Long, luscious locks—they might be everyone’s dream, but attaining this follicular feat is not easy to achieve. While we tend to think that healthy hair is the product of what we do to it or what we put on it, it’s actually connected to many more factors: genetics, environmental factors, stress, nutrition, and more.
Thin, dry, or shedding hair are some of the very visible signs of unhealthy hair, and are a good indicator that you need to assess your diet or rethink aspects of your hair care regimen. However, other factors can inhibit healthy hair, and these are worth exploring.
Factors that affect hair health
As we get older, the diameter of our individual hairs reduces and this can cause a subsequent reduction in the tensile strength of our hair, meaning it becomes prone to breakage more frequently.
At the same time, our overall density of hair decreases as some follicles stop producing new hairs. It’s not uncommon after the age of 35 to begin losing between 50-100 hairs each day, leading to the appearance of thinner hair.
Genetics plays a role here too, as those of African descent typically have a lower density of head hair to begin with than people of Caucasian or Asian descent, which means that age-related hair reductions can appear earlier or be more pronounced.
Because the human body is sensitive to nutrient deficiencies, rapid weight loss through restrictive diets or weight loss surgery can affect the quality of our hair too. The most common condition is known as acute telogen effluvium—a frequent cause of widespread hair loss on the scalp. It usually presents three months after rapid weight loss and can last for as long as six months.
Another weight-related cause of hair loss is very low protein diets. This restrictive food regimen is linked to improved kidney health, and people with kidney-related conditions may be prescribed this type of diet. However, since amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, also happen to be essential for hair growth, a low-protein diet can lead to malnutrition and affect the production of keratin. Instead, the small amount of available protein in your body is redirected to other processes, such as tissue repair, digestion, and pH and water balance regulation.
Cortisol is well-known as the “stress” hormone, and unfortunately it can contribute to hair loss as well. Stress can do this by generating a reaction known as telogen effluvium, in which your hairs are sent into a resting phase, followed by shedding. Surgery, weight loss, or delivering a baby are all stressful events in their own right, and can all lead to temporary hair loss.
Because hair is composed of protein, getting adequate protein in your diet is essential for keeping your hair strong and healthy. If you don't eat enough protein, your hair will become dry, brittle, and fragile.
To feed your hair, ensure your diet includes plenty of protein-rich foods, including chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as well as vegetarian options such as lentils and nuts.
Vitamins, minerals, and fats
Iron is a very critical mineral for hair, and iron deficiency is a primary cause of hair loss. A nutrient-rich blood stream feeds the hair follicle and root. Anemia can occur when iron levels (serum ferritin) fall below a particular threshold. This interrupts the follicle's food supply, disrupting the hair development cycle and can result in shedding of the hair.
You can increase your iron levels through animal sources with high bioavailability, such as red meat, poultry, and fish. Lentils, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and salad greens can help vegetarians increase their iron levels.
In fact, spinach and other leafy greens should be a central part of everyone’s diet to support healthy hair growth. These vegetables act as a ready source of iron. When your body runs low on iron, oxygen and nutrients may not be transported all the way to the hair roots and follicles, which can inhibit further hair growth and weaken the hair strands.
Vitamin C goes hand in hand with iron, as it helps the body absorb iron. This vitamin is also needed for collagen production to create nutrient-providing capillaries that feed and nourish your hair and foster quicker hair growth. The vitamin E found in foods like avocado helps your hair follicles work more effectively and maintains pH balance and healthy oil levels in your scalp.
Biotin is a B vitamin that can be found in many foods, including bananas, milk, eggs, and whole grains. Amino acids are produced by biotin and stimulate the production of keratin in your hair, which can increase the rate of hair follicle growth.
Zinc deficiency has also been linked to hair shedding, so maintaining healthy zinc levels is important to combat potential shedding. As part of a balanced diet, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, and almonds are good sources of zinc.
Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to thicker, more nourished hair and can support healthy functioning sebaceous glands, which create beneficial oils for your hair. Since these fatty acids can’t be produced by the human body, they must be obtained from other sources, such as almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, or cold-water fish like salmon, sardines, or herring.
Now that you’re well-equipped to ensure that you’re taking care of all your demographic and lifestyle factors that may impact your hair health, read on to learn about the 22 best shampoos for healthy hair in 2023.
Blu Atlas is a New York-based brand that prioritizes plant-based ingredients to help you maintain a healthy head of hair. One key ingredient is jojoba oil, which keeps the hair moisturized and protected with antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins A, E, and D, all working together to smooth and strengthen the hair from the inside out.
Instead of harsh sulfates that can strip moisture from your hair, coconut cleansers gently clean and remove impurities from the hair and scalp. Blu Atlas Shampoo also uses saw palmetto, which can help reduce inflammation and fights against DHT, the hormone known to cause hair loss. Finally, vegan biotin will help fortify and protect the hair from within, adding volume and leaving your hair feeling softer than ever.
This shampoo has been formulated with the help of dermatologists and skin experts, so it is safe to use for all hair and skin types. It is completely vegan and free from parabens, phthalates, sulfates and synthetic fragrances, so it is gentle enough to use on sensitive or irritated scalps as well. With all these benefits, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try Blu Atlas Shampoo today!
2. Miriam Quevedo Black Baccara Hair Multiplying Shampoo
You should treat yourself in small ways every day. Maintaining gorgeous, healthy hair is one way—and Miriam Quevedo is here to help you do just that.
Their luxurious Black Baccara Hair Multiplying Shampoo is specially designed for weak, thinning, or brittle hair. However, the formula works wonders for all hair types thanks to its unique Multi-Bond Filler, which actively repairs the hair and creates new bonds to restore the damage caused by chemical and environmental factors, and from using heated styling tools.
The special secret to this product is the use of fresh rose stem cells and vegetable-based keratin, which fortify each strand of hair from the inside out. After using Black Baccara Hair Multiplying Shampoo, your hair will return to its original condition, feeling softer and healthier than ever.
3. Fable & Mane HoliRoots Shampoo
HoliRoots Shampoo by Fable & Mane uses Ayurvedic traditional herbs that have been used to maintain healthy hair for thousands of years. One featured ingredient is tiger herb, named for the Bengal tigers who instinctively use its healing properties in the wild. This herb helps clean the hair and heal any scalp irritations.
Coconut oil is another nourishing element that adds essential fats and vitamins to stimulate hair growth. Packed with many other herbs and roots, and free from silicones, this shampoo will help you grow your hair longer and thicker—naturally.
4. Marc Anthony Grow Long Super Fast Strength Shampoo
Marc Anthony brings more than 25 years of salon experience as a celebrity hair stylist to his range of superior hair products at an affordable price. The Grow Long Super Fast Strength Shampoo draws on caffeine and ginseng extract, delivered with vitamin E to gently cleanse the scalp and remove unwanted build up.
With a fresh scent, your hair will feel reborn and look shinier than ever, all while avoiding any unnecessary additives like parabens, sulfates, or phthalates.
5. Monpure Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo
Does your hair need an extra boost to maintain its health? Monpure has you covered with its Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo, designed to fortify and strengthen your hair with natural, nourishing ingredients.
A famous hair-strengthening powerhouse, keratin works with vegan silk peptides to enrich the hair and scalp, while coating the hair with a protective barrier that locks in moisture and prevents further damage. Aloe and coconut-derived cleansers provide a thorough clean, rinsing away dirt and debris from your hair and scalp to leave you with voluminous, almost weightless locks.
According to Monpure’s clinical testing, this sulfate-free shampoo can boost the strength of your hair by more than 35%. So you can rest easy knowing that your lovely locks are well-protected against environmental pollutants, heat damage, and other bacteria that may otherwise settle on your scalp or dry out your hair.
6. Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo
Fine, color-treated hair can be more susceptible to damage and breakage, so you need to choose the right shampoo that will add moisture without dampening your hair color. Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo includes everything you’ll need to maintain your hair’s health and protect your color from fading.
Formulated without sulfates, mineral oils, or any other color-stripping additives, Pureology uses natural moisturizers like jojoba and sunflower seed oils to provide hydration to the hair and scalp without weighing down your hair. Green tea and sage are also included to soothe the scalp and fortify the hair follicles. Be prepared for your fine hair to look and feel even more fine after using this shampoo.
7. Herbal Essences Argan Oil and Aloe Shampoo
Herbal Essences created this Argan Oil and Aloe Shampoo to give you everything you need to keep your hair healthy: hydration, shine, and damage-control. And at an affordable price point, there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider adding this shampoo for your hair care routine.
The key ingredients in this formula are plant-based natural moisturizers. Aloe vera will also soothe any irritations on your scalp, while argan oil keeps the hair silky and luxurious. This shampoo is safe for color-treated hair, and is free from any harsh ingredients like sulfates and parabens. The scent is a refreshing mix of jasmine, citrus and musk that will make your hair feel ready for a night on the town.
8. Jupiter Balancing Shampoo
If you want healthier hair, but you also need a gentle dandruff treatment, look no further than Jupiter Balancing Shampoo. Along with the clinically-proven dandruff-fighting ingredient, zinc pyrithione, this shampoo is packed with plenty of natural ingredients that hydrate and heal the scalp, while keeping your hair soft and shiny.
Squalane and coconut oil both add moisture to the hair and provide a barrier that helps prevent breakage. Sugar kelp extract is also included for its antibacterial and anti-aging effects. With a fresh fragrance combination of vanilla, sage, mint, and lavender, your hair will smell amazing, and you’ll feel refreshed, restored, and confident after using this shampoo.
9. Nanogen 7-in-1 Hair Thickening Shampoo
Nanogen’s 7-in-1 Hair Thickening Shampoo will visibly transform your hair, leaving it thicker and more voluminous than even. Salicylic acid, glycerin, and hydrolyzed keratin have been artfully blended to deliver you a product that excels at exfoliating the scalp, while strengthening the individual shafts of your hair.
Along with effectively cleansing and clearing away dead skin cells, this seven-in-one shampoo will moisturize and condition the follicles, thanks to a combination of plant-based antioxidants and beta-glucan—a selection of soluble fibers harvested from the cell walls of plants. Chamomile rounds out the treatment by soothing the skin.
If you have thin or finer hair, this product will work wonders especially for you. However, it is suitable for almost all hair types.
10. Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Shampoo
This vegan shampoo uses the power of nature to not only cleanse your hair, but make it longer, thicker, and healthier than ever. Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Shampoo uses microencapsulation technology to send its nourishing, plant-based formula deep into the scalp within 30 seconds or less.
Their proprietary blend of Karmatin, a form of vegan silk keratin, along with hydrating oils and herbs, strengthens and restores damaged hair follicles, while creating a lasting bond to protect your hair from damage throughout the day. Other active ingredients include wild-harvested marula, baobab, and ximenia oils, which nourish the hair as they provide moisture, leaving you with a healthy mane that won’t seem to be able to stop growing.
11. Vernon Francois Re-Vamp Shampoo
Vernon Francois recognizes that some types of hair need particularly intensive care. To assist, they have developed this shampoo for damaged hair that has an ultra-nourishing, non-stripping composition, thereby helping to prevent breakage and restore hair health. The sulfate-free recipe combines humectants and UV-protecting agents to prevent and reverse style damage.
It also contains moisture-infusing, cuticle-penetrating keratin to develop hair strength from inside and ubuntu mafura oil, castor oil, and glycerin to provide your hair with an exceptional deep conditioning. Even if you don’t have particularly sensitive or demanding hair, this pH-balancing, gloss-enhancing shampoo will leave it clean and silky, whether your hair is color-treated, relaxed, or heat-damaged.
