Brand vs Budget: Volumising Shampoo/Conditioner

Over Christmas (read about my holiday here) I ended up leaving my big toiletries at university due to very limited suitcase space and so just used whatever hair washing products were hanging around. I ended up concentrating around two different sets; a Pantene silicone-free duo aimed at fine hair, and a set of Boots own-brand “Provitamin” products designed to be volumising. As both of these are really aimed at the same thing I thought I’d try my hand at a comparison review.

2014-01-15 11.04.01First up, let’s discuss the brand version – the Pantene Pro-V Aqualight Duo, priced at £3.69 each. One important thing to note is that although the conditioner claims to be ‘silicone free’ the shampoo doesn’t. I forgot to check the ingredients on it before I threw away the empty bottle, or I’d give them a quick analyse for you (I did the co-washing trend a few years back, so am pretty clued up on ‘goodies’ and ‘nasties’ in hair products).

I’ve got to admit I really didn’t get on with the Pantene shampoo. To me is felt sticky, didn’t lather (not a deal breaker for me, but it just didn’t feel pleasant) and I actually felt my hair was drier than before. It also seemed to make me a little tangled and bird’s-nest like which definitely isn’t a good thing!

The conditioner was more of a success – I loved the smell (not too strong!) and it felt moisturising but didn’t weigh me down. Now I definitely do NOT have fine hair (if you suggested that to my poor hairdresser he’d probably die laughing, the amount of hair I have is the bane of his life!) but I do find my very thick hair gets weighed down easily, so I like a lightweight but nourishing conditioner. This came pretty close to being ideal!

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Moving onto the budget version!

2014-01-15 11.04.24At £1.99 per huge bottle (and normally on Buy 1 Get 1 Free too!) it’s a lot cheaper than the Pantene offering, and by far my favourite.

The shampoo actually feels like it’s washing my hair, without stripping it. Granted it isn’t as gentle as my favourite Tresemme Naturals product, but it definitely feels a good-quality product.

The conditioner is perhaps a little runnier than I would like, so you have to use a good handful, but it is light and feels nourishing. I do feel I get a little build-up from this product so wouldn’t want to use it long-term, but its an excellent budget choice for holidays.

2014-01-15 11.05.59-2All in all, I definitely prefered the budget duo when comparing these two sets of products. For a significantly cheaper price there’s actually a slight improvement in quality. However I don’t think I’ll be sticking to either of these products over a long period of time…currently I’m extremely excited as what used to be my all-time favourite conditioner seems to be newly available!

What are your favourite hair-washing products?