News: The Timeless Beauty is a forum for women over 40.
Chat with us about makeup, skin care, or whatever is on your mind.
Free and open membership. Never any ads. Privacy always respected.
Interested? Read here and/or here. Or just register!


Author Topic: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?  (Read 2961 times)

ILuvLucy

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 2755
I don't have nice hair to begin with.  It's always been very straight and fine.  I color it too, which I'm sure damages it.  And now, getting older doesn't help either! 
Being on a budget, I've been using Suave shampoo for quite awhile.  I know others that use it and have good luck, but I think they have "good" hair to begin with.  I'm really hating my hair lately though, & wonder if I should try something else.
Do you think more expensive shampoos are worth it?
  • Complexion: Light/Medium
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Hair: Blonde/Thin/Straight
"A mysterious expression will add a lovely sheen to your complexion" --Nancy Drew in The Clue of the Velvet Mask

cara4art

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 2134
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2014, 11:10:02 PM »
If I were you I would move up to something else. But you don't have to shell out for pricey salon shampoos at ALL. Salon people LOVE to tell people how bad drugstore, or even beauty supply store shampoos and conditioner are, giving scare stories about how they're all full of floor wax etc. But they're just trying to move product that's in the salon LOL! Drugstore shampoos and conditioners have come a long way. However, as with anything else, "your mileage may vary" meaning that a product that someone else raves about you'll hate and vice versa. Look into the newer(came out in the last year)L'Oreal Advanced Hair Care line - they have several different collections and usually you can get one on sale for just $3.99. They have Advanced Hair Care groups for Volume, Dry, Color-Treated, Total Repair 5(addresses several problems all at once and is actually quite good, Triple Resist(for breakage and hair fall).
With all this said, what do you hate about your hair? Is it dullness, damage, breakage, too-dry, too-limp? Yes, getting older with hair has its challenges - some people have thinning hair, and at the same time it's also drying out - add color in there and of course that's a challenge, especially if one has fine straight hair to begin with. One usually has to get in both protein and moisture in one's deep treatments as well. For intensive treatments, there are fewer of these at drugstore level(although there are some)than there are at say, Sally Beauty Supply. A great way to try treatments without spending big bucks until one finds a product one likes is to buy a trial-size packet at Sally Beauty Supply - that will often give one at least 2 treatments, often more depending on how much hair one has.
Off the top of my head, the Total Repair 5 line might be good - there's also a deep conditioner in the line that comes in a jar - the Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm. The Total Repair 5 line has been pretty popular actually among reviewers elsewhere. I've used it myself - I do have to alternate that with sulfate and silicone-free products since I have curly hair. Another line that might be good is one of the Pantene lines, like the Age Defy line in the black packages. I know, LOTS of hairdressers love to slam this line across the board saying it's all floor wax and all. Another line that's pretty good for a drugstore line is Garnier Fructis - their new Damage Repair shampoo and conditioner has been getting good reviews, as well as their less-recent Triple Nutrition combo. All of these lines, while not as dirt-cheap as Suave, have decent products and are well-priced. All this said, I'm not knocking Suave - they do have a couple of good things - I use their Daily Clarifying Shampoo once a month just prior to coloring to get excess stuff out of my hair, or as needed.
Anyhow, some food for thought!:)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 01:02:52 PM by cara4art »

anne

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 2029
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2014, 02:44:18 AM »
I think the difference is, a professional helps you choose the most suitable shampoo for you in the salon.

