Hair Products » Best Shampoos

23 Best Shampoos for Every Hair Type

Shampoo is one of those staples that every person with hair probably already has. If you’d like to upgrade your hair-care routine, it’s best to start by adding in one of the best shampoos available on the market today.

We’ve curated a list of the best shampoos for every hair need and type, from both luxury, high-end brands and budget-friendly drugstore options. If you need some help navigating this list, we also included a section below with some selection tips to help you find the best option for your hair.

In this article:

Our Picks for the Best Shampoos

Have a look at our selection! Whether you’re rocking a bleached look that needs gentle care, some cool fashion colors that need careful maintenance, or virgin hair that needs a good cleansing, one of these shampoos will do the trick for you.

1
Best Overall
Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo
Pureology Sephora.com
$30.50

This bestselling shampoo is our overall favorite option for nearly everyone! It’s a hair-fortifying formula that cleanses extremely well but also seals and protects the hair cuticle. It’s designed for damaged or dyed hair, but the reality is that it’s still great even for normal hair. It’s a sulfate-free formula, which is good news for anyone with brittle or dry hair since sulfates can be quite drying. As far as sulfate-free shampoos go, it lathers up nicely, and it definitely makes your hair and scalp feel clean. Get it at Sephora, Ulta, or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 9 oz.
  • Hair Type: All, damaged
  • Scent: Fruity
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Gentle but thorough cleansing
  • Seals and protects cuticle
  • Lathers beautifully

Cons

  • None

2
Best Budget
Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
Aveeno Amazon.com
$6.97

Our favorite budget-friendly shampoo comes from Aveeno. This formula really hits the balance of clarifying without drying the hair. It contains apple cider vinegar, which keeps the pH low and helps to remove product build-up from the hair and scalp. This shampoo also includes colloidal oatmeal, which is famously soothing and helps if your scalp is sensitive.

In general, we’d recommend it for all hair types, but especially those who use hair products that leave a residue behind or who have sensitive scalps. It might be a little too aggressive for dyed hair, so it’s better for those keeping their natural color. Order it from Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 12 oz.
  • Hair Type: Natural, all
  • Scent: Apple
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: No/No

Pros

  • Removes product build-up
  • Gentle and soothing to scalp
  • Balanced option for non-colored hair

Cons

  • Not ideal for dyed hair

3
Best Drugstore
L’Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Shampoo
L’Oreal Paris Amazon.com
$6.58

L’Oreal has been in the hair game for a long time, and this shampoo is a testament to that. While the formula does contain sulfates, there’s a balance of surfactants that gives an amazing lather without stripping the hair. The hair care industry has been moving away from foaming surfactants, but if you hate using a shampoo that doesn’t lather, this is a great option that leaves the hair feeling soft.

There are also some impressive hair-restoring ingredients that add moisture and shine, like ceramides, amino acids, and silicones. Shockingly, this shampoo has many fans with curly hair, even though the formula includes ingredients they’re normally discouraged from using. Find it online through Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 28 oz.
  • Hair Type: All, damaged
  • Scent: Green floral
  • Sulfate-Free: No
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: No/No

Pros

  • All the lather without the dryness
  • Moisturizing, restoring formula
  • Softening, hair-fortifying ingredients

Cons

  • Not sulfate-free

4
Best Luxury
Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo
Oribe Nordstrom.com
$49

When it comes to luxury hair care, few brands can impress as much as Oribe. This mild shampoo is loaded with scalp- and hair-nourishing ingredients in a very moisturizing and nourishing formula.

Despite being sulfate-free, this shampoo lathers nicely and creates a creamy foam. It cleanses without stripping, although those with oily scalps may not find it cleansing enough. It’s an ideal choice for those with color-damaged or very brittle hair. 

