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Regimen Building: Finding the Right Shampoos For You

My last video got me thinking about the different types of shampoos that are out there and why I decided on the one(s) that I have chosen over the course of my hair journey.  Right now, you know I’ve been using the Mizani Phormula-7 Shampoo, but before that it was GVP version of Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo and before that it was Nexxus Therappe Moisturizing Shampoo, VO5 Tea Therapy Clarifying Shampoo, Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, Tressemme Volumizing Shampoo, and Pantene Relaxed & Natural Shampoo.  I’d like to be able to say that I was well informed on the different types of shampoos out there and always chose the perfect one for my hair, but I didn’t.  As I got deeper into my hair journey and learned more about hair products out there, I was able to make more informed decisions when it came to choosing a shampoo.  Check out the different types of shampoos and whose (or what) hair/scalp they work well with below:

Anti-Dandruff Shampoos

They are medicated shampoos that treat dry, itchy and dandruff prone scalp with anti-fungal ingredients like Pyrithone zinc, Ketoconazole, and/or Selenium Sulfide.  This is best used on those who suffer from dry, itchy or dandruff prone scalp and should be used until the dandruff is under control.
Drug Store Brand: Head & Shoulder Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Salon Brand: Nioxin Scalp Recovery Shampoo

Chelating Shampoos

Removes the mineral deposits left on the hair caused by swimming in pools (chlorine), using hard water (calcium, iron, magnesium and silicon), and using no-lye relaxers (calcium).  This type of shampoo is best used after swimming, using hard water, or applying a no-lye relaxer.
Drug Store Brand: UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Shampoo
Salon Brand: Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo

Clarifying Shampoos

These shampoos contain strong cleansers (including EDTA) that strip the hair of all of the oils and hair products applied leaving you with a clean palette.  This shampoo is best used in preparation for chemical treatments (relaxers, bleaches, color treatments, etc) because it allows for better/more effective processing.  It is not recommended for regular use because it is extremely drying.
Drug Store Brand: Alberto VO5 Tea Therapy Clarifying Shampoo
Salon Brand: Kenra Clarifying Shampoo


Low pH Shampoos

These are your neutralizing and sulfate-free shampoos; they have an acidic/low pH of less than 6.   Chemical treatments will raise the  hair’s pH and the outer cuticle layer, but these low pH shampoos counteract that damage (improving moisture retention and the longevity of color treated hair).   This shampoo is best for those with chemically treated, dry, dull, or high pH/porosity hair.
Drug Store Brand: Organix Sulfate-Free Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
Salon Brand: CHI Deep Brilliance Balance Instant Neutralizing Shampoo

Moisturizing Shampoos

It infuses the hair shaft with moisturizing ingredients like panthenol, glycerin, aloe, olive oil, shea butter, etc.  This shampoo would be good regular use on those with dry or damaged hair.

Drug Store Brand: Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo
Salon Brand: Fekkai Advanced Essential Shea Shampoo


Smoothing/Strengthening Shampoos 

These shampoos reinforce the hair strand with silicones and/or proteins in preparation for heat tools.  Also, closes the hair cuticle allowing the hair to be smoother and shinier.  It is for those who plan to use heat tools (blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, hooded dryers, etc).
Drug Store Brand: Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smoothing Shampoo
Salon Brand: Kerastase Nutritive Bain Oleo-Relax, Smoothing Shampoo

Volumizing Shampoos 

These shampoos remove all product from the hair and raise the hair cuticle layer making the hair appear thicker (after conditioning and styling).  You’ll often notice that these shampoos contain silk amino acids. This type of shampoo is suggested for use by those who have thin or fine hair and want it to appear more voluminous.  Because this shampoo type raises the hair’s cuticle layer, this may also be good for those with low porosity/pH hair.
Drug Store Brand: Aussie Aussome Volume Shampoo
Salon Brand: Biosilk Volumizing Shampoo

Other Cleansers

Cleansing Conditioner – These have very mild cleansers, but are mainly moisturizers.  This is best for those who prefer a no-shampoo regimen. Example: L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner
Dry Shampoos – These are waterless cleansers that are best used in between wash days to remove excess oils without going through the whole wash day process. Example: Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo

My recommendation would be to add the one type of shampoo you could get the most use of to your hair regimen (the “regular use” shampoos, like the low pH, moisturizing, smoothing or volumizing).  You can add the other “special occasion” shampoos (anti-dandruff, chelating, or clarifying) to your regimen, if/when necessary.

What type of shampoo do you use?

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