Are Expensive Shampoos Better?

Every year consumers spend billions of dollars on their hair. Women especially want their hair to shine, to have bounce, to be strong and healthy. Most would say that the first step to having beautiful hair is the right shampoo. But which one is the best? There are hundreds of brands to choose from. Experts say that you don't need to go to the salon to get great products. Great products can be found in the drug store at not even close to the cost. Does expensive really mean better? No, one expert says you should spend no more than 6 dollars on shampoo. Tests have shown that many can't tell the difference in a $4 bottle and a $20 bottle. So the message is pretty clear. But I think I want to take it a little bit further. What about with other stuff like clothing? Does a shirt that has a nice symbol have much better quality than a hangs shirt? I don't think there is that much difference. It's all about the brand image.


Harry said...

I do not agree I can personally tell the difference in shampoos. Example of this is Suave I can tell that it is cheap because of how dry it leaves my hair, compared to Matrix which leaves my hair soft. That is how I feel that there really is a difference.

Keston said...

About shampoo, I think there is a difference up to a point. The really cheap shampoo is not that great and it does leave my hair really dry, but I don't buy the really expensive salon shampoo either. About clothes, I definitely think it is all about brand image. Like shampoo, the quality of lets says Lucky brand is better than some, but not better than all. Sometimes I think the quality is actually cheaper. A pair of torn jeans can’t be worth $150, like they are being sold for!

Dr. Tufte said...

I believe that there are quality differences, but that they are more minute than we expect.

One clue may be in advertising. I know we have talked about advertising as a prisoner's dilemna. However, there is another aspect: firms have been found to advertise when they have superior quality that they can't get across to consumers. In that sense advertising is like hiring a celebrity spokesperson - it sends a message that the product is worth spending money upon.