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Best Daily Shampoos

Updated April 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. Read more
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 15 Models Considered
  • 25 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 17 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best daily shampoos

    Last Updated April 2018

    There are few things as frustrating as waking up to a bad hair day. But while there are a variety of products that boost volume, smooth frizz, or just tame your wild tresses, banishing bad hair days starts with a good daily shampoo.

    Given the vast array of shampoos on the market, however, finding your perfect rinse can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. You have to start by considering your hair type. Then you need to identify the right formula, with the best ingredients, to suit your hair’s needs.

    Searching for a great daily shampoo? Take a look at our top five picks in the matrix above. For advice on how to choose a good shampoo, our shopping guide has plenty of helpful tips.

    When you apply shampoo to your hair, make sure to massage it into your scalp. This increases blood flow, which can boost hair growth.

    What is your hair type?

    To find the ideal daily shampoo, start by determining your hair type.

    Normal hair

    Normal hair isn’t overly thick or thin and doesn’t develop much frizz. It isn’t overly dry or oily either, which means that it doesn’t require specialized care.

    Fine hair


    Fine hair is very thin. It lacks volume and looks flat and limp. Fine hair is usually straight and may not hold a curl or other styles well. Fine hair is not as prone to frizz as other hair types, but it can develop flyaways. It is also easily damaged, and coloring processes tend to take hold very quickly.

    Oily hair

    If you have fine hair, your hair is likely oily as well. This is because the hair isn’t thick enough to fully absorb the natural oils that your scalp produces. A film builds up, making your hair look greasy and flat. Oily hair usually lacks volume, and you may also suffer from dandruff.

    Dry hair

    Dry hair is usually coarse, and it typically contains a high concentration of protein. It’s prone to frizz and often appears dull and rough. Dry hair is also very prone to damage. Some people have naturally dry hair. Many people develop dry hair due to chemical treatments like coloring, heat damage, swimming in saltwater or chlorinated water, or sun damage.

    Curly hair

    In addition to natural waves, curly hair is usually thick, coarse, and dry. It gets frizzy easily and can have a rough appearance. If you have curly hair, you may also have trouble tamping down volume.

    Damaged or chemically treated hair

    Damaged or chemically treated hair tends to be very dry and brittle. It is prone to breakage, split ends, and frizz, and it often has a dull, lackluster appearance. Damaged hair usually requires significant special care to restore its smoothness and shine.

    EXPERT TIP

    While many shampoos have the instructions “rinse and repeat” on their labels, it’s best to only shampoo your hair once.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Don’t rub a towel over your hair to dry it – that can rough up the cuticle. Instead, blot your hair with the towel to soak up excess moisture.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    What to consider when buying a daily shampoo

    Formula

    When it comes to choosing a daily shampoo, the most important step is finding a formula that works with your hair type. Let’s take a look at some common formulas.

    • Balancing: A balancing shampoo is ideal if your hair is normal and doesn’t have any special needs. It typically contains an equal amount of detergent ingredients for cleaning and conditioning ingredients for moisturizing. As a result, a balancing formula isn’t overly hydrating, but it won’t strip your hair of moisture either.

    • Clarifying: If you have extremely oily hair, a daily clarifying shampoo is a great option. This formula is heavily detergent-based, so it removes natural oil and residue from styling products to get hair as clean as possible. Avoid a clarifying shampoo if you have dry or curly hair because it will strip the moisture from your locks.

    • Volumizing: If you have fine or thin hair, choose a volumizing daily shampoo. This formula usually features polymers that coat your hair to help it appear thicker. These polymers don’t weigh hair down, so you can get some extra lift at the roots.

    • Hydrating/moisturizing: For dry, coarse, damaged, or curly hair, a hydrating or moisturizing daily shampoo works well. This formula contains plenty of conditioning and hydrating agents to boost your hair’s moisture, smoothness, and shine. It tends to have a creamy texture to coat the hair for effective hydration.

    • Strengthening/mortifying: A strengthening or fortifying daily shampoo is meant to repair damaged or chemically treated hair. This formula often contains extra protein like keratin and conditioning agents to treat and hydrate hair, but it is still gentle enough to avoid stripping moisture.

    • Color protecting: If you color your hair, you know shampoo fades color. To keep your color true as long as possible, opt for a color protecting daily shampoo. This formula doesn’t contain too many harsh detergents, which can strip color. Instead, it offers conditioning agents that keep the hair cuticle hydrated and smooth to prevent color loss.

    • Smoothing: If you have dry, coarse, or curly hair, a smoothing daily shampoo can tame frizz. This formula contains a greater concentration of rich hydrating ingredients to smooth the hair cuticle. It can also make it easier to straighten your hair.

    Ingredients

    For daily shampoo, there are some ingredients you want to avoid and others you want to look for.

