When it comes to washing your hair, using a shampoo and conditioner is a given. Shampoos typically do all the dirty work, like dislodging buildup and cleansing your scalp and roots. Conditioners, on the other hand, restore moisture and aid in detangling. However, not all formulas are created equalâ€”and they donâ€™t need to be expensive either. Depending on your needs and your hair type, youâ€™ll want a duo that works with your hair and is friendly on your wallet.
Ahead, explore our picks of the best drugstore shampoos and conditioners for every hair type.
- Our Picks
- Final Verdict
- What To Look For
Best Overall: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Shampoo
Bring back the bounce with this intensive, hydrating formula. While it quenches thirsty hair, it also gently cleansesâ€”and doubles up as a body wash to keep your cleansing routine as streamlined as possible. The tropical coconut scent alone will convert you, but what we love most is that itâ€™s free of parabens and mineral oil.
Pair it with the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner for the best results.
Best for Oily Hair: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
If you have oily roots as I do, youâ€™re probably washing your hair frequently to get rid of the gunk. This purifying formula features tea tree oil, an antifungal and antibacterial essential oil that stimulates and clarifies the scalp.
Pair it with the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Conditioner for the best results.
Best Hydrating: Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Sulfate-Free Shampoo
This reparative formula specifically targets dry, dull strands by returning moisture to themâ€”thanks to ultra-hydrating aloe leaf juice. One reviewer notes that while it did moisturize her hair, it didnâ€™t weigh it down, which is a huge plus for those with thicker, heavier tresses.
Pair it with Carolâ€™s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture and Shine Hydrating Conditioner for the best results.
Best for Coarse Hair: L'OrÃ©al Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Shampoo
As someone who bleaches and heat styles her hair, this repairing shampoo works extra hard to keep my hair healthy. Formulated with proteins and ceramides, it targets everything from split ends to dryness to rough textures. The best part is how well it cleans my oily scalp and roots.
Pair it with L'OrÃ©al Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Conditioner for the best results.
Best Clarifying: Kinky-Curly Come Clean Shampoo
This shampoo contains a chelating agent to help clean hair. It also features sea kelp and mandarin orange extract, which helps give your strands and roots a deep cleanâ€”especially if you experience a lot of buildup.
Pair it with Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner for the best results.
Best for Fine Hair: OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo
Get a boost of volume with plumping bamboo fiber and collagenâ€”two key ingredients in providing lift and fullness to your hair. The formula also includes well-known biotin, so youâ€™re one wash closer to healthier hair.
Pair it with OGX Thick & Full + Biotin & Collagen Conditioner for the best results.
Best for Natural Hair: Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo
Derived from raw natural black soap, this formula dives deep to clear buildup for a clean scalpâ€”which means healthier hair. Reviewers love how effectively it cleansed their scalp, without drying it out.
Pair with Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner for the best results.
Best Co-Wash: Miss Jessie's Donâ€™t Want No Suds Conditioning Co-Wash Cleanser
Cleanse and condition in one step with this gentle co-wash formula. Described as a cream cleanser, a co-wash is a great way to wash your hair without stripping it of its natural oils. Simply apply a generous amount to wet hair and massage the scalp in circular motions to remove residue. Comb through with a wide-tooth comb and rinse.
Pair it with Miss Jessieâ€™s Creme De La Creme for the best results.
Best for Color-Treated Hair: Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse
At times, color-treated hair can feel dry and lifeless. To remedy that, this rinse cleanses your scalp with ginger root and restores moisture with aniseed oil. If you have thicker hair, section it out and apply it to each section one- by-one.
Pair it with the Camille Rose Naturals Moroccan Pear Conditioning Custard for the best results.
Best for Dry Hair: Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Wash
The starring ingredient here is blueberry extract, which is known as a natural antioxidant. This formula will stimulate the scalp. Plus, reviewers report that their hair feels softer and bouncier after use.
