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Shampoo is probably the most important hair care product in our bathroom. With so many types of shampoo on the market, we get that it’s easier to blindly reach for your usual shampoo and be on your way. But what if that shampoo doesn’t suit your hair care needs anymore?
Frizziness, breakage, split ends, thinning hair and dullness are all signs your hair gives you when it feels neglected or not cared for properly. Fortunately, there’s an ideal shampoo for every type of hair and hair problem.
So what should you look for in a shampoo? To get to the bottom of the shampoo question, we spoke with celebrity hairstylist Kendall Dorsey. Dorsey is known for working with celebs like Solange Knowles, Teyana Taylor and most recently Alicia Keys.
We asked Dorsey for his opinion on what ingredients we should look for in the best shampoo, and he had a simple answer: kitchen ingredients.
“I think that a shampoo should be built off of natural kitchen ingredients,” Dorsey said. “The things that stand out that shouldn’t be in it [shampoo] are silicones, parabens and sulfates.”
Dorsey said that some of the kitchen ingredients he’s referring to include avocado, peppermint oil and rosemary oil.
When it comes to actually washing your hair, Dorsey says that washing infrequently can mitigate the issues of damaged or brittle hair.
“I think that once a week is just enough shampooing for any person, actually,” Dorsey said. “I think that when you over-shampoo your hair, you strip the hair of its natural oils. And then the hair starts to become oily because the Sebaceous Gland starts to over-exacerbate themselves. It’s the same as skin if you over clean your skin, it becomes dry, it’s the same way with your hair.”
So remember, the best shampoos contain kitchen ingredients, and most importantly, don’t overdo it.
Below, we present our picks for the best shampoo for various hair types. Take a look below to see which shampoo best suits your hair care needs.
Tea Tree Special Shampoo
BEST FOR ALL HAIR TYPES
We love tea tree shampoo here at Spy, and we’ve found that this option from TeaTree works for all hair types. Tea Tree Oil helps to exfoliate and expunge impurities from the scalp and hair, while the peppermint oil and lavender invigorate the scalp. This trifecta makes your hair feel clean and healthy and helps it smell good throughout your very busy schedule.
PURA D’OR Original Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo
BEST FOR THINNING HAIR
For most, getting older means that your hair starts to get a little wonky. Maybe your hairline is starting to recede, or maybe you’re starting to notice a little thinning throughout your entire scalp. If you’re in the second category, then Pura D’or hair loss shampoo might be able to help you. This anti-thinning shampoo features biotin that helps to fight DHT — a common cause of hair loss —— and helps increase blood stimulation to the scalp, causing an increase in hair growth. Packed with nutrients like Nettle Extract, Pumpkin Seed and Black Cumin Seed Oil, this shampoo has the capabilities to help fight hair thinning and keep your scalp healthy and hydrated.
Baxter of California Deep Clean Shampoo
BEST FOR ALL MEN’S HAIR TYPES
A few months ago, we crowned this shampoo as the best shampoo for men in our 2020 Man feature, and we stand by this claim. This shampoo from Baxter of California purifies and cleanses dirt from the scalp and hair while leaving behind a light, fresh scent. It also helps to remove build-up and restore shine to hair too. With the main ingredients included being apple cider vinegar, menthol and ginseng, your hair will feel clean and healthy after using this shampoo.
Shea Moisture Purple Rice Water Strength + Color Care Shampoo
BEST FOR NATURAL COLORED HAIR
Shea Moisture is known for being a crowd favorite among natural-styled Black people. The Purple Rice Water Strength + Color Care Shampoo is safe for color-treated hair while also helping to strengthen your hair. The key ingredients of this shampoo are Purple Rice Water, Wild Orchid Extract and Sweet Violet Extract. Each of the key ingredients helps to moisturize and detangle your hair while nursing the hair back to a healthy state.
Related: The Best Purple Shampoos
Ouai Thick Hair Shampoo
BEST FOR THICK HAIR
For those of you with thicker locks, Ouai will help you tame the frizz and manage your follicles. This shampoo has keratin, marshmallow root, shea butter and avocado oil, which is healthy for your scalp. It’s also sulfate-free, phthalate-free and paraben-free, meaning that it won’t agitate your hair. Follow this shampoo with the matching conditioner to maximize the frizz taming ability of the Ouai Thick Hair Shampoo.
Aveda Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo
FOR STRAIGHT HAIR
For straight hair, the options for shampoos are limitless. This Aveda option offers a rosemary mint ingredient that helps stimulate hair growth as well as purification. Used best on fine to normal hair, this shampoo gives the hair body and keeps it nourished. It’s invigorating and energizing. I mean, what else can you want in a shampoo?
