Are you struggling to find the best shampoo for your particular hair type? Have you tried all the expensive brands out there and still can't seem to find the perfect shampoo for your hair problems? Do you feel overwhelmed when looking at the countless hair shampoos and conditioners both in physical stores and online? Why is having too many choices nowadays suddenly a problem?
The truth is, not all shampoos are formulated the same way, and certain shampoos are more compatible for certain hair types or hair problems. When buying a shampoo, it’s important to look not only at the hair goals you are trying to achieve, but the ingredients and formulation of the shampoo you use to help you reach those goals.
So, with a myriad of options to choose from, deciding on the perfect shampoo for your hair type can be a pretty difficult task, but we’re here to help you find the perfect one.
Whether you need a shampoo for oily or dry hair, straight or curly hair, thick or thin hair, frizzy or fine hair, we’ll give you some guidelines that’ll help you find the perfect fit— something that’ll give your hair the treatment it deserves.
No more wasting time in stores and online. Let’s match your hair type with the ideal shampoo for you.
Best Shampoo Types for Thin or Thinning Hair
Does leftover hair in the shower worry you?
On average, women lose up to 50 strands of hair daily—even more after using a conditioner. That being said, many women lose much more than 50 strands of hair, especially after washing it. If you fall in this category or think your hair is simply thin due to genetics or some other reason, you may want to buy a shampoo made specifically for thin or thinning hair.
There can be different reasons why your hair is falling out, and we’ll get to them later, but a proper shampoo is a great way to start treating it so it becomes stronger and thicker.
The first thing you should do is look for a shampoo with thickening and revitalizing properties. Its formula needs to reduce shedding and promote hair growth instead of simply adding volume since, after all, that’s not really solving the problem but rather masking it.
Of course, the best shampoo for thinning hair would both reduce shedding and promote hair growth while giving it more volume at the same time, so your hair not only looks fuller but actually becomes thicker as well.
Another thing to look for is natural ingredients and antioxidants like Vitamin E or ginseng that nurture the roots and encourage the growth of new strands of hair. Other hair-thickening ingredients include amino acids and biotin, as well as nourishing oils like menthol or peppermint.
Most Common Reasons for Thin/Thinning Hair and How to Deal With Them
Dandruff. If you have dandruff, this may be the primary cause for your problem. Look for anti-dandruff shampoos that treat the inflamed and flaky scalp.
Over-processed and dyed/bleached hair. If you regularly use a straightener or curling iron and/or have colored hair you frequently dye, you need to use a shampoo specifically made for over-processed and dyed hair.
Severe hair loss. If you have a serious problem with hair loss, it’s best to use doctor-recommended shampoos with hair regrowth formulas. These shampoos can usually be found in drugstores or stores specialized for hair care.
Shampoo Recommendations for Thin/Thinning Hair
Peppermint and Rosemary Strengthening Shampoo by Natural Escapes
Shampoos with thickening properties and natural ingredients that stimulate new hair growth is exactly what you need.
The organic peppermint and rosemary oils in this particular shampoo improve the blood flow in the scalp and in turn prevent hair loss while promoting new hair growth. These oils also prevent dandruff, soothe and hydrate a dry and itchy scalp, and moisturize dry hair.
Other incredible ingredients include aloe vera juice, lavender and chamomile distillate, jojoba seed oil, hydrolyzed wheat protein, pro-vitamin B5, Vitamin E, and more.
Organic Argan Oil Shampoo by Plantonic
Plantonic’s Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo is perfect for over-processed and/or frequently colored hair prone to thinning.
The argan oil acts not only as a moisturizer for over-processed dry hair but also nourishes the hair strands while restoring their strength and elasticity. Due to being rich in antioxidants and vitamins like Vitamin E, the argan oil with the other botanical extracts stimulate new hair growth while increasing the thickness of each hair strand—perfect for thin hair that’s frequently heat styled and colored.
Hair Surge Caffeine Shampoo by Ultra Labs
Specially designed for preventing hair loss and encouraging new hair growth, this shampoo’s advanced formula is a combination of caffeinated compounds and nourishing essential oils, great for both men and women who suffer from severe hair loss.
Hair Extensions For Thin Hair
While treating your hair with a thickening and revitalizing shampoo is a slower process that offers benefits down the road, the quickest, easiest way to achieve thick, full hair instantly is by using Luxy Hair clip-in hair extensions.
Luxy Hair extensions are made from 100% high-quality remy human hair, are super easy to use, don’t damage your natural hair in any way, and will add the volume and thickness you deserve to have in order to feel beautiful, confident, and empowered.
