The Ultimate Shampoo Guide

We all love having choices. That is, until we have too many of them. Staring into a case of rainbow-colored macarons is one thing (we’ll take one of each, please!), but walking down the shampoo aisle is a whole different breed of overwhelming.

There’s shampoo for fine hair. There’s shampoo for color-treated hair. But what if your hair is fine and color-treated? Are shampoos for curly hair one-size-fit-all? Or should those with thick hair be looking for something different than their fine-haired friends? If the seemingly endless shampoo options have you stumped, you can now breathe a sigh of relief because we’re here to better inform your shampoo search.

Straight Hair

If your hair is straight and thin, look for a gentle shampoo that’s not too thick or creamy. Choose volumizing formulas, like Biolage Full-Lift Volumizing Shampoo, over moisturizing ones to avoid weighing down your hair.
If you have straight hair that’s thick, choose a shampoo with hair-silkening ingredients to smooth and soften rougher textures. Try L’Oréal Advanced Haircare Smooth Intense Polishing Shampoo.


BIOLAGE ADVANCED FULLDENSITY Shampoo gently cleanses to remove follicle clogging impurities to instantly make hair look and feel healthier.

When used as a system of Shampoo and Conditioner, breakage is significantly reduced for fuller-looking, thicker-feeling hair.
– Hair feels thicker
– Breakage reduced
– Fortifies
– Removes follicle-clogging impurities


Apply to wet hair with a massaging motion. Lather. Rinse. Follow with FULLDENSITY Conditioner. For maximum results, use the Densifying Spray Treatment to instantly work on the surface of existing strands and expand the hair diameter.

Wavy Hair

If your hair is fine and wavy, use a volumizing shampoo to give your waves a little extra lift or product specifically designed for wavy hair, like Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Shampoo for Waves.
For thick and wavy hair, use a product that is recommended for curly hair. Matrix Total Results Curl Shampoo will smooth your strands and give your waves added definition.

Curly Hair

Curls look better when the hair is well hydrated. If you have fine curly hair, look for a formula that moisturizes your curls and also enhances volume, like Tigi Catwalk Curls Rock Curly Hair Shampoo.
If your curly hair is thick, you can use a richer shampoo. Opt for a sulfate-free cream shampoo to maintain the hair’s natural oils. Try Redken Curvaceous Cream Shampoo for Curly Hair.

Color-Treated Hair

Color-treated hair needs to be cleansed with a product that won’t strip the color. Pureology Pure Volume Extra Care Shampoo is designed for fine, color-treated hair. The anti-fade complex fortifies hair, while gently removing volume-inhibiting build up and oil.
Thick, color-treated hair also needs to be strengthen and softened. Look for a shampoo that fights color fade and boosts shine, like Garnier Fructis Color Shield Fortifying Shampoo.

Dry or Damaged Hair

Dry or damaged hair lacks the nutrients necessary for strength and shine. Nourish fine hair back to life with proteins and lightweight conditioners, like those found in Aveeno Nourish+ Volumize Shampoo.
Thick hair that is dry or damaged will benefit from a product with enhanced deep conditioning agents. Try Kérastase Nutritive Bain Satin 2 to smooth and condition the hair fiber.

Coarse Hair

Hair with tight, coarse curls tends to dry out easily. So gentle, alcohol-free formulas are a must. For finer curly hair, try Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo, which cleanses without stripping.
Thick hair can use even more protection against the damage and breakage that comes as a result of dehydrated strands. Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Breakage Tension Release Wash soothes dryness and it’s formulated without harsh sulfates, parabens or silicones.

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