The shampoo you use can have a dramatic effect on your hair, and selecting one is a decision that deserves some thought and consideration. The wrong shampoo can cause excess buildup and split ends, decrease the life of your color, and make your hair look limp or dull. We spoke with Nikki Lee, co-owner of Nine Zero One Salon in Los Angeles, and Liz Cunnane, trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in New York City, to find out which products and ingredients are good for your hair, and the proper way to wash it.
Before you even jump into the shower, take the time to choose the right shampoo. "The first step in determining which shampoo is best for you is determining what hair type you have," says Nikki. "For example, do you have fine oily hair or thick dry hair? Also, buy shampoos that are sulfate- and paraben-free. They will keep the hair healthy and moisturized, and won’t strip the color or keratin treatments out." Ingredients are also important. "I suggest using a shampoo that gently cleanses and adds body, and contains copolymer for surface volume and fly-away control, natural cellulose to thicken texture, and keratin protein to strengthen and improve fullness," says Liz. "For fine hair, I suggest using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner loaded with rice or wheat protein, which strengthens and expands the diameter of the hair shaft."
Although it may sound basic, shampooing your hair correctly can also affect its health. "Start by rinsing your hair with warm water and getting out any residue. Massage shampoo onto your scalp until you have a rich lather, but never scrub the ends. The shampoo will work its way down to the bottom as it is rinsed, and scrubbing the ends with shampoo will cause them to break and become very brittle," says Nikki. "If you haven't washed for a few days, you may need to repeat this step, but you don't need to shampoo twice every single time you have a shower.” Make sure you spend a good amount of time in the shower rinsing out your shampoo. Product buildup occurs when the shampoo hasn't been washed out of the hair properly. "People forget that their scalp is skin, and as such it does need cleansing and a lot of TLC," says Liz. "Neglecting your scalp can actually hamper the look of your hair both today and in the future. While people with coarser hair may be able to skip a day or two of shampooing, those with finer hair will find that their hair looks better and has more body when it’s been freshly washed."