Is Expensive Shampoo Worth It?


You may be asking yourself this as you are walking up and down the store aisle. Shampoo options may seem endless — yet, even with all the options, it can be hard to find your best fit. 

Comparing the quality, price, and benefits of each bottle and brand can be overwhelming at times. The quality and actual benefits of a product can be hard to determine. 

We’ve all fallen for the next miracle product that comes with endorsements, complete with aesthetic packaging, dreamy scents, and a sky-high price tag. But do these luxe and trendy shampoos actually provide the benefits listed on their packaging?

If you’ve used one of these products, you may have found that your hair was not getting the results you had hoped for or expected. Some people attribute disappointment to their hair type, telling themselves that their hair is just too difficult, dry, or weak for the product to really make an impact. 

The problem is not your hair, but what standards you are evaluating the product with. Knowing your hair and the ingredients it craves allows you to automatically rule out certain options while focusing on better ones. This starts with understanding what changes your body is experiencing. 

Luckily, you have options! One place to start is with finding out exactly what your hair needs and getting a personalized recommendation from Better Not Younger.

What Does Mature Hair Need?

As you age, your hair takes on a new form. What may have worked before no longer works the wonders it used to. 

Your hair may become finer and less dense as newer hairs begin to replace those that have fallen out. This can coincide with silver or white hair emerging, as well. These changes require a different approach to haircare. Volume, strengthening, and nourishing products may become far more important than in years past. 

Shampoo formulas are most effective when they specifically target the needs of your hair. As your hair changes, your shampoo should change along with it. Luckily there are formulas dedicated to nourishing ingredients that help with repairing, revitalizing, and thickening. 

These ingredients are what can help nourish and protect your hair — not the expensive label and paid endorsements. While it’s important to invest in quality products, it’s equally as important to understand that price does not always indicate quality.

What a Girl Wants vs. What a Woman Needs

We all have pictures of questionable style choices or memories that have us asking, “Why did I think that was a good idea?”. From frizzy perms and layers of bleach, we all have learned from our mistakes. 

Do you really want to use the same shampoo you did back then? Probably not. Yet when we shop, it is easy to just put the same old shampoo in the cart without giving it much thought. After all, there is a lot to get done, and not everyone has the time to compare labels and interpret ingredient lists.

When you were younger, choosing a good shampoo probably consisted of picking up a few bottles, making sure they smelled good, and reading the catchphrases on the front label. That was the extent of shampoo research. 

Age provides the insight our permed and bleached selves did not have. Now we know that quality goes far beyond advertisements and nice smells. 

How Does Hair Change Over Time?

Your hair has changed with age. Not only have your tastes become more refined, but you also have different hair needs than the girl who first decided on your go-to shampoo. 

So what do you need now? Sometimes going up in price seems like the shortcut to upgrading your shampoo. After all, it must be better, right? However, price doesn’t account for your new hair texture, needs, or expectations. 

Throughout a woman's life, her hair is changing right alongside the rest of her body. Pregnancy, aging, styling, and genetics all play a part in the changes your hair experiences. 

As you age, your hair strands become smaller in diameter. The thinner strands are more prone to damage caused by overwashing, heat, and other environmental factors. 

Your scalp, and skin at large, will slow the production of your natural oils. This is great news for those who like skipping a few days between washes. Less dry shampoo and more good hair days, who could complain? However, this change will require your products to bring more moisture into your hair and scalp. 

Even if you were someone who always gravitated toward dry shampoo and products designed for oily hair, you may start seeing more progress with hydrating formulas.

In addition to the individual strands, you may be noticing your hair pigment or density changing. This is totally normal. 

The production of melanin plays a role in your hair color. Over time, your body slows down its production of melanin, causing silver and white hairs to begin showing. This change can impact both the texture and care needs of your hair. 

Pro Tip: Changing hair is not a bad thing. Embrace the new texture and changes of your natural hair while supporting it with the right products and ingredients. 

What Ingredients Does Your Hair Need?

Understanding the way your hair changes with age can help you become an informed consumer. It all comes down to the ingredients listed on the back. It is important to know not only what to look for, but also what to avoid. 