Ranging in 15 shades, Luxy Hair extensions are 20 inches long so you can have the length you always dreamed of. Shipping is free no matter where you are in the world.
Best Shampoo Types for Frizzy Hair
Humid, summer days are the worst for frizzy hair, but don’t despair, the right shampoo is somewhere on the hair care aisle in your favorite store. You just need to know what to look for.
The most important thing your frizzy hair needs is a shampoo aimed at smoothing the hair. Rich, natural oils are some of the best agents for calming frizz, so make sure to look for ingredients such as coconut oil, argan oil, and shea butter.
Glycerin is another important ingredient since it hydrates the hair strands and traps the moisture inside, leaving your hair silky smooth and frizz-free.
Look for labels such as “anti-frizz” or “frizz-free” since these shampoos will most likely have a special anti-frizz formulation that blocks humidity and prevents your hair from becoming frizzy. There are both silicone and non-silicone anti-frizz formulas, so it’s up to you which one you want, but keep in mind that silicone only masks the problem—it doesn’t actually solve it.
Lastly, keep an eye for moisturizing and protein–rich ingredients too and try to avoid sulfates. Rich and natural oils that act as smoothing out agents are moisturizing ingredients as well, so all you need is a bit of protein to strengthen your hair strands from within and you’ve got yourself the best shampoo for frizzy hair.
Most Common Reasons for Frizzy Hair and How to Deal With Them
Humidity. As we already mentioned, humidity is the worst thing that can happen to frizzy hair, so follow our guidelines and find the ideal shampoo to tame that frizz.
Not Using a Conditioner. If you have naturally frizzy hair, using a proper conditioner in addition to the right shampoo is a must.
Shampoo Recommendations for Frizzy Hair
Anti-Frizz Oil Therapy Shampoo by Dove
Highly praised by Amazon reviewers, this sulfate-free shampoo has a special anti-frizz formula with rich and natural oils that, as we said, are some of the best agents for calming frizz. The coconut and almond oils act as smoothing out agents that also deeply nourish and hydrate the hair strands without leaving them greasy.
You can combine it with the Anti-Frizz Oil Therapy Conditioner by the same brand given that frizzy hair requires the right conditioner besides a proper shampoo.
Frizz Defy Shampoo by Nexxus
Rich in Moroccan Argan oil and coconut extracts, the Frizz Defy shampoo is another great choice for frizzy hair. The combination of its ingredients smoothen and moisturize the hear leaving it frizz-free and silky smooth.
Best Shampoo Types for Dry Hair
For many women, another common hair problem is definitely dry hair, especially during the colder months or if there’s excessive sun exposure during the summer.
Dry hands and lips are especially common in the winter, so even if you don’t have particularly dry hair over the warmer months, winter brings dryness like no other time of the year. That’s exactly when you need a proper shampoo that’ll bring that moisture back ASAP.
If you want to revitalize your hair, look for shampoos labeled for shine and hydration.
Firstly and most importantly, the shampoo must have hydrating properties and quality moisturizing ingredients. Emollient oils are the best moisturizers for dry hair so look for shampoos with coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, or olive oil, but also with ingredients such as aloe vera, green tea, or shea butter. They’ll give your hair its much-needed hydration and provide it with long-lasting moisture.
Secondly, make sure you avoid unknown chemicals, parabens, sulfates, and especially alcohol since these ingredients will suck that moisture out of your hair and make it even drier. This is why you should always read the ingredient list before buying any shampoo—or any other hair or skincare products for that matter.
And lastly, besides replenishing moisture, many emollient oils nourish the hair as well, so the more nourishing ingredients and vitamins in your shampoo, the better it is for your dry hair and split ends.
Most Common Reasons for Dry Hair and How to Deal With Them
Excessive Hair Washing. If you’re washing your hair every single day or five to six times a week, this just might be the main reason why it gets so dry. Excessive hair washing removes the natural oils that keep it hydrated, so try to limit your washing to 2 to 3 times a week, at most. Use dry shampoo in-between if necessary for those greasy roots.
Over-Processed and Dyed/Bleached hair. Frequent dying, bleaching, and use of heat styling tools like a dryer, a curling iron, or a straightener also sucks moisture out of hair strands. If you must heat style your hair, try to limit heat usage, use a lower heat setting on your tool, and protect it with a heat protectant product before heat styling.
The Weather. As we already said, overexposure to heat and cold air damages your hair and makes it drier, even if you don’t usually have particularly dry hair. Protect it by wearing hats and reducing your time under the sun or in the cold air.
Using the Wrong Hair Products. Not being careful with the type of hair product you use can have consequences. For example, you might currently use a shampoo for oily hair when in fact you have the opposite problem, so check your current shampoo or conditioner to see if you’re using the wrong one.
