We're positive you've seen Kerastase and Oribe on the shelves at your local beauty store or hair salon before. But which one should you choose?
If you've been following along with our other brand comparisons (such as our Kerastase vs Olaplex comparison), this won't be in quite the same format that you're used to. Kerastase and Oribe just have so many different product matchups to cover, yet the similarities and differences are more or less the same across the board. So as not to repeat ourselves endlessly, we're going to compare their products more broadly at first, and then we'll tell you our top picks in a more quick-fire fashion towards the end.
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Kerastase vs Oribe Shampoo
A great shampoo is one that effectively cleanses your hair fibres whilst delivering special care for any specific hair concerns you might have (e.g. volume, shine, moisture, etc.). I don't think there's a single person out there that would dispute the fact that Kerastase and Oribe shampoos are some of the best in this regard, and there are dozens to choose from. Fundamentally, though, there are a few key differences to note.
Oribe shampoos are completely sulfate-free—utilising coconut derivatives such as 'Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate' instead of the usual (relatively) harsh SLS—whereas Kerastase shampoos are not sulfate-free. That said, Kerastase shampoos contain the milder Sodium Laureth (as opposed to Lauryl) Sulfate, but it is a sulfate nonetheless and worth noting if that happens to be a big factor for you.
While we're on the topic of ingredients, Oribe's shampoos are absolutely filled to the brim with them, clocking in at an average of 100—yes, one hundred—ingredients on their labels. Kerastase shampoos, on the other hand, average around 30 to 40. This isn't an insignificant distinction; the more ingredients a product contains, the more likely you are to have a sensitivity or intolerability to at least one of them. It is actually why we at FEMMENORDIC are such big proponents of minimal, simple, French pharmacy products, and in this case, Kerastase shampoos our clear preference.
There is another side to the argument, though, in that Oribe is able to deliver a much more luxurious experience thanks to its indulgently long ingredient list revolving around delightful plant extracts and fragrances. The aesthetically pleasing bottle designs only further confirms that this was their intention; in other words, they have prioritised experience over efficacy. Kerastase instead prioritises effectiveness, utilising the scientific method to establish the minimum viable complex of ingredients to deliver the best results. This, of course, comes with the sacrifice of a slightly less opulent experience, but with some extra peace of mind that your shampoo is doing wonders for your hair.
Ultimately, both brands' shampoos will yield gorgeous, silky, flowing locks of hair with consistent use, the final deciding factor just comes down to preference.
If the first thing that springs to mind when you think of 'shampoo' is a candlelit bathroom with a bubbly-warm bathtub and a glass of wine, Oribe shampoos are the ones for you.
If, instead, your first thoughts are: "I have a specific hair concern that I *really* want to resolve," Kerastase shampoos would be the better fit for you.
Kerastase vs Oribe Conditioner
Akin to cleansing your skin, washing your hair is a critical step, but in doing so you are stripping it of moisture, and you need to replace that moisture by using a conditioner—just like you would for your skin with a moisturizer! As far as conditioners go, there's not too many as good as those by Oribe and Kerastase.
Both sets of conditioners are serious cult-favourites, and you would be hard-pressed to find one that you don't love from either brand. Ultimately, though, our recommendation would be to opt for the conditioner that best complements your choice of shampoo (skip back to the shampoo section for help deciding which is best for you).
For example, if you love the Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo, you should also pick up the Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Conditioner as it will best enhance the effects of the shampoo. Or, if you decided that you prefer the Kerastase Resistance Shampoo, you would be best off choosing the Kerastase Resistance Conditioner to go along with it.
One key similarity between the two sets of conditioners is that a lot of them contain pro-keratin, protein blends, or bonding molecules to help repair and maintain your hair's natural strength (to counteract breakage and frizz). Unfortunately, this means that they aren't suitable for the very small minority of people that have 'hair protein sensitivity', as it could lead to damage and even hair loss in severe instances. The best thing to do before buying any hair care product is to test yourself for protein sensitivity by:
- Applying a small amount of product (or protein-rich substance such as raw egg) to a short, damp section of hair.
- Allow your hair some time to air dry.
- Inspect your hair; you will immediately be able to tell if you are sensitive to protein if the hair in that section is extremely stiff or starts breaking.
If it turns out that you are sensitive to protein, our recommendation is moisture, moisture, and more moisture, and for that, you should check out our best French conditioner post.
Just as we concluded with regards to the shampoos, both brands' conditioners will yield gorgeous, silky, flowing manes with consistent use, the final deciding factor just comes down to preference.
Again, if the first thing that springs to mind when you think of 'conditioner' is a candlelit bathroom with a bubbly-warm bathtub and a glass of wine, Oribe conditioners are the ones for you.
If, instead, your first thoughts are: "I have a specific hair concern that I *really* want to resolve," Kerastase conditioners would be the better fit for you.
Kerastase vs Oribe Conclusion
The consensus with regards to the two brands as a whole follows neatly from the inferences we drew from the shampoo comparison. To reiterate, you will probably prefer the Kerastase brand as a whole if you are looking to resolve specific hair concerns such as volume or dryness, whereas you will definitely prefer Oribe if you are simply looking for a high-quality, luxurious products for your hair care routine.
To round off our review, here are our recommendations for the alternative ranges that Kerastase and Oribe offer.
Best Kerastase Ranges
Best Oribe Ranges
Work in progress
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