The 5 Best Shampoos, According to a Very Picky Beauty Editor
My complicated relationship with shampoo started in middle school. One time, my mom went rogue when she was replacing the empty communal bottle in the shower and bought a brand we've never used before. This new shampoo coated my hair with a thick, greasy slime and I had to wash and blow dry it all over again. I was not happy.
I've continued to be dissapointed with shampoos throughout my entire adult life. My thick, dry, color-treated hair just wants a sulfate-free formula that's going boost volume, softness, shine, and keep my color from fading. But I guess my expectations are too high.
As a beauty editor, I try a ton of different formulas as part of my job. While most of them aren't bad, I've never once felt as happy as any of those women swinging their hair in shampoo commercials look once I've finished blow-drying my freshly-washed hair.
However, in a haircare asile full of "meh" shampoos, there are still a handful of gems. Among all of the formulas I've tried over the years, there has been five shampoos that have truly worked well on my thick, dry hair — and they also do wonders for a number of other common hair struggles, too.
Here are five shampoos that have truly wowed me, along with a bonus pick just for fun.
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For the Smoothest Hair of Your Life: Joico Defy Damage Protective Shampoo
Running your hands through your hair can make it get greasier faster, but I don't care, because then I get to use this Joico shampoo all over again. It's formulated to instantly smooth hair while boosting its defense against environmental and styling damage. And quite honestly, no other shampoo has made my hair this silky. A friend used it just once while she was staying with me in N.Y.C. When she got home, she went out and got her own bottle. This shampoo has that much power.
For Dry as Hell Hair: Davines Love Shampoo
While I would never skip moisturizing my face every day, I don't put as much effort into keeping my hair as hydrated as I should. But when my hair is extra dry and brittle, this super-rich Davines shampoo does the trick. It includes an Italian olive extract that quickly moisturizes my hair back to smoothness. But, here's the catch: The formula is quite heavy, so trust me, a little goes a long way.
For Damage Control: Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
Like so many celebs, hairstylists, and beauty editors, I won't shut up about Olaplex. The salon treatment repairs hair proteins damaged during the coloring process. Along with an at-home strengthening mask, the brand has come out with a shampoo and conditioner set. I use the strengthening shampoo when my fried hair is in need of a heat-styling detox. And in just one wash, my hair is shinier and smooth enough to run my fingers through it.
For Tons of Volume: Leonor Greyl Paris Volumizing Shampoo
Along with whistling and using chopsticks, drying my hair with a round brush is a skill I can't seem to master. Thankfully, volumizing shampoo exists. Leonor Greyl's shampoo adds body from root-to-tip while simultaneously moisturizing my hair. It's also formulated with a detangling effect so you can skip conditioner, which can weigh things down.
For Color Protection: Briogeo Color Me Brilliant Mushroom + Bamboo Color Protect Shampoo
As someone who spends a lot of time (and money) on their hair color, I'm going protect my investment. And using a color-protective shampoo is key to prevent fading. This Briogeo bottle has quickly earned a permanent spot in my shower. The natural, sulfate-free formula is powered by bamboo, which coats and locks in color.
Bonus: R+Co Television Perfect Hair Shampoo
If you're looking for a shampoo that does a little bit of everything, the color-safe R+Co formula is your best bet. It volumizes, moisturizes, boosts shine, and strengthens hair. Think of it as the shampoo version of a greatest hits album.