    Avoid these questionable ingredients:

    • Sulfates help shampoo suds up. While they’re not all bad for your hair, many are too harsh and can wind up stripping moisture and possibly irritating your scalp. Stay away from shampoos that contain sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate to protect both your hair and scalp.

    • Propylene glycol helps the detergents in shampoo better penetrate your hair’s cuticle. But it can also destroy the proteins in your hair that keep it healthy, and it can sometimes irritate the eyes and skin.

    • Isopropyl alcohol is used to remove oil from hair. It can dehydrate hair if overused, and there are some health issues associated with it because it’s a petroleum derivative.
       

    On the other hand, you should keep an eye out for these healthy ingredients:

    • Certain sulfates work to get your hair clean without stripping it. Laureth sulfates and TEA lauryl are safe sulfates for your hair.

    • Glycerin helps your hair maintain moisture by forming a protective barrier over your follicles to limit hair damage.

    • Natural oils and butters are often used in shampoo to provide moisture. Nut and seed oils and butters are particularly good for your hair, including shea, avocado, and jojoba. They not only hydrate but can also help dissolve oil buildup in your hair and boost shine.

    • Panthenol is a type of vitamin B that helps restore shine and increase moisture in your hair. It’s often included in volumizing shampoos because it can thicken the appearance of your hair.

    • Acidic agents like citric acid or sodium citrate help maintain your hair’s healthy pH balance. They can also make your hair appear smoother and shinier.

    Scent

    It’s obviously not the most important feature for a daily shampoo, but most people want a formula that smells good. Daily shampoos are available in a variety of scents, such as floral, fruity, or woodsy fragrances, that can keep your hair smelling good all day long.

    If you have sensitive skin, though, you may want to look for a fragrance-free daily shampoo because chemical fragrances can cause irritation.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Shampoos and conditioners are often formulated to work together, so it’s a good idea to use the same brand for both.

    How much do daily shampoos cost?

    Daily shampoo prices vary based on the size of the bottle and the quality of the ingredients. You can usually expect to spend between $6 and $85.

    • Budget-Friendly: A standard 8- to 16-ounce bottle of daily shampoo with lower-quality ingredients typically costs around $6. For a jumbo 24- to 32-ounce bottle of daily shampoo with lower-quality ingredients, you’ll pay $6 to $12.

    • Mid-Range: A standard 8- to 16-ounce bottle of daily shampoo with average-quality ingredients typically costs $16 to $25. For a jumbo 24- to 32-ounce bottle of daily shampoo with average-quality ingredients, you’ll pay $25 to $40.

    • Expensive: A standard 8- to 16-ounce bottle of daily shampoo with high-quality ingredients typically costs $25 to $40. For a jumbo 24- to 32-ounce bottle of daily shampoo with high-quality ingredients, you’ll pay $40 to $85.

    EXPERT TIP

    When it’s time to rinse shampoo from your hair, use a blast of cool water to seal the cuticle for added shine and smoothness.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Shampoo usually has a shelf life of two to three years, so toss any old bottles you have at the back of your bathroom cabinet.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Tips for using a daily shampoo

    • Most hair professionals advise against washing your hair with shampoo every day. Instead, wash every other day or every third day to keep hair moisturized, shiny, and smooth.

    • Always wet your hair thoroughly before applying your shampoo. Use warm water to open up the cuticle and allow the shampoo to penetrate more effectively.

    • Concentrate shampoo at the scalp, where your hair tends to be oiliest. Massage some of the suds down the length of your hair, but don’t apply any additional shampoo to the ends.

    • Follow up your shampoo with a good conditioner that suits your hair type. Conditioner helps replace any moisture that the shampoo might have stripped away.
    No matter your hair type, it’s a good idea to wash with a clarifying shampoo once a month to remove any product buildup from your hair and scalp.

    FAQ

    Q. How much shampoo should I use when I wash my hair?
    A.
    A variety of factors affect how much shampoo you should use, but most people need approximately a quarter-size amount of shampoo. If your hair is longer or thicker than average, you may need more shampoo.

    Q. How often should I switch shampoos?
    A.
    The idea that your hair can become immune to a certain shampoo formula is mostly a myth. However, hair can change over time due to chemical treatments, styling products, and environmental factors. If you notice that your formerly oily hair has become dry, you should change your shampoo to address your new concerns.

    Q. Are sulfate-free shampoos better than formulas that contain sulfates?
    A.
    Sulfates can strip moisture from hair that’s dry, damaged, coarse, or curly, so entirely sulfate-free formulas are a good option for those hair types. However, if you have oily hair, some sulfates like laureth sulfates and TEA lauryl can dissolve oil and leave you with squeaky clean hair.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Enid
      Enid
      Editor
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer