Shampoo Choice Based on Hair Type

Shampoo by hair types

Are you using the right shampoo for your hair type?

Are you struggling to find the best shampoo for your particular hair type? Have you tried all the expensive brands out there and still can't seem to find the perfect shampoo for your hair problems? Do you feel overwhelmed when looking at the countless hair shampoos and conditioners both in physical stores and online? Why is having too many choices nowadays suddenly a problem?   

The truth is, not all shampoos are formulated the same way, and certain shampoos are more compatible with certain hair types or hair problems. When buying shampoo, it’s important to look not only at the hair goals you are trying to achieve, but the ingredients and formulation of the shampoo you use to help you reach those goals.

So, with a myriad of options to choose from, deciding on the perfect shampoo for your hair type can be a pretty difficult task, but we’re here to help you find the perfect one.

Whether you need a shampoo for oily or dry hair, straight or curly hair, thick or thin hair, frizzy or fine hair, we’ll give you some guidelines that’ll help you find the perfect fit— something that’ll give your hair the treatment it deserves.

No more wasting time in stores and online. Let’s match your hair type with the ideal shampoo for you.


Define Your Scalp Type

Before you choose shampoo, it's important to know what shampoo does, how to use it, and how that relates to your hair and scalp type. The shampoo is meant to clean your hair and scalp of dirt, oil, and styling products. While you might think of shampoo strictly as a hair cleansing agent, it's equally important to consider your scalp when choosing a shampoo.


Think of it this way: shampoo is for your scalp and roots, while the conditioner is for the ends of your hair. If your scalp is oily and your ends are dry (a common combination), then you should choose a shampoo that is best suited for an oily scalp and leave the moisturizing up to your conditioner, which should be applied only to your dried ends.


Shampoo Choice Based on Hair Type

When your scalp is neither excessively dry nor oily (or maybe you just want to know what on earth all these shampoo types mean), you can choose whatever shampoo fits your desired results:


  • Hydrating/moisturizing shampoo: great for adding moisture, shine, and smoothness to hair. Good for thick, curly, or coarse hair that lacks moisture.
  • Volumizing shampoo: excellent choice if your hair is fine or limp for an extra boost without weighing the hair down.
  • Strengthening/fortifying shampoo: good for damaged, over-processed, highlighted, weakened, or brittle hair. Usually contains extra protein to improve hair's condition.
  • Balancing shampoo: typically a nice middle-of-the-road option. Not too moisturizing, but won't dry your hair out.
  • Smoothing/straight hair shampoo: typically rich with extra moisturizers and smoothing agents that help seal the cuticle and provide a great start for straight and smooth styles.
  • Curly hair shampoo: very moisturizing and contains ingredients that reduce frizz without weighing down the curls.


Shampoo Choices for Oily Scalps

If your scalp tends to be oily or greasy, you've likely been through dozens of shampoos with little luck. You've tried everything from washing daily (even twice daily) to allowing days between shampoos in an effort to control excess oil and sebum production. Here's what to look for and what to avoid when choosing a shampoo for an oily scalp:


  • Avoid shampoos that are hydrating, moisturizing, smoothing, or good for curly hair. These tend to add too much moisture to your already oily scalp.
  • Look for labels that mention volumizing, strengthening, or balancing. These products are non-moisturizing and more effective at removing excess oil.
  • A clarifying shampoo can be a big help for super-oily scalp conditions, but be careful to not overuse the product and dry out your scalp. Dry skin can actually stimulate more oil and sebum production.
  • Try a double shampoo. Similar to a double-cleansing your face, a double shampoo consists of washing your hair with two separate shampoos to target different needs. Use one formula to address your oily scalp, followed by a different formula to wash below your roots.
  • Spend extra time working the shampoo into your scalp to break up oil, and rinse your scalp very well.
  • After shampooing, avoid working your conditioner into your scalp. Rather, concentrate on the mid-shaft and ends of your hair. Rinse well.

