Shampoo user trial

One of the most expensive brands on test rated worst overall with triallists. So think twice before purchasing your 'salon style' shampoo.
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It’s not uncommon to see bottles of shampoo in the supermarket for as much as $16, as more and more “specialist” or “salon” offerings appear on the shelves.

These products usually come in beautiful packaging and smell great, but does the bigger price tag actually mean a better performance? We trialled 11 popular brands of shampoo at a range of price points.

The ‘salon-style’ con

The experts we spoke to say there isn’t a huge amount of difference between the high-priced products and the cheapies; it all comes down to personal preference.

We asked trichologist (trichology being the scientific study of the hair and scalp) David Salinger to take a look at the ingredients of our top-rating Dove product and our lowest-rating product from Toni & Guy.

He says there is little discernible difference between the ingredient lists, which is generally the case for shampoos. “All shampoos are detergents (cleansing agents). The more expensive ones usually just have better perfume and packaging and more marketing.”

Two of our What Not to Buy shampoos were also among the most expensive on trial. Charles Worthington clocks in at a pricey $6 per 100mL, while the worst-rated shampoo on test, from well-known international hairdressing chain, Toni & Guy, clocks in at $5.20 per 100mL. For products that don’t rate well, that’s a lot of extra dollars down your shower drain.

CHOICE verdict 

Don’t be upsold at your hairdresser’s or the supermarket; despite the marketing hype, a shampoo’s primary purpose is to clean your hair and scalp. Beyond that, it’s a case of personal preference for consistency and fragrance.

Our trial certainly proves price is no indication of quality or popularity. To keep your hair in good condition, pay for regular visits to your hairdresser with the money you’ll save using a cheaper shampoo. A healthy, balanced diet incorporating plenty of iron, proteins and vitamins is also essential for a healthy mane.



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