Kula Spa and Hair Salon

669 10th Street West,

Owen Sound, ON

The Lowdown on Drugstore vs. Salon Hair Products

Amanda Holstein

The constant war between drugstore and salon hair products has finally led us to wonder: What truly is the difference between the two? Are salon products really worth the extra money? Do they perform that much better than drugstore products? After doing some major research, we're laying it all out for you so you can decide for yourself.

The shampoos and conditioners we find at the drugstore are appealing for obvious reasons. They're affordable, convenient, and we love all of their different scents (I mean, who can resist vanilla & shea butter?). But what makes them so affordable may be cause for concern. Although drugstore shampoos do contain high-grade ingredients found in salon products, they only contain small amounts of them. They typically contain chemicals, which can strip your hair of its natural oils, essentially drying it out. They're also known for diluting their products with fillers. These tend to make your hair feel super soft, but can also leave behind a waxy build-up. Basically, your hair feels soft but isn't actually hydrated from within.There's about 25% product in the drugstore products opposed 75% product in salon products. So if you spend $10 on a product in a drugstore, you would have to spend 4 times the amount to get the same amount as a salon product. Therefore it is also less expensive to buy from a salon than from a drug store. 

The reason salon shampoos tend to be on the pricier side is because they are highly concentrated with high-grade ingredients. They often consist of vitamins, oils and minerals that are truly nourishing, yet too pricey to exist in most drugstore options. These shampoos also include less fillers than their drugstore counterpart, preventing that waxy build-up and instead, hydrating from within. Because these premium shampoos are more concentrated, you don't need to use as much to see results.

In the long run, most would agree that you end up spending about the same, no matter which side of the coin you choose. The major difference is that salon products last longer and contain higher amounts of quality ingredients that truly are better for your hair.

Top 10 reasons why you need a monthly facial.

Most people don’t understand the benefits that a good professional facial can offer. As a skin professional it is my duty to let you know. Most people will wait until they encounter a skin concern (weird breakouts, dry itchy skin, dark spots, etc.) or have an upcoming special event before coming in for a facial. While this is totally OK, these frustrating problems can often be preempted by proper monthly facials and counseling on the correct at-home products.

I know that times are tough in this economy and it’s undeniably smart to cut back on extraneous purchases. However, here is a short blog outlining why a monthly facial is a good investment. Your skin is always on display and often has the power to dictate how good we feel about ourselves. Investing in proper skincare has a value that can be arguably more important than buying a new dress or going out to a fancy restaurant or even taking an expensive vacation (a facial is a mini-vacation). What’s more is that facials at the Unique Skincare Boutique are affordable. I charge significantly less than a formal spa (in some cases less than half the cost). Plus, my facials are undeniably more unique (and fun) while still being customized, anti-aging, relaxing, comfortable, and come with personal attention and great service. If affordability is an issue, I also offer special discounts for pre-booking as well as referral specials. Please like my Facebook page, Unique Skincare Boutique and check this blog often for more specials offered.

Facials are ideal once a month unless you have a specific skin concern you are trying to overcome (acne, hyper-pigmentation, etc), then you may need to come in for a series of treatments. The reason behind getting monthly facials is that your stratum corneum (the outermost layer of visible skin) will completely renew itself approximately every 28 days. In this time your skin cells are constantly being replicated from the treated cells to replace the old cells. If you give your skin a head start (i.e. a great facial) your skin cells will begin to replicate the now healthier cells and thus give you a better complexion. Also, most skin products can take up to 6-8 weeks to start to treat active skin cells, but by speeding up the renewal process with a facial you can make these products work faster and more effectively.

Aside from just feeling like heaven, here are my top 10 reasons why you should come in to the Unique Skincare Boutique for monthly facials:

1) Facials allow you to relax. They feel great and are healing to the soul. The power of touch, massage, proper technique, and professional products can heal. I call facials “relaxing with benefits”. Stress relief and beautiful glowing skin? YES PLEASE!

2) Facials increase circulation of the blood under the skin allowing the skin optimal health to facilitate the renewal skin cells.

