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What Should I Consider When Buying Shampoo?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
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Shampoo is a product that is designed to clean the hair and nourish the scalp. By using a combination of shampoo designed for your scalp and conditioner formulated for your hair, you can establish a balanced and healthy head of hair. When you are buying shampoo, your scalp type is the most important factor, as some products are designed specifically with dry scalps in mind, while other shampoos focus on oily scalps or dandruff. Avoid buying shampoo which is packaged with conditioner, because the two products have different functions.

If you use a lot of products in your hair which tend to build up over time, you should consider buying shampoo to clarify your hair. Clarifying shampoo should be used approximately once a month, because the higher acid content that strips out leftover hair products can also leave your hair dry and brittle. Dry hair will lead to split ends and broken hairs, and is something you want to avoid.

If your hair and scalp are healthy and normal, use a mild shampoo designed for healthy hair. Buying shampoo formulated for your already healthy hair and scalp will maintain a healthy balance in your hair, keeping it soft, shiny, and full of volume. This type of shampoo will also keep your scalp clean, moisturized, and healthy.

If you have dry hair and a dry scalp, a common combination, you will probably find yourself buying shampoo designed to moisturize your dry scalp and following with a moisturizing conditioner. Moisturizing shampoo cleans the surface layer of the scalp and traps moisture to make the skin healthier. In some cases, a moisturizing shampoo uses oils to accomplish this, in which case you should make sure that your hair is not being made too greasy with the oils.

If you have an oily scalp, it can also make your hair oily, leading to limp, dirty hair. Shampoos designed for oily scalps usually contain astringents like tea tree oil and sage to pull the oil out of your scalp, so look for these ingredients on the label when buying shampoo for a greasy scalp. If this type of shampoo starts to dry your hair, combine it with a mild moisturizing conditioner to restore moisture and keep your hair soft, healthy, and shiny.

Special hair needs call for buying shampoo that is specially formulated. If you experience dandruff, purchase a shampoo that is specially formulated to treat it. Dandruff shampoos will reduce the irritation and redness caused by dandruff, and will also reduce the amount of dandruff. Select conditioner based on your hair type to use after your dandruff shampoo. If you have color treated hair, you should also plan on buying shampoo designed particularly for this application, so that you do not damage your hair or strip the color while you clean your hair.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a BeautyAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By EarlyForest — On Sep 18, 2010

I really liked this article because it wasn't hyper-focused on brands. I think a lot of articles with titles like this are more focused on telling you what shampoo to buy rather than how to choose a good one for your hair type.

I found it very informative, and will definitely be keeping this information in mind when I make my next shampoo purchases.

Very nicely done.

By TunaLine — On Sep 18, 2010

Does anybody reading this buy shampoo online? I've never done it before, but I just moved to a really isolated area where they don't carry my regular brand.

I usually buy either Thermasilk or DHS shampoo -- is it OK to get those online? Is it safe to buy shampoo online in general?

And if so, can somebody tell me where to buy DHS or Thermasilk shampoo online? I would really appreciate it, my hair is a total mess!

By rallenwriter — On Sep 18, 2010

What is the best shampoo to buy for someone with pretty normal hair that tends to get a little dry and frizzy?

I had a friend that told me to buy Tresemme shampoo, but I've also been told to buy Revita shampoo and conditioner.

What do you think?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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