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 hunted down the best shampoos for hair growth, the best shampoos for natural hair, the best hair thickening shampoos, and the best shampoos for oily hair, and the best drugstore shampoos, 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, tried and tested dozens upon dozens of products, and pledged our alliance to the best shampoos and conditioners, below, for every hair type and hair issue.
- Best Shampoo For Dry Hair: Pureology Hydrate Shampoo And Conditioner
- Best Shampoo For Oily Hair: Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Volumizing Shampoo
- Best Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair: BIOLAGE Color Last Shampoo
- Best Shampoo for Natural Hair: SheaMoisture Strengthen & Restore Shampoo
- Best Shampoo For Curly Hair: Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner
- Best Shampoo for Fine Hair: OGX Biotin & Collagen Extra Strength Volumizing Shampoo
What to Look For in a Shampoo and Conditioner
So, what exactly separates the best shampoos and conditioners from just good shampoos and conditioners? ”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, look for shampoos with moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba oil, and ceramides to bring your strands back to life.”
- Hair Type
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, for example, 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.”
- Sulfates and Sulfate-Free Shampoos
There are plenty of buzzwords in the beauty industry, but none are as commonly found as sulfates, a type of cleanser often present in shampoo. While Marie Claire has a full guide to the best sulfate-free shampoos already, here’s a quick refresher. “Sulfates are powerful little compounds commonly used in shampoos to remove dirt, oil, and product buildup on your scalp and hair,” says Frédéric Fekkai, Founder of FEKKAI. “They work by breaking down the surface tension of water, which helps to loosen and lift away all that gunk that can weigh your hair down—and can be more aggressive than needed.”
Sulfates can be especially harmful if you have color-treated hair, Fekkai tells me. “It can cause your color to fade faster or alter your hue over time,” he says.
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The Best Shampoos and Conditioners
The shampoos and conditioners on this list have been tested, reviewed, and selected by Marie Claire's Commerce Editor, Julia Marzovilla (aka yours truly) or at least one current or former member of Marie Claire’s award-winning team of editors. Our list is broken down by hair type and texture, so you can easily skip right to what you’re looking for. While the *best* shampoo or conditioner for you will vary based on your hair type and desired style, you can't go wrong with one of the items on this list. For a more personalized recommendation, or if you have any concerns, check with your hair stylist.
Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Dry Hair
As with finding moisturizer for your dry skin, finding the best shampoo and conditioner 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 Shampoo for Greasy Hair
"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. I have hair that's dry at the end and gets oily easily, so I need something that will make my hair look healthy all-over, and this is it." — Julia Marzovilla, E-Commerce Editor
Pros: Has over 3,000 five-star reviews at Ulta; Doesn’t weigh down your hair.
Cons: Shampoo and conditioner are sold separately; Some reviewers said it has a strong smell.
Customer Review: "I've been using Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner for years…pricey, but worth every penny! I have coarse thick frizzy hair, and these products work perfectly for my hair type. My hairdresser is amazed at how healthy my hair has been since using these products. Always wait till on sale to buy. Love, love, love it!” — Ulta
Best Conditioner 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, former Associate Art Director
Pros: Over 700 five-star reviews at Sephora; Good for dryness; good for color-treated hair.
Cons: Some reviewers said it made their hair fall flat.
Customer Review: “Interestingly, I used this conditioner before when my hair was NOT color-treated, and found it to be quite heavy; it definitely weighed my hair down. A year later, I've since bleached my hair blonde and it was beginning to feel and look straw-like and damaged. I started using this conditioner again and found it to really work and restore the moisture and health my hair needed. Would definitely recommend for color-treated/bleached and damaged hair, but can understand that it may feel really heavy for some folks.” — Sephora
Best Shampoo 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
Pros: Good for curly hair; Fights frizz; Vegan formula.
Cons: Formula is not sulfate free.
Customer Review: "This!! I'm not even kidding. Never used a shampoo with this much hydration and moisture. My hair felt so goo. It's just so good, I can actually detangle with it which I don't normally do when I'm using shampoo. This is now a staple in my house. It's worth every penny." — Ulta
Best Conditioner for Intense Hydration
“I have very thick 4C curls that are dry 90 percent of the time. As a result, I’m always vulnerable to breakage and I even find myself using masks in place of conditioners. Oribe Moisture & Control Deep Treatment Hair Mask is a long-time favorite because the shea and cupuacu butters in it soak in and seal in moisture almost instantly. And, the coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft with extra shine.” — Deena Campbell, Beauty Director
Pros: Good for damaged hair; Has a vegan formula; Good for curly hair.
