Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Best Shampoos and Conditioners at Walmart

So here is the deal, there is a good, better and best for everything. While there are products and brands at Walmart that are genuinely bad for your hair, there are several that aren't bad, and some that are even good for your hair. So today I am going to break down some of my favorite options you can find at Walmart and Target for a more affordable price point. I will also mention their better counterparts, but in a pinch, these will do.

It is SO important to note that I have done research on each individual product recommended here, but there are so few brands out there where you can just trust 100% of the products they make. That goes for high end brands and affordable options. So please do not feel like just because I recommend one brand's product here, that I am giving you the green light on ALL their products.  For example, I spent about an hour looking into the ingredients in every single shampoo and conditioner Hask makes, and I only found 2 that were suitable for use. Those two are amazing! I will likely recommend them here, but none of their other twenty options are good choices. Why? Well for example their Monoi Coconut Oil shampoo has Isopropyl Alcohol in it. That is like crappy rubbing alcohol, it is intensely harsh on your hair and very drying. But not all their shampoos have that. So be careful.

The Process

How exactly did I come to the conclusion that some of these were good options and others were not? I read the labels on the bottles of course! I went into the stores and looked on the back of the bottles. I mention in my post How to learn about your Beauty Products Ingredients  how I used to have to references lists and guides before picking out products. Over time the same ingredients would pull up over and over warning me that those ingredients were bad for my skin or hair. Now I have them memorized simply by seeing them so much.

I was very throughout and I actually checked every single item I am going to recommend to you multiple times. I did not say "this line seems safe" after going over two or three of their options. I check both shampoos and conditioners.

What I was looking for were shampoos that had surfactants (the agent that actually separates dirt and oil in your hair and washes them out) but that they weren't to harsh. If a surfactant is to harsh it will cause dryness, frizz, breakage and color fading. Some of the most common offenders are Soduim Lauryl  Sulfate, Sodium Laurel Sultanate, Soduim Laureth Sulfate, and Sodium Laureth Sultanate. But they aren't the only ones. Alcohol is often put into products to prevent bacteria growth, but it also harms your skin and hair. I also looked for heavy waxes and silicones that are not water soluble and cause buildup. For example beeswax causes build up where emulsifying wax dissolves in water and is okay to use.

For Curly Hair

For curly hair I like the Not Your Mothers Naturals Tahitian Gardenia set best. All of the ingredients checked out and it smells divine. It is very lightweight and best for people who have permed hair or fine but curly hair. I also was impressed by the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine which was a more medium weight. I really couldn't find any drugstore smoothing shampoos meant for curly hair that weren't filled with wax and silicone. But if you need smoothing, I'd check out my recommendation for smoothing and frizz in general. If you are looking for a better choice I highly recommend the Deva Curl line.

For Hydration

One of my favorite general hydration shampoos I found was the Kristen Ess The One Signature Shampoo, which you can find at Target or online. Although I don't recommend the conditioner that goes with it. Most of the shampoos I am recommending to you on here have an ingredient or two that aren't well researched yet. They seem to do okay but we don't know enough about them to truly know if they are harsh or not yet. Based on my experiences and the experiences of my friends and clients I am recommending them to you. BUT the Kristen Ess Shampoo uses a super gentle surfactant that is known to be top notch quality. The conditioner includes a heavy wax and harsh alcohol so I do not recommend it. 

I also like the Not Your Mothers Coconut Milk and African Marula Oil set as well as their Blue Sea Kale and Pure Coconut Water set. Both have great ingredients. The Blue Seas Kale and Pure Coconut Water is a weightless formula which would be better for finer hair, although I do not feel the Coconut Milk and African Marula Oil one is heavy enough to be considered smoothing. So if you need something heavy look at the smoothing portion of this list.  I also like the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration shampoo and conditioner. For a higher quality option I'd give Joico's Moisture Recovery or Redken's Mega Allsoft a try.


The only repairing choice I found was the Not Your Mother's Naturals Royal Honey and Kalamari Desert Melon shampoo and conditioner. But I couldn't really spot any truly healing ingredients in it. It won't hurt your hair, but I'm not sure it will repair it either. For a better choice I highly recommend the Joico KPak for thick or coarse hair that needs more weight, and the Redken Extreme for hair that is finer and needs weightless repair.


This was a hard one because smoothing is something usually done with heavy waxes and silicone. The only one that passed my test was the Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupuaçu Frizz Defense Shampoo and Conditioner. The Hask Beauty Keratin Protein Smoothing Shampoo was the second option I could find. I didn't put it in the repair section because it isn't good for repair at all. It does contain Ddmethicone and cyclopentasiloxane which are both heavy scilicones that cause buildup, so you want to make sure that if you use this you use a build up buster or clarifying shampoo once every 2-3 weeks. The Not Your Mothers Naturals line has an option called Coconut Milk and African Marula Oil as well. It's not as heavy weight as I'd expect from a smoothing shampoo, but it's not light either and is a cleaner choice ingredients wise.

For a the best quality options I'd recommend Living Proof's No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner, or the Smooth Sexy Hair shampoo and Conditioner.


The best choice ingredients wise is hands down the Shea Moisture Dragon's Blood & Coffee Cherry Volume Shampoo, but it doesn't have a matching conditioner, which is so annoying. But you can pair it with the brand's Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Créme Rinse which is also top notch in quality. The Not Your Mother's Naturals Linseed Chia Blend French Plum Seed Oil set it also a great choice. I am trying to give three options per section but I am struggling to find another good one. The Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration and Hibiscus Water set is as close to a third choice as I can get, but it contains alcohols in it that are very harsh. For higher end alternatives I love the Strong Sexy Hair if your hair is colored or has damage, as well as the Living Proof PHD shampoo and conditioner. I also love the Biolage R.A.W. Uplift shampoo and conditioner, which is probably my favorite choice of the three I've listed.


My husband struggles HARD with Dandruff and we have tried everything on the market I swear! The best shampoo I have ever found for his dandruff is a cheap Walmart brand! I have several clients that use it too and they all do really well with it. The Nuetrogena TSal is the stuff. He pairs it with the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree conditioner. I have a friend who has kinky hair and he pairs it with the Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm (which he uses every shampoo as a conditioner).

I also really like the Kristen Ess Gentle Shampoo. If you have a sensitive scalp this is going to be a great fit for you. The conditioner is awful, so I'd choose one that fits your needs from above, but the shampoo is super gentle and has top notch ingredients.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading and then commenting on my post! I appreciate your support and I hope my blog has been helpful to you! Let me know if you have any beauty related questions or products you'd like reviewed by sending me a message using the contact form on the right (which can not be seen on mobile devices).
-Angela ♥