Finding the right shampoo for your hair can be a struggle. There are so many shampoo options available today, which is great, because it can also make choosing the right shampoo for you even more confusing! Here are some steps you can take the find the right shampoo for your hair type.

Identify your hair type 

First thing’s first: you need to identify what type of hair you have. Generally, there are about seven different hair types: normal, oily, dry, curly, fine, color treated, and natural.

Normal hair is just that: pretty average. Normal hair isn’t too dry or too oily, and doesn’t suffer from large amounts of breakage or other damage. Normal hair is of an average texture, and combs fairly easily. If you have normal hair, you can get away with most shampoos, but stay away from ones that are designed to treat specific conditions (like dandruff, or color treated dryness). You can always opt for a shampoo to improve shine or volume, which many brands tend to manufacture.

If your hair is oily, then your hair follicles produce more oil than the average person. Or, your oily hair situation can be more temporary. For example, if you are an athlete and were training for a major event, working out multiple times per day, then after the event passes and your training regimen dials back, you may experience hair oiliness, since your hair is still going to be producing as much oil as it was before when you were sweating excessively. Or, if you are using a lot of hair-styling products, they can often leave behind a greasy residue that requires a clarifying formula to remove. If this sounds like your hair, then choose a shampoo designed specifically for oily hair, or one that advertises clarifying agents.

You will want to make sure the ingredient list is fairly short – since having lots of excess ingredients will do more harm than good with naturally oily hair. For this reason, you may want to opt for a simple, fragrance free shampoo.

If you have dry hair, then your hair is the opposite of oily, and may naturally produce less sebum. Hair may also be dry as a result of frequent color treatments, or hot styling tools. If your hair is dry, then opt for a moisturizing formula in your shampoo, and also aim to only shampoo every three days. Excess washing strips the hair of natural oils. If your hair is color treated, then seek out a shampoo made specifically for dyed or colored hair. Some brands offer shampoos for each hair tone and color too.

If your hair is very fine, then on your worst hair days it looks limp and lifeless. Inject some volume into your hair with a shampoo that offers film-formers, such as hydrolyzed wheat protein and PG-propyl silanetriol, which help increase the volume of individual strands. Also stay away from using excess amounts of styling product, or any products that contain silicones, which will weigh your hair down.