If You’re Going to Splurge, These Luxury Shampoos Are Worth It

One of life's little pleasures is totally luxurious shampoo.

We have a little admission. While we’re usually pretty good at sticking to a budget, sometimes all we want is a luxury splurge. And while actually purchasing that Mansur Gavriel handbag we’ve been shamelessly eyeing at Barneys every lunch hour for months would set us back at least a week’s worth of office slogging, there’s one luxe item that lets us splurge with a far smaller kick to the wallet. Said indulgence? Beautifully formulated shampoos that leave our tresses looking like we’ve just had the priciest of pricy blowouts.

For Volume: Rahua Voluminous Shampoo

This luxe shampoo lists all kinds of exotic ingredients on its label: rahua-angurahua, palo santo, shea butter betaines. We have no idea what any of them are, but we do know that the end result works wonders on our hair. Silkier, more voluminous strands have never been had from an all-natural shampoo. Seriously. And the fact that they’re ethically sourced from the Amazon (the rainforest, not the online warehouse) means doing good has never looked better.

BUY FROM: Barneys, $34

For Flakes: Matrix Biolage Scalpsync Antidandruff Shampoo

In the war against the fungal overgrowth that causes flakes (ew, we know), many shampoos skip right past milder but effective ingredients and trot out the beauty equivalent of WMDs. While harsher products do work, they can also cause breakouts and other collateral damage. Technology based off mint leaves’ natural antibacterial properties allows this antidandruff shampoo to cleanse hair and lessen flakes after a single shampoo.

BUY FROM: $20, Amazon.com

For Luster: Oribe Shampoo for Brilliance & Shine

Just look at that bottle. It could be filled with dollar-store dishwashing liquid and we’d still be fully sold. But underneath all that beauty, Oribe’s gentle cleanser glosses strands like nothing else—and the smell? Among the best things ever. One thing we can’t gloss over? The $50 price tag. So as justification, we’ve decided only to use it every other day--which makes it half price, right?

BUY FROM: Space NK, $49

For Moisture: Kerastase Nutritive Bain Magistral

There are more conditioning shampoos out there than our brains are interested in thinking about, so why is it that none of them seem to work? It can’t be that hard to create a cleanser that leaves hair hydrated but still flowing like a Paso Fino’s mane, can it? Keratase’s sulfate-free take gets the balance right, leaving hair cleansed and soft without heavy oils that drag it down.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $24

For Color: Rita Hazan True Color Shampoo

Cyndi Lauper had a lot to say about wanting to see our true colors shining through. That’s all well and good for love relationships, but when it comes to affairs of the hair, it’s exactly the opposite of what we’re looking for. Rita Hazan’s True Color shampoo, however, prevents fading, keeping grays undercover and preserving the auburn, blonde, and mocha hues we definitely weren’t born with.

BUY FROM: Nordstrom, $26

For Curls: DevaCurl Low-Poo Delight

If you haven’t yet decided what to write about in your gratitude journal today, we have a suggestion. As one of the just 11 percent of American women blessed with natural curly hair, you’ve got a lot to be thankful for. Well, except for the lack of hair-care products customized to actually care for your curls. This faithful shampoo, however, has your back, defining spirals and giving frizz a well-deserved beat-down.

BUY IT: Sephora, $22

For the Lazy Girl: Ouai Dry Shampoo

For all the oft-cited reasons for using a dry shampoo (not over-shampooing, preserving a blow-out, etc.) there’s a more overlooked one that we’d say is equally legitimate: Laziness. On those three out of five mornings each work week when we just can’t be bothered to get out of bed in time to wash, condition, blow-dry, and style, reaching for dry shampoo cuts down our routine from an exhausting 25 minutes to an easy-breezy 25 seconds. And there’s no better bet than this one, created by celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin. This insta-blowout does everything you hope it will—absorbs oil, smooths cuticles, smells fantastic—without any white traces that other high-end picks somehow don’t seem able to avoid.

BUY FROM: Sephora.com, $24

For Oiliness: Kristen Ess The One Signature Shampoo

This shampoo might have been designed for every hair type, but the oily haired among us consider it a godsend for cleansing without stripping, volumizing without encouraging frizz. And its $10 price tag is the definition of luxury on the cheap.

BUY FROM: Target, $10

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