General Question

MindErrantry's avatar

Do shampoos and conditioners actually work?

Asked by MindErrantry (821points) August 11th, 2008

Their primary function of cleaning and getting out all those snarls, yes, that I know. But I have very long hair, which naturally keeps breaking and splitting, and I’m wondering about all those other things they’re supposed to do—like protect it from the above annoyances, make it shinier, etc. I haven’t noticed much difference whatever product(s) I use, and am beginning to lose faith. Should I?

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14 Answers

scamp's avatar

I never thought much about the use of products until I got ‘the good stuff’ froim my stylist. Now I know it does make a difference. It seems you really do get what you pay for in that department. I really love Paul Mitchell’s skinny serum. It’s 20 bucks for about 4 fl oz, but worth every penny. My hair is much more managable, shiny and less frizzy using it.

nikipedia's avatar

My stylist told me that the ones you get at the drugstore/grocery store are mostly dye, fragrance, wax, and other crappy filler stuff. I’ve been experimenting with a couple different salon-quality conditioners (still use the same crappy $1.99 shampoo) and I think it does make a difference, but some are a lot better than others.

@scamp beat me to it—I completely agree.

tedibear's avatar

I have found that a good conditioner – typically from a salon – makes the biggest difference. I use Suave or White Rain shampoo (Typically $1.79 to $2.99 at my grocery store.) and a $20 conditioner from my salon. When I use it, my hair is more managable and softer.

MindErrantry's avatar

Is there anything that’s especially good against splitting? That’s really my biggest problem (I may have lots of hair, but it’s more or less straight, thank goodness!)...

MissAnthrope's avatar

Cheap shampoos and conditioners (such as Suave) don’t give me the results I’m looking for. Often I find them very drying and they can make my hair frizzy. I don’t always buy salon stuff.. Paul Mitchell is really overpriced for what you get, in my opinion.. I have never been that impressed. I switch up between brands like Tresemme and Garnier Fructis. Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve found certain brands and types of products work really well.

One thing that will help against breakage is not brushing or combing your hair while wet. If you must, as I do (my hair looks crazy when towel-dried and uncombed), use some sort of detangler or other lubricant for your hair and use your fingers gently as a comb. I use Garnier Fructis anti-frizz serum, which helps keep the frizz down and also makes my hair easy to comb out with my fingers. You can also use a very wide-toothed comb.

You may want to try some sort of oil in your hair to keep in the moisture (particularly at the ends, since your hair is so long), which can help if dryness is making it look like you have split ends and such. You can use something store-bought, like VO5, or olive oil will work very well.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I can tell a difference between the different varieties of conditioner within one brand. The ‘normal hair’ (of pantene or herbal essences) one doesn’t seem to do anything for my hair, but the ‘extra moisture’ or ‘hyrdation’ (green in pantene, blue in herbal essences) one does make my hair shinier and a lot more managable. I used to have REALLY long hair too, and if for some reason i couldn’t use a hydration conditioner or masque i would hate my hair and everything about it until i could wash it again.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I use head and shoulders shampoo and pantene pro-v condition. I have long, wavy hair and I wondered if the conditioner really mattered. I tried a bit without it and my hair was awful: tangly and difficult to manage plus totally split-endsville. So then I tried a cheap conditioner. It was okay, but the pantene visibly improved the way my hair looked from bounce to frizz, so I went back to it and stuck to it.

I used to use pantene for shampoo too, but experimenting ended with the current setup as best.

My point? Yes, they do. Shampoo maybe not so much, but conditioner really does have a huge effect on your hair.

jlm11f's avatar

I used to use Garnier Fructis for the longest time but am going to be switching to Sunsilk’s new Hydra shampoo+conditioner soon. I like them both. My “trick” is to always get the one which is for “dry/damaged hair” or to hydrate like chica said. I actually fall in the normal hair category, but those ones aren’t good enough IMO. Also, I can’t afford to this every time but about once in 2 weeks, I put coconut hair oil about half an hour before washing my hair. The oil helps the hair be a lot softer and shinier and really has a lasting effect. I don’t think you need to go for the salon stuff, you just need to keep exploring different ones till you find what works for your hair type.

Pantene, for example, gives me a “burning” sensation so I don’t use it.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I also love the sunsilk one, PnL—the pink one, right?

jlm11f's avatar

yes! i recently tried a sample and loved the smell, and the shine it gave

scamp's avatar

Tresemme is a good shampoo, so AlenaD and I agree on that. i don’t know about other pul mitchell products, but the skinny serum works wonders on my very thick hard to manage hair. It makes it look “normal”. one word of caution if you try it tho. A little goes a long way. If you use too much, it makes your hair look greasy.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I think you pretty much have to trial-and-error it. There are some shampoos and conditioners that you get from regular stores that I absolutely hate and there are others that I love. While one product and brand might be good for one person, it may be horrible for you. You really do have to go by the type of hair you have. Thick, thin, dry, oily, etc. and try to find something that will help.

I have really thin, fine strands of hair, but I have so many of them that my hair is thick. I’ve found that the best brands for me are Pantene ProV, L’oreal and Dove. To make my hair shinier, Pantene definitely works the best for me. All three work wonders for making my hair soft, too.

marinelife's avatar

Also, with long hair, some splitting is inevitable. Minimize it by having regular trims, which will actually make you hair grow faster and longer. (I just cut mine short after several years. It was all the way down my back.) I was very happy there was enough of Locks of Love.

scamp's avatar

I just bought some Biolage shampoo at the salon. I’ll let you know after I’ve used it a few times if there is a big difference or not.

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