The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Shampoo and Conditioner for You

Shampoo is vital for clean, healthy tresses, color maintenance, and removing hair styling products like hair serum, spray, oil, mousse, gel, and wax. Conditioners contain natural oils, proteins, and botanical extracts to keep hair soft, shiny, smooth, and frizz-free. 

Numerous formulas are on the market, so if you’re wondering how to choose shampoo and conditioner, it all comes down to your hair type, texture, scalp help, and desired result. We’ve compiled a guide to take the guesswork out of purchasing the best products for you. Let’s get into it. 

Product Recommendations by Hair Type

Hair type refers to your curl pattern. Type 1 hair is straight, Type 2 is wavy, and Type 4 is coily. It’s possible to have multiple curls on different parts of your head, so opt for a formula for the most predominant hair type.  

Products for Straight Hair

Straight strands can be susceptible to oiliness, which kills volume. It can also appear flat and lack texture. Opt for a shampoo that effectively cleanses without stripping the hair of its natural oils. When it comes to conditioning, a cream rinse or light leave-in formula will provide hydration without weighing it down.

PST Picks:

  • Crack Hair Fix Clean and Soaper Shampoo is infused with the original Crack formula made with acai extract and silk protein to moisturize and protect hair from dryness. Suitable for all hair types, the formula helps reduce breakage and improves texture with de-aging nutrients to restore hair's youthful shine. 
  • Felps Varnish Intense Shine Conditioner detangles, restores, and moisturizes without weighing down your strands. It’s infused with D-panthenol, flax seed, and Vitamin E and features antioxidant and emollient action, promoting the hair's natural life and movement.

Products for Wavy Hair 

Maintaining wavy hair takes a little effort if you want to retain the shape of your waves while preventing frizziness. While you need to clean your tresses effectively, you don’t want to dry them out, so you need a shampoo specifically formulated for this hair type. Opt for a leave-in, deep, or moisturizing conditioner. 

PST Picks: 

  • Fanola Curly Shine Curly and Wavy Hair Shampoo gently cleanses and restores vitality and hydration to curly and wavy hair. Its disciplining action wraps a protective film around the shaft to control, define and add shine to frizzy hair. Wheat protein penetrates the cortex of each strand of hair, which strengthens and moisturizes hair.
  • Fanola Curly Shine Curly and Wavy Hair Mask is enriched with silk proteins and carries out a weightless detangling and hydrating action. It restores elasticity, resists humidity, and has anti-static action that leaves hair soft and vibrant. Silk proteins form a crystalline barrier on hair strands. The formula improves elasticity, resilience and increases shine. 

Products for Curly and Coily Hair

The goal of a conditioner and shampoo for curly hair and coily is to maintain or achieve bouncy definition without frizziness. Hydration is key. 

PST Picks: 

  • Salvatore Tanino Therapy Curly Hair Shampoo provides intense hydration and structure regeneration through its formula comprised of bio-collagen, elastin, and essential oils, which fill in the hair fiber grooves and form a protective film around it, thus retaining moisture, increasing tensile strength and curl definition. The formula hydrates, shapes, and defines curls, provides volume and frizz control, and fills in the hair cuticles.
  • Salvatore Tanino Therapy Curly Hair Mask possesses the same characteristics as the shampoo but with added moisturizing properties to help hydrate your curls on a deeper level. Apply to damp, clean hair. Start from the tips and work your way toward the roots. You can use it as a leave-in conditioner for curly hair overnight or for a minimum of five to ten minutes before rinsing. 
  • All About Curls Lo Lather Cleanser Delivers essential moisture for nourished, defined, and de-frizzed curls. It provides thorough yet gentle cleansing with a mild lather for all curl types — coily included. This slightly sudsy formula gently cleanses all curl types, adding significant moisture for soft, smooth, de-frizzed curls. It's light on the foam, heavy on the fabulous.

Product Recommendations by Hair Texture

Products for Fine Hair

Contrary to what you may think, those with a fine texture may have more hair than those with thicker tresses. However, since the strands contain less protein, the hair can appear thin, flat, and limp, making it difficult to achieve volume or hold a curl. 

