The 9 Best Shampoos for Every Hair Type and Concern

We like Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo because it repairs damage and leaves strands feeling soft and silky.

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Shot of a young woman washing her hair with shampoo in the shower at home

With so many shampoos on the market, it can be hard to know which one is best for your hair concerns. Ultimately, choosing the best shampoo comes down to your specific hair and scalp needs. For example, anyone who always has greasy hair should look for a shampoo that balances the oils at their roots. And people who regularly dye their hair will need a shampoo that's safe for color-treated strands.

To come up with this list of the best shampoos, we thoroughly researched some of the top products on the market and considered factors like ingredients, scent, and hair types. For expert tips and recommendations, we tapped Dimitris Giannetos, a hairstylist who has worked with many hair types over the years. He gave us his professional insight on all things shampoo, including guidelines on how often you should wash your hair and the real answer to whether shampoo expires.

Here are the best shampoos for every hair type.

Best Overall Shampoo

Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo


Who it's for: People who want a repairing shampoo, especially anyone with damaged hair from dyes or hot tools.
Who it isn't for: People with thin hair might find this shampoo too heavy.

The Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo has grown in popularity recently, and the hype is completely warranted. The shampoo, which was recommended by the hairstylist we interviewed, earned the top spot on our list because it repairs damaged hair and strengthens healthy hair at the same time. This makes it great for people with split ends as well as anyone who is just looking for regular shampoo. Its formula uses a patented technology that works to relink broken disulfide bonds inside each strand, ultimately making your hair stronger and healthier.

We appreciate that this formula is free of sulfates, silicones, and oils—all of which can create buildup on your scalp. But most importantly, it leaves your hair feeling super soft and silky, and it even keeps frizz at bay. Just keep in mind that the Olaplex shampoo is pretty thick, so people with very fine hair might think it's a bit too heavy. Otherwise, it can be used on all hair types and textures, including color-treated hair.

Size: 8.5 ounces | Fragrance: Yes | Hair Type: All, including damaged hair

Best Drugstore Shampoo

L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Moisture Shampoo

L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Moisture Shampoo


Who it's for: People who are looking for an affordable shampoo for everyday use.
Who it isn't for: People who don't like floral-scented products.

Giannetos lists this L'Oréal Paris pick as his go-to drugstore shampoo, and it's a great budget-friendly choice because it's a fraction of the price of our best overall recommendation. This hydrating shampoo is especially great for people with super dry hair who really need to use a hair mask, but don't quite have the time or energy. Its formula uses rosemary as its moisture-restoring ingredient, which is gentle and effective. The sulfate-free shampoo is also safe on color-treated hair, and it can even help enhance dyes and keep the color looking fresh for up to four weeks.

The EverPure Sulfate-Free Moisture Shampoo has a lovely floral scent with notes of jasmine and juniper berry. But if you're sensitive to fragrance, it's worth noting that the scent is pretty strong. This pack comes with two bottles of shampoo, but you can also purchase the shampoo and matching conditioner together for a complete set.

Size: 8.5 ounces or 33.8 ounces (per bottle) | Fragrance: Yes | Hair Type: Dry and color-treated

Best Shampoo for Thinning Hair

Kérastase Densifique Bain Densité Shampoo

Kérastase Densifique Thickening Shampoo for Thinning Hair


Who it's for: People who have noticed their hair getting thinner and thinner over time.
Who it isn't for: People with thick, full hair would be better off with another option.

If you're dealing with thinning hair, which is when individual strands become smaller in diameter, then you should look for a thickening shampoo like Kérastase Bain Densite. This shampoo is a great choice for people with thinning hair because it will restore, strengthen, and help bring life back into your hair. Packed with moisturizing hyaluronic acid and plumping gluco-peptides, the shampoo will make the surface of your strands look more uniform and enhance the overall feeling of thickness.

Its formula also contains ceramides, which will strengthen your hair and help prevent breakage down the line. This ingredient will also help your hair look shiny and healthy. Like with many beauty products, remember that it can take a few weeks (or more) before you can see results—so you might want to stick to your routine for longer than you think before deciding if you'll continue using the shampoo. But if it gets worse or if you still don't notice a difference, it might be time to see a trichologist or dermatologist for a professional opinion.

Size: 8.5 ounces | Fragrance: Yes | Hair Type: Thin

Best Shampoo for Dandruff

Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

ORIBE Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo


Who it's for: People who have dandruff and want a shampoo that smells nice.
Who it isn't for: People who don't want a shampoo that contains salicylic acid.

While dandruff can be inconvenient—no one enjoys having a flaky scalp, after all—the good news is that you can treat it with over-the-counter shampoos. The Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is so much more than just a pretty bottle—its formula uses salicylic acid as an exfoliant to slough off all of those dead skin cells that contribute to flakiness. This also has the added benefit of reducing the itchy feeling on your scalp that's common when you have dandruff.