Cons: Costs over $60.
Customer Review: "This stuff is just amazing. I have dry slightly damaged curly hair and have tried literally every conditioner and hair mask out there. This one stood out to me because of how rich and moisturizing it is, which is what I’m looking for. It smells amazing, actually works really well and I highly recommend this. 10/10!!!" — Sephora
Best Shampoo 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
Pros: Has over 1,000 five-star reviews; Sulfate-free; good for color-treated hair; good for curly hair.
Cons: Some reviewers say it's too heavy for thin hair.
Customer Review: “This is my favorite shampoo I've ever owned by far. It lathers so well and has saved my hair. my scalp used to be dry and flaky and its not anymore. I only use a penny size amount on my hair so its lasted me months. it may be pricey but I think it’s definitely worth it” — Sephora
Best Shampoo 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, Art Director
Pros: Gentle on hair; Has a paraben-free formula.
Cons: Some reviewers say the smell is too strong.
Customer Review: "Usually shampoos make my hair super dry but after using this shampoo I don't even have to apply conditioner because it leaves my hair really soft. Also it keeps my hair clean for 2-3 days depending on the time of year." — Sephora
Best Drugstore Shampoo & Conditioner Set
"I originally gravitated towards Herbal Essences' Rose Hips Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner for a dose of nostalgia: The pink bottles reminded me of middle school in the late 1990s and much simpler times. The delicious scent—which, by the way, envelops the entire house while I'm showering and is regularly complimented by people I hug—instantly took me back to 1998. But then, I noticed something—this drugstore bargain, as opposed to the much more expensive products I also love, was not only cost effective, but it worked so well with my long, thick hair." — Rachel Burchfield, Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor
Pros: Both the shampoo and conditioner come in one set; Hasa light scent; Adds shine.
Cons: Reviewers say it's not great for damaged hair.
Customer Review: "Smells great, makes my hair super soft. A little goes a long way. The shampoo lathers like crazy! Love." — Amazon
Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Fine Hair
While styling products like mousse can help achieve volume in your hair, those with fine hair should start by adding volumizing products in the shower for maximum effect. "When someone has fine hair, you want to look for a shampoo that is gentle and gives a lift to the hair," says Adriana Papaleo, a Master Stylist at Rob Peetoom Salon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Best Drugstore Shampoo 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
Pros: Costs less than $10; Has over 7,000 five-star reviews on Amazon; Has a sulfate-free formula.
Cons: Some reviewers say the scent is too strong.
Customer Review: "Ok so I don't typically leave reviews but this stuff lathers better than any other shampoo I've ever used. A little bit goes a long way. It feels so good on your hair and it legit gave me extra volume when literally no other volumizing shampoo has!!!" — Ulta
Best Shampoo 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 genuinely give my hair a lift at the root. I notice a little extra volume when I first step out of the shower, but it only gets bigger (and better) when I start the styling process. Once I whip out the blow dryer, my hair becomes unbelievably shiny, bouncy, and feels ridiculously soft." —Samantha Holender, Beauty Editor
Pros: Adds volume; Has a vegan formula; Has a sulfate-free formula; Has a silicone-free formula.
Cons: Some reviewers said it wasn't as hydrating as others on the market.
Customer Review: "I’m in love with this shampoo. My hair is fine and oily, but my roots are very dry and I have some frizz too. With this shampoo, my hair is just perfect. Good volume, no frizz, hair balanced. I recommend it!" — Sephora
Best Shampoo 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
Pros: Formula is paraben-free; Formula is sulfate-free; Good for damaged hair; Manages frizz.
Cons: Some reviewers with thick hair didn't find it hydrating.