Shampoo Recommendations for Dry Hair
Hydrate Shampoo for Dry & Colored Hair by Pureology
If you frequently dye your dry hair, this hydrating shampoo is just the thing you need. Its formula cleans and moisturizes the hair while protecting the color and even enhancing its radiance. After all, Pureology is a well-known haircare brand used both by professionals and consumers, perfect for color-treated hair that lacks moisture.
Moisture Retention Shampoo by Shea Moisture
Another great product for dry hair is the Moisture Retention shampoo with organic raw shea butter, argan oil, Vitamin E, and sea kelp. This combination of natural ingredients deeply nourishes and moisturizes each hair strand while locking the moisture inside so the hair stays hydrated for days.
Best Shampoo Types for Oily/Greasy Hair
If you have oily roots, you must know the struggles of washing your hair almost on a daily basis. But did you know that excessive hair washing does not actually solve the problem?
On the contrary, it strips the natural oils on the scalp, causing it to produce even more oil to make up for it! Just like oil cleansing combats oily skin, sometimes the best course of action is to work with the oils on your scalp, rather than against them.
The right type of shampoo for oily hair will also make a world of a difference.
One thing you need to look for in a shampoo for greasy hair and oily roots is a formulation that balances the sebum and removes the excess oil from the roots. Sebum is the natural oil our scalp produces to keep our hair healthy and hydrated, so if you have oily roots your scalp likely produces too much sebum. This is why you need a shampoo that’ll remove the excess oils without drying out your hair, especially if you have oily roots but dry ends.
Always look for shampoos with natural ingredients. The more organic ingredients, the better. Alcohol, sulfates, silicones, and other chemicals can encourage the production of natural oils on the scalp and at the same time dry out your ends, so avoid these ingredients at all costs.
Cleansing shampoos without oils are a great idea. Look for ingredients such as peppermint, zinc, sage, nettle, rosemary, and chamomile. That being said, there are some oils that are great for oily hair like jojoba and olive oil. They’ll give your hair enough moisture without adding to the greasiness, so keep this in mind when you shop for your ideal shampoo next time.
Most Common Reasons for Oily/Greasy Hair and How to Deal With Them
Overproduction of Sebum. The reasons for this can be different, from genetics or hormones to diet or medication. No matter the reason, follow the above-mentioned guidelines to find the ideal shampoo that’ll not only remove excess oils but regulate the production of sebum as well.
Excessive Hair Washing. Just as washing your dry hair too often makes it even drier, washing your naturally oily hair on a daily basis stimulates the production of sebum and makes it even oilier over time. For this reason, you should wash your hair two to three times a week, and use a dry shampoo in-between.
Too Much Conditioner. Using too much conditioner, especially on the roots, is a big no-no if your hair is prone to greasiness. Either avoid the conditioner and use a hair mask instead, or apply it only to your ends and mid-lengths (which is how you should apply a conditioner anyway).
Touching Your Hair. If you find yourself touching or playing with your hair absentmindedly, it’s time to stop since you’re only passing on the oils from your fingers to your head.
Brushing Too Often. Frequently brushing your hair can also make it greasier since what you’re doing is stimulating the scalp and encouraging it to produce more natural oils, so brush it a couple of times a day the most. Regularly cleaning your brush is another thing you can do to prevent your hair from getting oily too fast.
Shampoo Recommendations for Oily/Greasy Hair
Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo by Maple Holistics
Created specifically for oily hair, this natural shampoo combines some amazing fruit and herb extracts as well as essential oils like lemon, peach kernel, rosemary, jojoba, and basil oils in combination with provitamin B5 and botanical keratin. This formulation ensures the hair’s hydration while removing its excess oils, and most importantly when it comes to greasy hair, the excess sebum in the scalp, so look for this type of shampoos.
Volumizing Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair by Love Hair
If you have a serious problem with greasy hair but avoid washing it daily, as this can only worsen the situation, dry shampoos can be a lifesaver. This natural dry shampoo absorbs that extra grease that quickly builds up and nourishes the hair, leaving it clean, frizz-free, and volumized.
Best Shampoo Types for Damaged/Brittle Hair With Split Ends
If your hair is falling out, tangles too much, and/or breaks easily, you have signs of damaged hair that’s in desperate need of treatment ASAP.
Damaged and brittle hair with split ends is every woman’s nightmare. It doesn’t look good, but even more importantly, it doesn’t feel good, which is why you need a great shampoo to nourish it and reverse the damage.
