I Tested 4 Salon-Approved Hair Care Brands – And This Brand Beat Them All

In partnership with Dae.

I’ve spent a lot (I mean a lot) of time and money on my hair. Styling creams, gels, oils – treatments, specialized cuts…the list goes on. I have fine, wavy-to-curly hair that I like to keep as versatile as possible – I straighten it for some occasions, curl it for others, and prefer to wear it natural in my day to day. So, finding the right products has been a journey. 

Along the way, I’ve learned that sometimes the best answers are the simplest. I’ve outlined proof of that below, as I tested 4 salon-favorite hair care brands, and ultimately realized that one shampoo-and-conditioner duo designed for a simple and clean everyday routine topped them all. 

It’s the hair care edition of throwdown – welcome to the ring! 


Credit: @pureology 

The Brand: Pureology offers professional, 100% vegan hair care products for color-treated hair. The brand sells shampoo and conditioner sets with concentrated formulas that offer a range of benefits: hydrating, strengthening, smoothing, volume. Choosing one felt pretty straightforward. I’ll be evaluating Pureology’s best-selling Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner Duo. 

What Makes It Special: This vegan formula adds moisture and nourishes dry hair with jojoba, green tea, and sage. The sulfate-free shampoo includes a blend of lavender, bergamot and patchouli, which offer a brief moment of mediation. The conditioner features menthol and mint, which stimulate the scalp and leave a fresh, tingly feeling. This set is also suited for color-treated hair. 

Process And Results: While this set is a bit specialized for me (because I don’t dye my hair), I enjoyed a moment of relaxation after lathering this shampoo and massaging this conditioner into my scalp. The conditioner definitely provides a tingly feeling as advertised. However, it also feels quite heavy. I’ve noticed that my hair often feels oily even after I completely rinse it out of my hair. Several reviews note similar experiences and recommend the Hydrate Light line instead. 

Price: Pureology’s Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner Duo costs $63 for 9 fl oz. bottles. 


Credit: @kerastase

The Brand: Kérastase creates “bespoke rituals'' that cater to a number of hair types. The brand prides itself on the customization it offers, and works with hairdressers and scientists on its formulations. Kérastase offers a lot of products and recommends consulting with a stylist on its offerings (for the record, I did not do this). I took the online quiz and was recommended the Bain Hydratation Douceur Shampoo and Fondant Hydratation Essentielle Conditioner.

What Makes It Special: This duo includes manuka honey and ceramide as its key ingredients. Manuka honey is rich in minerals, nutrients and natural sugars, and ceramide restores softness, smoothness and strength. It’s also sulfate-free, paraben-free, and mineral-oil free. 

Process And Results: After working this duo into my hair, I’ve been impressed with the results. My hair is more manageable and noticeably less frizzy. However, one huge detractor for me is the overpowering scent of these products. According to the brand, the scent, Floral Manifesto, is a “warm and elegant composition born from the petals of glowing tuberoses.” To be honest, it smells like a grandmother’s perfume to me. 

Cost: This shampoo costs $38 for an 8.5 fl oz. bottle, and the conditioner costs $44 for an 8.5 oz. bottle.


Credit: Redken

The Brand: Redken has a long history in the hair care industry. The brand was founded in the 1960s to create low-pH products for sensitive hair, and it’s continued innovating ever since. The brand’s product line is popular with stylists and can be found at salons across the globe. I tried the All Soft Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. 

What Makes It Special: This duo uses argan oil to penetrate hair fibers for a silkier, shinier finish. It also utilizes a smart, multi-targeted delivery system with 3 proteins attracted to where the hair needs it the most. 

Process And Results: Of all of the brands I tested, I felt most take-it-or-leave it about this Redken duo. It did a fine job on my hair – it felt clean and soft enough, but I can’t tout any radical benefits. This surprised me considering it’s won several awards. 

Cost: Redken doesn’t sell directly on its site, but this shampoo and conditioner are available via a few online retailers – like hair.com, Ulta, and Amazon for $24 each for 10.1 fl oz. 

Bumble and bumble 

Credit: @bumbleandbumble

The Brand: Bumble and bumble began as a hair studio in the 1970s. After developing a signature cutting style, the brand began inventing hair products, like a salt-infused Surf Spray. Since then, Bumble and bumble has innovated on a number of best-selling products for all hair types. After taking the brand’s quiz, I was recommended the Curl Moisturizing Shampoo and Curl 3-in-1 Conditioner. 

What Makes It Special: This duo is enhanced with a blend of avocado oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil – in addition to shea and cocoa butter – to leave hair shiny and hydrated. It’s also color-safe and sulfate-free. Additionally, the 3-in-1 conditioner can be used as a rinse-out, leave-in, or co-wash. 

Process and Results: After shampooing as normal, this conditioner can either be left in for 1-2 minutes and then rinsed, left in as a treatment, or used alone instead of shampooing. Of all of the salon brands I tried, this was definitely my favorite duo. It leaves my hair soft, sleek, and hydrated with very little frizz. My only note is that leaving too much in can weigh down my hair, and it’s pretty expensive for the bottle size. 

Cost: This shampoo costs $34 for 8.5 fl oz., and the conditioner goes for $35 for 6.7 fl oz.


Dae's Monsoon Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

The Brand: A newer DTC entrant, Dae taps into the power of desert botanicals to tame, hydrate, strengthen, and repair your hair daily. The brand offers two shampoo and conditioner lines (its Signature Set, in addition to a recently-launched Monsoon Moisture line) that are meant for all hair types. I appreciate how simple and straightforward Dae makes the purchasing process. 

What Makes It Special: Dae’s Monsoon Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner cleanse and hydrate hair from dae to night thanks to desert-derived ingredients like meadowfoam seed oil (which restores glossy luster to brittle strands), moringa leaf extract (infuses moisture to dry strands), and cactus flower extract (rich in potassium and Vitamins A and D to promote healthy hair follicles). These products are also vegan, cruelty-free, and made without sulfates, parabens, phthalates, or synthetic colors. Notably, Dae does not offer an extended line for different hair types – this duo is created with all hair types in mind. Plus, it comes in beautiful packaging and with a dreamy scent. 

Process And Results: I typically leave Dae’s conditioner in my hair for a minute or two and enjoy its delightful citrus-y desert scent before rinsing. While I was a little skeptical that this brand is actually meant for all hair types (especially when other brands offer so many options), I’ve been amazed with every wash: this set leaves my hair feeling incredibly light, soft, and healthy. The lightness is the biggest standout – most other products seem to add an oiliness and a weight to my hair that Dae avoids entirely.  I’m able to straighten my locks  and admire its healthy ends, or wear it naturally without any frizz. I’m complimented on the scent of my hair constantly.

Price: The Monsoon Moisture Milk Shampoo and Monsoon Moisture Conditioner are each available on Dae’s website as a one time purchase for $26 per 10 fl oz. bottle, or for $43.20 each (10% savings) upon subscribing. 


I’ll be the first to admit that I was surprised to find the simplest and most cost effective duo had the best effects. I feel great about the ingredients and quality, am obsessed with the smell, and have been so thrilled to pare down my shower’s contents in exchange for a couple of beautiful bottles. If you’re curious to try Dae, I cannot encourage this purchase enough – and the best part is, no matter what type of hair you have, this duo is made for you!