When it comes to washing hair, your choice of shampoo and conditioner matters a lot. Over the years, we have learned that different hair types require specific care to thrive and look good, whether you are trying to grow it long or keep it short. The best shampoo and conditioner for you, therefore, is one that takes care of your hair type without stripping it of its natural oils.
As we know, a shampoo's job is to dislodge build-up and cleanse off sweat and dead skin cells. On the other hand, a conditioner restores moisture to your hair, makes it softer and easier to manage, and helps with detangling. Both of these products must work together to keep the hair and scalp clean and moisturized.
That said, not all shampoos and conditioners are made equal. Some contain sulfates and parabens that will eventually make your hair and scalp more dry and prone to dandruff, while others are even carcinogenic. The best shampoo and conditioner must be gentle on your hair, moisturizing, and safe, which means no harsh chemicals.
Whether you have dry, oily, color-treated, or combination hair, we have rounded up 5 of the best shampoo and conditioner combo to keep your hair soft and healthy.
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Are you dealing with a dry, itchy scalp that's always ruining your outfits with dandruff? Or maybe you have oily hair that feels weighed down and dirty all the time? This duo from TPH by Taraji will sort that right out. The Master cleanse scalp treatment wash contains potent ingredients like witch hazel, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil to dissolve all that scalp build-up for a healthier scalp. The shampoo cleanses, detoxes, and maintains a balanced environment for your scalp and hair.
With the Mint Condition Tingling Scalp Conditioner, expect the most amazing tingling feeling that leaves you feeling refreshed and smelling good. The conditioner replenishes the hair’s moisture and refreshes your dry scalp so your mane can go back to looking pristine.
What we love most about this TPH by Taraji combo is the tri-touch applicator, which allows you to get into the heart of the matter. If you have braids, a weave, or any other protective style, the applicator makes it easy to apply the products without leaving build-up on your hair.
Type 4C hair is naturally the most tightly coiled type, making it more vulnerable to drying and breaking. The coils make it more difficult for natural oils secreted from the scalp to travel to the full length of the hair strands. For this reason, you need a shampoo and conditioner that will deep condition and moisturize the strands to strengthen and keep them healthy. The Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner Set from Shea Moisture contains ingredients like shea butter, peppermint, Jamaican black castor oil, and apple cider vinegar to not only lock in moisture, but also leave your scalp residue-free.
While shea butter and Jamaican black castor oils infuse your hair with hydrating moisturization, the apple cider vinegar balances your scalp PH and adds that clarifying factor. Peppermint oil plays its role in invigorating the scalp and stimulating cells for faster and healthier hair growth. The combo will moisturize your dry, brittle hair, leaving you with soft, beautiful curls that don't break easily.
Who doesn't like big, beautiful, and bouncy hair? If you have fine, flat, or thin hair, this Biotin thickening shampoo and conditioner from R+CO will help add volume and vitality so you can enjoy the hair of your dreams. R+CO is a collective of the best hairstylists in the world who came together to make a line of products that offer immediate results.
The products contain ingredients like Biotin, which increases hair strength and vitality, and coconut oil to condition, add luster and soften the hair. The Dallas thickening shampoo improves the keratin infrastructure and adds intense hydration to the hair.
They also contain pro-vitamin B5 for intense hydration and that natural sheen and saw palmetto berry extract to add body and make your hair look bigger. As if that wasn't enough, the formulation has loquat fruit extract that's packed with vitamins and minerals to help maintain your mane.
When award-winning actress Tracee Ellis Ross was working on Pattern, she had her own hair in mind- curly, thick black hair for colored girls. Besides creating a line of products that can nourish, moisturize and take care of wavy, dry hair, the products are also affordable and accessible to every girl.
Pattern hydrating shampoo is a blend of aloe Vera juice, coconut oil, and honey, resulting in a creamy and luxurious product for curlies, coilies and tight textured hairs. The shampoo gently cleanses and hydrates your hair and scalp without stripping you of natural oils because it doesn’t contain sulfates and other harmful chemicals.
As for the leave-in conditioner, Tracee Ellis Ross thought about moisture and more moisture. Thanks to a blend of heavenly oils and honey, your hair will be deeply refreshed, hydrated, and restored. It is perfect for sealing in moisture as you put your hair in protective styles.
