How To Afford Salon-Quality Shampoo On a Budget

affording salon shampoo

Salon-quality shampoo can be found at many different price points, and buying in bulk can save you even more.

As a professional stylist, I tend to lean toward shampoo lines that I have used in the salon. However, these brands aren’t just available to hair stylists. More professional hair care lines are selling shampoo and other products to the public. I understand that not everyone can afford salon products all the time, so I’ve found a few ways to make professional-quality shampoo a little bit cheaper and more accessible.

Many hair care companies tier products much like fashion. Fashion designers will have haute couture as the top tier, then a ready-to-wear line as the middle tier, and finally a lower-priced product available for a limited time (Think of Missoni doing Target and Vera Wang designing for Kohl.).

Shampoo companies do this, too. L’Oreal has three tiers: Kerastase is the high-end line, L’Oreal Serie is the middle line and Ever (EverPure, EverStong, EverSleek) is the drugstore brand. I really like L’Oreal because of the wide range of shampoo for different hair care needs and price points.

Bigger is Better

I often find that you can get a better deal by buying a larger size. Since shampoo doesn’t spoil, it has a fairly long shelf life. If you’ve found a shampoo that you love, try to stock up and buy the largest bottle available. Most shampoos come in liters (33.8 oz).

I did a price comparison with Nexxus Therappe Moisturizing Shampoo (90/100 Viewpoints score). The liter sells for $18.99, or 56 cents per ounce. The 13.5 oz. bottle sells for $9.99, or 74 cents per ounce. So the liter is definitely a better deal with a difference of 18 cents per ounce. When you’re going through several bottles of shampoo a year that is real money.

I’m not saying the smaller sizes aren’t good, but it just means that you are going to spend a few pennies more per ounce. Here are some other professional quality shampoos I think are a good deal – especially when you’re buying the liter size.

Matrix Biolage Color Care Shampoo

Matrix Biolage Color Care Shampoo

Matrix Biolage Color Care Shampoo (94/100)

$20.79 for 33.8 oz, or 62 cents per ounce.

“I got lots of compliments about how shiny my hair was, and my hairdresser was impressed that my color had lasted long without fading. … My hair is about shoulder length, maybe a little longer, and a liter of shampoo will last me months, so this was a great investment!” – TinaT, Reviewer since 2008

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Shampoo

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Shampoo

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Shampoo (78/100)

$24.79 for 33.8 oz, or 73 cents per ounce.

“I love how I can get Paul Mitchell products such as the Awapuhi shampoo in a variety of sizes. I really like the one liter bottles and you can find Paul Mitchell products in most hair care salons and beauty supply stores.”—lillioness, Reviewer since 2009

If price has been holding you back from purchasing higher-quality shampoo and hair products, I recommend checking out your beauty-supply store for the liter-size bottles. The cost savings may be enough for you to upgrade. And if you do decide to buy liters, you might want to look for a pump. It is a lot more user friendly in the shower.

What’s your favorite shampoo? Write a Viewpoints review to let us know.

Editor’s note: If you have professional experience with hair care products, Viewpoints is recruiting experts in priority product categories to write for our blog. Check out this overview of the Viewpoints Category Expert Program, including qualifications, compensation and how to apply.

Rachel Leipzig Rachel Leipzig (30 Posts)

Rachel Leipzig has been styling hair in Chicago for 15 years, after relocating from New York City and opening a salon on Oak Street on Chicago’s Gold Coast. She is currently working at Sho Studio in Chicago. A specialist in makeovers, her television appearances include Oprah, ABC, and FOX. Leipzig’s work has also been featured in Allure, Chicago Social and Today’s Chicago Woman magazines.