The importance of shampooing has been drilled into our brains since we were little. Having
grease and grime on our scalps isn’t very appealing, after all. What our moms likely didn’t tell us? Which shampoo — of the many options — we should be using.
Just like not all
conditioners are created equal, shampoos differ widely. While some things may be obvious (if your hair is fine and straight, don’t use a product made for thick, curly strands), we also understand that the countless choices can be overwhelming.
So, we’ve consulted some of the top hair insiders in the biz on which cleanser is best for which tress type. Click through to see their picks for long, short, and everything in-between. Because, visiting the beauty aisle shouldn’t give you a mini panic attack.
Read More: Under-$ 15 Shampoo & Conditioners The Pros Actually Swear By “Hair Dusting” Is The Secret To Healthier, Longer Hair Should You Be Conditioning Before You Shampoo?
Damaged Roxie Darling, a colorist at Hairstory in New York City, recommends steering clear of shampoos with detergents, which can make hair dry and frizzy. “I make sure all my clients use New Wash by Hairstory,” she says. “It’s 100% detergent-free, but also cleans hair very well. It uses aloe vera, a combination of essential oils, and is so good that it negates the need for a conditioner.” Hairstory, $ 40, available at Hairstory
If years of heat styling have left your lengths and ends begging for mercy, this restorative shampoo is the reset button you needed, like, yesterday. You’ll notice silkier, softer hair after a single use — and an even bigger improvement over time.
The One by Frederic Fekkai The Ultimate One Restore Shampoo, $ 30, available at Ulta Beauty.
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This Virtue Labs Recovery Shampoo is unique because it features the brand’s proprietary Alpha Keratin 60ku, an ultra-nourishing version of the popular treatment derived from actual human (!) hair. Plus, it’s chock-full of other good-for-your-hair ingredients like baobab-seed oil, hydrolyzed quinoa, and grapefruit extract. Your strands will thank you.
Virtue Recovery Shampoo, $ 38, available at Virtue Labs.
Ryan Richman, hairstylist to the likes of Lorde, Ashley Tisdale, and Sarah Hyland recommends this less-than-$ 4 drugstore shampoo for dry strands. “This shampoo is great for damaged and coarse hair, because it helps to strengthen it and leaves hair really smooth,” he says.
Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo,$ 3.48, available at Walmart.
Platinum If you have platinum hair, you know the struggle it can be to keep that perfect tone. A great silver shampoo is crucial to help neutralize any yellow, and Sachajuan’s does just that, while adding volume and shine.
Sachajuan Silver Shampoo, $ 31, available at Barney’s New York.
Platinum-blond beauties know that fighting brass is one hard battle — which is why a shampoo that helps win it is oh-so-necessary. Pureology’s Perfect 4 Platinum Shampoo has a soft-blue tint to tone, and is sulfate-free so it won’t damage your strands.
Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum Shampoo, $ 28, available at Ulta Beauty.
Too much purple shampoo can actually (temporarily) tint your hair lavender. Luckily, the R+Co version is a more subtle lilac shade that’ll leave platinum ends a cool tint of blond.
R+Co Sunset BLVD Blonde Shampoo, $ 29, available at Birchbox.
Wavy If you’re after sultry bedhead waves, you need to start in the shower. Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Shampoo will give you the perfect base to your sexy waves due to its lightweight clean. It adds soft, touchable texture to the finest of hair types.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Foam Wash Shampoo, $ 25, available at Bumble and Bumble.
Recently launched by DevaCurl, this light cleanser is a new spin on the brand’s original No-Poo products. Aptly named Low-Poo, it’s specifically for those with loose waves and will help cleanse the scalp while providing weightless moisture.
DevaCurl Low-Poo Delight, $ 22, available at DevaCurl.
Brunette Of course, the hair wizards behind Pravana would come up with a clever blue-green shampoo and conditioner for brunettes. Similar to how purple cancels out brassy tones in blonds, this shade nixes those annoying red and orange tones that the dark-haired set deals with.
Pravana The Perfect Brunette Brunette Toning Shampoo, $ 19.99, available at Ulta.
Red If you’re not a natural redhead, you know the struggle of trying to keep that vibrant shade after each wash. Luckily, Davines’ Alchemic Shampoo in Red contains pigments to brighten up your hue each time you wash. If you are a natural redhead, you can use this product too — it will just brighten your color.
Davines Alchemic Shampoo Red, $ 24.50, available at Davines.
Redheads (natural or not) also struggle with keeping color looking bright, glossy, and healthy-looking — year-round. John Frieda’s Radiant Red magnifies red hues in hair, without weighing it down.
John Frieda Radiant Red, $ 5.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
This color-locking formula will help to minimize fading on any texture, so you don’t have to rush to the salon for a gloss every few weeks.
Alterna Haircare Caviar Infinite Color Hold Shampoo, $ 34, available at Sephora.
Short Hairstylist Ryan Richman recommends that women with shorter strands not wash their hair every day. But, he also understands that product buildup and natural oils accumulate much faster in this hair type. The solution: “Choose a shampoo that will cleanse without stripping your hair of natural oils [or leaving] your scalp feeling dry,” he says. “Dove Daily Moisture is great for everyday use. It cleanses hair without stripping, while leaving it soft and smooth.”
