How To Pick A Shampoo + Conditioner

The shampoo aisle at any drugstore can seem like an anxiety attack waiting to happen.

There are just so many choices.

And even if you can narrow your selection to a particular brand, how’s a girl to choose between a volumizing shampoo and a shine-enhancing one or between a frizz-reducing conditioner or a curl-intensifying one.

And what about the color enhancing ones or fade protecting ones?

We want it all yet, somehow, often end up walking out of the drugstore or salon with the some ‘ole lather we usually buy – and not because we’re satisfied, but rather because we’re just overwhelmed.

To help find the right shampoo and conditioner for you, though, we turned to DJ Riggs, TIGI’s International Creative Director At Large, and Berry Bachen, TIGI’s Colour Creative Director At Large, for help!

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First, we had to know: is there really a difference between the vast number of formulas overwhelming the shampoo/conditioner aisles? We had to ask – heck, for all we knew there was just some cleaver marketing mission behind these various hair care remedies – but, according to DJ and Berry, there is reason to believe those labels. And it’s important to use a shampoo and conditioner that’s designed for your hair type.

As they explained, formulas can be made up of any combination of ingredients ranging from moisture enhancing agents like Prodew 500 Amino Acid Blend (which helps repair surface damage and moisturizes), to Dimethiconol and Silsesquioxane Copolymer (which adds shine, softens, smooths and reduces frizz), and many more. Not sure of your hair’s needs? Consult with your stylist.

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When we read the labels though, we often want more than one result! We practically want them all! Shiny? Yes! Volume? Yes! Moisture, color sealing and frizz-fighting? Yes, yes and yes! Should we buy them all, perhaps turning our bathrooms into chemistry labs as we mix our own formulas? The short answer: no. According to the pros, while DIY mixing works for styling aides, mixing shampoo formulas is not only likely to be costly but also might not give you what you’re looking for anyway. That being said, they do recommend alternating based on seasonal (or weekly!) needs. You can also use a shampoo for one concern and a conditioner for another, which sort of answered our next question: do we need to buy our shampoo and conditioner as sets?

While using the volumizing shampoo and matching volumizing conditioner from a single brand will give you va-va-voom volume, it’s not necessary. Rather, as DJ and Berry explain, it totally depends on your desired look. “Some people just love a little taste where as others want to maximize the full-on benefits of a shampoo and conditioner, in which case it’s always recommended to go for the combo.”

At least now when you blow off that date with the “I have to wash my hair” excuse, you’ll be sure that shampoo and conditioner treat your tresses well.

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