Finding the perfect shampoo and conditioner combo is a challenging plight for product junkies worldwide in the heat of so many amazing and “life-changing” hair products hitting the market everyday. Hair care companies are in fierce competition and stepping their game up with the newest and latest technology and mostly all-natural ingredients to ensure that everyone’s hair is left healthy, shiny, bouncy, voluminous, fragrant, and all around beautiful. So how does one choose their perfect, God-sent shampoo and conditioner combination?
The truth is, overtime we’re going to have a number of beloved products that do different things for us depending on what look we’re going for and what our hair needs at that moment in time. Selecting which brands and collections to add into our rotation may be a matter of trial and error, but thanks to the handy interweb, these days we no longer have to figure out what products are a hit or miss alone.
No set of tresses are exactly identical, so what works for some may not work for you and vice versa. The key is to learn what exactly your hair type needs for that extra oomph and begin following your leads from your #haircrush(es) and other internet sources who love to scout out the best of the best and do the research for you.
I am one of those product guinea pigs who welcomes experimentation and helping others identify what’s best for them based on what works and doesn’t work for me. My hair product reviews and otherwise are meant to lead you to that perfect combination for whatever occasion presents itself, so with just a few considerations in mind, you CAN find the routine that’s best for you!
- What is my hair texture/curl pattern?
- What ingredients are my tresses in need of: heavy oils, light oils, butters, surfactants etc.?
- Is my hair suffering from any heat or color damage?
- How often does my hair need to be washed vs. cleansed (co-washed)?
- What products/product line(s) currently give me the best results?
PRODUCTS YOUR HAIR TEXTURE LOVES
Because finer hair typically lacks volume and density, it is more susceptible to being weighed down by more commonly used hair products found on the shelves of your neighborhood drugstore. For fine hair, thickening or “volumizing” product lines are a perfect match for strengthening and revitalizing limp hair without weighing it down, creating an overall fuller and healthier appearance. Try highly rated products like Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner ($21), Aussie Aussome Volume Shampoo and Conditioner ($5), or the very popular DevaCurl No-Poo ($20-22). If you’re in need of a dose of extra moisture, try a drop or two of lightweight oils like Almond Oil or Grapeseed Oil.
Medium textured hair is the most common and can take to a number of products depending on your hair porosity. Porosity refers to how much moisture can penetrate your hair shaft. Low porosity hair does not naturally hold as much liquid and therefore needs some additional assistance from products high in moisture – you might find that weekly or biweekly deep conditioning treatments are very useful for this hair texture. This type of hair may also be more sensitive to protein than others, so its important to use protein-rich products very sparingly. My hair falls into this category, and my favorite line at the moment is Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter and Coconut & Hibiscus – specifically their Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner ($10.99) and Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo ($10.99) pictured at the top. I like to buy this line from the drugstore or Ulta to capitalize on their BOGO deals!
High porosity hair, on the other hand, can hold a lot of moisture at once, but can just as easily lose it as it dries. This characteristic is typically due to heat, color, or chemical damage, so pumping in nutrient-rich products will rejuvenate it and give it the best results. To maintain the benefits of your shampoo and conditioner, it’s important to finish your haircare routine with a leave-in conditioner and sealing oil to lock in the moisture. Protein-packed products like Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil or Raw Shea Butter line will provide high porosity hair with the strengthening benefits it needs.
Coarse hair has the strongest of strands and therefore needs heavier moisturizers to maintain its health and luster. Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners that work smooth the shaft of the hair like Creme of Nature Argan Oil Moisture & Shine Shampoo ($5-7) along with their Intensive Conditioning Treatment ($7-8) will provide thicker hair textures with the moisture they need. I also recommend Camille Rose Naturals products, which also do a tremendous job at detangling and moisturizing the hair at the same time, particularly their Coconut Water product line. Although their products are a bit more on the expensive side, they offer a great value and quality for what you get.
Understanding the unique structure of my hair texture using these considerations has helped me pick the right products along my transitioning journey as I continue to work on bringing my curls back to life. I hope this guide helps you the next time you’re reaching for the next shampoo and conditioner in your line up. What are some of your go to products that you can’t live without?