While we do think you can find shampoos that perform similarly at a much lower price point, if you’re a luxury shopper, you’re not looking at the price, anyway. What makes it feel like a luxury product is, in large part, the scent, which is very complex with both floral notes and citrus and sandalwood. If you’re a fragrance geek, you’ll appreciate the amount of thought that went into it. Pick it up from Nordstrom, Sephora, or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 8.5 oz.
  • Hair Type: Damaged
  • Scent: Complex floral
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Very reparative to damaged hair
  • Gently cleansing and non-stripping
  • Incredible fragrance
  • Nice lather

Cons

  • Not cleansing enough for oily hair
  • Incredibly expensive

5
Best Silicone-Free
Drunk Elephant Cocomino Glossing Shampoo
Drunk Elephant Sephora.com
$25

This is another gorgeous, creamy, and sulfate-free option from Drunk Elephant. Like all DE products, it’s designed with sensitive skin in mind, and it’s free of silicones and sulfates. It’s also fragrance-free, which is unusual to find in shampoos but is imperative for those with fragrance sensitivities.

It’s a low-lather formula, which is not surprising since it depends on coconut-based cleansing agents. Despite not getting particularly foamy, it still cleanses well, especially for those with fine, dry, or brittle hair that need a gentler option. The final result with this shampoo is glossy, shiny hair, so if that’s what you covet, you should give it a try! Buy it from Sephora!

Key Features:

  • Size: 8 oz.
  • Hair Type: Dry, fine
  • Scent: Fragrance-free but nutty
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Creamy, nourishing shampoo
  • Silicone-free
  • Ideal for dry or brittle hair
  • Gives hair a shine 

Cons

  • Doesn’t lather much

6
Best for Dry Hair
Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo
Moroccanoil Sephora.com
$24

This unique shampoo is surprisingly thick and rich, with a lot more conditioning agents than we’re used to seeing in a cleansing formula. It almost feels like a conditioner, and it does a remarkable job of sealing and nourishing the hair. It still cleanses, but not dramatically, so it’s a better choice as a regular shampoo, in conjunction with the occasional more clarifying formula.

It has a strong, gender-neutral scent with floral and amber notes. It’s the same fragrance as in other Moroccanoil products, so if you’re already a fan, we know you’ll enjoy it. You can get it at Sephora, Nordstrom, or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 8.5 oz.
  • Hair Type: Dry and Damaged
  • Scent: Spicy Floral
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Very conditioning for a shampoo
  • Gorgeous signature scent
  • Gentle on damaged hair

Cons

  • Not the most cleansing option

7
Best for Sensitive Scalps
Paula’s Choice All Over Hair & Body Shampoo
Paula’s Choice Paulaschoice.com
$17

It can be difficult to find a fragrance-free shampoo, but if you have a sensitive scalp, it can make a big difference. Fragrances can be irritating to the skin, and for some, they can cause headaches.

That’s why we enjoy Paula’s Choice – their products are always certain to be gentle, fragrance-free, and formulated with an evidence-based approach. While the shampoo is not sulfate-free, the sodium laureth sulfate is blended with enough gentle surfactants to mitigate any potential issues. That said, if your hair is very dry, this might be too stripping for you. 

The formula also includes hydrating panthenol and soy protein to help nourish and strengthen the hair. Together, these ingredients make for a shampoo that lathers nicely but leaves both hair and body feeling clean, moisturized, and soothed. Find it at Paula’s Choice or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 14.5 oz.
  • Hair Type: Sensitive, normal        
  • Scent: Fragrance-free
  • Sulfate-Free: No
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Rare fragrance-free shampoo
  • Very cleansing but gentle
  • Includes hair nourishing ingredients
  • Designed for hair and body

