How to Find the Right Shampoo for Your Hair Type

Shampoos are probably the most underrated hair product out there. No matter how seriously you take your hair care routine, it’s likely that this is one product you use without fail. But just because it’s common, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about which shampoos are the most suitable. Finding the right one for your hair type can be transformative, making it healthier and easier to maintain. So, next time you’re running low on your supermarket staple, stop and think: is this really what’s best for my hair and scalp?

Never given your shampoo a second thought? Confused about cleansing conditioners? Here’s how to select – from the many options available – the right product for your hair and scalp type.

how to find the right shampoo for different hair types guide

First Thing’s First: Check the Label

You probably check the label when buying food right? Start doing the same thing when you buy shampoo! Don’t be swayed by packaging that promises the world; to really find out whether it’s going to work for you, take a look at the ingredients.

Sulfates – a type of surfactant that makes products sudsy – are commonly used in shampoos. These shampoos often leave hair feeling squeaky clean, but they can strip away natural oils, making it dry and brittle too. The three types of sulfates that tend to be used in beauty products (in most of them, actually) are sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate. They differ in intensity, though they can all cause irritation to the skin and hair. Generally speaking though, the ‘eth’ sulfates are milder than ‘yl’ types. And ammonium sulfates are milder than sodium ones.

If you’ve got sensitive skin or dry and damaged hair that’s prone to frizz, you should use a sulfate-free shampoo. These cleansers are gentler on the scalp and hair, and help to retain moisture. Those with colour-treated hair will also benefit from making the switch, since sulfates can strip colour too.

If your scalp is oily, sulfate shampoos are not likely to affect the overall health of your hair; they’ll absorb and get rid of the excess oils on your scalp. However, you should always apply conditioner to the length and tips of your hair, as these are more likely to dry out when you’re using a harsher shampoo.

The Best Shampoos for Different Hair Types

As a general rule, your shampoo should address your hair and scalp type; conditioners are used to treat the hair (not the scalp) by improving its overall health and manageability.

Best Shampoos for Dry Hair & Itchy Scalps

Moisture is your best friend! Hydrating shampoos promote moisture retention (which can benefit dry, itchy scalps too). And, as we’ve already mentioned, sulfate-free shampoos will gently cleanse the hair without drying it out further.

If your scalp is particularly dry, flaky or itchy, use an anti-dandruff shampoo to tackle this; tea tree oil is a natural ingredient that’s used to remedy itchy scalps, thanks to its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties.

Best Shampoos for Damaged Hair

Damaged hair also needs moisture, but it’ll benefit from a repairing or fortifying shampoo too. These usually contain extra protein to strengthen the hair and improve its overall condition.

Best Shampoo for Oily Hair

If you’ve got oily or greasy hair, you should avoid using heavy products; these weigh hair down and can leave the hair looking limp. Hydrating or moisturising products will leave your hair feeling oilier, so steer clear of those too.

Greasy hair is caused by sebum overproduction in the scalp, so you need a shampoo that’s going to restore balance; apply a clarifying treatment when it’s feeling especially oily (but don’t overdo it – you’ll only dry your hair out). Oh, and never massage conditioner into your roots; run it through the lengths of your hair to the tips instead.

Best Shampoo for Fine Hair

Fine hair can appear flat and lifeless without the right product. Volumising shampoos often contain proteins and polymers that are designed to enhance the structure of the hair. Make sure you’re using lightweight products that aren’t going to drag the hair down or cause build-up on the scalp.

Best Shampoo for Colour-Treated Hair

To keep your colour vibrant in-between salon visits, you should use a shampoo that’s designed to seal in colour. A good colour-protecting shampoo will properly cleanse the hair and nourish the hair without stripping colour.

Bleach blondes should use a violet or silver shampoo to keep their colour clean. These heavily-pigmented shampoos neutralise brassy yellow tones that can develop; because purple is exactly opposite yellow on the colour wheel, they instantly lift golden tones.

The Difference Between Conditioning Cleanser & Shampoo

There’s been a lot of talk about the drying effects of shampoo in recent years, which has led to the growing popularity of cleansing conditioners. But what’s the difference between them? How are you supposed to use them – and should you be using them at all?

Shampoos are designed to cleanse the hair by removing product build-up, dirt and impurities from the hair and scalp. However, the chemicals and detergents used in most shampoos can dry out the hair, stripping it of its natural oils (that’s why it’s important to take note of what’s in your shampoo!).

Cleansing conditioners use emollient oils to clean the hair and scalp more gently. They’re better options for those whose hair is coarse, dry or curly; cleansing conditioners clean the hair without removing the essential oils that control frizz, keep hair hydrated and tame unruly locks. However, if you’re looking to switch to a cleansing conditioner, you’ll still need to use a regular shampoo on occasion to refresh the hair and scalp (often, cleansers are too mild to properly get rid of product build-up and impurities).

Last but Not Least…

Beautiful hair really does start in the shower; to keep it healthy, you need to be using a shampoo that’s going to work for you.

It’s worth remembering that our hair and scalp can change over time. You may find that products which suited you in the past are no longer working for you, so it’s worth reviewing your hair care routine every once in a while. And remember; don’t wash your hair every day!

To get the most out of your hair care regimen, speak to your Rush stylish; they’ll be able to offer expert advice on everything from shampoos to specialist treatments – meaning you’ll get to enjoy gorgeously healthy hair every day.

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