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Suave Professionals vs. Salon Brand Shampoo - which is better?

Updated on November 22, 2013

I was a Shampoo Snob - Salon Brands Only!

I like my hair. It is one of my better physical attributes. My hair does not love me back. It is very fussy. There is a thin line between the right hair products and the wrong ones, between not enough and too much.

It took me years to find hair products that made my hair happy. I went through dozens of brands from stores and salons.

The winners turned out to be salon brands – Nexxus and Aveda are the top two. That led to very happy hair and an unhappy wallet. A large bottle of Aveda shampoo was running me $27!

Despite the cost, I kept using the salon brands because they really did work better for me. I was also using a lot less of them than the other brands so I was purchasing less – though not enough to make up the cost. Aveda has the extra bonus of being plant based and environmentally conscious.

No Money, No Salon Brand, No Happy Hair

Money, or lack of it, is a powerful motivator. When I lost my job, something had to go. Unfortunately, the bills were not going anywhere. Clothes and shoes went first. No big deal considering I no longer had a job to wear them to. Social outings were cut back. Then (gasp) I cut back on beauty products. No more $27 shampoo!

I switched to the drug store brands.

This made my wallet happy, but not my hair. I tried Garnier, John Frieda, Pantene, Infusium 23, and more. They all made my hair very unhappy – dry, hard to style, more split ends.

I am not saying that these cheaper brands are bad. I have a friend that loves Pantene and her hair is amazing. They just weren’t working for me.

Suave to the Rescue!

One day well into my no Salon Brand experience, I went to my usual Salon to get my hair cut. Because I did not have an appointment, I ended up with a new stylist. She is my hair guru! She picked up on every little detail of my hair and gave me amazing tips.

When I mentioned that my hair was suffering because I had to cut out Salon brand shampoo, she shocked me my recommending Suave. To me Suave was always the bottom of the heap. It always destroyed my hair. She has many clients that swear by the Suave Professionals line of hair products. Then she cautioned to steer clear of the Suave products in the clear bottles – the old suave.

Happy Hair
Happy Hair | Source

Happy Hair and Happy Wallet

I went to the store and bought some Suave – under $3 a bottle! I love it. It is so much better than any of the drug store brands I have tried. Suave Professionals is just as good as the salon brands I love! The different kinds even say on the bottle which salon brand they are similar to. That makes the switch for folks like me super simple.

I have been using Suave Professionals for nearly a year with no complaints. Not surprisingly, the one I like the most is the kind that says "Compare to Nexxus".

What do the others say?

My hair looks great. I think so. Others have said so.

My switch to Suave Professionals is a success!

I poked around online to see if I could find any stories similar to mine. I didn't find much. There were a few nice articles comparing the dry shampoos and styling products. I do not use either.

The articles all seem to reinforce what I found with the shampoos. Suave Professionals is just as good as, or close to, the salon brands.


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    • profile image

      SabOnClickchd 12 months ago

      Nice article thanks for share this awesome information.......

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      amy - Never in a million years did I think I would be using suave shampoo! I do and I love it. I was just noticing the other day how great my hair looks. And I am saving so much money!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      p.s. I will use some of the "fruity" suaves as body wash. they smell yummy! :)

    • profile image

      amy 4 years ago

      I love suave naturals. The ocean breeze and clarifying are my favorites. They double as body washes and leave my hair and skin so clean and refreshed!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      I've been experimenting with other brands, too. The $20-$30 per product is just crazy, no matter how sparingly you use it. I've tried lots of greener alternatives (just because I do with everything). But, honestly, I've got to admit that I haven't found any that even come close to working well. So I just switched, too, to one of the Pantene 2-in-1 (shampoo & conditioner) choices and love it. Many of the big brands are starting to integrate more environmentally conscious aspects into their products. Hope that trend continues.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      :) I love the way you explained your usage of differing hair products, and when your Hair guru threw you that cool tip about Suave. I'm a advocate for Suave as well, and tell those folks in my immediate family to use it as well. My wife even uses it now, and she's only into organic products mostly.

      Cool stuff you got here Dana. Nice Hub and its very helpful indeed. Thumbs up high and sharing away!

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Love Doctor - my hair hates Pantene. (I do have a friend that loves is though)... Try the Suave. If you look closely at the bottle they say which salon brand they are supposed to be like. I use the one that is like Nexxus (silver and blue bottle). Hope it works for you.

