Are you using the right hair shampoo?

There are basically three things to look out for when choosing the right hair shampoo- your hair type and texture, your unique hair needs and the ingredients in your shampoo. Different shampoos have different ingredients, features and benefits- so it is important to match them against your hair needs. The easiest way to do this is to look out for words like oily, dry or frizzy on the label. But even when you’re paying attention to all this, most of us tend to ignore the “ingredients” bit, which is equally important. Here’s how to choose a good hair shampoo.

Based on your hair type and texture

Hair shampoo for thin hair

Thin, fine hair tends to get oily fast, so you will need to shampoo your hair more frequently. So choose a gentle everyday formula that’s lightweight – you could pick a thickening or volumizing formula to add some body to your hair. If you’re craving for volume, look for lavender oil, lemongrass and rosemary- some well-known solutions for promoting hair growth.

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Hair shampoo for thick hair

If you have thick, untamed hair, your shampoo should perform two functions- control volume and moisturize abundantly. So look for smoothing ingredients like avocado oil, soy protein and macadamia nut oil that help to hydrate your hair and tame the excess volume.

Hair shampoo for normal hair

Almost anything suits hair that’s already balanced- buy both a conditioning and a clarifying shampoo and use them alternately every few washes. Look for ingredients like wheat protein, white tea and vitamins A, C and E that help to maintain your already blessed hair.

Hair shampoo for curly hair

Curly hair can go either way- it can make or mar your look. Untamed, frizzy curls can make your hair look like a bird’s nest, while healthy, bouncy curls add charm and appeal. The secret to attractive curls is the right dose of moisture. The right dose of hydration helps to control frizz and soften your strands- thereby imparting shape and elasticity to your curls. Avoid products with silicone and look for those with glycerin, olive oil, shea butter and/or jojoba oil.

Based on your specific hair needs

Hair shampoo for oily hair

Oily hair is a dry scalp problem. The scalp overproduces oil to compensate for its dryness and this oil sits at the roots of your hair, making it oily and limp. What you need is a hair shampoo for dry scalp- a mild shampoo, preferably with ingredients like tea tree oil that help to balance the scalp. Stay away from shampoos that have the words “moisturizing” or “conditioning” written on them and look for a solution that’s specifically tailored for oily hair. If your oily hair problem is accompanied by dandruff (which is often the case) use an anti-dandruff shampoo. Look for ingredients like ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione or selenium sulfide. A word of caution- not only the type of shampoo, the way you shampoo your hair could also minimize or compound your hair woes. Do not scrubs the scalp too much as it will only stimulate your oil glands to produce more oils.

Hair shampoo for dry hair

Dry or damaged hair needs a lot of moisturizing and hydration- so choose nourishing formulas and do look for ingredients like coconut oil, argan oil, grape seed oil or avocado oil that are easily absorbed by the hair for more hydration and health.

Hair shampoo for colored hair

Use shampoos designed specifically for color treated hair to avoid a wash-out and look for sulfate free formulas. Sulfate free shampoos may not seem convincing when you use them initially because they don’t lather much and most of us equate the amount of lather a shampoo produces to its effectiveness. Don’t worry- they are doing a good job, anyway.

Hair shampoo for sun and swim protection

For people who swim regularly or spend a lot of your day out in the sun (or just love to get tanned!), remember your hair needs protection against UV rays and environmental damage. Choose a shampoo with UV filters and look for ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin B-5 and Vitamin E.

Based on hair shampoo ingredients

Hair shampoo ingredients to avoid

Steer clear of shampoos that list one or more of the following in their product labels-

  • Sulfates
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  •  Formaldehyde
  •  Propylene glycol

Sulfates cause shampoos to foam and lather, but they are strong chemical detergents found in dishwasher soap that can cause scalp irritation, redness and itching. It has often also come under the scanner for damaging colored hair and causing frizziness in curly hair. Isopropyl alcohol can rob your hair of moisture leading to hair loss while formaldehyde, a known carcinogen can cause skin inflammation while also harming your respiratory system. Propylene glycol can irritate sensitive skin and also cause irritation in the eyes. All the above have some or the other quality that make them good hair cleansers but that doesn’t override the harmful effects they may have on your skin, eyes and hair etc.

So choose your shampoo wisely and get beautiful hair that speaks for itself!

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