Shampoo and conditioner work together to maintain the health and appearance of our hair. While shampoos cleanse and remove impurities, conditioners replenish moisture, restore shine, enhance manageability, and help us achieve our desired styling outcomes. It’s important to note that beyond your hair pattern (straight, wavy, curly, and coily) and hair texture (fine, medium, and coarse), levels of oiliness and damage related to heat and chemical processing, season, and lifestyle changes vary from person to person.
It’s no secret choosing the right shampoo and conditioner for your specific hair needs is essential to achieving the best hair results, and while Saltair’s hair collections (Moisture Bound, Recover and Restore, Beach Blonde, and Curl Control) are designed to address predominant hair concerns, sometimes mixing and matching is required to accommodate other hair variances. After all, we’d be hard pressed to find a consumer with one hair concern, not to mention day to day hair needs change depending on factors like air drying, heat styling, playing up your natural texture, etc.
Pairing shampoo and conditioner by collection may not always benefit the health, look and overall feel of your hair and scalp as collections designed to address a target concern may neglect or contribute to others. For example, if you struggle with dryness but have fine hair, rich conditioners may weigh hair down, causing an unwanted flat and dull appearance. While we consider hair texture, chemical processing, and common styling concerns when creating collections, we recommend mixing and matching to accommodate your hair's varying needs.
To understand how to address your hair needs with a customized shampoo and conditioner pairing, consider the goals each product addresses. Shampoo is designed to cleanse the hair and scalp by removing dirt, oils, pollutants, and product buildup, while conditioners work to restore moisture, smooth the hair's cuticle (outer layer), provide nourishment, and detangle, making combing and styling easier. To precisely target your unique hair needs, consider your styling goals that day as well as your hair's natural texture when selecting a shampoo and conditioner.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner for Thick Hair
While many consider thick hair synonymous with winning the genetic lottery, thick, bountiful strands can be hard to manage. Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is key.
To properly care for thick hair, it is important to understand the difference between hair density and thickness. Hair thickness refers to the width of individual hair strands, while density refers to the number of strands you’ve got. People with thick hair often require products that provide moisture and improve manageability. Opt for a hydrating and nourishing shampoo that will provide moisture and prevent coarseness, such as Saltair’s Moisture Bound Hydrating Shampoo, which gently cleanses hair, leaving it softer, smoother and more nourished all without weighing it down.
While you can’t go wrong with Moisture Bound Hydrating Conditioner, consider ‘secondary’ hair concerns (scalp health, breakage, volume) when selecting a conditioner. Saltair’s Moisture Bound Hydrating Conditioner is an ideal option for individuals with thick hair thanks to its frizz-taming, shine-boosting, and detangling properties. However, if you find rich conditioners too heavy, opt for those labeled ‘lightweight’ or even those for curly hair like our Saltair Curl Control Defining Conditioner as these are more likely to deliver the nourishment your hair needs without the emollients that make thick hair feel even heavier.
Lastly, consider your hair texture when selecting shampoo and conditioner for thick hair, too. While individuals with coarse, thick hair may require products designed to hydrate and detangling, those with straight, thick hair may require products designed to add volume and buoyancy.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner for Coarse Hair
Coarse hair is defined as hair that is thicker in circumference than other hair types. Like thick hair, coarse hair requires nourishing and hydrating shampoos and conditioners designed to combat common coarse hair challenges like dryness, breakage, tangles and frizz. The best shampoo for coarse hair will contain hydrating, nourishing ingredients intended to soften, add shine, and protect the hair shaft without stripping the hair of natural oils.
While all hair types benefit from hydrating hair care, coarse hair and thick hair are especially likely to benefit from their shine-enhancing, frizz fighting properties. Enter Saltair’s Moisture Bound Hydrating Shampoo – the perfect wash for softening and hydrating coarse hair. Like thick hair, coarse hair will benefit from its nourishing, restoring blend of emollients.
To prevent dryness, damage and rough texture, consider incorporating a damage repair conditioner like Saltair’s Recover & Restore Damage Repair Conditioner to strengthen hair, improve manageability, and combat existing and future hair damage. Formulated with shea butter and marine extracts that lock in moisture and smooth strands, Saltair’s Damage Repair Conditioner is the perfect preventative product for maintaining the overall health of coarse hair.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner for Frizzy Hair
Frizz happens when hair lacks moisture, and unfortunately, frizz can happen to the best of us. Whether your frizzy hair is brought on by humidity, or something you experience on the regular, having the right products in your hair care arsenal and avoiding common hair mistakes like rough-drying, showering with water that’s too hot, and washing with products intended for a different hair type make all the difference in effectively combating frizz and flyaways.
To combat and smooth frizzy hair, opt for a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo specifically formulated to hydrate and smooth your strands, like Saltair’s Moisture Bound Hydrating Shampoo. A hydrating shampoo that effectively cleanses the scalp without drying strands is an essential step in preventing frizz, which happens when damaged hair cuticles swell, allowing moisture in the environment to penetrate the hair shaft.
In addition to choosing the right shampoo, locking in moisture with a nourishing conditioner tailored to your specific styling goals will further prevent frizz. A conditioner specifically designed to hydrate and smooth the hair will improve manageability and prevent damage. When selecting a conditioner, consider your hair texture, exposure to heat styling, and whether or not you detect existing breakage. The extra nourishment provided by a strengthening condition like Saltair’s Recover & Restore Damage Repair conditioner can work wonders on frizzy hair by addressing the root causes of hair damage, preventing frizz before it starts. Formulated with a strengthening bond multiplier complex, our Damage Repair Conditioner promises to reduce the look of breakage while softening and smoothing hair.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner for Wavy Hair
Wavy hair can vary in terms of thickness, density, and porosity just like any other hair type. Many people with wavy hair experience a combination of hair challenges, including frizz, lack of definition, and volume loss.
