We Found the Holy-Grail Shampoos for Every Hair Type

28 products our editors swear by.

Image of woman with shampoo in wet hair and collage of shampoos from living proof and olaplex, overlaid bubble background
(Image credit: Future)

I know perfection is supposed to be unattainable, and for the most part, it is. But if searching for the best shampoo 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 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 shampoos for fine hair, the best hair thickening shampoos, the best shampoos for oily hair, 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, 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. 

What to Look For in a Shampoo

  • Ingredients

So, what exactly separates the best shampoos from just good shampoos? ”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 Andrew Fitzsimons, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Andrew Fitzsimons Hair. (Be sure to check out our guide to the best organic shampoos if you want more information about that, by the way.)

“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 hair type and 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. “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.

The Best Shampoos

The shampoos on this list have been tested, reviewed, and selected by Marie Claire's Commerce Editor, Julia Marzovilla (aka yours truly), Associate Commerce Editor, Brooke Knappenberger, 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 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 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.

Best Shampoos 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 Shampoos for Oily Hair

If your hair gets oily quickly, finding a shampoo that will remove that oil without stripping your strands of much-needed 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."

Best Shampoos 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 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 Shampoos 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. 

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? Fitzsimons 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

Frédéric Fekkai

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
Adriana Papaleo

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
Lacy Reday

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.

Raven Hurtado
Raven Hurtado

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
Bobby Eliot

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 BrazilVogue 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.

Andrew Fitzsimons
Andrew Fitzsimons

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.