For those “short” on time, he also recommends a dry shampoo, like
Dove’s Refresh+Care. “With a few sprays, you can refresh your look and absorb product and oil buildup, leaving hair feeling clean with a freshly washed scent.” Dove, $ 3.48, available at Walmart Photo: Via Dove.
Long The key to finding a great shampoo for longer hair is a product that will leave it feeling light as a feather (or close to it). Richman swears by Kérastase’s Cristalliste, because it’s silicone-free and “leaves lengthy hair looking smooth and beautiful without [weighing] it down.” Kérastase, $ 39, available at Kérastase Photo: Via Kérastase.
Fine The struggle here often lies in lack of body and greasiness. Hairstylist Ryan Trygstad recommends a volumizing shampoo, like Shu Uemura’s, which, he says, “Does a great job [at] keeping the hair free of oil and product buildup.” If you’re looking for a less expensive option, he suggests checking out Neutrogena’s Anti-Residue Shampoo. Shu Uemura, $ 48, available at Shu Uemura Photo: Via Shu Uemura.
Formulated to create body throughout hair while still in the shower, this shampoo will add bounce to even the finest strands.
Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo, $ 25, available at Sephora.
This gentle formula does an excellent job of cleansing the hair while keeping its natural oils intact. The result: hair that better retains its texture and style when it hasn’t been stripped of moisture.
Playa Every Day Shampoo, $ 32, available at Violet Grey.
Thick Thick hair can be a blessing and a curse. The upside is that you never have to worry about volume, says celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin. But at-home blowouts are pretty much impossible. “To get you to a more manageable state, preparation starts with cleansing and conditioning,” Atkin says. “For thick, unruly hair, my automatic go-to is Frizz Control by Clear Scalp & Hair. With ingredients like Nutrium 10 and vitamins B5, C, and E, plus a blend of natural oils, it provides 24 hours of nourished control.” Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, $ 4.98, available at Walmart Photo: Via Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy.
While this shampoo is meant for severely damaged hair, we’ve found that it works great on healthy, thick hair as well. It leaves it hydrated, full, and shiny — without buildup.
Kérastase Résistance Bain Force Architecte Shampoo, $ 41, available at Kérastase.
Color-Treated According to colorist Aura Friedman, you should avoid washing your hair more than twice a week, since water is one of the main culprits of color-fading. Using a color-safe shampoo is your best bet, she says. “Nexxus’ Color Assure is sulfate-free and has three oils [almond, coconut, and argan] with moisturizing qualities, which keeps color-treated hair hydrated.”
Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo, $ 13.99, available at Ulta Beauty. Photo: Via Nexxus.
This Redken shampoo is another good option for those with dyed strands. It has UV filters to keep the sun from fading color and ceramides that lock in moisture and prevent breakage.
Redken Color Extend Shampoo, $ 15.50, available at Ulta Beauty.
This rich shampoo is an editor favorite for the luxurious smell and gentle cleansers.
Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color, $ 24, available at Birchbox.
This affordable formula is great for textured hair that’s been colored. Why? The quinoa protein-fueled technology softens your curls
and boosts your color.
Cantu Anti-Fade Color Protech Shampoo, $ 5.99, available at Target.
Curly Chuck Amos — the man behind the manes of Solange, Jordin Sparks, and Tracee Ellis Ross — likes Oribe products for controlling coils. The Moisture & Control shampoo has a ton of natural ingredients, mixed with amino-acid and polymer complexes. “Amber and sunflower extracts help moisturize and stimulate the scalp, while keeping hair strengthened, from root to tip,” he says. Oribe, $ 42, available at Oribe Photo: Via Oribe.
Everyone with curls knows that they need moisture, and this shampoo from Ouidad is the solution. Packed with shine-enhancing vitamins and nourishing ingredients like chamomile and corn oil, it’ll make over-processed curls silky and soft in no time.
Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Shampoo, $ 18, available at Sephora.
It’s vital to avoid shampoo with sulfates of
any kind, as they tend to dry out hair. Amos suggests checking out the new, organic brand Briogeo: Its products come sans sulfates, parabens, or silicones. And, they’re gluten-free and include ingredients like green-tea oxidants, and vitamins B5 and E.
He also recommends Briogeo’s co-wash shampoo, which “uses sea, avocado, and quinoa extracts to help cleanse and nourish hair, and soothing aloe to help nourish the scalp.”
Briogeo, $ 20, available at Sephora Photo: Via Briogeo.
Celeb hairstylist Jen Atkin’s formula leaves hair smooth, bouncy, and defined.
Ouai Curl Shampoo, $ 28, available at Ouai Haircare.
If you suffer from dryness, irritation, or just have a sensitive scalp, then this peony shampoo will become your new go-to. It’s formulated with loads of soothing vitamins — and without the harsh silicones and parabens — that’ll offer instant relief, and it smells just as good as a bouquet of flowers.
Klorane with Peony for Irritated Scalp, $ 20, available at Klorane.
Bid farewell to buildup and soothe a dry, itchy scalp with this innovative new exfoliating shampoo, which contains charcoal to absorb impurities and coconut oil to leave hair deeply hydrated.
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo, $ 42, available at Sephora.
Sometimes you just need to start from square one — and that’s exactly where this heavy-duty cleanser comes in. The detoxifying claims might sound like a recipe for stripped color and dryness, but not so. Rather, it balances sensitive and oily scalps and removes the residue that can cause itchiness.
Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt, $ 53, available at Sephora.
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