What shampoo should I use? It’s a question that many women (and men) ask on a daily basis. After all, whether you have a head full of corkscrew curls that cascade down your back, a super-short pixie cut, or anything in between, you want your hair to not only be healthy but look amazing. Achieving gorgeous hair starts with picking the right shampoo, which leads us back to the original question. Which shampoo is right for my hair type?

Of course, with so many possibilities, it’s almost impossible to know which one to choose. Using research and ranking sites like Smarter Reviews is a great place to start, as they extensively analyze hundreds of products to narrow down the top options.

Here are some more tips for picking the right shampoo:

Start By Considering Your Scalp

The whole reason for using shampoo is to clean your hair and scalp of any oil, dirt, and hair products, which is why you need to begin by looking at your scalp.

If your scalp tends to be on the oily side, you’ll need to look for shampoos are less moisturizing and more effective at removing oil. When you glance at the label, look for the terms balancing, strengthening, or volumizing, while avoiding shampoos that claim to be moisturizing, hydrating, good for curly hair, or smoothing.

If your scalp leans more towards dry and itchy, you’ll need a shampoo that doesn’t strip your hair of its natural moisture, and instead, helps restore your scalp’s natural moisture barrier. Look for labels that include the terms moisturizing, hydrating, and smoothing, while avoiding those that tout that fortifying, strengthening, and volumizing ability.

If your scalp is extremely dry, flaky, and/ or itchy, opt for a shampoo that has been specifically formulated for dry scalps. You can also look for a shampoo that contains tea tree or menthol, as both help moisturize your scalp.

If your scalp is neither too dry nor too oily, there is something you should know.  Don’t automatically assume that any shampoo will do. You need to stick to a formula that is designed for normal hair to ensure you keep that perfect balance. Avoid shampoos with extra ingredients, such as volumizers, that can weigh your hair down.

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Factor In Color

If you have color treated hair, you will want to focus on shampoos that are free of sulfates that can strip your hair of its color. By the way, if your color is a bit dull, look for a shampoo that is formulated for shine.

If your hair is blond, whether or not it’s your natural color, a purple shampoo may be just what you need for a beautiful color. Purple shampoos work by depositing a purple pigment into your hair, enhancing its silvery tones and toning down brassiness.

Don’t Forget About Your Hair Type

Your shampoo needs can vary drastically depending on the type of hair you have. For example, if you have thin hair, you know how easily it can be damaged. This is why it is so important to focus on gentle shampoos that also make your hair feel and look thicker. (Flaxseed oil and ginseng are two ingredients that are known for being super gentle.) Volumizing shampoos that contain film-formers to increase your hair shaft’s diameter are also a must [1]. Ingredients to look for include PG-propyl silanetriol and hydrolyzed wheat protein.

If your hair is curly or frizzy, look for a moisturizing shampoo. Moisturizing shampoos will help your curls stay soft and free of frizz. They often contain ingredients such as coconut oil and Vitamin A and E to give your hair added protection from damage.

If your hair feels almost straw-like, shampoos that contain conditioning agents, such as hydroxyethyl dimonium chloride, vitamin E, and argan oil can help soften it up by sealing your hair’s cuticle, which has the added bonus of making your hair easier to manage and smoother.

If you are struggling with hair loss, creating the right environment for hair growth is crucial. Look for a shampoo that removes any excess buildup on your scalp that can clog pores and slow down growth. Avoid any shampoos with added conditioning benefits because they are notorious for clogging follicles.

If your hair is incredibly thick, choose a shampoo that is free of volumizers. Instead look for one that offers plenty of moisture to weigh down your thick locks and combat frizz.

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Think About Your Lifestyle

When it comes to choosing the best shampoo, even your lifestyle should be considered. For example, if your hair tends to get really dirty on a regular basis, opt for a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos are well known for cutting through oils and dirt to leave your hair squeaky clean. Just be sure not to use it more than once a week or so.

If you love hair products, you’ll also want to use a clarifying shampoo once or twice a week. These shampoos are also ideal for getting rid of product buildup. If you spend a lot of time in the pool, look for this ingredient. Chlorine breaks up hair fibers, causing plenty of damage. To combat this, look for a shampoo that contains ceramides, which are ideal for protecting your hair cuticles from damage, while also repairing broken fibers.

Now, all that’s left to do is go out and find that perfect shampoo using everything you learned above.

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