Customer Review: "I am obsessed with the Morrocan Oil line. The smell is heavenly and it lingers in between washes, which is a positive for me. Also this stuff does miracles for your hair, makes your hair so incredibly soft and I feel like it tames the frizz that comes with overprocessing. A definite must. I wish there was more product however for the cost.” — Sephora
Best Shampoo for Thinning 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, Former Visual Designer
Pros: Good for color-treated hair; Has a paraben-free formula; Has a silicone-free formula; Cruelty; Adds volume.
Cons: Some reviewers said it stripped their hair.
Customer Review: "It is hard to get volume to my hair with it being so long, it gets weighed down. Just started using this shampoo and it is GREAT. My hair has a bounce to it now, and definitely can see increased volume." — Ulta
Best Volumizing Shampoo
"As someone with relatively flat and what I'd describe as, at times, boring hair, I need all the help I can get in the volumizing department. That's where Fekkai's Full Blown Volume Shampoo comes in. Its fortifying formula offers a thickening, from-the-root lift that makes my hair appear fuller than it actually is, and the product gets bonus points, too, because its volumizing effect lasts me in between washes (I'm a wash-every-three-days-or-so kind of gal). Oh, and it's vegan and cruelty-free so it's also a guiltless shampoo I'm happy to have in my hair care rotation." — Emma Childs, Style Editor
Pros: Has a vegan formula; Cruelty-free; Adds volume; Has a paraben-free formula.
Cons: Some reviewers claimed it dried out their hair.
Customer Review: "I have extremely fine, thin hair that is dyed, so it gets oily and flat very quickly but the ends tend to get dry and flyaway. Finding a shampoo that gives me volume but doesn't dry out my ends has been a challenge and I always end up disappointed. I have probably tried over 20 so far, no joke. But I think my search may actually be over, this shampoo with the matching conditioner is hands down the best I have tried. My hair is fluffy, voluminous but the ends look sleek and healthy. If you have this hair type, you must try this." — Ulta
Best Solid Shampoo and Conditioner
"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
Pros: Sustainable formula; Has a paraben-free formula; Cruelty-free; Has a sulfate-free formula.
Cons: Some reviewers couldn't tell the difference between the shampoo and conditioner.
Customer Review: “Don't feel like you have to settle on quality to be environmentally conscious. This shampoo is my favorite shampoo of all the bar AND liquid shampoos I have ever used. My hair doesn't get greasy quickly, like usual, and my hair feels so soft. The company also does a good job of packaging without plastic! I highly recommend this product!” — Target
For Shampoo and Conditioner for Fine, 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 the matching 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
Pros: Fights frizz; Good for damaged hair; Adds shine.
Cons: Some reviewers said the scent was too strong.
Customer Review: “Listen up, kids: I NEVER write product reviews because most of the time I do not care enough to say anything about a product review. And yet!!! Here I am because this shampoo (and the conditioner!) is shaking me to my core. My hair is naturally pretty wavy and frizzy. This summer, it seemed out of control: extra dry, somewhat knotty, and frizzy to the MAX. After some research, I decided to give the LOVE shampoo/conditioner a try even though it was more expensive than my regular shampoo. It is. Worth. Every. Penny. After just ONE use of the shampoo/conditioner, my hair COMPLETELY changed. Goodbye frizz; hello smooth hair that still has body! It didn’t make my hair greasy at all (as some smoothing products are wont to do) — just soft, smooth, and shiny. Honestly? I’m in love. I’m so happy I want to tell strangers on the street about this product. Alright, just buy this already!!!!” — Davines
Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Oily Hair
If your hair gets oily quickly, finding a shampoo that will remove that oil without stripping your strands of much-need moisture is the name of the game. Papaelo recommends shampoos that balance the hair. However, she also says that "clarifying shampoo can help as well but if there is color on the hair you want to avoid clarifying shampoos because they are not color safe." When it comes to conditioning the hair—which helps to lock in hydration—she recommends that those with oilier hair "stick with a lighter weight conditioner [and] focus on mid-lengths and ends when using."
Best Shampoo for Oily, Senstive Hair
"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 News Editor
Pros: Good for volume; Has a vegan formula; Has a sulfate-free formula; Adds shine; Good if you have oilier hair.
Cons: Some reviewers said it made their hair dry.
