shampoo hair

Volumising, moisturising, smoothing, dry scalp, clarifying… we could easily rattle off 10 types of shampoo that are available in the market.

But guess what – according to the authors of Can You Get Hooked On Lip Balm? there are really just four types of shampoo, if you categorise them by their basic function.

Of course, it’s not that all shampoos are the same. Even if they’re in the same category, they may perform differently based on their formulation – this means that you’ll still need to try a few of them to find the one that you’d really love. But understanding that there are generally four categories means that you can more easily look for the ones that suit your hair needs better, and don’t even need to try the ones that would never be suitable.

In other words, kissing only the frogs (and ignoring the toads) to find your Prince Charming.

Deep Cleansing Shampoos

What they are for: These contain more detergent so they can clean your hair and scalp more thoroughly.
Who they are for: Those with oily hair that usually look limp because hair is weighed down by the grease.
Names they also go by: Volumising, clarifying, balancing, oil-control and thickening shampoos.
Examples: Kiehl’s Tea Tree Oil Shampoo, Redken Scalp Relief Oil Detox Shampoo, The Body Shop Raintree Balance Shampoo, Kerastase Bain Volumifique Shampoo

Conditioning Shampoos

What they are for: They leave a moisturising agent (usually silicone) on the hair in order to smooth it.
Who they are for: Those who have dry, unruly hair.
Names they also go by: Moisturising, 2-in-1, smoothing, anti-frizz, strengthening, colour care, straightening and hydrating shampoos.
Examples: L’Occitane Repairing Shampoo, Burt’s Bees Conditioning Shampoo, Herbal Essences None Of Your Frizziness, Pantene Pro-V Total Damage Care Shampoo


Baby Shampoos

What they are for: They are milder formulas that make sure they won’t sting your eyes.
Who they are for: Babies. Note that because they have less surfactant, they don’t clean hair as well as other shampoos.
Names they also go by: Tear-free and kids shampoos.
Examples: Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Coco & Tini Shampoo, Gentelle No Tears Baby Shampoo, Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash


Anti-dandruff shampoos

What they are for: They contain a drug ingredient that can help with itch and flake control.
Who they are for: Those with a dandruff problem.
Names they also go by: Anti-itch, flake control and dry scalp shampoos.
Examples: Himalaya Herbals Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, L’Oreal Professionel Instant Clear Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo, Aesop Calming Shampoo