Finding the right shampoo

Finding the right shampoo for you

1 September 2017

In our Manchester Salons we know finding the right shampoo can really transform your hair. Not only can it make it shine, but the right shampoo can give your hair much needed resilience and added strength.  The search, however, is often a process of trial and error.  In this article, we give some pointers on what to consider when trying to find the perfect shampoo.

Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that your perfect shampoo product may in fact need to change over time given:

  • different environmental conditions you find yourself in
  • changes in your body and age, and
  • the daily routine you adopt

These all present different pressures and issues for your hair to deal with – so be mindful that. As you change and evolve, finding the right shampoo and shampooing regime may need to as well.

The importance of pH

Let’s deal with the science bit first.  pH measures the acid/alkaline level of a substance on a scale of 1-14.  Below 7 the product is acidic, over 7 and it’s more alkaline. Your hair’s sebum (which is its natural oil) has a pH factor of somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5, so it’s mildly acidic.  It also stops bacteria building up, so it’s important not to completely strip out your sebum by over-washing or choosing a too acidic or too alkaline shampoo.

We usually recommend shampoos with a pH between 5 and 7 as this is the closest to your hairs natural balance. The Unite Products we favour are particularly good for cleansing the hair without stripping out its vital oils.

Factors to influence your decision

Tips for finding the right shampooWe get asked a lot of questions at our award winning Manchester Salon about shampooing, when choosing a shampoo, don’t just consider your hair type (although that is important).  Also, factor in:

  • How often you’ll be washing your hair in a week
  • Whether you plan to use a separate conditioner or a shampoo/conditioner combination
  • What stresses your hair is facing – for example, is it the depths of winter where you’re moving from extreme cold to centrally-heated rooms, or is it the height of summer with blazing sunshine and the impact of air conditioners all joining forces to dry out your hair?
  • What colours, bleaches, highlights or other treatments you’ve had on your hair, which the shampoo needs to be sensitive to.

If you’re baffled by the choice and are unsure which way to turn, do consult your hair stylist.  An experienced professional will be able to advise and can often give a sample or even a patch test so you can find the most suitable shampoo.

Shampooing do’s and don’tsShampooing Dos and Don'ts

And when you have found the right shampoo for you, here are some shampooing do’s and don’ts. There’s more to it than you think…


  1. Read and follow the instructions on the packaging.
  2. Brush your hair beforehand to avoid tangles intensifying as you wash.
  3. Wet your hair thoroughly before applying the shampoo.
  4. Put the shampoo into your hand first (and not directly on the hair). You typically want the size of a small plum for mid to long length hair, and the size of a cherry for short hair.
  5. Get the shampoo on, lather up, then start massaging your head from the base of your neck up the back of your head towards your temples.
  6. Use your thumbs in a circular motion and feel the movement of your scalp.
  7. Take your time, and aim to really get your scalp moving with your fingers.
  8. Rinse thoroughly when you are ready, we typically recommend rinsing well for 2 minutes depending on the hair length to ensure you don’t leave any shampoo on.
  9. Gently pat your hair dry to remove excess water, don’t rub it with a towel or it is likely to break in this sensitive state.


  1. Wash your hair in the bath water – always use fresh, clean shower water.
  2. Make the water too hot, as this can strip out vital oils in your hair and make it sensitive or your scalp irritable.
  3. Feel you have to have masses of lather to get a good clean – it’s just not true.
  4. Use a fine comb immediately after a wash – use a broader toothed comb instead to put less pressure on your hair.
  5. Be overly harsh when towel drying your hair as it is more fragile when wet.
  6. Use any product not suited for your hair type.

Why not book in for a consultation?

The Northern Quarter Salons team would be delighted to help you with finding the right shampoo, we would do an evaluation of the best shampoo to add greater shine and lustre to your hair.  Why not contact us, to book a consultation – we design beautiful hair – and that includes yours!

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