The shampoo and conditioner you use for your hair are as important, if not more important, than the professional care you give your scalp at the hairdresser.
You can easily mess up a spot-on hairstyle if you go for the wrong shampoo and conditioning treatment. Choosing a shampoo and conditioner that suits your hair type is an investment worth consideration. You can develop a routine that supports all those intense treatments and special scalp care you get occasionally.
We have created this guide to the best hair shampoos and conditioners for every hair type to help you sustain hair health without worrying you are doing something that doesn’t assist your hair type.
How to Choose the Best Shampoo And Conditioner for Your Hair Type
You have noticed those shampoo and conditioner labels dedicated to a specific hair type — shampoo for dry hair, anti-frizz shampoo, oily scalp shampoo, or shampoo for hair loss. However, ingredients in hair care formulas are becoming increasingly more complex.
Brands develop all kinds of concrete purpose treatments, so it is hard to tell which is which, especially if you suffer from multiple hair issues at once or if you are unsure what your hair type. Let us help you with some basic education about recognising your hair type and picking the shampoo and conditioner with the maximum benefit for your hair.
Dry and Damaged Hair
How to recognise: due to lack of hydration, dry hair is prone to split ends and stray hairs. It feels brittle to touch, knots easily, and is difficult to detangle, especially when brushing it wet. Dry hair is prone to breakage, which may result in excessive hair loss.
Best ingredients for dry and damaged hair:
Natural extracts and essential oils: Avocado Oil, Argan Oil, Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Mango Butter, and Shea Butter.
Active ingredients: Glycerin, Glyceryl stearate, Propylene glycol, Sodium lactate, Sodium PCA, low pH, detanglers, keratin.
Recommended: Schwarzkopf Bonacure Keratin Smooth Perfect Shampoo
How to recognise: hair looks slick and glossy due to the excess sebum that builds upon the scalp. It may require frequent washes that can, oddly enough, worsen the condition. If you suffer from oily hair, you may also develop an itchy scalp and persistent, oily dandruff located near the roots.
Best ingredients for an oily scalp:
Natural extracts and essential oils: Rosemary Extract, Birch Extract, Aloe Vera Extract, Nettle Extract, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil,
Active ingredients: sodium lauryl sulphate, benzoyl peroxide, selenium sulphide, sodium sulfacetamide, ketoconazole, zinc sulphate, zinc PCA, and kaolin.
Recommended: Muk Head Muk Oily Scalp Shampoo
Fine or Thin Hair
How to recognise: the following indicates thin hair— widening of the part, hair looks flat when styled, more space between hairs, excessive hair on the pillow or in the sink, flat ponytails or braids that won’t hold well.
Best ingredients for fine and thin hair:
Natural extracts and essential oils: Ginseng, Ginger, Cedarwood Essential Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil, Thyme Essential Oil, Horsetail Plant, Rosemary Leaf Extract.
Active ingredients: vitamin B5, polymers, biotin, hyaluronic acid.
Recommended: Schwarzkopf Bonacure Q10 Time Restore Micellar Shampo 1L
How to recognise: it doesn’t take much to realise that you belong to the curly hair type, but identifying the curl type and texture can be more difficult. The shape of the hair follicle and the shape strands make when they curl determine your curl type. Curlier hair grows from oval or flat follicles. As they grow, strands can create kinks, curves, spirals, or waves, and give a different texture to your hair.
Best ingredients for curly hair:
Natural extracts and essential oils such as: Castor Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Abyssinian Oil, Honey, Avocado Oil.
Active ingredients: sulphate-free and paraben-free shampoo and conditioner, vegetable glycerin, moderate content of alcohols and silicones.
Recommended: 18 in 1 Professional Nourishing Conditioner 1L
Coloured and Bleached Hair
How to recognise: the sign you should recognise in dyed hair or hair treated with lighteners is the level of damage. Pull out a strand of the hair and pull it gently in both directions. If it snaps, it is damaged, and if it doesn’t return to its original shape, then it is only dry and lacks elasticity.
Best ingredients for coloured and bleached hair:
Natural extracts and essential oils: Kakadu Plum Extract, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Argan Oil, Geranium, Linseed Oil, Rose Extract, Citrus Extract, Chamomile Extract.
Active ingredients: bond strengtheners, keratin-infused treatments, Vitamin B5. (Avoid sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium Laureth sulphate, and sodium chloride that cause colour fading.)
Recommended: 18 in 1 Professional Nourishing Conditioner 1L
How to recognise: Frizzy hair type is dry, stiff, and straw-like. It lacks smoothness and has flyaways, looking messy, with strands standing randomly in different directions. Hair is difficult to style and manage, giving the impression of neither straight nor curly. The texture is fuzzy to the touch.
Best ingredients for frizzy hair:
Natural extracts and essential oils: Macadamia Nut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Honey, Jojoba Oil, Aloe Vera, Argan Oil, Primrose Oil, Moroccan Oil.
Active ingredients: thermal protectants, bond smoothers, leave-in conditioners, and hair serums.