Cons

  • Can be stripping to dry hair

8
Best for Curly Hair
DevaCurl CurlBond Re-coiling Mild Lather Cleanser
DevaCurl Sephora.com
$26

While many of the gentler, sulfate-free shampoos on this list will work for curly hair, this shampoo was designed with your hair type in mind. This ultra-mild ‘cleanser’ is curly girl-approved since it’s free from silicones and sulfates. DevaCurl’s original NoPoo was our original curly-hair go-to (and it’s still a great option), but this new addition to the brand’s product line is extra-exciting. It’s designed specifically to help when you’re trying to re-coil your curls in the shower, with an amino acid complex that helps repair the bonds in the hair for an overall stronger strand. Purchase it from Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta, or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 12 oz.
  • Hair Type: Curly, damaged
  • Scent: Tropical
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Gentle cleanser for curly hair
  • Silicone and sulfate-free
  • Helps re-coil curls
  • Amino acid complex strengthens strands

Cons

  • None

9
Best for Damaged Hair
Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
Olaplex Nordstrom.com
$28

At this point, every hair enthusiast is familiar with Olaplex. The brand has a patented technology that helps repair broken disulfide bonds in the hair. While many other brands have followed suit with similar products, Olaplex is still the OG.

As with other Olaplex products, this shampoo isn’t for everyone. Those with naturally strong, non-porous hair will not benefit from its unique properties (it may even make their hair feel a little too rigid). On the other hand, if you’re nursing your hair back to health after some bleach or heat damage, this shampoo will work beautifully to add some strength and shine. It’s sold at Nordstrom, Sephora, and Amazon.

Key Features:

  • Size: 8.5 oz.
  • Hair Type: Damaged, brittle
  • Scent: Subtle fruity/citrus
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Incredibly reparative to damaged hair
  • Patented bond-repairing technology
  • Very gentle on brittle or porous hair
  • Adds strength and shine

Cons

  • Not suitable for normal, healthy hair

10
Best for Color-Treated Hair
Redken Color Extend Shampoo
Redken Ulta.com
$20

If your hair simply leaks color every time you dye it, this color-extending shampoo from Redken might be the solution to your troubles. Made with Redken’s Color Care technology, it’s designed specifically to clean the hair without stripping it of color. While it’s made with quite a few conditioning and color-protecting ingredients, it’s still a traditional foaming shampoo, and it does contain sulfates. We wouldn’t recommend it for color-damaged hair, but more so for those who dye their hair without bleaching. Find it at Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 10.1 oz.
  • Hair Type: Colored
  • Scent: Fruity
  • Sulfate-Free: No
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: No/No

Pros

  • Designed to keep color vibrant
  • Cleanses thoroughly
  • Some conditioning effects

Cons

  • Not ideal for damaged hair

11
Best Anti-Dandruff
Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Nizoral Amazon.com
$14.84

Dandruff is a complex condition, but thankfully, it can be controlled with the right shampoo. The best ingredient for the job is ketoconazole, a potent anti-fungal ingredient that helps clear away flakes very quickly. 

It’s not the most luxurious shampoo, and while it cleanses the hair thoroughly, it can also be quite drying. It’s not a shampoo we’d recommend using often or for the long term. However, if you’re dealing with dandruff, giving this a try for a couple of weeks will likely clear away your problems, and you’ll be able to return to a more cosmetically elegant shampoo shortly after. You can get it at Amazon.

Key Features:

  • Size: 7 oz.
  • Hair Type: Dandruff-prone
  • Scent: Clean
  • Sulfate-Free: No (but low-sulfate)
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: No/No

Pros

  • Potent dandruff treatment
  • Cleanses thoroughly
  • Often works within a few weeks

Cons

  • Not the most pleasant to use

12
Best for Oily Hair
dae Daily Shampoo
dae Sephora.com
$24

This shampoo is a fairly new release, so it’s not surprising that the packaging is oh-so-current in millennial pink. It’s a lightly-lathering yet thoroughly cleansing shampoo that does a great job of cleaning even oilier hair while still being a suitable option for normal hair. However, if you have dry or color-damaged hair, stay away.

It comes in a pump bottle, which we prefer to squeeze bottles, and the formula itself has a sweet, citrus smell that lingers in the hair beautifully (especially if you use the brand’s matching shampoo. The formula has some sexy-sounding desert-derived plant extracts, but we know that what really makes it work is a blend of innovative, gentle surfactants. It’s available at Sephora.

