'I spend a fortune on salon quality shampoo and conditioner. Is it really better than supermarket stuff?'

If you have hair on your head, chances are you've found yourself, at some point, dropping $80 on shampoo and conditioner and wondering:.. is it really worth the extra money?

With the haircare market absolutely exploding, there are more great accessible brands and products than ever before. So is there really a difference when it comes to salon vs supermarket shampoo and conditioner?

It's one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to haircare — in fact, recently, a member of the You Beauty Facebook group asked just that.

Watch: Here are 5 ways to lift your hair game. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

A post from a Youbie named Lindy read, "Shampoo and conditioner: I spend a small fortune on ‘salon quality’ shampoo and conditioner. Like a crazy amount and have never been able to find one I’m absolutely happy with. I’m on holiday and forgot my shampoo at home. Bought these two beauties for a less than $10 and my hair has never been so soft and shiny."

"I’ve always been warned to stay aware from ‘supermarket brands’ by various people and hairdressers but now I’m wondering why if the first one I’ve tried in 10 years is exactly what I’ve been looking for? Is there something I’m missing?"

The product she mentioned was the L'Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Coconut.

Image: Facebook.


And the comments went OFF, with many people touting their favourite affordable haircare brands.  

One comment read: "I refuse to spend money on ‘salon’ hair care. I’ve used cheap stuff from Woolies for 20 years and my hair is shiny and healthy. I've tried expensive brands and have found no difference!"

"I too have spent a fortune over the years after being shamed for using supermarket shampoo, yet the recommended expensive ones don’t appear to do anything special to my hair."

So, what's the go? Are salon haircare products actually better than supermarket options?

We asked expert trichologist at the Australian Trichology Centre, Chelcey Salinger, for her thoughts.


Is salon shampoo better than supermarket shampoo? 

As Salinger told Mamamia, "Salon quality shampoos are more likely to be the correct pH (5.5). I would expect salons to have a good brand of high quality that contains antioxidants. The pH of supermarket shampoos varies much more. 

Why is the pH so important?

"The incorrect pH can disrupt your 'acid mantle' (scalp barrier) and microbiome," said Salinger.

So does expensive mean... better? Not necessarily.

"Cost is no reflection of quality. Keep in mind that L'Oréal has a supermarket shampoo, but also owns Kérastase, one of the more expensive shampoos. They know how to make good products."

If you're wondering what to look for when it comes to affordable versus salon products, Salinger recommends checking the product label or description to find out the pH.

"A good shampoo should have a pH around 5.5 and I like it to contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients," she said. 

So, there you have it!

When it comes down to it, whether you prefer supermarket or salon shampoo and conditioner is a completely personal choice. How much you spend is up to you and what you want — as long as the products are cleaning your hair correctly and you're happy with how your hair looks and behaves, that's all that matters. (But you could definitely save yourself some dollars by finding a cheap one that does the trick!)

What are your thoughts? Do you like supermarket shampoo? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Canva.

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