Shampoo 101 and the Scalp Secret
The foundation of a perfect hairstyle begins with two things: a professional cut by a highly trained stylist (like the ones you'll find at your local Supercuts) and a quality shampoo that’s right for your scalp and hair type.
Created to do everything from smooth, volumize, moisturize to protect color, straighten, or curl—the number of shampoo formulas on the salon shelf can make picking the right one for your hair feel like a challenging choice. But armed with the right info, it doesn't have to be that way.
Something to consider: while we talk about “washing our hair,” the true purpose of shampooing is to remove dirt, products, and excess oil from the scalp. So rather than thinking about the texture at the tips of your hair, the secret is to consider the condition of your scalp, and then follow this advice to select the best shampoo for stellar results.
If your scalp is dry, stay away from strengthening, fortifying, and volumizing shampoos. If your scalp is only slightly dry, opt for a selection that promotes moisture and hydration. Shampoos designed for curly hair or with smoothing abilities can be excellent options. If the scalp is very dry, tea tree oil is an ingredient proven to treat the scalp and eliminate itch. Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo tingles and invigorates—and smells great, too.
If you have an oily scalp, avoid using hydrating, moisturizing, or smoothing shampoos as these tend to add moisture to an area that already has enough. An oily scalp loves a volumizing, strengthening or balancing shampoo. A daily clarifying shampoo like Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three or Biolage Normalizing Shampoo are both excellent choices. You may also benefit from a dry shampoo. Not only will it absorb excess oil and save you time in the morning, it will also add body to your hair. Paul Mitchell Dry Wash is a stylist favorite.
If your scalp is not necessarily dry nor oily, you're lucky, you can choose your shampoo based on the needs of your hair. Here are some examples:
- Fine: Limp hair gets a boost from volumizing shampoos like Paul Mitchell Extra Body Daily Shampoo or Redken High Rise Volume Shampoo.
- Frizzy: Calm your hair and try for a smoother look using Biolage Smoothproof Anti-Frizz Shampoo or Total Results Mega Sleek Shampoo. They contain extra moisturizing ingredients that seal the cuticle and smooth the surface.
- Damaged: Over-processed and heavily heat-treated hair can be mended and strengthened with shampoos like Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo or Total Results So Long Damage.
Talk with your stylist about your scalp and hair concerns, and ask what shampoo and other products would be best for you during your next visit.