I use salon shampoos but am considering changing into a drugstore shampoo.
  • Complexion: NC 15 winter, NC 20 summer. Still oily.
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Hair: *Very* fine + wavy. Middle / dark blonde (my natural hair color) with some highlights.

milla

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 2928
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2014, 05:56:09 AM »
All shampoos basically have three main components: a surfactant or other ingredient to cleanse the hair, a moisture or protein agent to smooth the hair and make it soft and shiny, and fragrance. If you read the list of ingredients you will see that they don’t vary a great deal.
Ammonium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate, apparently are harsh and dry your scalp. Sodium laureth sulfate is gentler, so this is something to look for.
We are all (including most of the cynical) deceived by ads into believing that certain products will give us glossy tresses, like the models in the advert, who have all had extensions !
 I think there is nothing wrong with cheaper brands, what you need to remember is that shampoo needs to be used sparingly and rinsed properly (especially if you live in a hard water area), and massaged well.
 Some expensive shampoos feel quite nice to use (probably because of the fragrance!) and if you use them sparingly, they last quite a while.
Personally I like Kerastase Age Premium, but I find that Pantene Age Defy is a very good substitute and much cheaper, so now that I’m retired that is what I use. L'Oreal also has a good range and they are made by the same company that manufactures  Kerastase.

ILuvLucy

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 2755
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2014, 07:17:09 AM »

With all this said, what do you hate about your hair? Is it dullness, damage, breakage, too-dry, too-limp? 
Yes! All of the above!  :wink:
Thank you all for your advice & suggestions. I'm definitely going to have a look around at the products you've mentioned.
(I do have very hard water, Milla   I've been thinking about a filter for my shower for years)
  • Complexion: Light/Medium
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Hair: Blonde/Thin/Straight
"A mysterious expression will add a lovely sheen to your complexion" --Nancy Drew in The Clue of the Velvet Mask

cara4art

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 2134
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2014, 10:28:50 AM »
@ILuvLucy - very hard water is really a challenge, but you might be right on in getting a filter. It really will make a big difference. Without it, one has to clarify one's hair more often, drying it out further unless one uses industrial-strength conditioners to counteract that. I've lived in a few areas with hard water, but the absolute worst was when I was visiting southwestern Arizona, at Quartzsite. I knew something was up even before washing my hair that even a lot younger people around had dried-out, dull hair. My skin AND hair suffered so much that trip!:(
With all those aspects going on with your hair, you might want to give the L'Oreal Total Repair products a try. At some CVS stores they do have trial-sized bottles of the shampoo and conditioner, but not the deep conditioner(the Damage Erasing Balm). They also came out with the Total Repair Extreme line which I haven't tried, a shampoo and accompanying conditioner plus a deep treatment in a tube. All well-priced, especially if one hits a sale and extends it further with coupons.:)

Swest

  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 784
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2014, 06:55:44 AM »
Really I think a water softener makes a huge difference in how your hair and skin feels. When I was over at my sisters my hair was much softer and my skin felt nicer. I have a water softener but you have to be diligent about adding salt pellets on a regular basis. Maybe it needs to be checked. Normally I use Redkin Allsoft (25 bucks for a big liter bottle). I used Suave Sleek shampoo and condition and my hair felt and looked fine last weekend (2.99). I do not think I added any other products either so its yeah the water system you have as well. I may start washing and rinsing my hair with bottled water now for added conditioning. No kidding!


If I were you I would move up to something else. But you don't have to shell out for pricey salon shampoos at ALL. Salon people LOVE to tell people how bad drugstore, or even beauty supply store shampoos and conditioner are, giving scare stories about how they're all full of floor wax etc. But they're just trying to move product that's in the salon LOL! Drugstore shampoos and conditioners have come a long way. However, as with anything else, "your mileage may vary" meaning that a product that someone else raves about you'll hate and vice versa. Look into the newer(came out in the last year)L'Oreal Advanced Hair Care line - they have several different collections and usually you can get one on sale for just $3.99. They have Advanced Hair Care groups for Volume, Dry, Color-Treated, Total Repair 5(addresses several problems all at once and is actually quite good, Triple Resist(for breakage and hair fall).
With all this said, what do you hate about your hair? Is it dullness, damage, breakage, too-dry, too-limp? Yes, getting older with hair has its challenges - some people have thinning hair, and at the same time it's also drying out - add color in there and of course that's a challenge, especially if one has fine straight hair to begin with. One usually has to get in both protein and moisture in one's deep treatments as well. For intensive treatments, there are fewer of these at drugstore level(although there are some)than there are at say, Sally Beauty Supply. A great way to try treatments without spending big bucks until one finds a product one likes is to buy a trial-size packet at Sally Beauty Supply - that will often give one at least 2 treatments, often more depending on how much hair one has.
Off the top of my head, the Total Repair 5 line might be good - there's also a deep conditioner in the line that comes in a jar - the Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm. The Total Repair 5 line has been pretty popular actually among reviewers elsewhere. I've used it myself - I do have to alternate that with sulfate and silicone-free products since I have curly hair. Another line that might be good is one of the Pantene lines, like the Age Defy line in the black packages. I know, LOTS of hairdressers love to slam this line across the board saying it's all floor wax and all. Another line that's pretty good for a drugstore line is Garnier Fructis - their new Damage Repair shampoo and conditioner has been getting good reviews, as well as their less-recent Triple Nutrition combo. All of these lines, while not as dirt-cheap as Suave, have decent products and are well-priced. All this said, I'm not knocking Suave - they do have a couple of good things - I use their Daily Clarifying Shampoo once a month just prior to coloring to get excess stuff out of my hair, or as needed.
Anyhow, some food for thought!:)
  • Complexion: Fair-med NC20, combo
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Hair: Dark Reddish Brown

