Men’s Styling Products – Choosing the Best Hair Styling Product for Your Money

There is much debate over whether salon or supermarket brand styling products or shampoos and conditioners are better. Ask almost any professional, and they’ll go on and on about how much better salon brands are. But, are they giving you an unbiased opinion, or just rambling off a sales pitch? I’ll try to sort out the facts and help you make the right buying decision. Are salon brands better than supermarket brands? To answer that question, consider the following:

Male Styling His Hair - styling products
Myth Busted: Are Salon Brands Better Than Supermarket Brands?: Photo © People Images | Getty Images.

Are Salon Brands Better?

Not always. The fact is that salon brands and supermarket brands contain many of the same ingredients. Sodium lauryl sulfate is sodium lauryl sulfate no matter who’s bottle it’s in. Many of the professional salon brands are even manufactured in the same plants that make the products you find at the supermarket. Mass marketed products can typically be cheaper than salon brands because it is more cost-effective to purchase ingredients and manufacture in bulk, while small-batch salon brands don’t have the buying power of the big companies.

That said, many supermarket brands are created with a price being the first priority. To save money, a manufacturer will use cheaper ingredients or less of a more expensive component. Salon brands are created with performance being the top priority, so it can be argued that you’re likely to get better performance from professional products.

What About Salon Brands in Supermarkets?

If you’ve ever been to the drug store and seen a bottle of American Crew and thought, “My stylist told me I could buy this only in a salon,” you’ve witnessed what the salon industry calls “diversion.” Diversion happens when a product manufacturer’s distributor sells the product to a retailer other than a salon. In rare circumstances, professional products found in supermarkets or drugstores can be counterfeit or very old, but it’s not likely. A large chain store is not going to risk being sued by selling a harmful, counterfeit product. Normally, you can trust that if you’re buying a salon brand from a supermarket, it’s the same stuff you can buy at the salon.

Should I Buy Products at a Salon?

Absolutely. The main advantage of buying styling products from a salon is that the stylist will be able to analyze your needs and provide you with a product that specifically targets those needs. A stylist will be well trained on the different products available and will be much more likely to choose a product that will perform well for you. While wandering the shampoo aisle at the drug store, you don’t have a professional to direct you to the perfect product. Most salon brands come with a guarantee, so if you don’t like the product, you’ll find it much easier to return for a refund.

The Bottom Line

For the average man who doesn’t need special hair care or scalp care, most supermarket brands will perform just as well as a salon brand. For those with sensitive skin or special hair or scalp conditions, always seek the advice of a professional and purchase the products they recommend.

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