Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to . You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
I know perfection is supposed to be unattainable, and for the most part, it is. But if searching for the best shampoo and conditioner is wrong, we don't want to be right. As rote as it seems, we believe that haircare needs to be taken as seriously as skincare is, especially when it comes to the MVPs in your shower.
That said, choosing a new shampoo and conditioner can feel daunting, especially when there are so many options available. Marie Claire staffers have already written about the best shampoos for hair growth, the best shampoos for natural hair, the best hair thickening shampoos, and the best shampoos for oily hair, for example, so feel free to peruse those guides if you have specific hair goals.
For this list—our all-time favorite shampoos and conditioners, the products we use in our own showers and rave to our friends about—we've put our heads together, spoken to the experts, and pledged our alliance to the best shampoos and conditioners, below, for every hair type and hair issue.
How Often to Wash Your Hair
Yes, over-washing your hair is a thing. But how can you find the right cadence for your hair? Andrew Fitzsimons, celebrity hairstylist and brand founder, says that hair-washing schedules “change from person to person and has to do with what hair type you have, but generally, I recommend every two to three days, depending on how oily your hair is.”
However, Fitzsimons notes that “If your hair is dry or on the curlier side, I would recommend shampooing less, roughly every five to seven days.” And, just like your skincare routine, consistency is key. “I also recommend that once you have a hair washing schedule, sticking to the same routine is important to maintaining healthy hair. There is no golden rule when it comes to how often you should shampoo, just keep an eye on your hair needs, find a schedule that works for you, and keep it up!”
What to Look For in a Shampoo and Conditioner
Now that we’ve broken down when to wash, it’s time to start discussing what exactly separates the best shampoos and conditioners from just good shampoos and containers. ”Generally speaking you want to avoid sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde and hexachlorophene as these are known to dry out the hair causing it to become brittle and weak. If you’re looking to lift locks and add volume,” says Fitzsimmons. (Be sure to check out our guide to the best organic shampoos if you want more information about that, by the by.)
“I like to recommend products with caffeine as this stimulates the follicle and lifts from the root," he adds. "My go-to choice is the Andrew Fitzsimons Body Volume Shampoo. If your hair is in need of some serious TLC and, look for shampoos with moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba oil and ceramides to bring your strands back to life.”
Next up, let’s talk about the thickness of your hair—because yes, that matters! The best shampoo for thick hair might weigh down thin hair, so make sure to learn about your hair type before you shop. “There are different formulas for different hair types and they definitely work differently for each hair type,” says celebrity stylist Bobby Eliot, who has worked with Julia Garner, Kaia Gerber, and Sydney Sweeney recently. “For example, a shampoo for curly hair is generally heavier and would weigh down someone with finer hair. A shampoo for shine wouldn’t be great for someone who is oily naturally because it would be too heavy. For thicker hair you would want something with shine or smoothing.”
And the same goes for finding products if your hair is dry or oily. Just like finding the best moisturizer for your dry skin, finding a great shampoo for dry hair is all about looking for hydration. “Dry hair is a sign of damage and can cause breakage so you should choose a shampoo that is moisturizing and has conditioning ingredients,” says Raven Hurtado, a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. "Shampoos with oils like coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil and aloe vera help hydrate hair. Emollient oils nourish the hair, so the more nourishing ingredients and vitamins will help dry hair. You should also follow up with a moisturizing conditioner since it’ll help smooth, lock in moisture and control frizz."