Since dry hair and damaged hair go hand in hand, many women confuse the two and think that extremely hydrating shampoos are just the thing they need for their brittle hair prone to breakage. Little do they know, highly-moisturizing shampoos actually contribute to the breakage when it comes to damaged hair, so don’t confuse dry with damaged hair, even if you have both types.
What you actually need is protein-rich shampoos.
Our hair strands, similarly to our bodies, need protein in order to be strong and healthy. Proteins like keratin strengthen damaged and brittle hair and reconstruct the hair strands. In addition, protein-rich shampoos bring back the lost elasticity of the hair strands and boost the hair’s fragile support system.
In the ingredient list look for amino acids, biotin, keratin, wheat protein, soy protein, or rice protein for best results. That being said, make sure that you don’t overuse protein in your hair treatment since too much of a good thing still has negative consequences.
So, since highly-moisturizing shampoos as well as those with too much protein are not great for damaged and brittle hair, what’s the formulation you should be looking for?
Balance is everything, so shampoos with the right protein/moisture balance are the ideal choice for repairing and straightening weak and damaged hair. Look for labels such as “anti-breakage”, “hair-repair”, “split ends repairing”, and so on.
Most Common Reasons for Damaged/Brittle Hair and How to Deal With Them
Excessive Hair Washing. Again, washing your hair too frequently strips it from its natural oils that protect it, so make sure to wash it 2-3 times a week the most.
Over-Processed and Dyed/Bleached Hair. We are all aware of the fact that excessive use of hair curlers and straighteners seriously damages the hair strands as well as regular bleaching and coloring. The only solution, if you must do these things, is to do them less frequently, use the right conditioner, and always protect it with hair protectant products before using heat styling tools.
Irregular Haircuts. If you think your hair will grow faster if you don’t cut it for long periods of time…sorry to break it to you, it won’t. Regular trims get rid of split ends and keep the hair strands healthy, so don’t be afraid of the hairdresser and visit yours at least every 3-4 months, or at least twice a year.
Shampoo Recommendations for Damaged/Brittle Hair With Split Ends
Extreme Shampoo for Distressed Hair by REDKEN
Protein-rich shampoos, as we already said, are the best treatment for damaged and brittle hair. Redken’s Extreme shampoo with RCT protein complex and other nourishing ingredients cleanses the hair while strengthening and repairing each damaged strand from the root to the tip.
Damage Control Scalp Replenishing Shampoo by Keranique
Keranique’s Damage Control shampoo is a bit on the expensive side but totally worth it. Its nutrient-rich formula infused with Keratin Amino Complex not only restores the structure of the damaged hair strands but prevents future breakage as well.
For best results combine it with the Damage Control conditioner by the same brand.
Best Shampoo Types for Fine Hair
Voluminous hair is what every woman wants, there’s no doubt about that. So, what do you do if you have to deal with flat and fine hair that lacks volume every single day? Well, washing your hair with the right shampoo for your hair type is a great place to start.
Using the wrong shampoo could make your flat hair even flatter, especially if it’s packed with silicones that weigh down your roots. Super-creamy shampoos are also a no-no for fine hair as they weigh the hair down, so always go for more of a lightweight and liquidy consistency.
What you should be looking for is a volumizing shampoo. Shampoos with volumizing formulas make the hair lighter, boost it from the roots, and give it more body thanks to some volumizing ingredients like panthenol, filloxane, arginine-K complex, among others.
Besides a solid volumizing formula, the best shampoos for fine hair should also have proteins that strengthen the hair strands and make them thicker for real.
To summarize, look for a protein-rich shampoo with a volumizing formula and make sure that it doesn’t contain any silicones, parabens, or sulfates.
Most Common Reasons for Fine, Flat Hair and How to Deal With Them
Grease. If the roots of your hair become oily soon after washing, that oil is weighing them down, causing your hair to appear flat. The best solution for this would be to use a dry shampoo with a volumizing formula that’ll absorb the extra oil from your roots and give them a boost.
However, if grease is the main reason for the flatness of your hair, it might be best if you use a shampoo for an oily hair type.
Stress. Stress is responsible for many things that happen to the human body, flat and thinning hair included. When dealing with too much stress, the hair stops growing for a while which can make it appear flatter than usual. Try meditation and a plant-based diet with lots of vitamins as the most natural way to deal with stress and anxiety.
Lack of Protein and Sudden Weight Loss. This too can be the reason for your flat hair, so make sure to eat lots of beans, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, almonds, and other healthy foods high in protein, and as we said, use shampoos with both protein and volumizing properties.
Hair extensions can help improve the look of this type of hair, so our recommendation of the Luxy Hair Extensions also applies here.