Hair Food Sensitive Shampoo
BEST FOR COLOR-TREATED HAIR
Hair Food is a pretty accurate description of this product. This shampoo features avocado and argan oil, which promotes healthy hair growth. This option also helps to tame frizzy hair and prevent breakage. It’s also sulfate-free, paraben-free and dye-free, which harps on the healthy message of Hair Food’s brand.
Every Man Jack Men’s 2 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner
BEST FOR LAZY SHAMPOOERS
One of the easier and efficient options on this list is the Every Man Jack Men’s 2 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner. It features glycerin and shea butter which help to strengthen and moisturize your scalp and your hair. The coconut-derived surfactants strive to clean your hair from the roots. This option from Every Man Jack contains no parabens, no phthalates or dyes, making it a safe option for every hair type.
Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo
BEST FOR BLONDES
Maintaining a blonde dye job can be difficult if you don’t use the right shampoos and conditioners. This product has the perfect tint for blonde or silver hair and helps emphasize the color without washing it out. It helps to tone down the brassiness of blonde and silver hair, making the true color shine through after a wash. Pair the shampoo with the matching conditioner to get the full effect of this product.
Catwalk by Tigi Brunette Shampoo
BEST FOR BRUNETTES
For the brunettes, Catwalk by Tigi supplies the needed benefits of clean hair and a clean scalp while not stripping your color-treated or natural brown hair. This shampoo intensifies the depth and richness of the brunette color while making sure that nutrients remain in the hair follicles. It contains horse chestnut extract, which helps to repair slightly damaged hair. All in all, this is a good option for those with brown hair.
Pattern Hydration Shampoo
BEST FOR DRY HAIR
For the last few years, we’ve seen celebrities infiltrate the beauty industry. Tracee Ellis Ross’s “Pattern” haircare line sets itself apart from the pack. This hydrating shampoo is great for those with kink and curls, as it helps to moisturize and nourish these textures. It helps to clean the scalp of buildup without stripping the hair of its natural oils. Featuring Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Coconut Oil and Honey, this shampoo will help keep your hair healthy and shiny.
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo
BEST FOR AGING HAIR
Alterna uses one of the world’s most luxe foods, caviar, to create a shampoo that hydrates and repairs aging hair. Caviar is a rich source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and it helps to restore elasticity and shine to your hair. It’s for all hair types, and it’s sulfate and paraben-free.
GIOVANNI 2chic Ultra Volume Shampoo
BEST FOR LIMP HAIR
Do Papaya and Tangerine Butter interest you? Giovanni 2chic uses these ingredients to provide your hair with nutrients that promote deep hydration and the elimination of frizz and split ends. It’s also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo
BEST FOR NATURAL HAIR
Another Shea Moisture addition, this shampoo features Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil which helps to provide intensive moisture and nourishment to your scalp. It helps to revitalize, moisturize, nourish, restore and smoothen your natural tresses. Also, it features shea butter and African Rock Fig, which helps to minimize frizz. Give this shampoo a try if your scalp feels a little dry!
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo
DevaCurl Low-Poo Delight Cleanser
BEST FOR WOMEN WITH WAVY HAIR
If you’re looking for a weightless moisturizer for your wavy tresses, then look no further. DevaCurl helps provide a mild lather that cleanses the hair while giving the hair body and emphasizing your true hair texture. This product uses rice water for body, lotus flower for bounce and chia-flaxseed extract blend for definition to help manage frizziness.
It’s a 10 Miracle Volumizing Shampoo
BEST FOR OILY HAIR
From time to time our hair can become saturated with oils, leaving our hair to have a “greasy” appearance. Well, It’s a 10’s Miracle Volumizing Shampoo is here to help save your oily tresses. It is sulfate-free, and it doesn’t cause buildup on your scalp. Also, it’s perfect for delicate hair as it helps to nourish hair to its natural state.
Davines Alchemic Shampoo
BEST FOR RED HAIR
If you are a natural-born ginger or if you dyed your hair red, Davines has you covered. This Alchemic shampoo intensifies and adds allure to natural or colored red shades. By adding copper tones, this shampoo won’t strip your hair of its dyed color, nor will it dry out your natural color.
Pure Biology Hair Growth Stimulating Shampoo
BEST FOR DAMAGED HAIR
Pure Biology has found a way to stimulate hair growth while nourishing damaged and brittle hair. This option features biotin, keratin, saw palmetto and green tea, which help to block DHT creation and keep hair nice and strong. This gentle everyday shampoo has coconut oil, vitamin B, vitamin E and castor oil, adding volume and moisture to your tresses.
Re:line Biotin Thickening Shampoo
BEST FOR THIN HAIR
This option from Re:line is a DHT fighting machine, which helps to prevent hair loss. DHT is the chemical hormone that munches away at hair and causes thinning hair follicles until eventual baldness occurs. With Biotin being the star ingredient for this shampoo, hair loss will not be a worry. It works for all hair types and is sulfate-free.