We Just Found 30 Holy-Grail Shampoos and Conditioners (PS: They're Under $21)

Everyone has different needs and goals for their hair. While some of us are looking for extra volume, others want to repair damage from the perpetual use of hot tools or chemical treatments. Some want to give their curls some major TLC, while others seek color protection. Regardless, I'm confident everyone wants their strands to reach their full, healthy, and expensive-looking potential. Here’s the best part: your wallet doesn't have to suffer the consequences of transforming your hair game. Many of the best shampoos and conditioners on the market have found a place in the sparkling aisles of your nearest drugstore, and we're here to help you discover which ones deserve your attention. Get ready; class is in session!


(Image credit: @mishti.rahman)

What to Look for in Drugstore Shampoos and Conditioners

When adding a new shampoo and conditioner to my routine, the biggest thing I look for would have to be a high-quality product with a shockingly low or affordable price tag. Before becoming a beauty editor, I was constantly drawn to heritage brands that promised salon-quality treatments but didn't always live up to their name. Instead of spending my time and energy wondering why my hair wasn't responding the way I wanted, I began to pinpoint the weak areas of my haircare routine to identify where I needed extra help.

From season to season, my strands sometimes call for some extra TLC to help lock in moisture, zap away unwanted frizz, and keep my scalp clean when it's so often exposed through my protective styling. Whether you're on the lookout for the best drugstore shampoo and conditioner to achieve beach-inspired mermaid waves or need an affordable, cult-classic purple elixir to bust your brass, we've found the best of the best conditioners with price tags you'll love. Keep scrolling for the budget-saving drugstore shampoos and conditioners we can't stop using.

Best Overall Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner:

If you've noticed your hair has lost its natural luster, it's time to invest in effective products that boost the gentle sheen you love with ingredients you can trust to boost moisture. Since being founded in 1993, Carol's Daughter has continuously produced haircare products aimed at bringing your strands back to their healthiest state. My personal favorite? Their Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. It features shea butter as its star ingredient to bring on moisture.

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Curly Hair:

Despite popular opinion, natural curls aren't difficult to take care of. Chances are, you're simply using the wrong products. Since transitioning my hair from being chemically straightened for over 11 years to embracing my 4c curls, I learned how important it is to pay attention to how your hair responds to certain ingredients. Products using aloe may be a no-no for me (I have an ultra-sensitive scalp), but SheaMoisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine line has quickly become a favorite. Its formula uses silk protein and neem oil to have your curls looking beyond luscious and healthy.

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Volume:

Sometimes, your hair may need a little boost to look its fullest. Enter Odele's Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner. While I've never personally combated thin strands, I know just how important it is to use products that don't weigh down or strip your strands. The shampoo and conditioner below add moisture, shine, and fullness, all while being weightless—because no one likes having to work with limp locks. Ringing in at a combined price of $24, these are game-changing products that definitely belong in your shower.

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Wavy Hair:

If you have naturally wavy hair, the best thing you can do is find the delicate balance between definition and hydration. While it's easier said than done, there are quite a few products on the market that promise to support soft, smooth, frizz-free waves while keeping your hair moisturized. Not sure where to start? Consider adding Tresemmé's Moisture Rich Shampoo and Conditioner to your haircare routine. They offer deep hydration and moisture with a highly effective formula featuring a blend of vitamin E, vitamin C, and Hyaluronic Plex for salon quality without the hefty price tag.


(Image credit: @emanuellek_)

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair:

There are many things to avoid when you have newly color-treated hair: steer clear of heat, stay out of chlorinated water, and keep your hair out of prolonged direct sunlight. But what are the good habits you should practice? Using a sulfate shampoo created to protect color-treated hair is always a good move. Aveeno's Blackberry Quinoa Protein Blend Shampoo and Conditioner helps preserve color and protect against heat styling with a unique, lightweight formula infused with protein and wholesome, farm-fresh ingredients. It's a definite yes from me.

Best Purple Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Blonde Hair:

If you're struggling to keep your color-treated blonde hair looking as vibrant as it was when you left the salon, there's an easy fix: add L'Oréal's bestselling Sulfate-Free Purple Shampoo and Conditioner to your routine. While I've never gone completely blonde myself (apart from honey-blonde box braids), I have played around with color in the past and know how effective investing in purple shampoos and conditioners can be to the upkeep of blonde hair. This pair from L'Oréal is known for its low price point and ability to neutralize brassy, orange tones for bleached or color-treated blonde and silver hair.