Pair it with the Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave-In Conditioner for the best results.
Best for Curly Hair: Pantene Pro-V Curl Perfection Shampoo
This antioxidant shampoo helps to give curly hair definition and hydrationâ€”two important things that every curly person craves. Plus, reviewers note that their hair felt smoother after use, but not heavy, thanks to the lightweight formula.
Pair it with Pantene Pro-V Curl Perfection Conditioner for the best results.
Best for Frizz: TRESemmÃ© Keratin Smooth Pro Collection Shampoo
For persistent frizz and flyaways, look to this keratin-infused shampoo to smooth every single strand. With the addition of marula oil, a hydrator, and smoother, this formula will help you achieve a silky, shiny result.
Pair it with TRESemme Keratin Smooth Pro Collection Conditioner for the best results.
Best Strengthening: Pantene Nutrient Blends Fortifying Damage Repair Shampoo
Strong strands, here you come. Nutrient-rich and packed with vitamins, this formula takes weak hair and transforms it. Ideal for color-treated hair, especially bleached hair, this mighty and gentle shampoo cleanses just as powerfully as it repairs.
Pair it with Pantene Nutrient Blends Repair With Castor Oil Conditioner for the best results.
Best for Dandruff: Dove DermaCare Scalp Anti Dandruff Shampoo
Suffering from dandruff? Relief is here. While other formulas can potentially strip an already sensitive scalp, this one nourishes it instead. Coconut and shea butter work together to deliver moisture, while active pyrithione zinc targets the flaking.
Pair it with Dove DermaCare Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti Dandruff Conditioner for the best results.
Best Detangling: SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil & Cocoa Butter Detangling Shampoo
When it comes to this shampoo, reviewers share the same sentiment: Itâ€™s incredibly moisturizing. Full of hydrators like cocoa butter, coconut oil, and shea butter, this formula is a great detangler, but also perfect for shrinkage- prone hair as it helps to lengthen and loosen especially tight curls.
Pair it with SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil & Cocoa Butter Rinse Out or Leave-In Conditioner for best results.
Obviously, choosing the best drugstore shampoo and conditioner combination will come down to your personal hair type, but we still have a few favorites below. The first is the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Duo because theyâ€™re paraben- free, smell like a tropical vacation and you can use the shampoo as a body wash if youâ€™re in a pinch. In terms of dry, natural curls, team ishonest loves the Shea Moisture Red Palm Oil & Cocoa Butter Shampoo because of its super-nourishing ingredients list and generously-sized bottle. And finally, weâ€™ve got to call out Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse for being color-safe, sulfate-free, and having a delicious, zingy fragrance.
What to Look For When Buying Drugstore Shampoo And Conditioner
Ingredients should be at the front of your mind when choosing any shampoo or conditioner, including those from the drugstore. Hairstylist and salon owner Anthony Nader suggests looking out for nourishing, strengthening inclusions such as wheat germ, proteins, avocado oil, and shea butter as a good starting point. Conversely, he also recommends avoiding sodium chloride, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, parabens, and alcohol, especially if your hair is colored or damaged.
In line with the above, keep an eye out for sulfates when buying shampoo and conditioner, particularly if you have colored hair. Sulfates work as foaming agents, but theyâ€™re also thought to speed up color fade and contribute to brassiness, so if you deal with either of these, opt for a sulfate-free formula. UV filters are also helpful when it comes to prolonging hair vibrancy between salon visits.
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but be sure to consider your hair type when choosing shampoo and conditioner. For example, thin, fine locks should look out for a volumizing option, whereas damaged hair could opt for a protein- rich reparative pick. Similarly, natural curls and textured strands might want to explore co-washing options, leave-in conditioners, and softening pre-wash treatments.
Lin A, Nabatian A, Halverstam CP. Discovering Black Soap: A Survey on the Attitudes and Practices of Black Soap Users. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017;10(7): 18-22.
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