Customer Review: "I have very fine hair that I usually have to wash every day and it still gets oily and flat mid-day. This shampoo not only smells amazing but I can now go 2 days without washing my hair and it still looks and feels clean and voluminous. Been looking for this for years and happy that I’ve finally found it!" — Sephora
Best Shampoo For Oily Scalps & Dry Ends
"My hair normally used to go from being freshly-washed to overly-oily in a day or two, but now I can go up to four or even five days without needing to wash it thanks to this shampoo from Leonor Greyl. I use this as the first of two shampoos in my double-cleanse hair routine, or on its own with a heavier leave-in conditioner if I'm in a rush. It gets rid of dirt, oil, and product build-up just as well as a typical clarifying shampoo but without making my ends feel stripped." — Julia Marzovilla, E-Commerce Editor.
Pros: Good for oily hair; Good for dry ends.
Cons: Formula can be stripping if you use too much; Has a strong smell.
Customer Review: “Not mentioning the decent smell and lovely foams of this shampoo, I have to say it is the best shampoo I’ve ever used. I have an extremely oily scalp and always find the hair body got dryness and fizzy at the end. I would definitely recommend this shampoo if you are experiencing the same problem as me. I feel it balancing my scalp, and smoothing the hair body. The scalp was cleaned so well, and the hair body is bouncing in a healthier look.” — Neiman Marcus
Best Dandruff Shampoo
"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
Pros: Good if you have dandruff; Cruelty-free; Has a sulfate-free formula; Has a paraben-free formula; Good for textured hair.
Cons: Some reviewers said it left behind a film on their hair.
Customer Review: “My absolute go to fit when my 4C hair needs a boost of moisture! It is light enough to use daily but also great to use when doing a protective style to keep your hair moisturized in between styles. Would definitely recommend!” — Target
Best Cream Rinse Shampoo for Short or Buzzed Hair
"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
Pros: Sustainable formula; Good if you have buzzed or very short hair; Comes in a travel-friendly tube.
Cons: Some reviewers said it left their longer hair feeling tangled.
Customer Review: “This product is my absolute favorite. It smells amazing like fresh lemons. It lathers so well once you wet your hair. It doesn’t leave my hair feeling dry like most shampoos. I love the clean ingredients” — Credo Beauty
Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Natural and Textured Hair
“When you have naturally textured hair you should aim for products that will offer extra moisturizing benefits as well as a product that emphasizes its ability to strengthen hair from within,” says Lacy Redway, Unilever Global Stylist. “Other benefits to look out for are products that define your texture and get rid of any unwanted frizz.”
Best Shampoo for Natural Hair Growth
"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
Pros: Contains castor oil; Cruelty-free; Good for low-porosity hair.
Cons: Some reviewers said the smell was too strong.
Customer Review: “Low porosity hair approved! This is my favorite shampoo and conditioner! Great for my soft waves. Hair feels soft and hydrated.” — Target
Best Shampoo 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, former Editorial Fellow
Pros: Has a sulfate-free formula; Has a paraben-free formula.
Cons: Some reviewers said the scent was too strong.
Customer Review: “I give this a 5 just from the smell of the shampoo and the way my hair feels after using it. It really makes my hair feel nice and leaves my curly and frizzy hair with a more maintainable feel afterwards. also leaves my hair smelling so amazing that I will use time and time again” — Ulta
Best Cleansing Cream for Natural Curls
“Shampoos can be very drying for my thick curls, so sometimes I’ll use a cleansing cream instead. The lemon and orange blossom extracts in this cleansing cream work as astringents so my hair isn’t stripped of its natural oils.” — Deena Campbell, Beauty Director
Pros: Fights frizz; Has a sulfate-free formula; Has UV protection; Has a vegan formula.
Cons: Some reviewers said the scent was too strong.
Customer Review: “This is like washing your hair with a conditioner - in the best way possible. I shampoo my scalp with a different shampoo because it tends to get oily. But I have long hair that I color consistently, so I flip my hair over in the shower and massage this shampoo into those long strands. It makes my frizzled ends soft, healthy, and shiny, whether I let the curls dry naturally or blow them out straight. This is really good stuff, and it will be a staple as long as I continue to keep my hair long and colored.” — Sephora
Best Shampoo for Dry 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." — Maya Allen, former Digital Beauty Editor
Pros: Good for dry hair; Fights frizz; Has a sulfate-free formula; has a paraben-free formula;
Cons: Some reviewers said it didn't help with detangling their hair.
