The number one place consumers purchase their hair products is at the supermarket :( These products are not only primarily water, but they contain non ethically sourced, synthetic and potentially harmful ingredients. That is why they can be sold for $5 a bottle as opposed to the $20 a bottle that professional products sell for. 

Professional products do have water as their primary ingredient, although some that we stock are actually Aloe Vera based, however the water to active ingredient ratio is on par as opposed to a non professional product which is  2/3-3/4 water based.

Let's discuss ingredients. Firstly, silicone. Silicone in it's natural BREATHABLE form is derived from sand- a costly extraction process. Natural silicone does not build up on your hair whereas the silicone found in non-professional products are not naturally derived and,  like wax, build up on the hair making your hair look and feel shiny but also weighed down. They coat the hair rather than penetrating in to the cuticle to fill porosity. Filling the porous cuticle layers creates a smooth surface and allows for light to reflect beautifully off the hair. 

Oils derived form nuts, such as Argan, Shea and the like, are not sourced ethically in cheap products. Professional manufacturers practice fair trade and sustainable harvesting practices. There are three ways to harvest these nuts: take them off the trees, wait for them to fall naturally and wait until animals have digested and passed them and then harvest them from the animal excrement. The latter of the two are ethical harvesting procedures performed by indigenous tribes. This is more costly, especially because professional manufacturers pay fair wages to the nut farmers. There is also a cost to collecting the animal feces and extracting the nuts to press for oil. These oils are actually more effective in hair care, the nut having passed through the animal's digestive system!

Another tidbit of ingredient info: professional products use minerals such as Mica and Tourmaline for shine, where as non professional product manufactures use fish scales. Professional manufacturers generally use essential oils and clean fragrance (from the ingredient itself) as opposed to synthetic fragrance. 

Professional products these days are generally also sulfate and paraben free, not tested on animals, vegan, are consciously manufactured with the environment in mind (wind and solar power) and are packaged in recycled and/or biodegradable bottles, tubes and pucks. 

So as you can see, there is a reason why professional products are more expensive. Professional manufacturers use better products that are ethically sourced and in high concentration. Professional products are not primarily made of water so a little goes a long way and the product lasts months. If you find you don't get a "herbal essence" lather, it's because of the absence of sulfates; just put a bit more water onto your hair and you'll get more suds!

Remember, your salon products also come with a professional recommendation. Your JOY stylist knows your hair and will only suggest the products necessary to keep it healthy, protect your colour and maintain your look at home!