Know Thy Hair: The Best Type of Shampoo for You

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Taking care of your hair is part of personal hygiene and grooming. Aside from the face, your hair is one of the first things people notice about you. It has probably gone through the effects of bleach, beach, sun, dye, shampoo, conditioner, and styling products.

The health, appearance, and strength of your crowning glory start with the shampoo you use. Ideally, the two should match for optimal results.

Before you skim through the rest for the best shampoo for your hair, learn the number one rule: identify the kind of hair you have based on this cursory analysis.

  • Density measures how much hair you have based on how you can easily see the scalp. Part your hair in the middle and hold down one side to see the roots. Do the same in the different areas of your head.
  • Diameter relays the thickness of a hair strand. Pull out one, and roll it between your index and middle fingers to feel how thick or thin it is.
  • Porosity demonstrates your hair’s absorption and retention abilities. A highly porous hair means that it can easily absorb chemicals or substances that can damage it or cause frizz. To test, dip the strand into a bowl of water and see if it sinks (porous) or floats (low porosity).
  • Elasticity pertains to your hair’s ability to extend and return to its original length. Hold a wet hair strand and stretch it. If it reverts to its former length without breaking, the strand is highly elastic. If it doesn’t, the hair has low elasticity—not the best state for perming or curling.
  • Wave pattern classifies hair strands as straight, wavy, curly, and coiled. The curl pattern is not an indication of hair health.
  • Oiliness points to the natural level of grease in one’s hair. Wash your hair, air-dry it, and let it sit overnight. The next day, get a tissue and press it on the scalp. A greasy patch confirms oily hair and scalp, while no residue says dry hair. It is, however, possible for certain parts of your scalp to be oily, thus combination hair. 
Best Type of Shampoo

For Oily Hair 

Consider a volumizing shampoo and conditioner as they work in tandem to settle the problem of too much grease in your scalp. Volumizing products in the market contain different proprietary technology and formulation for purposes like removing excess oil, cleaning the scalp, hydrating the strands, coating them with extracts for elasticity, and restoring the hair’s shine.

For Thin or Thinning Hair 

As their name suggests, volumizing shampoos may help restore the thickness of hair strands. Many factors cause thinning hair, including but not limited to medications, genetics, and stress.

Nevertheless, try not to overuse these products or wash your hair too often. Shampooing every day can remove the sebum, which signals the scalp to produce more. You can use a conditioner instead or rinse your hair.

For Dry Hair

Moisturizing and hydrating are keywords when looking for the right shampoo and conditioner combination for dry hair. They can provide nourishment to the hair, make it soft, and help it recover from damage. Indeed, some products can be too harsh that they strip the hair of moisture and cause it to be brittle or coarse.

For Frizzy Hair

Cleansing conditioners may help you deal with frizzy or unruly hair. They offer to gently cleanse the follicles, moisturize the strands, and block humidity, which is a leading cause of frizz. You will find similar shampoo products that tame the mane and nourish it.

For Color-Treated Hair

An antifrizz shampoo may work with color-treated hair. Dyeing one’s hair adds to its porosity, which makes the strands prone to absorbing chemicals that result in damage or dryness. The rule about infrequent washing also applies to colored tresses to retain natural oils and to keep them healthy and shiny.

For Deep-Cleaning Hair

Ultimately, you need a product that will clean your hair and keep it manageable. An ultraclean shampoo may help you remove toxins and impurities left by many products or substances you have used. Apply specially formulated shampoos like this only when needed; you will still need your regular shampoo for frequent day-to-day use.

Your hair deserves all the TLC it can get, and the products you use can nurture or harm it. Read the product label for ingredients that may not be suitable for your scalp, your hair, or a related condition.

Anne Holzman

    Anne Holzman

    A licensed hair practitioner, Anne Holzman has worked in hair care for more than 25 years, spending the last decade focusing on trichology, which is the study of hair and scalp disorders. She is an accomplished author and educator as well, and she credits God for drawing her to the hair industry.

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