Cool Ideas

The Ultimate Shampoo Guide

So it’s clear that not all heads of hair were created equal. While some women are lucky enough to have smooth and shiny hair, most of us spend copious amounts of time and money adding life to limp locks, taming wild curls, or adding oomph to dull color. In fact, it’s estimated that some women spend hundreds each month buying and trying products that promise to give you shampoo commercial results.

Well ladies, listen up. When it comes to shampoo (and conditioner), the more expensive brand isn’t necessarily best. The trick is to buy what works best for your hair, and shockingly, that $5 drug store brand could give you more salon style than its $25 counterpart. Keep your focus on the ingredients and texture, not the price. And it’s always a good idea to buy a small trial size (if possible) before splurging on a big bottle! Read on to see what we recommend for your hair type.

  • Coarse, curly hair: Curly hair and dry hair go hand in hand, and that’s because oils produced in the scalp don’t travel as easily down the shaft as they do with straight hair. Look for creamy, moisturizing shampoos that contain wheat germ oil, shea butter, and nut oils. These will coat the hair shaft and trap moisture inside. Be sure to condition with a moisturizing conditioner every single time you shampoo, and use a monthly hot oil treatment.
  • Fine, oily, or limp hair: The number one complaint from people with fine hair is that it ends to look oily — sometimes just a day or less after a wash. To avoid the curse of greasy hair, avoid creamy shampoos and opt for clear ones that are labeled for daily or frequent washing. Also buy shampoos that contain the body-building ingredient panthenol, which penetrates the hair cuticle and makes it stand thicker. When it comes to conditioning, skip it all together or just do the ends with a light weight conditioner. If you have extremely oily hair, try an oil-absorbing tea tree oil in your conditioner and use dry shampoo in between washings.
  • Processed hair: If you color, perm, or relax your hair, then adding moisture should be a key part of your hair beauty regime. However, processed hair often suffers from the double edged sword of oily roots and dry ends. In this case, you’ll want to shampoo your hair every other day using a shampoo made for normal hair, concentrating on cleaning the scalp. Then use a strong conditioner only on the mid to end of your locks. It’s usually a good idea to use products that are marked as "for color-treated hair" to help preserve your color.
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