The 5 Best Shampoos For Healthy Hair
What each person wants to do with their hair ranges wildly, but however it's styled, minimizing damage is key. That's why the best shampoos for healthy hair combine cleaning ability with moisturizing powers to ensure that your hair is degreased but not distressed.
To combat dryness and breakage, start with how you shampoo. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, while someone with oily hair might need to wash it daily, those with drier or color-treated hair likely don't need to wash it as often. So if you're washing daily, consider shifting that schedule to every other day or even just two to three times a week. When you do shampoo, concentrate the lather on the scalp and always follow up with conditioner. Like with styling tools, hot water can be damaging and using cooler water can help.
When it comes to healthy hair, it all starts with a healthy scalp. If you've been noticing flakiness, itchiness, or even excessive oil on your scalp, consider switching to a sulfate-free shampoo since sulfates are cleaning agents that can cause irritation for a lot of people. If spots feel sore, though, it's a good idea to consult a dermatologist on potential causes and treatments.
And since all cleansing agents will strip hair at least a little, consider switching to a cleansing conditioner. These tend to take a little extra time to wash out, but is a great way to preserve moisture and you'll find an Amazon cult-favorite pick at the end of this list.
For shiny, healthy hair, these top-rated shampoos will moisturize while keeping it clean.
1. Top Pick: Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
While this best-selling shampoo is packed with moisturizing ingredients like camellia seed oil, what really sets this formula apart is that it's able repair and maintain bonds in the hair and decrease the chances of breakage. It also helps with split ends. Free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, it's also unlikely to irritate delicate scalps and is suitable for most kinds of hair, including color-treated hair. No wonder it has a 4.4-star rating after more than 200 reviews.
Fans say: "This is the first shampoo that I've ever used that works better as I continue to use it. For my long colored and bleached hair, the results have been nothing short of dramatic. It leaves my hair silky soft, full and healthy looking. I can now grow my hair without breakage; and it actually repairs any prior damage with continued use. Yes, it's pricey but well worth it for the results. You only need a small amount to create a lot of lather."
2. Budget Option: L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Volume Shampoo
For less than $10, this sulfate- and paraben-free shampoo still offers plenty of moisturizing benefits. So many, in fact, some customers say it's even better than some salon brands. With botanical nourishers like lotus flower, it's a great choice for color-treated and damaged hair.
Fans say: "Love this shampoo! This is better than the salon products I have been using. It does not weigh my hair down and leaves my hair shiny and healthy."
3. For Curly Hair: Shea Moisture Curl & Shine Shampoo
To give curls and waves some extra love, this sulfate-free and color-safe shampoo is packed with moisturizers like silk proteins and certified-organic shea butter. Neem oil gently cleanses while adding shine and managing frizz. The more than 200 customers have given this formula a 4.4 rating.
Fans say: "I have very thick curls and most shampoos wash right out and leave my hair feeling like sandpaper…. Well, SheaMoisture understands my hair. This shampoo looks and smells incredible and washes out of my hair in a way that makes it feel amazing. Like I'm in my own hair commercial, tossing my head and letting my locks spill attractively over my body."
4. Clarifying Wash: R+Co ACV Cleansing Rinse Acid Wash
For a deep clean without stripping hair, this clarifying wash with apple cider vinegar is a great choice. The sulfate- and paraben-free formula is safe for color and gentle on scalps. Just squirt directly to the roots and let it sit for up to 3 minutes. While some used it as a pretreatment step, some skipped the normal shampoo altogether. Customers have been particularly thrilled with how much shine this gave while removing days of dry shampoo and other buildup. The brand is also Leaping Bunny-approved for being cruelty-free and this bottle is vegan-friendly.
Fans say: "This stuff is amazing. When my hair feels weighed down, worn out, heavy, over-styled, over-product - I use the acid was to leave my hair feeling healthier and lighter every time!"
5. For Irritated Scalps: Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Shampoo
In a clinical study, 100 percent of participants said this exfoliating shampoo with charcoal helped reduce scalp flakiness and irritation, according to Briogeo. So whether you're dealing with dandruff or just occasional itchiness, scalps can appreciate this formula that helps maintain a healthy pH. Free of sulfates, silicones, parabens, and phthalates, it's safe for color-treated hair and Leaping Bunny-approved cruelty-free.
Fans say: "My son has had a dandruff problem for a while and while we could get it under control it never went away. This stuff cleared up his scalp in 3 days!!!!! AMAZING. He is thrilled that he is no longer flaking and itching. Worked amazingly for us and well worth the price. When I saw his head I was floored. His scalp was clear, clean, and looked very healthy."
Also Great: A Cult-Favorite Cleansing Conditioner
If your hair and scalp are dry, or you're just looking to change up your routine, consider switching to a cleansing conditioner, sometimes called cowash. While some use it with a traditional shampoo at least part of the time, others have cut out the shampoo altogether. This won't lather up, but with nourishing ingredients like coconut and argan oils, it'll leave strands shiny and healthy. With 4.6 stars after more than 200 reviews, it's an Amazon fan favorite.
Fans say: "I don't use shampoo anymore, just cleansing conditioner.... Pura d'or ended up being the best cleansing conditioner I tried and now it's the only thing I use. My hair is soft, shiny, clean, and healthy!"
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