I’m willing to bet that right now, you’re using a shampoo that’s way, way too harsh for your hair, aaaand it’s probably giving you a lifetime of bad hair days. (Go ahead—I’ll wait while you grab your bottle from the shower.) Because the majority of shampoos on the market are formulated with an ingredient called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)—a common cleansing agent that’s so harsh, it’s also used in dish soap (!!!).

So, while SLS is definitely effective at dissolving grease and oil from your scalp, it’s also equally as effective at wrecking your hair, damaging your curls, and stripping your hair color. And as someone who washes their hair every morning, I’ve made it my mission to find the most mild shampoos that’ll clean your hair without drying it out—or worse, destroying it. Ahead, my favorite 10 shampoos that are so gentle, you can use them as often as you damn please.

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Best Mild Shampoo for Sensitive Skin

Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Shampoo


This cult-favorite shampoo is as mild as they come. The formula is free of dyes, fragrance, parabens, and sulfates, making it the ultimate cleanser for anyone with a sensitive, allergy-prone skin or itchy scalps. And, hey, who doesn’t love a $10 beauty product?


Best Mild Shampoo for Fine Curls

DevaCurl Low-Poo Original Mild Lather Cleanser


If the majority of cleansers feel too thick or rich for your fine curls, you can prepare to fall fast and hard for this mild shampoo. The formula is spiked with hops (which promote shine) and chamomile (to soothe your scalp), leaving your curls clean and moisturized, but not at all heavy.


Best Mild Shampoo for Dandruff

Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo


Does a prettier anti-dandruff shampoo even exist? Probably not. Looks aside, though, this top-notch formula is loaded with salicylic acid to treat dry scalp and dandruff without drying out your hair. It also smells ridiculously good (which, like, if you’ve ever tried an anti-dandruff shampoo, you know is rare).


Best Mild Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair

DpHue Cool Brunette Shampoo


Sure, you’ve been using a sulfate-free shampoo religiously since you started dyeing your hair, but if your cleanser isn’t protecting and enhancing your color, you’re doing it wrong. This mild shampoo is spiked with pigments (blue for brunettes, and purple for blondes) that neutralize warm, brassy tones in your hair when you’re in between salon visits. Oh, and it also cleans the heck out of your hair (gently!).


Best Mild Shampoo for “Regular” Hair

Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo with Pure Coconut Oil


I literally smile when I talk about this shampoo—that’s how much I love it. This heavenly scented, super-gentle cleanser leaves my sweaty-ass, post-gym hair silky smooth and next-level shiny, thanks to its dose of pure coconut oil. And, surprisingly, it’s so lightweight, I have zero problem using it every day.


Best Mild Shampoo for Thick Curls

SheaMoisture Coconut Hibiscus Curling Shampoo


$8.99 (19% off)

Yes, curls require moisture, but that doesn’t mean mild shampoos with a bit of sudsing action are totally out of the question. This sulfate-free cleanser washes away oil and product buildup, yet also has silk protein and neem oil to soften and moisturize thick, coarse curls, without leaving them greasy.


Best Mild Shampoo for Fine Hair

Verb Ghost Shampoo


If your thin, easily weighed-down hair looks oily even when it’s clean, you’re going to love this lightweight shampoo. The mild formula is stacked with moringa seed oil (to gently detangle and moisturize), quinoa protein (to strengthen dull strands), and sunflower seed extract (to fight dryness).  


Best Mild Shampoo for Oily Scalp

Klorane Shampoo with Nettle for Oily Hair and Scalp


Listen, if you have an oily scalp, you do not need a harsh, stripping formula, as proven by this mild shampoo from Klorane. Instead of using oil-absorbing ingredients like clay (which can leave your hair dry or brittle), this formula uses nettle (a natural astringent) to gently zap oil over time. 


Best Mild Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo


Not only does this mild shampoo feature a blend of argan oil, lavender, and jojoba extracts to hydrate and soften your hair, but it’s also formulated with keratin to repair weak, damaged strands (whether that’s from coloring or heat-treating your hair). 


Best Mild Shampoo for Dry Hair

L’Oréal Paris Moisture Shampoo


There’s a reason why this sulfate-free shampoo is a holy-grail, desert-island favorite: The mild formula (which smells like fresh rosemary) leaves even the driest, most color-damaged of hair soft to the touch, yet is lightweight enough to be used on fine hair types. 

Beauty Editor Ruby is the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers beauty across print and digital.

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