Best Shampoos and Conditioners For Dry Hair
Best for Flyaways
"When I started using this, the sticker shock had me questioning my financial decisions on a higher level. Do I really need this 8oz bottle or am I just having a I-think-I’m-rich moment? Yes, to both. Had I not joined the cult of Olaplex followers my hair would have plotted a revolution against me, probably. This conditioner smooths every fly away and hydrates my split ends with every wash. The bottle is small, but mighty. I’m using half as much conditioner as I used to, and it’s working twice as hard. The only downside? Since using the product is actually making my hair healthier, it's growing longer faster. This means my once every six month cut has turned into once every three—a price I’m willing to pay." —Susanna Hayward, (opens in new tab) former Associate Art Director
The Ultimate Combo
"This shampoo changed my hair from the very first wash. I have thin hair that tends to get greasy easily whenever I use conditioner, but this duo from Pureology has stopped all that. I can now go a few days in-between washes instead of rushing to clean my hair on day two, which is a godsend." — Julia Marzovilla, E-Commerce Writer
For Frizzy Hair
"When this shampoo was gifted to me by a friend who happened to get it in a swag bag, I was skeptical of the word “oil,” thinking it might leave my hair greasy. But as a curly-haired person with dry, frizz-prone hair who’s spent a good chunk of her life searching for the magic combo of products, I decided to give it a try. I love the scent and the fact that after I rinse it out, my hair feels soft and manageable. I follow up with a conditioner and my usual array of products and my curls look shiny and defined (not frizzy, even in NYC in July!). I only wash my hair once or twice a week and I’ve still managed to run out of that original bottle and buy at least two more, which is a sure sign that this one’s staying in the mix." —Hanna Varady, former Deputy Art Director
For Intense Hydration
"If you told me I would have noticeably stronger curls after a few uses of this masque, I wouldn’t have believed you. It sounded too good to be true. Boy was I wrong! Now, detangling on wash days is much easier, and I even use it on my daughter’s curls from time to time." —Deena Campbell, Beauty Director
For Damaged Hair
"After years of frying my hair with blow dryers and flat irons, this shampoo gives me back the feeling of smooth, refreshed hair. I never know what my hair is going to look like after a wash-day, but this formula gave me consistency that I love. When I use it, I feel like at least a year of damage has been repaired in just one wash." —Tatjana Freund, Former Beauty Commerce Writer
For Dry Hair
"I’m used to buying whatever shampoo is on sale, as I love experimenting and trying new things, but I discovered this shampoo when I was visiting family in my hometown. I needed to wash my 4C hair after a particularly hot and humid summer day and this was a perfect choice. This shampoo is extremely moisturizing and still manages to be clarifying. It’s rich, smells great, and has the most satisfying lather. The coconut oil and amino acids help my hair feel healthy and not stripped. It provides the perfect base for the rest of my products." —Brittany Holloway-Brown, (opens in new tab) Art Director
Best Shampoos and Conditioners For Fine Hair
For Super-Fine Hair
"As someone with insanely fine hair, I've tried every volumizing product under the sun. While texturizers and mousses come in handy, this shampoo and conditioner are my holy grail—they lift at the root, make my hair feel fuller, and smell amazing." —Samantha Holender, Beauty Editor
For Fine Hair
"Those of us with thin hair know that the quest for volumized hair can feel like a lifelong and futile effort—every brush, root spray, and haircut might promise thick strands, but by midday, you're back to flat. Enter: OGX's Biotin & Collagen Shampoo & Conditioner. While I've worshipped at the alter of biotin supplements for years, I never thought of using a shampoo that used it in its formula until I stumbled across this purple bottle at CVS. The proof is in the pudding: The texture of the shampoo isn't water-y like others. Instead, it's almost gelatinous, and it instantly lifts your hair—so much so that I often forgo the other volumizing styling products I've splurged on over the years. And the best part? It's drugstore cheap." —Neha Prakash, Entertainment Director
For Frizzy Hair
"I love Moroccanoil products. Their shampoo (and conditioner) are my shiny, silky-soft hair jam. I remember trying Moroccanoil for the first time and realizing that my naturally very fine, frizzy hair can actually look smooth and—despite my total lack of skills with a hairdryer—like I’d just left a haircut. I turned my mom on to the stuff as well, so now the smell is homey and familiar to me. Plus, whenever I get a whiff of that Moroccanoil shampoo smell, it’s a nice little reminder that I’m likely having a good hair day." — Sally Holmes, Editor-in-Chief
