The Best Shampoos That Don't Cost a Lot
You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a decent shampoo. I've done the research and am sharing with you the very best shampoos and conditioners for under $15. Score these at the drugstore, online, or at your local health store.
Tips for Shopping for an Affordable Shampoo and Conditioner
- If you have oily, flat or limp hair, wash hair once a week with a clarifying shampoo to remove residue.
- Color-treated hair? Consider a shampoo formulated for blondes, redheads, brunettes and even silver hair.
- Creamy shampoos and conditioners are a coarse, curly-haired girl's best friend. You should condition every time you shampoo. Look for an ultra-moisturizing conditioner made especially for coarse hair. Look for conditioners that contain avocado, macadamia oil, shea butter, or aloe vera.
- Once a month use a hot oil treatment. For extra-dry hair, use an intense moisturizing treatment every 2 weeks.
- If you are health-conscious, consider sulfate-free shampoos. Sulfates are the bad boys in the shampoo-ingredient world, and they get a bad rap. The ingredients sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate are foaming agents that cause shampoo to lather, but some experts claim these can be toxic to your system and should be avoided.
Normal Hair: Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo & Conditioner
If you have normal to dry hair and you're looking for a decent drugstore shampoo, you can't go wrong with Pantene's Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner. Pantene products generally get good reviews online.
Dry Hair: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner
Looking for a wonderful, basic drugstore shampoo and conditioner for your dry, coarse or frizzy hair? This is a great bet. Super creamy and super moisturizing, it gets fantastic reviews online for keeping the frizz at bay. Use it in tandem with a leave-in or weekly deep conditioning treatment.
Sulfate-Free: Alba Botanical Hawaiian Shampoos
Sulfates in shampoos have become highly controversial. Sulfates are the ingredients in shampoo that cause the shampoo to lather. We've come to assume that the better the shampoo lathers, the better the shampoo is, however, some people disagree. There are claims that some people are allergic to sulfates. Others claim that sulfates may be cancer-causing chemicals.
For fine hair, I recommend Alba Botanical Hawaiian "Body Builder" Shampoo.
Normal Hair: Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo for All Hair Types
Redken is a great drugstore brand known especially for its shampoo for color-treated hair, which is a great solution for faux blondes, brunettes, and redheads.
This hair cleansing cream shampoo gets great reviews and works on all hair types.
Color-Treated: John Frieda Shampoos
John Frieda makes decent shampoos for color-treated hair. John Frieda Luxurious Volume Color (pictured here), is a fan favorite. It creates volume while protecting your color investment.
Oily Hair: Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo
Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo is very popular and best for limp, oily hair. It's touted to remove up to 70% of dulling residue caused by shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. It's best used between washings with your regular shampoo, not as an everyday shampoo. Try it once a week or so. Note that clarifying shampoos are not suitable for color-treated hair.
Oily Hair: Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo
Suave also makes a great clarifying shampoo. Keep this inexpensive shampoo in your beauty closet for the nights you need to wash your hair after using a lot of product in your hair (think the prom or a formal occasion).
Dry or Damaged Hair: Alba Botanica Cocoa Butter Dry Repair
Alba Botanical is one of the best organic shampoo companies. This Cocoa Butter Dry-Repair Hair Wash is excellent for dry hair because its signature ingredient is cocoa butter, a very concentrated, protective emollient that's full of nutrients while also protecting hair against natural elements. This shampoo also contains aloe and kelp and tropical fruit extracts to wash away impurities.
Dry Hair: L'Oreal Paris Hair Care Expertise EverCreme Cleansing Balm
This cleansing balm gets high marks from reviewers and is beloved for its conditioning abilities.
Weakened Hair: Klorane Revitalizing and Strengthening Shampoo
Alexa Chung plugged this shampoo in her interview with my favorite blog, Into the Gloss. I looked it up, and it gets pretty darn good reviews. It's a French brand and, according to Klorane, it's formulated to strengthen weakened hair.
Dandruff: Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo
If you suffer from dandruff or want to keep it at bay, you can't beat Head and Shoulders shampoo. They make unisex shampoos, scented shampoo, and even one formulated for men.
Neutrogena's T-Gel is also an excellent drugstore brand. Use these 2 in tandem for double-penetrating power. T-Gel uses a tar (smelly) to conquer dandruff, while Head and Shoulders sloughs away the flakes.
Dry Hair: It's A 10 Leave-In Conditioner Plus Keratin
Use a nickel-sized amount of "It's a 10" with a dime-size blob of your favorite sculpting gel on towel-pressed hair (never rub hair if you have a tendency for frizz or you have curly hair). Then dry with a blow-dryer or let air dry.
For Baby: California Baby Shampoo & Body Wash Calming
California Baby is my pick for shampoo and body wash for babies. I prefer it over the more traditional Johnson & Johnson No More Tears shampoos because it's organic.
Volumizing:OGX Shampoo Thick & Full, Biotin & Collagen
If you are looking to add volume to fine hair or to repair damaged hair, this is a good drugstore bet.