Shampoo Choices for Dry Scalps

When your scalp is dry, itchy, or flaky, choosing the right shampoo can be your first line of defense against the uncomfortable, sometimes embarrassing conditions that can occur. It's important to choose a shampoo that doesn't add to the issue when you have a dry scalp. Try these tips:


  • Avoid strengthening, fortifying, and volumizing shampoos. These products can strip your scalp of necessary moisture.
  • For scalps that are only slightly dry with little to no itching or flaking, look for shampoo labels that promote moisture, hydration, smoothing, or curls. These products promote moisture retention and can be beneficial to your dry scalp.
  • If your scalp is very dry, itchy, or flaky, consider shampoos that are specifically formulated for dry scalps. Ingredients such as menthol and tea tree can help moisturize.
  • Nioxin shampoo can be an excellent investment for moderate to severe dry-scalp concerns.
  • Avoid shampoos that contain sulfates, which are very drying to the hair and scalp.
  • Even when your scalp is dry, it's important to properly shampoo your hair for best results.

Shampoo for Fine Hair

Characteristically, fine hair lacks volume and can appear soft and lifeless, and blonde hair especially tends to be fine.

Suitable shampoo for fine hair:

 Volumizing shampoos contain structure-enhancing additives such as proteins and polymers. These ingredients build up the hair and make it appear stronger. Ingredients such as marine collagen and plant extracts give the appearance of fuller hair. Shampoos for fine hair should be designed not to weigh down hair but still have conditioning ingredients. If you have fine, flat hair then why not try Essence UltÎme Biotin+ Volume Shampoo, that doesn’t weigh down hair but gives up to 80% more root lift.

Shampoo for Coarse and Damaged Hair

If you have coarse and damaged hair, it can sometimes look straw-like and split ends are your worst enemy! This type of hair is prone to frizz all year round, no matter what the weather is like!

Suitable shampoo for dry and damaged hair:

 Extra moisture is what your hair needs if it is damaged. Shampoos with conditioning ingredients like oils or shea butter are the ideal choice. Our Essence UltÎme Omega Repair Shampoo has an extra rich formula that prevents up to 90% of split ends.

Shampoo for Colored Hair

If you have colored/lightened hair then you will need special treatment when shampooing to keep hair color vibrant.

Suitable shampoos for colored hair: 

Shampoos specifically for colored hair will seal in color to prevent fading and deeply nourish the hair. Essence UltÎme Diamond Color Shampoo intensifies shine and color luminosity and protects from UV damage, with up to 85% less hair breakage.

 Shampoo for Greasy Hair

Hair that is prone to becoming greasy quickly is caused by excessive sebum production and can leave hair looking oily and flat soon after washing, especially at the roots.

Suitable shampoos for greasy hair: 

These will contain ingredients that restore and balance the scalp’s sebum production, for example, Aloe Vera, cotton and herbal extracts.

Shampoo for Grey Hair

Grey hair can be quite thin and sensitive. Specifically designed shampoos for grey hair restore the vibrancy of grey hair and will help you embrace your color!

Suitable shampoos for grey hair: 

Need to contain blue/violet pigments to help neutralize any existing yellowish tones and restore color.

Shampoo for Sensitive Scalps

Women with sensitive scalps experience itching, burning, and redness. These are all symptoms of an irritated scalp.

Suitable shampoos for sensitive scalps: 

Contain gentle ingredients that won’t aggravate the scalp. Conditioning additives like panthenol (pro-Vitamin B5), bisabolol and Aloe Vera will soothe the scalp.

Cleansing Hair without Shampoo

Dry shampoo is great at reviving hair that may be a day or two over-due a wash. However, after a few days of dry shampooing hair, grease and dandruff build-up can lead to an irritated scalp. Simply switch between dry-shampooing, using a deep-cleansing shampoo and using a regular shampoo.

NB: Hair and scalp change with time. From time to time, you should re-evaluate your choice of shampoo.




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