Do you feel lost in front of the long aisle of shampoos and conditioners at the supermarket? We understand. Finding the right choice for your hair type can make you break out in a brain sweat.
The truth is your hair is as unique as you are and there is no ‘one-size-fit-all’ solution when it comes to choosing your shampoo. However, identifying your hair type and needs can certainly help you choose the one that makes your hair beautiful, shiny, and healthy.
In this article, we have broken down all that you need to know about the different hair types and their needs, so that you can pick the perfect shampoo.
Choosing The Right Shampoo For Your Hair Type
Shampoo is probably the most frequently used product on your hair. Therefore, it plays a crucial role in making or breaking your mane. A wrong choice of shampoo can leave your hair looking dull and lifeless.
So before you head to shop for shampoo, you should know more about your hair and scalp, and which kind of shampoo will suit you the best. You can take SkinKraft’s HairIDTM quiz to know your current hair profile, and order products customised for the specific needs of your hair.
1. Know Your Scalp
For an effective cleansing of your crown, your shampoo should meet the needs of your scalp first. The roots of your luxurious tresses are seated deep within the scalp. So to have healthy and glowing hair you should have a happy scalp. For example if you have a combination of oily scalp with hair strands dry at the end, you should pick up a shampoo designed for your scalp and use a conditioner to moisture the ends of your hair.
A. For Normal Scalp
If your scalp has just the right amount of oil from the sebaceous glands, you are among the lucky few who have a normal scalp. A normal scalp is usually free from dandruff, excessive dryness or oil deposition. So you do not have much to worry about. A shampoo with an evenly balanced formulation of detergents and conditioning agents will help maintain the glory of your blessed possession.
B. For Oily Scalp
If your scalp feels too oily or greasy despite washing it daily with different kinds of shampoo, probably it’s time you gave it a break! Also, bear in mind that too much washing may lead to dryness that in turn can stimulate your scalp to secrete more oil. So try keeping a gap of a day or two between your hair washes to check how it works for you. Try keeping these in mind while choosing shampoo for an oily scalp:
1. Read the label Pick up shampoos that say ‘volumising’, ‘strengthening’ or ‘balancing’ to deal with the excess oil. Avoid moisturizing, hydrating shampoos or shampoos for curly, frizzy hair.
2. Choose the right formulation
Non-moisturising formulations designed to remove excess oil works best for oily scalps. You can also try a clarifying shampoo once in a while for deep cleansing. But use it in moderation to avoid dryness or irritation of your scalp.
3. Double it up
You can try using a combination of two shampoos-one for your scalp and another for the length of your hair to get a better cleansing effect.
4. Ditch the conditioner
Do not let the conditioner reach your oily scalp. Limit its usage only from midshaft to the end of your hair.
C. For Dry Scalp
1. If your scalp feels dry, itchy and tends to flake, then a wrong choice of shampoo will only add to your woes. To save your scalp from the constant urge to scratch and cause more flaking, keep the following tips in mind while picking your cleanser:
2. Choose gentle formulations which promote moisturisation, hydration or helps soothe the frizz, to keep your scalp hydrated.
3. You can try shampoos with tea tree oil or menthol to help moisture retention and to soothe your dry scalp.
4. You can also try a Nioxin shampoo if your scalp is moderate to severely dry.
5. Avoid volumizing, fortifying or strengthening shampoos as they tend to make your scalp even drier.
6. It is best to stay away from shampoos containing sulfates as they can have a very drying effect on both your scalp and hair. Did you know that all SkinKraft products are sulfate free?
2. Know Your Hair
Now that you are armed with tips to take care of your scalp, you should also consider the needs of your hair when making a pick of the shampoo. There are a range of different shampoos available in the market, targeted for specific hair types and their special needs.
A. Curly hair shampoo
Curly locks tend to be on the drier side and tend to get tangled easily. A deeply hydrating or moisturising shampoo with ingredients to soothe the frizz is ideal to keep your curls pretty and manageable. You can also try cleansing conditioners that contain a very mild detergent for cleansing and offer a high level of moisturization.
B. Shampoo for that smooth, straight hair look
These shampoos are rich in moisturisers and smoothening agents that not only seal the cuticle to retain moisture but are also great in reducing fly-aways.
