Is There Really a Difference Between Types of Shampoos?

Which shampoo should you use?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the seemingly endless shampoo options while shopping? Even a single brand can offer volumizing, thickening, color-treated, clarifying, and many other shampoos. It's hard to know which one to pick, and some people wonder if there is any real difference between the different types. We cut through the buzzwords to help you find the right shampoo for your hair.

Volumizing Shampoo

Volumizing shampoo promises to make your hair bigger by transforming each strand. If you want hair with lift and volume, you may have high hopes for this bottle. However, shampoo alone can't give you permanent volume. Many formulas work by opening the hair cuticle to expand it, which can cause damage over time.

Thickening Shampoo

If you have thin hair, thickening shampoos can seem enticing. The best products encourage healthy growth while adding some volume. Many shampoo formulas include biotin, amino acids, B vitamins, and ginseng root to help your hair look thicker. Unfortunately, the results you get from thickening shampoos are temporary and don't last.

Color-Treated Shampoo

Color-treated shampoos are gentler, so your new color lasts longer. The best formulas are pH-balanced and slightly acidic, so they close the cuticle to prevent fading. You may see lactic, citric, or phosphoric acid on the labels. Although there isn't a bottle of shampoo that can stop any hair color from fading eventually, color-treated products can slow down the process.

Clarifying Shampoo

If you want squeaky-clean hair, clarifying shampoos can help. They tend to have harsher ingredients that can strip the hair. However, if you use multiple products, then this type of shampoo can get rid of buildup. Clarifying shampoos also work well for people with greasy or limp hair. Keep in mind that you shouldn't use this type of product every day because it's too hard on the hair.

Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoos are perfect for mornings when you hit the snooze button and only have two minutes to get ready. They can help absorb oils in greasy hair, so it looks cleaner. However, they can't replace traditional liquid shampoos, and you should use them sparingly because they can dry out your hair.

Chelating Shampoo

If you swim, then you may want to try a chelating shampoo. It has chelating agents that can bind to chlorine, metals, and other impurities in the hair. Even if you avoid the pool, it may be worth trying this shampoo, especially if you have hard water with mineral deposits in your home. It's important to note that chelating shampoos aren't as harsh as clarifying ones.

Conditioning Shampoo

Those with dry or brittle hair may want to try conditioning shampoo. It often includes extra moisturizers to make the hair smoother. You may see amino acids and biotin in many formulas. Conditioning shampoos tend to be gentle and won't strip your hair. You may see some products that combine the shampoo and conditioner in one bottle, and it's fine to use them as long as your hair isn't oily or thin because they'll weigh it down.