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How do I pick the best shampoo? Is more expensive better?

Let’s talk about wine for a second. But, wait, I’m talking about shampoo! I know, just bare with me a second. All wine is pretty much made up of the same ingredients, right? But the value derives from the vineyard it was produced at, with the quality of ingredients and distinct production process setting it apart from all the other wines. Therefore, despite all starting as grapes, we have wines of all varieties in taste and price. See where I’m going, here? Like wine, shampoos come in a lot of varieties and prices. While you could just grab the most expensive bottle you can find and call it a day, in reality, the most appealing one for you may not be the one with the highest price tag. Choosing the right shampoo is all about finding the balance between your personal taste and the function of the product, not just about expensive vs. not.

What kind of hair do you have? Is it thick or really fine? Do you have loose waves or a mane of curls? Does it tend to be really dry? Is it naturally super flat? Identifying the behavior of your hair will help guide you to the type of shampoo that you need. From there, you can find one that gives you the results you desire. And of course, brand, scent, and price can all factor in here as well.

Obviously, any professional brand is going to be more expensive than a mass market chain brand (you can learn about the difference between salon hair products vs. grocery stores here) but that’s almost like comparing apples to oranges.

In addition to better ingredients, professional products tend to be more expensive because they are from brands that are putting heaps of money towards research and development. They innovate new products that will perform at the highest level for a given hair type. So, when you are buying it in the salon, you know it’s going to be a superb product for your hair specifically.

In addition to research, brands also put a massive investment in education for the stylists. This means, that your stylists know which products work best for which people, exactly how to apply it, and new styles. Then, they can make the right recommendations for you and show you how to use it. Take advantage of this, and ask them! Stylists have experience likely be able to give you a more than one recommendation of a good shampoo for you.

Then, when you buy one of those products in the salon, you’re helping to invest in this cycle. You’re supporting the stylist and the salon, as well as helping the brand continue to develop new products and provide education to stylists. And your hair just keeps getting better and better!