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The 33 best shampoos and conditioners of 2024 — according to experts

We tested and reviewed the best shampoos and conditioners for dry hair, curly hair, thin hair, color-treated hair and everything in between.

Bottles of shampoo and conditioner
Some of the year's best shampoos and conditioners come from Pureology, Briogeo, Olaplex, Shu Uemura and Kevin Murphy. (Amazon, Sephora, Walmart)

When it comes to my relationship with shampoo and conditioner, I have a bit of a wandering eye. I'll try a brand I like for a few months, then become bored or feel like it's stopped working. Or, I see a tempting new shampoo on Instagram or a budget-friendly drugstore conditioner with big promises and impulsively switch again. Truth is, it's hard to find the best shampoo and conditioner for your hair's specific needs. Do I buy shampoo for color-treated hair because I dye mine? Should I find a conditioner for dry hair because mine is always dry or settle on one for fine hair because it's also fine? What's best to detangle and help with split ends? Do bar shampoos actually work? Will they work for me?

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According to stylist Willa Ashley, lead colorist at the Hairrari Salon in Los Angeles, I'm not alone in my shampoo/conditioner confusion. "Finding a quality product that works for you, unfortunately, can take some trial and error," she explains.

So what's the right shampoo for my hair?

Truth is, in choosing hair care, no one product fits all. "When looking for a perfect shampoo and conditioner, it really depends on your hair texture and the state that it's in," says Tylor Johnson, the ultra-popular San Francisco colorist and founder of Nous Haircare. "Knowing those two things is what's truly most important." However, Ashley adds: "There are a few things for everyone to look out for: avoid harsh sulfates, parabens and synthetic fragrances."

Over the past few months, I tried dozens of shampoos and conditioners. And I talked to renowned stylists about which products they recommend to their clients and why. Finally, because first-person reviews and word of mouth are often a trusted, reliable way to make these decisions, I consulted my shopping-expert colleagues about their tried-and-true favorites — the shampoos and conditioners they could not live without.

Herewith, the best shampoos and conditioners for every hair type and hair condition we found.

Note: Most shampoos and conditioners work best in tandem. Unless otherwise noted, when we recommend a shampoo from a brand's line, we're fans of the conditioner too and vice versa.

Best shampoos and conditioners for dry hair and damaged hair

Whether your hair is damaged from overbleaching, chemical treatments or too much heat styling, the right shampoo can go a long way to bringing it back to a healthy state and reducing wear and tear like split ends. "People struggling with breakage or dry hair should focus on products with a lot of hydration," says Johnson. "You need reparative ingredients — like peptides and proteins."

Milbon's repair shampoo was designed specifically to protect severely fragile, brittle or fried hair from further damage and help the individual strands build back elasticity and resilience. "Milbon's repair shampoo and conditioner is amazing for damaged hair," says Johnson. "The great thing about their line is that they have a fine and coarse formula, making it good for a lot of hair types and textures." 

Pros
  • Helps repair severely damaged hair after one use
  • Highly moisturizing
  • Stylist recommended
  • Pleasant light floral scent
Cons
  • Hard to find outside of salons
  • Expensive
$35 at Walmart

This ultra-hydrating, super-gentle, sulfate-free shampoo contains vitamins and proteins to help repair damaged strands while detangling and adding loads of body and shine. High-quality, easy-to-find and budget-friendly, it's hands down the best shampoo we found at this price point.

$15 at Walmart

Celebrity-favorite brand K18 was recommended by almost every stylist I spoke with for this story and you can see why: It's one of the best, most hair- and scalp-nourishing shampoos I've ever tried. It's good for all hair types and has a proprietary blend of peptides, which can work as a protective shield to reduce the damage hair endures during washing and styling — a formulation that makes it safe enough for daily use.

$30 at Groupon

My colleague and fellow beauty writer Rebecca Carhart recommended this ultra-hydrating shampoo that she's been enjoying for the past two years: "My friend who has the shiniest hair I've ever seen uses this shampoo and conditioner, so I obviously had to give it a try. I love how clean the shampoo makes my hair feel and the fact that it is silicone- and paraban-free. It uses virgin-pressed, sustainably sourced olive oil from Italy and olive leaf extracts to make hair softer and shinier and I'm amazed how well it works for a drugstore brand."

