Salon-quality shampoos are nice, but they can be a splurge, some costing as much as $50. If a $10 shampoo is more than your budget, drugstores and major retailers like Target and Walmart have choices. So how do you choose the best drugstore shampoo? We spoke with dermatologists and hair health experts about the pros and cons of store shampoos, ingredients to look for and what to avoid. break your bank
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What to Look for in a Drugstore Shampoo
Note that there is a difference between affordable drugstore shampoos and more expensive options, according to experts we spoke to. According to Taylor Rose, an expert and trichologist at (Scalp problems, usually hair loss.) Salon-quality products, on the other hand, “tend to have more vitamins and minerals that actually benefit hair,” she said. Most of the hairstylists we spoke to have never used one and are therefore unfamiliar with many drugstore shampoos.
Still, not everyone can afford a fancy shampoo. Furthermore, “Like any other hair product on the market, there is no ‘one size fits all’ option with shampoo. says Rose. The best thing you can do is understand your hair type. The first of her five ingredients listed on the bottle, “on average she makes up 97 percent of the volume of the product,” says trichologist William Her Gaunitz.
But in general there are some rules to remember.
- “A mild surfactant is good for cleansing,” says Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist in New York. In shampoos, surfactants are cleaning agents that help remove dirt, oil, and residue. Gaunitz, an expert guide to shampoos, recommends looking for a gentle cleanser like sodium lauryl sarcosinate or cocamidopropyl betaine.Gaunitz recommended a surfactant derived from coconut oil as a cleanser. According to multiple dermatologists we spoke with, harsh cleansers to avoid include sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate.
- Avoid potentially damaging “filler” ingredients such as propylene glycol and formaldehyde, which can cause scalp irritation.
- According to King, if you have an oily scalp, salicylic acid and apple cider vinegar can be useful ingredients because they are great at removing excess sebum (the oily substance produced by your scalp). .
- For dry or damaged hair, “look for formulas that contain moisturizers, emollients, and occlusive agents,” said King. locks it in and occlusive agents provide a natural barrier to prevent moisture loss.
- For dandruff, look for zinc pyrithione or selenium sulfide ingredients.
- If you have sensitive scalp and skin, look for a paraben-free shampoo, says freelance makeup and hairstylist Francesca Maria Alfonso. Parabens are preservatives that can extend the shelf life of your shampoo. However, it can also irritate the scalp.
The Best Drugstore Shampoos, According to Experts
We’ve compiled a list of shampoos recommended by dermatologists, trichologists, and hair stylists sold in drugstores and major retailers.
Garnier Whole Blends Smoothing Shampoo with Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter Extract
If your hair is dry and coarse, Alfonso recommends this Garnier option. “It’s smooth, it’s infused with coconut oil, and it’s paraben-free,” she said. Additionally, parabens can irritate the scalp, so “if you have a sensitive scalp or sensitive skin, use a paraben-free shampoo.” This Garnier shampoo has an average rating of 4.7 stars from over 7,000 reviews on Amazon.
Dove Hydration Spa Shampoo
If your hair is dry and brittle, moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid serum (also a skin care staple) may help moisturize your hair. and our guide to the best shampoos for your hair type. Combined with Dove’s Hydration Spa Conditioner, “it leaves your hair soft and moisturized without feeling greasy or heavy,” she said. . She also uses Cocamidopropyl Her Betaine in her shampoo, which is a milder cleanser instead of harsh sulfates. This Dove option has an average 4.2 star rating from her 500+ reviews on Amazon.
Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Muffler Oil Intensive Hydrating Shampoo
Both King and Rose recommended their Shea Moisture line as a great drugstore option for drier hair. Options include certified organic raw shea butter, manuka honey, and mafra oil to moisturize and hydrate hair. African rock figs, one of which is “rich in antioxidants that help protect against free radical damage,” she said. It has over 7,000 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.6 stars.
Dove Dermacare Scalp
If you suffer from dandruff and flakes, look for a shampoo like this Dove option with zinc pyrithione. King also said its “mild” formula is pH balanced, meaning it “can reduce yeast on the skin without causing irritation.” can cause stubborn dandruff and flaky patches.
Basics of Hair Restage Unscented Shampoo
This shampoo is recommended by Rose with “truly clean ingredients.” According to Rose, the unscented shampoo should work for “most people,” and gently cleanses hair with mild cocamidopropyl betaine rather than harsh sulfates. Contains sunflower seed oil. Average 4.4 star rating from nearly 200 reviews at Walmart.
acure Build-up Balancing Hemp & ACV Shampoo
Rose said she “loves” this acure shampoo. If your scalp is on the oily side and tends to look greasy, this shampoo is formulated with apple cider vinegar, which King says is good for removing excess sebum. Contains no harsh sulfates or parabens. It has over 400 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.4 stars.
Odell Volumizing Shampoo
This Odele shampoo is highly recommended by Rose for those who want a shampoo for fine hair.
What’s the difference between salon-quality shampoo and drugstore options?
The difference between salon-level shampoos and drugstore options is in the fine print. Some ingredients “do nothing for hair health” and can even damage hair over time, says Rose. mineral. Drugstore shampoos, which contain almost the same ingredients as salon shampoos, are usually less concentrated, so you’ll need to use more product each time you wash.
When at the drugstore, Rose uses the “Think Dirty” app. This app scans ingredient lists for toxins and harmful filler ingredients. She usually opts for silicone- and sulfate-free options that are “growing popular in drugstores.”
How often you wash your hair:
Washing your hair with a quality shampoo is just the first step to keeping it healthy. According to Rose, the biggest mistake people make is not putting all the shampoo out, which “over time can clog the hair follicles”. We recommended breaking it down into sections to ensure the entire scalp was cleansed.
And how often should you wash your hair? it depends. Rose recommends washing once or twice a week if your scalp is dry. Finally, Rose says, depending on how your hair looks at the end of the day, people with oily scalp types should wash their hair every other day. If you’re someone who sweats daily, “you need to wash your hair every day so the sweat doesn’t clog your hair follicles,” Rose said.
But note that the same rule does not apply if you have an inflammatory scalp condition like seborrheic dermatitis. I need to wash my hair.”
As a technique, Rose recommended double cleansing with two shampoos. Adding a clarifying shampoo once a week to get rid of buildup is also a “great hack,” she said.
How to keep your hair healthy until you wash it
According to King, using conditioners and cream or oil-based products can help prevent dryness and breakage. It can dry out the cuticle, as can hair gels and sprays that contain it.”
How you towel-dry your hair is also important, says Rose. said Rose. Using a softer fabric will help prevent damage from friction.
If you style your hair after you shower, King says, hot or chemical styling tools like flat irons can also dry out your hair cuticle, increasing the risk of damage and breakage.
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