    • profile image

      Love Doctor 4 years ago

      My hair stylist just told me yesterday that Pantene & Garnier Fructis which are the shampoos that I've been using all along are terrible because they contain a lot of sulfide. My hair has gotten very dry especially in the ends because I spent most of my summer days in the pool. I should have worn my swimmer's cap, but I didn't so my hair is suffering now as a result. Anyway, after only one shampoo at the salon yesterday, my hair looked soft and silky. the product she wanted to sell me was for $40.00. I won't spend $40 on a shampoo. Thank you for your helpful tips. I will look into Suave.

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Drive By Quipper - you really should. I am amazed that I am using Suave. I always thought it was garbage. Thank goodness for my hair stylist. I am saving so much money.

    • Drive By Quipper profile image

      Drive By Quipper 4 years ago from Wrong Side of Town

      Good tip. I will tell my girlfriends about it.

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Soooo... to all of you that took the time to comment 5 weeks ago, so sorry to not get back to you. I took a little break from HP. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop and weigh in.

      Heather - Dove is another one of those brands that is great for the price. I use their body wash. it is one of the few that doesn't dry my skin.

      Bill - GUYS HAVE IT SO EASY! I swear most guys could just use the bar of soap and make out just fine :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Very pertinent advice, Dana. Thanks for sharing your experience. It sounds like you've gone through a lot regarding finding the right balance. I have to agree with your initial thoughts about Suave-I felt the same way, (cheap price, cheap product), but your testimony has made me think twice. Up/Useful and sharing.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Several mentioned Pantene. I have used it in the past and liked it. Lately, I've been using the 75 cent VO5. LOL. I could use something that makes my hair softer. I think I'll try Suave professional and see if it works for me. Great hub!

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Nice review!

    • Heather Says profile image

      Heather Rode 4 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

      I used to use Toni and Guy exclusively until I could no longer afford to. I've been using Dove for a few years now. I recently tried the Suave professional line also. It dried my hair and scalp out, sadly. I gave it an entire month just to see if there were any changes. I had to go back to Dove. The price of the suave line is fantastic, and my grocery store consistently has it one sale, which is why I tired it in the first place. I wish it would have worked out, but oh well. Happy to hear it worked for you!!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      My favorite shampoo is Pantene. The conditioner is awesome. It keeps my hair silky and the smell lasts for at least two days. I like to switch shampoos every once in a while so yes, Suave with Keratin, (yellow bottle )honey and almond shampoo and conditioner is pretty awesome too. Redkin is another one you might want to consider salon designer brand in the future when you can afford it. It's actually one of the best but it is pricey or Biolage.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well this is good to know since I'm always concerned with my 64 year old head of hair. LOL

      Actually I use Suave, but the cheap stuff at the grocery store for a buck a bottle...and it does wonders for my hair. :)

    • profile image

      audra 4 years ago

      Love your hair and your endorsement! I just bought clear shampoo...have to get back to you on that. I might just try your suggestion next time! Great job!!

    • blondey profile image

      Blondey Hubpages 5 years ago

      okay, sounds good ;) I love you with curly hair! :)

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      blondey - deal. summer time is coming. that is curly hair time. to hard to fight the humididty. :)

    • blondey profile image

      Blondey Hubpages 5 years ago

      Ok, lol, fair enough you know that was my sneaky of telling you to keep it curly lol,

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      blondey - thanks, rose. i think just about everyone likes my hair curly, yet i still straighten it a lot. i am a weirdo.:)

    • blondey profile image

      Blondey Hubpages 5 years ago

      Hi Dana,

      Your hair looks great! I love it curly!

      Hugs , Rosey

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      teaches12345 - Thanks for the compliment. My hair loves the camera!

      I never would have tried Suave if my stylist hand't told me about her other clients liking it. I am so happy I switched.

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Linda - SO GLAD TO HEAR THAT! I should write Suave and tell them I want a commission. What do you thing, a few cents should be fair, right? .... have a great day.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I have heard others tell how much Suave makes their hair healthy and shiny. Interesting share on this product. You look fabulous!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Your very welcome Dana. By the way I used Suave Captivating Curls this weekend and my hair behaved plus the product smells so good!:)

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      cclitgirl - Obviously I chose a photo where my hair looks good. Finny thing, I am not phtotgenic but my hair is!!

      Thanks for the compliment - see you around.