Customer Review: "This product worked really well on my hair! First off, This product smells really good. This conditioner enhanced my curls so well. My curls look defined and bouncy. I noticed a huge difference in my root frizz immediately after use. My hair looks healthy and beautiful. My curls look defined and perfectly bouncy. Also smells amazing and smell lasts a while which makes me extra happy. It stays on for a long time. It also gives my curls a good hydration boost where it feels soft and moisturized! My frizzy curls are bouncy, healthy and beautiful ! I never really liked my curls until now but that changed now! I'm so happy to have finally found something that works so well with my curly hair !! Officially ready for summer!! I highly recommend this product! This product was gifted to me by the brand in exchange of my HONEST opinion. My opinion is derived strictly from my experiences.I would honestly 100 percent recommend this product. It is so so worthed." — Ulta
Best Conditioner for Thick 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." — Chelsea Hall, former Assistant Beauty & Fashion Editor
Pros: Has a sulfate-free formula; Good for dry hair; Fights frizz.
Cons: Some reviewers said the scent was too strong.
Customer Review: "This. Mask. Is. Everything. … my hair is dry, coarse, kinky 4c and it soaks up moisture instantly and looks dry 2 minutes later. This mask prolongs the length of time my hair stays moisturized and makes it so soft smooth and easy to detangle! Again the smell just like the other two products is amazing. Not too strong but not too subtle where it disappears." — Sephora
Best Scalp Shampoo for Build-Up
"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
Pros: Has a paraben-free formula; Cruelty-free; Good for fighting buildup.
Cons: Some reviewers said the packaging didn't work correctly.
Customer Review: “This product should not be underestimated! The consistency was very thin, almost like water so I was nervous it would end up doing nothing, but I put it all throughout my hair anyway and scrubbed and let me tell you, rinsing out my hair felt so satisfying because my hair felt SO clean!! I was very pleasantly surprised. I have low porosity wavy/curly hair so my hair gets oily fast and gets a lot of build up, and this has been a great addition to my routine. I personally love the smell and light tingling sensation, but I do see how for those who are sensitive to fragrance it might be a bit overwhelming. i’m so glad i took a chance on this product” — Target
Best Shampoo and Conditioners for Curly Hair
If you're someone with curly hair who is looking for hydration, look no further. Redway says that “someone with curly hair should look out for products that will help moisturize and define curls without weighing them down, reduce unwanted frizz, and repel humidity.”
Best Shampooo for Hair Growth
"I love the entire Vegamour GRO line for how effective it is in thickening hair, supporting a healthy scalp, and fostering hair growth--something that's been a personal journey of mine for the last year. This vegan formula incorporates natural oils so that you can expect a thorough cleanse without feeling like your hair or scalp are stripped of moisture. Plus, it’s infused with protein in order to strengthen existent strands from within, preventing breakage and enhancing overall hair health and shine." — Gabrielle Ulubay, E-Commerce Writer
Pros: Helps with shedding; Doesn't strip the hair as it cleans.
Cons: Some reviews say it takes weeks to show results.
Customer Review: "My hair has been difficult to manage while growing out old dye - Greasy roots after a day and dry, tangled ends. I was recommended this shampoo in store and I love it. Leaves my hair feeling incredibly soft, shiny, and easy to manage and style. My hair feels thicker and my ends are much softer. I don't get the waxy feeling other reviewers have commented on." — Sephora
Best Conditioner That Acts Like A Leave-In
"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." — Brittany Holloway-Brown, Art Director
Pros: Good for dryness; Has a parabe-free formula; Has over 900 five-star reviews at Target; Good for curly hair;
Cons: Some reviewers said that the hydration didn't last in their hair.
Customer Review: "I have 3b/3c curls and this is the best conditioner I have ever used! Paired with the shampoo it leaves your hair soft, manageable, and smelling amazing! You don't need a lot either. Highly reccomend for my type 3 and maybe 4 hair queens!" — Target
Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Color-Treated Hair
"For colored hair you want to focus on a sulfate-free shampoo that helps prolong your color," says Papaleo. She recommends that those who love to color or highlight their hair "stay away from anything that says clarifying as that will shorten the longevity of your color service." Purple shampoos are also great for blondes looking to keep their hair from looking brassy over time.
