Shampoo Secrets Companies Don't Want You To Know

Originally quoted from The Beauty Isle Insider by
The Creators of The Beauty Brains

~Image from: Medical Daily~

While we hate to disagree with dermatologists, we don't understand why they recommend 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 anti-residue products. This may seem confusing to us 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 4 main shampoo types in the world

All shampoos can be categorised 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 with their names and claims as long as they are honestly depicting what their products can do. But we can be smarter consumers if we can see beyond the marketing hype and understand the functionality of these four basic shampoo types.

1. Deep Cleansing Shampoos (a.k.a 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 detergent so they foam and clean better. The include the examples above as well as salon products like Paul Mitchell Shampoo and Frederic Fekkai's Full Volume Shampoo.

2. Conditioning Shampoo (a.k.a moisturizing, 2-in-1, smoothing, anti-frizz, strengthening, color care, straightening and hydrating). These kinds of formulas are all about leaving a moisturizing agent, like silicone or polyquaternium-10, on the hair to smooth it. They are very good for dry hair, especially if you color-treat or heat-style, but they can weight 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 (a.k.a 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. Anti-dandruff Shampoos (a.k.a 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 Danadruff Shampoo and Redken Dandruff Control Shampoo.

The Bottom Line

We hope this helps you better understand the marketing hype surrounding shampoo names. Nobody is 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. Jut don't get too hung up on the names the companies used to describe their products. That's the marketing part of the industry, not the science part.


Riih Rion is bashful when facing cameras and video-cams. But she soon realized she is more comfortable behind a PC screen than in front of a lens. Riih is passionate about beauty products, paranormal & folk lore from anywhere in the world and sushi. Especially sushi. Come visit her blogs or drop her a comment :D

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