Choosing the right shampoo for your hair
Buying hair products can be an overwhelming endeavour. Strengthening, smoothing, hydrating, moisturizing, thickening, colour-safe – do you know what your hair is actually in need of? It doesn’t have to be confusing, so long as you know what you’re looking for. And as the weather starts to get cooler, it’s super important that you’re using the right products to ensure your hair is moisturized throughout fall and beyond.
1. Define your scalp type
Before shampooing, it’s important to understand what your scalp type is. Shampoo is meant to clean your scalp and hair of dirt, oil and product build-up. It's not just meant for cleaning hair, it’s equally important to consider your scalp when buying a shampoo. Think of it like this: shampoo is for your scalp and roots, while conditioner is for the rest of your hair. There are two main scalp types: oily or dry. Once you decide where you stand, it’s time to choose a shampoo.
2. Choosing a shampoo
One of the most common hair-scalp combinations is an oily scalp and dry ends. If this is you, you’ve likely tried many different shampoos and methods with little luck. From washing every other day to going days without washing in an attempt to control oil production. So, if this sounds familiar, here’s what to look for when choosing a shampoo:
- Avoid shampoos labelled as hydrating, moisturizing, smoothing and good for curly hair. You don’t want to add extra moisture onto an already oily scalp (even if you have overall dry hair). Instead look for labels that mention strengthening, balancing and volumizing. These kinds of products don’t include moisturizing agents and are better at removing excess oil. We love the Aveeno Blackberry & Quinoa Protein Blend Shampoo for our oily scalps. (Drugstores, $10.99)
- Try a clarifying shampoo. These are great for people with super-oily scalps, just be careful not to overuse these kinds of products as they can dry out your scalp and dry skin can stimulate MORE oil production, which is not what you want. We love using Ouai’s Detox Shampoo (Sephora, $39) once a week as a clarifier to balance our scalp and remove dry-shampoo build up. We find that using a clarifying shampoo once a week also helps our hair stay cleaner longer, which has always been a struggle with an oily scalp.
- Double wash your hair. We only learned recently from our hair professionals that we should always be double washing our hair. This ensures that we are actually cleansing our scalp and not just touching the surface. The first shampoo removes buildup and oil, your hair likely doesn’t get very sudsy on the first wash. Then rinse and apply shampoo again. Your hair should lather nicely, use this as a chance to massage your scalp and fully wash below the roots.
For a dry, itchy or flaky scalp, choosing the right shampoo is your first line of defence. Essentially you want to do the opposite of what we suggested for oily scalps, here are some tips:
Avoid strengthening, fortifying and volumizing labels and these don’t have any moisturizing agents. If your hair is only slightly dry, get a shampoo labelled as moisturizing, hydration, smoothing, or for curls as these products promote moisture retention. If you have a more severe dry scalp, try a Nioxin shampoo! Our hair pros swear by the Loreal EverPure Moisture Shampoo (Drugstores, $10.99) for ladies with dry scalp/hair!
3. Shampoo for different hair types
If you’re blessed with a scalp that falls in the middle of the above two categories, neither too dry nor oily, feel free to choose whatever shampoo best fits your desired result! Or if you just want to know what all these different shampoo labels mean, keep reading!
- Hydrating/moisturizing shampoo: Adds extra moisture, smoothness and shine to hair. This is good for you curly hair ladies or if you struggle with frizz.
- Strengthening/fortifying shampoo: These shampoos usually contain protein and are great for damaged, weak, brittle hair. This helps to improve your overall hair’s condition, girls with bleached hair, this one’s for you!
- Volumizing shampoo: If you have fine hair or your hair typically gets flat, grab this type of shampoo for an extra boost.
- Smoothing shampoo: Usually rich with moisture and smoothing agents that seal the cuticle. This is optimal for people with straight hair.
- Balancing shampoo: Typically, a safe option for everyone, not too moisturizing, but won’t dry out your hair.
With whatever shampoo you end up choosing, just make sure you get a sulfate-free shampoo/conditioner. Sulfate can over-strip your hair and scalp of oil and can actually cause a buildup on your hair. We also recommend grabbing the accompanying conditioner, just remember that with conditioner, never apply it directly to your roots, conditioner is only for the ends of your hair.
Now that you know how to properly care for your scalp and hair type with shampoo, what about the drying process? Book an in-home hairstyling appointment here and our hair professionals will style your hair to perfection from wet to dry. Our mobile hairstylists travel to you so you can enjoy salon-style hair at home!