Monday, 23 May 2011

Figuring Out Hair Types

Image from Google
I received an email this morning, promoting a range of natural shampoos and conditioners. Great, I thought, because I've been meaning to give some natural products whirl for quite some time, because I'm tired of my hair feeling bogged down by chemicals and crap, especially since my hair is so fine and limp. So, I decided that I would check out their website, and have a little snoop at what they had on offer.

I'm not going to name the website, or even any brands, because the point I'm about to make is certainly not unique to them, it is in fact completely universal, and I am pretty certain that 99% of companies that sell shampoo fall into this trap.

What trap am I talking about?


When I was younger, we had one shampoo in our house hold. Head and Shoulders for "Normal" hair types. But, thinking about it, what on earth is "normal"? But, that's not the point of the blog, the point is that these days there are more shampoo categories than sense. Let's list a few that I've come across this morning, shall we:

Image from Google

  • Normal to Fly Away 
  • Coloured Hair
  • Normal/Dry Hair
  • Oily Hair
  • Dry Hair
  • Fine Hair
  • Damaged Hair
  • Normal but also helps hair growth (erm...what??)
  • Blondes
  • Brunettes
  • Red Heads
  • Enhancing Layers
  • Adding Volume
  • Taming Frizz
  • Clarifying
The list goes on and on, with nearly every brand adding even more to the endless list. Of course, a lot of these categories add up to being the exact same thing, but what really irks me about these categories, is the fact that they place people into a box. And inside that box a girl (or guy) only has one problem.

Okay, so which shampoo should I use for my fine hair, that is greasy at the roots, but dry at the ends, and is also colour treated? Do I use a volumising shampoo for added oomph, that encourages my hair to fade? Do I use a deep nourishing conditioner for the ends, and just shampoo my roots? Do I use a coloured hair shampoo and just put up with my hair being flat, unless I use post-shampooing hair care? But, I also have layers in my hair, so what do I use for that? Although, admittedly, I would never think to use a shampoo or conditioner to "enhance layers", but who am I to know anything?

Image from Google
I know I said I wouldn't, but coming across so many brands using the concept of "Normal" hair, really does make me wonder what constitutes as being normal? I can not think of anyone who doesn't have some kind of issue with their hair, whether it's fine, thick, coloured, frizzy, curly, greasy, dry or whatever. Surely, no one fits into the category of buying a "normal" shampoo?

I also know that the idea of mixing several categories up to suit peoples more individual needs is kind of out of the question, because it's already confusing enough when it comes to buying shampoos, but I just want someone to take me aside and tell me which shampoo and conditioner would be best for my hair's needs. 

For example, about a month ago, my hair had become incredibly damaged, due to excessive heat use, and I'd wanted to use a deep conditioner to nourish it, but because I have greasy hair, most "experts" tell anyone with similar hair, not to use these types of products. So, what am I supposed to use?

Please, someone assure me that I am not the only person that is completely baffled by the Hair Types on Shampoo bottles? I beg of you :)


  1. Oh my goodness this is something I have trouble with. Because my hair is pretty long I have dry tips and yet my roots are in a whole other hemisphere. And I use colour and have frizz!

  2. I'm baffled. I tested a natural shampoo recently and just didn't know which type to try. I have dry ends but greasy hair. I just went with greasy type but who knows if I should have got something else.


  3. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to know that I'm not the only person that gets confused about which products to buy for my hair.

    To be fair, since writing the post, I have found a few "Hair Type Charts", but most of them still only tackle two problems at tops, which is a start, but not quite enough for most of us.

  4. i tend to sniff a few shampoos when i go shopping & pick the one that smells nicest, regardless of what type of hair it's for. probably not the best technique..

  5. I have to confess that when I really can not be bothered, I just buy the one that smells the nicest too. In fact, I currently own a Boots own brand shampoo for blonde hair, and I've never in my life had blonde hair haha :P

  6. I'm currently using Baby Shampoo because I have quite a sensitive scalp! But my hair is dry and I find baby shampoo dries it out too much. Natural shampoos are meant to be "good" but I get an allergic reaction from them. Also my hair is thin too so I would like some volume but volumising shampoos I find the formula too heavy and in fact weighs my hair down...

    I agree with you Kat, shampoo shopping is a nightmare! If anyone has a solution please share :)

  7. I have long curly hair. It's really fine but theres an awful lot of it. Despite what companies normally go by my hair gets greasy quickly but yet manages to be really dry even at the roots, using hair oils literally every time I wash it removes both those problems though. I'm sensitive to SLS in shampoo it makes my scalp bleed so that removes 80% of the products on the market for me. Unfortunatley i've yet to find and SLS free shampoo that I don't have to rotate frequently to stop my hair getting dull and I've tried an awful lot. Head Desk!


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