For Thin Hair
"My longstanding favorite shampoo/conditioner combo has been Paul Mitchell’s lemon sage thickening shampoo and conditioner. My boyfriend’s mom actually introduced me to this line after we bonded over our similar hair types! I have fine hair and am always hunting for ways to make it look like it’s not just hanging off my scalp. This duo makes my hair feel like each strand is actually fuller, while maintaining the soft texture that it has naturally, instead of drying it out like a lot of other volumizing products tend to do. An added bonus is that all Paul Mitchell products are cruelty-free, so I can enjoy my fuller, shinier hair without feeling guilty." —Morgan McMullen (opens in new tab), former Visual Designer
For Flat Hair
"Whenever I need some sexy waves for an event, I pop in and see David Cotteblanche at Fekkai's Soho salon. Since my hair is fine and naturally lays flat against my scalp, Cotteblanche always adds some much needed volume to get that dramatic look we both love. Starting with a good lather of this formula at the sink ensures weightless, lifted roots and a perfect base for a style that'll last as long as the night does." — Taylore Glynn, former Beauty & Wellness Editor
For Fine Hair
"I've been using this Adama brand for a couple years now. The shampoo feels rich and the conditioner leaves my hair smooth and relatively frizz-free. I wash my hair every single night, and the conditioner is light enough not to weigh down my very fine, straight hair. They are both sulfate- and paraben-free, so the hippie side of me is satisfied. They also smell really nice and pear-ish." —Bridget Burns, former Photo Editor
For Going Plastic-Free
"I thought my fine hair and effort to be more zero waste would never find a common ground. Shampoo bars were always too waxy or drying for my picky hair, and I was ready to give up on them completely until I randomly tried HiBar. The solid bar (ideal for carry-on travel) comes in a paper envelope as packaging, and makes my hair insanely soft, more so than any other shampoo in a bottle I’ve come across. It is a complete game-changer!" —Julia Gall, former Fashion Director
For Frizz-Prone Hair
"As someone with fine, frizz-prone, wavy hair (what a trifecta!), my biggest challenge has been finding a product that keeps my flyaways at bay, while also accentuating my natural curls. Davines LOVE smoothing shampoo and conditioner are lighter than other similar products, but still fight against frizz and leave my hair soft and bouncy. Because of the thickness of the product, you'll want to use a smaller amount than usual, which, IMO, is a total plus. I even tend to not fully wash out the conditioner, letting it dry with my hair and function as a leave-in product." —Lucia Tonelli, Social Media Editor
Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Oily Hair
For Congested Scalps
"I turn to this clarifying shampoo when my scalp is in need of a major reset. This shampoo does wonders for itchy dry scalp and keeps dandruff at bay. What I love most about this peppermint tea tree formula is that it’s so soothing and doesn’t strip my hair of moisture. 10/10 would recommend!"—Chelsea Hall, former Assistant Beauty & Fashion Editor
For All Hair Types
"I switch on and off between two different shampoos because I read that always using the same one can cause buildup and make it less effective over time. I have straight, fine hair so I try my best to use only the most gentle products. I love Briogeo’s gingseng shampoo because it smells amazing and it's sulfate-free. The formula also contains biotin, which helps to grow hair and that's something I currently need since my hair has been shedding like crazy. I wash my hair every other day, but if I have back-to-back washes (i.e. I worked out on Monday and Tuesday) I use—surprise!—baby shampoo for day two. It cleans my hair really well and if it’s safe/gentle enough for babies, it’s definitely good for my thin hair. The one thing I have not used since high school is conditioner. I found that no matter what brand I try, my hair feels greasy the next day even though I just washed it the night before." —Marina Liao, former Fashion Editor
For a No Fuss Clean
"Recently I shaved my head and realized I didn't have a need for a lot of the products that covered my shelves and bathroom, I wanted to find products that are multi-use and didn't take up too much space. Cue this concoction from Everist. I was confused at first as to how it worked but once I tried it I was amazed at how a little product with some water created enough lather to wash the little hair I have. I'm a big fan of how it also cleanses my scalp gently without drying it out. Following up with the conditioner and I trust that my hair will grow healthy and curly!" —Alexis Gaskin, Freelance Beauty Writer