Recommended: Brasil Cacau Anti Frizz Duo Pack
Special Shampoo and Conditioner Formulas for Healthy Hair Round the Year
Here are fifteen more shampoo and conditioner combos or individual products that tackle common and not-so-universal hair issues:
1. Quench your curls’ thirst
Try the Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo to help intensely hydrate dry curls or coloured or otherwise chemically treated hair. It is packed with Argan Oil, Vitamins A and E and red algae extract to provide anti-oxidant properties and help curly retain moisture.
2. Anti-gravity effects for oily hair
Check out L'Oreal Professional Volumetry Shampoo. Trademark active ingredients such as Intra-CylaneTM and Hydralight add body and volume to fine and thinning hair, enhancing volume and giving a root-lifting effect. Flat hair and an oily scalp often go together so if you have them both, fight gravity with this nourishing extreme-shine shampoo by Loreal.
3. Gel-based deep cleansing shampoo
Muk Fat Muk Volumising Shampoo is a gentle shampoo with a jelly-like consistency that is ideal for adding shine to dull, lifeless hair that lacks volume due to scalp impurities. Add volume to oily hair by using it daily and then maintain body and fullness by detangling strands with the Muk Fat Muk Volumising Conditioner.
4. Extremely fine and thinning hair
Wella Volume Boost Clear Treatment is a special Boost-Blend Formula, Cotton, and the Bodifying Spring Force Polymers help hair fibres remain bouncy and voluminous during blow-dries. This product is one of those rare affordable gems with salon professional quality.
5. Soften dry and damaged hair overnight
For best results in repairing extremely dry malnourished hair, use the L'Oreal Professional Professional Absolut Repair Gold Quinoa + Protein Shampoo and Repairing Conditioner, and the 10-in-1 leave-in spray is a great third step if you can get your hands on it. New shine and softness are revealed even only after one treatment. The miracle ingredient is— you guessed it right—quinoa protein.
6. Anti-breakage, protein-rich shampoo and conditioner
If you love the scent of mango fruit, have blonde or lightened hair, and have a habit of washing it daily, the Muk Intense Muk Repair Shampoo and Conditioner are the ideal choice for you. Deeply hydrates and strengthens hair simultaneously, giving a brightening effect.
7. Rejuvenate ageing, frequently coloured hair
The gentle pH factor of 4.5 in this Schwarzkopf Bonacure Color Freeze Shampoo and Conditioner is a solution for hair that has undergone years of colouring treatments without a break to give it time to repair. The technology balances the hair surface while at the same time locking colour pigments in the heart of the hair, thus extending optimal colour retention beyond average colour fading thresholds.
8. Anti-aging treatment to restore hair vitality
Ageing hair has special needs because it gets thinner, increases in porosity, and loses shine quickly after a blow-dry. Bring back the lustre to your hair by adding Milk Shake Moisture Plus Shampoo to your washing routine and get back young-looking hair.
9. Full range aftercare to combat frizz
Let us not forget about conditioning your hair after you give it a proper wash with a skillfully chosen shampoo for your hair type. Frizz is an indicator of dry hair that desperately tries to replenish parched strands with moisture and therefore absorbs environmental humidity. To prolong the effects of the washing routine and prevent humidity absorption, try nurturing with Natural Look Static Free Frizz Smooth Operator and intense treatment of Natural Look Static Frizz Free Unplugged Argan Oil Hair Treatment. You could also try a texture-improving hairspray.
10. Tone neutraliser for blonde-coloured hair
This Schwarzkopf Blondme All Blondes Rich Shampoo as the name suggests is for blonde hair. It has 3D Bond Creation Technology and Protein Complex to improve bond-building — so you get shiny colour and healthy hair — ideal if you are a fan of constant highlights or platinum blonde.
11. Hair thickening conditioner
If you hate the tendency of many conditioners to flatten the hair along with smoothing it, then this L'Oreal Professional Pro Longer Shampoo with patented Filler A-100 technology by L’Oreal may be the right solution to your woes.
Instead of covering the shaft with another layer as many other thickening products, this product permeates fibres from the inside and focuses on the hair ends which lose most volume due to hair damage and breakage. It promotes hair growth and helps very long hair stay healthy without having to reach for the scissors.
12. Omega-rich argan oil shampoo and conditioner
We sometimes underestimate the importance of Omega fatty acids that are essential for hair health. Simple ingredients make all the difference and this Muk Spa Argan Oil Shampoo includes Omega 9 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids and Vitamin E fight free radicals, enhancing hair elasticity and protein health.
Regular usage helps the ingredients with antioxidant properties fight stressful factors and repair hair. The product is sulphate-free, paraben-free, and phosphate-free. It has no alcohol or mineral oils, so it can help with eliminating woolly hair appearance.
13. Easy blonde colour upkeep
For in-between salon visits, add this Goldwell Color Revive Cool Blonde Conditioner to your washing routine as the last step and leave it in for 5 minutes. (You won’t need another conditioning treatment.)
