Store Vs. Salon…Project Garnier

For all your beauty advice…

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog announcing my 2 week run on store-bought shampoo. (See Store vs. Salon for all the details) A lot of my clients are always asking me if there really is a difference between the affordable hair care you can buy at the store and the pricier stuff you can only buy at salons. I’ve used salon shampoo, conditioner, and styling products for years so I thought this was a good project to take on. I decided to give it a two-week run and see how I felt about store-bought shampoo. Here is what I bought and here are my thoughts on “Project Garnier”.

After a lot of browsing, I finally decided on the Garnier Fructis Body Boost line. (Again, see Store vs. Salon for how this came about) For 2 weeks straight I shampoo-ed, conditioned, and styled with everything in this line. Upon first use, this wasn’t a bad product. I thought it smelled really nice and it lathered up great! I absolutely love lathering up in the shower. Studies have shown that the lathering agent used in shampoo is not good for your hair at all. You should not hear your hair squeak when you are rinsing your shampoo, that means the natural oils are being stripped off your hair shaft and it’s causing damage. I know this…I have been taught this…I do not care to listen to this. I like suds-the more the better. (I think I just heard one of my beauty school instructors gasp!) The conditioner was nice, good at detangling and not too heavy. After my shower, I applied the Volumizing Gel. The gel in this line is very thick, so a little goes a long way. I will probably have this tube of hair gel for the rest of my life! After the gel, and right before styling, I applied the Root Booster. I styled my hair just like I do every day, I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. The result? Well, for day one I thought: “it’s only ok”. My hair felt clean so that was a good sign, but as for volume? None. It actually fell flat not long after I styled.

The second day I followed the same regime; I didn’t change anything from day one. After I was done styling, I noticed my hair was slightly fly-away and the texture of my hair was strangely soft. The only way I can describe this is it felt like there was a fine layer of “ick” coating my hair. Starting to wonder if I can really continue this for the 2 weeks I have committed myself to.

The third day I had a revelation! I hate this Volumizing Gel…I physically hate it!! It is so thick that just putting this crap into my hands before I work it into my hair has me on the verge of gagging. Maybe it’s just me? Personally, I don’t like a lot of product on my hair at all. The stylists that have gotten their hands on my hair think just because it’s thick, it needs tons of product. I remember one stylist putting styling mousse into her hand to apply to my hair and she literally filled her entire palm about 3 inches high with that stuff and then put it on me. I went home and washed it immediately. This gel did nothing for me…except make me cringe.

Five days into this project and I had the insane idea to go ahead and put the cheapest hair color I could find on my hair to see if it was a good product. (See Store Vs. Salon…Haircolor for that fiasco!) I damaged my hair and I was wondering if the conditioner in this line would be enough moisture for my now frizzy ‘do. No, it was not. Back to the store I went to find a good deep conditioner. I decided at this point that I had it with store product, so I went to the beauty supply to pick up a good salon quality deep conditioner and get my hair back in shape. The place was really crowded for some reason and I didn’t want to wait in line for one item so I put it back. I decided to stay committed to this project and I found a deep conditioner made by Garnier in their Sleek & Shine line. It’s a 3 minute hair mask for dry and damaged hair. I used this 3 minute hair mask every day until the end of my project. It helped quite a bit with the frizzies, so that was a good thing.

Day 15, the day after “Project Garnier” was over, I went back to my salon shampoo. I missed it! I will keep the Garnier shampoo and conditioner as a back-up in my shower, but I won’t be using it every day. My overall thought? It wasn’t bad. It didn’t cause my hair any damage or do anything fantastic to it, either. I think the main thing was I just hated the gel. And the Root Boost I mentioned earlier? Love it! I will definitely hold on to that one. It’s great if you apply it when your hair is about halfway dry. Pick up random sections of your hair on the top of your head and spray this product at the roots, you’ll notice good volume but your hair won’t feel coated. I admit I stopped using the gel after the first week, I hated it that much.

So, in this installment of Store Vs. Salon…I’ll say it’s a tie. Except for that gel. Anyone who wants to take it off my hands, I will happily give it to you. My personal preference is what I know, so I prefer salon brands, but when my clients ask me what I think of store brands and if they are any good, I’ll finally have an answer…and a good story.

You’ve Been Beautified!