When you ask your client what shampoo they use on their immaculately cut and coloured hair, you might sometimes feel like crying at the answer!

Considering clients are willing to pay to have you make their hair look it’s absolute best, it can be surprising to hear how little thought they put into buying a good shampoo and conditioner to maintain it.

However, we do understand – lack of knowledge around shampoo ingredients, how they can damage the hair and the benefits of using a good salon shampoo all need to be highlighted to prove to clients that they really are worth the extra cost.

So, we’ve decided to step in and help! We’ve put together a cheat sheet of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to ‘shampoo nasties’, plus recommend our top salon shampoos you can retail to clients…

Click here to skip to our top salon shampoos!

Are Salon Shampoos Really Better for Hair?

When your salon retail shampoo costs ten-times the amount of one you can buy in a supermarket, you might find it hard to convince your clients it is worth the investment in professional hair care.

But, the truth is that salon shampoos really are better for the hair.

There are a number of ‘nasties’ that can be found in shampoos. These ingredients might be effective in cleaning the hair of dirt and oils, but can often lead to damage and scalp complaints if they are too strong.

Some of the main chemicals and ingredients now being avoided in salon shampoos are:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Silicones
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Polyethelene Glycol (PEG)
  • Mineral Oil
  • Parabens

Many professional salon shampoos are formulated without, or with less, of these chemicals, and more of the good stuff. Salon shampoos contain a bigger proportion of high-grade ingredients that protect and nourish the hair, and less of those that strip the hair of its natural strength.

So, let’s take a look at some of those unwanted shampoo ingredients to avoid and find out exactly what they do to the hair…

Why is Silicone Shampoo Bad?

Clients have probably heard about the use of silicones in shampoos, but they might not understand exactly why it isn’t the best ingredient to find in their shampoo.

Silicones are a type of mineral that are often used in shampoos and conditioners to make the hair feel soft and look shiny. While this does appear to tame frizz and split ends, this is only half the story!

As silicones act like a plastic, they coat the hair with a waterproof coating that actually keeps moisture out of your hair – not what we want for healthy locks! While hair may look shiny at first, with repeated use the silicone will build up on strands over time, resulting in brittleness that makes the hair look dull.

What is SLS Free Shampoo?

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, otherwise known as SLS, is a common ingredient found in shampoos, soaps and many other cosmetic products. They are just one of many types of sulfates that are often used to produce the foam in shampoo that achieves that ‘squeaky clean’ feeling.

However, while your hair might feel fresh after a wash, it might also feel dry and brittle. This is because along with that dirt, SLS will also strip away all of the natural oils in your hair. For those with sensitive skin, this can also irritate the scalp.

A shampoo that is free from sulfates (SLS) uses a milder cleanser that isn’t as harsh, resulting in healthier hair that can retain its own protective oils.

Why Is Sodium Chloride Bad in Shampoo?

Commonly known as salt, sodium chloride is often used as a thickening ingredient in shampoos so you get a manageable texture that can easily be distributed through the hair.

However, it does have a downside. Sodium chloride attracts moisture, so it can again leave your hair feeling dry – especially if you are already experiencing dryness and need as much moisture as you can get!

What is PEG in Shampoo?

PEG – full name ‘polyethylene glycol’ – is another chemical used to improve the texture of the shampoo. Again, this can be bad for hair, as this synthetic ingredient can be very harsh on the scalp and hair, leading to dryness.

Why is Mineral Oil Bad For Your Hair?

While there are plenty of oils which are moisturising and nourishing for your hair, don’t be fooled into thinking that mineral oils is one of them.

While it does act as a lubricant that can help detangle the hair and retain moisture inside it, mineral oil is sometimes used to ‘pad out’ the oil content of other, more expensive oils. So, if you shampoo says it contains argan oil, for example, but it is listed as one of the last ingredients in the list, it is likely mineral oil has been used as a cheaper way to dilute it.

Read more about the best oils for hair on our blog!

What is the Benefit of Paraben-Free Shampoo?

There has been much discussion around the use of parabens in hair and beauty products. While they have been used for many decades to preserve shampoos and prevent them from growing any unpleasant bacteria, recent studies have shown that they can cause skin irritation and even hormone imbalances.

For these reasons, many shampoo brands have chosen to go paraben-free, with plenty of consumers now preferring them.

The 5 Best Salon Shampoos to Recommend to Your Clients:

  1. OLAPLEX Shampoo and Conditioner
  2. Pureology
  3. Redken Extreme
  4. L’Oreal Serie Expert
  5. Bonacure

OLAPLEX No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo 250ml

OLAPLEX is a range that has achieved a cult status for strengthening hair by working at a molecular level to repair existing damage.

Not only this, but they also offer a shampoo that can either maintain salon results, or give any hair the care it deserves at home.

Along with being vegan and cruelty-free, OLAPLEX shampoo is free from some of the main ingredients to avoid, including parabens and sulfates.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About OLAPLEX

Pureology Shampoos

Pureology Hydrate Sheer Silicone -Free Shampoo 1L

Pureology was one of the first hair care brands to remove unnecessary chemicals and ingredients from their shampoos, which are now all vegan, cruelty free, paraben free and sulfate free. In addition the Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo is also free from silicones, while the whole range boasts their own unique anti-colour fading technology.

The result is a highly concentrated formula that not only provides better quality, but also surprising value for money that might help convince clients that it really is worth their money.

Related: Why Is Pureology So Good for Hair?

Redken Extreme Shampoo

Redken Extreme Shampoo 300ml

The Redken hair care brand dates back to the late 1950s when Hollywood actress, Paula Kent joined forces with her hairdresser to find products based on the real chemistry of hair. Their discovery was obviously a big one, as Redken still produces some of the best salon shampoos available!

Redken Extreme Shampoo is perfect for hair that has been damaged by shampoo ‘nasties’ in the past. It uses its own protein complex to rebuild damage and leave hair feeling healthy, shiny and smooth again.

L’Oreal Serie Expert Shampoo

L'Oreal Serie Expert NUTRIFIER Silicone free Shampoo 300ml

For clients who perhaps really don’t have the budget to splurge on a professional salon shampoo, the L’Oreal Serie Expert range is perfect. For those who are worried about a silicone build-up in their hair, the L’Oreal Serie Expert Nutrifier Shampoo is both silicone free and features moisturising coconut oil.

Alternatively, there is the sulphate-free L’Oreal Serie Expert VITAMINO Shampoo which is specially formulated to protect coloured hair with an anti-oxidant complex and UV filter.

Bonacure Hyaluronic Moisture Kick Micellar Shampoo

Another brilliant budget shampoo for clients, the Bonacure Hyaluronic Moisture Kick Micellar Shampoo features a silicone-free formula that helps prevent hair dehydrating by binding moisture to each strand. While gently cleansing the scalp, hair that is dry, brittle, coarse or slightly porous is revived, preventing future breakage by up to 95%.

Looking for more professional hair care supplies? Shop our leading range online at Salons Direct today!

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