Best Shampoo and Conditioner 2020


Filippo Fortis

It’s time to talk about the most important part of your day: the simple wash, rinse, and repeat. In order to create the finest manes in the game, our editors play favorites when it comes to shampoos and conditioners. Below, ELLE editors weigh in on the secret to silkiness, protecting the impulsive dye job, and minimizing the frizz without compromising curls.

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“I have color treated hair and a sensitive scalp, that is subject to psoriasis, if too much manipulation or harsh ingredients are involved. When it comes to wash day, I need products that gently cleanse, exfoliate my scalp, and replenish as much hydration as possible before I set my style, without doing more harm than good. I discovered Meraki—a Black-owned, 100% natural, non-toxic, vegan hair line—last year, and it checked every box. As a bonus, each bottle is sealed with a gemstone inside, for high vibrations and good vibes.” — Angel Lenise, Supervising Video Producer

Meraki Organics Purifying Amethyst Shampoo, $30; ampbeautyla.com

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Meraki Organics Quartz Conditioner, $30; ampbeautyla.com

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“My N.Y.C. hairdresser introduced me to this shampoo because I’ve always had a lot of fine hair that could use the volume lift. I love how this formula doesn’t weigh my hair down at all, though. My hair is soft, full—and better yet, maintains those qualities without washing daily. With the conditioner, I’ve always been hesitant about using a lot—it can make my hair flat, quickly. But this conditions the ends and keeps my strands tangle-free and smooth. Overall, it’s a solid shampoo-conditioner duo for fine hair.” —Alyssa Bailey, ELLE.com News Editor

Alfaparf Semi di Lino Magnifying Shampoo, $18.37; amazon.com

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Alfaparf Semi di Lino Magnifying Conditioner, $25.65; amazon.com

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“As a bleach addict, I live and die by the Olaplex system. No matter my experimentation, this shampoo and conditioner (and the pre-wash Hair Perfector) rescue my texture from dehydration and breakage every week.” — Julie Kosin, Senior Culture Editor

Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, $28; sephora.com

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Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, $28; sephora.com

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“My scalp is gross, and there’s no pussyfooting around it. It likes to overproduce skin, meaning I have dry skin where flakes abound. I massage—or scratch, let’s be real—this Aesop shampoo vigorously into my skull for soothing, tingly feels. I’ve been using Dove’s conditioner since middle school. Sure, some fancy brands are technically better at luxuriating your hair than this bulk-sized bottle, but I’ve yet to find something where cost and quality aligned so well.”Justine Carreon, ELLE.com Market Editor

Aesop Calming Shampoo, $29; nordstrom.com

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Dove Nutritive Solutions Conditioner, $8.99; amazon.com

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“I live for a lather and Pattern’s shampoo is the creamiest, most hydrating shampoo in the game. It cleans while it nourishes and smells divine. It’s the real deal, people! Now, let’s talk Briogeo, Scalp Revival. I dream about applying this conditioner to my head. The cooling jelly sensation makes me feel like I’m at the salon and not in my miniature Brooklyn bathroom. It also rids my scalp of any dirts or debris, which makes it my go-to after I’ve worn a protective style (maybe for a little too long).” — Chloe Hall, Beauty Director

Pattern Beauty Hydration Shampoo, $38; patternbeauty.com

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Briogeo, Scalp Revival, $36; briogeohair.com

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“I have a lot of hair, but my strands are straight and long, so it’s important for me to use a shampoo and conditioner that can handle the density without weighing it down or leaving residue. I wrote up the news about OUAI’s Daily Care collection earlier this year and have been in love ever since. The line is personalized to your hair thickness (I’m a medium!) and smells of the brand’s signature Mercer Street scent, which is a yummy blend of Italian lemon, Turkish rose, jasmine sambac, iris, lily, and white musk.” — Ariana Yaptangco, Social Media Editor

OUAI Daily Care Shampoo, $28; sephora.com

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OUAI Daily Care Conditioner, $28; sephora.com

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“I’ll be honest, I don’t love having to wash my hair myself. So the shampoo I use at home must be something to fully cleanse and clarify. I love how the Phyto shampoo is made with eucalyptus and paraben and silicone free. A little bit really goes a long way. I discovered The Doux products from a friend who also has natural hair and was having to wash her hair at home. Like most new hair products I try, what gets me first is the packaging. I loved the bright colors and the play on words it had to 80’s and 90’s entertainment references. This conditioner is thick and leaves my hair feeling just what the name says–moisturized. When you use a shampoo that cleanses your hair and leaves it feeling squeaky clean, you’ll want follow up with a conditioner that restores that moisture you washed out. It even magically volumizes my natural curls and has my locs feeling thicker than before. And I’m not mad at that!” — Kia Goosby, Fashion Editor

Phyto Phytodetox Clarifying Detox Shampoo, $19; amazon.com

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The Doux Fresh Rinse Moisturizing Conditioner, $12.99; target.com

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“I recently went blonde, which means a whole new haircare routine. Finding the right super-nourishing-but-not-too-heavy shampoo and conditioner combo meant a lot of trial and error and poufy hair days. The Rahua Hydration Shampoo smells super tropical and sunny. It has a great lather that you don’t typically get from clean shampoos and my hair feels cleansed, but not stripped, of the oils it so desperately needs right now to stay healthy and strong. For conditioning, my colorist Jenna Perry recommended the Davines Alchemic Conditioner in Golden and I love it. It’s a realllly thick butter that I like to use as a 5 minute hair mask. It helps revive and soften my hair (even the tired ends!) and my hair always looks sparkly after using it.” — Margaux Anbouba, Associate Beauty Editor

Rahua Hydration Shampoo, $34; rahua.com

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Alchemic Conditioner Golden, $31; davines.com

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“What do you do when your hair lacks moisture and hydration, but you’re too lazy to perform a multi-step wash-day routine? Design Essentials Almond & Avocado shampoo and conditioner feels like it was tailored made for me. Its gentle formula cleanses my hair with ease, making it easy to detangle, soft to manage, and strong enough to style in two simple steps.” — Nerisha Penrose, Assistant Editor

Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Shampoo; $11.99; designessentials.com

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Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Conditioner; $12.99; designessentials.com

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“My hair is naturally very thick and curly, so curating the ideal shampoo and conditioner combo is a necessity. One of my favorite indulgences when my hair is feeling extra tangled is the Kérastase Discipline shampoo and conditioner set. Both smooth my hair and make it manageable, while providing hydration and leaving a fresh scent. I often get Keratin treatments just before the humid summer months so I don’t walk around in constant frizz. This is one of the only duos I trust to maintain the softness through the transition to fall.” — Savannah Walsh, Editorial Fellow

Bain Fluidealiste Shampoo, $35; kerastase.com

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Kérastase Fondant Fluidealiste Conditioner, $40; kerastase.com

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“It’s rare for me to find a shampoo that gives my 3B/3C curls slip, but this lightly foaming one does while leaving behind an aroma reminiscent of lemon pound cake. That scent is thanks to the use of anti-inflammatory lemon tea tree oil, which my very irritated scalp can’t seem to get enough of. Although the conditioner is described as lightweight, it easily melts into my hair and intensely hydrates with a blend of Australian kakadu plum and starflower oils. As a bonus, it smells like a rich, cream icing. Who wouldn’t want wash day to be this sweet and simple?” — Taylor Davis, Beauty Assistant

Bread Beauty Supply, $20; sephora.com

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Bread Beauty Supply, $28, sephora.com

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