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Shampoo may just be one piece of the puzzle when it comes to achieving more good hair days, but as the first step in your routine, it's one you want to make sure you get right. Naturally, this will differ depending on your hair type, and even the best shampoos for straight hair aren't one size fits all. Generally, if you have naturally straight hair (lucky you), you'll want to look for shampoos that are silicone-free (while many brands will call this out, you can also take a quick scan of the ingredient list — anything ending in "-cone" is a dead giveaway). Hydrolyzed proteins derived from wheat, vegetables, and rice can also be beneficial for straight hair because they help weightlessly repair damage and improve hydration, which can give your hair a thicker appearance.
Ditching silicones can be helpful for straight hair because they’re not able to be dissolved by water and therefore can coat your hair. Over time, this can lead to buildup on your hair, which can weigh it down and leave straight hair looking especially flat and lifeless. If you like what silicones do for your hair in terms of reducing unwanted frizz and keeping your hair smooth, use a clarifying shampoo or treatment once weekly, or even every other week, to prevent buildup.
Whether your straight hair is fine, oily, damaged, or thin, keep scrolling to find the perfect shampoo for you. From thickening formulas and clarifying rinses to $5 drugstore finds, there’s something on this list for everyone.
1. Best Shampoo For Straight, Fine Hair
A lot of times, straight and fine hair go hand in hand, which is why volumizing shampoos tend to be such favorites among people with naturally straight hair. Some of those volumizing options, however, also include silicones that can secretly be weighing your hair down. Not so with Matrix Total Results High Amplify Shampoo, a silicone-free formula that includes vitamin B5 and hydrolyzed wheat protein to simultaneously moisturize and volumize your hair. The shampoo, which has over 2,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, also contains salicylic acid to gently remove buildup and excess sebum from the scalp, which can also make your fine, straight hair appear less limp.
According to one Amazon reviewer: “This has been my go-to shampoo for about 4 yrs after my mom bought as gift. Ran out of this shampoo and conditioner and used substitute for short while. Not the same! It is designed specifically for fine hair, I have lots of fine, straight dark hair. Love my hair but needs constant volumizing effect to look good! This does the job - hair looks healthy, saturated, shiny, and bounces with body. [...]”
2. Best Thickening Shampoo For Straight, Thin Hair
Yes, there is a difference between thin and fine hair, though often, products that target one of those hair types will also be helpful for the other. (Fineness refers to the texture of each strand, while thinness refers to the amount of hair — or lack thereof — overall.) If you want your hair to look as thick as possible, you'll need to start with a shampoo that both immediately boosts fullness and promotes strong, healthy hair in the long term. Amika 3D Volume And Thickening Shampoo does just that with a combination of hydrolyzed vegetable and rice proteins to instantly add volume, as well as the brand's own Redensyl Complex to help you maintain healthy hair over time. Cruelty-free and vegan, the shampoo, which includes other nourishing ingredients like sea buckthorn oil and avocado oil, is free from sulfates, silicones, and parabens.
According to one Amazon reviewer: “I have very thin hair this product doesn’t weigh it down and gives great volume!”
3. Best Shampoo For Straight, Oily Hair
If you have oily skin, chances are you've turned to a clay mask to help absorb some of that excess oil. L'Oréal Paris applies that same concept to hair with their Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo, which was designed for those with oily roots. The formula uses three types of clays to eliminate greasy roots for up to 48 hours so you can stretch out the time between hair washes. It also claims that it won't dry out the lengths of your hair, something that several of the thousands of rave Amazon reviews seem to confirm. Like all of the shampoos on this list, this one is silicone-free.
According to one Amazon reviewer: “Finally a shampoo that actually keeps my scalp from being greasy at the end of the day. [...] I have had pin straight, baby soft, fine hair all my life and daily washing has always been a necessity as my hair looked oily and greased down on my scalp by the end of the day. [...] Also got the conditioner. This duo has changed my life. Now if only I could find a product that could make my hair hold a curl I would be in hair heaven.”
4. Best Shampoo For Straight, Damaged Hair
Whether you just visited the salon for a full head of highlights or you're noticing that months-old balayage is leaving the lengths of your hair drier than usual, Redken’s Extreme Bleach Recovery Shampoo may be just what you need. Designed to nourish hair that's become damaged as a result of bleaching, Redken uses its own Conditioning Complex to restore softness and shine to your hair (without the use of any silicones, of course). For best results, follow up with the brand’s Extreme Bleach Recovery Lamellar Water Treatment — a completely weightless product that’s ideal for straight hair that gets easily weighed down by most conditioners and hair masks.
According to one Amazon reviewer: “Saved my damaged hair! My hairdresser gave this to me. I had no faith this would repair the damage that had been done. I was wrong. It worked wonders.”
5. Writer’s Pick
I have fine, straight hair that can turn flat and greasy just hours after washing it when I use the wrong shampoo (even some that claim to be volumizing). Living Proof's Full Shampoo is my current shampoo of choice — I love its gentle cleansing formula and ability to leave my hair looking smooth, shiny, and oil-free for more than 24 hours. Despite being sulfate-free, the shampoo still works into a rich lather, and it's cruelty-free, silicone-free, and safe for color-treated hair, too. While I notice a little lift, there's no serious volume added to my hair (unless I style it with another volumizing product, like the brand's Full Dry Volume Blast, that is).
According to one Amazon reviewer: “Living Proof [Full Shampoo] is absolutely the best shampoo. My fine hair looks & feels so much fuller than ever and it stays clean, never greasy or heavy even after 2 days. It’s worth every penny.”
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To remove product buildup, enhance shine, and help balance your scalp, Elite Daily editor Jen Fiegel recommends incorporating this treatment into your hair care routine. "I have coarse, straight hair that is often lacking in texture and movement. Twice a week, I add this step before my normal shampoo, and it makes my hair magically soft and bouncy," she says of R+Co’s Acid Wash Apple Cider Vinegar Cleansing Rinse, which contains scalp-soothing and shine-enhancing ingredients like apple fruit extract and tamanu seed oil. "It also keeps my scalp happy and is the only ACV rinse I've tried that actually smells really, really good," she adds.
According to one Amazon reviewer: “I love this product. I have fine straight hair, so Im using dry shampoo all the time. When I use this acid wash, I feel like it strips out all of that buildup without damaging my colour treated hair. It makes my hair clean, oil free and leaves my scalp moisturised (which keeps it from getting oily so quickly). Would also add that the smell is much better than other ACV products I have tried. I only wish it were cheaper (don’t we all?!)”
Pro and Contra of Cleansing Conditioners, by Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni Dias; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6489037/
Modification of wheat gluten for improvement of binding capacity with keratin in hair, by Shukun Wang, Danyang Meng, Sisi Wang, Zhong Zhang, Ruijin Yang, Wei Zhao; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5830729/