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While we hate to disagree with dermatologists, we don't understand why they recommended a deep-cleansing shampoo when you have dandruff. Deep-cleansing-type shampoos will remove the surface flakes, but only a dandruff shampoo can address the cause of flaking and itching. So we'd recommend finding a good dandruff shampoo instead of chasing deep-cleansing, clarifying and antiresidue products. This may seem confusing to you because the beauty companies tell you there are so many different kinds of shampoo. But in reality, every shampoo on the market falls into one of a few basic categories.
There are only four main shapoo types in the world
All shampoo can be categorized by their basic function. So why are there what seem like thousands of products on the market, you ask? Because companies that sell shampoo need new ways to talk about their products to keep them sounding new and exciting. There's nothing wrong with companies being creative about their names and claims as long as they are honestly depicting what their products can do. But you can be a smarter consumer if you can see beyond the marketing hype and understand the functionality of these four basic shampoo types.
1. Deep cleansing shampoos (aka volumizing, clarifying, balancing, oil control and thickening). These shampoos are designed to get gunk off your hair and scalp. They typically contain slightly higher levels of detergents so they foam and clean better. They include the examples above as well as salon products like Paul Mitchell Shampoo and Frederic Fekkai's Full Volume Shampoo.
2. Conditioning shampoos (aka moisturizing, 2-in-l, smoothing, antifrizz, strengthening, color care, straightening and hydrating). These kinds of formulas are all about leaving a moisturizing agent, like silicone or polyquaternium-lO, on the hair to smooth it. They are very good for dry hair, especially if you color-treat or heat-style, but they can weigh down fine hair. Good examples of this type include most of the Pantene formulas and some products from the L'Oreal Vive collection and Dove Advanced Care.
3. Baby shampoos (aka kids shampoo and tear-free). These are milder, lower-foaming surfactant formulas that are designed not to sting or burn your eyes. They're better for babies but they don't clean hair as well. Johnson's Baby Shampoo is the classic example, but this category also includes Touch of an Angel and The Little Bath.
4. Antidandruff shampoos (aka anti-itch, flake control and dry scalp). These are medicated shampoos that contain a drug ingredient that controls itching and flaking. In the United States these are considered to be over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Head & Shoulders is the leading dandruff product; other examples include Nizoral Dandruff Shampoo and Redken Dandruff Control Shampoo.
The Bottom Line
We hope this helps you better understand the marketing hype surrounding shampoo names. We're not saying that all shampoos are the same, or even that all shampoos in a given category type are the same. There are real performance differences so it's important for you to shop around and find a product that performs the way you like at a price that you can afford. Just don't get too hung up on the names the companies use to describe their products. That's the marketing part of the industry, not the science part.
This book was a great beach read for me. It was filled with so many different facts about products I use daily, so it was extremely helpful with future product purchases. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Marisa
This book gives you the gist of beauty products in a quick way. Good enough for general public. A lot of my own questions are addressed and answered in a reader friendly way. Read morePublished 17 months ago by S. Zhu
This book is really fun and kooky. At the same time it is quite informative too. I learned all kinds of fun beauty facts from this guide and have shared a lot of them with friends... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Bella's Shelf
As a physician, I often get people ask me about whether certain products they use are good for them. Today's age of Dr. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jack
I am one of those people who always likes to know the science behind items we use every day. With that being said, you would think this would be the perfect book for me. Read morePublished on April 15, 2012 by Meg
There is a lot of information about cosmetics and beauty products in this book. It opens one's eyes as long as you're open to breaking patterns such as "expensive = the best... Read morePublished on January 26, 2012 by zoeish
Really like this book, the information is there for what ever you want to know about hair products, lotions, and skin products. The book has changed my buying habits.Published on January 17, 2012 by April
I believe these authors were well intended in the basis of the book but I felt they fell short in helping me understand their point. Read morePublished on November 14, 2011 by B. L. Dvorachek
Beauty Brains is a blog that answers questions about beauty supplies, cosmetics, etc. In this book, some of the posts were published. Read morePublished on August 25, 2011 by Morrigan Alexandros