cara4art

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 2134
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2014, 09:44:20 AM »
Thank goodness I now live in San Francisco which actually has very good water, not hard, and good quality drinking. I lived here before for 14 years, went out to New Mexico for 12(where the water was indeed hard, especially in my village where I spent 10 years), and have been back in SF for going on 8. In my village, many people who could afford them had various water-softening arrangements. But in certain parts of my village the water was so bad one couldn't drink it either. But yes, hard water does do a number on one's hair and skin for sure. I do remember in New Mexico, since the climate was also dry, if I didn't lotion up the MINUTE I came out of the shower, I'd be dry as a bone, and I had to use clarifying shampoo every 10 days or so because of the hard water. Here, I only have to use it maybe once a month, usually just before coloring to remove any build-up, etc.

ILuvLucy

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 2755
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2014, 03:49:42 PM »
I want to thank you all for your suggestions!  I went out & got the L'oreal Advanced Haircare Total Repair Extreme Shampoo & conditioner ($3.99 each at Target).  I didn't get any of the "extras", even though they looked interesting.  I'd love to try the mask or the balm, or the volume filler.  I saw the Pantene that milla mentioned.  I had to look hard to find it! Target did not have it with all the other Pantene products.  The shampoo & conditioner were $7.99 each, so I decided to stick with the L'oreal.

Then I went to Sally's, & got a 1 oz. packet of Ion Effective Care Treatment ($1.89).  Also stopped in at WalMart & picked up Suave's clarifying shampoo ($1.50).  I was thinking that maybe using this every so often would be beneficial because of my hard water.  I did not get the clarifying conditioner, but wonder if I should.  Do you think that's necessary?

It's been quite awhile since I've really looked at haircare.  I was amazed at the selection available at drugstores now, or stores like Target/WalMart.   I'm so happy to see that there is a middle ground between the "high end" products & the less expensive.
I'll let you know how I make out with everything.  Ultimately, I still would like to get a water filter for my shower head.
  • Complexion: Light/Medium
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Hair: Blonde/Thin/Straight
"A mysterious expression will add a lovely sheen to your complexion" --Nancy Drew in The Clue of the Velvet Mask