Best-Smelling Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair
"I've been using the Biolage Color Last shampoo for years now and I don't think I'll ever switch it up. I can go so much longer between salon appointments thanks to this shampoo keeping my dye job fresh. What I really love about this shampoo, though, is the AMAZING smell. I seriously can't get over this shampoo's fresh scent and how long it lingers." — Brooke Knappenberger, Editorial Fellow
Pros: Has a vegan formula; Cruelty-free; Has over 1,200 five-star reviews at Ulta.
Cons: Some reviewers said it was too harsh on their hair.
Customer Review: "I highly recommend! Gentle for color treated hair! Gets my hair clean without strong chemicals! I love it! I used the shampoo and the conditioner! I highly recommend for all ages and all types of hair! It is difficult to locate a shampoo that does not fade color! — Ulta
"EVA NYC has been my go to for years but this specific line is a lifesaver for anyone who will impulsively bleach their own hair at home. My hair became very dry and coarse after bleaching. After a few washes this helped repair my hair’s texture. The argan oil and plant protein are super moisturizing and it doesn’t leave my hair feeling greasy or heavy. It also works on color treated hair, so you can keep your hair healthy when you decide it’s time for a new color." — Jonelle Afurong, Junior Designer
Pros: Good for dry hair; Has a sulfate-free formula; Has a paraben-free formula.
Cons: Some reviewers wished it lathered more.
Customer Reviews: "I am always bleaching my hair and this keeps the moisture in! I'm always on the lookout for some thing that is thick with moisture and keeps my hair hydrated. This works SO WELL! I will definitely keep buying this product. It's also a very god price." — Ulta
Best Shampoo for Brunettes
"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." — Taylore Glynn, former Beauty and Health Editor
Pros: Good for dryness; Helps brassiness.
Cons: Some reviewers said it left their scalp feeling greasy.
Customer Review: “Love the hydration lock this conditioner leaves. Not a coating of residue or silicone feeling. A lightweight bonding adds shine and luster to my hair while preventing drying and damaged ends. I would buy again.” — Ulta
Best Conditioner for Dry, Color-Treated 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
Pros: Good for dryness; Good for curly hair; Adds shine; Has a vegan formula; Has a paraben-free formula; Has a sulfate-free formula; Has over 800 five-star reviews at Sephora.
Cons: Some reviewers said the scent was too strong.
Customer Review: "Best conditioner I have ever used. Its expensive, I get it. But it lasts forever and little goes a long way. It leaves your hair soft, nourished, and smells heavenly. Hands down, this is the king of conditioners. Truly an amazing product." — Sephora
Best Shampoo for Blonde Color-Treated 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." — Susanna Hayward, former Associate Art Director
Pros: Good for dryness; Fights brassiness; Has a sulfate-free formula;
Cons: Some reviewers said it was drying on their hair.
Customer Review: “I really love this shampoo! It's by far my favorite blonde shampoo I've ever used, and I've been using it for about a year. There are a lot of negative reviews but I wanted to leave a positive one - products work differently for everyone, so don't be scared to at least try it! This shampoo doesn't dry out my hair at all, in fact when I first began using it, I noticed my hair was softer. I also haven't noticed any increased fallout like many other reviews say. I don't use this every wash, and when I do use it, I shampoo my hair with a different shampoo first to cleanse, and then I use this one to tone. Overall I highly recommend.” — Ulta
Best Conditioner 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." — Alexis Gaskin, Freelance Beauty Writer
Pros: Good for dry hair; Fights frizz; Fights brassiness.
Cons: Some reviewers said the scent was too strong.
Customer Review: "It made my hair so soft and reduced the frizzing! My hair felt like I had used a hair mask. And it lightened my blonde. Love this so much definitely recommend to any blondes who have bleached their hair, I bleached mine 3 times for reference." — Ulta
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!”
Meet The Experts
Provence-born and Paris-trained, Frédéric Fekkai opened his first ground-breaking namesake salon atop New York’s Bergdorf Goodman department store in 1989 and today has the most recognized and luxurious hair salons in New York.
