How do I Choose the Best Hair Cleanser?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2019
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Hair cleanser, or shampoo, is an important part of many people's daily cleansing routine. In addition to keeping hair free of dirt and product build-up, some hair cleansers contain ingredients meant to improve the look, strength, and texture of hair. With hundreds of possibilities available, choosing the right hair cleanser depends on budget, individual needs, and daily routine.

Picking the right hair cleanser is often a matter of trial and error. Almost all brands insist that their shampoo is the absolute best product, but seeing how a product works on an individual's hair is the only way of knowing which cleanser is truly the best. Consider purchasing trial-sized bottles of several brands and using them for several days. This can save money while ensuring a good match through experimentation.

Before choosing a hair cleanser, it is important to understand that different hair types have different needs. Fine hair requires different care than thick hair, and curly, wavy, or straight hair may look and feel better with widely different products. Many companies claim to have shampoos perfect for different kinds of hair, but even narrowing the field down to cleansers made for curly hair can result in dozens of choices.


After using a good cleanser, hair should feel soft and free of dirt, dust, or residue from hair products such as hairspray or gel. From that point on, a hair cleanser should be tailored to individual needs. People always in a hurry might want to look for a cleanser/conditioner combination in order to save precious time. Those with curly hair prone to frizz may hunt down bottles that proclaim to have frizz-fighting ingredients. People with dry hair prone to breakage may want to look for gentle formulas that provide extra moisturizing ingredients.

Study ingredient lists carefully to avoid triggering skin sensitivity or allergies. People with allergies to parabens, certain flowers such as lavender, or chemical sensitivities must be on the look out for these ingredients in all haircare products. Anyone with an aversion to strong smells should look for unscented cleansers, although these can be difficult to find.

For constant travelers, consider a dry shampoo bar. Placed in a metal or plastic tin, these hair cleansers resemble a bar of soap, and allow frequent fliers to travel with their favorite shampoo without concern over airline regulations. Dry shampoo is also an excellent product to take on camping trips, but be certain to use bars with all-natural ingredients to avoid polluting natural water sources such as rivers or streams.

Animal lovers may want to avoid hair care products from any company that uses animal testing as a method of product development. Most companies that avoid animal testing will prominently display the information on product bottles. Several animal-friendly websites also maintain updated lists on companies that are known to use animal testing, and those that do not engage in the practice.


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Post 4

Does anyone know if diet can affect your hair type? If I become vegetarian would that change impact which hair cleanser I will need to use?

Post 3

If you are pregnant or going through menopause, or even experiencing any other hormonal fluctuations it can really impact your hair's needs.

A good example of this is found with those on birth control for the first time. You might find your hair thinning or becoming more oily or dry. Because of this, your regular hair cleanser may no longer work well and you may need something with a volumizing additive that has an appropriate level of moisture formula to give your hair more fullness.

Post 2

I have discovered that as I get older my hair type has changed. It used to be rather oily but now is leaning towards being drier.

I think you should switch your hair cleanser every few years or so at the very least. By keeping your shampoo updated you can better meet your hairs needs and keep it at its healthiest.

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