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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

47 Models Considered
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Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Buying guide for best shampoo and conditioner sets

Last Updated December 2019

Selecting the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type is essential to healthy, shiny hair. Shampoo cleanses your hair of oil and dirt, and conditioner softens it for manageable styling. It’s best to buy shampoo and conditioner in a set because the two products are formulated to work together to give you a good hair day every day.

However, with hundreds of options to choose from, choosing the right shampoo and conditioner set for your locks can be a challenge. You’ll need to consider your hair type, the ingredients, and any special hair concerns you have, like dandruff prevention or keeping your color-treated hair strong and vibrant.

Our buying guide has everything you need to know when shopping for shampoo and conditioner sets, including how much you should expect to pay and a few hair care tips. For our five favorite shampoo and conditioner sets, see the matrix above.

Shampoo and conditioner sets do expire. Be aware of the expiration date when buying in bulk.

Key considerations

The main consideration when choosing a shampoo and conditioner set is your hair type.

Fine hair

Fine hair shouldn’t be confused with thin hair. Fine hair indicates the thickness of each strand of hair, rather than your whole head of hair. You can have a lot of hair, but each strand may be fine. Fine hair often becomes greasy in a short period of time between washes. A gentle shampoo that increases volume is a good option for fine hair. Avoid thick, creamy formulas. Also, you may not need to condition your hair every time you wash it. Too much conditioner can weigh down fine hair.

Coarse hair

Coarse hair is the opposite of fine hair. It is often dry and needs a creamy formula to revitalize and moisturize each individual strand. Your hair may be naturally coarse and dry, or it can become that way from overstyling or excessive heat treatments.

Frizzy hair

Frizzy hair needs more attention from conditioner than from shampoo. Conditioners help tame frizzy hair by softening it and making it easier to manage. Use a conditioner every time you wash frizzy hair. If your frizz can’t be tamed by conditioner, consider an oil treatment once per week or month to aid in smoothing.

Curly hair

Curly hair is different from frizzy hair. Curly hair means your locks are naturally wavy and curly. Frizz comes from broken hairs sticking up from the head or from curls that have lost their integrity. Look for a shampoo and conditioner set specially formulated for moisturizing and separating curls for a sleeker look.

Oily hair

If you have oily hair, there is plenty of moisture already in your locks. Avoid formulas that are moisturizing because you’re only adding more oil to the hair that way. With oily hair, shampoo often but avoid over-conditioning.

Color-treated hair

If you’ve added highlights, lowlights, or completely dyed your hair, choose a shampoo and conditioner set for color-treated hair. Shampoos and conditioners that keep color-treated hair healthy help to preserve the color in your hair, and they also work to strengthen dyed hair. Look for products with protein-based ingredients. You may also want to use a purple shampoo once a week to maintain the vibrancy of your color.

Contains argan oil for a silky sheen

The ArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set is infused with argan oil and formulated from organic ingredients. This restorative formula repairs damaged hair and protects against heat styling. The shampoo effectively washes away dirt and oil, leaving your hair without grease or product residue. The conditioner leaves you with sleek, soft, and manageable tresses.

Features

Ingredients

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are similar ingredients. The former is a sulfate that works to lather and clean the hair, but it can cause some scalp irritation. The latter has the same properties, but it is less harsh. Many people with color-treated hair use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner sets for a gentler wash.

  • Cocamidopropyl betaine is another cleansing ingredient. It works to clean the hair, but it may cause a slight irritation for some users.

  • Dimethicone is a silicone that works to smooth and condition the hair before adding any conditioning products. It’s most often found in shampoos.

  • Panthenol is used to hydrate hair, and it’s a form of vitamin B5.

  • Citric acid raises the pH of your shampoo and your hair. Because the ingredients in shampoos and conditioners work better in a more acidic environment, citric acid is sometimes added to increase the properties of the products.

  • Parabens are added to hair products as preservatives. However, some people prefer to avoid these chemicals and seek out paraben-free shampoo and conditioner sets instead.

  • Zinc pyrithione is found in dandruff shampoos. It works to reduce flakes and itchiness on the scalp.

