What shampoo should you really be using?

Wake up, brush teeth, jump in the shower and get ready for work. For most of us, this is the normal start to a typical day. It takes very little thought or energy. Most of us are on autopilot in the mornings, so taking a step back and thinking about the process isn't a common occurrence.

When I'm in a hurry in the mornings, I'm not thinking about what kind of toothpaste I'm using or what's in my shampoo bottle, but maybe I should change that.

With the hundreds of shampoo bottles lining the drug store shelves, it's easy to just grab the one on sale and go on your merry way. This is fine if you're one of those irritating people who just naturally wakes up with gorgeous, shiny hair. For the rest of us, however, it might do our locks some good to pay a little more attention to what we're using to wash them. Picking the right shampoo for your hair can be a little overwhelming. Where do you even start? Check out our guide for picking the perfect shampoo for silky, beautiful hair everyday.

Know your type

Knowing your individual hair type is the first step to knowing the right shampoo for you. Some common types of hair are fine, curly, dry and oily. If you color your hair or use any chemical treatments, you'll want to look for shampoo for that type of hair.

Not sure what type fits your hair? Ask your stylist next time you get a haircut. Many of us have a combination of types, for example dry and curly.

Celebrity stylist, Justine Marjan recommends focusing on the outcome you want. Here are some questions you should think about to assess your hair needs. "Do you need volume? Does it fall flat easily? Is your scalp oily/dry? Are your ends damaged? Do you color/bleach your hair? Do you have frizz? Does your hair need moisture? Then ask yourself what you want to see out of your hair: volume, moisture, shine, etc."

Dani Everson of Clementine's Salon recommends focusing on your priority area. "Clients should find their most prioritized needs to find the most suitable shampoo," she explains. "If someone has color treated hair, that also happens to be curly and dry, I will work with them to figure out which shampoo will have the biggest impact."

Jarrod Harms also likes to pick a shampoo based on your individual needs, but reminds us to make sure it actually works for us. "For instance it may make sense that you should use a moisturizing shampoo. Doing so however, leaves your hair limp. Then don't do it. Use a shampoo that leaves your scalp refreshed and pick a conditioner to balance it. Choosing the right conditioner will help insure the result you're looking for."

Fine hair

People with fine hair often feel like their hair looks too thin or flat. If you've been feeling jealous of your thick-haired besties, look for volumizing shampoos. Good Housekeeping reviewed its favorite hair-thickening shampoos and recommended Pantene Pro-V Full and Thick Collection.

Everson recommends women with fine hair try a mouse or foam conditioner. "Mouse doesn't weigh hair down after application," she explains.

Celebrity colorist, Michael Boychuck actually recommends considering coloring your hair to amp the volume. "Adding color to hair opens up the cuticle and in turn, adds body and volume," he explains. "For finer hair, rather than reach for volumizing shampoos and product, add a touch of color to open up the hair cuticle and add body. [Then] choose a shampoo to reinforce the hair's overall health, such as a moisturizing or color-repair product."

Curly hair

Your curls crave moisture. If you've ever struggled with frizzy hair, don't blame the humidity. It could just mean that your hair is dried out and needs some repair. It's time to put down the straightener and embrace your gorgeous waves. First things first — ultra moisture shampoo. Read the labels on your favorite shampoos and look for ones made for dry hair. These will be hydrating for your hair, keeping your curls light and bouncy.

Co-wash cleansers are also great for curly locks. These products are not technically shampoos, but cleansing conditioners. Everson recommends co-wash cleansers to add back moisture for her curly-haired clients. They won't feel like your normal sudsy shampoo, but they'll keep your hair conditioned and healthy.

Curly girls also need to steer clear of the alcohol. Don't worry, we're not talking about your glass of sangria! Check the ingredients in all your hair products, you'll be surprised to see alcohol as the ingredient in some of them. Styling gels with alcohol dry out hair and give it that crunchy feel. Opt for a more natural, softer curl with alcohol-free products.

