For most people, shampoo and conditioner are two nonnegotiable products. We all use them. There’s also a good chance shampoo and conditioner are items you’ll randomly pick up during a trip to the drugstore. But you might want to consider choosing this duo a little more carefully.
Everyone’s hair has different needs. For example, my hair is extremely thick and wavy, so when I shop for shampoo and conditioner, I typically opt for something with tons of moisture to help detangle and smooth flyaways. Someone with fine hair, however, might want products that add volume at the root and build body. One thing we should all avoid? Sulfates. “I do recommend looking for sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, as these tend to be more gentle and less harsh, drying, or irritating to the hair and scalp than those that contain harsh sulfates,” says Howard McLaren, co-founder and creative director of R+Co.
Once you’ve landed on the right shampoo and conditioner, it’s also important to consider how you use these products. “I recommend not shampooing every day,” says McLaren. “Dry shampoos can help keep the hair and scalp clean and refreshed in between washings, but typically, most people can wash their hair two to four times per week. People that tend to have dry, coarse, or frizz-prone hair wash less frequently, and those that have fine or oil-prone scalps tend to wash a bit more often.” When it comes to application, McLaren recommends shampooing your scalp and conditioning the rest of your hair.
Keep reading to find the best shampoo and conditioner for you. I’ve included picks for every hair type, texture, and color. Get ready for the best hair you’ve ever had.