3) Facials decrease waste underneath the skin that can cause puffiness, ruddiness, and fluid accumulation by manipulating the lymphatic system that lies just under the skin. Facials also aids in detoxification.

4) A good facial (and facial massage) can help smooth fine lines and promote collagen production, which is the building block of the skin (to prevent premature aging, wrinkles, and sagging).

5) A facial will cleanse the pores on a much deeper level. Similar to a good dental cleaning, this is what a facial can do for the skin/pores. Even non-acneic skin can use a good deep cleanse. Extractions/cleaning out the pores can help to maintain clear skin, stop acne formation, as well as can help to change the pore’s size. Often times left unchecked, pores can start to stretch and widen with the accumulation of oil and debris. (Please do not attempt to extract or pick at your own skin unless you are a professional and know how to do it properly- you could be at risk of scarring and infection).

6) Facials provide deep(er) exfoliation than you can achieve at home. Exfoliation smoothes skin, allows for great penetration of products (i.e. moisturizers or serums), unclogs pores, improves skin ability to retain hydration, and evens skin tone to just name a few benefits.

7) Allows a professionally trained esthetician to counsel you on the proper products you should be using at home. This alone is worth the investment as the skincare industry can be a difficult (and expensive) area to navigate.

8) Can help even skin tone and lighten dark spots. Dark spots age our skins’ appearance visibly. Again a gentle reminder- sunscreen is still a necessity no matter how great the facial. (:

9) Facials slow the aging process. They allow your skin to feel healthier, smoother, and look more radiant. Facials reduce fine lines, age spots, and relieve dehydrated skin. With these benefits, facials make us feel better about our skin. With the use of exfoliation, massage, and the penetration of nutrients and antioxidants, facials also fight to reverse aging. We will all age, but we can do it more slowly with glowing, firm, and hydrated skin.

10) Facials are not a miracle in an hour but they do give you a fresh start to a healthier and balanced complexion. Regular facials will help you maintain optimal skin health.


Paul Mitchell Hair Care 

Believe us when we say that we LOVE experimenting with shampoos and conditioners and changing up our normal shower routine from time to time, but there is a huge benefit in determining which shampoo and conditioner is right for your hair type: bouncier curls, shinier hair, longer-lasting hair color, etc. That’s why we’ve broken down some fan-favorite duos that bring out the best of your specific hair type.

FOR COLOR TREATED HAIR – Ultimate Color Repair® Shampoo and Conditioner
Case in point: The Ultimate Color Repair® three-part system harnesses the reparative power quinoa to keep color vibrant from up to 9 weeks!This line works miracles for color-treated hair because it keeps hair healthy in more ways than one. The system prevents thermal damage by 86%, prevents breakage by 88% and increases shine by 59%. Those are some numbers we can get behind!
Also try: Ultimate Color Repair Triple Rescue®

FOR FRAGILE, DAMAGED HAIR – Awapuhi Wild Ginger® Moisturizing Lather Shampoo® and Keratin Cream Rinse®
If your goal is to repair, replenish and revive dry, brittle hair look no further than Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo and Keratin Cream Rinse. The exclusive KeraTriplex® blend helps rebuild and repair brittle strands, while Awapuhi extract adds serious hydration and shine. Say au revoir to damaged hair.
Also try: Awapuhi Wild Ginger Keratin Intensive Repair®

FOR DRY, CURLY HAIR – Spring Loaded® Frizz-Fighting Shampoo and Conditioner
Curl girls know caring for curly hair without the right products can be maddening link to curls styling tips post]. Thankfully, there is Spring Loaded Frizz-Fighting Shampoo and Conditioner. These products are made exclusively for curly hair with zero sulfates, so your curls get a gentle wash and rich hydration without roughing up the hair cuticle. That’s how you fight frizz from start to finish!
Also try: Full Circle Leave-In Treatment®