When it comes to color-treated hair, you want a shampoo and conditioner that will rebuild the bonds damaged by the color treatment to gradually transform your hair back to health. Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo is the most recommended shampoo for colored hair because it repairs, strengthens and hydrates all hair types. As a result, the shampoo reduces breakage and eliminates frizz and flyaways.
The Olaplex No. 5 hydrating conditioner is specially formulated to restore the internal strength and moisture level of your hair, leaving it soft, easy to manage, and frizz-free. What's more, since this combo doesn't have sulfates and other strong surfactants, your color stays as true as it was the day you applied it. Not only will the shampoo not wash away the color from your hair, but it will also make it look better by enhancing health and shine on your hair.
A Guide to Picking the Best Shampoo and Conditioner for You
Walk into any hair care aisle in the supermarket or even a beauty store, and your mind will be blown by the vast selection of products you have to choose from. It is our belief however that the best shampoo and conditioner should be independently selected based on what your hair needs. These needs include dryness, build-up, dandruff, color or heat damage, and so on.
With that in mind, we've added a few other features you should look for when buying shampoo and conditioner to ensure they work on your hair.
The long list of tongue-twisting ingredients on every shampoo and conditioner can be confusing, to say the least. What you need to look for however is the handful of ingredients you should never see in your haircare products and the nice ingredients you want.
To start with, you don’t want to see sodium Laureth sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate anywhere near your shampoo. These are ingredients used to give your shampoo that nice lather, but all they do is strip your hair of its oils and moisture, leaving it dry and prone to all kinds of harm. The best shampoo and conditioner should also be paraben-free or fragrance-free and contain no harmful chemicals.
Now for the good stuff. When buying hair care products, you want the ones that not only cleanse your hair but also hydrate and strengthen your strands. Ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, aloe Vera, avocado oil, Moroccan argan oil, and Jamaican black castor oil are all fantastic moisturizing ingredients.
2. Your scalp
Most people think that shampoos and conditioners are only for your hair. However, the scalp is where hair growth and essentially its health emanates, so you have to take care of it. If you have dry scalp, choose products that are moisturizing, conditioning, and hydrating. You can try products with Nioxin, shea butter, coconut oil, and stay away from sulfates. For oily scalp, you want a clarifying and balancing shampoo that will take care of the build-up and also balance your scalp's PH.
3. Your Hair Type
Just as important as your scalp is the hair type because the texture, porosity, and elasticity of your hair affect how it looks. For example, 4C hair type dries up much faster because of the coiling structure. This means you need to give it more moisture with the products you use. If you have fine hair, choose volumizing, strengthening, and thickening products to add somebody to it.
After all is said and done, the best shampoo and conditioner is a matter of preference and of course, your hair type. Choose a combination that not only takes good care of your hair but also smells nice. If possible, it should be affordable and easily accessible at your local store. That said, the best shampoo for your hair doesn’t have to be the same brand as your conditioner, but it helps if they are.
Frequently Asked Questions on Shampoos and Conditioners
1. Can I Just Use Conditioner without Shampoo?
People with dry hair are often told to use conditioner only when washing their hair because shampoos tend to strip away the oils and make your hair drier. However, not using shampoo will eventually lead to build-up because conditioners don’t have cleansing agents. With time, your hair will start to feel greasy, limp, and even attract dandruff because the scalp is not being cleaned. That said, if you wash your hair the recommended two times a week, you can shampoo and conditioner on day one and then skip the shampoo on day two. The trick is to choose hydrating shampoos that won’t dry your hair.
2. How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
As a rule, try not to wash and shampoo your hair too often. A good practice is twice a week so you don’t strip the hair of oils and leave it dry and brittle. Taking too long without washing your hair, on the other hand, can lead to the build-up of oils, dirt, and sweat, which you don’t want. So twice a week still remains the most recommended amount.
However, if you have extremely oily hair, you can wash your hair every day or at least every other day because oily hair can feel weighed down and dirty a lot faster. As always, choose a gentle shampoo and conditioner that won’t dry out your hair.
3. How do I determine my own hair type?
The best way to know your hair type is to consult a professional stylist. They will be able to examine individual strands and test for strength, elasticity, and how your hair reacts to heat, manipulation and water. The stylist will also recommend the right hair care system depending on your hair type to enhance your hair's strength and health.