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How Do I Choose the Best Straight Hair Shampoo?

Wanda Marie Thibodeaux
Wanda Marie Thibodeaux

Straight hair looks sleek and glamorous in its own right, but it needs very different things from a shampoo than other hair types. With the wrong shampoo, straight hair can look flat, dull and even stringy. To pick the best shampoo, consumers must focus on lightweight straight hair shampoos that are appropriate for the diameter and cuticle condition present.

Straight hair is easily weighed down by heavy hair care products. The heavy products cause the straight strands to sit very close to each other and appear flat. This is a major issue because it prevents a person from getting a hairstyle that looks voluminous, bounces and moves well, and is full of life.

A woman with straight hair.
A woman with straight hair.

The fact straight hair is easily weighed down means that it's necessary to stay away from heavy, cream shampoos. Instead, pick a straight hair shampoo that is clear, because this type of shampoo won't have the weight of a creamy shampoo and won't leave as much residue on the hair strands.

Once the clear shampoos are the only ones up for consideration, check the texture of the straight hair. Texture refers to whether the hair is fine, normal or coarse. These traits involve not only the diameter of the hair strand, but also how flat the outermost layer or cuticle of the hair sits.

The best shampoos for fine hair are those designed to eliminate frizz and flyaways.
The best shampoos for fine hair are those designed to eliminate frizz and flyaways.

Hair that is fine has the smallest diameter with a cuticle that sits very flat. This type of straight hair is the most sensitive to the weight of hair care products, so choose the lightest out of all the clear shampoos. People with fine, straight hair typically do not need products that moisturize quite as much because the cuticles sit so uniformly, creating a good barrier for moisture retention. The increased number of protein scales on the cuticle, however, creates more static, so the best straight hair shampoo for fine manes usually are ones with ingredients designed to eliminate frizz and flyaways. Shampoos labeled as volumizing are good because they plump up the hair shaft and make it look thicker.

Normal straight hair is of a moderate diameter. The scales don't sit extremely flat, but they aren't as roughed up as with coarse hair. The best straight hair shampoo for this type of hair is one with moderate cleansing, moisturizing and anti-frizz power.

Coarse hair has the widest diameter. The cuticles of this hair type don't sit very flat, so the hair feels rougher and can't regulate moisture as well. For this type of straight hair, pick a shampoo that moisturizes well.

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Discussion Comments


@raynbow- Tell your sister that she should look for a baby shampoo that does not contain artificial fragrances, petroleum-based ingredients, and parabens. These ingredients are chemicals that do little more than weigh down and dry out your hair. Straight, fine hair is especially vulnerable to these effects.


@raynbow- My sister has straight hair that is also thin in texture, so she has to be extra careful when it comes to the type of shampoo she uses. Quite often, she would just wear her hair in a bun because she didn't think that it looked clean and bouncy, even after shampooing it.

A few years ago she began using baby shampoo after getting a tip from her hair stylist. She has been using it consistently ever since, because she loves the way it makes her hair look and feel. The mild cleaning formula is just what she needed to get her hair clean and give it lots of body without heavy ingredients to weigh it down.


What about shampoos that are formulated for babies? Since they are mild and made without a lot of harsh ingredients, it seems like they would be less likely to weight down straight hair than other types of shampoos.

Has anyone ever tried them on straight hair and if so, do they work?

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    • A woman with straight hair.
      By: Ariwasabi
      A woman with straight hair.
    • The best shampoos for fine hair are those designed to eliminate frizz and flyaways.
      By: Tobilander
      The best shampoos for fine hair are those designed to eliminate frizz and flyaways.