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The 7 Best Shampoos for Salt and Pepper Hair in 2022

Today men and women of a variety of ages proudly show off their salt and pepper hair. You’ll want to find the best shampoo for salt and pepper hair if you want to keep your silver and dark hair in the best condition possible.


What’s the Best Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair?

Best Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair Graphic

Men with salt and pepper hair are so attractive that movie stars such as George Clooney and Brad Pitt let their silver show. For women, salt and pepper hair is so popular that women without gray hair have been coloring their hair to get the salt and pepper look for their hair.  

One thing those who give up coloring their hair will notice is how much healthier their salt and pepper hair becomes. However, salt and pepper hair can be more coarse. Another consideration is how salt and pepper hair can yellow.

Those who don’t want those ash tones in their salt and pepper hair may want to use purple shampoo, which gives silver hair a bluish tint, invisible to the eye, that counteracts the yellow. The results are whiter silver hairs for a more eye-catching salt and pepper hair look. 

Our Top 7 Picks for Best Shampoos for Salt and Pepper Hair 

Reviews and tests spotlighted the best shampoos for salt and pepper hair. Since each silver-haired person has their own hair goals, we chose a Best Overall as well as runners-up that are best for certain salt and pepper hair conditions. 

  1. Best Overall: Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo
  2. Best for Dry Salt and Pepper Hair: Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
  3. Best for Damaged Salt and Pepper Hair: Herbal Essences Repairing Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo
  4. Best Anti-Yellowing Shampoo: Pantene Silver Expressions 
  5. Best Clarifying Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair: Bellisso Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
  6. Best Smelling Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair: Botanic Hearth Peppermint Shampoo
  7. Best Volumizing Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair: Biolage Volume Bloom Shampoo

With so many shampoos on the market, how can someone with salt and pepper hair know what shampoo is best? We’ve done the research for you to showcase the best shampoos for salt and pepper hair. Our top picks will have your salt and pepper hair gleaming. 

Why You Need a Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair

Image of a man with salt and pepper hair for a roundup on the best shampoos for this hair type

AJR_photo/Shutterstock

You may wonder why salt and pepper hair might require changing shampoos. You probably have used the same shampoo for years, so why change now that you have a few silver strands?

The answer is that hair changes over the years.

As hair grays, becoming salt and pepper hair, it can become coarser and dryer or thinner and finer. Some people with salt and pepper hair have damage from coloring and styling.

Now that they are letting their silver strands show, those with salt and pepper hair want to keep their hair healthy and repair any damage.

Shampoos for salt and pepper hair can take care of the special needs of silver hair, plus other wants, such as a great scent, extra hydration, or a boost in volume.  

The Best Salt and Pepper Shampoos for 2022: Top 7 Picks

To make the most of your salt and pepper hair, you’ll want to use the best shampoos for your hair type to keep silver hair healthy and shiny.  

1. Best Overall: Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo

Best Overall
Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo
Pros:
  • Sulfate- and silicone-free 
  • Deeply hydrates dry hair 
  • Aromatherapy scent 
Cons:
  • Among the most expensive shampoo options  
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A shampoo that will clean and hydrate gray hair, Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo is light, so it won’t weigh hair down. Instead, it will gently clean and moisturize salt and pepper hair and boost volume.  

Jojoba, green tea, and sage will naturally nourish salt and pepper hair, and Pureology also features a signature blend of lavender, bergamot, and patchouli for aromatherapy benefits. Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo is free of silicone and sulfates and is vegan-friendly. 

2. Best for Dry Salt and Pepper Hair: Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo

Best for Dry Salt and Pepper Hair
Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set
Pros:
  • Paraben- and sulfate-free 
  • Argan oil will nourish and moisturize hair 
  • Includes a UV and thermal protectant
Cons:
  • Scent isn’t this shampoo’s strong suit  
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Those with salt and pepper hair may find their hair needs moisture. Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo has the deep conditioning power of argan oil to hydrate and condition salt and pepper hair, leaving it soft and shiny.  

This shampoo is free from parabens and sulfates that can be harmful to health and can lead to thinning hair. Made by Pure Nature, this shampoo also includes a UV and thermal protectant, making this a great choice for those who use a blow dryer or heated styling tools. 

3. Best for Damaged Salt and Pepper Hair: Herbal Essences Repairing Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo 

Salt and pepper hair may feel coarser than years ago, but it can be damaged. Years of coloring hair and heated styling tools may have left hair damaged.

Those embracing their salt and pepper hair can repair that damage with Herbal Essences Repairing Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo.  

Paraben-free and dye-free, this nourishing shampoo includes botanicals to repair damage. Its scent, a blend of exotic spices and creamy vanilla, and its hydration will leave hair lightly scented and shiny. 

4. Best Anti-Yellowing Shampoo: Pantene Silver Expressions

Best Anti-Yellowing Shampoo
Pantene Silver Expressions, Purple Shampoo | For Grey and Color Treated Hair
Pros:
  • Neutralizes yellowing and dullness 
  • Conditions salt and pepper hair 
  • Lotus flower scent 
Cons:
  • Some users say this shampoo can be drying
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Purple shampoo is a staple for some with salt and pepper hair since it washes away dullness and yellowing from gray hair. The purple tint of the shampoo won’t be visible, but silver stands are left looking lighter and brighter. 

Pantene Silver Expressions is our purple shampoo pick since it also offers plenty of conditioning and care, plus a lotus flower scent. 

