Wading through the shampoo aisle

Wading through the shampoo aisle

Dozens of shampoos and conditioners are lined up on the shelves of the hair care aisle, each brand promising an amazing result. With so many options, how can you successfully navigate all the choices? Fortunately, there are some tips on how to select the proper product.

First, sulfates are not the enemy. Many companies now tout sulfate-free shampoos as a healthier option for hair, but that’s not always true. Sulfate-free shampoos are gentler, which is good for people who have frizzy, curly or color-treated hair. Sulfates are what causes shampoo to suds up and lather, and for many people, this allows the hair to feel deeply cleaned.

Second, consider the condition of your scalp. If it’s oily, use a product that is labeled as clarifying and contains sulfates. If it’s dry, use a moisturizing product. If you have dandruff, use shampoo that contains salicylic [sal-a-sill-ic] acid or zinc pyrithione, [per-ah-THI-one] which has anti-itching and anti-bacterial properties. Products with tea tree oil also can soothe and cleanse an itchy scalp.

Third, note the hair’s structure. One strand of fine hair is thinner than a piece of sewing thread, medium hair is roughly equal, and thick hair is larger. If your hair is fine, use products that contain wheat protein and polymers, which make the hair feel thicker and larger in diameter.

A moisturizing conditioner can replenish the nutrients shampoo removes. Drugstore and salon products contain similar ingredients, so it’s OK to use drugstore varietes.

Try these tips the next time you need new hair products and you’re on your way to healthier hair.

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