$12 at Amazon

This Shu Uemura repairing shampoo is a splurge FOR SURE, but if you're looking for a best-in-class hair cleanser that will actually help strengthen your damaged mane (with rice water, a clinically proven hair saver), it might just be for you. Experts I spoke with raved about the Shu Uemura line, and this formula is, according to the brand, meant to "gently cleanse, repair and visibly thicken fragile hair — without stripping away hydration." 

$55 at Sephora

This up-and-coming line, which is known for its affordable, high-quality hair-care products, is becoming more popular by the day. My stylist uses this bonding formula as an Olaplex dupe for damaged hair, but if you have fine hair like mine, I've heard great things about the Verb Ghost Shampoo too. 

$20 at Amazon

Best shampoos and conditioners for curly hair and textured hair

"Women with textured hair should look for a few specific things in shampoos," says Jamal Edmonds, head stylist, owner and creative director of the popular Washington, D.C. salon Lamaj in the City. "First, if you're trying to find a 'clarifying shampoo,' make sure it is infused with natural oils and won’t strip hair color or dry the hair out. If you are looking for a moisturizer," Edmonds explains, "make sure that it’s also infused with natural oils, free from sulfates and mineral oils. Sulfates dry the hair out and mineral oils can coat the cuticle and not allow styling products to penetrate."

"My favorite shampoo and conditioner set for curly and textured hair is Press Agent by Mizani," says Edmonds. "It's a great shampoo and conditioner for weekly or biweekly use because it's sulfate-free and lightweight. Plus it's infused with argon oil, agave extract and a UV filter to protect from the sun. It also blocks humidity and protects the hair from heat damage."

Pros
  • Gentle, lightweight formula
  • Excellent for detangling and moisturizing
  • Sulfate free
  • Protects hair from heat damage
  • Staves off frizz and blocks humidity
Cons
  • Pricey
$47 at Amazon

For a drugstore pick, this duo has a lot going for it: It's free of the harsh salts, surfactants and sulfites found in many budget brands. It contains coconut oil, which is both ultra-hydrating for drier curls and increases shine. It's safe for color-treated and chemically processed hair and, according to reviewers, when used in tandem, the products hold curls for days. One downside: If your hair is thinning or ultra-fine, the oils may weigh your strands down.  

$20 at Amazon

In the past few years, Living Proof's hair products have become legendary, with users raving about how they've "transformed" their hair, made it silkier, easier to style, just better overall. This anti-frizz duo is no different — the vegan, sulfate- and paraben-free product smells subtly of a Tahitian beach vacation, and its lightweight formula truly tames frizz without weighing hair down. Two complaints: The cost, especially for the size, and if you're super into lather, this one won't deliver the suds.  

$68 at Amazon

My colleague Amanda Rickert recommends this fresh-scented set for anyone with wavy to curly hair who's washing one to two times per week. "I enjoy the scent and the pump top from a practical standpoint for use in the shower," she says. "The viscosity and foaming make the product feel super effective and like it cleans my hair without stripping it. Also, if you go through the brand site, you can buy refill bags!"

$53 at Walmart

For decades, Kerastase has been a trusted brand for professional stylists around the globe, especially across Europe where it's somehow much more affordable than it is here. Its ultra-creamy Curl Manifesto shampoo does all the things you want: softens strands, reduces frizz and enhances curl shape while cleansing your hair and scalp of any product buildup. The downside is it's expensive but it works so well on curly, coiled and very curly hair, and experts say you can mix and match it with a less expensive conditioner.  

$26 at Groupon

My Yahoo Shopping colleague Jeanine Edwards has been relying on this cult-favorite conditioner for the past three years: "It's hydrating and nourishing for dry, curly/coily/kinky hair. It has a nice smell, but isn't overpowering. It leaves my hair softer, with less frizz so it's easier to manage. I also really like that it's 95% natural."

Edwards says this particular Briogeo conditioner is ideal if your curly hair is brittle as the formula itself is thick and creamy. One caveat: "It's expensive, so I have to wait until it goes on sale to stock up. It usually gets marked down a little on Prime Day."

$39 at Amazon

Best shampoos and conditioners for color-treated hair

Whether you're laying out cash to have your hair colored professionally or DIY-ing at home, you want shampoos and conditioners that will maintain the pigment and vibrancy and extend the life of whatever hue you choose. Stylists recommend gentle products free of harsh chemicals, including — you guessed it— those with sulfates that tend to leave things extra parched, which can be dangerously damaging post-bleach or post-dye. And avoid clarifying shampoos, many of which can be too harsh for a dyed mane.

