The Best New Shampoos For Your Hair Type, According to Experts
The best new shampoo options recreate the salon experience without their user having to step foot outside. “Salon stylists are known to cocktail shampoos to benefit that particular head of hair,” explains Dhairius Thomas, the celebrity hairstylist who’s worked with stars like Rihanna, Jazmine Sullivan, and Normani. “Now, you can achieve that same result with just one product.”
Jenna Perry, who Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid turn to for custom color, is particularly familiar with bringing the salon experience home. “I often do house calls for my clients, and it’s always a funny moment when I have to ask them to lay on the kitchen counter in order to wash their hair!” When choosing a cleanser, she has a motto: “Treat your hair like you would your skin. When the seasons change, our hair has different wants and needs.” Los Angeles native Iggy Rosales, hairstylist to celebs like Kali Uchis and Paris Hilton, suggests that identifying what your hair needs, today, is step one. “Do you have colored hair? Do you have breakage? Do you use heat on your hair?” he asks. “This will allow you to pick the perfect cleanser for your hair type and give you the best results.”
Mirroring our current lifestyles, our hair needs are ever-changing. “Year two of pandemic conditions means navigating more of the unexpected—more worry about getting sick, more concern about job loss and just more stress in general—none of which are conducive for our health and well-being, and especially not our hair and scalp health,” says Connecticut-based hair restoration expert Dr. Rae Lynne Kinler. She notes that over 30 million women in the US suffer from genetic or female-pattern hair loss. The once-unfairly-taboo topic is now driving up demand for growth-stimulating actives (like TikTok’s infamous rice water promises) and supplements like Nutrafol. Dr. Kinler suggests that as an initial step, “start a routine that includes a healthy hair diet, supplements, and topicals as well as nourishing, hydrating, keratin-boosting and pH-balancing products.” According to Naeemah LaFond, Amika’s global artistic director, ingredients have become an even larger focus in the past year as well. “Reading labels and looking for shampoos with not only healing and reparative claims but also the powerful ingredients to back those claims, is how we should always shop for our hair care,” she says.“Look for particular ingredients in products based on your hair concern.”
Below, five hair experts on the best new shampoo to consider weaving into your 2022 routine.
For Dull Locks
Alo Yoga’s 2022 launch is a totally new category for the industry-favorite activewear brand, and it’s designed to help all hair types shine with vitamin C-packed amla berry and multitasking avocado oil. “The fatty acid-filled avocado oil is super penetrative and won’t just sit on your stands and weigh them down,” says LaFond. “Avocado oil smooths and seals the strand, locking in the moisture that is needed for preventing breakage. When your hair is healthy, shiny, and moisturized, your styles will look better and last longer.”
It seems like everyone is talking about this shampoo bar right now. “Using rice water on your hair may be one of the latest TikTok trends, but this practice has been used to bring vitality to dull strands for ages,” says LaFond. “In an era where we are seeking the latest in innovation, I think it’s important that we look back and explore more ancient beauty practices.” Five percent of the proceeds are donated to initiatives that support the Red Yao tribe’s community in the Huanglo mountains of China. An eco-forward option thanks to lighter packaging and shipping footprint, waterless shampoo ingredients work just as well when activated in the shower.
Now, Sangre de Fruta’s chicly packaged shampoo pumps can be topped up with a refill pouch carrying twice as much product. Its star ingredient, camellia seed oil (also known as Tsubaki seed), is believed to be a dull hair remedy. “In searching for the right hair products, it’s important to dispel the myths that surround oils in the hair,” LaFond explains. “For one, not all oils are created equal. Some oils do indeed make your hair look and feel greasy by just coating the hair shaft but others like Tsubaki seed oil actually penetrate the cuticle and melt into the hair. Lightweight oils like this leave you with tresses that are moisturized and glossy, and not weighed down and greasy.
For a Reactive Scalp
“The scalp environment can become too acidic due to the environment, specifically our shower water as well as product chemical interactions,” says Dr. Kinley. “Restoring balance is a good way to help scalp health and support better, stronger healthier hair growth,” she says, adding that Dr. Sturm’s new Balancing Shampoo is “chock-full of” pH-balancing and hydrating potential.
“The key to having healthy hair strands is nourishing the scalp,” Thomas says, recommending balancing shampoos for clients with reactive, sensitive scalps. “This is also infused with zinc, which helps keep the oil glands around the hair follicles functioning properly.”
For Everyday Use
Thomas and Perry both agree on Crown Affair’s Ritual Shampoo, for different reasons. Thomas points out that it works for all hair types, and “the coconut-based surfactant lifts grease and removes dirt pollution” without stripping hair’s natural moisture. Plus, its a complete sensory experience. “I love the look of the Crown Affair packaging in my shower,” says Perry. “It’s so chic, and the scent is so light and amazing.”
“This shampoo is my go-to for a standard wash,” says Thomas of this industry-favorite that he carries in his kit. “It works for all hair types, and ingredients like Avocado and grapeseed oil will leave the hair soft and shiny.”
For Natural Textures
“Oribe’s Cleansing Cream for Moisture and Control Shampoo is by far my favorite,” says Thomas of the foam-free wash. “It smells luxurious and is great for all hair types, but the curly community will really appreciate this one because it caters to a full head of hair by boosting manageability and protection from natural elements.”
“Usually, my clients with thick, wavy, curly, and coily hair will require a wash with a shampoo as good as this one,” says Thomas. “It combats split ends while leaving the scalp noticeably clarified—so not only will the scalp look better, not it will feel better because key ingredients like tea tree, peppermint, and Black cumin seed are all anti-inflammatory.” Expect a tingling sensation.
