The best shampoos for all types of hair, recommended by expert hair stylists: OLAPLEX, Kevin Murphy, Pureology and more
We spoke to two top hairstylists to find out what you should look for and avoid when buying a new shampoo, and discover which brands to look for and which products they think are the best shampoos.
When it comes to maintaining, growing and styling your hair, one of the most important products you need is a good shampoo. But with so many different brands offering multiple different kinds of shampoos, which is the best shampoo for you?
From hydrating shampoos that promise to repair dry hair and specially formulated shampoos to target greasy hair to products created to maintain colour or specifically developed formulas for men's hair, we’ve covered all types of shampoos to suit all types of hair, with expert guidance to help us along the way.
You can also check out our full guides of the best shampoos for each hair type by heading over to our haircare section on The Recommended.
At The Recommended, we spoke to two top hair care experts to help us find the best shampoos to suit all types of hair, with their own recommendations on which shampoos they use when washing and styling their client's hair.
Once you've read through our best list, keep reading to discover some of our experts' advice on what you should look for (and avoid) when looking for your next shampoo, and we'll answer some of your most frequently asked shampoo-related questions.
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The best shampoos at a glance:
- Best strengthening shampoo: Kerastase Resistance Bain Extentioniste Shampoo, £27.15 at Feel Unique
- Best volumising shampoo: Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash Densifying Shampoo, £28 at Cult Beauty
- Best for regaining moisture: Pureology Hydrate Moisturising Shampoo, £23.80 at LookFantastic
- Best anti-dandruff shampoo: Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo, £7 at Boots
- Best thickening shampoo: OGX Volumising Biotin & Collagen Sulfate-Free Hair Shampoo, £10.48 at Amazon
- Best vegan shampoo: Faith In Nature Natural Shea and Argan Shampoo, £6.69 at Holland & Barrett
- Best shampoo for coloured hair: OLAPLEX No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, £28 at Cult Beauty
- Best shampoo bar: Garnier Ultimate Blends Coconut Hydrating Shampoo Bar, £7.99 at Boots
The best shampoos
Best strengthening shampoo: Kerastase Resistance Bain Extentioniste Shampoo
Designed to hydrate the strengthen
The Resistance Bain Extentioniste Shampoo from Kerastase has been made with powerful amino acids and ceramides to improve elasticity from root to tip.
Recommended by our expert Richard Ward, this shampoo is a favourite of hair care experts thanks to its silky formula that helps to rebuild the hair’s internal structure to make it more resistant to breakage.
Best volumising shampoo: Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash Densifying Shampoo
Formulated for fine hair
With a strengthening blend of ginger root and nettle extract, this shampoo promises to volumise limp and thin hair and comes recommended by our expert Laura Rugetti.
This shampoo has been created to nourish each hair follicle while stimulating circulation to help to promote hair growth and gently exfoliate. With consistent use, it promises to effectively prevent hair loss and thicken the hair.
Best for regaining moisture: Pureology Hydrate Moisturising Shampoo
This shampoo has been created to cleanse the hair without stripping it, making it ideal for dry or damaged coloured hair, and it comes recommended by our hair expert Richard Ward.
Pureology’s formula has been made using natural ingredients like Jojoba, Green Tea, and Sage, resulting in a creamy, luxurious shampoo that helps to deeply hydrate normal to thick dry, colour-treated hair.
Best anti-dandruff shampoo: Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo
Calms itching and irritation
Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo is made using a coal tar formulation, which is proven to help soothe itching, calm redness and prevent flaking scalps.
While dandruff may be one of the most common haircare complaints, it can be a sign of more advanced scalp disorders such as seborrhoeic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis. This shampoo promises that through regular use, it can help control these problems while leaving hair shiny and manageable.
Best thickening shampoo: OGX Volumising Biotin & Collagen Sulfate-Free Hair Shampoo
This shampoo has been enriched with collagen and vitamin B7 and promises to give you thicker-looking hair with added volume.
With a pH-balanced formula, this shampoo has been created to give a salon quality and provide gentle cleansing that will help give you stronger hair with more shine, less frizz and long-lasting smoothness.
Best vegan shampoo: Faith In Nature Natural Shea and Argan Shampoo
99% natural ingredients
Faith in Nature’s shampoo contains ethically traded shea butter and argan oil to gently cleanse and deeply nourish your dry hair.
This shampoo is Vegan Society Approved, guaranteeing cruelty-free hair care, while its packaging is made using 100% recycled and recyclable materials, making it one of the most eco-friendly shampoos you can buy.
Best shampoo for coloured hair: OLAPLEX No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
Protects and repairs damaged hair
OLAPLEX’s products have been made specifically for colour-treated hair, and this shampoo has been designed to repair and maintain hair bonds on a molecular level.
This shampoo promises to repair and protect hair from everyday stresses, including damaged hair, split ends, and frizz, and leave hair easier to manage, shinier and healthier and has been clinically proven to reduce breakage and strengthen all types of hair.
Best shampoo bar: Garnier Ultimate Blends Coconut Hydrating Shampoo Bar
Zero plastic waste
This solid shampoo bar is a great alternative to liquid shampoos in plastic bottles and has been designed to nourish and hydrate hair using natural ingredients.