Specialized shampoos

Dry shampoo is used to refresh hair between washes. It helps to soak up excess oils, which gives your hair a “clean” look. However, dry shampoo should not be substituted for regular washing with a shampoo and conditioner set.

Think of how much hair a baby has – not much. That hair is also usually very fine, and it needs gentle, tear-free baby shampoo to cleanse it properly.

Dandruff shampoo helps to moisturize the scalp itself and stop itchiness and flaking. These shampoos work to soothe and exfoliate. The active ingredient is usually zinc pyrithione.

EXPERT TIP

Avoid washing your hair too much. There are natural oils in your hair that work to keep it healthy. If you wash your hair when it doesn’t need it, you may be washing out these helpful nutrients.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Remember that less is more when it comes to conditioner. Use a drop of conditioner about the size of a dime for your whole head.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

When using conditioner, first apply it to the ends of your hair. Hair is the most dry at the ends. Newer hair is closest to the head, and it doesn’t need as much conditioner.


Staff  | BestReviews

Shampoo and conditioner set prices

Prices for shampoo and conditioner sets are based on the quality of the ingredients and the quantity of product in each bottle.

For $13 to $18, you can purchase drugstore shampoo and conditioner sets that come in 24-ounce bottles. The ingredients in these formulas are usually not top-quality. However, they work just fine for many people. In this same price range, you can find shampoo and conditioner sets with natural ingredients in smaller eight-ounce bottles.

For $20 to $25, you’ll find shampoo and conditioner sets with better ingredients and more specialized formulas. Many of these sets are sulfate-free and paraben-free and gentle enough for color-treated hair.

High-end sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner sets formulated from organic ingredients cost $25 and up. These sets offer the highest-quality ingredients and may be worth the price if you have a number of hair concerns.

Locks in hydration and moisture

The Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner Set comes with a 25-ounce bottle of shampoo and a 24-ounce bottle of conditioner that will leave your locks soft, refreshed, and revitalized. The set works together using Pantene’s Daily Moisture Renewal system. This moisturizing set is from a favorite drugstore brand and is best for those with dry and damaged hair.

Tips

  • Be wary of shampoo and conditioner sets that claim to be suitable for all hair types. It’s best to buy a set that caters to your specific hair type, whether that be fine hair, curly hair, or color-treated hair.

  • Don’t associate a high price tag with a quality product. Just because the product is expensive doesn’t mean it’s right for your hair. Always choose a shampoo and conditioner set formulated for your hair type or concerns.

  • If you’re unsure of your hair type, ask your hair stylist at your next appointment. Your stylist will be able to help you find the right products for your hair.

  • Remember that you know your hair’s quirks better than anyone, including how often you need to wash it.

Other products we considered

There were a few standout shampoo and conditioner sets that almost made our top five. The Nexxus for Color-Treated Hair Assure System Shampoo and Conditioner Set is formulated specifically for color-treated hair. It maintains color with white orchid extract while still thoroughly cleansing the hair with a gel-like shampoo and nourishing conditioner. The WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner Set is free from sulfates, parabens, and silicone. Perfect for dry hair and itchy scalps, the apple cider vinegar shampoo soothes and refreshes. The conditioner features coconut oil and avocado oil for serious hydration and soft, mangeable locks that are ready for styling.

Sulfates add lather to shampoos, but some people find them more irritating than beneficial. If you have color-treated or damaged hair, look for a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner set.

FAQ

Q. If a shampoo and conditioner set contains sulfates, does that mean it’s bad?

A. No, not necessarily. What you should be wary of is excessive sulfates. Too much of these cleansing ingredients may irritate a sensitive scalp or be harsh on fine hair. You may also want to avoid sulfates if you have color-treated hair or damaged hair that needs to be washed gently.

Q. Can my partner and I share the same shampoo and conditioner set?

A. If you have the same type of hair, go ahead. But if your hair types are different, and they probably are, one person may not benefit from using the shampoo and conditioner set you’ve selected.

Q. How long do 24-ounce bottles of shampoo and conditioner usually last?

A. It depends on how many people are using the shampoo and conditioner set, but each wash should use no more than one tablespoon of each product. If you wash your hair three times per week, 24-ounce bottles of shampoo and conditioner should last about four months.

The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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