Shampoo: Ratings of Sources
Good Housekeeping evaluated 36 dry shampoos by sending a sample of each one (with the brand name blacked out) to 22 women across the US. Testers tried the products at home over a 10-day period and then rated them on cleaning performance, volume and hold, ease of use, and whether they caused any problems such as irritation, offensive scent, or powdery feel. Each product gets a one-paragraph write-up plus a summary of pros and cons.
Editors at InStyle magazine name their top hair-care picks for 2015. Nine shampoo and conditioner duos make the list, including choices for fine, dry, curly, African-American, and color-treated hair. Each pick gets a one-paragraph summary, including advice from professional stylists. However, the editors do not describe their testing process or explain which products failed to make the cut.
Paula Begoun, the author of 20 best-selling books on beauty and personal care, names her favorite products for different types of hair. She recommends one to four shampoos for each type of hair: oily, fine, dry, thick, curly, and thinning. Begoun's picks range from high-end salon products to inexpensive drugstore options. Unfortunately, she doesn't go into any detail about how she selected these shampoos or what specifically makes them better than others.
Allure editors list the beauty products they rate as best for 2015. In the shampoo category, editors list their top picks for various types of hair. There's a link to a full review for each product that covers what it is, what it does, how it feels and smells, and why editors like it. However, they don't provide much information about their testing process or the products they didn't pick.
Editors of Health magazine, along with top dermatologists and stylists, name their favorite hair products for 2015. However, the write-ups on the recommended products are very brief – just a sentence or two – and there's no information about how they were chosen. And, out of 15 products, only three shampoos make the list.
Julyne Derrick, the beauty expert at About.com, offers general advice on caring for different types of hair – coarse and fine, dry and oily, curly and color-treated with links to her recommendations for the best hair-care products. However, Derrick has not personally tried most of the products she recommends and appears to be basing her picks mainly on user reviews from other sites.
The editors of Shape, a fitness magazine, name their best beauty products for 2015. Their 60 top picks include one shampoo and one dry shampoo, both reasonably priced brands available in many drugstores. However, they don't explain how they chose these products, and they devote only a sentence or two to each one.
Two TotalBeauty.com editors have assembled this list of the 11 dandruff shampoos that earn the highest ratings from readers. Editors sum up what users like the most about each shampoo, with quotations from individual user reviews to illustrate each point. However, some of the recommendations are based on a very limited number of reviews.
Amazon's selection of shampoos includes thousands of brands, ranging from high-end salon products to mainstream brands found in many drugstores. However, the shampoos that receive the most reviews tend to be obscure brands featuring rare natural ingredients like argan oil and tea tree oil. Still, the site is useful for finding reviews of brands that get good ratings elsewhere.
Drugstore.com sells hundreds of shampoos, including both mainstream brands and specialty formulas. We found several shampoos with ratings of 4.5 stars or better, including a few that have 75 reviews or more from users. The site provides a helpful summary of reviewers' top pros and cons for each shampoo, as well as the percentage of users who say they would recommend the product.
In addition to the article above, TotalBeauty.com hosts hundreds of user reviews. Over 2,000 shampoos are listed at the site, and a few receive ratings of 9 stars or better from at least 50 readers. Individual reviews are short and to the point, homing in on what users like most about the shampoo.
Unlike Amazon.com and Drugstore.com, MakeupAlley.com is not a retail site; its sole purpose is to host reviews from users, and only subscribers can view these comments. About 1,000 shampoos are covered here, and it's easy to sort the reviews in a variety of ways. Reviewers here are a bit more critical than others: among shampoos with 250 reviews or more, only 6 received at least 4 stars out of 5, and none received 4.5 stars.
The Environmental Working Group, an environmental nonprofit, maintains this database to rate the safety of cosmetics and personal care products, including shampoos. It doesn't actually recommend particular products, but it gives each shampoo an overall risk rating on a 10-point scale and also notes which ingredients in it are possibly -- though not necessarily proven to be -- hazardous.