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Breakage:

I bet most of us have experienced hair breakage at one time or another. Mine came after wearing my chemically-straightened hair in a protective style for three weeks. It can be discouraging to see your lovely locks break at their weakest points—usually right at the ends. To help prevent this, I always recommend using a shampoo and conditioner that target fine and thin hair like these from Nexxus. Their superstar formula helps rebuild your hair follicles with protein, creating weightless volume and strengthening your strands.

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Chemically-Straightened Hair:

If you've damaged your hair by chemically altering its natural texture, it's time to update your routine. Choose a shampoo and conditioner designed to restore your tresses to a healthier and more beautiful state. While transitioning my hair, I discovered Pantene's Gold Series and immediately fell in love with their Moisture Boost Shampoo and Conditioner. The shampoo offers a rich, creamy lather that hydrates hair cuticles while softening and cleansing your strands. The conditioner uses rich oils to promote further softness and shine.


(Image credit: @kitkeenan)

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Shine:

If your goal is to have shiny hair, you'll want to take notes. OGX's Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco Hydrating Hair Shampoo and Conditioner are crafted from powerful formulas that use cold-pressed Moroccan argan oil to penetrate the hair at the shaft for restored strength, softness, and shine. Not only will your hair look amazing, but it will smell just as good thanks to an energizing citrus and floral fragrance. Once you notice their effect, you won't want to stop using these products—they're that good. 

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Hair Growth:

Looking to add a bit of length to your hair? It's time you start using a shampoo and conditioner that can support that goal. Paul Mitchell's Tree Tree Special Shampoo and Conditioner has been a long-time favorite of mine thanks to its ability to jump-start your hair growth process. Its not-so-secret ingredient, tea tree, cleans and moisturizes the scalp, allowing for detangled, smooth, and softened hair in seconds. It also offers an amazing aromatherapy-inspired experience that will completely transform your hair wash days to spa days. You're welcome!

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Texture:

Have you noticed textured hair has been trending lately? Before you reach for your trusty hot tools to recreate your favorite Daisy Jones and the Six-inspired hairstyles, start with a shampoo and conditioner that gives your tresses unparalleled texture. To accomplish this, I love using Maui Moisture's Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. Yes, it leaves you with bouncy curls if you already have thick curly hair, but it also works to add texture to other hair types. Plus, like many other drugstore shampoos and conditioners on this list, it smells amazing.

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Damaged Hair

Working with damaged hair can be a challenge, but it's by no means impossible to restore. Whenever my hair needs a pick-me-up or a major overhaul, thanks to overusing chemical treatments or heat, I always reach for products that reconstruct my hair from the root. Nexxus' Keraphix Damage Healing Shampoo and Conditioner do just that with a formula featuring keratin and protein, ingredients that replenish and repair the hair while also increasing its resilience. You'll be surprised at the change these products will bring to your hair game.


(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Dry, Brittle Hair

The best way to combat dry and brittle hair is to add moisture. SheaMoisture's popular Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner will always be number one in my book for a product combo that brings hair back to life. Its restorative oils help nourish, soften, and detangle strands, while other naturally-derived ingredients help your hair look and feel healthy in no time.

Best Sulfate-Free Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner:

I'm back with another L'Oréal must-have. This time it's my favorite sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. The brand's Ever Pure Bond-Strengthening line strengthens hair from the inside out by reinforcing weak bonds. They also leave hair smooth and soft while helping protect it from future damage. Did I also mention its formula is vegan and clean? Time to take a trip to your nearest drugstore or beauty retailer.

Best Clean Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner:

Lastly, we have another shampoo and conditioner with a clean formula that I'm obsessed with. If you're an avid Who What Wear reader, you've probably already been introduced to this brand. If not, here's what you need to know about this specific shampoo and conditioner pair: the gentle formula targets buildup on the scalp with cider vinegar to reset your hair's balance and hemp seed oil to replenish moisture.

Up next: I'm a Beauty Director—24 Under-$50 Staples I Think Everyone Needs This Summer

Maya Thomas
Assistant Beauty Editor
Maya Thomas is Who What Wear's assistant beauty editor based just outside of Seattle, Washington. Her strong love for all things beauty and fashion stems from a strong childhood interest in the fine arts. During a gap year spent in Paris studying the history of French fashion, she shifted her focus to English literature and journalism as a student at Loyola Marymount University with the goal of one day pursuing a career in fashion. After graduating in May 2021, Maya began freelancing for Parade.com as a contributing commerce writer while also building a following on her lifestyle blog, Itsmayalala.com. When she's not writing, Maya spends her free time catching up on reading, perusing art galleries, and enjoying a night out at the ballet every now and then.