MSN June 6, 2022



The 14 Best Shampoos for Different Hair Types, According to Hairstylists


Whether you have long, short, thick, or fine hair, there’s one thing that all hair types need: the best shampoo to keep strands nourished and scalp clean and healthy. When you walk into a drugstore, you’ll see a variety of shampoos on the shelf trying to get your attention, but what should you actually be looking for in a high-quality shampoo? Well, that depends on your hair goals and needs. SELF spoke to seven hairstylists to help understand what shampoo ingredients to look for and which ones to avoid.

What to look for when choosing a shampoo?

“You want to look for a shampoo that repairs and nourishes the hair as it cleans and look for ingredients that contain gentle cleansing agents, vitamins, keratin, and protein,” says Raven Hurtado, hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “Use a shampoo that’ll work for your hair type and needs. If you have colored-treated hair, use a color shampoo, a reparative shampoo for breakage and if you have curls, use a shampoo that’s designed for curly hair.” Here’s what shampoo to look for depending on your hair type.

For color-treated hair: If you’ve dyed your mane, then you’ll want to opt for a color-safe shampoo to maintain the integrity of your hair and the intensity of the color. These shampoos are typically free from sulfates and have more conditioning ingredients, antioxidants, proteins, and amino acids designed to care for processed hair. And if you want to maintain blonde highlights, a purple shampoo keeps brassiness at bay.

For textured hair: Those with textured hair should look for ingredients like whey and hydrolyzed proteins that strengthen and define curls. Prioritize shampoos that contain ingredients like shea butter and argan oil.

For oily hair: If you have oily hair, look for shampoos with exfoliating ingredients like salicylic and glycolic acids. 

For dry hair: To hydrate your strands, look for shampoos with oils like argan, jojoba, and avocado. Many professional-grade shampoos will have these oils in them. A DIY hair mask can also help with hydration.

What ingredients to avoid in shampoo?

Aside from finding the right shampoo for your hair type, you also want to take a look at the ingredients label. There are a few ingredients you might want to steer clear of next time you’re looking for the best shampoo for your hair. 

According to Dr. Hysem Eldik, a dermatologist at Marmur Medical, you’ll want to steer clear of detergents like anionics. “These primarily contain sulfates and have very deep and harsh cleansing properties, which can leave hair extremely dry. The effect of this is dull and frizzy hair that can easily tangle. Some example ingredients include lauryl sulfates, laureth sulfates, sarcodines, sulfosuccinates.” Dr. Eldik adds that these are very strong detergents and will strip the hair of the natural oil it needs to stay hydrated. And since hair is made of the same cells as our skin, it needs to be just as hydrated as dry skin. 

Hurtado recommends staying away from ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, silicone, isopropyl alcohol, phthalates, and hexachlorophene. “Parabens can get easily absorbed by the skin causing skin irritation, itchiness, and flaking. Sulfates can strip away the natural oils and can damage the proteins in your hair and irritate your scalp,” she says. Other ingredients like silicone can cause product buildup on the scalp that can block the hair follicles preventing the nourishing ingredients from reaching the hair. “Additionally, isopropyl alcohol can cause breakage and make hair dry, brittle, and difficult to manage and phthalates cause hormone disruptions that are common for hair loss.”

Matthew Monzon, a celebrity hairstylist, adds that shampoo alone isn’t going to give you your best hair, you’ll also want to use a high-quality conditioner and heat protectants. This helps prevent hair damage that comes from blow-drying and styling, breakage from ponytails, and more. 

Below are expert-recommended shampoos from Sephora, Ulta, Amazon, and more. You’ll find top beauty brands like Olaplex, Paul Mitchell, R+Co, and more featured. Whether you have thin hair, thick hair, curly hair, or oily hair, there’s a shampoo that can help your locks.

Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Olaplex is a top pick for hair care. It not only works for color-treated hair but also protects strands from everyday issues like split ends, frizz, and more. Olaplex works by relinking broken bonds which help make hair healthier, shinier, and easier to manage. 

Monzon swears by Olaplex No.4 and says it has been a life-changer for many of his clients with color-treated hair.

“Color-treated hair generally needs some extra TLC, so it’s important to look for a shampoo that is made for that sulfate- or paraben-free and mild,” says Monzon. “One that is gentle and formulated to not strip the color from your hair,” he adds.

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo

Made with lavender, natural tea-tree extracts, peppermint, and amino acids, Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo boosts shine and conditions. It’s gluten-free, paraben-free, color-safe, and ideal for those with dry hair.

“Thick hair is usually on the drier side making it frizzy and harder to manage,” says Monzon. “It’s super important to get moisture into the hair to make it smoother and more manageable.”

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo is the best shampoo for oily and fine hair. Hurtado recommends it because it’s a gentle everyday shampoo with antioxidants, citrus juices, green tea, and lemongrass that removes buildup and reduces oil without drying the scalp. Plus, it’s formulated with rahua oil that contains omega-9 which works to prevent breakage and adds volume to the hair.