“For anyone who wants a gentle cleanse or a product with nourishing key ingredients, I highly recommend Bread Beauty Supply Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser,” says Thomas, who points out that it caters to curl patterns ranging from 3A to 4C. “This is where co-wash meets cleanser, filled with hair-loving ingredients like aloe vera, argan oil, and vitamin E.”
For Gray Hair
“I love Better Not Younger Silver Lining shampoo,” says Thomas. Rather than cutting brassiness with recipes for bleach blondes, “now we have a shampoo that caters just to silver and white hair tones without turning them lavender,” he says of the bamboo-infused formula, which “promotes moisture retention while helping to strengthen the hair.”
For Dry Locks
“This shampoo is perfect for dry hair,” says Rosales of Kevin Murphy’s Young Again Wash that’s “full of antioxidants” and designed to “make your hair feel hydrated and soft. Free of sulfates and parabens, Rosales shares that it “also smells amazing.”
“In the fall and winter, hair seems to feel drier, therefore it’s a really good time for a moisturizing shampoo,” says Perry. Monday’s hydration-gripping recipe (thanks to hydrolyzed rice protein and coconut oil) works for frizzy and fragile types as well as curls up to category 4. “Plus, it has the most gorgeous scent,” she says of its soft gardenia notes.
For Super-Fine Strands
“I figured I’d put it to the test,” says Thomas of OUAI’s Fine Hair shampoo, which now comes in a refill package that works just as well as a standalone vessel. “This shampoo is formulated to instantly increase volume at the roots, which gives you that lift after a great blow dry,” he says. “If you’re struggling with flat hair, this isn’t a permanent solution, but it’ll give your hair a fuller appearance for at least three days.”
For Color-Treated Hair
Rice water is experiencing a revival in the hair industry. “Shea Moisture’s Purple Rice Water Strength + Color care shampoo is one of my new favorites,” says Thomas, who recommends it for anyone experiencing brittleness. “Hair can become brittle for a number of reasons such as color treating, and or heat damage,” he explains. “This hydrates and restores shine while removing residue and after every wash, leaving the hair feeling brand new.”
“I recommend this shampoo to a lot of my color clients,” says Perry of Living Proof’s Color Care wash, which is now offered in a shower-friendly pump. Its formula “protects color from UV and other harmful things like harsh water.”
For Damaged Hair
Jonathan Van Ness’s new JVN hair line is easy to like—the packaging is often aluminum or glass, which is exponentially more recyclable than plastic, and the ingredients received Sephora’s clean seal of approval. Thomas likes JVN Undamage Strengthening Shampoo’s under-$20 price point—and results. “It’s great because it fortifies damaged, delicate, and over-processed hair without stripping its moisture,” he says.
“Another Kit staple that always goes fast is my Bumble and Bumble Repair Shampoo—this is my number recommendation for combating frizz,” says Thomas, who loves its scent and pearlescent tint. “This caters to all hair types—I specialize in wigs, and this is the only shampoo that can wash all of them,” he says. “It has a honey bond-building complex that promotes elasticity, heals split ends, and prevents breakage. I actually need more of this!”
“This one reigns supreme in the luxury department for me,” says Perry of R+Co Bleu’s Deluxe Reparative Shampoo. “It’s really decadent but it doesn’t weigh your hair down like other decadent shampoos.” Plus, the entire line’s recycled packaging is designed to be recyclable.
For Thinning Hair
“If you have thin hair and you’re looking to thicken your tresses, this is your shampoo,” says Thomas of cult-favorite brand Augustinus Bader’s new The Shampoo (which is already selling out on major platforms). Thomas likes that it features maca root extract, which “reduces breakage while improving the strength of the hair.”
“Another shampoo that’s great for thin hair is the Virtue Flourish Shampoo,” says Thomas. “This alpha keratin-infused formula binds instantly to damaged strands to repair them, leaving the hair thicker and more luscious—it also stimulates growth.” Dr. Kinley confirms that a protein-rich shampoo like this can “help fortify and bond to our hair strands and bind to damage so we see less breakage, better growth, and all-around vibrancy.”
“This shampoo is great for everyday use,” says Thomas, who recommends its color-safe, sulfate-free recipe for anyone looking for increased density and fullness.
For those test-driving the “expensive brunette” look, green shampoos can neutralize brassiness and red tones for brown hair. “This is a favorite of mine for brunettes,” says Perry of Matrix Dark Enve Color-Depositing Shampoo. “It’s kind of like bringing your colorist into the shower with you.”
For all-natural and bottled brunettes alike, Rahua’s classic formula offers a non-toxic safe zone. “I love the Rahua shampoo and conditioners for color-treated hair,” says Perry. She suggests the line for anyone in need of moisturizing color retention with ultra-natural ingredients. “I find that my clients’ hair doesn’t fade when they are using it, and it is as pure as it gets.”
“Using Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Repair Shampoo feels like the ultimate hair hack when you learn that you can literally hold off a bit longer before you head to the salon for a color refresh,” says LaFond. “It feels like having a custom toning formula right there in your shower.”
“This is really exciting for me because I color a lot of blondes,” says Perry. The just-launched formula works for natural and cosmetic blondes to check the boxes. “It clarifies, brightens, and balances the hair to help illuminate all blonde shades. This shampoo is going to be my number one recommendation for all of my blondies.”
For Hyper-Specific Solutions
Prose’s bespoke blends are made to order—what’s fresher? At a price point that rivals off-the-rack shampoos, they develop formulas in a Paris lab, which are ultimately customized for each user to specific concerns (“like prebiotics for dry scalp, or charcoal to detox”) based on data gained from a fairly quick online survey. Sustainably harvested ingredients and a carbon-neutral environmental impact are added perks to the line that’s gaining reviews from customers seeing a change in their hair that’s “obvious right away.”
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