"Since I started dying my hair, I’ve been trying to prioritize products that extend the color (or that are at least color-proof)," says Yahoo Shopping editor Kristin Granero. "Joico's Defy Damage line is formulated with moisturizing ingredients like moringa seed oil and arginine for preserving dry or damaged strands, leaving ends smooth and shiny. The brand also offers a protective spray and mask for further protecting the hair."

 

Pros
  • Ultra moisturizing
  • Preserves color
  • Leaves roots smooth and shiny
  • Good for all hair types
Cons
  • On the pricey side
$46 at Amazon

This nourishing combo from beloved brand Nexxus promises serious color-staying power with zero fading after dozens of washes. Reviewers say the sulfate-free formula is hydrating, extra-softening and gentle. Says one: "It's been an absolute game-changer for my color-treated hair!"

$31 at Amazon

Colorist Willa Ashley says she's used Wella's shampoos and conditioners frequently on her color-treated clients' hair — with stellar results. "Wella," she says, "is a company that invests in research and produces shampoos and conditioners with high-quality ingredients that are gentle on the hair and scalp."

$77 at Amazon

I'm not the biggest fan of the famous, celebrity-favorite Olaplex No. 4 shampoo, but I must admit its formula for blond hair is a standout. It's rich, but won't weigh your hair down, emollient, but not over-grease-ifying. Plus, it works magic to maintain cool blond hues and keep them from developing dreaded brassiness.    

$30 at Amazon

When it comes to color-treated hair, it turns out that blondes don't have all the (un)fun. The extra-pigmented blue tones in this moisturizing vegan formula counteract those annoyingly brassy orange tones brunettes pick up from things like overexposure to the sun, restoring medium-dark tones to their original rich color and sheen.

$27 at Amazon

According to colorist Willa Ashley (and almost every expert I spoke with), Redken is one of the most reliable hair-care lines around. Plus, this $13 travel hair saver is perfect for when you're on the go and don't want to use harsh hotel products. The next size up — 10 ounces — is a pricier $33 but for an ample size: 20% more than you get with similar, high-quality brands. 

$13 at Amazon

Yahoo Shopping deputy editor Izabella Zaydenberg recommends this color-safe conditioner for when you want extra hydration without the heaviness or commitment of a mask. "It leaves my hair more manageable. I swear it helps with smoothness, too, plus my hair doesn't feel as frizzy after I use it," she says. "It's definitely a little thick but not to the point of weighing my hair down."

$32 at Walmart

Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Oily Hair and Combination Hair

Greasy hair requires more frequent washing but not with just any shampoo. Here's why: Harsh, drying formulas may solve one problem but bring on another, leading to dull follicles, brittleness and extra-dry ends. And, while an oily scalp may be caused by genetics, skin conditions and/or overuse of products, it's often simply the result of excess sebum (the pesky skin oil that also causes face pimples). True, the best shampoos and conditioners for oily hair contain stronger cleaning agents to absorb grease, but they also need enough fortifying ingredients to remain gentle.

The hero ingredients of these surprisingly high-quality drugstore finds are three types of clay, which naturally soak up excess oil while leaving behind hair's original shine. The formula is silicone-free but still lathers well, and renders previously too-greasy-to-manage strands bouncy and soft.  

Pros
  • Highly oil absorbing
  • Silicone free
  • Affordable
  • Lathers well
  • Leaves hair shiny
Cons
  • Strong fragrance
$18 at Amazon

My colleague Julia Webb brought this stellar shampoo to my attention last week: "My hair gets greasy quickly, so I tend to use dry shampoo to prolong wash days — Ouai's Detox Shampoo is how I combat product buildup. It smells great and leaves my hair feeling super clean but not totally stripped. I use it after I do any slicked-back hairstyle — gel, pomade and hair spray are no match for this formula."

Note: This is a powerful clarifying shampoo and is not for dry or damaged hair; it is best used once or twice per week, even on sturdier strands.

$32 at Sephora

If you're an organic girl who wants to avoid chemicals while still maintaining a grease-free coiffure, this is the product for you. It's made of plant-based ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile and calendula for combating oil, along with lemon oil and cedarwood oil to help soothe your scalp. Bonus: It's mild enough for the entire family and excellent for everyday use.

$10 at Amazon

Bumble and Bumble's beloved Sunday Shampoo is meant to give all types of hair a weekly reset: Use the lightweight formula once every seven days to remove product buildup and hard-water residue and to promote a healthier scalp. It's gentle enough to be used on hair in almost any condition, though check with your stylist before trying if yours is super-damaged or freshly dyed. 

