Friday, April 12, 2024

18 Best Drugstore Shampoos and Conditioners That Actually Work

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1

Best For Frizz

Nexxus Ultralight Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner

Ultralight Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner

1

Best For Frizz

Nexxus Ultralight Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner

If you thought you couldn’t achieve volume without battling frizz, Nexxus is here to change your mind. The Ultralight Smooth pair tames frizz and humidity, so the focus is on your voluminous strands and not a puffy hot mess. The hair is coated in a nourishing blend of almond protein and jasmine to nourish as it treats.

Amazon rating: 4.2/5 stars

Our beauty expert said: “My favorite drugstore shampoo and conditioner combination is by Nexxus, which offers a variety of options for all hair types at an inexpensive price. I specifically love the Ultralight Smooth Weightless Protein shampoo and conditioner. It helps block out frizz and heavily moisturizes your hair while leaving your hair with a beautiful and shiny finish. The formula is sulfate free, which is great for color-treated hair and those who want a more chemical-free brand.” —Andrea DiSabatino, NY-based professional hairstylist

2

Best For Curly Hair

SheaMoisture Curl and Shine Coconut and Hibiscus Shampoo for Curly Hair

Curl and Shine Coconut and Hibiscus Shampoo for Curly Hair

2

Best For Curly Hair

SheaMoisture Curl and Shine Coconut and Hibiscus Shampoo for Curly Hair

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A staple in every naturalista’s stash, Shea Moisture’s Curl & Shine line loves on your curls with a creamy formula made of coconut and hibiscus that cleanses away dirt without leaving a squeaky clean feeling. Mahogony Grace, NYC-based hairstylist and founder of Mahogony Grace Salon, loves Shea Moisture products because they offer “a wide variety of ultra-hydrating, strengthening, and restorative products for textured, curly, and coily hair.”

“I have naturally curly 4B hair. The Curl & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner always hydrates my hair and perks up my curls. This is a tried and true favorite that gets my hair clean while keeping it moisturized. The silk protein leaves my hair shiny and minimizes breakage. There’s a reason this line is a curly girl favorite—it works well,” says Danielle James, Digital Beauty Director, ELLE.com.

Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars

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Best For Curly Hair

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Shine Conditioner

Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Shine Conditioner

3

Best For Curly Hair

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Shine Conditioner

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4

Best For Clarifying

Kristin Ess Hair The One Signature Shampoo

The One Signature Shampoo

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Best For Clarifying

Kristin Ess Hair The One Signature Shampoo

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Clarify your strands without leaving your hair a dried-out mess. Kristin Ess’s cult-favorite shampoo and conditioner is a gentle formula that imparts moisture and removes the gunk. “One of the only drugstore brands I know of that is vegan, color-safe, sulfate, and paraben-free is Kristin Ess. This brand is carried at Target and is very accessible to any consumer,” hairstylist Kasey Bertucci of Salon 120 West says.

Ulta rating: 4.4/5 stars

An Ulta reviewer said: “This product removed all of the product residue and leaves my waves bouncy and without frizz. Love this shampoo!”

Blob Lightly clarifying, gently cleanses without stripping the hair of its natural oils; Replenishes moisture + enhances shine; High lathering; Safe for daily use; For all hair types; Contains Zip-Up Technology: Proprietary strengthening complex designed to “zip-up” split ends while targeting weak areas of the hair, smoothing the appearance of damaged cuticles, and helping protect hair from environmental stressors + color fade; Cruelty Free; Color Safe; Vegan

5

Best For Clarifying

Kristin Ess Hair The One Signature Conditioner

The One Signature Conditioner

5

Best For Clarifying

Kristin Ess Hair The One Signature Conditioner

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6

Best For Damaged Hair

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

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Best For Damaged Hair

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

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Shea butter, peppermint, and apple cider vinegar are the holy trinity that combats damage brought on by overly-processed hair. Built around the main ingredient, Jamaican black castor oil, this concoction restores balance and nourishes dry hair.

“Back in the day, when I regularly put heat on my hair, my 4b curls would be so limp. This shampoo and conditioner combo brings them back to life and helps minimize breakage. I also like to use this right before I put in a protective style,” shares Danielle James, Digital Beauty Director, ELLE.com.

Ulta rating: 4.3/5 stars

Blob Organic Shea Butter: Deeply moisturizes while conditioning hair and scalp.; Jamaican Black Castor Oil: Loaded with reparative omegas that reduce breakage and promote healthy hair.; Peppermint Oil: Invigorates the scalp for a stimulating experience.

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Best For Damaged Hair

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Rinse-Out Conditioner

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Rinse-Out Conditioner

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Best For Damaged Hair

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Rinse-Out Conditioner

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8

Best For Spa Lovers

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo

Tea Tree Special Shampoo

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Best For Spa Lovers

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo

Now 22% Off

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Buy for the gorgeous forest green packaging, and keep it for the tingling, spa-like sensation it gives your scalp with each lather. The shampoo and conditioner stimulate your scalp to soothe and refresh it while cleansing away impurities.

Ulta rating: 4.5/5 stars

An Ulta reviewer said: “My daughters have very oily hair and wash it almost every day. This shampoo works well on oily hair. My daughters now can go 2-3 days between shampooing.”

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Best For Spa Lovers

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Conditioner

Tea Tree Special Conditioner

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Best For Spa Lovers

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Conditioner

Now 21% Off

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10

Best Color-Safe Formula

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner

EverPure Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner

10

Best Color-Safe Formula

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner

Now 30% Off

Formulated with color-treated hair in mind, L’Oreal’s EverPure collection is a mainstay in Grace’s collection thanks to its replenishing, sulfate-free, and color-safe formula. The pleasant scent isn’t overpowering and doesn’t take away from the real work of the star ingredient, rosemary. Your hair will feel soft, refreshed, and most important, revived.

Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars

An Amazon reviewer said: “Love the feel & scent, but mostly love its gentleness on my extensions, preserving the integrity of keratin adhesive. 5 stars.”

11

Best For Fine Hair

Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Monoi Repairing Sulfate-Free Shampoo

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Best For Fine Hair

Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Sulfate-Free Shampoo

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Fine hair needs the most TLC, and Carol’s Daughter packaged everything you need in a bottle. Monoi oil, hibiscus extract, and coconut strengthen the hair to prevent further breakage or damage.

Ulta rating: 4.4/5 stars

An Ulta reviewer said: “My new favorite addiction! Lathered, rinsed, and didn’t need to repeat. My hair was literally squeaky clean. I haven’t felt that in awhile. Will add this to my staple hair products!”

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Best For Fine Hair

Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Conditioner

Monoi Repairing Conditioner

12

Best For Fine Hair

Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Conditioner

Now 25% Off

Credit: Courtesy

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13

Best For Long-Lasting Moisture

Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo

Miracle Moist Shampoo

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Best For Long-Lasting Moisture

Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo

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Speaking of moisture, Aussie Miracle Moist is the OG. YouTube beauty gurus help popularize the drugstore icon but its nourishing ingredients—avocado and Australian jojoba seed oil—and amazing slip have proved its staying power.

Target rating: 4.5/5 stars

A Target reviewer said: “It’s been so dry lately and this has been a great product to add moisture into my hair! My daughter also hates when her curls get dry, frizzy and tangly and we’ve had no issues using this shampoo and conditioner!”

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Best For Long-Lasting Moisture

Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner

Miracle Moist Conditioner

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Best For Long-Lasting Moisture

Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner

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15

Best For Intense Hydration

Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo

Moisture Recovery Shampoo

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Best For Intense Hydration

Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo

Now 41% Off

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If you want an intense burst of moisture, look no further than Joico’s Moisture Recovery. Silk press season is almost upon us, and giving your hair enough hydration will allow your post-silk press hair to live a bouncy, healthy life.

Ulta rating: 3.8/5 stars

An Ulta reviewer said: “I love this shampoo. I have natural hair (curly African American texture), and this gets the job done without stripping or drying it out.”

Blob 24-hour moisture replenishment*; Double the softness**; 3X less prone to breakage***; Hair looks instantly replenished, shiny, and healthy; Gently cleanses hair without stripping vital moisture; Helps replenish lost moisture; *When using Moisture Recovery Shampoo and Treatment Balm; **When using Moisture Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner vs. a non-conditioning shampoo; ***When using Moisture Recovery Shampoo and Treatment Balm; against combing breakage on damaged hair vs. a non-conditioning shampoo

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16

Best For Intense Hydration

Joico Moisture Recovery Conditioner

Moisture Recovery Conditioner

16

Best For Intense Hydration

Joico Moisture Recovery Conditioner

Now 13% Off

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17

Best For Maintenance

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo Deep Moisture

Hello Hydration Shampoo Deep Moisture

17

Best For Maintenance

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo Deep Moisture

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Herbal Essence’s Herbal Hydration line is what love in a bottle feels like. It’s as if you sent your hair to a spa on a tropical oasis, from the creamy coconut scent to the soft, supple feel your hair has when wash day is complete.

Walmart rating: 4.5/5 stars

A Walmart reviewer said: “I love this shampoo and conditioner. It really makes my hair feel soft and clean.”

18

Best For Maintenance

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner, Deep Moisture

Hello Hydration Conditioner, Deep Moisture

18

Best For Maintenance

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner, Deep Moisture

Now 26% Off

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Meet the experts

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What should you look for when buying drugstore shampoo and conditioner?

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Like skincare, you should always pay close attention to the ingredients in shampoos and conditioners, regardless of price. “Key ingredients and your hair type play a significant role regardless of drug store bought vs. salon grade. For best results, be sure to choose a shampoo & conditioner that includes ingredients that will benefit your hair type,” NYC-based hairstylist Andrea Disabatino explains. “If you’re interested in ‘health conscious’ products, look for products including ingredients such as argon oil, hemp, and aloe vera. For a deep cleansing formula, helpful ingredients include apple cider vinegar and tea tree. For colored hair, avoid heavy sulfates and sodium, as these ingredients could easily strip your color,” she says.

Headshot of Nerisha Penrose

Nerisha Penrose

Beauty Commerce Editor

Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.

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