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Mommy Needs a Nap - I know! I have always acoided suave because when I used it many tear back it was awful. I am so glad my stylist let me know about the new line. What a great surprise and money saver!

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      MartieCoetser - I don't see anything wrong with grey hair. Of course I might change my mind once I get some. I think though that I would just stay grey. In your case, I am glad you listen to your daughter. Your hair is fabulous! :)

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Faith Reaper - Thanks for the compliment on my hair. Whe I was younger I wore it so long that I could sit on it!!! Thank you also for the feedback on my hub, and for sharing.... take care... :)

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Mhatter99 - thank you for stopping by. always a pleasure to see you.

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      marcoujor - Hello, Maria. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I struggled a bit on this one with being sure I gave a good review and not just a story about my hair. I think I will be doing more of these... I apprecitate your feedback, and the votes too. :)

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      BILL!!!! I am so glad to see you here! Thanks for reading. You have always been a grat source of support and encouragement for me.... p.s. I know you secretly were looking for some tips for those locks of yours. ;)

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Jeannieinabottle - Suave keeps my hair a lot tamer than Garnier. I also use the in shower conditioner a few times a week and a teeny bit of nexus leav in on the ends when the ends start getting dry (because I go way too long between cuts)... It is amazin how much difference the right products make.....

      ANOTHER TIP - my stylist said a good trick to keep frizz down is to rinse your hair with CLUB SODA! Pour it in your hair after you shower (don't rinse it out)... I will be trying that this summer and writing about if it works.

      Thanks for the tip on the Aussie. I think I will try it.

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      NELL - I know what you maen about going through conditioner. When I was using the other drug store brands I was using twice the cinditioner. Now I use little or none. You should shop around for a new shampoo, or ask around t osee what other people are using....

      A TIP ON STRAIGH HAIR - get a good flat iron! My sister has one of the babyliss ones and it is amazing. It takes my hair form curly to straight on minutes. Also a good spray might help.

      ps - your hair is fabulous because it is part of you and you are fantastic :)

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Sunshine625 - It is all about finding what works best for you. AND about realizing that more expensive and "fancy" does not always mean better... I have to THANK YOU for encouraging me to write this way back when I first made the switch to suave. I wanted to give it some time to see if it really was good. And it is!

      I can't thank you enough for your support of me and my work. HUGS!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      You have beautiful hair! Love it. :) Have a wonderful day, Dana. :D

    • Mommy Needs a Nap profile image

      Michelle Clairday 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Who would have thought that Suave would be the winner? Thanks for sharing. I'll pick up a bottle.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Dana, your hair looks beautiful. We don't have Suave products down here. My favorite (drug store, of course) shampoo is called "Organics", containing Shea butter. Fortunately my hair has no whims and fancies, except for the fact that they have turned grey. Obeying the orders of my daughter I will keep it any other color but grey for at least another 5-10 years. Her words: "Mom, you did not want me to wear make-up before I turn 16, and now I don't want you to have grey hair before you are 60." Period. Tit for tat... :)


    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Dana, love your hair. It is gorgeous! Must try the Suave Professionals.

      Thanks for the useful hub here. Excellent write.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for your product review.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


      Your hair is beautiful and you have done a great comparative review on this Suave product...very convincing!

      Voted UP and UABI...thanks so much, I will be checking out as well.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Honest go God, Dana, I think it should be obvious that I'm just here to show you some support. LOL I'm way beyond worrying about the body of my hair. :)

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is very exciting. I also have very moody hair and have a hard time finding good shampoo. I will look into this particular type of Suave shampoo. Lately, I have been using Garnier Fructis and it is pretty nice, but I still would not mind something that tames my hair a bit more. I also recently tried Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, which is pretty decent. You might want to try that in addition to the Suave. It is about 3 bucks at Target and it has helped a lot, too. Thanks for the info! I will be checking out this shampoo next time I go shopping.

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      CHERYL! Hi girl! Thanks!!!

    • profile image

      cheryl 5 years ago

      Love that you added in the "awesome flat irons"

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi dana, not sure if I can get it over here, but I certainly need it! lol! I get through so much conditioner just to make my hair look straight, I need a decent shampoo, great job, nell

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Nice shout-out to Suave Professionals! I have moody curly hair and also tried the Salon products. They didn't do anything for my hair. I then tried Pantene products for curly hair and I became a fan. Reasonably priced too. I do love Suave body lotions and hair products. Fabulous hub! Gorgeous photo!


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