No matter how much you might spend on it, there’s something about shampoo that always feels like the most basic step of your hair routine. After all, sudsing up in the shower just isn’t that exciting—it’s the masks, hair oils and styling products that bring the fun later. While I am partial to a more expensive shampoo-and-conditioner duo, if you’re looking to save some money, this is the place in your hair routine where I often recommend cutting costs, leaving you to invest more in your styling products instead. As a beauty editor, I have tested a lot of shampoos over the years, but while the luxe cleansers often feel great, and smell even better, there are plenty of drugstore shampoos that I use regularly and recommend to my friends who have a plethora of hair types.
Before we get into my favourites, it’s important to note that a lot of inexpensive shampoos tend to contain sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), an ingredient that’s used purely to create that classic shampoo lather. This isn’t an issue for all hair types, as it is effective at removing grease from the hair, but it’s definitely an ingredient to watch out for if you have curly or Afro-textured hair, as it can leave hair looking and feeling drier than when you wash with an SLS-free shampoo.