5. Best Clarifying Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair: Bellisso Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo 

Best Clarifying Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair
BELLISSO Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner Set
Pros:
  • Enriched with coconut oil, avocado oil, and argan oil 
  • Apple cider vinegar will tackle grime and leave hair shining 
  • Paraben- and sulfate-free 
Cons:
  • Several reviewers disliked the scent  
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Getting clean hair shouldn’t mean drying it out. That’s why we recommend Bellisso Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo. Paraben- and sulfate-free, this shampoo will balance hair’s pH and moisturize it with avocado oil, coconut oil, and argan oil.

Apple cider vinegar should ease any scalp itchiness. Getting out the daily grime and product build-up is what this shampoo does best, but it will leave hair hydrated, too. The result will be shining salt and pepper hair.  

6. Best Smelling Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair: Botanic Hearth Peppermint Shampoo

BOTANIC HEARTH Peppermint Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set
Pros:
  • Infused with argan and coconut oils 
  • Energizing scent of peppermint, tea tree, and coconut 
  • Sulfate- and paraben-free 
Cons:
  • Some reviewers said they would have liked more lather
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Having salt and pepper hair that’s shiny and healthy is wonderful, but how does it smell? If you want to have salt and pepper hair that smells as good as it looks, Botanic Hearth Peppermint Shampoo is one to try.

Its invigorating fragrance is a blend of peppermint, tea tree, and coconut. This Botanic Hearth blend also includes coconut oil and argan oil to nourish and hydrate hair, leaving it conditioned and healthy. 

7. Best Volumizing Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair: Biolage Volume Bloom Shampoo 

Best Volumizing Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair
BIOLAGE Volume Bloom Shampoo
Pros:
  • Leaves thin, fine hair with up to 70 percent more volume 
  • Paraben- and silicone-free 
  • Light conditioning leaves hair shiny, but not weighed down
Cons:
  • Some say there’s not enough conditioning offered
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Some with salt and pepper hair find that their hair gets finer and thinner over the years, Biolage Volume Bloom Shampoo cleans hair and adds light-weight conditioning. Fine hairs are coated and plumped to give hair a fuller, bouncier look.

After just one use, reviewers found they had up to 70 percent greater volume. Biolage Volume Bloom Shampoo is paraben- and silicone-free and has a light botanical scent that’s not overwhelming.  

Finding the Best Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair

Woman buying the best shampoo for salt and pepper hair

BearFotos/Shutterstock

If you want the most from your salt and pepper hair, not just any shampoo will do. Shampoos for salt and pepper hair should offer special features that will make the most of silver hair and give it the special care needed. Consider these factors as you shop for shampoo for salt and pepper hair.  

Paraben- and Sulfate-Free 

Parabens and sulfates can damage hair health and leave it thinning. Since salt and pepper hair can become thinner, a shampoo for salt and pepper hair shouldn’t contain these ingredients.

Read Next: What Is a Paraben in Shampoo?

Conditioning 

Salt and pepper hair can become dry, so having ingredients such as argan oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil lets a shampoo for salt and pepper hair offer conditioning and hydration. 

Volume 

Since some salt and pepper hair can become thin or fine, using volumizing shampoo can be a good idea. Shampoo for salt and pepper hair should offer conditioning that’s deep but won’t weigh hair down, decreasing its volume. 

Toning 

Some with salt and pepper hair are disappointed when their bright silver strands turn yellowish. Purple shampoo for salt and pepper hair can help them get brighter whites in their salt and pepper hair.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

You may still have questions about finding the best shampoo for your salt and pepper hair. These frequently asked questions may give you the answers you need. 

Why Does Hair Gray? 

Hair follicles contain pigment cells that give hair its color. As we age, those cells die. Without them, new hair strands grow, but their shades are lighter.

This makes them take on shades of silver, gray, and white. Once hair follicles stop producing these pigment cells, they will never start producing colored hairs again.  

What Age Does Salt and Pepper Hair Appear? 

The age when hair turns salt and pepper depends on race. Caucasian people start to gray in their mid-30s, while Asian people get salt and pepper hair in their late 30s. African American people usually don’t begin to see salt and pepper hair until their mid-40s.  

What Color Does Gray Hair Become? 

Gray hair can fade to a yellow tone if left to its own devices. For this reason, people with salt and pepper hair may opt to use a purple shampoo. These shampoos for salt and pepper hair leave a purplish cast to hair that’s invisible to the eye. 

Since purple and yellow are opposites on the color wheel, purple shampoo cancels out yellow. This makes lighter hairs brighter and whiter for more stunning salt and pepper hair.  

How Often Should You Wash Salt and Pepper Hair? 

You’ll want to keep your salt and pepper hair clean, but how often you wash your hair will depend on your hair’s texture and moisture level as well as your activities.

Daily workouts at the gym may mean you should wash your hair more often. Those with dry hair may want to wash their salt and pepper hair only once or twice a week to keep it from becoming brittle. 

Will Salt and Pepper Hair Make Me Look Old? 

Not necessarily. Salt and pepper hair is such a striking look for men and women that some people dye their hair to have salt and pepper hair early. Having well-groomed salt and pepper hair and a stylish haircut will make silver hair stunning.  

So What’s the Best Shampoo for Salt and Pepper Hair? 

There is no one type of salt and pepper hair, so the best shampoo for salt and pepper hair may not be perfect for everyone with silver tresses. However, to have healthy salt and pepper hair, a paraben-free, sulfate-free shampoo is essential.

Since most salt and pepper hair can be dry, conditioning is key. Our roundup of the best shampoos for salt and pepper hair has those features and more, from toning to volumizing.

This makes each of them a great new addition to your hair care routine. Try one or several of them to find the shampoo for salt and pepper hair that’s best for you.