I could use, they all seemed to be loaded with silicones).

  68. Tina

    I do color my hair to cover my gray, and my hair is fine. So, I have a hard time with drugstore products because they really weigh my hair down. I really like Nioxin 3 for color treated hair, and I love Philosophy Body Wash, Bubble Bath, Shampoo products for my hair. They don’t strip color or weigh down my hair.

  69. Avatar of Street Jaime Jaime

    I think it’s less about whether or not the shampoo is drugstore or salon and more about what’s actually in it and what it will do to your hair. When I had hair, I used to be all about the salon brands because they’re mostly silicone-free, and silicones didn’t respond well to my hair.

    Now that I shaved my head though, I just kinda use whatever body wash I’m already using on my skin! Bald chicks aren’t really high maintenance with hair stuff :)

  70. Michelle

    I’ve been using pantene pro v for years and my hair has always been healthy

  71. Steph

    I would like to point out that hair is dead and therefore in no way can be made “healthy”. I buy organic shampoo, because I don’t react well to silicones or sulphates. My sister-in-law is a biochemist and has worked for a few large cosmetics companies and what I’ve learned is almost all higher end hair companies own the lesser priced ones and the formulas aren’t all that different oh and that all that “botanical extracts” is pretty much bubkiss and what makes hair shiny are different kinds of silicone products. If expensive shampoo makes you happy, then by all means go ahead. Life is short, don’t worry about shampoo.

  72. Avatar of Ana Meg

    Salon for sure!

  73. Vicks

    I use both high end and drug store. I have short, fine hair, and wash it every 2-3 days. My favourite shampoo and conditioner, and ones I got back to over and over again are Herbal Essences Hydralicious Featherweight combo. It smells delicious and leavesmy hair feeling super soft. My sister works in a salon, so I get crazy discounts but always go back to my Herbal Essences. Haven’t found a product that I would be willing to shell out $20.00/bottle (with a discount!) when my $4.00 shampoo works just as well!

  74. Heather

    I do think that salon brands are better than drugstore brands. Generally drugstore brands aren’t pH balanced; this is especially important if you have any chemical services done to you hair, i.e. color or perms/ relaxers.

  75. Avatar of Natalie Natalie

    I adore Herbal Essences in the orange bottles (volumizing I think)! I have never stuck to one shampoo for more than a few weeks during my entire life, but have been in a committed relationship with HE for over a year now! I have some scalp skin conditions that can be easily aggrivated, and take certain medications that have made some strands of hair coarse while leaving the rest fine! It’s so straight – it will never even wave, I’ve come to accept – and I keep it rather long, but HE is still the absolute best I’ve found for it.

  76. Avatar of Cathy Cathy

    I have long,thick,curly hair and find that Wen Cleansing Conditioner works best for me.It’s natural,is a one step process and you also use it as a leave in,styling cream and deep conditioner.I also only need to cleanse twice a week,so between that and it’s multiple uses,my hair is healthy and it saves me money.

  77. Buddaphlyy

    No I don’t think salon brands are better than drugstore because a products if the sum of it’s ingredients, not where you bought it from. I would never ask a stylists for product recs (mostly because I don’t go to salons) because half the time they don’t even know what’s actually in half the products they are selling. If you want good advice on what products to use, talk to a cosmetics chemist.

    I have natural AA hair that I occasionally heat style and I use a combo. The main reason I that I know exactly what works for my hair. I need an ALS based shampoo, a keratin based protein conditioner, a completely protein free moisture conditioner, and a glycerin/humectant based leave in. I can find all at BOTH the drugstore or Ulta/Sephora.

  78. Denise F.

    I like Ojon products! My fave set is the: Shine and Protect. I buy the liter sets online, or pick them up instore, when available. I prefer online. I aslo LOVE, their Restorative Treatment!!!! It is THE BEST!! =)

  79. Denise F.

    I forgot to mention, that I purchase from Sephora. They usually have the sets. If not, then QVC. They have the same liter duo sets.

  80. Voly

    I have a long straight fine hair that I usually wear down, so I use conditioner with lots of silicones to keep it from tangling and reduce flyaway (Garnier Fructis – Sleek and Shine, plus it smells good). For shampoo, I have scalp buildup and itching problem, so I use medicated Salicylic acid shampoo.

  81. Cindy

    Yes salon products make the diffrence! Yesterday i got my hair done and it looks waaay better and healthier and my hair stylist said do you use salon products and i said no she said they do make a diffrence and im not just saying that because im a hair dresser, so she recommended stuff to me and i bought it and you know that feeling when you leave the hair salon and your hair feels great well mine feels good right now and i just washed and used it all for the first time, you use less of it and so it really doesnt cost more.