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Why are Oribe Hair Products so Expensive?

edited January 2014 in Ask the Beauty Brains
 I work at a salon and we just started carrying Oribe as our "luxury" line. It's crazy how expensive it all is! There is a Gel Serum that is $58! (I have to say, I have tried it a few times and DO NOT think it's that impressive or worth that price). Does anyone know if Oribe happens to use special, higher quality raw materials?! Or is it all about packaging and marketing?!

 Here are the ingredients in the $58( 5 oz) Gel : Water/Aqua/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Panthenol, Acrylic Acid/VP Crosspolymer, VP/Acrylates/Lauryl Methacrylate Copolymer,PPG-26-Buteth-26,Glycerin,PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol,Creatine,Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Polyquaternium-11, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum/Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Sericin,Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Sodium Benzoate, Heptane, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate,Lauryl Methacrylate, Sorbic Acid, Tin Oxide, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491)

And here is the ingredients in their Signature Shampoo($34 for 8.5oz): Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Lauramidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Parfum/Fragrance, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-7, Panthenol, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Keratin, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Litchi Chinensis Pericarp Extract, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Flower/Leaf Extract, Amber Extract, Kaempferia Galanga Root Extract, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Butylene Glycol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Protein, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Protein, Benzophenone-4, PEG-150 Distearate, Citric Acid, Trisodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool

Thanks for looking into it! Its hard to make such a costly sale to my client when I am not even sure WHY these products cost so much. I would love to have a decent explanation!


  • edited January 2014
    We'll, I've got an answer for you but I'm not sure you're going to like it.  Let's start with the shampoo...

    None of the primary surfactants (Sodium Laureth Sulfate, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Lauramidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA) are particularly expensive or particularly mild for that matter. There are a couple of excellent conditioning agents (Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-7) but these can be found in drug store brands at a fraction of the cost. I think it's absurd to pay $34 for 8.5 ounces of a product like this but hey, if Oribe has some kind of test data to show that their formula is worth this kind of money I'll GLADLY retract my statement.

    The Gel is a bit more unique but only because of what appears to be a high level of panthenol. At high concentrations panthenol can help thicken hair, even after rinsing! Panthenol is expensive but not expensive enough to justify the $58 price tag. The flexible hold that the product provides (according to their website) is a valuable benefit but again you can get polymers that deliver that functionality at a much lower cost. 

    The bottom line is that you're paying a LOT for the brand name.  If you like the product and can afford it, then go for it. But if you can don't need to spend this much money to get similar benefits.  
  • Thanks Randy! I kind of figured as much :(
  • @KALO6 I used to work at a salon hat sold Kerastase, which is under the L'Oreal umbrella and the formulas are practically the same... always made me sad that all the stylists convinced themselves it was necessary to spend that much. Stay strong and stay rational friend.
  •  "Stay strong and stay rational." I want T-shirts made with this. 
  • hahaha thanks @brainybimbo I will try to stay strong and rational haha

    Randy- We had an Oribe product rep come to the salon yesterday and she handed out a flyer that said all of their shampoos are formulated with only naturally derived sulfates. She said they did not add any "chemically produced surfactants". Is Sodium Laureth Sulfate and TEA-Lauryl Sulfate naturally derived?!
  • The fatty alcohol part (the "lauryl/laureth" part) can come from coconut oil, so in that sense those ingredients are naturally sourced. But a LOT of brands use coconut oil as the source of their surfactants so there's nothing unusual or special about it and it doesn't make the product work any better. It certainly doesn't justify a significantly higher price!
  • Randy, I really think you're missing a marketing opportunity by NOT making BB themed t-shirts and snapbacks.

    You are more than welcome to use my quote, I promise I won't sue for copyright infringement. But I would buy and wear the t-shirt so I could show off my slogan skills, which are plentiful. (by the way, if you ever get the time, google "Give Good Face", they have some of the most amusing and hilarious t-shirt slogans related to makeup artistry).
  • Okay, this may make me sound really out of touch but what the heck is a "snapback?" (I could just Google it but I never like to miss an opportunity to drive more discussions in the Forum.)
  • Snapbacks are what used to be called ballcaps. So similar to how many people wear ballcaps with their favorite team logo, I would be happy to wear one with some sort of Beauty Brains insignia.
    Forget google, when it comes to silly newfangled lingo, I am more than happy to share.
  • I want to take a hair styling course and I will unashamedly tell them the expensive hair products are not better because I choose science over a few extra bucks from commissions. Although I do believe many stylists honestly believe that expensive is better especially when they have taken courses sponsored by one the brands.
  • If you ever work at a hair salon, rozy, tell your customers that high-end shampoos = price gouging!
  • I will. I swear I will I will never lie to them because I know better. I couldn't have that on my conscious.
  • Rozy that's a quick way to lose your job at any salon you might work at. Product sales are the most profitable part of the hair salon business model and no salon owner will let you say that to her clients and get away with it.

    Additionally, at most salons your job performance is partially evaluated based on how much product you sell. If your salon owner feels you don't sell enough product (even if she never hears you bad mouth) you risk losing your job.
  • Yeah, brainy's right. I've never worked at a salon before, but from a business perspective it makes sense.

    You just get tired of this kind of hype after a while.
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