It’s obvious that high-quality shampoos cost more than the cheap brands, but some may wonder if they are really worth the price. While some may argue that high-quality shampoos only cost more for the name and the marketing, it’s actually the ingredients that make the biggest difference. Most high-quality shampoos’ inclusion — or omission — of certain important ingredients makes them superior to the cheap brands.
The Surfactant Matters
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The ingredient listed after water is typically the surfactant, which is what cleans your hair. Most shampoos typically have a surfactant, but the type is what matters. More economical shampoos usually use an ammonia-based surfactant, which is damaging to the hair. Ammonia often strips the hair of its color, which is bad news if you spend a lot of money coloring your hair. If you use box dye, it’s even worse for your hair, since box dye is damaging as well. High-quality shampoos use a sodium surfactant or no sulfates at all.
High-quality ingredients are really what makes high-quality shampoos stand out from their less expensive counterparts. Keratin, jojoba oil, and argan oil can all make a real difference in your hair, but it’s the amount that differentiates it. If you want shiny, healthy hair, you need to buy shampoos that include proteins and oils, but they should also be at the top of the ingredient list. The lower they are on the list, the smaller their amount, reducing their effect on your hair. When you learn about the ingredients in botanic shampoos, you understand why they are important.
The Less Water the Better
Most expensive brands are less diluted than the cheaper brands. Check the ingredient list on your shampoo or conditioner. If their first ingredient is water, your shampoo and conditioner are more diluted. Although such a product is more economical, you’re going to have to use more of it to get the same effect as its more expensive counterpart. Because most high-end shampoos and conditioners are more concentrated, you don’t have to use as much to get the result you want. You only have to use a small amount of higher-end products, which means they will last longer than the cheap stuff.
Cationic Surfactants in Conditioners
Once you are out of the shower, the last thing you want to do is spend hours trying to untangle your hair. Wet hair is notorious for being difficult to untangle, and trying to brush out tangles in your hair causes extra damage. The difference between cheaper and more expensive conditioners lies in the cationic surfactants found in more expensive conditioners. This ingredient helps condition the cuticle and untangle the hair, making it much more healthy and manageable after your shower.
Silicones in Conditioners
Silicones are typically what make your hair feel healthy and smooth after your hair is dry. These silicones are particularly important in conditioners to help prevent damage to your hair. Most cheaper brands contain about 1 percent silicone, while the most expensive brands include about 2 percent silicone. Although that might not seem like a big difference, it’s fairly noticeable when you are trying to style your hair, as well as in your hair’s overall appearance once it is dry.
Many of the cheaper drugstore brands have alcohol in their ingredient list. Alcohol dries out just about everything it touches. Some types of products need alcohol to help with the formula, but most of those products you should avoid. More expensive hair products don’t have alcohol, which means they’re not going to dry out your hair. Even if your hair is naturally oily, you don’t want to strip all the moisture out of your hair. Your hair will look dull, and your scalp will still produce oil. Buy better brands that avoid or limit the amount of alcohol in the product.
Although it may be tempting just to use the cheap brands on your hair, you would really be doing yourself a disservice. High-quality brands tend to last longer since the product is less diluted. You will also save time and energy styling your hair. Also, if you color your hair, high-quality shampoos and conditioners are an investment in making your color last.