12. évolis Professional REVERSE Shampoo
For those out there who are looking to bring back the full, healthy head of hair they’ve been slowly losing over the years, fear not! REVERSE Shampoo by évolis Professional made it on our list of best shampoos for healthy hair because it does just that.
This shampoo lifts the roots of your hair using keratin and wheat proteins, adding strength so your thin hair will plump up and become thicker and fuller. This color-safe, sulfate-free formula uses natural botanicals to inhibit the protein that causes your hair to age, helping to restore your hair with renewed texture and shine. Now’s the time to reclaim your youth—at least for your hair!
13. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Shampoo
SheaMoisture’s Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Shampoo is an all-natural, lightweight hair treatment that clarifies and removes buildup, while leaving the hair infused with moisture. This product is particularly effective for those who regularly straighten, perm, or heat style their hair, as well as kinky, curly, or wavy natural hairstyles. It gently cleanses while enhancing the natural shape of your hair.
This formula uses Jamaican black castor oil and certified organic shea butter to promote growth by nourishing and strengthening damaged or chemically-processed hair, reducing the appearance of breakage and shedding. Meanwhile, peppermint oil helps stimulate the scalp, leaving you and your hair feeling invigorated after use.
14. Klorane Strengthening Shampoo with Quinine and Edelweiss
You might be familiar with quinine as an ingredient in tonic water that pairs so well with your favorite gin. But were you aware of its ability to promote hair growth? Klorane certainly is, which is why they feature this ingredient in their Strengthening Shampoo with Quinine and Edelweiss.
To get a little technical, quinine is useful in hair care because it activates blood microcirculation, thereby more effectively delivering essential vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients to the roots of your hair. It also contains antiseptic and anti-dandruff effects that work to keep your scalp soothed and the pesky yeast responsible for dandruff at bay. Organic edelweiss from the Swiss Alps assists in boosting the overall vitality of hair and resilience at the roots, leaving you with visibly thicker, fuller hair.
15. Philip Kingsley Body Building Weightless Shampoo
With a light, neutral scent and minimalist packaging, Philip Kingsley Body Building Weightless Shampoo will appeal to all genders and can provide benefits for most hair types. The formula is designed to add moisture and body without weighing the hair down.
This shampoo gives your hair the fullness you want, but will also help to control flyaways and protect it from heat damage as you blow-dry and style your hair however you like. The formula uses keratin and natural cellulose to plump and thicken limp hair, and adds volume, bounce, and shine to even the finest hair textures, while being gentle enough for daily use.
16. LivSo Moisturizing Shampoo for Dry Hair and Scalp
LivSo uses a blend of naturally-derived ingredients to maintain the health of your hair. This Moisturizing Shampoo for Dry Hair and Scalp is targeted for those issues, but will also work well with other hair types.
One key ingredient in this formula is coconut oil, which protects the scalp’s natural barrier and keeps your hair smooth and shiny. Xylitol helps to defend against dandruff and the associated flaking of the skin on your scalp. And glycolic acid keeps the pores cleared of buildup and impurities—it gently exfoliates your scalp as it cleanses the hair.
With a fresh scent of coconut and lemongrass, your hair will look and smell like you just stepped off of a tropical island. If your hair and scalp need a bit of assistance, LivSo’s Moisturizing Shampoo is the first step towards healthier hair.
17. The Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Breakage and Repair Antidote Shampoo
If your dry, damaged hair needs some serious TLC, The Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Breakage and Repair Antidote Shampoo is your go-to remedy. This unique formula dissolves buildup while stimulating and rejuvenating your scalp, delivering a dose of essential nutrients to your hair.
This shampoo uses natural moisturizers to repair and restore your hair, including kalahari, oleaster, mongongo, and baobab oils. These oils contain omegas 3, 6, and 9, working together to protect the strands against future damage and encourage new growth. Your hair loss and breakage will be reduced, leaving you with a thicker, stronger head of hair.