Key Features:

  • Size: 10 oz.
  • Hair Type: Oily
  • Scent: Sweet citrus
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes 

Pros

  • Very cleansing
  • Sulfate-free option for oily hair
  • Convenient pump bottle
  • Leaves lovely scent behind

Cons

  • Not ideal for dry or damaged hair

13
Best Clarifying
OUAI Detox Shampoo
OUAI Sephora.com
$30

This shampoo takes clarifying to the next level, perfect for those of you dealing with product build-up or hard water. It’s a sulfate-free formula, so it’s quite gentle and can function even with regular use. It’s designed to remove residue from the hair, so it contains powerful chelating agents that bind to minerals and remove them. It’s not too harsh, despite the clarifying ingredients, so it’s a great choice for all hair types. A small amount goes a long way with this one, so be careful not to overuse it, or you may struggle to rinse it out. Order it from Sephora, Ulta, or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 10 oz.
  • Hair Type: Buildup-prone, all
  • Scent: Floral
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Removes product build-up
  • Great for hard water
  • Sulfate-free and gentle yet deep cleansing

Cons

  • Easy to overuse

14
Best Volumizing
Better Not Younger Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo
Better Not Younger Sephora.com
$27

If your hair needs a bit more ‘oomph,’ then this is the best shampoo that will help! Though it’s technically designed for those whose hair has become thinner with age, it’s a fantastic option for anyone with fine hair who wants more volume.

The sulfate-free formula is made with decyl glucoside, so it still foams up beautifully and gives a good clean, along with quite a bit of a lift. Aside from cleansing agents, it also includes extracts that help soothe and nourish the scalp, like burdock and sage. Finally, there’s caffeine in the formula, which may help stimulate the scalp itself to prevent thinning. Purchase it from Sephora or Ulta!

Key Features:

  • Size: 8.4 oz.
  • Hair Type: Fine or thin
  • Scent: Clean
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Gives hair lift and volume
  • Great for fine hair
  • Sulfate-free but foaming
  • Includes scalp-nourishing ingredients

Cons

  • None

15
Best Anti-Frizz
Aveda Smooth Infusion Shampoo
Aveda Nordstrom.com
$26

If you struggle with frizzy hair that doesn’t lie smoothly, this shampoo may help. Made by Aveda, this salon-grade formula is sulfate-free for gently cleansing frizzy hair that’s easily dried or damaged. It’s made with a whole range of moisturizing and sealing agents that help to smooth and protect each strand and improve manageability. It gives the hair smoothness and sheen, which we love before styling. It’s not a great choice if your hair gets very oily, but otherwise, it’s a beautiful choice. Get it from Nordstrom or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 8.5 oz.
  • Hair Type: Frizzy, dry
  • Scent: Fruity floral
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Smoothes hair
  • Gentle, sulfate-free cleanse
  • Moisturizes and seals hair

Cons

  • Not great for oily hair

16
Best for Problematic Scalp
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
Paul Mitchell Ulta.com
$15

This tea tree-infused shampoo has a strong smell, but it does wonders if your scalp is hard to please. It’s often recommended by hairdressers to those with acne-prone scalps, and some shoppers like it as a natural remedy for dandruff.

It’s made by John Paul Mitchell Systems, with a tea tree, menthol, and ginger blend that stimulates the scalp and helps to clear away certain microbes that can cause issues. It’s a powerfully cleansing (borderline clarifying) formula with both sulfates and other surfactants. If your scalp is oily or you like to use a lot of hair products that build up, it’ll help you feel super clean, although it’s best avoided if you have dry hair or scalp. Get it shipped from Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 10.1 oz.
  • Hair Type: Oily, problematic
  • Scent: Tea tree
  • Sulfate-Free: No
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Great for blemish-prone scalps
  • Invigorating feel
  • Very cleansing

Cons

  • Not great for dry scalps

17
Best Shampoo Oil
shu uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo
shu uemura Sephora.com
$58

Shu Uemura is one of the brands responsible for the popularity of oil cleansers, so introducing an oil cleanser for the hair is not much of a departure for them. Very few brands have followed suit because the idea is still quite odd even for ardent lovers of oil cleansing.

