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Find the Best Shampoo for You
When your skin is parched, you drink more water and use a good moisturizer. When your hair is parched, you slick it to death with leave-in creams. A better approach? Use a moisturizing shampoo every time you wash. Many conditioners simply coat the hair, but shampoo's ingredients can penetrate deeper. Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo contains orchid and coconut milk that dry strands will drink right up.
If your hair is constantly greasy, you might look for the strongest clarifying shampoo you can find. But not so fast. If you strip all the moisture from your scalp, it will only produce more to compensate. So if you're going to shampoo often, use a gentle formula like Biolage Cooling Mint Shampoo. It'll still leave your hair feeling minty clean without going overboard.
Washing tip: Concentrate shampoo on the scalp itself, not on your entire head of hair. Just rinsing out the suds will be enough to cleanse your ends, which don't need to be saturated with shampoo.
Your genes determine the thickness of your hair. While you can't change it, you can prevent hair loss with products like NIOXIN, a hair-care line designed for thinning hair. The cleaner combats shedding and keeps hair in peak condition with vitamins, proteins, and amino acids to promote healthy growth. It also removes DHT, a hormone that some people produce in the sebum on their scalp, which is believed to be a primary cause of thinning hair.
While many women tell themselves that all the bleaching and flat-ironing won't add up, it will. Once split ends and breakage begin, cut back on your blow dries and switch to a repairing shampoo like Nexxus Therappe Luxurious Moisturizing Shampoo. It contains time-released vitamins, as well as proteins and essential fatty acids to increase elasticity and strength.
Styling tip: Never touch a brush to wet hair -- it's more fragile and breaks easily. If you straighten yours, air dry or blow dry hair 90 percent of the way, and then pull a brush gently through sections to straighten.
Frizz doesn't just cause bad hair days. It causes bad days, period. To fight it successfully, you can start the smoothing process as soon as you shampoo with products designed to do just that. Aussie's Sydney Smooth Shampoo makes renegade strands more sleek with jojoba oil and jasmine, giving hair the moisture it needs so it won't puff up at the first sign of humidity.
Every time you wash your hair, you're rinsing a little bit of your precious dye job down the drain. A deposit-only color shampoo can counteract fading and keep your shade fresh. L'Oreal Professionnel Colorist Collection contains keratin bonding dyes that hold color longer, as well as mica (a glittery mineral) for serious shine.
A tip for blondes: Use the white violet shade (the opposite of orange and yellow on the color wheel) to tone down brassiness.
The chemicals in most relaxers aren't easy on hair any way you slice it. Using a shampoo specifically geared for relaxed hair can help -- they're usually packed with vitamins and proteins that brittle, breaking hair needs. Pantene's Truly Relaxed Lightweight Shampoo is an especially creamy, coconut-y (and affordable!) option, containing pampering pro-vitamins and jojoba seed oil.
Who Knew? Wacky Shampoos That Work
Foam-Free: Hollywood stylist Chaz Dean has an interesting take on shampoo: no foam! His Wen cleansing conditioners are one-step washing products that don't contain detergents or foaming agents (which can be harsh on hair and strip moisture and color). They cleanse with natural astringent ingredients instead, making them great for anyone whose hair needs extra TLC.
Shower-Free: Dry shampoo has come a long way, baby. Oscar Blandi's Pronto Dry Shampoo comes in two versions: A powder you can sprinkle onto roots, and a spray-on version, too. The absorbent rice and oat starches soak up grease, and the lemon verbena scent fakes freshly showered hair. Use it when you don't have time to wash, or to extend the life of a salon blow dry.