PST Picks: 

  • Onesta Thickening Shampoo is formulated with gentle plant-based cleansers and organic botanicals to help repair and revitalize hair. It’s an excellent choice for those with fine, limp, or color-treated tresses. It’s formulated with sulfate-free coconut, amino acids, and Sugar based cleansers to gently cleanse hair. Organic kelp and algae have high amounts of calcium to strengthen and thicken the hair fiber and energize the scalp.
  • Onesta Thickening Conditioner is a nutrient-rich formula that harnesses the power of organic extra virgin coconut oil to repair damage and provide a protective layer, sealing moisture into the hair. Organic Neptune algae and sea kelp deliver nutrient body-building protein to limp and fine hair.

Products for Medium Thickness Hair

Medium hair has a greater thickness than fine tresses and is considered the most common hair type. Not only is it not as fragile, it’s easy to achieve (and maintain) a straight, wavy, or curly style. 

PST Picks: 

  • Linange Nourishing Restructuring Mineral Spray is an on-trend product formulated using raw materials able to rebuild hair structure again. It contains soothing ingredients that make the hair easy to wash, dry, and comb. Your hair will be left more vibrant, soft, and healthy.

Products for Thick Hair

Thick or coarse hair is the most resistant to damage. While it can hold styles well, and the hair appears full all over the head, it can take longer to dry and is more prone to frizziness — especially in humid weather conditions. 

PST Picks: 

  • Sunny Isle Shea Coconut Moisturizing Shampoo is formulated with Jamaican Black Castor oil that cleanses, moisturizes, and softens thick, dry hair while adding shine and increasing manageability. This gentle formula is enriched with shea and coconut oil extracts to quench and rehydrate dry, lifeless, dull natural hair and stimulate growth. 
  • Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil Extra Dark Conditioner is an ultra-hydrating formula infused with rosehip and sesame seed oils, essential to the overall health of the scalp and hair because they promote growth. Wheat proteins penetrate the hair shaft protecting against breakage and shedding. Pure and natural 100% Jamaican black castor oil helps treat dry, itchy scalps and aids in longer, stronger, and deeply nourished hair. Safe for all types, textures, and color-treated tresses!

Product Recommendations by Scalp Condition

Scalp care is vital because it affects the health and condition of the hair and prevents diseases of the scalp and your strands.

Products for Dry Scalp

A dry scalp is typically the result of moisture loss, resulting in itching and flaking. 

PST Picks: 

  • Fanola Purity Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is enriched with Piroctone Olamine and sebum control to help resolve the unsightly problem of dandruff, thanks to a dermo-purifying and anti-microbic action. Piroctone Olamine eliminates dandruff by killing the fungal infections that cause dandruff and other scalp conditions. It also reduces hair loss and promotes hair growth. 

Products for Oily Scalp

An oily scalp can result from dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, overwashing, the wrong hair products, stress, humidity, diet, and certain medications. 

PST Picks: 

  • GERnetic Medul Mild Shampoo restores the functions of the scalp and controls excessive sebum production. Medul prevents the formation of dandruff and restores hair health by giving volume and brightness thanks to glycolipids. 
  • GERnetic Cuticul Extra Plus Hair Lotion for Oily Hair helps maintain the health of the scalp and hair. The formula is enriched with glutamine and peptides and is intended for problems related to deficiencies that cause hair loss, seborrhea problems, dandruff, itching, and excessive scaling. Its yeast extracts are enriched with vitamins B1 and B6 to combine care and health.

Hair Goals and Concerns

Hair type, texture, and scalp health are the baseline for choosing a shampoo and conditioner. You also have to consider any hair goals or concerns you may have. Keep in mind that you may need to switch up your formulas from time to time as your hair’s needs change.

Clarifying Products 

You’ll unlikely need a clarifying shampoo daily, but if you use many styling products, swap out your regular shampoo once or twice a month to restore volume, shine, and texture. 

