How do you choose the right shampoo for your hair type?

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Answered by: Debbie, An Expert in the Beauty - General Category
Find the Right Shampoo for your Hair Type

There are an abundance of amazing shampoos on the market, so how do you find Mr. Right? Look for a shampoo created for your hair type (fine, medium, curly, etc.). Yes, even your hair has a “type”!

Thin or Fine Hair



If your hair type is thin or fine, you don’t want to use a shampoo that can over-condition hair or weigh it down. Use lightweight, thickening or volumizing formulas that will add texture and plump up strands, while strengthening and reinforcing hair. Some nutrients and natural extracts feed hair to improve thickness and health. Lavendar oil, lemongrass and rosemary are all known to promote hair growth, stimulate and balance the scalp and prevent hair loss. Nettle root extract helps reduce DHT and improves scalp circulation.



Normal/Medium Hair

If you have normal (not overly dry, oily or fine) hair type, just about any shampoo works for your hair type. You’re one of the lucky ones without a specific hair concern, so concentrate on preserving your hair health and maintaining balanced moisture levels for manageability, softness, and shine. Use a Daily Shampoo or one that gently cleanses without stripping hair. Ingredients such as silk amino acids, wheat protein, white tea, and antioxidants A, C and E all maintain balanced moisture levels and preserve the integrity of healthy hair. There are many shampoos created for normal hair which are perfect for everyday use.

Curly Hair

Moisture in shampoo is the key to curl perfection. The proper amount of hydration will tame frizz, soften strands, and maintain curl shape and elasticity. Curly needs extra moisture because the natural oils from your scalp don’t always make it down the twists and turns of your hair shaft. Curly-haired girls should avoid products with silicone, which can deter moisture from curls since it coats hair and prevents absorption (think wax on a car when it rains). There are many ingredients that are nourishing and hydrating for curly hair including glycerin, olive oil, balsam oil, shea butter, jojoba oil and kelp. These natural smoothies will keep hair hydrated and nourished to enhance curl retention and boost shine. Look for shampoos designed to care for curls and boost hydration.

Thick Hair

Thick hair needs to maintain balanced moisture and volume levels. Abundant strands can become frizzy, unruly and look full in the wrong places (at the ends not the roots). Look for smoothing and nourishing ingredients such as avocado oil, soy protein and macadamia nut oil to help seal the cuticle, hydrate hair and control unwanted volume.

Oily Hair

A healthy scalp is the foundation for healthy hair. Contrary to popular belief, a dry scalp is the culprit for oily hair. To overcompensate for dryness, oil glands in the scalp produce more oils, which are distributed to hair, primarily at the roots. Although tempting, don’t scrub your scalp, which can over-stimulate (oil producing) sebaceous glands. Rinsing hair with tepid or cool water also helps keep oily hair healthy. Use a mild shampoo designed to balance the scalp. Shampoos with tea tree oil are also beneficial.

Dry or Damaged

Hair that’s dry or damaged shouldn’t be washed every day and needs a dose of moisture to replenish parched strands. Look for nourishing shampoos for your hair type that will hydrate, detangle hair, and smooth the cuticle while cleansing. Gentle, non-stripping shampoos will leave strands soft, silky and shiny. Look for healing, nourishing ingredients such as hemp seed oil, silk and milk proteins, or jojoba oil. Dry hair also needs to be conditioned every time you shampoo to further boost moisture and combat flyaways, frizz and static.

Color Treated     

Hair that is highlighted or color-treated absolutely needs to be cleansed with a gentle shampoo for your hair type, intended for color-treated hair. Other shampoos often contain ingredients such as sulfates that are too harsh and can cause literal “wash out”. Look for shampoos designed for color treated hair or labeled sulfate-free. Because sulfate-free formulas are gentle, they don’t produce a sudsy lather but thoroughly cleanse color-treated hair with care. If you want to boost your color, use product designed to maintain your specific hair color or one that deposits color onto hair to maintain vibrancy.

Ethnic Hair

Ethnic hair, such as African American hair, require special care. Check out nourishing formulas to cleanse your hair and scalp without stripping natural healthy oils. Look for products designed for your hair with moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin, panthenol or shea butter that will keep hair hydrated with natural luster.

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