Every mid to upper market shampoo shop I have stepped into has its own army of shop assistants trained to deliver the “supermarket products are crap” speech incredibly convincingly. They are so convincing, that I now have about 50 Litres of overpriced salon products stacked up in my bathroom.
Sometimes I do ponder at the validity of these claims.
A recent survey made it to the news today where consumers were found to prefer cheap supermarket shampoo to expensive salon stuff. They have found the top 3 supermarket shampoos preferred by 500 Choice Magazine home testers who have trialed up to 41 unlabeled shampoos. These are:
1. Frutrience Raspberry and Prink Grapefruit Enriched
2. Dove Revitalizing Shampoo
3. Garnier Fructis Fortifying Shampoo
These results took me by surprise, as I have tried all of the above shampoos and have found the results ranged from mediocre (Dove) to disastrous (I swore off Garnier for life). Having another read of the report, it turns out that the survey only offered to test on people with “normal” hair and have asked them to rate the shampoo by overall performance, fragrance, and clean-feel performance.
Now, I can see some things wrong with this study:
1. Fragrance is not good for your hair. The reason that fragrance is factored into the study as a measure of performance is ridiculous.
2. The report appears to only factor in the immediate reaction of these consumers, without documenting the long term effects of these products (which has the potential to cause shampoo build-up over time).
3. The uniform measurement benchmarks “overall performance” and “clean-feel performance” are too vague and unreliable. The everyday users tested might all have different expectations and interpretations of these terms. For example, a shampoo which harshly strips your hair of its natural oils might have scored highly in the “clean-feel” category.
4. The testers all trialed the “normal” hair range for these shampoos. This will either imply they all had normal, non-problematic hair, and/or they have trialed a product not suited to their hair type. This will obviously cause a major inconsistency with this survey. In addition, the consumers with hair problems (ie. NOT normal hair) are the ones most likely to purchase and benefit from salon products which target these problems. So a study comparing ‘normal’ shampoos is unlikely to help them.
As you can see, I am finding it very difficult to take this study seriously. It looks like just another gimmick to me. I mean, there is a reason people keep going back to those salon products: because they work better than Unilever soap.
I am more than happy to try and use cheaper products if they DO end up performing better than the overpriced ones. But until somebody produces a plausible and sufficiently scientific survey to prove it, I’m sticking to my salon babies.