Walking into a store to choose a shampoo can be overwhelming given the sheer number of available options. Do not let the bottle design and product logo make you choose a shampoo. Choosing the right shampoo is a vital skill. A wrong shampoo can lead to damaged hair that may take months to sort.
To make an informed choice you need to know your scalp type, hair type, and the effects of environment on your hair, and a few special cases.
What is your scalp type?
The scalp is like the soil for your hair. If the soil is unhealthy or not taken into consideration while planting, the crop usually fails. Before even thinking of buying a shampoo, you need to correctly determine your scalp type. It can be either dry or oily or somewhere in between, which we’ll call normal scalp. The scalp changes with seasons. In the winter it tends to be on the dry side and in the humid summer or rainy season, it’ll turn oily, which is the reason you can not use the same shampoo throughout the year. It is the most common mistake people make with hair care and are often clueless when they have hair loss, split ends or greasy hair.
If you have an oily scalp and live in the humid tropics say Hawaii, pick out the shampoo that reads balancing or volume increasing or even strengthening. Try to stay away from products that say moisturizing or hydrating. A good practice for people with oily hair is to leave the shampoo in the hair for an extra minute than usual. It will do wonders for your scalp and reduces chances of you having greasy lifeless hair with no bounce. In case you have long hair, the ends can get dry with such shampoos, so it’s better to apply conditioner on the hair ends and mid shafts and avoid the scalp. Try and remember, shampoo is nourishment for the scalp while the conditioner is for the hair.
If you’re the one with a dry scalp or live in a cold dry place say Nebraska, pick out the shampoo that says moisturizing or hydrating or soothing. These shampoos will make sure our scalp has enough oil so it doesn’t start flaking and embarrassing you. Do not use shampoos that add volume or are strengthening or fortifying. If you have to use them, do so rarely. Finding a shampoo that is a good match for your dry scalp will help you avoid applying loads of hair oil every night and messing up a bunch of towels.
If you’re the lucky one born with a normal scalp, you’ll have to be most in touch with the natural cycles. Be aware and notice how seasons change your scalp and the amount of flakes or oil production. Change your shampoo accordingly. You have to be most careful with your hair as applying the same shampoo throughout the year will cause major hair damage in the long run in your case. A person with very dry or very oily scalp can keep using the same shampoo forever but so is not the case with people with normal scalps.
What is your hair type?
Being knowledgeable of your hair type is a good start to knowing how to take care of your hair. Hair can be divided broadly into three categories based on volume: thin, medium or thick hair. If you fall into any of the above three categories, be prepared to spend a few extra dollars and get more than one kind of shampoo. Once you get to know what works best, you’ll have beautiful healthy hair and the extra money you spend will be totally worth it.
Thin hair is best treated with volume adding shampoos that make it appear fuller and with more body. If you have thin hair combined with normal to oily scalp, go ahead and pick out with confidence the shampoo that reads strengthening, volume adding or balancing. In case you happen to have the combination of thin hair with a dry scalp, alternate moisturizing shampoo with a shampoo that adds volume to your hair, as you have to take care of your scalp and your hair with two different products.
Medium hair is what most people desire as it is the easiest to maintain. It’s always best to focus on your hair’s explicit needs, but products that are for all hair types can be good for people with medium, healthy hair. Your first concern should be discovering a formula that feeds, smooths and detangles your hair. A simple moisturizing shampoo is always a good choice.
Thick hair can be a handful and quite a project to manage. Shampoos that are hydrating and add moisture to the hair are best suited for thick or course hair. If your scalp is dry to normal with thick hair, moisturizing shampoo is for you, but if you have an oily scalp with thick hair, you should alternate with a shampoo that is moisturizing and a shampoo that is strengthening or balancing.
Finding the best shampoo for your hair
Choosing the right shampoo is important for everyone but what is even more important, is to find out what works best for you hair. Hopefully by now you know why there is a sea of options the next time you go shopping for shampoo.
Nature likes to thrive in diversity and people have a vast variety of scalps and hair and hence the vast number of shampoo choices to choose from. To have healthy hair it is vital to know what shampoos to use and when.
It’s also handy to remember to sparingly use products such as hair gloss, gels and colors and their regular use can lead to over processed damaged hair.
Please feel free to share any comments or share your own story about the journey to finding the right shampoo for you.