C. For the dry, damaged or chemically treated hair
The lengths of your hair may tend to be naturally dry and brittle. Or, if you have coloured or straightened your hair using chemical treatments, your hair may become more sensitive to stresses like pollution or photodamage and thus prone to damage.
You should opt for a hair strengthening shampoo fortified with proteins to give nourishment to your damaged tresses. Soy extracts and amino acids are great for preserving your coloured hair. Also make sure to opt for sulfate free options to prevent dryness and fading of your colour.
D. Volumizing shampoo
If your hair strands are very fine, they will become oily and limp easily. A gentle, non-creamy, volumizing shampoo will add more body to your hair without weighing it down. Lookout for ingredients like PG-propyl silanetriol, hydrolysed wheat protein to add volume, but avoid products with silicone.
E. Balancing shampoos
These shampoos are designed to even out the moisture levels of your hair and scalp. For example, your scalp may be oily and greasy while the strands may be dry or have split ends. Balancing shampoos have effective cleansers to rinse off the dirt and grime, along with proteins, vitamins and moisturising agents (like shea butter or aloe vera gel) to repair and restore moisture in the dry, damaged parts of your hair.
F. Anti-dandruff shampoos
Dandruff is a common cause of concern in both men and women. While a little flaking may be normal during the dry winter months, that should go away with the use of anti-dandruff shampoos available in the market.
But, if you have persistent dandruff that refuses to go away, it is best to consult a dermatologist. Your dermatologist can diagnose the underlying cause of your dandruff and suggest appropriate treatment options.
G. Dry shampoos
This is a great option to freshen up your hair on the go. Dry shampoos absorb the excess oil from your hair strands, adding volume and making it easier to style. But make sure to spray the dry shampoo 5 - 6 inches away from the scalp and roots of your hair to avoid irritation. Also bear in mind that even though named shampoo, these are not cleansers and should not be left on your hair for more than 2 to 3 days. Wash your hair with a wet shampoo to get rid of the oil and other deposits from your head at regular intervals.
Signs You Need To Switch Your Shampoo
Most good shampoos these days are designed for specific hair concerns. There may be a number of reasons that change the texture or nature of your hair. For example your hair may behave differently during different seasons or with age. You may want to reconsider your choice of shampoos if you notice some of the following signs:
- Your hair gets frizzier than before or it becomes more tangled or unmanageable. This may be a sign that your hair is not getting enough moisture or your shampoo is stripping your hair of its natural oils
- Your hair lacks the desired volume or lustre. If your hair is dull and limp even after regular wash and care, then your shampoo might not be doing its job right. You should switch to a volumizing or strengthening formula as per the need of your hair
- There is an undesirable change in the texture of your hair like it becomes oilier or drier than it was originally. While you can blame the shifts of your hair on the changing environment or weather conditions, you will need to adjust your shampoo according to the need of the hour
- The dandruff on your head does not go away or comes back more aggressively. It may be a sign that the fungus causing dandruff in your hair has become resistant to the antifungal agent in your shampoo. You should ask your doctor for an alternate choice of anti-dandruff shampoo
Is It Good To Change Your Shampoo Often?
There is a midwife's tale doing rounds that your hair can get used-to to the ingredients in your shampoo and changing your shampoo frequently is the key to having great hair. There is absolutely no scientific basis behind this myth. If your hair feels great and you have no specific hair issues then there is no reason to change your favorite shampoo.
On the contrary, frequent change of shampoo can do you more harm than good. Firstly, your hair will not have the chance to get used to a particular product, which allows you to judge if that particular formulation works for you or not. Secondly, in your quest to change to a fancier version every now and then, you may end up using a shampoo that does not suit your hair type. So it is best to stick to the shampoo that works best for your hair unless you notice any undesirable changes in your hair.
Washing your hair with the right shampoo is one of the most essential parts of your hair care routine. Shampoos not only work on your hair strands but affect your scalp too. Therefore, you should identify which type of hair and scalp you have and choose your shampoo accordingly. There are a wide variety of shampoos and conditioners available in the market to address your specific hair concerns. You can make an informed choice yourself or consult an expert for the best choice of shampoo.
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