The Best Shampoos in the World


The best shampoo in the world is one that is good for everyone. That includes the average person as well as people with different hair types and concerns about their hair and scalp. Beyond that, all that’s left is personal preferences.

With that in mind, we’ve explored all the issues people care about when it comes to the tops of their heads. Some people prefer organic solutions. Others are concerned with their specific challenges, like dryness or dandruff. Then, there are others who just want the most bang for their buck. A great balance between cost and outcome is a quality of its own.

A great shampoo addresses all these factors. But for a shampoo to be number one, it should touch on all these concerns as much as possible.

What do shampoos actually do, apart from the obvious?

Shampoos include a blend of water, oils, surfactants, and other chemicals and ingredients. The mix is designed to remove unwanted matter from your hair and scalp. They simply rinse off dirt, excess oils, and sweats. The ingredients lift them and remove them as the shampoo is washed from your hair.

This describes all shampoos, but the devil is in the details.

The ingredients in shampoos all serve the same purpose, but they serve that purpose at different levels. In some cases, they aren’t very effective. More often, they perform their job too well. That can mean interrupting natural processes, removing too many beneficial oils, or even damaging your hair and scalp.

Besides the standard shampoo ingredients, shampoos may include additional fragrances, conditioners, vitamins, and dyes. These additions can be completely fine and healthy. But when synthetic chemicals, especially too many irritants, are included, they are harmful. The degree to which they are harmful varies. Also, the amount of attention this deserves depends on the health of your hair and any chemical treatments you’ve applied to it.

Why your choice in shampoo matters

First, choosing a shampoo that doesn’t match well with your hair type can cause damaging results. For example, a shampoo that is too harsh for your hair type can damage your roots and scalp.

Second, if you have allergies to some ingredients, you will experience adverse effects. These vary by allergy and shampoo type.

Third, shampoos often use harsh chemical cleansing and lathering agents. Sulfates are especially common. In large amounts, they can lead to the drying of your hair and scalp. This is what we mean by “cleaning your hair too well.” 

Natural shampoos contain moisturizing agents. These natural ingredients ensure your hair and scalp aren’t dried out. They also include natural cleaning agents that do not dry out your hair and scalp and remove natural, beneficial oils. Paying attention to the specific sulfates, sulfoacetates, and sulfosuccinates, and the amount of them in the shampoo can help. Brands can claim to be “sulfate-free” if sulfates are present in very small amounts, and in these cases, it’s far less of a concern.

Fourth, not all shampoos are equal when it comes to ethics. Some brands use an unsustainable formula, and in other cases, cruelty to animals is a part of the research and/or manufacturing processes. Using vegan shampoos can help you avoid funding the use of animal-derived products in manufacturing. But for a brand to be truly “cruelty-free,” it must abstain from cruel experiments on live animals as well.

Overall, a lot more goes into the bottle of shampoo in your washroom than immediately meets the eye.

Types of Shampoos

There are several different types of shampoo that vary in effectiveness depending on your hair type and your specific haircare needs. There are very often overlaps in shampoo functionality, as well.

With each particular brand, you need to be aware of the marketing claims and how the brand backs up these types of claims.

Moisturizing shampoos

Shampoos designed to moisturize your hair and scalp. They are often great choices if you have damaged or dry hair. Others are designed for people who have undertaken chemical treatments such as coloring. 

Volumizing shampoos

These shampoos are designed to add fullness to thin or extra-fine hair. They produce a new appearance, with varying degrees of naturality and effectiveness.

Clarifying shampoos

These shampoos are designed to clean hair, remove excess oil, and remove other unwanted elements such as dirt. It is simply meant to help clean and is useful for everyone. However, people with especially oily hair or hair exposed to harmful chemicals should choose a higher-quality clarifying shampoo.

Anti-dandruff shampoos

These shampoos are designed to eliminate dandruff and/or to prevent the build-up of yeast. Yeast build-ups, if not properly addressed, lead to dandruff.

Natural shampoos

Natural shampoos may be designed for any mix of the above purposes. What makes them “natural” is not coming with synthetic chemicals and fragrances. Natural shampoos instead take advantage of natural oils and other natural products. In many cases, natural shampoos overlap with vegan shampoos, meaning they are comprised of plant-based ingredients.

People often exclusively use natural shampoos due to hair care issues, ethical concerns, or a simple preference for natural products in general.

