Happy Sunday folks,
I hope you are making the most of this gorgeous weather we are still benefitting from over here in the UK, So while you sit enjoying the sun or in the shade enjoying the heat I have an interesting one for you all today. We're going to look at if there is a difference between salon professional and non-salon professional, If there is what it is and why it's of importance.
In short, I'm sorry to break this to you guys but yes, yes there is a HUGE difference when talking shop brought products compared to salon professional ranges.
So lets get to it, what are the differences?
This week we are only going to scrape the surface, so to speak, when it comes to talking about salon professional hair-care vs buying your favourites from the high-street.
I feel it is important to know what you are using a why you are using it.
The biggest thing you need to remember is your hair is not a living organism, once it has left your scalp it is dead, it degrades and is unable to repair, fix or rebuild itself. So how you treat it really has a massive effect on it’s health and condition. I hope that following this you will make much better hair care choices.
There are 3 main differences all have a massive effect on the health and condition of your hair as well as colour and cut longevity.
#1 : PH levels
I cannot stress the importance of this enough! This is one of THE most important factors.
Do you remember at school playing with the litmus paper and measuring the PH of different items? The colours changed depending on it's level and whether it was more acidic or alkali? Well believe it or not your stylist is also a scientist in many ways. During our training this is something that is mentioned but sadly it's not really something that is focussed on especially not to the extent it should be, and it's only later in our careers that we learn the real significance of it.
So all salon professional ranges will be PH balanced, At least all the ranges I have used over the years. Perfected to match and work with your hairs natural make-up and PH levels.
High-street brands are rarely if at all ever PH balanced and never actually display the PH so you don't actually know either way, their PH is usually way above that of what a healthy hair range should be. Prolonged exposure to higher PH levels will cause the hair to become dry, brittle, tangle more, split quicker and colours will fade quicker. Styles won't hold and hair will be fluffy, frizzy, and/or fuzzy.
For the tech savvy:
The effect it has on the hair: The PH level of a product has the ability to open and close your hairs cuticle layers. The higher the PH will open them and the lower the PH will close them.
These layers are the very outer layer of your hair strand and you have between 3-7 layers on average (white hairs have up-to 14 layers) and this is your protective layer of the hair.
They are responsible for keeping everything inside your hair inside it and everything from the outside world effecting the internal make-up of your hair, it is also responsible for your hairs shine factor, in order for them to do their job they need to be closed, smooth, flat and healthy.
Why this matters: OK so now you understand the purpose of the outer layer, if the PH is above that of a natural healthy hair it swells the hair opening those cuticle layers, this now means that they're unable to do their job effectively, elements from the outside world can now attack and effect your internal hair structure, degrading it's health. As the layers are raised your hair is more likely to tangle and damage is caused due to friction from them rubbing against one another which will begin to weaken, snap and fray them. Your hair would start to appear dull and over a short period of time lifeless, your colour will fade quicker (usually toward your ends)
How does this effect your colour?: If you have your hair coloured, even the high-street colour protect shampoos are usually high in PH level so it opens your cuticle and allows your beautiful colour to come out and protects it down the sink. Not in your hair. So your colour will fade much quicker.
Salon professional colour protect shampoos are within the healthy hair range but usually on the lower side as we have to raise those cuticle layer to get the colour inside and then after we close them back down to lock the colour in place. Increasing the longevity of your colour.
#2 : Surfactants and cleansing agents
This is also an important factor as it effects the condition of your hair.
Most salon professional ranges use milder cleansing agents as they are much kinder and softer on your hair whilst cleansing it.
These ingredients cost more to use so are rarely found in high-street ranges or if they are they are of a very low quantity due to their manufacturing costs needing to be very low for a high profit margin to be made in high-street shops. The harsher the cleansing agent the more it takes from your hair, they can be abrasive damaging your cuticle layers and removing moisture levels and the ability for your hair to retain those important moisture levels.
For the tech savvy:
What do they do: Surfactants are used to cleanse the hair, They are able to separate both dirt and oil from your hair, and they are able to do this brilliantly, so it's very common to find them in pretty much any cleansing product you may own. They are also responsible for the lather created when cleaning your hair. The more they lather does not mean the cleaner it is unfortunately, even though it usually feels that way. The kinder surfactants usually lather less than the harsher ones but this is not always the case.
Why does this matter: Milder cleansing agents are kinder to the hairs delicate and complex make up, Shampoo's are usually on the higher side of the natural PH level to allow the cleansing agents to properly cleanse our hair from any dirt, grease and product build up on the hair.