After exfoliating away the flakes, the Oribe shampoo adds the right amount of moisture back into your hair and scalp. It also protects your hair from environmental stressors with the brand's signature ingredients: watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss flower. To ease any irritation, the anti-dandruff shampoo also contains soothing bilberry fruit and sugar maple extracts, which protect the hair from additional damage. And unlike other dandruff shampoos that can smell medicinal, this one from Oribe has a lovely (but not overpowering) scent with notes of bergamot, jasmine, and sandalwood. Just remember that dandruff is different from a dry scalp.

Size: 8.5 or 33.8 ounces | Fragrance: Yes | Hair Type: All types with dandruff

Best Shampoo for Oily Hair

R+Co Television Perfect Hair Shampoo

R+Co Television Perfect Hair Shampoo


Who it's for: People with excess oil on their scalp and hair who want a balancing shampoo.
Who it isn't for: People with dry hair might find that this shampoo is too stripping with multiple washes.

If you've been experiencing excess oil, the R+Co Television Perfect Hair Shampoo is an easy way to give your hair a reset. This formula uses juniper berry, which helps balance the oils on your scalp so that your hair can strike a happy medium between oily and dry. The shampoo has a very thick consistency that will leave your hair feeling squeaky clean, especially after two washes. Just note that this shampoo can be stripping (especially with a second wash), so make sure you focus on your roots if you have an oily scalp with dry ends.

You don't have to worry about your hair staying too dry though, because the R+Co shampoo adds moisture back into the strands. It does this with ingredients like babassu seed oil and glycerin, the latter of which acts as a humectant to hold onto the additional moisture. If you want a hair thickening formula, try R+Co's Dallas biotin shampoo.

Size: 8 ounces | Fragrance: Yes | Hair Type: Oily

Best Shampoo for Curly Hair

Virtue Curl Shampoo

Virtue Curl Shampoo


Who it's for: People with curly, coily, or wavy hair that want to enhance and define their strands.
Who it isn't for: People who don't usually wear their hair curly or often straighten it.

The key to a curl-enhancing shampoo is a non-drying formula—and this one from Virtue is exactly that. Its ingredients won't dry out the strands too much, which ensures that your curls can maintain their body. The shampoo uses a vegetable-derived polymer to improve curl definition and formation. To add moisture, the shampoo contains water-soluble jojoba oil to hydrate, detangle, and add a glossy shine.

Finally, it will keep your hair looking sleek thanks to a protein called alpha keratin, which will help repair any damage. Even if your hair isn't as bouncy as it used to be, you can still use this shampoo to enhance your natural curl pattern because it's designed for wavy, curly, and coily hair. But anyone who doesn't want to wear their hair naturally curly probably doesn't need a curl-defining shampoo. Also, take note that the Virtue Curl Shampoo is another option that has a fruity scent.

Size: 8 ounces | Fragrance: Yes | Hair Type: Wavy, curly, and coily

Best Shampoo for Blondes

Davines Alchemic Silver Shampoo

Davines Alchemic Silver Shampoo

Who it's for: People with blonde or silver hair who are worried about brassy undertones.
Who it isn't for: People with other hair colors shouldn't use shampoo designed to tone blonde hair.

Specially designed for silver and platinum blonde hair, this shampoo from Davines helps enhance the cool hues and natural and color-treated hair. The formula uses pure pigments to restore color to its original beauty and extend how long it lasts. It helps protect strands from UV rays and sun exposure, too, and it contains B vitamins to nourish and moisturize your hair.

This shampoo is a bit different to use than others on our list because you have to brush the product evenly throughout the hair and let it sit for five minutes. After that, you should rinse it thoroughly and follow with a conditioner to add back some additional moisture. Since it's formulated for cool hair colors, this toning shampoo is unnecessary if you aren't a blonde. It's also worth mentioning that the brand makes a separate shampoo that's designed for hair with golden undertones (like warm blonde or honey blonde).

Size: 9.46 ounces | Fragrance: Yes | Hair Type: Cool blonde and silver (natural or dyed)

Best Clarifying Shampoo

IGK First Class Detoxifying Charcoal Shampoo

IGK First Class Detoxifying Charcoal Shampoo


Who it's for: Anyone who feels like they need a scalp reset.
Who it isn't for: People who have a dry scalp should opt for another shampoo because this formula can be stripping.

There are a lot of charcoal beauty products on the market, but the ingredient is actually great in shampoo, too. The IGK First Class shampoo uses activated charcoal to absorb any excess oil, which helps clear up scalp breakouts. (Activated charcoal is also a dermatologist-recommended ingredient for treating scalp acne.) It can even help remove any chemical or dirt buildup that's left on your scalp from other hair products, such as 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners.

In addition to charcoal, this clarifying formula contains witch hazel and tea tree oil, which will soothe and calm your scalp after a thorough cleanse. The shampoo will also leave your hair looking super shiny and feeling incredibly clean. It's safe for most hair types, but people with particularly dry scalps should probably choose a shampoo that's more hydrating.