Here are the 11 best shampoos for anyone in the world. They are ordered by overall quality, not the specific needs of people with certain hair types or any specific hair issues. 

1. Blu Atlas Shampoo


There are no fancy branding moves or gimmicks here, just science.

Blu Atlas has quickly become a leader in men’s grooming and personal care. The simply named Blu Atlas Shampoo follows the overall values of the company: natural, gentle, ethical, clean, and premium ingredients.

There are many shampoos on the market that offer some mix of these qualities. Blu Atlas Shampoo stands apart for its across-the-board attention to quality.

What makes a shampoo natural is a simple matter; it’s in the ingredients. Blu Atlas Shampoo is 99% from natural origin ingredients. Ingredients include plants, fruits, and minerals. It is a vegan product that is 100% cruelty-free and free of synthetic dyes.

The profile of Blu Atlas Shampoo, therefore, makes it a natural and ethical option for the average consumer. But what effect does this have on your daily hair care routines?

Vegan shampoo products are not just for vegans. They are better for everyone because they lack the irritants present in the many other brands in the market. There are no sulfates; there is no phthalate, or paraben. Sulfates are present in over 90% of alternatives

Sulfates, in particular, present a problem for many people with hair and scalp issues. They are unnatural but highly efficient cleaners. They are in fact too good at cleaning (to an unhealthy extent) and are one of the main reasons dermatologists normally recommend using less.

Instead, Blu Atlas Shampoo uses a gentle blend of palmetto and vegan biotin to fortify your hair. Then, coconut-derived surfactants act as the cleanser of the dirt and oil in your hair. The result is a pleasant, natural smell and a deep wash without the irritants present in too many shampoos. In addition, aloe vera is present to soothe the scalp as you wash.

Common customer praises include a reduction or end to itchiness and dryness. They report that you can use a small amount, as it lathers so smoothly and effectively that it covers all your hair with ease. Unlike many healthy, vegan blends, its smell is also very nice!

In closing, Blu Atlas is our #1 choice in shampoo worldwide for its clean and natural efficiency. While we are focussing on general-purpose shampoos for everyone, Blu Atlas Shampoo is also a great option for people with a range of hair and scalp needs, including thin hair, dry hair, and dandruff.

2. Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo


Coming in similarly as Blu Atlas Shampoo, Opaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo is our second choice.

This Olaplex shampoo is a reparative and hydrating shampoo designed for the needs of everyone. It has a particular focus on fighting off split ends and preventing other forms of damage. Common customer feedback includes the soft and smooth results that it creates. It’s a powerful solution that many report lessens the need for frequent washing. Others still add that it has a long-term effect on the health of their hair.

Looking behind the scenes, there are a few clear reasons why Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo is so widely praised. The company uses a patented active ingredient that allegedly works on the molecular level, seeking out broken bonds in your hair caused by several types of damage. It contains many ingredients both chemical and natural, and users report a “medical” scent to it. It is also free of sulfates, one of the most damaging typical ingredients.

Free of both sulfates and parabens, Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo is also 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It is gluten-free, and its unique mix is also suitable for people with colored hair.

Opaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo is designed for the needs of those with not only colored hair. It’s also for those seeking reversals of the damage caused by heat styling and chemical treatments apart from coloring. Those processes normally cause disulfide bonds in the hair, a damaging action that this shampoo was designed to help reverse.

This versatility is a large part of why Opaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo is both one of the most renowned shampoos and why it is our #2.

3. L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo


The L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo is marketed as a shampoo for oily roots and dry ends. It is great for that, but it’s also an excellent general-purpose shampoo appropriate for women and men of all ages and hair types.

The shampoo is formulated with three types of clay. They play the part of absorbing excess oil to leave the hair and scalp with a fresher feeling. This is why it’s such a popular choice for people who have faced problems with oily roots and hair.

In terms of other issues, the formula also works quite well for those with dry hair problems. It is also absent of dyes. In addition to the problems we’ve already talked about, sulfates and dyes can further dry and irritate your hair and scalp. L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo is a solution to this; it effectively removes excess oil without drying out your head.

These are the main factors that make this such a popular shampoo choice. However, to receive the full list of benefits discussed above, customers are directed to also purchase their conditioner and pre-shampoo mask. The result is still a very inexpensive bundle, but a more complex hair routine than many demand for the benefits they list.

4. Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Shampoo


Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Shampoo is a bestseller among reparative shampoos. It is also marketed as being for weakened and damaged hair, but it can help customers avoid facing these problems as well. Its price is approximately on par with others of a similar profile, but its main ingredients and effects set it apart from its top competitors.

Much of Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Shampoo’s popularity stems from its nourishing and repairing effects. Customers report positive effects ranging from the reversal of several hair problems as well as the maintenance of hair color. 

Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Shampoo is formulated from a mix of nourishing ingredients including argan oil and keratin. It includes several fatty acids as well. The mix, adding up to the signature “AminoRenew,” results in protected and strengthened hair. It affects the hair from root to tip, moisturizing it to fight the effects of any dry hair the user may have suffered before.

In terms of hair maintenance, maintaining the color and broader appearance of the hair is the most visible effect it has. This is clearly one of the major reasons why customers keep coming back to it and recommending it to others.

5. Garnier Fructis Damage Repairing Treat Shampoo


One factor we haven’t covered so far is the best you can get on a small budget. One 350ml shampoo (as featured in the image above) goes for $8.99 at the time of writing. All high-quality shampoos, including this one, cost more than average. Supplementing cheap chemicals with natural ingredients does that. But what do you get with the Garnier Fructis Damage Repairing Treat Shampoo?

Garnier Fructis Damage Repairing Shampoo is comprised of many natural ingredients, including avocado oil and shea butter. They are natural agents for removing oil while simultaneously treating your damaged hair. Like almost all entries on this list, it is a universal option good for all hair types.

Like most natural shampoos, this one is free of parabens and unnatural dyes, but does contain sodium lauryl sulfate, but is free of the other common sulfates. These irritants can cause some people to experience dry or itchy scalps and hair and are found in many cheaper shampoos than this one.

If you’re looking for a highly affordable choice for damaged hair, this is a good one. It’s also useful as a general shampoo that maintains the appearance of your hair.

Lastly, Garnier Fructis Damage Repairing Shampoo is comprised of the “Garnier’s Active Fruit Protein blend.” This unique blend includes several fruit concentrates and plant-based proteins that nourish the hair and smell great.

6. Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Dandruff Shampoo


This classic, affordable, and easy-to-find option is far from the most natural on the list. But it offers a surprising level of versatility and effectiveness at a very low cost.

The formulation, including pyrithione zinc, is an effective path to fighting off the growth of yeast, which can lead to dandruff. As a part of your regular bathing/hair care routine, Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Dandruff Shampoo is a strong preventative measure against dandruff. Even in cases where dandruff has already started developing, it will reduce the appearance of it.

Like the previous entries, this shampoo is applicable to all hair types. It is gentle enough to use a small amount every day without having adverse effects on sensitive hair and scalps. 

If you want a cheap shampoo that can remove flakiness and fight the formation of dandruff on your head, this is undoubtedly one of the best options in the world.

7. Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo


Regardless of the current state of your hair, you likely want to make it or keep it smooth, shiny, and healthy. If that indeed describes you, this natural option does exactly that.

Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo comes with a special formula for smoothness and softness. Its focus is on moisturizing and nourishing to leave your hair with a naturally good feeling and appearance. This also helps it long-term, as the natural formula promotes long-term recovery and/or improvements in the health of your hair.

The Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo blend is comprised of natural ingredients, including olive oil, sweet almond oil, and shea butter. In addition, it includes a unique blend of ingredients called “NutriSugar,” which targets flyaways and smooths them out.

While this shampoo is good for all kinds of hair, it’s especially useful for those with unruly hair. Dryness and fizziness are beaten out to leave your head less itchy and your hair looking and feeling healthier.

Like the natural shampoos we’ve covered in this list, Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo is free of sulfates, parabens, and synthetic dyes and fragrances. The smell is produced by the natural ingredients listed above, among others. All of this comes at a moderately higher price than the top four on the list, $31.92 as of the time of writing. 

8. Redken Extreme Shampoo


Redken is a popular brand for its properties that help strengthen and repair hair. It’s another ethical brand in terms of its Climate Pledge and the healthy look and feel that thousands of happy customers report.

Redken Extreme Shampoo is formulated with ceramides and proteins with a focus on hair repair. The proteins increase hair strength and elasticity, providing a healthier and more robust structure. This is a large part of the visual improvements reported. Meanwhile, the ceramides seal hair cuticles, helping prevent moisture loss that may otherwise lead to dryness.