For wavy hair, look for products that enhance and define your natural waves while providing hydration and frizz control. Opt for light-weight formulas and curl enhancing ingredients, which can be found in curl shampoos like Saltair's Curl Defining Shampoo, an ideal wash for wavy hair that’s gentle enough to effectively cleanse the scalp without compromising hydration thanks to sulfate-free surfactants and a potent blend of natural oils.
When selecting a conditioner for wavy hair, opt for a hydrating formula designed to tame frizz, enhance shine, and infuse hair with the moisture it needs. Saltair’s Curl Control Conditioner detangles, softens and smooths hair without weighing it down, making it the perfect option for individuals with wavy hair who want to maintain overall hair health and hydration.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner for Coiled Hair
Due to its unique structure, coiled hair is prone to dryness and can be more delicate. Gentle cleansing and deep conditioning with shampoos and conditioners formulated for curly and coily hair are essential to keep curls healthy, moisturized and defined.
A curl defining shampoo and conditioner is ideal for coily hair as these products are designed to enhance and accentuate the natural curl pattern, helping to define and shape coils while improving their manageability and preventing breakage. While look for shampoos labeled as "moisturizing" or "hydrating’ is a good rule of thumb considering coily hair tends to be drier due to its structure, Saltair’s Curl Control Defining shampoo is the perfect product for coily hair thanks to its ability to define waves, curls, and coils while keeping frizz at bay. In addition to a curl defining shampoo, consider washing with a clarifying shampoo biweekly to remove product buildup, maintain a healthy scalp, and consequently get the most out of your coils.
When selecting a conditioner for coily hair, deep hydration and nourishment are key. If hair feels particularly brittle or dry, consider reaching for a deeply moisturizing conditioner like Saltair’s Moisture Bound Hydrating Conditioner, or a conditioner that combats existing and future damage like Recover & Restore Damage Repair conditioner.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner for Fine Hair
Fine hair is characterized by having a smaller diameter or thickness compared to other hair types, namely coarse hair. As a result, fine hair is generally more delicate and prone to breakage. When it comes to styling goals, thin hair may lack volume and have a tendency to appear limp or flat if not properly cared for. Considering these concerns unique to fine hair, it’s important to choose hair care products that provide volume, moisture, and gentle cleansing without weighing hair down. Opt for shampoos labeled “volumizing” or “for fine hair” as volumizing shampoo is designed to add body fullness and hydration from emollients that won’t leave your hair flat, heavy or greasy. Like most individuals, those with fine hair will also benefit from washing with a clarifying shampoo weekly or biweekly to restore volume lost due to residue and product buildup.
Selecting the right conditioner is ultra important for individuals with fine hair as nourishing properties of many rich conditioners may over-moisturize and weigh hair down. When selecting a conditioner, look for those labeled ‘lightweight’ or ‘volumizing.’
Best Shampoo & Conditioner for Thinning Hair
While hair density varies widely among individuals, and is influenced by age, genetics, hormonal changes, and other lifestyle factors, thin hair is defined as a lack of density of hair strands. Individuals with thinning hair will benefit from products that help nourish the scalp, strengthen the hair, and promote a healthy environment for hair growth. Opt for shampoos labeled "volumizing," "thickening," or "bodifying” as these formulas contain ingredients designed to strengthen the hair shaft and create the appearance of fuller hair. For those looking to fortify thinning hair, the Recover & Restore Damage Repair shampoo is best to help strengthen strands.
Thinning hair is no exception when it comes to the hydrating, detangling and nourishing properties of a good conditioner. However, it is important to select a lightweight conditioner designed to boost volume as heavy conditioners are likely to weigh thinning hair down, too.
Best Shampoo & Conditioner for Color Treated Hair
Due to chemical processing, color treated hair can be prone to dryness and or damage. Thus, learning how to maintain color treated hair with the right products is crucial. A nourishing shampoo and conditioner designed to fortify, hydrate and repair the hair follicle will ensure individuals with color treated hair maintain overall hair health, minimize dullness, and extend the shelf life of their color.
Formulated with a unique bond multiplier complex designed to repair the internal bonds of the hair, our Recover & Restore Damage Repair Shampoo helps restore strength and vitality to hair making it ideal for color and chemically treated hair. When choosing a complimentary conditioner, consider factors like dryness or breakage to help you determine whether a conditioner designed to repair damage or deeply hydrate is right for you. Chemically treated hair can often become dry and brittle, so a conditioner that replenishes moisture, like our replenishing, Moisture Bound Hydrating Conditioner, is essential.
More specifically, individuals with blonde or lightened hair will benefit from using a purple or violet shampoo designed to counteract unwanted brassy or yellow tones that can develop in blonde hair. Look for shampoos labeled as "color-protecting" or "for blonde hair,’ such as Saltair’s Bleach Blonde Purple Shampoo, which is specially formulated to preserve color and prevent fading. To further prevent brassiness, blondes may benefit from rotating between a rich, hydration conditioner and a purple conditioner designed to tone and correct brassy hues. The purple conditioner, formulated with highly-concentrated purple pigments and nourishing shea butter, softens, hydrates and helps strengthen hair, making it an ideal choice for anyone on the blonde spectrum.