What to Look For
Before picking a random shampoo off the shelves at your local drugstore, stop to consider the type of hair you have and your hair needs. If your hair is dry, a conditioner may not be the best way to hydrate it. While conditioners will hydrate the surface of your hair, a shampoo specially formulated to hydrate will infuse to the roots of your hair. If your hair is greasy, than a clarifying shampoo is good for you. Also, consider whether your hair is frizzy, damaged, colored or relaxed. Different hair types require different shampoos.
Check a shampoo's ingredients before you buy it. Some shampoos that claim to be "natural" can contain harsh chemicals that may strip your hair of its color and moisture. Eco-coach Beth Ritchie lists these ingredients as the ones to avoid: sodium laurel sulfate, methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, phtalates, formaldehyde, toluene, ethanolamines and propylene glycol.
Where to Buy
You can purchase shampoos at a supermarket or drugstore or from a salon. Shampoos sold in salons are more expensive because they claim to have ingredients more beneficial for your hair. In the end, it all comes down to your personal preference and what shampoo is right for your hair. The same hair expert may recommend both a supermarket brand shampoo for dry hair and a salon shampoo for thinning hair.
Shampoos can range from $4 to $20. Herbal Essences shampoos and Pantene Pro-V retail values are $5. L'Oreal brand is slightly more expensive at $7 and Nexxus shampoos can market for up to $18.99. It all depends on the brand of the shampoo and the quality of the ingredients.
Dry shampoo is a popular alternative for people who want to save money on liquid shampoos but still want clean, healthy hair. Dry shampoo is a powder that keeps hair clean and fresh. It absorbs excess oil that leaves hair greasy between washings. However, use of dry shampoos usually needs to be interspersed with liquid shampoos. Regularly using dry shampoos prolongs the wait between regular shampooing and can save you money.
Celebrity hairstylist Dario Cotroneo says that expensive salon shampoos are worth the larger price tag. "Supermarket shampoos are detergent based, so they will lather up and give you the impression that it is cleansing faster, but this is smoke and mirrors, as it cleanses from the outside in. When I was at college and a color did not work out, we used a supermarket shampoo to strip the color out faster! So professional is my choice for that reason as it's all about protecting your investment, so your hair color lasts."