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How kerastase kills your cash

Lauren’s on the lookout: I’ve been wanting to try Kerastase hair products for quite some time now, but they are so overpriced. What about these products make it so such more expensive than most others? Are there any cheaper shampoos, conditioner and masks that perform similarly but for a cheaper price?

The Right Brain responds:

In case you haven’t read our post on “Who’s Who in the Cosmetic Industry,” Kerastase is owned by cosmetic giant L’Oreal who markets a variety of brands at different prices. Like many large companies, L’Oreal spends a lot resources developing the best possible formulas and then use those formulas across different brands. Why is Kerastase so expensive? Can you say “brand image?” You’re paying for a different fragrance, packaging and advertising but not necessarily a different formula.

High Cost

For example, look at Kerastase Nutritive Oleo-Relax Smoothing Hair Masque. A 5 ounce jar sells for $50.00 and it contains the following ingredients:

Water, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Potato Starch Modified, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, Elaeis Guinneensis Oil, Shorea Robusta / Shorea Robusta Seed Butter, prevervatives, fragrance, blah blah blah.

Low Cost

Now consider L’Oreal Vive Pro Smooth Intense Conditioning Treatment. A 6.8 ounce tube will set you back $4.99. The ingredients are remarkable similar:

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Potato Starch Modified, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, and more blah blah blah.

Chemically speaking, these are nearly identical. They’re based on the same fatty alcohol blend and rely on behentrimonium chloride and amodimethicone for conditioning. And the potato starch is an interesting choice of thickener/emulsifier. Functionally speaking, we’d be amazed if a consumer could tell any difference between these two products.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Does this mean ALL Kerastase formulas are the same as the cheaper L’Oreal versions? Not necessarily, but we’d take a close look at each product before spending that much cash.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Cheryl August 15, 2014, 12:48 pm

    Is there a cheaper version of Visionnaire?

    • Randy Schueller August 15, 2014, 5:58 pm

      Try L’Oreal Skin Perfection Serum. It’s a lot cheaper and it uses most of the same key ingredients. If you try it, leave a comment and let us know what you think.

  • Cynna May 29, 2015, 4:24 pm

    Great food for thought! Any thoughts on Karastase Initialiste and a similar L’Oreal product?

    • Dee November 10, 2015, 12:24 pm

      I would like to know this, too! 🙂

  • Ashley July 17, 2015, 5:50 pm


    I was dying to try their products too until I read into the ingredients.

  • lynne September 7, 2015, 1:25 pm

    L’Oreal high end salon color caused incredible burning to my scalp, followed by hives and itching for 24 hours. I wouldn’t trust anything by L’Oreal or their ridiculously overpriced Karastase product line.

  • Susan May 16, 2016, 9:01 am

    What would be the loreal version of kearatase lincroyable? Thx

    • Randy Schueller May 16, 2016, 3:44 pm

      If you post a link to the ingredient list for the product I’ll take a look.

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