This moisturizing shampoo is designed to gently yet thoroughly cleanse the hair while imparting a balance of amino acids and proteins into the hair for strength and elasticity. Its high content of moisturizers and conditioners keep the hair shiny and tangle- and static free while giving each strand a youthful appearance. It's powerful enough to use only once a week; don't overuse or you'll cross the line from taming your hair to beating it flat and lifeless. You want to show your hair who's boss, not assault it. Be sure to alternate this product with one of the other three in this category. It sometimes takes teamwork to tame the beast.
LOW L'Oreal VIVE Smooth-Intense Shampoo for Women of Color ($3.69)
This godsend of a shampoo is made with camelina seed oil, which has an unusually high natural content of cholesterol to smooth the hair. For highly textured hair, or hair that is intensely damaged from the sun or overbleaching, the results are transforming.
THE AUTHORS' PICK is the Ojon Ultra Hydrating Shampoo. If your hair is more difficult than Chinese algebra, the Ojon is the multifunction calculator to solve it.
REFLECTIONS ON COLOR: Hair that is color-treated has always been a challenge. Kerastase has launched a light-reflecting treatment that reveals mirrorlike radiance in colored hair. The line, Reflection, takes an aggressive stand with colored hair by actually smoothing and evening out the hair fiber, laying the foundation for optimal reflection. The Reflection line includes Bain Miroir shampoo ($29), Chroma Reflect Radiance— Enhancing Masque ($58), and Chroma Protective Polishing Cream ($34), all available at your nearest fine salon, or call (877) 784-8357.
A clarifying shampoo has one job: to remove buildup of shampoo, gel, mousse, pomades, and other products that weigh your hair down with regular use. It differs from a regular shampoo in that it has an elevated acid content, and thus, it should be used sparingly, depending on the level of buildup on your hair. Use clarifying shampoos weekly for heavy buildup, biweekly for moderate buildup, and monthly for minimal buildup (if you don't use much product on your hair).
"Over time, all products that you use regularly on your hair will begin to build up and not be quite as effective due to the weight they create on you hair's cuticle," says celebrity stylist Oscar Blandi. "Think of clarifying shampoos like the exfoliate you would use on your skin periodically. It's like hitting restart!"
HIGH Soda Shampoo by Fresh ($24)
Soda shampoo is formulated with bicarbonate of soda bubbles, which adds volume while simultaneously removing residue from product buildup. The stimulating mint and lavender waters revitalize the scalp and enhance body and shine, while the grapefruit gives it an exhilarating scent. This shampoo is ideal for all hair types and best used weekly for clarifying action.
MEDIUM Oscar Blandi Shampoo D'Alternanza ($20)
D'Alternanza is a very gentle clarifying shampoo with chamomile and aloe vera that should be used no more than once a week to remove buildup without stripping hair. Follow with your regular conditioner.
MEDIUM Frédéric Fekkai Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo ($18.50)