Sulfates, parabens, and formaldehyde can cause damage to your hair. These ingredients can go by a few different names, making them a bit more challenging to spot. As you learn to avoid a few heavy hitters, you will be better able to spot a shampoo that probably has one or two of them. 

Unfortunately, cheap haircare products often use these ingredients to cut costs. This may help bring the price down, but it can also have detrimental effects on your hair.

Ingredients that provide moisture and strengthening are commonly all-natural, plant-derived oils and butters, as well as fortifying vitamins. Usually, these will also be non-comedogenic.

Ingredients You and Your Hair Will Love

  • Bamboo
  • Hops
  • Birch Bark Extract
  • Rice Bran Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Burdock Root
  • Sage
  • Argan Oil

These ingredients serve a variety of purposes. They contribute to elasticity, shine, vibrancy, and scalp health. When shopping for shampoo, consumer-minded shampoo companies will often have descriptions of what these products offer on their website. 

Understanding your hair type can also help you narrow down some of the best options for you to consider. If you are unsure of exactly what has changed but know a switch is needed, ask your stylist or dermatologist where your hair needs some extra love. They may be able to pinpoint the changes before you can. 

These are not only helpful when considering shampoo. Next time you are on the hunt for quality serums, styling products, and conditioners, consider some of these ingredients. If you want to get a step ahead, adding a supplement to your regular diet can help give your hair the extra boost you are looking for. 

Pro Tip: Supplements, scalp serums, and deep conditioners make great additions to your self-care habits. Extra bonus if you treat yourself to a scalp massage as you work the product in.

Becoming a Savvy Shopper: How To Shop Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors

If price isn’t an indicator of quality alone, what should you look for? As an informed consumer, quality ingredients are easy to spot. We’ll show you what to look for and what products simply aren’t worth the price tag. After all, better hair needs better products

Beyond reading the ingredients, there are a few additional things you can look for. 

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-Free
  • Intended Hair Type
  • Free of Sulfates
  • Free of Parabens
  • Chemically-Treated Hair Friendly
  • Scent

While some of these aren’t necessary to the impact on your hair, they are important factors to consider. Vegan and cruelty-free items allow you to feel good about your purchase. And, while scent alone doesn’t matter, it should still be something you should like!

Brands can make it appear as though they’re offering these things by including unregulated or undefined marketing terms on their labels. This might include words like green or clean, while not necessarily living up to those statements. Natural-looking or expensive packaging can also lead consumers astray. 

If all-natural hair care is important to you, make sure to familiarize yourself with the official logos and seals of the organizations you trust. This can help you make the most informed decisions possible.

Ultimately, these natural and nourishing shampoos might have a slightly higher price point than the bottom-shelf brands — however, they are formulated with your unique hair in mind and use ingredients designed to nourish and strengthen your hair.

For instance, our Wake Up Call volumizing shampoo includes hops to condition, sage to help balance oil levels, bamboo to strengthen, and burdock root to nourish your hair. Plus, this shampoo is vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and Leaping Bunny certified to help give your hair nourishment that you can feel good about.

The Complete Answer

Your hair is a beautiful expression of your personality and style. Embrace and enjoy the unique hair you have. 

Investing in the products to do just that does not just mean a higher price tag. So, is expensive shampoo really worth it? The short answer is yes. That is, if it has the right stuff. 

High-quality, nutrient-rich shampoos contain more expensive products and ingredients. Naturally, the price will rise to reflect that. If you are looking for conscientious, high-quality shampoo, the price is certainly worth it. You can always choose better regardless of the cost. 

Here at Better Not Younger, we have solutions for any of your hair-related aging concerns. We understand how hair can change over time, and our products are designed to help you feel confident and beautiful through every age and every stage.

We would love to hear your thoughts. What do you look for in your shampoo? Take our personalized quiz here to find the right products for your hair, whatever stage and age you are in. 


Your Guide to Aging, Thinning Hair: 5 Simple Tips | Cleveland Clinic

Aging Changes in Hair and Nails | MedlinePlus

Shampoos and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know? | Indian Journal of Dermatology