Surprisingly, this is a very lathering shampoo that doesn’t feel like a big departure. It’s silicone-free, and while it’s gentle on the hair, it doesn’t leave a residue, and it’s not a replacement for conditioner. The formula is thin enough to easily massage through thick hair, but it’s gentle enough to suit thin hair as well, and it cleanses incredibly well. Shop for it at Sephora or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 13.4 oz.
  • Hair Type: All
  • Scent: Floral
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: No/ No

Pros

  • Lathers well
  • Cleanses gently yet thoroughly
  • Easy to spread through thick hair

Cons

  • Not as conditioning as you’d think

18
Best Shampoo-Conditioner
Deciem HIF Volume Support
Deciem Deciem.com
$24

If you’d like to streamline your shower, a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner will help a lot. Unfortunately, most two-in-ones usually don’t condition the hair particularly well.

This unique formula from Deciem (the parent company of The Ordinary), really does the trick. It cleanses the hair just as well as the average sulfate-free shampoo, with a creamy but minimal lather. It leaves the hair feeling soft and conditioned but not overly greasy or weighed down. 

It’s ideal for normal hair and may even work for oily hair. Those with dry or damaged hair may not find it nourishing enough, but the brand also has a hydrating formula that might work. Get it directly from Deciem!

Key Features:

  • Size: 6.1 oz.
  • Hair Type: Normal
  • Scent: Slightly herbal
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/yes

Pros

  • Truly effective two-in-one
  • Sufficient cleansing for normal and oily hair
  • Gently softens and conditions

Cons

  • Not nourishing enough for dry or damaged hair

19
Best Innovative Formula
Christophe Robin Volume Shampoo Paste with Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts
Christophe Robin Sephora.com
$19

If you’re in the mood for a textural change, this shampoo offers something unique. This unusual formula is a paste shampoo designed to cleanse, volumize, and lift. It’s almost like a purifying mask for the scalp and hair. It contains sugar, which helps to lightly exfoliate the scalp (although not enough to count as a scalp scrub), and pink clay that absorbs impurities and excess oils. Then, it features mild surfactants that allow it to foam up and rinse away cleanly and easily.

It has a gorgeous rose scent that stays in the hair, but the fragrance combined with the mild exfoliants means that it may not work for those with a sensitive scalp. It’s sold on Sephora, Dermstore, and Amazon.

Key Features:

  • Size: 2.5 oz.
  • Hair Type: Fine
  • Scent: Rose
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Lightly purifies the scalp
  • Adds volume and lift
  • Cleanses gently

Cons

  • May not work for sensitive scalps

20
Best Purple Shampoo
Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo for Blonde and Silver Hair
Matrix Ulta.com
$17

Blondes and grays can seriously benefit from a purple shampoo. If you’re not familiar, purple shampoos help to neutralize yellow or brassy tones in the hair. For those with gray hair, this makes the strands look a little more silvery and brighter, while for those with blonde hair, it gives a platinum-esque sheen.

There are many great purple shampoos on the market, but we’re fans of this one for its thorough cleansing ability and just the right amount of pigment. It does contain sulfates, so it suds up easily and may be a better fit for those with unbleached hair. Get it from Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 10.1 oz.
  • Hair Type: Blonde or gray
  • Scent: Fruity
  • Sulfate-Free: No
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: No/No

Pros

  • Eliminates yellow and brassy tones
  • Gives hair silvery or platinum sheen
  • Cleanses thoroughly

Cons

  • Sulfates may be an issue for bleached hair

21
Best Multi-Purpose
Philosophy Amazing Grace Perfumed Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath
Philosophy Ulta.com
$28

Can you use the same product on your hair and body? Our answer would normally be no, but this product from Philosophy is an unusual exception. To start, this product smells absolutely divine, and it’s a nice choice if you like layering fragrances over matching cleansing products.