Made using sustainably sourced ingredients, including Coconut Oil & Organic Aloe Vera, this shampoo bar has an extra foamy nourishing formula, and with zero plastic packaging, it’ll help reduce your impact on the environment.
What to look for when buying shampoo: our haircare experts give their advice
Richard Ward and Laura Rugetti are two of the highest regarded names in the hair care and hairstyling industry, with decades of hairstyling experience between them and unrivalled knowledge about which hair care products are the best to buy, including shampoos.
Richard Ward is an award-winning hairstylist who has styled the hair of top celebrities, including Elizabeth Hurley, Kim Cattrall and Poppy Delevingne, and even British Royalty, with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, among his clients.
Laura Rugetti is one of the biggest names in celebrity hair in the US, styling the locks of some of the biggest celebrity names, like Paris Hilton, Kelly Osbourne and Amelia Gray Hamlin, as well as some of the biggest names in reality TV, including Selling Sunset’s Christine Quinn, The Hill’s Audrina Partridge and several cast members of the Real Housewives franchise.
We put three questions to both of them to understand precisely what you need to know when shopping for your new shampoo and got their expert recommendations of the best shampoos to buy and why.
What should you look for when buying shampoo?
“Depending on your hair type. Look for what’s best for you”, says Laura. The best shampoo will ultimately depend on your hair type, “if you need a volume shampoo for fine hair. Or a hydrating shampoo for dry hair.”
Richard agrees, “It really depends on their hair type, texture and density, as well as addressing any concerns like heat damage or scalp sensitivity.”
“In general, you get what you pay for, so more expensive brands will be more concentrated and with better ingredients.”, he adds, warning that “cheaper brands will have a higher detergent content. Look for something SLS and Paraben free.”
What should you avoid when looking for shampoo?
When it comes to what you should avoid, Laura has one top tip, “avoid sulphates”. Sulphates are the additives that give shampoo formulas their thick lather and are designed to help strip the hair of oils and dirt.
However, when used too often, sulphates can strip away too much of the hair’s natural moisture, leaving it dry and unhealthy. They may also make the scalp dry and prone to irritation, so they’re best avoided when you’re looking for a shampoo that you’ll use regularly.
Similarly to sulphates, Richard warns against using strong anti-dandruff products. “Anti-dandruff shampoos are very strong, and most clients don’t actually have dandruff, just dry scalp which needs moisture not harsh stripping ingredients which will only serve to exacerbate the problem.”
Which is the best shampoo?
“Kevin Murphy line of shampoos are my go-to!” says Laura, “they have a different shampoo for every type of hair. My favourite for volume is the plumping shampoo.”
Shampoo buyer's guide
We've rounded up some of the most commonly asked questions about shampoo and done our research to answer them, so you can be sure you know everything you need to when buying your next bottle.
How to choose the perfect shampoo
Choosing the right shampoo for your hair can make a big difference in achieving luscious locks. With countless options on offer, it's important to pick the best one for you.
First things first, identify your hair type. Is it limp and lifeless? Frizzy or oily? Has it been dyed? Distinguishing your hair type will help you find the right formulas.
For greasy hair, consider shampoos that effectively remove excess oil. Check out our guide on the best shampoos for greasy hair - we've got you covered with top products, plus tips on the ingredients to look for and how to combat grease.
For dry and damaged hair, look for moisturising shampoos to restore vitality. Check out our guide on the best shampoos for dry hair, specially formulated for hair lacking in moisture, with tips from top hair care experts.
For colour-treated hair, choose shampoos designed to preserve its vibrancy and prevent fading. Check out our guide on the best shampoos for coloured hair for some of the top products on the market, and advice on how to look after coloured hair according to experts.
When it comes to fragrance and texture, personal preferences play a key role, so consider scents that complement your taste. Don't forget to check for any harmful chemicals like sulphates, parabens, or silicones. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently pick the perfect shampoo for healthy and fabulous-looking hair.
How often should you shampoo your hair?
The frequency of washing your hair depends on your hair type, daily activities, and personal preferences. We've got the full low down on hair washing in our guide on how often you should wash your hair. We spoke to experts for their advice and looked into the different factors which influence the frequency of how often you wash your hair, from hair type to lifestyle. Get the full debrief in our guide, but for now, here's a quick rundown of the recommended frequency for hair washing according to hair type:
- Fine hair: Every other day
- Thick hair: Once or twice a week
- Dry hair: Once or twice a week
- Oily hair: Everyday washing
- Coloured hair: Every two to three days
For further advice on hair washing, once you've chosen the right shampoo for your hair type, check out our guide on how to wash your hair properly for the ultimate advice and top tips.
Want to read more expert-recommended beauty round-ups? Check out our beauty page for a full list of recommendations, including our guide to the best mascaras recommended by celebrity make-up artists and our expert guide to the best hair dryers.
Cordelia Aspinall is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media, working across brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeForMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. She has previously worked and written for digital publications including Condé Nast Traveller, The Evening Standard, Cosmopolitan, and several other lifestyle brands.