Hair-Care Tips

Consider This Proof Drugstore Shampoo Is Just as Good as Salon Brands

Allie Flinn

Photo: Getty Images/ Westend61
We finally have some clarity in the battle of drugstore vs salon shampoo thanks to Muneeb Shah, DO (aka @dermdoctor), a dermatology resident at Campbell University in North Carolina. He recently dropped some major knowledge on the topic in a 38-second TikTok.

See, he read the labels on hundreds of shampoo bottles and found that most of the ingredient lists are similar—regardless of if the shampoo was from the drugstore or a salon brand. "Now, the ingredient list isn't everything," he says. Other factors, like the formulation, also matter. But Dr. Shah says he relies on ingredient lists to see if a product is safe and effective.

@dermdoctorIs more expensive better? #dermdoctor #shampoo #dermatologist #tresemmepartner @tresemme #haircare♬ Change My Mind - Clutch

Okay, so if drugstore shampoos use similar quality ingredients as salon brands, then why do they cost so much less? The answer is actually pretty simple: "It's because bulk quantity orders bring the price of ingredients down," Dr. Shah explains.

Right about now, you may be wondering the same question a commenter left on the video: Aren’t the ingredients in professional shampoos are more concentrated, while there are a lot of fillers in drugstore shampoos? "In some cases that's true, but not always," Dr. Shah responds. "I work with a lot of product formulators and contract manufacturers, many come from the same source!"

Now, this isn't to say that there aren't professional products worth the higher cost, as Dr. Shah himself notes. "Is Olaplex shampoo and conditioner worth the price?" one person asks in the comments. Dr. Shah says (drumroll please) yes.

Moral of the story: "More expensive doesn't always mean better for your hair," Dr. Shah says.

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