18. Dove Hair Therapy Hydration Spa Shampoo
We all need a day at the spa sometimes, and Dove can at least provide that experience for your hair, with its Hair Therapy Hydration Spa Shampoo. This shampoo will nourish your hair all the way down to the cellular level, leaving your hair smooth and moisturized all day long.
This sulfate-free formula contains hyaluronic serum, which will infuse your strands with moisture for up to 24 hours. For optimal results, use this shampoo with Dove’s Hydration Spa Conditioner for a complete refresh, and every time you wash your hair you’ll feel like you just left the spa.
19. NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Repair Shampoo
Every once in a while, a product comes to market that is a bit of a unicorn: an inexpensive, holy-grail shampoo with benefits that far surpass what the bottle claims to deliver. Japanese brand NatureLab Tokyo’s Perfect Repair Shampoo has this unicorn status. Botanical technology advancements in this product address the main cause of most hair drama: an unbalanced scalp.
Botanical stem cells harvested from bamboo and the argan tree in this formula contain 1,000 times more antioxidants than other botanical extracts, and they all work to penetrate your hair and scalp with ultimate nourishment. NatureLab Tokyo's Perfect Repair Shampoo also contains Smart Keratin, which provides additional reinforcement and protection to the hair. Prickly pear oils defend against environmental damage, restoring a youthful appearance and feel to your hair. Damaged hair will improve, and new hair will grow stronger and more resilient than ever.
20. Vitabrid C12 Scalp+ Shampoo
Vitamin C is highly effective at protecting our skin from the damaging effects of free radicals that lead to premature aging, dark spots, and wrinkles. We don't often think of the scalp as skin in the same way we do the rest of our body, but it is just as susceptible to UV exposure and other damaging effects.
Vitabrid’s C12 Scalp+ Shampoo harnesses the power of Vitamin C in a revolutionary new delivery system. Pairing it with stabilizing zinc provides a more potent, yet stable source of nourishment to the scalp over a period of 12 hours.
This product is particularly successful at treating stress-related hair loss by addressing oxidative stress in your scalp, where there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body that leads to cell and tissue damage. Oxidative stress can force your hair to shorten its growth phase, meaning it grows from the scalp before being fully formed and protected.
When this occurs, large quantities of hair can fall out all at once. Yikes! Don’t worry though—Vitabrid C12 shampoo actively promotes collagen synthesis in the scalp, promoting hair regrowth and stronger fibers.
21. Pureology Nanoworks Gold Shampoo
Pureology designed Nanoworks Gold Shampoo to restore dull, lifeless hair back to optimal health. Along with its Antifade Complex that helps protect color-treated hair from fading, this formula uses golden marula oil and shea butter to moisturize and soften the hair, while keravis, a plant-based protein fortifies and strengthens every strand to prevent further damage.
This vegan and sulfate-free formula provides lasting protection for both your hair and scalp, and it works well with all hair types. The scent is also unique yet subtle, featuring notes of dewey pear and ylang ylang, with a hint of golden amber. It’s a solid choice on our list of the best shampoos for healthy hair—you won’t regret trying it out.
22. Virtue Recovery Shampoo
Last but not least on our list of the best shampoos for healthy hair, Recovery Shampoo from Virtue Labs uses a human keratin protein called Alpha Keratin 60ku to heal damaged hair by filling in cracks in the cuticles. This is a powerful treatment that restores your hair back to a healthy state, with continuous nourishment that also gently and thoroughly cleans the hair.
Some of the other herbal extracts used in this formula to protect and hydrate your hair include baobab seed oil, hydrolyzed quinoa, and grapefruit extract. This shampoo is a great solution for those with hair damaged by heat styling or color treatment. It is safe to use on all hair types, and is paraben-free, gluten-free, and vegan.