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.
How To Shampoo Hair
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. Choose Scalp-Healthy, Moisturizing Ingredients
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 some people. If spots feel sore, though, it's a good idea to consult a dermatologist on potential causes and treatments.
Since all cleansing agents will strip hair at least a little, consider switching to a cleansing conditioner, especially if you have very dry hair. 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.
Shop The Best Shampoos For Healthy Hair In a hurry? Here are the top picks for healthy shampoos. 1. Top Pick: Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
best-selling shampoo is packed with moisturizing ingredients like camellia seed oil, what really sets this formula apart is that it's able to 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 4.7-star rating after more than 50,000 reviews. According to fans: “I was first introduced to this shampoo by my hairdresser. She’s always trying new products and has settled on this shampoo and the other products in this line. I can’t describe how much stronger this shampoo makes my hair feel. It really lays down the cuticle, making my fine, dry, highlighted hair look smooth and healthy. [...] it’s by far the best shampoo I’ve ever used.” 2. Budget Option: L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Volume Shampoo Also available on Ulta, $9
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. According to fans: “This shampoo is delightful. It leaves my hair soft, shiny, and looking full and healthy. It is completely moisturized, but not heavy or greasy at all. It is the best shampoo I’ve ever used at any price.” 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. According to fans: “I love this shampoo! It works great with my long curly hair. My hair finally feels clean and healthy again after always using damaging and drying shampoos in the past.” 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. According to fans: “Wow! After one wash my hair looks and feels like it use to when I was a kid! I can actually feel the difference in my roots to my ends. I didn’t even need conditioner after washing, which is rare because my hair is always a tacky mess. I’ve been using very good shampoo from Japan and I still love it but I will be using this at least once a week to get it super clean! I am a fan!” 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. According to fans: “Totally amazing and beyond expectations. Chronic dry scalp for over a year, and with **one use** [... my] head feels fantastic and no more flaking. I'm going to buy a vat of this stuff and swim around in it! Really worth it.” 6. Bar Option: Peach Not Plastic Hair Shampoo Bar
Whether you’re opting for a bar shampoo because of the convenience or the eco factor,
Peach Not Plastic’s shampoo bars offer plenty of moisture without sulfates, a nice lather, and a great scent. Since each bar will last as long as two 8.5-ounce bottles, it’s also a great value. Choose from strengthening, volumizing, and moisturizing options. According to fans: “I have to be honest and tell you that mentally it was hard for me to use the first time. It is so much like a bar of soap that I had to get over that. It actually works fantastic! My hair is very soft and no frizzing! Now that I tried this first one, I am definitely going to get more. It's great to not waste the plastic from a bottle!” 7. Fan-Favorite Duo: HASK Biotin Boost Shampoo and Conditioner Set
When it comes to a two-for-one set, Amazon shoppers rave about the
Hask shampoo and conditioner line. This best-seller is sulfate-free and also skips the parabens and phthalates. The biotin formula is designed to thicken hair, but there are other formulas designed to repair (argan oil), smooth (keratin), soothe the scalp (tea tree and rosemary), and more. According to fans: “Love this shampoo and conditioner! I have straight flat hair that gets greasy looking quickly, but this shampoo makes my hair look healthy, voluminous and clean. I used it for a while and switched to another volumizing shampoo/conditioner and regretted it. I switched back to this set and remembered why I liked it so much to begin with.” 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 4.5 stars after more than 300 reviews, it's an Amazon fan favorite. According to fans: “When washing every other day. PURA D’OR leaves my very dry hair soft and shiny, and my scalp feeling moisturized but never greasy. It lasts me at least 4 weeks for half the price of WEN 319. I’m very sensitive to smell, and the fragrance here is barely detectable, which is another plus. I hope they keep making this indefinitely.”
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This article was originally published on
July 24, 2019