Magazine / Beauty / Hair Care

Hair Care Routine: The Right Shampoo for Your Hair Type

MD Alexandra Dorobantu
Dermatologist
On Feb 22nd, 2021

Haircare is part of your self-care ritual. Deciding what shampoo to use depends on various factors like hair type, scalp problems and personal preference.

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In the Hair Care Routine mini-series, we address your hair's maintenance's most important aspects: from choosing suitable products to valuable tips about application and ingredients. This first episode is dedicated to understanding your shampoo's properties and how to identify a product that matches your scalp and hair type.

Shampoos are hair care substances, usually in the form of a viscous solution used to remove sweat, dirt, excess sebum and other debris from your hair. They are the first step when cleaning your hair, and you should apply it with gentle, circular motions to wet hair, massaged it into the scalp and rinsed out with lukewarm water. 

The formulation is essential when choosing a shampoo. Ingredients like surfactants, pearling agents, peeling agents, preservatives, scents, conditioning agents and PH adjusters are essential when choosing the right shampoo for your needs. The primary compounds in shampoos are surfactants that properly cleanse the hair. Their main objective is to remove dirt, sweat and excess sebum. Examples of surfactants include cocamidopropyl MEA, cocamidopropyl betaine, and sodium laureth sulfate.

Pearling Agents give the product its silky, glamorous look. They are inactive and do not interact with the active ingredients. Due to the chemical compounds found in shampoos, they often have PH adjusters, making the product safe to use.

Different Types of Shampoos

Colour-Protecting Shampoos 

It is essential to avoid shampoos that can lead to colour fading or, worse, colour loss. Regular shampoos may contain detergents that will dim your colour's shine. Your hairstylist always insists on always using colour protecting shampoo to help make the pigment and shine last longer. On top, it gives you a fresh look and extra hydration.

Anti-Dandruff Shampoos

Dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis appears when there is a Malassezia yeast overgrowth that induces skin cells to shed at an unusually high rate. Generally, dandruff shampoos contain ingredients like ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione or salicylic acid that destroy the yeast. Anti-dandruff shampoos also control the amount of oil produced by the scalp. Anyway, every time you experience dandruff, psoriasis, eczema, or any other medical condition, visit your dermatologist!

Hydrating Shampoos

Due to the lack of moisture within the scalp, it may turn dry, flaky or itchy. Dry scalp can also cause dandruff, eczema and hair fall. 

If you have dry skin, use a good moisturising shampoo made with soothing ingredients that target particular hair needs. It will help dry and damaged hair look smooth and glossy. Also, you should not wash your hair daily or even every other day. Instead, try washing your hair weekly as it will preserve natural oils within the scalp better, keeping your hair healthy and moisturised.

Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is not for daily use. It is a quick fix for when you don't have time to wash your hair. It soaks up all the oils from your hair; thus, it could be too drying if you have a sensitive, dry scalp. Use it only when necessary.

Everyday Regular Shampoo

If you have thin, hard to style hair, but you don't have any special needs or medication for your locks, you can use everyday shampoo. These are gentle cleansers, much like a standard shampoo, with few ingredients designed to remove the usual everyday sebum without wiping out the natural oils within your hair.

Choose Your Shampoo According to Your Hair Type

Choosing your shampoo based on your hair type is suitable for people with normal scalp without excessive dryness or oiliness. Choose a formula to address your specific hair needs to obtain the desired results.

Dry Hair

Suppose you have dry hair, then choose hydrating compounds and moisturising shampoos. The best ingredients for dry hair are argan oil, jojoba (plant oils in general), glycerin and chamomile. They will provide extra hydration for your dry, coarse hair.

Damaged Hair

There is more to hair damage than mere split ends. Severely damaged hair feels thin, brittle, and frizzy. Keratin and silky formulas support broken hair, leaving it soft, smooth, healthy and easy to manage.

Thin Hair

Fine hair is hard to style, breaks easily and has smaller, less porous strands. You need to find a shampoo that lifts the hair off the scalp, giving it more volume and texture.

Thick Hair

Thick hair is more on the dry side, so it is best to use formulas that moisturise your hair and keep the frizz at bay. Shampoos with ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, or Aloe vera are top choices for people with thick hair.

Oily Hair

Excessive oil production can lead to seborrheic dermatitis, aka dandruff.  If you want your scalp to feel calm and refreshed, choose a shampoo that gently removes excess sebum and has cooling ingredients like mint or eucalyptus.

Curly Hair

Curly hair needs extra attention, and it's quite a challenge. Usually, curly hair requires additional hydration, so a moisturising shampoo is the best choice for you. To prevent drying out your curls, use a low-foam paraben-free shampoo.

One of the most frequently asked questions by my patients is how often they should wash their hair? If you have normal hair without scalp problems, you can wash it every three days. Oily hair can be cleansed every other day, while dry hair once a week. If you suffer from any scalp condition or hair loss, daily shampooing may be necessary as part of your treatment. But always check with your dermatologist first!

The bottom line is that shampoo is the first and most fundamental step of any haircare routine. Understanding your hair's needs and knowing what ingredients will suit your hair type the best is the formula for smooth, healthy, movie star-like hair. Next time we'll talk about conditioners, masks and how to upgrade your hair care game!

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