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Whether you love it or loathe it, hair washing day is undoubtedly an integral part of one's hair care routine. Shampoo and conditioner lay the groundwork for great style after all and can treat a variety of hair concerns at the same time (from dryness and damage to oily roots or lack of volume).
But looking for the best of the best shampoo and conditioner duo for your hair type can be hard, not to mention expensive. This is why we've taken the liberty of testing, trialing, and chatting to experts, like Lindsay Holden of Odele, to curate the best drugstore formulas for every hair type—for stronger, shinier hair without breaking the bank.
Meet the Expert
To explore our picks of the best drugstore shampoos and conditioners for every hair type, just keep scrolling.
Best Overall: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Shampoo
Doesn't leave the hair feeling dry
This hydrating formula is ideal for those who crave bouncy, voluminous hair. It’s deeply cleansing but also hydrating—plus it doubles up as a body wash to keep your shower routine streamlined. It’s also free from parabens, mineral oil, and smells like a tropical pina colada.
Pair it with the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner for the best results.
Hair Type: Balnaced to dry, fine hair | Key Ingredients: Coconut extract | Size: 33.8 fluid ounces | Scent: Coconut | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for a Deep Clean: Odele Clarifying Shampoo
Not ideal for dry or damaged hair
“This shampoo doubles down on the cleanse with both lathering cleansers as well as chelation technology that pulls out the impurities (think chlorine, hard water, and product build-up) from my strands. Feels like a fresh, clean slate,” — Lindsay Holden, co-founder at Odele.
For best results, pair with the Odele Volumizing Conditioner.
Hair Type: Balanced, oily, fine | Key Ingredients: Rice protein, quinoa | Size: 13 fluid ounces | Scent: Cucumber, oakmoss, ylang-ylang (using natural fragrance) | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Dry and Damaged Hair: Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Weighs down fine hair
This nourishing pick claims to moisturize and soften dry, curly, damaged hair. The sulfate-free formula foams particularly well and has a yummy vanilla scent that will turn your shower into a spa. When used with the conditioner, it does a stellar job at restoring shine and reducing frizz.
Pair it with Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture and Shine Hydrating Conditioner for the best results.
Hair Type: Dry to curly and coiled hair | Key Ingredients: Aloe leaf juice, sweet clover extract | Size: 12 fluid ounces | Scent: Vanilla | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Very Damaged Hair: L'Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Shampoo
Formulated with proteins and ceramides, this creamy formula measures up to its luxury counterparts when it comes to strengthening and repairing dried-out hair. Try it if you frequently brush, bleach, or heat style your hair.
Pair it with L'Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Conditioner for the best results.
Hair Type: Balanced to dry and damaged | Key Ingredients: Proteins, ceramides | Size: 28 fluid ounces | Scent: Green, floral | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Oily Roots: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
Not ideal for dry or damaged hair
If you’re prone to an oily or flaky scalp, the tea tree oil in this formula works as an antimicrobial and antifungal agent, reducing grease and restoring balance. The zingy mint fragrance is invigorating and leaves the hair all bouncy and refreshed.
Pair it with the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Conditioner for the best results.
Hair Type: Balanced to oily, fine hair | Key Ingredients: Tea tree, peppermint, lavender | Size: 10.1 fluid ounces | Scent: Tea tree, peppermint | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Dry Hair: MONDAY Haircare Moisture Shampoo
Weighs down fine hair
With its clean formulations and chic pink pump bottles, MONDAY has certainly made its mark on drugstore hair care, and we’re not mad about it. The Moisturising Shampoo in particular is made without SLS, parabens, and sulfates—but instead contains nourishing shea butter, rice protein, and vitamin E to support hair health. There’s also coconut oil, which can penetrate the hair shaft, preventing damage and protein loss.
Pair it with MONDAY Haircare Moisturising Conditioner for the best results.
Hair Type: Balanced to dry, frizzy, and damaged hair | Key Ingredients: Shea butter, coconut oil, rice protein | Size: 12 fluid ounces | Scent: Slightly floral | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Thin Hair: Dove Nutritive Solutions Daily Moisture Shampoo
This iconic formula from Dove is formulated for daily use, so it works well if you have fine hair that requires frequent washing. It foams up nicely, cleans properly, and leaves the hair silky soft. The price is right, too.
For best results, use with the Dove Nutritive Solutions Daily Moisture Conditioner.
Hair Type: Balanced, fine, dry hair | Size: 20.4 fluid ounces | Scent: Clean, slightly floral | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Volume: OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo
Benefits of biotin shampoo lacks evidence
While the jury is still out on the effect biotin and collagen can have on hair and thickness when it comes to shampoo and conditioner, there’s no denying this cleansing formula gives the hair a long-lasting airy softness. It’s sulfate- and paraben-free too.
Pair it with OGX Thick & Full + Biotin & Collagen Conditioner for the best results.
Hair Type: Fine to flat, balanced hair | Key Ingredients: Collagen, biotin, wheat protein | Size: 13 fluid ounces | Scent: Bergamot, vanilla, and jasmine | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Thick Hair: Klorane Nourishing Shampoo with Mango Butter
This French favorite is packed with mango seed butter, an occlusive that’s rich in fatty acids, and thus can protect and replenish dry hair and scalps. The shampoo and matching conditioner are rich and nourishing and do an excellent job at taming thicker hair. The tropical mango scent doesn’t hurt, either.