As a shampoo, it’s a very sudsy, cleansing formula that’s probably better for those with normal or oily, uncolored hair. If you’d like to save time, your hair can handle something a little more intense, and you’re already a fan of Philosophy’s Amazing Grace fragrance, you should give it a try! Buy it at Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 16 oz.
  • Hair Type: Oily
  • Scent: Floral and citrus
  • Sulfate-Free: No
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: No/No

Pros

  • Suitable for hair and body
  • Smells incredible
  • Cleanses oily hair thoroughly

Cons

  • Too harsh for dry/damaged hair

22
Best for Travel
Susteau Moondust Hair Wash
Susteau Sephora.com
$29

It can be hard to travel with shampoo. There are liquid limits to deal with, and even with travel sizes, you run the risk of spillage! This concentrated powder is a nice alternative that transforms into a creamy lather in the shower.

It’s a bit of a struggle to learn how to use it – too much powder, and it can be a little gloopy. So dispense sparingly and make sure to lather it up well in your hands before applying it to your hair. However, the final result is a gentle, light cleanse that suits most hair types except for the very oily. It’s available at Sephora.

Key Features:

  • Size: 1.76 oz.
  • Hair Type: Normal, dry
  • Scent: Mildly sour
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Great for travel
  • Littles goes a long way
  • Gentle and sulfate-free

Cons

  • A little difficult to use at first
  • Not cleansing enough for oily hair

23
Best Dry Shampoo
Living Proof Perfect hair Day Dry Shampoo
Living Proof Nordstrom.com
$39

Dry shampoo technically doesn’t count as a shampoo, but we still wanted to include one on this list. Dry shampoos, if you’re not familiar, are made with a combination of starches and other ingredients to absorb excess oil from the scalp, to remove oils from the hair. They’re great if you want to wash your hair less often, and they also help provide the roots with a bit more volume.

This shampoo from Living Proof is one of our all-time favorites, with a formula that smells great, blends into all hair colors easily, and doesn’t leave a white residue. It’s a great choice for all hair types! Pick it up from Nordstrom, Sephora, Ulta, or Amazon!

Key Features:

  • Size: 7.3 oz.
  • Hair Type: All
  • Scent: Clean
  • Sulfate-Free: Yes
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Cleanses hair without washing
  • Allows you to wash hair less often
  • Smells great
  • Doesn’t leave residue

Cons

  • Not a shampoo, technically


What to Look for in the Perfect Shampoo for You?

Why is our list so long? It’s simple – no shampoo can be the best for everyone! It’s important that you choose the best shampoo for your hair’s unique needs. Read this section to figure out what kind of shampoo will suit your hair best.

Dry Hair

If you have a dry scalp, this probably also translates into having slightly dry hair. The biggest sign that your hair is dry is that it doesn’t tend to get greasy and can get away with only washing your hair once a week or so.

Your scalp may get dry and itchy sometimes, but with the right shampoo, you can make things better! For those with dry scalps, it’s important to choose gentle, non-stripping shampoos that won’t remove too much oil. One way to make sure of this is to avoid sulfate-based formulas.

In general, avoid clarifying shampoos (except for maybe every once in a while if you use leave-in hair products). Instead, opt for creamy, low-lather formulas that include nourishing oils or smoothing silicones, like our pick from Moroccanoil.

Oily Hair

It’s easy to tell if you have an oily scalp: your hair gets oily within just a day or two of washing, and you might also be a little more prone to scalp issues. It’s important to choose a shampoo that’ll cleanse your hair and scalp thoroughly but won’t strip and irritate them.

