How to Find a Shampoo Perfectly Suited to Your Hair Type

Updated 09/26/19
best shampoo for every hair type: Bumble and bumble Seaweed Shampoo
 Bumble and bumble

A good shampoo is the cornerstone of every haircare routine—no matter how fancy your styling products or how nifty you are with a curling iron, if you don't have the foundation right, you'll never end up with the hair you're after. And it's needless to say that as all hair is different, this is not the time to be applying a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, you need to consider your specific hair desires and seek out a shampoo that'll meet (if not surpass) your requirements.

But with so many shampoo formulas available right now, you're going to need your help, so we've categorized hair by the top conditions and concerns, and found the best shampoo for every hair type. First, work out what it is you want to address—dryness, color care, curl preservation and so on (if it's more than one, go for the most important concern to you right now); then check out our picks of the best shampoos for you.

Best Shampoo for Dry Hair

If your hair has started to feel brittle or coarser than usual, you're going to want to introduce some nourishing oils into your routine. Where once harsh shampoos would further perpetuate the issue by stripping hair of its remaining moisture, these days you can find plenty of formulas that not only cleanse but also inject some much-needed hydration. Look for ingredients such as proteins to strengthen, elastin to improve tenacity and marula oil to add a slick of shine.

best shampoo for every hair type: Rahua Hydration Shampoo
Rahua Hydration Shampoo $34
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best shampoo for every hair type: Bleach London Beer Shampoo
Bleach London Beer Shampoo $9
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best shampoo for every hair type: Nexxus Oil Infinite Shampoo
Nexxus Oil Infinite Shampoo $15
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Best Shampoo for Colored Hair

Any form of hair alteration has a damaging effect on the cuticle, leaving it more prone to damage and dryness—and the drier your hair gets, the faster your color will fade. That's why, when dealing with colored hair, it's advisable to seek out a shampoo specifically designed to protect it. Not only will these shampoos be gentler on the already vulnerable hair shaft, but they'll also cleanse in a way that doesn't dilute the color treatment. Some will even use hair strengtheners like keratin to rebuild weakened hair bonds, and the best formulas will also contain UV protection to ensure the sun doesn't zap the vibrancy from your color job.

best shampoo for every hair type: System Professional Colour Save Shampoo
System Professional Colour Save Shampoo $24
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best shampoo for every hair type: Pureology Hydrate Colour Care Shampoo
Pureology Hydrate Colour Care Shampoo $17
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best shampoo for every hair type: L'Oreal Professionnel Série Expert Vitamino Color Shampoo
L'Oréal Professionnel Série Expert Vitamino Color Shampoo $30
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Best Shampoo for Curly Hair

Sulfates (the agents that make shampoo froth and foam) have been found to be pretty drying, and their effect is especially prominent on curly hair. Take it from me—as soon as I swapped out all the sulfates from my routine, my curls managed to find their bounce again. Curly hair can often also be pretty dry since the scalp's natural oils have a harder time transporting themselves down the coiled hair shaft, so you want a shampoo that's pretty nourishing without weighing curls down or making them too perfect. Here are the shampoos I personally swear by.

best shampoo for every hair type: Bumble and bumble Bb. Curl Shampoo
Bumble and bumble Bb.Curl Shampoo $38
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best shampoo for every hair type: Kérastase Discipline Cleansing Conditioner Curl Ideal
Kérastase Discipline Cleansing Conditioner Curl Ideal $30
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best shampoo for every hair type: Redken Curvaceous Hi Foam Shampoo
Redken Curvaceous Hi Foam Shampoo $30
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Best Shampoo for Afro Hair

Like curly hair, afro hair needs special attention to ensure it looks and feels healthy and strong. As it isn't as good as distributing its own oil, feel free to add moisturising ingredients on top in the form of nourishing shampoos like the below. Natural ingredients such as shea butter, argan and coconut oil are particularly beneficial for afro hair.

best shampoo for every hair type: Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo $17
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best shampoo for every hair type: Redken All Soft Shampoo
Redken All Soft Shampoo $32
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best shampoo for every hair type: Vernon Francois Pure-Fro® Shampoo
Vernon Francois Pure-Fro® Shampoo $14
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Best Shampoo for Flat Hair

If you're concerned about the volume of your hair, there are plenty of styling products that can help add a little oomph—like these texturizing sprays, for example. But believe it or not, there are now plenty of high-tech shampoos that incorporate volumizing ingredients to help add height to hair as you wash. TRESemme's Collagen + Fullness Shampoo uses collagen proteins to add strength and bulk to flimsy hairs, whilst Redken and L'Oréal Elvive both use patented Filloxane, an ingredient that penetrates deep into the hair fiber to plump it from the inside out.

best shampoo for every hair type: TRESemme Collagen+ Fullness Shampoo
TRESemme Collagen+ Fullness Shampoo $6
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best shampoo for every hair type: L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Air Flat Hair Shampoo
L'Oréal Elvive Fibrology Air Flat Hair Shampoo $6
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best shampoo for every hair type: Redken High Rise Volume Lifting Shampoo
Redken High Rise Volume Lifting Shampoo $37
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Best Shampoo for Greasy Hair

Overzealous sebaceous glands can make some hair more prone to greasiness than others, which can lead you down two routes: an overload of dry shampoo, or a very active hair-washing schedule. If you tend to choose the former, you'll want a shampoo that can rid the scalp of product buildup, so look for products with "cleanse" in the title—they'll often contain mild exfoliants like fruit acids to exfoliate the scalp and flush away dry shampoo residue. If you tend to wash your hair more often (we're talking every day), you'll need to pick a gentle shampoo that isn't going to completely strip your hair of all its essential natural oils—Briogeo's Be Gentle, Be Kind Shampoo is a good place to start.

Kevin Murphy Maxi.Wash $27
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best shampoo for every hair type: Toni & Guy Cleanse Shampoo for Advanced Detox
Toni & Guy Cleanse Shampoo for Advanced Detox $9
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best shampoo for every hair type: Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Matcha + Apple Replenishing Superfood Shampoo
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Matcha + Apple Replenishing Superfood Shampoo $28
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Best Shampoo for a Dry Scalp

Dry scalps, on the other hand, need a different kind of TLC. Dryness in this area can often be a result of an imbalance in the skin, so you want something that's going to not only wash away the flakes but also reset anything that's slightly off in this area. So many people swear by Philip Kingsley's Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo, which contains skin soothing ingredients as well as lauryl betaine, a mild but thorough cleansing agent.

best shampoo for every hair type: Philip Kingsley Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo
Philip Kingsley Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo $51
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best shampoo for every hair type: Bumble and bumble Seaweed Shampoo
Bumble and bumble Seaweed Shampoo $25
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best shampoo for every hair type: Head & Shoulders Supreme Moisture shampoo
Head & Shoulders Supreme Moisture Shampoo $6
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