"The brand calls this scalp cleanser their “secret sauce” for a reason. The unique packaging is what sets this shampoo apart from the rest—it’s a shampoo that doubles as a hair tool. I mean, just look at those applicator claws and image how good they’ll feel massaging your scalp. All I do is twist the cap to allow the product to dispense, then section my hair to get the claws as close to my scalp as possible. The creamy lather feels tingly and refreshing, since it’s full of mint and tea tree oil, and rids my curls of any build-up. Thank you, Taraji! I’m obsessed." —Maya Allen, former Digital Beauty Editor
Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Curly and Natural Hair
For Curly Hair
"I’m a serial shampoo dater. Anytime I run out of a bottle, I feel the need to try out something else because who knows what else is out there?! But sometimes when you find the one you have to stick to it, and that, my friends, is the wonderful Redken Curvaceous Lo-Foam Cleanser. (opens in new tab) It has no sulfates, takes me around six months to go through the jumbo bottle, and just understands me. I've bought it twice in a row now (does this mean I'm in a committed relationship?) and I have more curls than waves, which is why I go with the Lo-Foam. If you have wavy hair, go for the High-Foam." —Bianca Rodriguez, former Editorial Fellow
For Textured Hair
"A lot of hair products on the market tend to do absolutely nothing for those of us with more textured, porous hair, so finding the perfect shampoo and conditioner to implement into my regiment has taken some time. My hair has transformed quite a bit over the years—from a giant afro to a cute tapered cut to my current low caesar—but OGX's shampoos and conditioners have been my go-to. I swear by its argan oil of Morocco line. At any length, both the shampoo and conditioner keep my hair hydrated and shiny, and the smell is everything!" —Ineye Komonibo (opens in new tab), former Editorial Fellow
For Natural Curls
"I've worn my natural curls for eight years and taking care of them is a full-time job. But, this shampoo keeps my hair shiny, tamed, and smelling amazing with minimal effort." — D.C
For Natural Hair
"Natural girls know that dryness is the enemy. Hydration comes first with my curls no matter the season. During the summer, fall, winter, and spring, dryness finds a way to creep back into my coils and leave my hair looking a hot mess. But when I nourish my hair with the hydrating agents, like olive oil and botanicals found in this creamy conditioner, my hair feels healthy and strong for a whole week. (Yes, I go a whole week without washing my hair. It's FINE, I'm alive.) I love using a wide-tooth comb and raking this conditioner through my hair from root-to-tip to make sure it's evenly distributed throughout the hair shaft. Then, with this still on my hair, I use my fingers and the comb to detangle. Afterwards, I put on a shower cap and let my curls steam in a hot shower to penetrate the hair follicle even further." — M.A
For Natural Hair
"Shea Moisture products are a favorite of mine, since it gives my hair moisture and I love the smell of the castor oil. Growing up in a Caribbean household, my Mom used to use castor oil to massage my scalp. A friend of mine recommended Shea Moisture products and I tried it for the first time 2 years ago. I use their Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strength and Restore Shampoo and Conditioner. Then afterwards, I apply their leave-in conditioner. The castor oil itself is a great nutrient for hair growth so that's one of the reasons I gave this product a try and I'm glad I did, as it works. " —Nicole Clacken, former Visual Researcher
For Natural Hair
"I have a very thick kinky-curly mane that requires a ton of moisture. Deep conditioning once a week is an absolute must in order to keep my hair hydrated and manageable. What I like most about this conditioner is the nice slip it gives my coarse strands, allowing me to easily detangle them. I apply the conditioner, then apply a conditioning heat cap, and I let it sit in my hair for about 30-45 minutes. The directions say to leave it in for 15-20 minutes before rinsing, but personally I believe the longer it stays the softer the curls." —C.H
For Curly Hair
"I've been a big fan of Juices & Botanics recently. Their products are made with curly hair in mind, so the deep cleansing shampoo gets all the grime out of my hair after a workout without stripping it or drying it out. They offer a cowash I'm a huge fan of as well. Finally, the line smells fabulous--I get compliments all the time." - Gabrielle Ulubay, E-Commerce Writer
The Multi-Purpose Product