The target market for this shampoo is people who have damaged or brittle hair. These people also form one of the most satisfied parts of Redken’s customer base. But while Redken Extreme Shampoo was designed for damaged or brittle hair, it is a healthy option for people with all kinds of hair. It may not solve other issues as well as the ones we’ve discussed here, but it’s definitely a much healthier option than your average shampoo.

It is hard to say if Redken Extreme Shampoo is vegan, but they don’t claim it is. Some of their products include animal-derived keratin and other ingredients. But they do offer other high-quality shampoos with natural and vegan ingredients.

Redken Extreme Shampoo is popular (and featured here) for its strong restorative properties and excellent reported results. Its price is similar to others on this list when sold alongside their conditioner. They offer one 1,000ml shampoo bottle for $32.99 as of the time of writing.  

9. Herbal Essences Bio: Repair Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo


Herbal Essences Bio: Repair Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo is a natural shampoo for moisturizing and nourishing.

In terms of natural properties, it is free of the pesky parabens and dyes that irritate so many people’s heads. It is another proponent of argon oil, which both nourishes and moisturizes. This helps it repair damaged hair and improve your overall health. In terms of appearance, it is reported by customers to create a soft and silky appearance. This suggests it works better with thin hair, but it can also be used by customers with all kinds of hair.

The most common concern with argon and olive oils is that they may leave oil in the hair. However, Herbal Essences Bio: Repair Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo effectively removes unwanted oil. At the same time, its natural basis provides a light touch that ensures your roots remain moisturized. This makes it another great choice for people with a history of dryness.

As a bonus, this shampoo is also compatible with most color-treated hair. However, readers with colored hair are always encouraged to test small amounts and conduct further research to find out what works best.

10. Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo


We can’t make a complete list of the “best” shampoos without touching on the common, irritating problem of redness on the scalp. Many shampoos are partially the culprits due to irritant and dehydrating components, especially synthetic chemicals.

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo targets this issue directly with its formulation of Neutar solubilized coal tar extract. Tar extract, in general, is a well-understood anti-inflammatory. This particular formula was designed for redness on the scalp. In particular, it is able to stave off the redness and itchiness caused by dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and other issues.

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo isn’t branding itself as one of the most natural shampoos or one of the other kinds we’ve covered. However, it’s a good, well-rounded, inexpensive option. It also just so happens that it has a dedicated formula for a particular issue many people face. This is why it is one of the best shampoos.

11. Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo


Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo is a moisturizing shampoo for all hair types. It also helps nourish the hair and repair dry, damaged hair.

This shampoo is made with Pantene’s Pro-V nutrient blends. Their patented blends are meant to provide new and nutrient-rich shampoo and other recipes. They are free of parabens, dyes, and mineral oils. It does not claim to be sulfate-free, and contains a few of them. They are used, as in many cases, to create an easier lather. However, the mix contains moisturizing ingredients to ensure your roots remain moisturized.

Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo is certified by the Royal Botanic Gardens and tested by dermatologists. It’s not the most natural shampoo on this list. However, it’s gentle enough for daily use, including in people with troubled hair or scalps. Its nutrient-rich mix makes it a unique option for damaged hair that is worth a try if you suffer from it.

Lastly, Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo is PETA-certified cruelty-free and uses recycled plastic to promote sustainability and the ethical treatment of animals.

Closing Thoughts

The best shampoos in the world are effective and healthy, or at least provide some truly outstanding value relative to their price. There are many shampoos in the world. The best one for you personally may not be on this list—and that’s fine!

In our opinion, there is no real contest when it comes to the #1 shampoo: Blu Atlas Shampoo

It’s far from the flashiest shampoo on this list or in the huge global shampoo market. But we’ve found that it truly sells itself with its ingredients and the results they produce. It’s a natural, cruelty-free, effective, pleasant shampoo that offers an amazing, felt, and visual improvement to the health of your hair. Most importantly, its customers report all of the above, plus an end to the most common hair and scalp annoyances. Blu Atlas’s broader dedication to natural solutions in skincare is clear here.

In terms of your hair care routine, any of these 11 shampoos will be far superior to generic shampoos. In case you care more for overall value, we also included a couple of low-cost shampoos that offer benefits that other low-cost, common choices do not.

We encourage you to try different shampoos over time and see what works while paying special attention to any specific hair and scalp problems you may have.

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