Size: 8 ounces | Fragrance: No | Hair Type: All

Best Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair

Color Wow Color Security Shampoo

Color Wow Color Security Shampoo


Who it's for: People who want their hair color to look salon-fresh for longer.
Who it isn't for: People without color-treated hair could probably find another shampoo that targets their needs.

No matter what color you dye your hair, the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo will keep it looking vibrant and salon-fresh. Its formula uses a coconut-derived ingredient that helps wash your hair without removing moisture or dye, and it still lathers into a thick (and satisfying!) foam that leaves your hair feeling super clean without any residue left behind.

Since this color-safe shampoo lathers and rinses so well, it's great for detoxifying your scalp and clearing away any dirt. The shampoo will leave your hair looking shinier and your scalp feeling soothed. It works on all hair types and textures (even extensions), but people without color-treated hair probably don't need this particular shampoo since its formula is designed for dyed hair.

Size: 8.4 ounces | Fragrance: Yes | Hair Type: All

Final Verdict

Good shampoos can add shine and moisture to any hair type, and that's exactly why we like the Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo. It's our best overall pick because it heals damage and hydrates dry strands. But if you need something more affordable, the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Moisture Shampoo is a budget-friendly option that's still very hydrating and cleansing. Both of these shampoos can be worked into rich, satisfying lathers.

How to Shop for Shampoo

Hair Type

Hair type is the most critical consideration when searching for a shampoo. Not only can it dictate how often you should be shampooing your hair (every few days for thin to medium hair and once a week for very thick or textured hair), it can determine the overall health of your strands. Many shampoos are safe for all hair types, but some are designed with specific textures or types in mind.

If you're in desperate need of a cut, prioritize shampoos that have bonding ingredients. If you have natural hair, make sure you're looking for deeply moisturizing ingredients. No matter your hair type, make sure you're rinsing thoroughly so that you don't leave behind any residue, and make sure that you're locking in the good ingredients by always following up with a conditioner.


If you have specific hair concerns, make sure you're considering the ingredients in your shampoo. This is especially important if you're dealing with issues like dandruff. People with dandruff should choose a shampoo with active ingredients (like salicylic acid) that can help treat the issue. If you have oily hair, look for a shampoo with ingredients that will prevent your scalp from producing excess oil.


Some people prefer scented shampoos that turn a regular shower into an aromatherapy-like experience, while others would prefer unscented options because they're usually more gentle. If you're sensitive to fragrance, it might be a good idea to take the lid off of the shampoo and smell it before you use it on your hair. The fragrances are often amplified once the formulas are worked into a lather, so if it irks you in the bottle, it's not a good sign.

Questions You Might Ask

Does shampoo expire?

Like most beauty products, shampoo (and conditioner) can expire. An unopened bottle of shampoo should last around three years from when you purchased it. But once it's been opened, the shampoo will expire much faster. On the back of the bottle, you'll find a number (often listed as 12M or 18M) that indicates how many months the shampoo will last after it's been opened.

Even though it's tempting to use up old bottles until they're empty, you should avoid using expired shampoo. According to Giannetos, expired shampoo can "create some irritation on the scalp."

How often should you shampoo your hair?

While many people probably grew up washing their hair every day, that's not necessarily the best recommendation for everyone. Overwashing your hair can lead to dry strands that are more susceptible to damage, which can cause more harm in the long run.

On the other hand, not washing your hair often enough can result in buildup and irritation. "I suggest that people with straight or fine hair shampoo every other day," says Giannetos. A hair tip for working out is to shower, wet your hair, and use a little conditioner throughout—but no shampoo. It's a good way to train your hair to be washed less. For people with textured hair and anyone who isn't prone to a super oily scalp, Giannetos recommends washing your hair once per week. If you want your hair to look fresh even when you don't wash it, check out our tips for styling second-day hair. And, using dry shampoo when you don't or can't wash your hair with regular shampoo is not bad so long as it's done in moderation.

Can you use shampoo as body wash?

They might seem similar, but you shouldn't use your shampoo as a body wash. That's because shampoo is usually a bit more drying than regular body soaps, which is why we follow up with conditioner on the hair, according to Giannetos. Body washes (whether bar, gel, or cream soaps) are often gentler on your skin.

Should you do a double wash?

We've all seen the words "rinse and repeat" on our shampoo labels, but chances are most of us ignore it. But it turns out that experts actually say double washing is necessary. "A double rinse is the key [to] clean hair and clean scalps," says Giannetos. If you're worried about drying out your hair too much by shampooing twice, he says you should make sure to use conditioner and let it sit on the strands for a while.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Brittany Loggins, a contributing writer for Real Simple who is always trying out the latest beauty products. To come up with this list, we carefully researched many shampoos on the market and evaluated them based on recommended hair types (like oily or curly), ingredients, and more. For expert advice, we also interviewed professional hairstylist Dimitris Giannetos.

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