The difference between “professional” or “salon only” and grocery store hair care products.


When a product has been professionally diagnosed for your hairs special needs, by a hair care expert, it is going to be more suited to you than something that you have picked up off the shelf at your local store.


Good quality means nothing, as without expert advice you may not find the right one for you. In fact, you could use one that is not suitable at all. For example,  general use or “family shampoo”, won’t treat your partners dandruff, your babies cradle cap and your frizzy ends at the same time! With statistics showing that 80% of us miss diagnose our own hair type and so purchase the wrong products, when left to our own devices, you can see where the difference lies.


A reasonably new marketing strategy of selling you a product that has a specific purpose rather than treats a specific hair type does make life a lot easier.  E.g. you want volume then you buy ‘volume’  shampoo rather than ‘fine hair’ shampoo.


As with most things, price is a good indicator of quality when trying to choose a hair care product and applies equally to the products you buy at your salon or the grocery store.  Once you reach the upper middle to high price range the ingredients will be of a better quality and contain more of them (e.g. real essential oils rather than the cheap non-pure versions) and on the reverse of the coin, if you buy really cheap brands you will get what you pay for.


The best hairstylists in Toronto know that professional brands on the whole use gentler surfactants (a type of soap used in shampoo) in more concentrated amounts, so you need far less product than with a grocery store brand to achieve the same result. The recommended serving of professional shampoo or conditioner is 5 ml per serve (the average cap full) whilst you may have to use three or four times more to get the same result from a cheap grocery store brand. However, the quality of the upper end of the grocery brands iseasily comparable to the lower to mid range of the professional brands so it really is your decision at the end of the day.


  • Your shampoo and conditioner are the foundation of a good hair style and should not be under valued when creating your look.
  • A shampoo should always be followed by a conditioner as a shampoo is negatively charged and a conditioner is positively charged, therefore one will balance or neutralize the other helping to restore the natural barrier (acid mantel) and protect the hair.

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