$28 at Walmart

Best shampoos and conditioners for fine or thinning hair

Though it's not something most of us like to talk about, the majority of men and women will experience hair thinning; more than half of all women over 50 have thin or thinning hair. And while none of these shampoos and conditioners will help your hair grow (you'll need hair-growth products for that), they will help solve the biggest thin-hair problems: strengthening and detangling extra-fine, knotty strands and lending volume and bounce to a limp, flat mop.

This truly weightless duo does it all: cleans, hydrates, detangles, smooths and softens without a speck of residue — like the name suggests, it's ghostlike, leaving behind results with a presence that's barely there. One caveat: I had zero problems with this, but a few reviewers with fine and greasy hair found the formulation to be a bit too oily.

Pros
  • Weightless
  • Detangling
  • Ultra-hydrating
  • Affordable
  • Pleasant scent
Cons
  • May not work for fine hair that's also oily
$34 at Amazon

Colorist Tylor Johnson raves about this lightweight shampoo that is infused with essential oils, vitamins and antioxidants: "For people who have fine-textured hair that tends to get greasy easily, I always recommend using something lightweight and/or plumping," she explains. "And a great option for this is Kevin Murphy's Angel Wash."

$29 at Walmart

This multiple-award-winning social media sensation hair-care line is dermatologist-tested and free from harsh chemicals like parabens and phthalates. It's packed with scalp-nourishing natural ingredients like coconut oil and vitamin E and, when used in combination, was particularly effective for both leaving the hair at the crown of my head bouncy and clean and moisturizing my dry ends. My only downside: The extremely cute 12-oz. bottles are a bit small and you have to re-up frequently.

$14 at Amazon

A fragrance-free duo that's also hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic, these shampoo and conditioning formulas are not only tested by dermatologists, they've also received the Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association.

$56 at Amazon

Cindy Crawford's "strengthening" shampoo is not made for fine or thin hair per se, but it's ultra-lightweight and leaves one's whisper-fine strands feeling sturdier somehow — less like thin, limp threads and more bouncy, like floss. I've been using it on and off for months and found it's unexpectedly truly excellent for aging and/or thinning hair. 

$59 at Amazon

Packed with biotin, vitamin B5, saw palmetto berry extract and coconut oil, this hydrating shampoo and conditioner set manages to be rich and plumping without being too heavy for my fine hair. After just one wash, my hair looked fuller and had more body than usual — and using an ample portion of both products didn't weigh it down.

$68 at Amazon

I have to admit: I was skeptical before trying Superzero's bar formations, but the all-natural shampoo and conditioner left my hair in better shape than it had been in months — silky, full, shiny, manageable. Seriously, not only did it lather shockingly well, this set was also everything I could hope for in a shampoo/conditioner combo and more. I only wish it were cheaper and, as with any bar soap, a little less unwieldy to store.

$56 at Amazon

Best Shampoos for Dry Scalp and (Light) Dandruff

While more serious scalp conditions like psoriasis may require a prescription shampoo to heal (and a physician visit to diagnose), garden-variety dandruff is often resolved by investing in a quality over-the-counter solution. Keep in mind, our reviewers are not medical experts, but they found the following to be effective for everyday scalp itchiness and flakes.

My colleague Jeanine Edwards says she's been using this gold-standard dandruff shampoo for longer than she can remember: "After I had a baby, my scalp got so dry and flaky and this is the only shampoo that keeps the flakes and itch at bay. I get my hair done at a salon and I'm the person who brings their own shampoo because I refuse to use anything else. It doesn't really have a strong scent and it isn't overly tingly on the scalp, but it really has worked for me to get rid of dandruff and flakes and itchiness and prevent them from coming back."

$8 at Walmart

"Every once in a while, I experience a hair rut where it seems like I just can’t manage to get my hair clean and this is one of the few shampoos I’ve tried that does the job effectively," says my colleague Kristin Granero. "The apple cider vinegar works to detox the hair and scalp and clear out gunk along the way. It’s formulated to help tackle dandruff — and it smells really fresh; subtly sweet!"

$11 at Walmart

This dermatologist-approved shampoo is made with the antifungal agent ketoconazole — it's the only over-the-counter formula you can buy that contains this prescription-grade dandruff-fighting ingredient. Also good: You use it for a limited time (three to four times a week for a few weeks) and it's designed to be powerful enough to clear things up quickly.

$12 at Walmart