Squeaky clean: The best shampoos for every hair type


Finding a shampoo that truly suits you and your scalp can take a while. Sorry, I’m not going to gloss over it. It can be quite the arduous process, especially as every hair type is so different: curly, textured, thin, fine, dry, coloured. You get the picture.

Finding the right shampoo for you, however, will pay off in the long run. Cleansing is, after all, the most important part of any hair care routine and essential for keeping your scalp and locks in good health. To help you on your quest for the perfect shampoo, we’ve narrowed down our favourites for each hair type. Just thank us later…

Best for damaged hair: Olaplex No4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Olaplex experienced something of a moment in 2020; so much so that six of the brand’s products were among the most purchased beauty items that year. If, like me, Olaplex’s luxury lotions dominated your TikTok and Instagram feeds, you may have already given them a go. If not, it’s about time you did. To remedy dry, heat-damaged hair, the No4 shampoo is for you. This nourishing, reparative formula targets damaged hair, split ends, and frizz by relinking broken bonds and strengthening all hair types. When applying, concentrate on your roots before massaging down to the ends to ensure your scalp is thoroughly cleansed.


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Best for itchy, flaky scalps: Dr Barbara Sturm Balancing Shampoo

Tired of an itchy, red scalp and unsightly dandruff? We hear you. Allow us to introduce Dr Barbara Sturm’s Balancing Shampoo. Sturm, a leading aesthetics doctor specialising in anti-inflammatory medicine, formulated this cleansing shampoo with a special ingredient complex containing Japanese camellia, brown and green algae and lavender to soothe irritation, redness and itching while reducing flakiness caused by a dry scalp. Also packed into this mighty 250ml bottle is pro-vitamin B5 to improve hair condition; sunflower sprouts to protect the scalp against heat, pollution and UV stress; as well as purslane extract which has an anti-itching effect. Use in tandem with Sturm’s Hydrating Conditioner for best results.


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Best all-rounder: Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo

If there’s nothing drastically wrong with your hair care routine but you feel like you haven’t found a shampoo that really works for you, we giving Kiehl’s Amino Acid shampoo a go. This simple formula does away with cosmetic jargon and delivers exactly what it promises on the bottle. Enriched with naturally-derived coconut oil and amino acids, this shampoo helps to boost body and fullness while mildly cleansing to add shine.


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Best for thick hair: Ouai Thick Hair Shampoo

From the celebrity hairstylist responsible for the Kardashians’ luscious locks, Jen Atkin launched her premium hair care line Ouai in 2016 so everyone can enjoy hairdresser-style, high-end treatment at home. Atkin has spent years trimming the locks of A-listers and is now one of the most sought-after stylists in the world, so you can trust her hair range stands up to scrutiny. Our favourite for unruly, tangled hair is the Thick Hair Shampoo, which is brimming with strand-smoothing ingredients. The rich formula is infused with hydrolysed keratin to encourage sleek, frizz-free lengths, as well as shea butter and avocado oil to add a healthy dose of hydration.


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Best for dull hair: Living Proof Full Shampoo

Designed to inject life into limp hair, Living Proof’s Full Shampoo has been formulated to battle with the crux of the problem: grease. Excess oil in your hair can cause it to look lifeless and dull, so Living Proof devised a formula of slip modifiers to reduce surface friction, while removing residue and buildup to prevent oily hair. The result? Hair which looks naturally fuller and cleaner for longer.


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Best for coloured hair: Pureology Hydrate Shampoo

We understand how frustrating it can be to spend a wad of cash on a new head of coloured hair only to find your shampoo is sucking the life out of it a week later. Say hello to Pureology: the US professional colour care brand. With its patented Antifade Complex, which helps protect vibrancy, Pureology’s promises the hydrating and protecting formulas your coloured locks are crying out for. The Hydrate Shampoo helps to deeply nourish colour-treated hair with jojoba, green tea, sage and a signature aromatherapy blend of lavender, bergamot and patchouli to create a thirst-quenching formula which retains colour.


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Best for curly hair: Bouclème Curl Cleanser

Created for every type of curl, Bouclème is one of the best brands in the business for taking care of your ringlets. This shampoo is cream-based, aiming to cleanse hair without stripping away the moisture which is so essential to curls. It’s gentle enough for daily use, as its 98 per cent naturally-derived formula contains argan and coconut oil, as well as aloe vera and pomegranate extract. Simply apply generous amounts and massage into the scalp, before moving onto the lengths of the hair and loosely detangle with fingers. Perfect for medium to thick curls, or very dry hair.


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Best for thin hair: Aesop Volumising Shampoo

You may have heard of the Australian luxury cosmetic brand’s hand soaps and lotions, but Aesop’s haircare range is just as lush. The Volumising Shampoo has been specifically formulated for thin hair that’s in need of a good bolstering, which comes in the form of conditioning polymer Polyquaternium 67 to assist in the separation of hair shafts for volume and body. Rosemary, peppermint and fennel botanical oils also help deliver a dose of hydration and lustre.


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Best natural shampoo: Neom Organics Super Power Shower Shampoo

If you’re keen to steer clear of sulphates and parabens, treat your scalp to a dollop of Neom’s plant-based Super Power Shower Shampoo. The award-winning formula comprises natural and naturally-derived ingredients, such as apple seed oil, plant proteins (similar to keratin) and algae extract. On top of that, it’s also vegan, cruelty-free and without silicones. Oh, it smells divine too thanks to a long-lasting scent of 100 per cent natural spearmint, rosemary and eucalyptus.


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Best for day-to-day maintenance: Le Labo Hinoki Shampoo

This everyday shampoo from Le Labo is designed to add a little luxury and indulgence to your hair care routine. Enriched with macadamia, rosemary leaf and rice extract, it boasts stimulating and repairing properties, however it’s the scent that has us hooked. Developed exclusively for Le Labo, Hinoki is a mystical scent inspired by the fragrant trees at the Buddhist temples of Mount Koya in Japan. Allow this shampoo to take you out of the mundanity of hair washing and transport you around the world.


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Read more: The best refillable beauty products for a more sustainable bathroom cabinet

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