For best results, follow with Klorane Conditioner with Mango Butter.
Hair Type: Medium to thick hair | Key Ingredients: Mango seed butter | Size: 13.5 fluid ounces | Scent: Mango | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Build-Up: Not Your Mother's Activated Bamboo Charcoal & Purple Moonstone Restore & Reclaim Shampoo
Not ideal for dry or damaged hair
Married to your dry shampoo, or constantly chasing that clean hair feeling? Enter this deeply cleansing option from Not Your Mother’s. It works to clarify the hair, helping to remove product build-up, oil, and sweat. It’s color-safe, as well.
For best results, follow with Not Your Mother's Activated Bamboo Charcoal & Purple Moonstone Restore & Reclaim Conditioner.
Hair Type: Fine, oily, or hair in need of a deep clean | Key Ingredients: Charcoal powder, glycerin | Size: 16 fluid ounces | Scent: Slightly sweet | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Bleached Hair: Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo
Can over-tone if used too much
Bleached hair is expensive enough to maintain, let alone factoring in a violet toning shampoo and conditioner to keep things looking fresh. Thankfully, this Fudge formula is one of the best on the market, and just so happens to come with a drugstore price tag. Rich in violet pigment, it color corrects yellow, orange, or brassy tones, refreshing the hair between salon appointments. It works on natural and bottle blondes, plus grey hair, and highlights.
For best results, follow with Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Conditioner.
Hair Type: Blonde, bleached, brassy hair | Key Ingredients: Wheat protein, keratin | Size: 8.4 fluid ounces | Scent: Clean, slightly sweet | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Co-Wash: Pantene Gold Series Deep Hydrating Co-Wash
Low foam formula
If you prefer low-sud shampoo formulas or co-washing (either between normal shampoo days or in place of), this luxe pick from Pantene feels less like a drugstore product and more like salon quality. Enriched with argan oil and vitamin B5, it has all the right ingredients to nourish and soften without stripping the hair of natural oils.
Hair Type: Balanced to curly, frizzy, and coiled | Key Ingredients: Panthenol and argan oil | Size: 15.2 fluid ounces | Scent: Clean, floral | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Your best drugstore shampoos and conditioners will depend on your hair type and concerns. We are big fans of the Odele Clarifying Shampoo (view at Odele) for its clean ingredients and formulas; the Klorane Nourishing Shampoo with Mango Butter (view at Amazon) since it's free from sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, and silicones (something you typically only see in formulas twice the price); and the MONDAY Haircare Moisture Shampoo (view at Ulta) for the recyclable bottles, effective formula, and affordable price point.
What to Look for When Buying Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner
“When looking for a great drugstore shampoo, I would make sure to look for one that’s specifically formulated to your hair type. Gentle cleansers are a must. For curly/coily hair types look for a moisturizing shampoo or something non-lather.”
“For fine hair that tends to get greasy—I recommend a stronger (but still gentle) surfactant system; something that helps open the cuticle to deliver hydration, without weighing the hair down. For all hair types, it is really about a balance of the mix.”
"There are lots of fun and sexy ingredients out there that deliver on a multitude of benefits from shine, manageability, strength, and overall hair health. Some sound familiar (we love amaranth and rice protein); lots sound scary, but are, in fact, really good, clean, safe, and effective ingredients. Sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate is a great one—it’s from coconuts and makes for a great alternative to harsh sulfates.”
“I look for ingredients in my conditioner that are high in protein to promote strength and shine as well as amino acids which help keep hair strong and even encourage hair growth. Lysine, for example, is present in hair, but the body can’t produce it on its own.”
How often should you use drugstore shampoos and conditioners?
“It’s really up to you, your hair type, your lifestyle, and what you have time for,” explains Lindsay. “That being said, there is such a thing as over-cleansing and under-cleansing. Pay attention to your scalp; you want it to look and feel clean and clear. If your scalp is dry, itchy, or tight, you may be over-cleansing. If your scalp feels like it has oily build-up or dandruff you may be under-cleansing. That’s followed by understanding your hair type. Generally speaking, the curlier/coarser your hair, the less often you need to wash it. Straight, fine hair tends to get oily faster since it’s easier for sebum to travel down your strands. People with straight hair could try shampooing every other day; wavy to loose curls a few times a week; curls to coils, no more than once a week to retain moisture. As if that’s not enough to consider, here are some additional considerations… is your hair color-treated? Braided? Do you swim? Do you sweat a lot? Do you have hard water? Depending on how you answer those questions, you may be in a place to wash more or less frequently,” she adds.
Do drugstore shampoos and conditioners expire?
As with all beauty products, drugstore shampoo and conditioners certainly do expire. 12 to 18 months is a pretty standard time frame from the date opened, but be sure to check your product packaging. And a great general rule is to bin anything that has changed significantly color, texture, or scent (or started growing mold).
Why Trust Byrdie?
Emily Algar is an experienced freelance writer who covers all things beauty. Her work can also be found in Popsugar, Vogue Australia, Grazia, Cosmopolitan, and more.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough drugstore shampoos and conditioners from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will evaluate the product ASAP.