Thursday, July 17, 2014

Substitutes for Salon Brand Products: Sally's Generic Value Products (GVP)

My hair journey as a natural was a lot cheaper than my relaxed journey. As a natural I used mostly home-made all natural products like Aloe Vera Juice, Bentonite Clay and Shea Butter; and the few store bought products that I did purchase were under five dollars. When I transitioned back to relaxed hair and started following a few relaxed bloggers I noticed they used pretty expensive products: Chi, Paul Mitchell, Joico and Matrix Biolage, just to name a few.

After following these ladies for a while and seeing their hair growth I was interested in trying some of these products myself, but once I saw the price tag on these products I began looking for suitable substitutes that would provide the same results without the high price. I was particularly interested in trying the Joico K-Pak Reconstructor in place of the Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor I was using at the time.

Enter Sally's Beauty Supply

GVP Matrix & Joico K-Pak

As it turns out, Sally's Beauty Supply offers a number of generic brand products that contain the same ingredients as their salon brand counter-parts, only at a lighter price tag. I was able to try not only the Joico K-Pak Reconstructor but I picked up a substitute for Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm as well. 

Although I cannot compare these products to their salon brand substitutes, I can say that both of these conditioners have fast become favorites and staples in my regimen.

$6.59 at Sally's

GVP Conditioning Balm VS Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm* 

The GVP Conditioning Balm claims: 

  • Deeply Moisturizes over-dry damaged hair
  • Provides shine, silkiness & softness
I have used this conditioner as a deep conditioner following a protein treatment and as a quick 3 minute conditioner while in the shower. In both instances this conditioner provided superb softness, silkiness and moisture while melting my tangles and making my hair a breeze to comb through. 

$27.00 at
Matrix Biolage claims:

"An intensive conditioning treatment that replenishes hair with the basic elements that hair needs to moisturize and recovers its natural shine, silkiness and softness." 

Both of these products promise the same results: shiny, silky, soft and moisturized hair.

*I have not tried the Matrix brand so this review is not a comparison of the effectiveness of the products, only on the actual claims.

$5.79 at Sally's
GVP Reconstructuring Conditioner VS Joico K-Pak Reconstructor*

GVP Reconstructing Conditioner Claims:
  • Unsurpassed in bringing damaged hair back to optimum condition
  • Adds fantastic body, shine, manageability
  •  Repairs dry and damaged hair
  • Maintains condition of healthy hair.
I have used this conditioner in three ways: (1) as a mid relaxer step protein treatment; (2) as a monthly protein treatment after clarifying; and (3) as a weekly protein conditioner to maintain my hair's balance. However I used this conditioner my hair was left soft, smooth, moisturized, strong and free of tangles. It also eliminates breakage and shedding when used after relaxing, and strengthens my hair before using heat styling tools. 

$19.00 at
Joico K-Pak Deep Penetration Reconstructor Claims:

"Joico's original, award-winning intensive protein reconstructor rebuilds and improves the structure of hair.  Reconstructor features Quadramine Complex,® an exclusive blend of low molecular weight and size proteins.  This balance of 19 essential amino acids (the building blocks of hair) adheres quickly and effectively to ensure maximum protection and reconstruction from the cuticle to the cortex." 

I admit the Joico brand sounds a bit better than the GVP brand, and I am curious to see if this conditioner leaves my hair in a condition better than what the GVP brand promises.

If you are looking for salon quality products without the salon price tag Sally's Generic Brand Products are a great place to start. At nearly 1/5 of the price of their salon counter-parts these two conditioners are at least worth a try before spending additional money on a product that may leave your hair in similar if not better condition.

What are you favorite GVP Products?

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