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February 25, 2021 4 min read

Hands down, the most frequent question I field is "which solid shampoo and conditioner is right for my hair?" Everyone's hair is unique and has its own special set of requirements, but there are some general principles I discuss with every single person who requests guidance on the right combo. Whether your hair is straightfoward (figuratively, because literally I help a lot of curly/wavies out there with not one straightfoward hair on their head) and can find the perfect balance with one matching set, or you need a blend of the different options, we can usually find the perfect ones based on some simple questions.

This will be a two-part article. In this first part, we'll start with a breakdown of the shampoo options.

Is your hair and scalp generally dry?

If your hair is constantly wanting moisture and your scalp tends to dry out with more traditional shampoos, then one of the "Low-poo" options is probably going to be your go-to shampoo. A "Low-poo" is a term for a cleanser that has a lower percentage of cleansing agents and a higher percentage of conditioning agents than a regular shampoo. We have two options that fall under this umbrella:

Aqua Aura Shampoo: This shampoo has the highest percentage of conditioning ingredients and gives a foamy, creamy lather. It cleanses with a mild, coconut derived cleanser (known as baby foam to formulators) but is also full of conditioning ingredients that help detangle and moisturize while cleansing. This is not to say this is a two-in-one bar, if your hair is dry enough to want a low-poo, you will most definitely want to condition as well after rinsing out all of your shampoo. The conditioning agents in the shampoo offset that squeaky-clean feeling some cleansers can give on their own. This shampoo is best for dryer hair that can handle lots of moisture, ie. does not get weighed down easily.

Spirit Aura Shampoo: This shampoo is very similar to the Aqua, however it has a slightly higher percentage of cleansing ingredients and a slightly lower percentage of conditioning ingredients (compared to the Aqua). This one also gives a foamy, creamy lather but does have a stronger cleansing action happening. The conditioners help detangle and retain moisture while cleansing in this bar, too. This one is best for hair that tends to be dryer, but may also get weighed down easier. Not all dry hair is coarse, fine hair can be dry as well, so this shampoo was made for this combo in mind.

Now, we'll switch to the opposite end of the spectrum. Is your scalp oily or does your hair get weighed down?

More traditional cleansers are better for scalps that tend to be oily along with hair that doesn't really need a whole lot of extra moisture. Typically, but not always, finer hair with more prolific oil production is going to enjoy extra cleansing in its shampoo. We have two options in this category.

Apple Aura Shampoo: Made with gentle, coconut derived cleansers and fresh apple hydrosol, this shampoo cleanses and clarifies without drying out hair. It is mostly made with cleansers and just a hint of light conditioning agents to give it nice slip without adding any weight. This one is best for fine-medium hair that may get easily over-moisturized or is prone to product buildup.

Angel Aura Shampoo: If you have fine hair that needs a little lift in the volume department, this is the shampoo for you. It is the only shampoo we make with protein; it has rice protein to give volume at the roots and is sometimes all you need. While there is a corresponding conditioner, many clients who don't really use conditioner find this shampoo to be enough.

Do you have scalp issues, or require periodic clarifying?

Now, as a curly-headed individual with a few different things going on, I know that sometimes a different option is necessary. I created what I call the re-set button: 

Silver Aura Shampoo. This shampoo is pretty special; it contains rhassoul clay, apple cider vinegar, and activated charcoal along with our mild, coconut derived cleanser blend. There are a few different circumstances this shampoo covers. First, I'll explain how I and may other curly/wavies use this shampoo to instantly refresh our strands.

Silver as a Periodic Clarifying Cleanser: Once every week, or every other week I use this one to clarify my strands. No matter what type of leave in you use, you will get some build up. Wether it's a leave-in conditioner, mousse, or even a water-soluable gel you will have some buildup over time on your hair. If you have hard water, you will have build up on your hair. So, to re-set my curls, I pop this one into the rotation. Another combo that may not be exclusive to curly/wavy hair, but is definitely frequent is having a more oily scalp with dryer hair. So, while your hair may love the low-poo options of the Aqua and Spirit most of the time, your scalp may want an occasional cleansing with something a little *extra*. This clarifying shampoo is mild and softening so your dry hair won't lose moisture using this one from time to time.

Silver as a  Sensitive Scalp Shampoo: If your scalp has chronic issues with symptoms like itching, flaking, or little bumps, this should be your regular cleanser. Even if your hair is on the dry side, this shampoo will take care of your scalp while maintaining the softness and moisture in your hair. It is definitely a game-changer. Read through the reviews to see how this shampoo has helped many with their scalp issues.


I hope this explains the similarities and differences among the different shampoos. This is a general guide, so if you have any questions please feel free to email me to discuss your unique situation! If you've used one of these shampoos and want to add something about your experience, please leave a comment or send me an email- angela@silverstoneapothecary.com

Angela Mayorga

Alchemist and Owner




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