PST Picks: 

  • Felps Xmix Guarana Extract Conditioner is a popular treatment based on the Amazon fruit of Guarana. The astringent effects of the berries help treat oily hair and keep the scalp clean. It also helps treat stressed hair and makes it healthy, thanks to its clarifying and exfoliating action. 

Products for Dry and Damaged Hair

Hair lacking moisture is typically damaged, so you need a reparative shampoo and conditioner for dry hair. Common causes of this condition include heredity, overuse of hot tools, and chemical treatments such as hair color or straighteners. 

PST Picks: 

  • Linange Nourishing Reconstructing Shampoo is infused with our Advanced Hair Technology. It’s enriched with almond protein extracts and is especially suited for damaged, stressed, and weak hair. This shampoo gently cleanses and nourishes the hair structure. It can be used for all hair types — thin, medium, thick, dry, healthy, damaged, normal, and curly.
  • Linange Spa Emergency Reconstruction Hair Mask is an excellent softener and strengthener for dry, damaged, and color-treated hair. It gently nourishes and hydrates hair structure, restores vitality and shine, and leaves it in the desired condition. Hair is soft and easy to manage.

Volume-Enhancing Products

Those with finer, straighter hair may want to pump up the volume, so you must choose a shampoo and conditioner that won’t weigh your hair down while emphasizing texture. 

PST Picks: 

  • Fanola Volumizing Shampoo cleanses and gives volume to roots. It can strengthen the entire hair length and restore vitality and elasticity. The formula is enriched with Panthenol, a derivative of vitamin B5, which works to retain moisture in hair and protects brittle hair against breakage.
  • Fanola Volumizing Conditioner has a weightless detangling action to restore the roots' volume and strengthen the lengths. It wraps a protective film around the hair shaft for extra body. It leaves hair weightless and soft. Enriched with Panthenol, a derivative of vitamin B5, protects brittle hair against breakage.

Hair Growth Products

Hormonal changes, heredity, age, hair extensions, and overuse of hot tools are just a few reasons why you may notice thinning tresses or a lack of growth. Remember that patience and consistency are vital for success when using a hair growth shampoo and conditioner. 

PST Picks: 

Color Enhancement Products

Are you looking to add color to your hair but aren’t ready for a full-blown commitment? Look no further than a shampoo and conditioner that deposits semi-permanent color while promoting shiny, hydrated, vibrant tresses. 

PST Picks: 

  • Punky Colour specializes in Hair Color Kits that provide high-intensity, long-lasting, semi-permanent color with unbelievable shine. Unsurprisingly, the brand has formulated equally high-performing Punk Colour shampoos and conditioners to match. Its 3-in-1 Color Depositing Shampoo + Conditioner delivers powerful moisture deep into the hair to strengthen and repair it while maintaining hair color vibrancy. It helps hair color retention with intense color deposits and provides a protective barrier that prolongs color.

Products for Color-Treated Hair

As desirable as switching up your hair color is, any chemical processing can take a toll on your strands, leading to dryness, breakage, and a lack of vibrancy. Reach for a shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated to address this vulnerable hair condition. 

PST Picks: 

  • Salvatore Gold Xpress Shampoo repairs and restores the interior of chemically treated hair. Its concentrated formula contains nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that immediately recover damage, making strength and pH balance. Hydrates, repairs, and maintains the health and integrity of the hair. The brand guarantees results for all hair types that are chemically treated, bleached, elastic, feeling straw and brittle, or that require strength.
  • Salvatore Gold XPress Mask is formulated with Omega 6, m7, and 0 and vitamins A, E, and C, unsaturated fatty acids, elastin, and minerals and proteins that promote replenishment and water retention to dry hair.

Conditioner 101: Leave-in Vs. Rinse Out

Shampoo is straightforward when it comes to the application process. However, there are a few different methods to consider when conditioning your hair. As a general rule of thumb, use a cream or light spray-in conditioner for thin hair and a leave-in, deep, or moisturizing conditioner to address dry, coarse hair that may also be curly or coily. Note that masks are designed to be used once a week.

Healthy hair starts and ends with the right shampoo and conditioner. Browse our entire shampoo, conditioners, and hair mask collection and find the best products to address your goals and concerns. 

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