Drugstore Hair Products vs Professional Hair Products?

Drugstore Hair Products vs Professional Hair Products?

And the Research to Back it Up.

When it comes to hair products, there are a lot of things that people don't know, and if we're being honest I learned A LOT in my research as well. There is a major difference between drugstore hair products and brand-name hair products, and this blog post will help you understand why. If you want healthy, shiny locks then kick your feet up and grab some popcorn!


Drugstore hair products are made with all sorts of chemicals like sulfates and parabens that strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. But that's not enough - let's break down some of these chemicals and fillers to better understand the why behind professional products.

* Sulfates (SLS and SLES) - Increases the lathering action in shampoo, which seems great until you research it and find that it actually over cleanses - robbing your scalp of its natural oils which causes dryness of the strands and scalp.

* Parabens - A preservative that can dry your hair and cause scalp irritation.

*DEA and TEA (Dieathalomene and Triethalomene) - Both are known to dry your hair and scalp - especially if you have color-treated strands. I was honestly super surprised to find that these ingredients are also carcinogenic, yikes.

*Silicone - These are used in most products to give them slip and shine. Unfortunately, they coat your hair like plastic wrap - suffocating the strand of its natural oils which cause dryness (and breakage).

* Phthalates - These are used in fragrance that can lead to hormone disruption and are also carcinogenic, yikes again.

* Added Colors/Dyes- Artificial colors like FD&C Dyes (red #40) or phthalates (Titanium dioxide) is added to these products to make them appear more appealing. However, It can also be carcinogenic too... I'm not loving the number of times I've read "carcinogens" during this research session.

*Sodium Chloride - This ingredient isn't necessarily harmful but it's often referred as table salt and we all know that this doesn’t do our bodies any favors either. You should also avoid this one if you have sensitive skin.

*Glycol- This ingredient is used to make shampoos and conditioners more viscous (sticky) so they are easier to spread through the hair...however it can be quite irritating like other chemicals like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). And surprise y'all, it's also carcinogenic.

*Formaldehyde - Really? Yes, really! This chemical is used in manufacturing dyes and resins so they are more durable. But it’s also a known carcinogen which is all too common in my research of these ingredients. *facepalm*

I've always known of the yuck that's in drugstore products, but I have to admit - I didn't even realize it was this bad. I wanted to quit this research shortly after starting because of how scary some of it is!

There were many other ingredients that I could have written about, but I would be researching for months if I kept going. As I studied this, these were the ones I found to be most important in my research of drugstore vs brand name hair products!

Brands like Amika and Olaplex have worked hard on developing products with much healthier ingredients while still producing top-quality hair products for your health AND appearance! When you invest more money into the brand name product you know what is going inside of it so there aren't any hidden chemicals or fillers that will dry out your hair or scalp causing damage over time - and of course, the fewer carcinogens we can hang around the better, am I right?

All of that being said, it's no wonder there is a price difference between the harsh chemical/filler products at the drugstore vs high-quality concentrated products with safe ingredients.

A huge piece of the pricing puzzle is that because of the extra junk in the cheaper products, you need more of it to do its job. The good ingredients are so diluted with the icky stuff that you'll go through it much quicker than the high-quality, concentrated salon brands. When you get the concentrated ingredients from the salon brands, a little bit goes a long way - meaning it'll last longer and deliver better results.

Clearly, I could go on and on here, but my last piece is this- many of these drugstore ingredients actually strip your hair color. Meaning all of those dollars you spend at the salon are quickly being reversed by harsh chemicals. Again, meaning these products are costing you more money in the long run.

Alright - I'll get off my soap box (pun intended). I hope this was as informative for you as it's been for me! Maybe you'll think twice before heading to the drugstore for your next shampoo.

If you want to check out some high quality brands that are paraben/sulfate free, cruelty free, and vegan head over to my shop and have a look around!

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