Shampoo: Ratings of Sources
Good Housekeeping evaluated 35 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 2016. Ten winners are chosen overall – both shampoo and conditioner duos as well as stand-alone shampoos -- including choices for fine, dry, curly, 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. Previous years' winners are also listed.
The Good Housekeeping Institute tests hair-thickening shampoos and conditioners in the lab, measuring the increase in hair diameter after use, and with the help of a panel of testers and opinions from hair-styling pros. While the total number of products tested and specific testing methodology isn't disclosed, 16 recommended products are described including feedback from testers and hair-styling professionals.
Allure editors list the beauty products they rate as best for 2016. 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.
Elle.com's beauty editors name their favorite shampoos and conditioners for various hair types, such as frizzy hair, curly hair, and dry hair. Ten shampoos are recommended overall (along with each editor's preferred conditioning product), each accompanied by a paragraph describing why it works and how it helps users overcome their most frustrating hair challenges.
Editors of HarpersBazaar.com name the 12 best shampoos and conditioners for every hair type, including everyday hair, dull hair, dry hair, color-treated hair, and even aging hair, blonde hair, and more. Each pick is described in a short paragraph explaining why it works for its targeted hair type, although editors don't disclose how they chose the recommended products.
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. Links to her recommendations for the best hair-care products are also provided, though the methodology used to make those picks is not well explained.
Two TotalBeauty.com editors have assembled this list of the 20 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.
Walgreens.com sells hundreds of shampoos, including both mainstream brands and specialty formulas. We found several shampoos that have accumulated hundreds of reviews and earn ratings of 4.5 stars or better. The site enables users to filter search results by product type (dry shampoos, moisturizing shampoos, etc.), hair type, and other options, making it easy to find top-rated products for every need.
Sephora.com sells thousands of beauty products that you'd typically find in a high-end salon or department store. More than 170 shampoos are listed here, many of which receive hundreds of reviews. Users can filter results by fragrance type, ingredients, price, hair concerns, and brand to easily find products that meet their needs.
Like Amazon.com, Walmart.com sells thousands of shampoos and other hair care products. You can sort results by highest rating, best sellers, and price, and filter search results further by brand, hair type, customer rating, and other options. Several shampoos earn ratings of 4.3 stars or better in hundreds to thousands of reviews.
Unlike Amazon.com and Walgreens.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. More than 3,100 shampoos are rated here.