In a word—yes. Or if that seems kind of harsh—most likely. Chelsea, our chief creative officer and expert on all-things-hair, gives you the inside scoop on how to figure out your best shampoo and exactly how to use it. Just remember this: Less is more.
The “Ingredients 101” rule: Plant-based = good. Sulfates = bad.
The reality is that no matter your hair type, you want to always look for plant-based ingredients like aloe vera and natural surfactants (the ingredient that actually cleanses and foams) like lauryl glucoside, alkyl polyglucoside and decyl glucoside. What you want to avoid, big-time? The majorly aggressive chemicals known as sulfates, which can go by sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. They’re capable of stripping all the natural oils from your hair and are the reason that sometimes as soon as your rinse your hair, it immediately feels so dry you can’t get your fingers through it. Check your shampoo’s ingredients to make sure it doesn’t include these evil-doers.
Back away from the daily shampoo if your hair’s oily.
Like with oily skin, washing oily hair too often tricks your glands into producing even more oil. Try to cut down to washing every other day. Look for shampoos with ingredients like tea tree oil, chamomile and aloe; these will soothe and calm your hair and scalp.
Ditto for color-treated locks.
The bottom line is that for color to last longer, you have to wash your hair less often. But here’s another smart thing to know: Shampoos that say “for color-treated hair” don’t do anything to help color last longer, they’re simply safe to use on color. Look instead for shampoos—our COLOR & LIFT COLOR SHIELD SHAMPOO fits the bill—with ingredients proven to retain hair color, like inula chrithmoide extract and quinoa.
Bring some jojoba, olive and sweet almond oils into your life if your hair’s coarse and dry.
Lots of shampoos claim to be “moisturizing,” but if your hair is super dry, look for ones that contain natural oils. To prevent shampoo from drying out the ends, wash at the scalp—that’s where you need to clean the oils and dirt—then condition root to end.

“Clarifying shampoos can be harsh on the hair and dry it out, so try using natural vinegar every other week to remove buildup and gunk.”

Want fat, lush hair?
When it comes to your hair and your shampoo, the same theory applies: “You are what you eat.” Just like your hair thrives when you chow on all sorts of delish proteins and foods with folic acid, iron and A, B and C vitamins, it also thrives when you shampoo with similar stuff—starches and proteins like hydrolyzed rice protein, corn and quinoa. (as crazy as that sounds!).
And 2 final tips to get you to shampoo nirvana.
- Go Cold. It is crucial — I would even go as far as to say life-changing — to rinse your hair with very cool water. Actually, COLD water. It seals the cuticles and will make all the difference when you blowdry. And it’s a serious wake-you-up move.

- Take it easy. You’ve heard of causing damage to delicate facial skin by overscrubbing/rubbing it? The same is true for your scalp and your hair strands. Please work shampoo into your head and locks by massaging gently. Same goes for towel drying.