When readers ask about selecting hair products, it is often in regards to those used for styling or restoration needs. While these are certainly important elements to consider when reviewing your hair care routine, it is also imperative not to overlook the role played by basic products used for cleaning and fundamental maintenance, such as shampoo. Selecting the right shampoo, whether you make your purchase at your salon, at your hair repair specialist’s office, or at your local grocery store, can easily become an overwhelming task. Just think of all of the colorful brands, recommended types, featured benefits, hyped ingredients, handy dispense mechanisms, and alluring scents that come into consideration! So how do you pick the best shampoo for you?
Start with a basic evaluation. Forget the shampoos and simply think about your scalp and hair. Is your scalp oily, or dry and flaky? Is your hair thin, medium, wavy, coarse, curly, or thick? Understanding these basic elements of your natural hair (For example, “My hair is thin and dry,” or “My hair is thick, wavy, and oily.”) will provide you with the base that you need to begin your shampoo search.
Consider additional factors. Outside contributors play a large role in the way they affect your natural hair. This can include anything from your daily styling routine and color or chemical treatments to your age and the amount of time you spend in the sun or swimming. Even applicable allergies and hair loss should be considered in this second level assessment of your hair.
Look for shampoos that meet these needs. This may seem like an obvious step, but in actuality, the shampoo search is usually approached backwards. An individual stands in front of a display of various products and when they see a descriptor that appears to apply to their hair, they pick up that bottle. Instead, shoppers should approach that shampoo display with a few specific goals in mind. Someone with thin, dry hair with highlights, for example, might be looking for a bottle that says “volume and moisture for color treated hair” as well as “for thin, dry, color-treated hair”. This small adjustment could be the difference between taking home a bottle that only meets one hair need and one that meets all of them.
Sample a few. If you find more than one option that meets your needs (and you most likely will), buy a few different brands and try each one for a week at a time. See which feels best and improves the health of your hair the most. Maybe you’ll find that a certain featured ingredient has a noticeable impact on your locks or maybe you’ll decide that one brand just doesn’t leave you feeling quite as refreshed as another does. Comparing various shampoos that all meet your individual needs is a good way to discern between the special features that brands are promoting.
Use properly. Last, but not least, use your shampoo as directed. Frequency, water temperature, and amount of product needed all vary by brand and quality, so it’s important to follow the instructions in order to get the best results available. With the right product and the right application, your shampoo can play a very valuable role in the health and beauty of your hair.
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