"This is the Holy Grail of so many naturals online. It’s affordable, which is key when you use tons of it for your hair care routine. Again, moisture is the main tenet of my haircare routine. This is infused with avocado and jojoba oils. It has great slip and coats each strand. I like using it as detangling lotion, but also making it into a deep conditioner by adding a dropperful or two of Papa Rozier’s Castor and Moringa Oil and then using a warm towel for a treatment. It defines my kinky curls and leaves my hair revitalized." —B.H.B
Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Color-Treated Hair
For Color-Treated Hair
"I've got a ton of fine hair, which means it can end up looking greasy fast. And if I'm actually sticking to my schedule and dropping into a boxing class or sliding into my sauna blanket, that means style-killing, 'even dry shampoo can't fix this' levels of sweat. Having color-treated hair means the more I wash, the more my faux-hue fades, so I need to stick to shampoos that preserve my shade. This Swedish brand is one of my favorites, and its Color Protect formula gets my scalp squeaky clean without stripping my color." — T.G
For Color-Treated Hair
"Growing up, I never paid attention to the shampoo I used. (Literally, I'd use anything as long as it smelled good.) That changed the first time I dyed my hair a couple years ago. I never realized how harsh and terrible brand-I-shall-not-name was until it stripped all the color out of my hair. That's when my hair colorist (and my mom!) recommended something sulfate-free, and I fell in love with this L'Oréal Ever Pure shampoo. It's super cheap, I can easily pick it up at the drugstore whenever I run out, and it comes in a variety of formulations depending on your hair type. (Same goes for the conditioner.) I got my hair colored again while using the shampoo and the dye actually lasted. A concept!" —Rachel Epstein, former Digital Editor
"I tend to fall behind on my salon appointments more than I should, especially during the summer. As a beauty editor, I should really know better—especially since the summer is when brunettes and raven-haired beauties need the most maintenance. Ever notice that after a few beach days, your strands seem to spit out all that pretty deep color and suddenly you've got roots warmer than that the surface of the sun? Here's my quick fix. A formula that deposits green pigment, like this one, can help add cool tones back to the hair as it hydrates so you can stretch out that time between salons visits. Added bonus: I promise it won't stain your shower." —T.G.
For Colored Hair
"I change my hair color a lot and I’m lucky it’s stayed healthy. However, I noticed that my roots were changing texture, and were a little drier as they grew to be deeper shades of grey. I tried a sample of this conditioner, and after three uses, I really noticed that my hair was more lush and silky, and it even punched up my curls. I eventually splurged for a full size bottle and bought the shampoo, too. Pure gold!" — Megan Victoria, former Senior Visual Researcher
For Colored Hair
"I’m nowhere near a natural blonde, so a few weeks after I get highlights my icy color turns brass fast. I keep this shampoo in for at least 10-15 minutes (that’s the secret!) because the longer the time, the better results. After using it for a week, the ashy color comes back in full force. This shampoo can be slightly drying, so I focus on my ends and use a deep conditioner after to lock in the moisture." —S.H.
For Fine Colored Hair
"I have a ton of hair, but its texture is very fine, which means the wrong shampoo will make my scalp really greasy...really fast. On top of that, I color it a vampy shade of espresso every couple months, and non color-safe formulas suck the cool-tones out of my strands. Living Proof’s Color Care line give my roots the bounce and squeaky-clean feeling I crave, and it keeps my color as rich as the day I left the salon." —T.G.
For Bleached Hair
"Every time I bleach my hair at home, I envision Brad Mondo somewhere getting an eye twitch. Since I have such a pension for chemically lightening my hair, the repair process is very important for me to make sure my natural curls don’t break off. The entire Unbreak My Blonde line from Matrix is ideal for blondes of course, but their conditioner works wonders on all damaged hair."— A.G.
Julia Marzovilla is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire covering all things fashion, beauty, and entertainment. Offline, she’s most likely browsing the web for another pair of black boots or listening to music too loudly—often at the same time.
Prince Andrew Still Receiving Taxpayer-Funded Police Protection
Protecting the Duke of York doesn't come cheap.
By Alicia Lutes
Don't Insult Queen Elizabeth's Corgis
A family member said they "should be shot" and QEII had something to say about it.
By Alicia Lutes
How to Treat Hormonal Acne: A Dermatologist’s Guide
Peace out, PMS pimples.
By Samantha Holender