QALI Diaries

But What's Wrong With $5 Shampoo?

But What's Wrong With $5 Shampoo?

A repairing shampoo can be bought at a drugstore for $5, so why is it so much more in a salon? Well, it all comes down to the quality of ingredients and amount of fillers used. Salon shampoos contain a higher concentration of the ingredients you want, and less filler. Drugstore products are typically full of water to bulk up the bottle and make you believe you’re getting a better value. Professional products, although in smaller bottles, will last you longer because it takes half the amount of product to achieve the same result. Less is more when it comes to a salon shampoo! 

All too often I hear clients raving about *insert drugstore brand here* because it makes their hair so shiny! Unfortunately, that shine is wax and it’s suffocating your hair. Try scraping a small section of your hair with scissors or a knife and watch the flakes of wax buildup fly! (*Make sure to listen closely for the sound of your hair gasping for air)

The shine and manageability that *cough* Pantene brings may be nice in the beginning, but eventually you’ll notice your hair feeling heavy and dry. After time, waxes build up around the hair cuticle and blocks moisture from entering. Suddenly your hydrating shampoo stops hydrating and you’re searching for something else to help your sad hair. Another drugstore shampoo is bought, more wax buildup is created, and the cycle continues. Wax and silicone is extremely difficult to strip off of hair, so when you go to a salon to buy a professional shampoo, consider booking in for a clarifying treatment.  

So What Are Sulfates?

You may have heard the word “sulfate” being thrown around. Sulfates are harsh cleansers and can pull dye out of your hair over time. If you’re prepared to invest $300 on a balayage, try to commit to spending an extra $50-$80 on shampoo and conditioner to protect it. With that being said, not all professional shampoos are created the same. Do your research on ingredients and choose carefully.

I’m blabbing on and on about sulfates, but what exactly are they?

  • A sulfate is a chemical used in cleaning agents like household cleaners and detergents. They’re pretty easy to spot in a list of ingredients because sulfate is in the name, most commonly listed as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
  • Sulfates are what makes the shampoo lather, so you feel like your hair and scalp are getting a more thorough cleansing. Trust me, you don’t need a thick lather and a tub full of bubbles for your hair to truly be clean. You want to avoid that squeaky clean feeling. As soon as your hair squeaks, you’ve stripped out all the natural oils your scalp produces to keep hair healthy, and even the best conditioner won’t be able to help.
  • People with fine, dry, or damaged hair need to avoid sulfates because they may only make the problem worse and heighten the chances of breakage and frizz.
  • Sulfates may also trigger allergies, irritate sensitive skin, and bring out rosacea. If you’re noticing any symptoms, start looking for a sulfate free shampoo ASAP!

Now Let's Talk About Parabens 

Since I have you here, let’s talk about parabens as well. Many brands are now advertising as being paraben-free because of the health risks associated with them.

  • A paraben is a preservative, which extends the shelf life of products. They’re found in 90% of grocery store items, from processed food, to medicine, to health and beauty products.
  • Parabens are also starting to enter the environment through sewage systems and are being found in marine mammals. Not only do we ingest parabens through food, but they also are absorbed through our skin.
  • There are 5 main types, all with the suffix “paraben”, so like sulfates, are easy to spot in ingredients. Parabens aren’t classified as carcinogenic themselves, but mimic estrogen in our bodies and in large doses can trigger breast cell division, causing tumours.
  • It’s nearly impossible to cut items containing parabens out of our lives but you can limit them, and beauty products are a great place to start! 

Here at QALI, all our products are sulfate, paraben, gluten, and filler free. We only carry products that are cruelty free as well (that's a whole other blog post!). You can find some of our favourites here

Everything was hand chosen by our staff, and a lot of thought and consideration went into the product lines we carry. Next time you’re in the market for a new shampoo, think about buying from a local salon. Not only will your hair thank you, but you’re supporting small business and employees from your community!


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