Finding the best shampoo is no easy task. After all, everyone’s hair is different. But if you’re hoping to solve dry, thin, limp, colored, curly, or oily hair, you’re in the right place. Our guide covers all this, and much, much more.

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Find the Best Shampoo for Your Hair Type

As an image for a piece on the best shampoo by hair type, a towel, leaves, and a brush all sit on a lay-flat image
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If you haven’t found a shampoo that works miracles on your hair, you’re using the wrong product. Many of us find ourselves grabbing the same brand or type of shampoo for decades without paying attention to what ingredients our hair actually needs.

The truth is that differently formulated shampoos are intended for different types of hair. Some are formulated to heavily moisturize, which is great for dry hair and curls.

Others focus on delivering a deep clean that strips away product residue to leave strands supple and lightweight. Here’s a quick recap of our favorite shampoos and which type of hair they’re best for.

ShampooBest For
Ethique Eco-Friendly Volumizing Shampoo BarVolumizing
Maple Holistics Tea Tree Cleansing ShampooDry Scalps
Biolage ColorLast ShampooColored Hair
Maui Moisture Curl Quench ShampooCurly Hair
OGX Extra Strength Tea Tree Mint ShampooOily Hair
Marc Anthony Instantly Thick Sulfate-Free ShampooThinning Hair
Garnier Fructis Grow Strong ShampooHair Growth

Not ready to buy? That’s fine — we’ve got your back. Certain shampoos can help you build volume, stop breakage, and increase fullness.

No matter what type of hair you have, the right shampoo makes it:

  • Softer
  • Stronger
  • Fuller
  • Faster-growing
  • Balanced (not dry or oily)
  • Aromatic

If you’re not getting the results you want from your current shampoo, it’s time to switch things up. Keep reading to see our recommendations and learn your hair type to discover which one is best for you. 

Best Shampoos for All Hair Types

No matter what your hair type is, there’s a shampoo out there that is formulated just for you. Here are our top picks for shampoos that stand out above the rest.

Best Volumizing Shampoo

Ethique Eco-Friendly Volumizing Shampoo Bar
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We love the Ethique Eco-Friendly Volumizing Shampoo Bar to add body and volume to hair. The shampoo is in bar form, like a bar of soap; it does take some getting used to.

But many women who have switched to bar shampoo say they’ll never go back to liquid. This volumizing bar includes lots of natural ingredients that are lightweight to give your hair more oomph.

Salt, cocoa butter, and coconut oil are some of the ingredients in this bar. The salt is super volumizing and texturizing, giving you hair full of body like a day at the beach.

This shampoo bar can be slightly drying, so avoid it if you have dry hair or a dry scalp. It’s great for balanced or oily hair, though! It’s available in 7 scents, but we love the Sweet & Spicy scent. It’s got hints of ginger, orange, and cinnamon!

Word of warning: Make sure to keep the bar dry in between uses. It will melt away if you leave it in the shower sitting in even a small amount of water!

Best Shampoo for Dry Scalp

Tea Tree Oil Shampoo Sulfate Free Cleansing Tea Tree Shampoo
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For a dry scalp, try Maple Holistics Tea Tree Cleansing Shampoo. This shampoo delivers intensive moisture straight to the scalp and roots without weighing your hair down.

Tea tree oil, jojoba oil work together to keep your scalp moisturized and healthy. You can look forward to less flaking, less itching, and a more balanced scalp when you use this shampoo.

It’s sulfate free and we love how this shampoo uses natural ingredients to restore your scalp’s health and moisture barrier. It’s gentle and does a great job cleansing. Your scalp will feel refreshed.

Note: Tea tree oil is great for hydrating your scalp and roots, but you may want to use an intensive conditioner to restore moisture to your ends. Shampoo as normal and consider using a good leave-in conditioner to get around this problem.

Best Shampoo for Colored Hair

Women with color-treated hair, rejoice because Biolage ColorLast Shampoo is going to save your color. This is a low-pH shampoo with no parabens to keep your color intact, vibrant, and shiny longer.

Using this shampoo can help you color stick around for up to 9 weeks. It’s a commonly used shampoo in salons. It restores moisture and keeps your strands nourished and healthy to seal in color. Yes, it’s pricey.

But with more than 16,700 reviews and an average of 5 stars, this is the one to get if you have color-treated hair. It’s going to save your color depth while toning it slightly and giving you more shine. To get the best results, pair it with the ColorLast conditioner.

Best Shampoo for Curly Hair

Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl-Defining Anti-Frizz Shampoo
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CGs (curly girls/curly guys) swear by Maui Moisture Curl Quench Shampoo as THE shampoo for curly hair. It defines your natural curls, moisturizes the hair from root to tip, cuts frizz, and adds shine.

No more tangled mess when you get out of the shower! The ingredients sound like the makings of a healthy smoothie. Aloe vera, coconut milk, plumeria extract (which smells amazing), and papaya extract are used in this shampoo.

It’s 100% vegan and cruelty free. Plus, there’s no sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, or any of the common nasties found in cheap shampoos.

Tip: Don’t use too much of this shampoo. A little goes a long way! With the moisturizing formula, too much can leave your curls weighed down.

Best Shampoo for Oily Hair

If your hair is prone to getting oily, try OGX Extra Strength Tea Tree Mint Shampoo. Seriously! This is a cleansing shampoo that gives your scalp the most addictive tingling sensation when you use it.

That’s thanks to the burst of mint, witch hazel, and tea tree oil in the formula. This shampoo is on a mission to scrub away the lingering oils on your scalp and strands.

At the same time, it delivers balanced moisture that nourishes the hair without leaving greasy product behind. Not only will it remove the oily buildup from your hair, but using it over time seems to make hair less oily overall.