The cool blonde is perfect for blondes level 8-10 and gives a nice ashy tone if that is what you are aiming for. If not, you have eight more Goldwell Color Revive shades at your disposal, all manufactured with microPROtec direct dye technologies for quick colour refreshment.
14. Intense keratin treatment
If you need an intense treatment to fight frizz because you put your hair through the wringer of chemical procedures more than it can handle, try washing your hair with this 12 Reasons Keratin Shampoo. 12 Reasons Keratin Conditioner is optional afterwards but it can help with brushing your hair if you have very brittle ends.
15. Stimulating shampoo to prevent hair loss
Use this Kerastase Specifique Bain Prevention Shampoo as a volume-boosting shampoo for hair loss prevention and to thicken hair. Active ingredients enhance micro-circulation giving an instant lifting effect. Massage well to promote its hair growth properties.
Your Guide to the Best Leave-in Conditioner (and Masks)
Replacing your leave-in conditioner can be a challenge. The one you adored and loved doesn’t do the work anymore. Perhaps your hair has changed its texture. You have altered the hairstyle or the colour, and now you need to treat it with a different conditioner. We don’t blame you: a leave-in conditioner is practical and, when chosen for the right type of hair, provides multiple benefits.
Benefits of Using a Leave-in Conditioner
Washable hair conditioners and masks detangle and nourish the hair, but they are just not the same as leave-in treatments. They can be tedious and time-consuming. Depending on the texture of the leave-in product (liquid, spray, oil, or serum), you get the care you need for a particular problem. The best leave-in conditioners solve many hair issues:
- Provide extra moisture to washed hair
- Protect dry hair from heat damage
- Remove frizz
- Tackle unruly curls
- Give anti-breakage treatment to coarse hair
- Smooth out hair
- Care for fine hair without weighing it down
A leave-in conditioner for curly hair will help you keep and shape the curls, while intense leave-in treatments will provide deep nourishment and protect the cuticles of chemically treated hair.
If you are looking for a new addition to your stack of leave-in conditioners, take a look at our selection of the best conditioning treatments and learn why we love them. You might discover your new favourite.
If the task of cutting off split ends and taming frizz has become wearisome, we've got a recommendation for you. This lightweight cream functions as a leave-in treatment, effectively sealing and fortifying the hair's outer layer. By doing so, it effectively eliminates frizz and split ends, giving way to a sleek and smooth outcome. Furthermore, the Natural Look Static Free Frizz Smooth Operator goes beyond the surface to intricately mend split ends, thereby enhancing the overall look of your hair.
Why we love it: heat protection for the mid-lengths and end-lengths of the hair
Classified in the: best leave-in conditioner for split ends
This spray is a versatile product that is suitable for all hair types. However, anyone with damaged hair would see the most noticeable transformation. Milk Shake Integrity Leave-In is so reliable that you can use this product before big events. The liquid formula ensures no unsightly residue is left behind, unlike other leave-in sprays.
Why we love it: lightweight feel and sweet but subtle fragrance
Classified in the: best leave-in spray without unsightly residue
Thanks to its anti-oxidant veggie formula, it provides all essential benefits for hair protection, starting from deep cortex penetration to easy combing and protection from heat styling tools and UV rays. With regular use, you will reduce the number of chemicals, strengthen your hair fibres, and decrease colour fading.
Why we love it: All-in-one treatment, anyone? It means fewer styling products and enjoying the advantages of hair closest to its natural condition. What’s not to love?
Classified in the: best leave-in conditioners with natural ingredients
HH Simonsen Miracle Spray creates silky smooth and shiny hair while rebuilding and protecting against damage from environmental stressors. Infused with nourishing brown algae and chlorella, this luxurious spray leaves hair intensely moisturised, softened and nurtured with enhanced lustre. Perfect for helping to comb out frizzy hair.
Why we love it: nurtures hair while making it silky smooth
Classified in the: best leave-in spray to comb out frizz
It's no surprise to see K18 in this list. This easy-to-use Leave-in Repair Mask reverses damaged and compromised hair while it softens and detangles. The K18 does not wash out when shampooing your hair it is long-lasting to help your hair be protected from everyday exposure including styling, colouring and lightening.
Why we love it: for the immediately visible results.
Classified in the: best leave-in product for quickly visible results
This restorative product does not need to be rinsed away and the results appear in minutes. Both professionals and general customers will fall in love with the intensive repair and conditioning power. There are even anti-frizz properties that create a smoother and more sophisticated look.
Why we love it: hydrates and moisturises while adding simplicity to your haircare routine.
Classified in the: best leave-in conditioners with anti-frizz properties
Complete your hair care routine with our leave-in cream treatment infused with violet pigments to help eliminate those unwanted yellow tones. This cream assists to moisturise your hair and enhances the strength of the cuticle. The Soy Proteins nourish and protect blonde hair while the Chamomile extracts help soothe the scalp and add shine.
Why we love it: its budget price can save you some money for other buys.
Classified in the: best leave-in conditioner on a budget for blonde hair
Did you enjoy exploring this guide and looking for your best find? If you have had a fantastic experience with a hair care product, let us know what works for you!