So this is something I've always wondered about... Do you guys think there is a big difference between the (generally more expensive) brands of shampoo/conditioner sold at salons and the (usually cheaper) brands sold at drugstores?

I'm not sure what my own opinion is, to be honest. I use both types. I buy a bottle or two of the fancier stuff from my hairdresser sometimes, but it's more to support her (she owns the salon, and I read somewhere that their highest profit margin comes from selling products) than because I think it's so much better than the drugstore stuff. The salon brands I like are Aquage and Biolage. I used to be able to get the biolage for a really good price from a beauty supply type place that has since closed, at which point it wasn't too much more than the drugstore stuff.

On the other hand, I also use Pantene, Neutrogena, John Frieda, etc from the drugstore (so not the super cheap brands, but still pretty inexpensive), and they also seem to work fine. I do have pretty healthy hair (although I get it colored, I never heat style it or use product) so maybe I don't need anything fancy.

So does anyone have any opinions about this? Are the salon brands really that much better for your hair? And specifically for those of you with colored hair - do the fancier brands really help maintain color longer? (I get my hair dyed red, which is notoriously fast-fading, so I need all the help I can get! I do always buy colorcare products, whether salon or drugstore.)