Salon Vs. Retail Hair Products: What's Better? – L'ange Hair
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Hair Talk

Salon Vs. Retail Hair Products: What's Better?

It’s as inevitable as the sun coming up.

You’ve just enjoyed a session at your favorite salon...and you’re ready to face your week with hair that looks and feels its cleanest, shiniest, and most vibrant.

Then, your stylist asks you that familiar question:


Now, if you’re like a lot of women, even when you do find yourself curiously browsing those impressive (and expensive!) looking bottles and spray cans… may still be unsure about whether to take the salon styling product plunge.

After all, don’t the shampoos, conditioners, and sprays at the supermarket or drugstore do all the same stuff?

And for usually a lot less than what they charge for a salon-quality bottle of “the same product”?

“So many bottles...all those ‘trusted’ can you be sure what you’d buy at a salon is superior?”


To dig into this a little deeper, we asked some gifted professional hair stylists this question:

“What makes salon-grade styling products better than those retail brands?”

Their answers offer keen insights on the science and nutrition of hair…

...and they just might be the key to giving your tresses a new lease on life, health, and beauty!


Have you ever purchased an economy-size package of a favorite product because, that way, you get “more of what you need”?

The good news is, with a salon-quality styling product, you get “more of what you need”...without a bottle that takes up your entire countertop!

That’s a tip from Roman Kusayev, owner of Roman K Salon in New York City, whose celebrity clients include barrier-breaking auto racing champion Danica Patrick.

He says salon-grade products “are up to five times more concentrated in the active ingredients than similar products you will find in other retail stores.”

That means, while supermarket shampoos and sprays can be diluted by unnecessary perfumes, chemical fillers, and artificial colors…

...with a salon-grade product, you’re getting a stronger combination of essential minerals, oils, and cleansing agents your hair requires for maximum flexibility, body, and shine!1

“With a salon-quality styling product, every ounce of it is full of nothing but good things for your hair!”

So don’t let that deluxe-sized drugstore bottle fool you…

...because that salon product is going to give you much more of what your hair really needs to look and feel its best…

...and far, far less of what it doesn’t!


And that’s not all…

...because not only do salon-quality products pack a higher impact of styling and cleansing ingredients...

...they’re also less likely to contain components that can do your hair some serious damage!

For example, when you use a salon-grade shampoo, you might notice it produces a lot less bubbly foam than store-bought brands.

That’s because, according to thirty-year hairstyling veteran Barb Quinn, an advisor for global hairstylist network Cosmos C International, those mass-market shampoos are full of a particularly harsh type of salt known as sulfates.

The most common retail-brand shampoo sulfates include:

  • Sodium laurel sulfate
  • Ammonium laureth sulfate
  • Ammonium laurel sulfate2

And sure, says Quinn, sulfates “generate more lather, which leads many clients to think the product is doing a superior job of cleansing the hair.”

“Those suds may make you think the shampoo’s working harder than other brands...but looks can be deceiving!”

But the problem is, those sulfates are strip away your hair’s natural oils, which your strands need to maintain their luster and health.

Over time, Quinn says, enough of these sulfates can leave you with a dried-out scalp, dandruff, static issues...and even hair loss!3

In other words, that store-bought product you’re trusting with your hair...and maybe the hair of your loved ones and children...could actually be making it worse!

Salon-grade products, on the other hand, are formulated to eliminate those abrasive, potentially hair-harmful ingredients.

That’s why stylists trust them over more commonly available hair care products.

After all, keeping your hair shiny, bouncy, and strong is how they earn their for them, it literally pays to trust only the best!

And speaking of trust…


Of course, you may be wondering: What about those products at the drugstore...the ones with famous salon names on the labels?

Those have got to be exactly the same as what you’d buy at the salon itself...right?

Don’t be so sure.

You see, while salons customarily order the products they sell directly from the people that make them…

...big-box retailers, drugstores, and supermarkets often get their items from middle-man distributors.

And they often have little or no means to check how those distributors came by the products.

“You would never imagine where far too many styling product distributors REALLY get these products come from!”

“The fact of the matter is, they [the distributors] aren’t buying directly from us,” says Robert Cromeans, global artistic director for Paul Mitchell Salons.

So where, according to Cromeans, do those “salon” products on the retail shelves come from?

“It’s either counterfeit, tampered with, or black market,” he says.4

That’s right:

That “high-end, salon-quality” shampoo or spray you purchased from your local dollar store or supermarket?

It just might be an inferior rip-off of a salon-grade formula...or a fabricated package, with who knows what sort of product inside?

And even if it is the salon’s original formula, says Kusayev, that’s no guarantee you’re getting it at optimum strength.

He mentions that before they arrive on shelves, retail styling products are often stored at improper temperatures. This can weaken the ingredients...meaning you pay the same price for a less potent and effective product.

“There is also a big operation of fraud,” adds Kusayev, “where products are being diluted.”

That means “salon-strength” conditioner or texturizing spray may indeed be specially give you wishy-washy, unsatisfying results!

Your best option, says Kusayev, is to always purchase your products from the makers directly, via their own shops or the manufacturer’s website.

That way, you know the products you’re ordering are designed for one thing only:

To maximize your hair’s strength, vitality, and style!


So, the next time your stylist asks what products you need, just remember:

Asking that question is all part of the job…

...and the job is to make sure you spend every day loving the carefree confidence you get from your hair.

When it comes to cleansing, conditioning, and style, your hair always deserves the very best…

...and any stylist will tell you, that’s just what true salon-grade styling products are designed to deliver...every time!



  1. Farah, Alexis. “Should You Spring for Pricey Hair Salon Products-or Are They a Rip-Off?”Women's Health, Women's Health, 25 May 2018,
  1. “Your Shopping Bag Is Currently Empty.” The LAYER Are You Using The Right Shampoo For Your Hair Comments,
  1. ““Hair Products: Professional vs. Store Brand.” Sola Salon Studios,
  1. Walsh, Jonathan. “Retail vs. Salon: Some Products Not What They Seem, Including Test on Paul Mitchell Shampoo.” newsnet5, 21 Nov. 2013,


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