cara4art

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 2134
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2014, 06:33:17 PM »
@ILuvLucy: So glad you picked up some stuff!:) Indeed, drugstore stuff has come a long way(although there's junk out there too).
No, you don't need the Suave clarifying conditioner - that's only if one has really oily hair or something like that. Just the clarifier, plus a DEEP conditioner(moisture, or protein+moisture combined)is a must after clarifying as usually that will leave your hair drier, although without all the buildup from minerals or products. Do get the mask - it sounds like your hair needs some extra TLC besides regular conditioning. You'd be surprised how many women don't do this, even though they're not necessarily on a strict beauty budget because they think just regular conditioning is enough. It is if you don't color your hair or subject it to anything else either chemical-wise or using heated appliances for that matter(dryers, flat-irons, curling irons, etc.), but if one does do any of these things, a weekly to every-10-day deep conditioning treatment is mandatory. It really does make a difference once one finds products one likes!:)
About the Pantene being $7.99 - that's high! Was that for the big bottles(25.7 oz.) Pantene shampoos and conditioners go on sale all the time. Walgreens has a 3 for $10 this week and if you combine that with a coupon from a Sunday newspaper, that goes down to 3 for only $5. Hard to beat that!:) Often, L'Oreal Advanced Hair Care products are on sale for 3.99 each, or 3 for $12. Look for coupons to shave some off the cost. Also, if you have a Bed Bath & Beyond store near you that also has a health and beauty department(not all of them do)you can get great deals. If you sign up for e-mails you get coupons for 20% off, or $5 off purchases over $15, and similar deals, applicable to anything in the store.

Swest

  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 784
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2014, 07:13:39 PM »
Just took some time to 'deep condition ' my hair this morning with the Suave conditioner and it feels fine. Left it on 20-30 min. I still like my Redkin but this may become a good cheap back up.  Hair is very soft now.
  • Complexion: Fair-med NC20, combo
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Hair: Dark Reddish Brown

ILuvLucy

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 2755
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2014, 07:20:31 AM »
Yes, the Pantene was $7.99 for a 10 oz bottle!  (not on sale).  This is their "Age Defy" line that I'm speaking of, in a black bottle. 
I'm glad you don't think I will need the clarifying conditioner, Cara. Maybe I will try the clarifying shampoo followed by the Ion Effective Care Treatment mask that I picked up at Sally's?  It says it has "proteins and vitamins".   Or should I follow the Suave clarifying with the L'oreal Total Repair conditioner?  I'm hoping that I'll get more than one use out of the Ion Treatment. I probably will since I haven't got much hair.

I don't think the BBB nearest to me carries any health/beauty. 

Swest, my daughter really likes the Suave Sleek shampoo and conditioner, and she is very picky!  But then again, she has beautiful, virgin hair to start.  :)
  • Complexion: Light/Medium
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Hair: Blonde/Thin/Straight
"A mysterious expression will add a lovely sheen to your complexion" --Nancy Drew in The Clue of the Velvet Mask

cara4art

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 2134
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2014, 09:25:29 AM »
Oh OK, about the Pantene. You're right, their Age Defy line is higher than their other ones. People have reviewed both Age Defy, and L'Oreal Total Repair 5 lines, and many people seem to like both. But the Total Repair 5 line seems to get even more good reviews.
Any time after you use a clarifying shampoo, you should use a deep conditioner, in this case since you got the Ion mask that would be it. So you're spot on with with your question. Speaking of masks(which are basically deep conditioners of one sort or another)another thing you could try is going back to Sally Beauty Supply and picking up some different trial packets of different brands. Their One 'n Only Hydrating Mask is excellent(I use this myself), also L'Oreal's Nature's Therapy Mega Moisture Nurturing Creme. This way you can try several without being out a lot of money before committing to any one of them. But if you find you love the Ion, you've hit the jackpot already.:) Best of luck!:)

bestorganic

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 10
  • Loving life and loving organic skincare
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2014, 04:03:42 AM »
Cheaper products contain cheaper ingredients. Expensive products contain more potent ingredients and less fillers. You get what you pay for. Professional, high-quality shampoos and conditioners are going to be better. Drugstore brands work, but they aren't going to give new life to your hair.
  • Complexion: oily and acne prone
  • Eyes: brown
  • Hair: brown

SusieQ

  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 5913
Re: Are there really differences in inexpensive vs. pricey shampoo?
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2014, 12:15:11 PM »
I have both d/s and high end hair products and I do used them. I've been coloring my hair for years and my stylist says that my hair is very healthy and she also said that I don't have to use conditioner, if I didn't want to adn this is nice because it saves a little green.  :holly:
  • Complexion: Medium/Combination
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Hair: Black w/waves