The best shampoo and conditioner set
Looking for the perfect product pairing for beautiful, healthy hair? Choose a shampoo and conditioner set to maximize results.
When you invest in shampoo and conditioner from the same line, you receive the full benefits of cleansing, hydration, and restoration. There are sets in specialized formulas designed for specific hair textures and hair concerns. So whether you've got frizzy hair or flat hair or want to hydrate curls into bouncy ringlets, there's a shampoo and conditioner set intended just for your tresses.
Give your hair the tender loving care it needs with a little help from our buying guide on shampoo and conditioner sets. Our favorite product, ArtNaturals' Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set, has a unique blend of oils to repair hair and promote healthy shine.
Considerations when choosing shampoo and conditioner sets
Buying for your hair type
Fine hair is well-served by shampoo and conditioner sets geared toward enhancing volume. These formulas typically aren't creamy to prevent weighing down your hair. Keep in mind these products can be a bit drying, so you'll need to rotate your volumizing shampoo and conditioner with moisturizing ones.
Coarse hair, on the other hand, does best with creamy, milky formulas loaded with oils and moisturizers. They help hydrate strands that are damaged, brittle, and prone to breakage from overprocessing. These shampoo and conditioner sets can be quite heavy, so you'll need to rinse them out thoroughly.
Frizzy hair is managed best by conditioner, so make sure your set has a quality one. In fact, you may also want to look for a shampoo that includes essential oils and vitamins to condition hair at the wash phase as well.
Curly hair requires definition, which is why your shampoo and conditioner set should focus on moisturizing and separating curls. These formulas can be somewhat difficult to find in a shampoo and conditioner set, as there are fewer available on the market.
Oily hair needs oil control without drying, so look for a well-balanced formula in a shampoo and conditioner set. These products should retain your hair's natural shine and softness without overdrying it. Many formulas include mint or tea tree oil.
Colored hair requires a sulfate-free formula. These shampoo and conditioner sets help preserve color through UV filters and color-balancing ingredients. They also lack harsher ingredients known for stripping hair and affecting tone.
Sulfates are what cause shampoo and some conditioners to lather up. They provide deep cleaning but can irritate sensitive scalps.
Parabens are chemical preservatives that extend the efficacy of the product's formula. They can be harsh on sensitive skin, like sulfates, which is why many consumers opt for paraben-free shampoo and conditioner.
Citric acid elevates the pH level of your hair to promote an environment where shampoo and conditioner ingredients can activate. It is added to help achieve maximum product benefit.
For smoothing, conditioning, and hydration
There are a number of ingredients in shampoo and conditioner formulas that help keep hair soft and supple. Dimethicone is a smoothing silicone agent, while panthenol is a form of vitamin B5 that hydrates hair. Popular oils, such as argan and keratin, are often added to increase silkiness as well as shine.
Drugstore shampoo and conditioner sets of 24-ounce bottles cost between $13 and $18. If you're looking for better-quality formulas, expect to spend closer to $20 to $25 per set. For salon-quality shampoo and conditioner, you can spend as much as $30 and above.
Q. Should I also be matching my styling products to my shampoo and conditioner set?
A. It's worth a try, as buying other products from the same brand might enhance results, especially if you're managing unique hair care challenges. Invest in products that fit into your routine, such as those intended for thermal protection if you use heat-styling tools. Conversely, you might wish to use products from a different brand to combat product buildup.
Q. I'm going through my shampoo much faster than my conditioner. Is it still cost effective to buy them as a set?
A. It depends. If you catch good sales, or they're reasonably priced individually, you might want to stock up on shampoo more often than conditioner. The only time it becomes an issue is if bottles are difficult to find separately, in which case you might end up with several extra conditioner bottles.
Shampoo and conditioner sets we recommend
Best of the best: ArtNaturals' Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set
Our take: Best-selling set well-loved for leaving hair with a silky, luxurious finish.
What we like: Boosts shine and cleans without removing color. Improves health of hair. Cruelty-free formula.
What we dislike: Might not be an ideal pick for those sensitive to oil.
Best bang for your buck: Pantene's Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner
Our take: Affordable choice that cleans and moisturizes in a thick, pleasant-smelling formula.
What we like: Blended nutrient formula replenishes from root to tip. Popular for hydration on a budget.
What we dislike: Mixed reviews on scent, but not a deal breaker.
Our take: Revives dull, over-processed hair and enhances natural shine and body.
What we like: Cooling formula cleans hair and keeps dandruff at bay. Invigorating mint scent is popular among users of all genders.
What we dislike: Could overdry hair that already struggles with hydration issues.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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