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,” Dhairius Thomas, the hair artist whose work has helped define SavageXFenty’s runway shows, explains. “Now, you now 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, hair stylist to celebs like Kali Uchis and Paris Hilton, suggests that identifying what your 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. “The pandemic has had an effect on the hair care industry—concerns about hair loss have been on the rise,” says P&G hair scientist Dr. Jeni Thomas, Ph.D., who founded KeepItAnchored to help calm oxidative stress shown to cause excessive hair loss. “A study we ran indicated that 40% of women say their hair is showing more signs of stress during COVID than before.” 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 haircare,” she says. “You should always 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 2021 routine.
Jupiter Balancing Shampoo
“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.”
Kevin Murphy SCALP.SPA WASH
On top of being housed in 100% ocean waste plastic, this soothing wash works for all hair types. “My clients have mentioned that it leaves the hair feeling buttery soft,” says Thomas. “It nourishes, protects color, and is infused with coconut oil to promote thicker, stronger hair.”
OUAI Detox Shampoo
“I’m sure you’ve seen the YouTube craze of using apple cider vinegar in the hair to remove build up. This method does work, however it will leave the hair and scalp with a tart aroma,” says Thomas. Still, removing leftover residue is essential to maintaining a healthy scalp. “This has ingredients like apple cider vinegar and hydrolyzed keratin without leaving you smelling like a kitchen,” he jokes. “Instead, it has a sweet, velvety rose fragrance that lingers.”
Susanne Kaufmann Shower Shampoo Refill $63
“The formulation is very gentle,” says Perry, describing this line as “beyond luxe.” It works as an everyday shampoo option for multiple hair types—even color-treated. “I think it’s really impressive how planet-friendly this brand is,” she adds of the just-launched refill option.
Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
“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.”
Bread Beauty Supply Hair Wash
“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.”
Alaffia Beautiful Curls Curl Activating Cream Shampoo
Alongside arnica and baobab oil, fair trade shea butter is a star ingredient in this ultra-gentle cleanser. “Shea butter, like many plant butters, is ideal for adding a dose of intense shine and moisture to the hair without leaving it feeling weighed down and greasy,” says LaFond. “This powerful ingredient is full of fatty acids and vitamins that act as a superfood for dull, dry tresses.”
Monat Purifying Vinegar Shampoo
“For my ACV lovers, here’s a product that will keep you out of your kitchen cabinets,” says Thomas. He suggests using a clarifying option like this between washes for natural hair types who co-wash with creamier formulas. “This shampoo also helps remove environmental pollutants in the hair, and this is beneficial for all naturals living in highly polluted cities and places with ‘hard water.’”
Hair Biology Silver & Glowing Shampoo
“Rather than leaving grey-haired women to borrow from products created for blondes, shampoos are now even more personalized to hair types and needs,” says Dr. Thomas. She likes this biotin-rich formula created specifically for grey hair to neutralize yellowing and brassiness.
Monday Moisture Shampoo
“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.
Rahua Hydration Shampoo Refill
“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.”
Hair Rituel by Sisley-Paris Color Perfecting Shampoo
“Having blonde hair means always dealing with build-up of product, which can make a blonde dull and matte-looking,” says Rosales. “This shampoo helps to cleanse the hair and give it shine and bright again!” One of its secrets? The light-reflecting properties of passion fruit oil.
R+Co Bleu Primary Color Shampoo $59
With a focus on 100% recyclable packaging, this line offers a proprietary Bleu Molecule Complex (aka micro-encapsulated sugar molecules acting as a natural ingredient delivery system) that Rosales loves for clients who dye. “It repairs your hair which helps to lock in your color for longer,” he says. “It helps to keep your hair color fresh and vibrant!”
Amika The Kure Bond Repair Shampoo
“Even if you’ve never had your hair chemically processed and you never apply any heat to your natural hair, it can still be damaged,” says LaFond, who suggests reaching for this when you’re “in need of some intense moisture” in the same way you might reach for a body butter. “Damaged or weak tresses need ingredients that are rich in omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to strengthen and revive.”
AIIR Professional Sapphire Shampoo
Alongside its sapphire crystal infusion, this holistic formula relies on the power of quinoa. “We know quinoa as a healthy source of nutrition for the body, but recently this vegan protein has made its way into haircare for the major impact it can have on hair health,” says LaFond. “Quinoa proteins are made up of the same amino acids that make up 90% of the hair, which makes this ingredient a no-brainer when you’re looking to restore and repair your strands.”
Bardot Voluminous Shampoo
“This shampoo will give the hair body and bounce, making thin or fine hair appear much fuller,” says Thomas. Plus, it includes sea buckthorn, packed with fatty acids, to nourish hair for added shine.
Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Shampoo
“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.
KeepItAnchored Essentials Kit for Women
As a surfactant, this shampoo uses Sodium Laureth Sulfate as the main cleansing ingredient. “It also has technology clinically proven to reduce daily hair loss so you can get ahead of hair loss (much like sunscreen is getting ahead of sun-damage),” says Dr. Thomas. “The clinical study showed that scalp condition improved when using the KeepItAnchored Shampoo and Essence. The scalp was more hydrated, which is an important indicator of being gentle.”
Mr. Smith Stimulating Shampoo
“This works great for all hair types,” says Thomas of the peppermint oil and green-tea-infused blend. He appreciates the Aussie brand’s natural ingredients which skip sulfates, silicones, and parabens. “This shampoo gives an invigorating wash that awakens hair follicles, which promotes growth.”
Davines Heart of Glass Silkening Shampoo
“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 #1 recommendation for all of my blondies.”
Lather Avocado Mint Shampoo Bars
Waterless or bar shampoos are gaining popularity as an eco-friendly option thanks to their lighter packaging and shipping footprint. Plus, ingredients like avocado oil work just as well when activated in the shower. “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.”