You can’t expect soft, shiny and genuinely healthy hair without investing one of the best shampoos. It’s a fact. The journey to luscious locks begins long before you get in the shower, so if you’re guilty of grabbing whichever shampoo is on offer on your weekly sprint around the supermarket, our guide to the best shampoo brands is for you.
There are tonnes of shampoos on the market nowadays – from clarifying shampoo and organic shampoo to shampoo for fine hair, shampoo for dry hair and sulphate-free shampoo – so it can be tricky to know where to begin. But fret not! GLAMOUR editors – all of different hair types, colours and textures – have been busy trying and testing pretty much every shampoo there is. Yep: we’re taking our haircare just as seriously as our skincare these days – and you should, too.
A good shampoo will cleanse the hair to remove dirt and debris from both the scalp and the hair (hence why the shampoo you choose can impact your scalp health as well as that of your tresses) while leaving your locks soft, shiny and weightless. Many shampoos contain compounds called sulphates which produce the rich lather we tend to enjoy (there are a few negatives to shampoos contain sulphates – head to our sulphate-free shampoo guide if you want to decide which camp to sit in), and the best shampoos often smell delightful without causing any irritation. There’s a lot to take into consideration.
How to choose the best shampoo for your hair type
The best shampoos for dry hair are those which boast hydrating, softening, moisturising or rejuvenating properties. For extra hydration, you might look for particular ingredients like keratin (the protein behind healthy hair), Argan oil, almond oil, avocado oil or coconut milk. These wonder-workers will help restore your locks to their optimum strength, banishing split ends and leaving your hair feeling weightless. Even if you don’t have particularly dry hair, investing in one of these moisturising shampoos during the colder months will help protect against plunging temperatures, lashing wind, pollution and central heating.
If you’ve got thin or really fine hair and it needs a bit of a boost, look for shampoos that boast thickening or volumizing properties. Hair loss or thinning can be caused by a number of underlying factors which can be reversed by the ingredients in shampoo for fine hair. Clarifying shampoos are a good choice, since they contain minimal conditioning ingredients which could – despite first assumptions – build up and weight fine hair down.
3. Best shampoo for coloured hair
The best shampoos for coloured hair will contain lower levels of cleansers but higher levels of conditioning agents which help your colour stay more vibrant for longer. You’ll want to consider those which boast “colour protection“, “anti-colour fade” or “colour care” labels. Head this way for the best purple shampoo for blonde hair and over here for the best shampoo for red hair.
“Anti-frizz” / “frizz-control” shampoos are the ones to look towards if you’ve got frizzy hair. They smooth and hydrate the hair as they cleanse to help control that mane.
5. Best shampoo for dandruff/best shampoo for dry scalp
You’ll want to make a beeline for these soothing shampoos if your scalp is struggling to stay calm. Ingredients like tea tree oil, peppermint and lavender will help to soothe your scalp at the same time as revitalising your hair.
6. Best shampoo for damaged hair
If you’ve been using a lot of heat on your hair for many years, your locks might be damaged. But not beyond repair. Strengthening, repairing or reconstructing shampoos will moisturise your hair in high doses to help reverse the damage done by your hair dryer/hair straighteners/hot air brush.
Whatever your hair type, it’s worth buying the matching hair conditioner for your shampoo when you can. Why? Most shampoos and conditioners are formulated, developed and tested in pairs; shampoo brands will optimise the ingredients in each of the products so they each compliment each other. Your results may be less effective if you mix brands. You’ve been warned.
What is the best shampoo in the world?
That totally depends on your hair type, so refer to our guide above to hunt down the best shampoo for you. Once you’ve done that, look towards our product recommendations below – plus our in-depth guides elsewhere on the GLAMOUR website.
For more from our Commerce Writer Sophie Cockett, follow her on Instagram @sophiecockettx.