By Guest Blogger Gabie Vossler, Hairstylist

With all the thousands of options for hair care out there it can make choosing one shampoo and one conditioner tough. Since so many competitors are pushing their hair lines promising amazing hair, many people start to think: is there even a difference between all of these? There is a difference and it all comes down to ingredients, quality of ingredients, and the order in which they are labeled on the bottles. Here is how I narrow it down and choose the right hair care product for my clients and myself:

Start with your main hair concern. Common concerns: damaged, colored, dry/brittle, oily, fine, coarse, limp, fluffy.

Here is a break down recommendation for common hair concerns:

Colored hair: Choose hair products that do not contain sulfates or harsh detergents. Most drug store brands do have these two ingredients in them because they are cheaper to use. Both of these can fade your color and leave your hair feeling dry. Ask your hairstylist which shampoo and conditioner would be best for your hair. Remember, you are investing in your hair by getting it colored so invest a little extra in the color protection.

Dry/damaged hair:
This type of hair tends to feel brittle all over or just on the ends. If it has been too long since you have had a haircut, then this may be causing your ends to feel dry. Look for treatments without silicones because they can leave build up on your hair over time. Build up causes a suffocating effect to your hair strands. A hair mask/deep conditioner is typically used once or twice a week for about 10 min- 1 hour depending on the product. If your hair is dry all over, then ask your stylist which moisturizing deep conditioner you should use to target the problem.

Fine hair:
If you have fine hair, do not use a thick, heavy conditioner. Try a professional hair line that says “light” on the bottle. Some fine haired women feel like they need to wash their hair every day or else it feels oily. This could be the result of either not washing the conditioner all the way out of the hair, or using a product that is too heavy for their hair.

Course hair: This type of hair can handle heavier conditioners and shampoos. Most times, course hair needs to be weighed down a bit so it does not become “fluffy.” Ask your stylist for a rich, creamy shampoo and conditioner to help soften your hair.

Oily hair/scalp:
If the scalp is oily, I often see a bit of buildup on the scalp. Try using a clarifying shampoo and conditioner and give your scalp a good scrub when shampooing. You still can apply conditioner on your roots because that is where your new growth needs to be nourished, just rinse it out very well. If you have colored hair and oilier scalp, ask your stylist which products could target both concerns at the same time.

Limp hair: If you cannot seem to get any volume with your hair, look for root boosting products. These shampoos and conditioners are made to help your root stand up causing your overall hair to look fuller. Some volumizing products can be on the drying side so ask your stylist to help your find one that does not have alcohol in it.

Use a professional line for your hair care, I cannot stress the importance of this enough. The reason the professional lines cost more is because the ingredients, quality, and amount of ingredients used are better. Some drugstore brands claim they have trendy oils in them but if you pick up the bottle and look at the order of ingredients, the oils are pretty low on the list. This means you really are not getting much of anything besides fillers in your product. FYI: Fillers add build-up on your hair and can suffocate it. If you have tried a professional shampoo and conditioner and did not like them, then they may not have been the right products for your concerns.

Go with what your stylist recommends to you. Your stylist is there to help you get healthy hair. We went to cosmetology school to learn everything there is to know about hair including its health, and protecting the integrity of our client’s hair. If you trust your stylist to cut your hair or color it, trust what they recommend for you to use on your hair. As a hairstylist, I can say, we want you to have the best hair possible!