FOR DULL, FRIZZY HAIR – Awapuhi Wild Ginger® MirrorSmooth® Shampoo and Conditioner  
Battling frizz is frustrating . Awapuhi Wild Ginger MirrorSmooth Shampoo and Conditioner help you avoid that battle completely [link to AWG mirrorsmooth post]. The exclusive KeraReflect™ blend with natural Abyssinian oil replenishes moisture, soothes the cuticle and boosts shine to prevent frizz and flyaways. Hello, great hair days!
Also try: Awapuhi Wild Ginger MirrorSmooth® High Gloss Primer

FOR NORMAL HAIR – Tea Tree Special® Shampoo and Conditioner
If your hair is relatively easy to manage, Tea Tree Special Shampoo and Conditioner is a great regimen. The duo features invigorating ingredients like natural tea tree oil, peppermint and lavender to rid hair of impurities and leave hair full of vitality and luster. What’s not to love about that?
Also try: Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer®

Make great hair days happen with the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type. Visit your local Paul Mitchell School or salon to find these products and talk to your stylist about the right Take HomeSM regimen for your hair needs.

Everything you wanted to know about Spa Etiquette but were afraid to ask...

Rule number one is to ask questions when you aren't sure what to wear or not to wear.

Your service provider should not expect you to know what to do with the disposable panties they left for you, or the robe you wear like a tube dress, etc.

Don't hesitate to ask your esthetician, and also communicate to her about the service while it's happening.

If you prefer a light massage, let your esthetician know before hand (or during the massage). Just as you want to have a pleasant experience, the esthetician wants to ensure that you are enjoying every moment of the service, and they want to see you again in the future.
Communication is the key.

 Men are coming to the spa more and more these days, and it is no longer too "feminine" to be seen in a bath robe with your feet in a pedicure bath.

It is important however, to advise the male spa-goer that all the same rules apply to them. Modesty is extremely important. Additionally, politeness and honesty are important too. Men should be open with their service provider about how they feel, whether it is their first time, and what they need explained to them.

 If the esthetician walks you through a service, you are likely to enjoy it more the next time, because you already know what to expect. If you would rather be briefed before the service, let your esthetician know, and they will be happy to explain each step.
 Men come to spas more and more.

If you are in a spa setting that is communal (ie: manicure/ pedicure room, sauna, steam room, etc.), be careful how loud you speak, and the topics that you speak about with your service provider and/or others in the room.

 Imagine having a relaxing pedicure while the lady next to you blabs about "the latest gossip" or worse yet, talks about her aching corns! A spa environment is sacred, and to disrupt it with gossip, banter, loud voices or rude comments spoils it for everyone.

If you're a chatty Cathy yourself, then just try to relax, practicing some deep breathing exercises. Breathe in slowly through your nostrils and breathe out slowly through your mouth. Listen to the music, close your eyes and enjoy the moment!
Being considerate is essential.

Cell Phones

Speaking of sacred environment, imagine having a facial, and suddenly, ring, ring ring!!!! The silence is broken by the most embarrassing of all – your cell phone.
Don't embarrass yourself and disrupt the quiet (and the person next to you) by forgetting to silence your cell phone. To some people, a spa is like a church, a sacred place they go to seek solace, peace and most of all, quiet.

In general, most spas are not child-friendly. However, a growing trend is occurring, and many spas now offer services for children, and even help you plan private birthday parties and group events.

Be aware of other clients when your children come into a spa setting. Let your children know what they should expect and how they should act. When you call to book an appointment for children and teens, let the receptionist know how old they are. Try to book birthday parties or groups of children/ teens in a private room or after hours.

Don't hesitate to pick up on this new trend! It's an exciting environment for children and teens, and something different (ask about it at Nie Spa).

First Time?
Here's a little inside scoop on what you should know if it's your first time in a spa: The most important thing in a spa setting is that you relax. The environment is created in such a way to help you relax, and escape the real world.

 Close your eyes; don't feel like you have to talk the whole time. Estheticians are happy to facilitate relaxation by allowing you to sit quietly and enjoy the service.

If you aren't sure about where to go, what to wear, or what to do, simply ask, or let your esthetician know that it is your first time.