It’s sulfate and paraben free and will turn your shower into a spa experience with the tingles and delicious scents. Follow with a conditioner on the ends to keep them from drying out too much.

Best Shampoo for Thinning Hair

Marc Anthony Instantly Thick Sulfate-Free Hair Thickening Shampoo
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Thinning hair can really benefit from Marc Anthony Instantly Thick Sulfate-Free Shampoo. It’s loaded with natural proteins that latch onto the hair to make it look fuller, healthier, and more voluminous.

This is a wonderful option for anyone with thinning, limp, or fine hair that needs a boost. It’s formulated to be sulfate free and delivers tons of moisture to keep hair healthy.

Reviewers swear by this thickening shampoo to hide thinning areas or just make their hair appear fuller. Best part: It won’t dry your hair out like other thickening shampoos can!

Best Shampoo for Hair Growth

Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo
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Sometimes, the drugstore brands really knock it out of the park. That’s the case with Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo. This is one of the best shampoo options for hair growth. Here’s what makes it stand out.

The formula contains ceramides, fruit proteins, B vitamins, and plant extracts to actually build and strengthen the hair from the inside out. If your hair is porous or weak, it fills gaps in the hair structure.

This makes the hair smooth and strong. And since weak hair tends to break off easily, this strengthening formula will result in longer hair that appears to grow faster thanks to less breakage.

Use it in tandem with a good conditioner to further strengthen your hair. If growth is your goal, you’ll be able to see results in a month or two. You’ll be able to see stronger, shinier, healthier hair after one use!

Which Type of Shampoo Do I Need?

When every bottle of shampoo claims to have miraculous benefits for your hair, choosing the right one is hard. You need to consider the current state of your hair to find out which type of shampoo is going to work best for you.

But what’s your hair type? What is your hair abundant in and what is it missing? How do you want your hair to look and feel? We’ll show you how to determine your hair type so you can choose the right shampoo for your needs. 

What Is Your Hair Type?

Different hair types on five women standing in a studio against gray background

Once you know what your hair has and what it’s lacking, you can actively look for shampoos that contain (or don’t contain) specific ingredients. 

Flat, Limp, or Lifeless Hair

Hair that tends to lie flat and limply hang from the head is in serious need of volume. Look for volumizing shampoos that are lightweight and promise increased body and volume.

Lightweight formulas make the most of your hair’s natural volume by not weighing the strands down. For the best results, pair with volumizing mousse, gel, or powder before styling. 

Dry, Flaky, or Itchy Scalp

Dry scalps are thirsty scalps. If you’re seeing flakes or experiencing a feeling of tightness or itching, choose a shampoo that delivers intense moisture to your scalp without overwhelming it.

We love natural oils in shampoos to treat a dry scalp. Formulas that contain tea tree oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and almond oil are great options. 

Color-Treated Hair

Color-treated hair must be shampooed with a paraben-free product. This prevents the color from being prematurely stripped off the hair. It’s also gentler on color-treated hair.

Color treatments do a bit of damage during the chemical process. If a shampoo says it’s color safe or for color-treated hair, check the ingredients to make sure there are no parabens on the list. 

Wavy, Curly, or Coily Hair

Curls are more defined and less frizzy when they are adequately moisturized. If you have curly hair, you almost certainly end your shower with a deep conditioning treatment or a leave-in conditioner. But the shampoo you use can help out, too! Choose a moisturizing shampoo that won’t weigh curls down too much. 

Oily or Greasy Hair

Oily hair is caused by an overproduction of sebum (oil) from glands in the scalp. Some oil is needed, but too much causes the hair to look dirty and gross. Shampoo for oily hair should be lightweight, clarifying, and not labeled as moisturizing.

We like tea tree oil as an ingredient for shampoos targeting oily hair. Tea tree oil is antimicrobial so it keeps the hair clean and fresh longer between washes. 

Thinning or Patchy Hair

Thinning hair is a bummer, but it doesn’t have to be obvious. The right thickening shampoo can cover thinning areas by making individual hairs look fuller. Thickening shampoos should contain lots of proteins to build up the strands.

We like effective ingredients like fruit proteins, keratin, B vitamins, and collagen in a shampoo for thinning hair. Thickening shampoos are sometimes labeled as volumizing shampoo, so be sure to check ingredients for both types. 

Slow Growing Hair

Slow growing hair can be genetic, diet related, or it could be caused by weak hair that breaks off prematurely. If the latter is your problem, a strengthening shampoo is the solution for slow growing hair.

By building and repairing the strands of hair that are damaged and weak, these shampoos prevent breakage and help you notice more growth faster. Pair with a matching conditioner and take a multivitamin for the best benefits.

What’s the Best Shampoo?

An image of soap and shampoo sitting on the counter on a stack of towels
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Hunting for a new shampoo can feel a little risky. Maybe the one you’re currently using isn’t perfect, but it’s not bad, either. However, we can say with full confidence that it is worth it to experiment with different shampoos.

Sometimes, the shampoos we use cause problems that we start to blame on our own hair. If you’re noticing that your hair seems dryer, thinner, frizzier, oilier, less curly, or more limp than before, your shampoo could be the culprit.

Switching things up is a lot easier and more comfortable when you have recommendations you can trust. Now that you know your hair type, you can match it to a shampoo on our list. Spend a few bucks to try the right shampoo – it could be the miracle your hair needs.

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Debra Carpenter
Author: Debra Carpenter

Debra is a Nashville-based content creator and strategist. As the daughter of a long-time hair stylist and salon owner, she’s spent most of her life as a guinea pig for new color and cut techniques. Writing for respected publications like Forbes and HuffPost, she’s committed to bringing her passion for great hair to the masses.