There’s nothing like the harsh, drying effects of weather to remind us of the importance of a quality shampoo. The reality is that it’s hard to tell what is quality and what could be essentially the same product marked up to be more expensive. The best shampoos come at a wide range of price points and offer a variety of features. The local drugstore shampoo that costs a few bucks often looks like it has ingredients that are pretty similar to the more expensive department store brand.
Ultimately, those similarities are not just in our minds, and there are some very high-quality, highly effective drugstore shampoos available. Whether you are looking for the best shampoos for oily hair, the best natural shampoos with holistic ingredients or those that are geared toward your specific hair type or scalp concerns such as DHT-blocking shampoos, there’s a drugstore shampoo that can not only rise to the occasion but do so with excellent results. There’s a far range of hair types and needs, from curly to fine, oily to dry, and for each of those hair types, there’s the right shampoo for you to add to your routine.
There’s a lot of consideration that goes into choosing the ideal drugstore shampoo for your needs, from choosing one with a fragrance that will appeal to your senses rather than risk an allergic reaction (or simply an adverse smell!) to understand the specific needs of your hair and scalp. A shampoo that works great for your partner who has fine, oily hair may not be the best for your own hair, which is dry and has more volume. Ingredients matter as well, and if there are ingredients you are sensitive to or trying to avoid, it’s important to pay attention to the label and make the right choices for you and your hair.
READ MORE: Best Anti-Thinning Shampoos for Men
We put our hair through a lot, between styling, sweat, and those weather mentioned above conditions. Ensure that you care for your hair in the best way possible by choosing the right products and the best hair care regime.
1. Method Men 2-in-1 Shampoo Plus Conditioner Sea & Surf
BEST SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
Sometimes even the best 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner combos have a reputation for doing a decent job at both roles but not being exceptional at either shampooing or conditioning. Method breaks that mold with this 2-in-1 made with menthol for a refreshing wash and an infusion of argan and jojoba oil for thorough conditioning. With scents of cedar and cypress, you’ll smell as refreshed and clean as your hair and scalp feels.
2. Headquarters Cleansing Shampoo for Balanced Roots & Scalp
We often imagine conditioners as the place where our hair and scalp get their hydration, but it actually starts with the right shampoo. This shampoo is great for that deep, clarifying clean — it will get away from that dirt, oil and product buildup that creates residue gunk on the scalp. But in doing so, this helps to release the roots and bonds from that same buildup that is blocking it from getting the nutrients and hydration it needs. Without using the right clarifying shampoo once or twice a week, your conditioner just can’t do its job. This shampoo offers a deep cleanse without over-drying or stripping hair of its natural oils, which is precisely what we look for in a clarifying wash.
3. Cantu Shea Butter Men’s Collection 3-in-1 Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash
BEST FOR CURLY HAIR
This is an all-in-one shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, meaning if you are grabbing it to take with you to the gym or on a weekend trip, you only need one bottle that does it all. It works hard to keep dry skin well hydrated, whether it is the skin of the body or the scalp, and is infused with caffeine and hemp seed oil, both known to keep hair healthy and strong. That’s just the foundation you need for healthy curls with great volume and fantastic scalp health. The hemp seed and tea tree oils will also help protect against scalp flaking. This product has no sulfates, parabens or mineral oils.
4. Harry’s Dry Scalp 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner
After starting as an OG player in the DTC shaving game, Harry’s has become a major name in the men’s haircare market. This 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner offers a holistic way to have a healthier scalp. This product is specifically created for those dealing with a dry, itchy scalp and works to clear away oil and product buildup. The holistic aspect is in the ingredients, and you’ll find no parabens, sulfates, or dyes here. You will find soothing aloe vera, which will calm down that irritated scalp. This shampoo will gently exfoliate as it lathers, so the dead skin and buildup will wash away, leaving the scalp feeling clean and fresh but not overdry.
5. Pantene Illuminating Color Care Shampoo with Biotin
BEST FOR COLOR-TREATED HAIR
This color-safe shampoo is made for the specific needs of hair treated with color so that it stays looking bright and healthy and keeps the color feeling and looking fresh. The shampoo uses biotin, which is vital for hair’s health and also helps for gentle cleansing. It’s also free of sulfates, parabens, dyes, and mineral oil, so hair won’t feel weighed down or dried out and has a subtle fragrance of white florals and citrus.
6. L’Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Moisture Shampoo
Some shampoos come loaded with chemicals to get those epic lathers we see on shampoo commercials. But there’s another way, and avoiding ingredients like sulfates is a healthier choice for our hair whenever possible. This shampoo has the added ingredient of rosemary, which, aside from being a beautiful fragrance, also adds tons of moisture, softness, and shine to the hair. Because this shampoo is sulfate-free, there are no salts or surfactants in the mix, which saves your hair from feeling stripped, dull and damaged. This is especially helpful for color or Keratin-treated hair.
7. OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo
BEST FOR FINE HAIR
Fine hair can feel flat and frustrating, but that thin hair can be thickened and have a bunch of added body and volume with the right shampoo. This shampoo is super volumizing thanks to hair-healthy ingredients such as vitamin B7, biotin and collagen. Hair won’t only be shiny and feel full, but it’ll feel and look healthier, too. Thanks to the bergamot, jasmine and vanilla scent, it’ll also smell great.
8. Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
BEST FOR OILY HAIR
Oily hair requires a good thorough cleaning to rid the scalp of excess oils, but that cleaning needs to stop short of stripping the hair of essential oils necessary to avoid dried out, lackluster hair. It’s a careful balance, but this popular tea tree shampoo rises to the occasion. You know it’s working based on that tingle you feel, which stimulates the scalp and leaves hair healthy and feeling full but not weighed down. Tea tree oil is an excellent ingredient for cleaning out impurities naturally and leaving behind lots of luster.
9. Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Daily-Use Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
BEST FOR DANDRUFF
A classic product from a classic brand, this is the shampoo many turn to in order to fight dandruff, and for good reason. A lot of stress and frustration comes with dandruff, and this shampoo offers relief and a layer of protection from issues like flaking and itchy dry scalp. It does so while keeping scalp and hair cleansed and soothed and has a light, clean fragrance that won’t irritate but will leave you with a refreshed feel.
10. John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Shampoo
BEST FOR DRY HAIR
Dry hair can be tough to deal with. Aside from often looking dull and damaged, it can be hard to manage and style. This shampoo is loaded with hydration but still very lightweight and made with a mix of silk protein and conditioning agents that help improve the hair’s texture and keep it more manageable. This is an excellent way of reviving damaged and frizzy hair to enhance and restore bouncy, luxurious curls and waves.
11. Sun Bum Blonde Purple Shampoo
BEST PURPLE SHAMPOO
Many know this brand for their sunscreen, but they also make a great purple shampoo with ingredients such as blue spirulina and violet extract that help to brighten and tone blonde hair. The ideal purple shampoo will help prevent dryness and fading while protecting blonde hair and keeping it bright and vibrant. This shampoo also helps fight frizz and offers humidity and UV protection — because oxidation and too much time in the sun is another great way to dull hair.
12. Dove Invisible Dry Shampoo
BEST DRY SHAMPOO
While dry shampoo is not exactly the same category as traditional shampoo, it serves many of the same purposes and can be a lifesaver after a workout or to refresh a hairstyle on the second day after a wash. Dry shampoo is a great way to make hair look fresh and clean without washing by absorbing excess oil from hair. This dry shampoo does it neatly and cleanly, without leftover residue (something dry shampoos sometimes fall short on), and can bring new life to yesterday’s style with just a few quick sprays and brush strokes.