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

This shampoo has shea butter to moisturize the scalp and hair, Jamaican black castor oil to reduce breakage, and peppermint oil to help stimulate the scalp for strong healthy hair. All of those ingredients combined help protect the hair against heat damage and prevent associated breakage.

“This shampoo is a great option for hair that is chemically processed and if you use heat styling regularly,” says Hurtado. “It helps maintain moisture and shine.”

Bumble and Bumble Curl Moisturizing Shampoo

Free from parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, formaldehyde, petroleum, silicone, sulfate cleansers, and synthetic colors, this shampoo is a go-to for Hurtado. For those with curly hair, this shampoo is formulated for all curl types: wavy (2A-2C), curly (3A-3C), and coily (4A-4C).

“I recommend this shampoo because it’s a vegan and cruelty-free shampoo and is enhanced with avocado, coconut and jojoba oils, shea butter, and cocoa butter to help detangle, deeply hydrate, and reduce frizz.”

Davines Oi Shampoo

Infused with roucou oil, filled with antioxidants and beta-carotene, this shampoo is ideal for adding hydration, softness, and shine to your mane. Plus, it protects strands from environmental aggressors and aging while detangling and creating a voluminous appearance.

“My favorite shampoo is Davine Oi Shampoo because it's super moisturizing, but not heavy, and it smells amazing,” says Brynn Reed, lead extension specialist and senior stylist at Mirror Mirror Salon in Austin, Texas. “Davines Oi leaves every hair type shiny and soft.”

Davines Melu Shampoo

For those with damaged hair prone to breakage, opt for a creamy and foamy shampoo like this one to gently cleanse and hydrate strands. 

Natalie Siebert, a senior stylist at Mirror Mirror, personally attests to her love for Davines Melu Shampoo. “Not only is it a clean product, but it has brought my extremely brittle hair back to life! My hair has never looked or felt healthier. Davines is a great product line across the board.”

Pattern Hydration Shampoo

This shampoo boasts a creamy formula infused with a blend of oils and natural ingredients (aloe vera leaf juice, coconut oil, and honey) to not only cleanse the hair of dirt and buildup, but also hydrate and add moisture to dry strands. Plus, it’s free from harsh surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES).

“For those with more of a textured coil or tighter curl, I absolutely love Pattern Hydration Shampoo from actress and curl legend Tracee Ellis Ross,” says Breaunna Parker, stylist at Mirror Mirror Salon.

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo

For those with damaged hair whether that’s from color or heat damage, Anthony Haffar, hair stylist at Sunstone Spa, recommends this Moroccan Oil Repair Shampoo.

“This shampoo uses ingredients infused with antioxidants, rich argan oil, keratin proteins, and fatty acids. These elements strengthen broken strands and dead ends, helping the hair to recover to its natural elasticity and promote a healthy look,” says Haffar. Additionally, it’s sulfate-free, phosphate-free and paraben-free.

Milbon Volumizing Shampoo

Made with persimmon tannin, this shampoo works to strengthen the hair follicle while keeping volume and fullness.

“I love using this shampoo for clients who are looking to boost volume and fullness,” says Haffar. “This particular shampoo is gentle, yet effectively removes residue to transform fine, limp hair.”

Milbon Anti-Frizz Defrizzing Shampoo

This shampoo is ideal for those with frizzy hair. It helps distribute moisture to the hair strands to control frizz and make your mane easier to maintain while providing a gentle cleanse.

“It weightlessly defines waves and curls and is perfect for any type of frizz-prone hair. I see a significant difference when I use this on clients,” says Haffar.

Kérastase Specifique Divalent Purifying Clay Shampoo for Oily Hair

When it comes to oily hair, finding the right shampoo can be a challenge. However, this shampoo is created with all hair types in mind and works like a charm.

“It has Kaolin Clay to help absorb excess sebum and pollution,” says Dani Everson, hairstylist, and owner of Clementine’s Salon in Denver.

R+Co Bleu De Luxe Reparative Shampoo

Everson describes this shampoo as a “boost of moisture and strength to help those frayed locks.” This shampoo offers hydration, strength, and repair for coarse and damaged hair. It works to gently cleanse and heal strands while improving elasticity and shine. For extra protection it seals frayed cuticles and split ends to keep your hair healthier for longer.

Ouai Detox Shampoo

This shampoo is cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, SLS- and SLES-free. It features key ingredients of kale protein, carrot protein, and panthenol to strengthen strands and enhance texture. Plus, it’s great for those with oily strands or a dry scalp.

“If you’re struggling with product build-up or if you use a lot of products or toning shampoo, a clarifying shampoo should be used occasionally,” says Drew Inge, owner of Drew Inge Hair Studio of Williamsburg at Sola Salons.