Dry hair

Just like for your wavy-haired friends, ultra-hydrating shampoos are going to be your best option. Harms tends to treat dry and curly hair the same way. "The goals with both are to restore/increase flexibility, smooth frizz or flyaways, and promote shine," he explains. "Look for humectant ingredients that draw extra moisture into the hair. They should also contain natural oils and/or lightweight silicones to help control the hair." Look for shampoos with descriptions like, "ultra-hydrating and nourishing," or ones with natural oils in the ingredients list. Olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil will all provide intense moisture without drying out your scalp or strands with harsh chemicals. And always use a quality conditioner after shampooing.

Oily hair

Women who tend to have oily hair should stick with shampoos made specifically to control oil. They will state this on the bottle. These shampoos are designed to purify and soak up extra oil in the hair and scalp. Harms recommends his oily-haired clients steer clear of any added oils in their shampoos, explaining, "The last thing you want add is an additional silicone or natural oil." He suggests looking for shampoos fortified with added proteins "to give hair some heft."

Women with oily hair can also get great results with anti-dandruff shampoos. Usually we assume that dandruff comes from dry hair, but oily hair can actually result in a dry scalp, causing unwanted dandruff. Using a dandruff shampoo once in a while will help prevent that.

"Skip the conditioner for oily hair and add a light mist conditioner on the ends," Everson recommends, as it will only add to the oily look. "Avoid the scalp entirely when applying."

Color treated hair

If you're rocking a new, gorgeous color, protect it with the right shampoo, made specifically for color- or chemically-treated hair. We know your stylists' custom blend of highlights and lowlights cost a small fortune, so don't let that money flow down the shower drain.

According to Harms, color-treated hair craves two things: antioxidants and UV protection. Antioxidants protect the hair from the natural fading that comes over time. "Oxidation gets color in the hair, and is also the process that fades it." When looking for UV protection, make sure to read the label carefully. "There is a difference between color-safe and color-protecting," Harms explains. "The first is okay to use on color treated hair. The second actively protects it."

Boychuck recommends steering clear of shampoos with added parabens and sulfates. "Paraben- and sulfate-free shampoo is always the best bet when choosing products, especially for color-treated hair as it won't detract from hair's existing treatment," he says. "It also depends on the color and texture of the hair. For example, blondes can mix in small amounts of purple shampoo with their leave-in treatments to ensure their tones remain on the cooler side."

How often should you wash your hair?

How often you should wash your hair really depends on your hair type. Thin hair tends to look oily faster, but Abraham Sprinkle, celebrity hairstylist and member of the Keratin Complex International Creative Team, told InStyle that you should still try to avoid washing everyday as this really dries out your hair. "If we're talking normal, fine hair, shampooing 3 times a week is sufficient," he says. To avoid looking greasy the next day, only use conditioner on your strands' ends, not too close to the scalp. Women with thicker hair can extend shampooing to every two to four days. A great blowout can last you a few days, so book that appointment now. So worth it!

Dry shampoo

So you've figured out your hair type and have found the perfect shampoo for you. Everything is glorious until that morning when you oversleep and have a crucial 7am meeting. Enter dry shampoo, your time-saving, beautifying bestie.

Dry shampoo certainly doesn't replace traditional shampoo, but can really help out in a pinch. It doesn't actually clean the hair. Rather, it provides a powder base to soak up excess oil. Your hair will look cleaner and lighter, but will still need a wash after that meeting.

Make your own

If you prefer to go the natural route, why not make your own? There are plenty of options out there, but perhaps the easiest recipe is on DIY Natural. Simply mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of water. Feel free to make a larger batch and keep in a clean bottle.

When you're ready to use it, just shake well and pour a small amount directly on your hair and massage into your scalp. It's important to remember that the baking soda could dry out your hair and scalp, so definitely don't make this an everyday thing. If you are having your hair done for a wedding or event, this could be a nice shampoo to try the next day to wash out all the extra products.