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What Is the Best Type of Shampoo for Your Hair?

The best types of shampoo for your hair

Before choosing a hair shampoo, it's important to know what shampoo does, how to use it, and how it relates to your hair and scalp type. You might think shampoo is strictly a hair-cleansing formula, but it's equally important to consider your scalp when choosing a shampoo. Shampoo is meant to cleanse both your hair and scalp of dirt, oil, and product build-up. Think of it this way: shampoo is for your scalp and roots, while conditioner is for the ends of your hair. You should choose a shampoo that is best suited for your scalp and a conditioner based on the condition of your ends. When it comes to hair care routines, one size definitely does not fit all. You may be able to go days in-between washings, while those of us with oilier strands need to wash daily. So how do you find the perfect balance of wash days and days off? See our previous post "How Often Should You Wash Your Hair" for more info on that. For now, let’s get into the different types of shampoos you can find lined up in the hair care aisles and salons.

Types of shampoos

1. Regular shampoo

A regular hair shampoo is designed for people who don’t have any specific hair needs or treatments. Regular shampoos are gentle cleansers with simple ingredients formulated to clean normal sebum production without stripping your scalp’s natural oil, hydration, and shine from your strands. Regular shampoos can be formulated for dry, normal, or oily hair.

2. Everyday shampoo

Greasier-haired gals tend to need to shampoo more often, and that’s where everyday shampoo comes in. An everyday shampoo is a mild cleanser containing far fewer surfactants when compared to a regular shampoo. They also are soap and alkaline-free which make their everyday use sustainable. And like regular shampoos, everyday shampoos may have a small number of conditioning agents in them.

3. Clarifying shampoo

If you use a lot of styling products on the regular, it’s most likely time for a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoo deep cleans, clearing out build-up in the hair and scalp from extended use of things like silicones, styling products, and conditioners. The catch is, clarifying shampoos can be harsh, so be sure to follow up with a conditioner and use it only once a week. While clarifying shampoo is safe to use, using it anymore can make your hair dry and frizzy. Looking for more info on clarifying shampoos? Check out our previous post "What is a Clarifying Shampoo?"

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4. Anti-breakage shampoo

Anti-breakage shampoos are formulated for long or damaged hair. They’re designed to gently cleanse the hair, and create a glossy shine. They help restore your hair’s pH balance and repair damage. You can use an anti-breakage shampoo to cut down on frizz and get healthier, stronger hair.

5. Purifying shampoo

Focusing more on the scalp than on the hair itself, a purifying shampoo has cleansing, soothing, and antimicrobial benefits. Purifying shampoos specifically target dandruff-prone hair. Some common botanical ingredients in these types of shampoos include dandelion, willow bark extract, and tea tree oil.

6. Dry shampoo

Dry shampoo isn’t (technically) a shampoo because it simply absorbs hair oils as opposed to actually cleaning the hair or scalp. Dry shampoos can be liquid, powder, or come in an aerosol spray. Perfect for those in-between wash days, take a small amount of dry shampoo and spread it through your roots to absorb excess oil and grease. It will instantly absorb sebum from your roots, making your hair appear and smell fresher than ever. Although, it’s important to note that relying solely on dry shampoo for long stretches of time can cause build-up and adverse effects on your hair and scalp.

7. Moisturizing shampoo

One of the main reasons for dry or weak hair is because of a lack of moisture in the scalp. If the scalp fails to produce enough oil to lock moisture in, the result is dry, brittle strands, ultimately leading to dandruff. This is the time to use a moisturizing shampoo. But you don’t have to have dry hair to reap the benefits, moisturizing shampoo can also help to strengthen your hair and make it look shinier. The only time we don’t recommend using a moisturizing shampoo is if you have oily hair.

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8. Volumizing shampoo

As the name suggests, volumizing shampoos are designed specifically to give volume to fine, thin hair. They are created from lighter formulas, so as not to weigh your hair down. A volumizing shampoo works by opening the hair cuticle, encouraging growth. Some volume shampoos even have keratin protein as an active ingredient to help strengthen strands from the roots to the ends.

9. Color-treated hair shampoo

If you have color-treated hair, you’re likely dealing with dry locks, fading color, and a lack of moisture. For this reason, it’s important to use a shampoo specifically designed for colored hair. Unlike ordinary shampoos, a shampoo for color-treated hair contains ingredients that won’t strip your hair of its hue. This helps keep your strands hydrated, healthy, and protected from damage.

10. Curly hair shampoo

If you're naturally curly, then you’re probably well aware of the fact that not all shampoos are created equal. Curly hair tends to be drier and frizzier than other hair types, which is why it’s critical to use super hydrating ingredients in a shampoo. A curly hair shampoo gently cleanses frizzy hair, making it smooth and shiny.

So which type of shampoo is right for you?

Well, the easiest way to figure this out is by the condition of your scalp.

If you have an oily scalp...

  • Avoid shampoos that are hydrating, moisturizing, smoothing, or formulated for curly hair. These add too much moisture to an already oily scalp.
  • Look for labels that mention volumizing, strengthening, or balancing. These are non-moisturizing and more effective at removing excess oil.
  • A clarifying shampoo can be your best friend if you have an oily scalp, but be careful not to overuse it and dry out your scalp. 
  • Spend extra time working the shampoo into your scalp to break up oil, and rinse your scalp thoroughly.
  • After shampooing, avoid any conditioner on your scalp. Concentrate on the mid-shaft and ends of your hair, before rinsing it out well.

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If you have a dry scalp...

  • Avoid strengthening, fortifying, and volumizing shampoos. These products can strip your scalp of much-needed moisture.
  • If your scalp is only slightly dry with little to no itching or flaking, look for shampoo labels that promote moisture, hydration, or smoothing. 
  • Avoid shampoos that contain sulfates, which are very drying to your hair and scalp.

If your scalp is neither dry nor oily, choose your shampoo based on your hair type and desired results...

  • Moisturizing shampoos are great for adding moisture, shine, and smoothness to hair. They’re also good for thick, curly, or coarse hair that lacks moisture.
  • Volumizing shampoos are perfect if your hair is fine or limp for an extra boost without weighing the hair down.
  • Anti breakage shampoos work best on damaged, over-processed, highlighted, weakened, or brittle hair. 
  • A regular shampoo is a nice middle-of-the-road option. Regular shampoos aren’t too moisturizing, but they won't dry your hair out.
  • A curly hair shampoo is super hydrating and contains ingredients that reduce frizz without weighing down the curls.

Choosing the best shampoo for your hair type can be a daunting task, but with our guide to everything shampoo, your hair care game will be scoring wins in no time!

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor

photos by @karlibobarley

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2 Responses

Origine Naturespired
Origine Naturespired

January 10, 2022

Nice blog!
Thank you for the valuable information, keep updating us with such amazing blogs.

best shampoo for smooth hair


February 17, 2021

thats great,

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