He created the prestige hair care category with the launch of his product line in 1995, raising the industry standard from commodity to luxury by incorporating high performance ingredients found in prestige skincare as well as partnership with the world's leading fragrance formulators. He continues his legacy with a new mission- to create high performance, clean formulas that shatter the myth that clean products are less performative.
Adriana Papaleo is a New York City based freelance hair stylist, session artist and educator. She has been in the industry for 17 years. Working at the TIGI Advanced Academy in SoHo, behind the chair, on set, and in global Fashion Weeks, she has pushed for a continuously progressive approach to hair styling. A deep love of the human experience and interconnectivity drives her storytelling approach to the medium.
Lacy Redway is a New York-based hairstylist. After studying at The Aveda Institute in Manhattan and assisting many of the legendary hairstylists of our time, her career quickly took off. A combination of Lacy’s proficiency with all hair textures as well as her magnetic personality has earned her an esteemed roster of clients including Tessa Thompson, Anne Hathaway, Zazie Beetz, Laura Harrier, Hunter Schafer, Sadie Sink, Amanda Gorman, Simone Biles, Yara Shahidi, Naomi Osaka, Venus Williams, Demi Lovato, Karlie Kloss, Sarah Paulson, Alicia Keys, Tracee Ellis Ross, Elizabeth Olsen, Ruth Negga, Amanda Stenberg, Andra Day, LiL Nas X and Diane Kruger, among many others. Lacy has collaborated with respected photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Inez and Vinoodh, Juergen Teller, Rankin, Cass Bird, Ben Hassett, Ellen von Unwerth, Willy Vanderperre, Cass Bird, Paola Kudacki, Tyler Mitchell, Emma Summerton, Zoey Grossman, Liz Collins, Norman Jean Roy, and Mark Seliger. Her work has appeared in Allure, Another Magazine, Elle, Glamour, Interview, Marie Claire, New York Magazine, Porter, Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, Time, V Magazine, V Man, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Vogue Italia, WSJ, and W Magazine. Lacy is focusing on changing the narrative for women and people of color in the beauty industry.
Stylist Raven Hurtado began her career at Maxine Salon in 2009. After working as an Assistant for three years, Raven was inspired by the talent and passion of the stylists and colorists and enrolled in cosmetology school. Now celebrating ten years as part of the Maxine team, Raven pulls creative inspiration from magazines and social media. She specializes in working with her clients to create a long-term plan for achieving healthy hair. Raven enjoys working with long hair to create tousled, beachy styles.
Bobby Eliot is a Los Angeles-based hairstylist. As one of the industry’s most sought-after artists, Eliot has worked alongside top photographers including Collier Schorr, Quentin De Briey, Richard Burbridge, Alexei Hay, Rankin, Yu Tsai, Elias Tahan, and Daria Kobayashi Ritch. Drawing inspiration from iconic models, classic Hollywood glamour, fashion, music and film, his work has been featured in Vogue Brazil, Vogue Russia, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, Puss Puss, and more. He has worked with brands such as Levi’s, Adidas, Paige Denim, Nasty Gal, and Nike.
Before he was known as Hollywood’s top hair stylist, Andrew Fitzsimons has been obsessed with fashion, beauty and form for more than two decades. His passion led him from humble roots in Ireland to cultivate his talent in the fashion industry in Dublin, then to Paris and New York and LA where he counts Bella Hadid, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Megan Fox, Joan Smalls, and Shay Mitchell as his regular clientele. Andrew’s incredible knowledge and eye for trend turned him into one of the most respected and finest hair stylists, but it’s his personal beauty philosophy that keeps him the A-list favorite. ”My canvas is her natural hair texture. I want tocelebrate that and teach her to love what she naturally has”. This free spirit combined with his know-how gives him the ability to translate trends through to individual personal style.
Julia Marzovilla is the E-Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she covers everything from the latest beauty and fashion launches and sales to celebrity outfits and news. She also creates shopping guides that span every vertical on the site. Prior to joining the Marie Claire team, she contributed similar shopping stories to sites such as Bustle, InStyle, The Zoe Report, Who What Wear, and STYLECASTER. In her spare time, Julia can be found creating shopping guides for all of her friends, spending too much money on yet another pair of black boots, and cooking in her far-too-small kitchen.
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