I’m sure that experiences we had with shampoos depended strongly on time when and places where each of us was growing up.
In my childhood, it was a common knowledge that you shouldn’t wash your hair too often; and thinking now about the quality of hair products we had, I’m not surprised. I suspect that a cold climate and absence of hair driers contributed to that as well.
In decades and continents that passed since, the quality of shampoos I used progressively improved. Looking back, I realize that I liked all products that I used while I used them. And every time after years of sticking to the same variety, I would switch to something else. Usually more expensive.
I went from L’Oreal and Herbal Essence to Paul Mitchel and Biolage. The first really expensive (at least in my universe) shampoo was Fekkai Full Blown Volume Shampoo. I could swear my hair got more volume and became more manageable once I braved the expense. I loved and used it for years… until it had been reformulated. I don’t know what exactly the brand did, for all I know it could have been done to save dolphins or reduce the greenhouse effect. But I could tell that something had changed. Had they discontinued “my” shampoo and released another one under a different name, I could have given it a chance. But they hadn’t. So, I moved on.
For the last 7 years I’ve been using Living Proof Full Shampoo (and conditioner). It does everything I expect from it. I like it and still manage to buy 1 liter bottles online with a nice discount – so, while still steep, the price doesn’t feel completely unapproachable.
And then I made a mistake: I got curious about “what is out there.” Since I wasn’t paying salon prices for either haircuts or coloring, it felt only right to experiment with some luxury shampoos… I shouldn’t have. I hoped that I would try the ridiculously expensive Oribe shampoo and wouldn’t find it special in any way.
I do not think that Oribe’s Gold Lust Repair and Restore Shampoo makes my hair any healthier than the Living Proof’s shampoo does. But I like more how my hair looks when I use it. Is it really so, or is it the same effect as with drinking wine while knowing that it’s expensive? I don’t know and, same as with wine, won’t even pretend that I’m sure that in blind tasting I would necessarily tell them apart. But I enjoy using it, it feels special, and I know that now I don’t want not to have it in my shower (of course, as long as I can afford it). I still plan to alternate it with my Living Proof shampoo though.
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There is a moral to this story: if you are happy with shampoo you currently use, unless you have money burning your pocket, don’t go to the next price level: it’s very hard to go back. If you do not like your current product, try finding something you like more in the same price range first. And whatever shampoo you end up using on a permanent basis, try to buy the largest bottle available and, whenever possible, with a discount.
Images: my own