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The Best Shampoo - 2022

Last updated on July 27, 2022

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Our Picks For The Top Shampoos

Show Contents
Our Take
  Top Pick

Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Breakage Reducing Shampoo

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Olaplex

No.4 Bond Maintenance Breakage Reducing Shampoo

Overall Take

Helps With DamageConsider this option if you use chemical treatments or have weak or damaged hair.

  Runner Up

Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Paraben & Silicone Free Shampoo

Garnier Fructis

Pure Clean Paraben & Silicone Free Shampoo

Overall Take

Budget-Friendly OptionThis is a good option for everyday cleansing and leaves your hair soft.

  We Also Like

Tea Tree Special Vegan Color Safe Shampoo

Tea Tree

Special Vegan Color Safe Shampoo

Overall Take

Versatile ChoiceWhether you have dandruff or oily hair, this powerful shampoo could help.

  Strong Contender

BIOLAGE Color Last Color Protecting Shampoo

BIOLAGE

Color Last Color Protecting Shampoo

Overall Take

Slows Down FadingConsider this shampoo if you want to keep your colored hair from fading too quickly.

Guide written by Ashley Donohoe
Last updated on July 27, 2022

Since it’s so routine to use shampoo and many brands seem similar, you might wonder if it really matters which type you choose. While any kind of shampoo will handle the basic task of cleansing your hair of excess oils and buildup, the ingredients and benefits you get will vary. To find the best shampoo, you’ll need to look at factors such as your scalp condition, hair type and any sensitivities or preferences regarding ingredients.

First, determine whether your scalp is more on the dry or oily side. If you have an oily scalp, you’ll want a shampoo that focuses on deep cleansing such as a clarifying shampoo, and you’ll want to avoid options that add moisture and make the issue worse. On the other hand, a dry scalp benefits from moisturizing formulas that might contain aloe or other nourishing ingredients. If you experience dandruff, a medicated shampoo can be a great option for your scalp.

Next, think about your hair type and any special concerns you have. For example, you could have hair that stays dry and breaks easily, so a bond builder formula might be best. You might regularly dye your hair and want something that won’t strip your color fast, or you could have frizzy, curly hair and benefit from a shampoo that hydrates and smoothes your hair. If you have thin hair, look for volumizing shampoos and avoid formulas that are too heavy. If you don’t have special concerns, then you could opt for an everyday shampoo that gently cleans.

While exploring shampoo options, be aware of ingredients that could be problematic for your situation. For example, alcohol in shampoo can make dry hair even drier, while mineral oil can increase oiliness. While sulfates help with lathering and cleaning, they can also make dyed hair fade more quickly. You might also have sensitivities to certain fragrances or concerns about ingredients such as formaldehyde and sodium chloride.

There’s a good chance the right shampoo for you will be in liquid form as that’s the most popular. However, you can choose from shampoo bars and dry shampoo too. You’d use a shampoo bar much like a bar of soap: you’d wet it so that it foams up and then apply it to your hair. Dry shampoos offer convenience between regular washes since you can simply spray it at your dry hair’s roots, massage it in, let it sit a bit and then brush out your hair.

The Best Shampoos

1
  Top Pick

Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Breakage Reducing Shampoo

Designed for strengthening, this shampoo works for any kind of hair and helps rebuild bonds. It avoids sulfates, only requires a small amount each wash and is a safe option if you color your hair.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Olaplex
Model
2
  Runner Up

Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Paraben & Silicone Free Shampoo

Made for hair that's not too dry or oily, this shampoo has a fruity scent and is lightweight without silicones. It has added ingredients like vitamin E and aloe for softness.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Garnier Fructis
Model
3
  We Also Like

Tea Tree Special Vegan Color Safe Shampoo

This shampoo's ingredients allow for a thorough cleansing and won't harm color-treated hair. While anybody can use it, it particularly benefits those with scalp conditions such as excessive oil or dandruff.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Tea Tree
Model
4
  Strong Contender

BIOLAGE Color Last Color Protecting Shampoo

Made especially for those with dyed hair, this option provides a gentle cleaning that won't harm your hair color. It also lacks parabens and has nourishing ingredients to prevent dryness.