How does this effect your colour longevity: There is a rumour floating around in the wild about sulphate free shampoo's being better for your colours longevity, This is not exactly true. In some cases it is, those that use harsh surfactants and high PH levels will fade your colour quicker as damaged hair will not hold a colour the same as open cuticles cant stop it escaping. Mild and gentle surfactants have been scientifically proven to NOT have a negative effect on the hair. It all comes down to how well they cleanse whilst having as little to no negative impact on your hair and scalp. Most ranges (both salon professional and non-salon professional) will have moisturising compounds in their shampoo to replace any lost moisture created by the surfactant. Although the salon professional will do it better and more effectively by replacing what the hair actually needs at higher quality and quantities.
#3 : Silicone
This is another important ingredient which is found mainly in your conditioner.
Salon professional ranges will use higher quality silicones that are water soluble and again as the cost is much higher to use them you will find the high street brands opt to use lower quality versions, which are more plastic and wax based, as they are not water soluble they build up and suffocate the hair. Think of wrapping your hair in cling film. This will mean the hair may feel soft and shiny but underneath it will be very dry and brittle. thinning towards the ends even breaking off.
For the tech savvy:
What do they do: This man-made ingredient which stops the hair attracting moisture, Think anti-frizz. It is used to help create a shine, softness and silkiness to the hair. The higher the quality used the more water soluble it becomes meaning it is completely removed on every wash and will not build up unlike the cheaper versions which cling to the hair and build up which will suffocate the hair. Over time due to build up hair becomes dull and heavy, it also becomes brittle and fragile as the cheaper silicone has been building up and suffocating the hair shaft.
Why does this matter: Well the cheaper grade silocone that builds up on the hair is usually more of a plastic / wax material which will melt so not only does it cling to your hair but when you add heat it will melt, welding it to your hair.
How does this effect your colour: As cheaper grades cling to the hair it can cause a barrier to your colour meaning your colour may not take well or be as desired, This is not your stylists fault but the product line in which you're using and in some cases the final colour results may be patchy, not as vibrant or light as first hoped. Many salons will perform a deep cleanse on your hair prior to your colour service to ensure as much build up is removed and your colour result will be the best that they can be.
So there you have it, The main differences between salon professional and non - salon professional and what effect that has on your hair, your salon services and the longevity of your chemical services.
In short the salon professional brands will use higher quality ingredients which will not build up on the hair and will be designed to work with your hair cleansing and conditioning as needed. Non - salon professional will use the basics, much lower quality ingredients which have a negative effect on your hair over time.
YOU ARE DESCRIBING MY HAIR! HOW CAN I FIX THIS?
The best thing to do is speak to your stylist about what they would recommend for your hair type, colour and style. My chosen range is Joico, I recommend Joico because of their ability to rebuild, restrengthen and reconstruct hair better than any other range on the market and have been doing this for over 40 years now. They are the leaders in the hair reconstruction and hair-care industry.
If your hair is showing signs of being distressed and is coloured their K-pak series helps repair whilst protecting your colour. If you do not have your hair coloured they also have a K-pak for natural hair or you may need their moisture recover series. It all depends on what your hair needs and is missing with this range so you really do need to speak to a professional to ensure you use the best for your hair.
Your stylist is there for you, They will recommend products that they believe to be the best for your hair type and needs. This will benefit both of you as you will be using a range that will look after your hair and your chemical services that have been performed, as you are looking after your hair your stylist will be able to get the best version of any possible outcome for you, Blondes will be lighter, cleaner and more even, Vibrant colours will be more vibrant, Colour corrections will have the best possible outcome. Better colour results all round, longer lasting colour services, longer lasting styles, Healthier hair to work on so any chemical service will take evenly from root to tip. And your final results will be predicable.
Healthy hair is naturally shiny, vibrant and radiant, It holds colours and chemical services for longer, it's more manageable, softer, silkier, bouncier and holds a style for longer.
All in all spending those extra few pennies are 100% worth every penny and if that didn't sway you;
Higher quality products found in salon only ranges are higher concentrated so you only need the smallest amount. I advise my salon guests should be able to get their bottle to last around 3-4 months for shampoo and double that for their conditioner, thats only 4 shampoos and 2 conditioners per year! Styling products should last anything from 2-18 months depending on what it is, so actually pound for pound they cost much less than those found on the high-street, yet they are 100 times better for your hair and your salon services.
So there you have it. The 3 main differences between salon professional vs non-salon professional ranges and I hope you enjoyed reading about them as much as I enjoyed writing about them for you.
Until next time : Happy hair day
Nicola Iannetta x
Hi there and welcome to The Hairy Truths.