How to choose the shampoo: 2 principles

Not every product is good for everyone! Before choosing your shampoo, you should answer the following questions.

1) What is your scalp type?


  • If you have an oily scalp, it’s important to select a shampoo that will remove excess  grease without stripping your hair of the natural oils it needs to stay healthy.  Avoid shampoos that are advertised as moisturizing, conditioning, or smoothing. Instead, look for labels that say volumizingsebum control, oil control, clarifying, or balancing.


  • A dry scalp isn’t producing enough of natural oil (sebum). Applying coconut oil before shampooing is especially good for those who have a dry scalp! Apply it directly to your scalp, and massage it with your fingers for 3-5 minutes. Then leave it for half an hour or so before hitting the shower, as mentioned in my favourite minimalist hair care routine . As for the shampoo, opt for a gentle formula made for dry hair that promote moisture and  hydration. Avoid products with alcohol, parabens and acrylates that will only irritate your scalp even more. If you scalp is also  itchy, inflamed, and flaky, consider visiting a dermatologist first, so that you can get the right treatment options for your condition.

2) What is your hair type?


  • long hairIf you have fine hair, you need a shampoo that adds thickness, and doesn’t weight down your roots. Avoid formulas that are packed with heavy silicones that weigh down roots and leave hair looking greasy after just a few hours. Instead, look for formulas that contain thickening ingredients, like panthenol and advanced polymers for increased volume.


  • Formulas containing sulfates are usually harsh on curly hair. If you have this hair type, the general recommendation is to look for anti-frizz, sulfate-free formulas that have conditioning ingredients such as coconut, jojoba, and olive oils.


  • Coarse and damaged hair  can sometimes look straw-like. Look for rich shampoos that contain the ultra-conditioning ingredients keratin and avocado oil for smooth, soft, and protected locks.


hair types

Once you are aware of your scalp & hair type, you’ll know what products you should be looking for!   Let me know, in the comments section below, what is your hair and scalp type, and how you normally choose your shampoo  🙂




19 thoughts on “How to choose the shampoo: 2 principles

  1. Anita says:

    Finally somebody who talks about scalp types! I have very dry and sensitive scalp, so lots of shampoo are not good for me, as they irritate my skin even more… I’ll give a try to shampoos without alcohol, parabens, and acrylates as you suggest 🙂

    • Margherita says:

      Yes, it is very important to consider your scalp type before choosing your shampoo! I am sure you’ll notice a big difference, if you avoid parabens, acrylates and alcohol 🙂

  2. Alina says:

    Hi Margherita. I’m so glad I came across this post!I’ve always made the mistake of not reading what is included in the product … I’ve bought a shampoo without silicones as you suggested, and my hair definitely stays clean for longer! THANK YOU

    • Margherita says:

      Hi Alina! I’m glad to hear you no longer have to wash your hair with the same frequency 🙂 Silicones weigh the hair down, forcing you to wash it frequently. And over time, they will make your hair dull…
      I’m happy that you’re already seeing the benefits of washing your hair with a silicone-free shampoo! xxx

  3. Barbara says:

    Thank you for all the tips about hair and scalp . I have been looking for an article that would in particular talk about scalps but I always seem to end up in the hair section and very little importance is given to the scalp. 

    Thank you for  having addressed both issues,  my scalp is often dry and I know my hair are damaged by the heat and colour. Now I know what I should get . Thank you so much

  4. Pronay Pappu says:

    Hey Margherita,
    Thanks a lot for sharing this article. I’m also confused to select the best shampoo for my hair. I use many types of shampoo but they not suited for my hair. And now my hair faces a lot of problems.
    Now I’m taking a shampoo without alcohol, silicons as you suggest. And the result is positive.
    Thanks again.

  5. Adyns68 says:

    Hi dear

    Thanks to your post I know how to choose my next shampoo. I never knew to check my scalp. According to your directions, I think my scalp is dry and I know my hair is afro.

    Does your directions for choosing a shampoo on dry scalp with curly hair will work for my afro hair? Or do you have any other advise for my hair type.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Margherita says:

      Hi! Thank you for your comment 🙂

      absolutely! regarding the shampoo, you can follow the directions for dry scalp with curly hair.

      In my post… you can find the 4 steps of my minimalist hair care routine. Apply coconut oil from scalp to ends before shampooing (if you have a dry scalp, massage the oil on your scalp for a few minutes). After shampooing, apply a leave-in conditioner, and whenever you feel that your hair is dry, apply a few drops of keratine oil.

      Let me know how it goes!

  6. Agnes says:

    Thank you for the information. Up till now I didn’t know that we should take into consideration our scalp type as well so I have chosen shampoo for myself in regards of my hair type. I have dry scalp and mainly damaged hair. I mainly choose a shampoo according to the brand and the smell of the shampoo is also important for me: I love coconut smell. Any recommendation for me?

    • Margherita says:

      Thanks for your feedback! my recommendation is to apply coconut on your scalp and hair before shampooing. Apply the oil on your scalp and massage it for a few minutes. Spread the oil from scalp to ends with a comb, and leave it for at least half an hour before stepping in the shower. This will make a huge difference! Regarding the right shampoo for you, I will soon write a post on products recommended for different scalp and hair types.

  7. Nate MC says:

    Excellent advice. Funny you mentioned using coconut oil because every now and then I actually use coconut oil in my hair before washing it out lol. I’ve been doing that for awhile now and personally I think it’s been a difference. I agree with you about people should know what their scalp type is (as well as hair type) before choosing a shampoo. 

    • Margherita says:

      Thanks Nate for your comment! yes, coconut oil is really great for hair, using it does make  a huge difference!

  8. Taetske says:

    Good afternoon Margherita.

    I am happy to read on your About Me page that you got out from this sad period and started to take care of yourself. Actually, that means to love yourself again.

    When choosing a shampoo we should not be carried away by the glamorous advertisement but find out what hair type you have and what it needs.

    That is a good tip to put coconut oil on a dry scalp and massage it for some minutes. Damaged hair needs avocado and keratin. That is good for me as I live in a dry and hot climate. Thank you for this nice post.

    Regards, Taetske

    • Margherita says:

      HI Taetske,

      thanks for your kind words 🙂 

      Yes, coconut oil has lots of benefits for hair! It is natural, not expensive, and just really good. Highly recommended!


  9. David says:

    Hi Margherita, thanks for a simple yet informative article. It is important to know your scalp and your hair type before choosing the right shampoo. For instance, when we buy tires for our car we have to go by car specifications. Every car is different and we don’t just grab any tire. Same goes for hair and beauty products. If we want to look good we need to know which product is right for us. I personally buy shampoo in special beauty stores, they have better products and knowledgable staff. It is not cheap but you get what you paid for.


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