You might be able to use a sulfate-based shampoo like our pick from John Paul Mitchell, especially if you want to cleanse your hair a little less often. A foaming sulfate-free shampoo like our pick from Dae will work for cleansing your hair multiple times a week.

Fine Hair

When you have fine or thin hair, your main goal is to find a shampoo that’ll give you more volume. While many formulas are advertised as able to thicken the hair or stimulate hair growth, the reality is that a rinse-off formula can’t do that, which is why we didn’t focus on that in our list of shampoos.

Instead, with fine hair, the goal should be to find shampoos free from heavy, oily ingredients that might weigh the hair down. Look for formulas that cleanse well and add a bit of a lift to the hair, like our picks from Christophe Robin and Better Not Younger.

Thick Hair

If your hair is naturally quite thick, then you’re in luck! However, there are still some factors to keep in mind when choosing a shampoo. Your goal should be to find a shampoo that won’t make your hair look frizzy but will also be easy to rub through the hair without causing tangles. Our picks from Aveda and Shu Uemura are the best options for you.

Curly Hair

Curly hair has some unique needs, so the average shampoo isn’t going to cut it. Curly hair is often more prone to dryness, and the “curly girl method” even calls for curly-haired beauties to avoid shampoo altogether. If you have curly hair, you will want to wash it with mild and gentle sulfate-free shampoos, like our picks from Drunk Elephant and DevaCurl.

Bleached or Damaged Hair

Our hair can become damaged by a wide range of things, but the major culprits are heat styling tools and bleach. As a result of this damage, the protein bonds in the hair break, which leads to brittleness and easy breakage. Notably, this is not the same as having dry hair or scalp since the issue isn’t moisture but the very basic integrity of the hair.

If your hair has been damaged, it’s important to look for a gentle shampoo that cleanses light with ingredients designed to repair bonds. Our pick from Olaplex is a great choice since it contains some highly effective bond-rebuilding ingredients. If your hair is only slightly damaged and needs a thorough cleansing, however, you might prefer our best overall pick from Pureology.

Dandruff-Prone Hair

Dandruff is a complex skin condition that leads the scalp to shed in white, flaky pieces. The condition is not fully understood, but most specialists blame it on a fungal infection. It can also be caused by irritation or an overall lack of balance, but if you can’t figure out what’s causing it, it’s best to treat it as though it were fungal.

The best shampoo on our list for dandruff-prone hair is from Nizoral since it’s made with anti-dandruff medication. If you want something milder, our pick from John Paul Mitchell may help.

What to Look for in the Best Shampoos for Your Hair Type?
@daehair

Shampoo FAQ

If you still have a few shampoo questions, hopefully, we can answer them here!

What Is the Purpose of Shampoo?

Shampoo is, first of all, a cleanser for your hair. It’s formulated like most other cleansing products, with water to give it a runny texture, surfactants to bind and clean away impurities and oils, and additional ingredients to improve texture and impart some benefits to the hair. However, its main job is to keep your scalp and roots free from debris and excess oils that make the hair look dirty and can lead to scalp issues.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

Hair washing frequency varies greatly from person to person. In general, those with dry scalps or damaged hair should wash less often, while those with an oily scalp or who use a lot of hair products may want to wash more often. We don’t think anyone should wash their hair more than every other day, and some of you might even be able to get away with only washing a couple of times a month. 

How Do I Know If My Shampoo Is Good for My Hair?

To figure out if your shampoo works for you, check your hair once you’re out of your shower and your hair has had time to air-dry. Your hair should look clean and smooth with a hint of movement to it. If you run your fingers through your hair, they shouldn’t catch on anything, and there should be no excess frizz.

Can Shampoo Help with Hair Growth?

Not really! While shampoos can include ingredients that may improve the health of your scalp, in general, there is no shampoo out there that is going to make your hair grow faster or reduce hair loss. While many companies claim their shampoos can help, the reality is that hair growth is best achieved with the correct nutrition and some leave-in products.

Photos via Sephora, Nordstrom, Instagram