Features


Specifications

Brand
BIOLAGE
Model
5
  Also Great

Selsun Blue Anti-Dandruff Moisturizing Shampoo

If you have dandruff, this shampoo can both offer relief and help avoid further recurrences. It works by including both medication and aloe. The formula is ideal for dry hair.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Selsun Blue
Model

Our Shampoo Buying Guide

Since it’s so routine to use shampoo and many brands seem similar, you might wonder if it really matters which type you choose. While any kind of shampoo will handle the basic task of cleansing your hair of excess oils and buildup, the ingredients and benefits you get will vary. To find the best shampoo, you’ll need to look at factors such as your scalp condition, hair type and any sensitivities or preferences regarding ingredients.

First, determine whether your scalp is more on the dry or oily side. If you have an oily scalp, you’ll want a shampoo that focuses on deep cleansing such as a clarifying shampoo, and you’ll want to avoid options that add moisture and make the issue worse. On the other hand, a dry scalp benefits from moisturizing formulas that might contain aloe or other nourishing ingredients. If you experience dandruff, a medicated shampoo can be a great option for your scalp.

Next, think about your hair type and any special concerns you have. For example, you could have hair that stays dry and breaks easily, so a bond builder formula might be best. You might regularly dye your hair and want something that won’t strip your color fast, or you could have frizzy, curly hair and benefit from a shampoo that hydrates and smoothes your hair. If you have thin hair, look for volumizing shampoos and avoid formulas that are too heavy. If you don’t have special concerns, then you could opt for an everyday shampoo that gently cleans.

While exploring shampoo options, be aware of ingredients that could be problematic for your situation. For example, alcohol in shampoo can make dry hair even drier, while mineral oil can increase oiliness. While sulfates help with lathering and cleaning, they can also make dyed hair fade more quickly. You might also have sensitivities to certain fragrances or concerns about ingredients such as formaldehyde and sodium chloride.

There’s a good chance the right shampoo for you will be in liquid form as that’s the most popular. However, you can choose from shampoo bars and dry shampoo too. You’d use a shampoo bar much like a bar of soap: you’d wet it so that it foams up and then apply it to your hair. Dry shampoos offer convenience between regular washes since you can simply spray it at your dry hair’s roots, massage it in, let it sit a bit and then brush out your hair.

DWYM Fun Fact

Check out some interesting facts about shampoo:

  • Long before commercial shampoo came out, people would find other ways to clean their hair. For example, some people would use the regular bar soap they wash their bodies with, while Indians in the 1500s would use boiled herbs and berries.
  • While dry shampoo has especially been popular in recent years, it’s far older than you might think. Both children and adults used a version called Minipoo in the 1940s through 1960s, and you’d use a special mitt with it.
  • Some people opt to make their own shampoos with household ingredients such as water, baking soda, essential oils, vinegar or even soap.

The Shampoo Tips and Advice

  • You’ll want to follow the right hair washing process to get the best results. This means starting with a thorough warm rinse before applying any shampoo. Next, you’ll mix the shampoo with a little water and then carefully clean your scalp before you continue down your hair. After you’ve rinsed the shampoo, you can apply a conditioner, leave it in for the specified time and then give your hair a final rinse.
  • If you want to cut your hair washing time, you can consider a two-in-one shampoo that also conditions your hair. However, you’ll want to keep in mind silicones from the two-in-one shampoo and other hair products can weigh down your hair, so you might opt for a clarifying shampoo from time to time.
  • The amount of shampoo you should use for each wash depends on your hair. While you’ll use less with thin hair and more with coarse hair, using about a quarter’s size is a good rule of thumb for medium hair. In addition, special formulas like medicated dandruff shampoos might instruct you to use a certain amount.
  • You might wonder if you’re washing your hair often enough, and it ultimately comes down to your lifestyle and how oily your hair gets. If you’re someone who sweats every day or you have thin hair, daily washing is a good idea. On the other hand, going a few days without washing can work fine if you’re not sweating or your hair is thick and doesn’t get oily quickly.
  • Always check the ingredients listed for a shampoo to see if there’s anything you’re sensitive or allergic to. For example, tea tree oil can cause reactions on the scalp for those with allergies. If you do experience issues after using a certain shampoo, you’ll want to contact your physician.

About The Author

Ashley Donohoe 

Ashley Donohoe is an Ohio-based writer and small business owner with a background in business, technology and personal finance. She has 10 years of experience writing for various online publications. As someone who loves experimenting with skin and hair products, she understands how important it is to find options that give great results.