Walking down the hair product aisle at any local grocery or drug store can make anyone feel overwhelmed by the number of products: brightly colored bottles, all promising life restoration, moisture balance, and vitamin renewal. Creative packaging and lower prices contribute to the mass appeal. Afterall, can there really be that much of a difference between hair products found in a grocery store or drugstore and those available in the salon? The answer is YES!
The Salon vs. Store Difference
First, it’s important to understand that all hair is different. Even if there are similarities to hair, each follicle is just as unique as you are. Genetics, geography, temperament, and personal lifestyle choices all contribute to how the hair behaves at a cellular level. Understanding which products will work best is not an easy undertaking for most people, and can involve a hefty amount of trial and error to find the perfect combination of products and techniques.
There are some things that are bad for any type of hair across the board. Most store brands use lab-produced ingredients such as silicone as a quick and less costly alternative to the more natural ingredients that your hair craves. Additionally, many of these ingredients do more harm than good. Silicone, for instance, makes hair feel smooth and appear shiny, but this can build up over time and weigh hair down, making it look lifeless.
Watch out for these other ingredients which can be damaging to hair as well, such as:
- Sodium Chloride, a fancy term for salt, which can cause dry and itchy scalps
- Sulfates, which strip hair of moisture and natural oils; and
- Parabens, which can mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to increased growth of breast cancer cells
Researching the ingredients to look out for is a big step in giving your hair the care it needs to be healthy and happy. But why do that when you can leverage the knowledge of your stylist to find your perfect products. Professional salon products typically have more vitamins, natural oils and minerals that help keep your hair and scalp healthy. Salon-preferred product lines such as Kevin Murphy or J Beverly Hills are free of silicones, parabens and other ingredients known to damage and dull your hair.
Who better to help guide you to the right answer than your stylist? Their job — and passion — is to know hair down to the very root. Next time you are in for a cut or color, ask your stylist about the brands they trust and recommend for you!