By Katalina Mitchell
With numerous brands and an endless selection, picking a shampoo can be confusing and a bit intimidating. The key to healthy hair is understanding your personal hair needs. With this guide, your next trip down the shampoo aisle will be easier than rinse, lather, repeat.
1. It’s not about the money [money, money].
Forget about the price tag. Your hair is worth spending a few extra dollars to get the essential nutrients required for it to be healthy. Remember, salon-grade shampoos tend to be higher in price but are typically more concentrated which means they will last longer.
2. Nose no goes.
PLEASE do not choose your shampoo based on how wonderful it smells. Save the tropical paradise for your body wash and choose a shampoo that is appropriate for your hair type.
3. Read ‘em and weep.
The right ingredients can make or (literally) break your hair. Be sure to check what is in that shampoo before you use it, especially if you pick one that is not sold at your local salon. Avoid shampoos containing sulfates if possible. If a sulfate-free shampoo is not available for your hair type, look for one containing a gentle cleansing agent like Sodium Laureth Sulfate (versus Sodium Lauryl Sulfate).
4. Let’s Clear Things Up
Almost every hair type can benefit from a clarifying shampoo. Cleansing your hair of the products used is essential to prevent build-up.
No two heads of hair are the same. Whether your hair is coarse and dry, or fine and oily, there’s a shampoo for you. Here’s a list of our favorite recommendations:
1. Curly or Coarse: Both curly and coarse hair tends to be dry and frizzy because the oils created at the root of the hair follicle cannot move easily down the hair shaft. This type of hair should not be washed every day because it will further strip the oils your hair needs. When choosing a shampoo, look for hydrating compounds found in wheat germ oil, shea butter, nut oils, silicone, and glycerin. DevaCurl No-Poo is a great choice for these types of hair.
2. Fine or Oily: Be sure to find a shampoo that is specifically intended for frequent washes, as fine hair tends to get oily very quickly. A general rule of thumb for this hair type is to go for a clear shampoo, rather than a creamy one which will be too heavy. The ingredient to look for in these shampoos is panthenol, which will help thicken your hair. Also, rather than washing your hair every day, use a dry shampoo in between washes. It will absorb those unwanted oils and add volume. We recommend trying Paul Mitchell Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo.
3. Color or Chemically-Treated: Following any color or chemical transformation, consider the new condition of your hair when buying a new shampoo. After these treatments, hair needs to be reinforced with protein found in ingredients such as wheat and soy extracts or silk amino acids. Dermorganic’s Conditioning Shampoo is infused with argan oil and is a terrific option.
4. Distressed: If hair has been over-processed from color or fried from excess heat, it is considered “distressed.” Hair in this situation needs special care with a shampoo that will fortify weakened areas and protect the integrity of the hair. Pureology Essential Repair is a suggested choice.
5. Aged: Signs of aging hair include change in texture, increased dryness or dullness, diminished density, and breakage. When checking the ingredients, look for peptides and ceramides to help reinforce the hair fiber and natural oils to soften and add shine to locks that lack luster. We recommend trying Redken Time Reset, which was created specifically to replenish porous, age-weakened hair.
6. Thinning: With age comes the inevitable grief over thinning hair. Luckily, hair companies are constantly updating the technology in shampoo formulas to combat the problem. Aveda’s newly-released Invati line has generated a lot of buzz with clients who saw improvement in hair density and overall growth. Consider Aveda’s Invati Exfoliating Shampoo if you think your hair meets these criteria.
Ultimately, there are many brands to choose from, and sometimes finding the right one comes down to trial-and-error. Don’t give up! If the shampoos you try do not work out, talk to your hair stylist at your next appointment and explain your frustration. Even if your salon does not carry the right shampoo for you, your stylist should be able to point you in the best direction. Best of luck to your locks!