The best shampoo and conditioner sets solve a real problem: no shampoo should be without its companion conditioner. That’s because oftentimes two mixed-and-matched hair care products can work against one another. Sure, a shampoo will always wash your hair and scalp, while a conditioner will fortify and soften your mane, but within both of those categories, there are thousands of offerings. And you want the products that have been paired together to accomplish a shared task, targeted at your hair type and goals. The best shampoo and conditioner sets for you do exactly this: factors in things like texture, density, length, oiliness (or lack thereof), and scalp state.
And to those of you who think that using a single 2-in-1 product is sufficient, then please reconsider: A shampoo’s job is to flush away oil, grime, and other buildup on the scalp. A conditioner’s job is to then follow that with a revitalizing, nourishing, and smoothing finish—namely, without any cleansing ingredients in site. (Because those cleansing agents are exactly what strip hair of its moisture.) It’s impossible to do both with a single product.
We’ve rounded up the best shampoo-conditioner duos below, covering the most common factors that men consider when buying their hair care products. You should find at least one set that suits your situation and help you achieve softer, stronger strands and a soothed, satisfied scalp—no matter the variables with which you’re working.
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Thinning Hair
If your top priority is hair retention (no matter how thin your hair has become), then you also need to prioritize specific ingredients in your hair care products. And Roman Hair Care checks every box: A shampoo with that fights DHT (the hormonal byproduct that shrinks your follicles) with saw palmetto and pumpkin seed oil, while balancing oil production with salicylic acid and boosting circulation to the follicles with caffeine. Chase that with the brand’s protein-powered conditioner, which simultaneously smooths and softens hair with coconut oil and shea butter.
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Damaged or Fragile Hair
Is there a name more synonymous with hair fortification, than that of Olaplex? With a shampoo that may as well be a conditioner all its own, followed by a conditioner that tames frizzing and fraying, this duo gives strands some kind of magical steroid-jacked second life. It does so by filling in all of your hair’s broken bonds, the overall impact of which smooths and strengthens it for the long haul.
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Dry Hair
For this silky-smooth set, Drunk Elephant partnered with celebrity hairstylist Chris Macmillan (who, if we had to rank the celebrity hairstylists, would probably top the list). That alone explains why this deeply hydrating duo tops our list for hair revival. Both products contain hydrolyzed silk, silk amino acids, and silk sericin, for the ultimate smoothing, shine-boosting, strengthening, softening, and satisfying finish.
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Long Hair
David Mallett’s salons are among the most prestigious in New York and Paris, and he has a haircare line that upholds those world-class standards. This duo is his latest launch, centering natural ingredients and a sensitive-scalp-friendly formula. With vegetable proteins, coconut oil, plus shea and cocoa seed butters, this pair is perfect for all hair types and lengths, but will especially suit the folks growing their hair out for the long haul. Gone are the awkward, uncooperative hair days, the frizzing and fraying, the scalp buildup, and everything that threatens your time-tested strands.
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Textured Hair
Bread is like butter for strands with any curl pattern whatsoever, from loose rings to kinky and coily. Their shampoo soothes and nourishes strands with aloe and argan oil, while their leave-in mask/conditioner pumps targets scalp and strands alike with oils of kakadu plum and starflower oil. (The former boosts collagen and elastin throughout the hair, while the latter promotes stronger hair growth at the root.)
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Short Hair
With this hair duo, Cardon graduates from skincare brand to full-fledged grooming brand, and they deploy the same Korean standards into both new formulas. (Which means ingredients pull double duty to help strengthen hair and soothe the scalp.) Niacinamide soothes the scalp and boosts circulation, yeast extract hydrates the dome, and dexpanthenol smooths and fortifies the strands. It’s a terrific daily pair for shorter styles, and one that promotes scalp serenity and hair growth at the same time.
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Thick Hair
Thick hair is notoriously unruly. Thus, the strand-taming term you’re looking for is “smoothing”. Davines’ smoothing LOVE duo is the ticket, too, since it neutralizes frizzing, fraying, poofing, split ends, and the like. So whether it’s an overly humid day or the dry dregs of January, this stuff tells your thick strands to settle into place, lovingly.
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for a Balanced Scalp
We’re seeing a shift in hair care messaging, one that rightfully spotlights the precious, delicate scalp. This is where all of your hairs are anchored, after all, so you need to keep the scalp in a happy, balanced state if you want your hairs to grow unencumbered and strong. Malin + Goetz’s pair of products does this exceptionally: Its shampoo gently clarifies and ‘resets’ the scalp, with hydrating amino acids and the tingling + toning powers of peppermint extract. Then, its conditioner follows with a pH-balancing, hair-detangling and -fortifying formula.
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Dyed Hair
Quinoa and elastin proteins power Nexxus’ color-targeted duo, ensuring that your strands stay strong and your color stays vivid. The conditioner in particular coats the strands to defend against daily threats to your dye, like hot tools, air pollutants, hair products, and the like.
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Platinum/Blonde/Silver Hair
Often, with purple-hued shampoos and conditioners, you only need one or the other, and you should only use it sparingly. Otherwise, those purple tones can turn hair reddish orange, which creates an entirely new problem for you. (The purple is supposed to offset yellowing effects of pollution, hair products, hard water, etc and maintain the luminance tone of your chosen color.) MATRIX’s duo can be used in tandem to preserve that bright silver or platinum blonde, but they should still be used sparingly—once a week, perhaps, or more/less based on your colorist’s best advice.