Does Expensive Always Equal Beautiful Salon Hair?

When shopping for shampoo and conditioner, you have probably noticed a big difference between the cost of store-brand hair care products and designer brands sold in salons. Whether there's a difference in quality is a subject of great debate. But does expensive always equal beautiful salon hair? Why does a price difference exist between products such as Pantene and Suave and their pricey salon competition?

Shampoos and conditioners

When in doubt, read the label on the bottles, and research what the ingredients really mean. Pay especially close attention to the chemical preservatives, also known as parabens. Parabens are known to cause a series of health problems and have suspected links to cancer. Although the FDA does not consider most preservatives to be dangerous to your health, you might want to be safe instead of sorry and pay a bit more for hair care products that are paraben-free. Not all of Redken's hair care products qualify, but Redken's Nature's Rescue is advertised as free of parabens, sulfates and silicone.

Another consideration is packaging. You might be paying more for nothing other than a pretty bottle with a designer name.

Hair tools

When shopping for a hair dryer, you might also wonder whether a more expensive tool will bring you beautiful salon hair. What is the difference between a professional hair dryer and a department store product? Because they are used all day, every day, professional hair dryers are sturdier in design, both inside and out. In addition, they have a lower wattage, which makes them more hair-friendly. Professional hair dryers have several settings ranging from very hot to cold air. They also require less energy, which translates into a lower electricity bill.

In comparison, standard hair dryers are for limited private use and often have only one or two power settings. Make sure that your next hair dryer has a cold air setting and that its wattage doesn't exceed 1600 watts. A nozzle that directs heat flow is also a nice feature.

The brush you use to style your hair is equally important. Find out what kind of brush your hair stylist uses. Some use ceramic brushes with nylon bristles, but many prefer straightening long hair with a wooden brush set with boar's hair. Natural boar's hair is better for your hair than nylon.

Finishing products

Finally, consider the finishing products you use at home. So many gels, mousses and creams are for sale that you might once again wonder about the difference between a $3 cream and a $25 gel. Look at the ingredients. Cheap products might show a series of unpronounceable chemicals up front, while the more expensive brands will list a series of natural oils, such as macadamia, almond and coconut oil. Organic products are generally more expensive; thus, products that use them typically cost more. Adding chemical-based ingredients to hair-care products tends to be less expensive for manufacturers than using natural ingredients.

Does expensive always equal beautiful salon hair? You be the judge. With a little experimentation, you should be able to find the right budget-friendly products that give your hair a salon look without taking half of your paycheck.

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