Voluminous, silky-soft tresses aren’t just the domain of hair models. Healthy hair begins with healthy cleansing, so if you’re still relying on the cheap shampoo your mum bought when you were 10, it might be time for an upgrade.
How to Determine Your Hair Type
Before you go on a shampoo-shopping spree, you need to know your hair type. Here’s a rundown of the most common hair types and their defining characteristics:
Oily hair tends to get greasy, particularly at the roots, as the day goes on. Too much oil can weigh down hair, rendering it lifeless and difficult to manage. Thin, fine hair is often oily simply because there’s less hair to absorb the oil
Fine hair means the individual hair strands are thin. Though often quite soft, fine hair tends to become limp quickly. It usually can’t hold a style and may be greasy by the end of the day.
Dry hair doesn’t have enough oil to remain healthy and soft. This is because either the scalp doesn’t produce much oil or the oil has been stripped by damage. Though dry hair is often thick, any hair texture can have this problem. Its hallmark is a dull and lifeless appearance coupled with vulnerability to split ends.
Combination hair is usually oily at the roots and dry towards the ends. If this sounds like your hair, select shampoo designed for the issue that causes you the most trouble.
Kinky, curly hair tends to get frizzy in humid climates and may be very dry during the winter. Brushing can worsen the frizz, and without gentle care, very curly hair is prone to breakage.
Thinning hair is distinct from fine hair in that thinness refers to the amount of hair, not the hairs themselves. Regardless of texture, thinning hair occurs in men and women due to age, hormones, medications, or illness. Thinning hair often thrives with the use of hair-growth products.
Normal hair is the holy grail of hair types because it has no significant problems. Well-moisturised without being oily, voluminous without frizz, and free of split ends as long as it gets a regular trim, normal hair needs only routine maintenance—not an avalanche of products.
Colour-treated hair isn’t a distinct hair type, since people with all hair textures and types may colour their hair. Colour-treated hair does best with colour-friendly shampoo that won’t strip away the dye. And if you use bleach to achieve the colour of your dreams, your hair may be damaged, dry, or frizzy.
Types of Shampoo
Though haircare companies make hundreds of shampoos, most products fall into one of these five broad categories:
Organic shampoos can be used safely on any hair type. They’re especially beneficial to people with sensitive scalps that break out in response to harsh detergents. People with very curly hair often rely on natural hair products, such as those containing coconut oil, to smooth frizz.
Moisturising shampoos restore the hair as it cleanses and is often free of harsh detergents. Evo Ritual Salvation Shampoo is an excellent choice for dry, damaged hair as well as hair that’s prone to frizz.
Volumising shampoos cleanse the scalp without leaving behind ingredients that weigh down hair. Aesop Volumising Shampoo (pictured top of story) is ideal for oily and fine hair.
Colour-safe shampoos are designed to cleanse your hair gently without stripping or altering your colour. There are many ranges that only offer colour-safe options, such as Pureology or Kerastase (eg: pictured below). A handful of colour-friendly shampoos also deposit colour, but talk to your colourist before trying one of these.
More Than Just Products: How You Wash Matters
Beautifying your hair is about more than the shampoo you use. That premium shampoo or natural conditioner will do little good if you don’t adopt a haircare schedule that works for your hair’s needs. Follow these tips to get the most out of your shampoo:
Remember that your scalp isn’t dirty. There’s no reason to scrub or lather multiple times. Doing so can dry your hair and irritate your scalp.
If your scalp feels itchy, it could be dry, or you might be allergic to your shampoo. Try a shampoo for sensitive scalps.
Only wash your hair as frequently as necessary. Many people find that their hair actually looks better a day or two after a shampoo.
If your hair is fine and damaged, try skipping a shampoo. Shampooing less often enables your scalp’s natural oil to penetrate your hair. Dry shampoo prevents your hair from looking dirty and greasy in the interim.