Shampoo Recommendations for Fine Hair
Perfect Volume Shampoo by NatureLab
Here’s a great shampoo with protein-rich and volumizing ingredients, the best combination for lifeless, flat hair. Enriched with rice and soy protein, apple stem cells, sakura extract, and a couple of nourishing oils, the Perfect Volume shampoo cleans, hydrates, and strengthens the hair without stripping it from its natural oils. It leaves the hair thicker, fuller, and more voluminous.
Magnified Volume Shampoo by CHI
This is another great shampoo for boosting your hair’s thickness and volume. Its rich proteins and other volumizing ingredients strengthen the hair, boost it from the roots, and give it more body so it looks bigger and thicker than what it actually is.
Best Shampoo Types for Thick & Curly/Wavy Hair
Thick and curly hair is what every woman with straight and fine hair dreams of. However, having locks or thick and wavy hair is not that easy since it requires extra-care, more treatment, and of course, the right type of shampoo.
Thick and curly hair can get very frizzy and dry, especially when it’s hot and humid outside, or during cold winter months. This is why the first thing you should be looking for in a shampoo would be smoothing out ingredients such as rich and natural oils like coconut oil, argan oil, or shea butter. These oils give the hair strands moisture as well, making them the perfect ingredients since thick and curly hair is usually dry in addition to being frizzy and needs extra hydration.
Proteins take care of damaged curls, so look for proteins in the ingredient list as well.
Another thing to look for are special formulas that’ll control and define those beautiful curls or waves, so go for labels such as “for luscious curls and waves”, “hi-def curls”, “curl-protect” and so on.
Need more information on how to deal with thick hair? Check out our ultimate guide for thick hair care and learn more about how to manage and style your luscious locks or waves.
Shampoo Recommendations for Thick & Curly/Wavy Hair
Curl Cleanser by Bouclème
This shampoo is so perfect for curls, that Marie Claire rated it as the best shampoo for curls for 2019 due to its special formula that consists of argan and coconut oils, linseed and pomegranate extracts, honey, and aloe vera. The Curl Cleanser cleans and moisturizes the thick and curly hair, prevents frizz, and keeps the curls light and bouncy.
Natural Daily Shampoo for Thick & Curly Hair by Honeydew
Created for every type of super-thick and curly hair, this shampoo does wonders for naturally black and African-American hair. Its formulation consists of high-quality Avocado oil that’s rich in Vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E, as well as jojoba oil and beta carotene that act as moisturizing and smoothing out agents.
Best Shampoo Types for Colored Hair
If you frequently color your hair, the right shampoo will not only retain your color for longer periods of time but nourish and take care of it as well.
Firstly and most importantly, you need shampoos that are formulated specifically for colored hair, so look for labels such as “color protectant”, “color vibrancy protecting shampoo”, “color therapy”, “color care”, and so on.
Besides color preserving agents, the best shampoo for colored hair should also have nourishing and moisturizing ingredients since regularly colored hair is more often than not damaged and dry. So, make sure that the shampoo of your choice also has nourishing and moisturizing plant oils, honey, but also keratin among other proteins.
If you bleach your hair, dye it blonde, or have blonde highlights, use purple shampoos that moisturize the hair as well as reduce the yellow tones and brighten up your color.
Want to learn more about how to treat your colored hair? Read our guide for colored hair care and see how you can properly care for your hair so it stays gorgeous and healthy even with regular dyeing.
Shampoo Recommendations for Colored Hair
Color Last Shampoo by Biolage
Color-treated hair requires shampoos with special formulas that not only protect the hair’s color but deeply moisturize it as well, given that colored hair is often overly dry. The Color Last shampoo does just that – moisturizes and nourishes dry hair without disturbing its color but rather prolonging its vibrancy.
Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair by Get Back Gorgeous
Bleached and blonde hair requires purple shampoos that brighten up the color and prevent yellow tones, and the Purple Shampoo by GBG does just that. Used by both professional stylists and consumers, this shampoo enhances the cool and silvery tones while keeping the hair from turning yellowish.
We hope that our guidelines will help you find the best shampoo for your hair type so you give it the best treatment possible. And remember: always avoid alcohol, parabens, sulfates, sodium chloride, polyethylene glycol, formaldehyde, as well as synthetic colors and fragrances, and always read the ingredient list before making the purchase.
That being said, even if you use the right shampoo and properly care for your hair, sometimes bad hair days are simply inevitable. Check out our hair blog where you’ll find the best hair tips and tricks that’ll help you deal with bad hair days in no time.
What is your hair type? Have you found your Holy Grail shampoo? Which ingredients work best for you? Let us know in the comments below.
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Written by: Ana Simova