10 Best Shampoos for Active People Tested and Compared
Since many runners end up washing their hair after their daily run, they often don’t realize how much damage they are causing their hair. So, finding the best shampoos for active people that match the needs of runners is especially important!
While there are different needs for different hair, we think we’ve covered as many points as possible when we put together our list. Also, we realize that products change, with better stuff coming out often. For that reason, we’ll keep checking back to make sure our list stays true.
Take a look at our list of the top 10 best for active people below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research
Cures and prevents dandruff
Kills lice naturally
Good for dyed hair
Thickens thinning hair
- Maple Holistic Tea Tree
- Neutrogena Anti-Residue
- Deva Curl No Poo Decadence
- Fekkai Apple Cider
- R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste
- Aveeno Pure Renewal Gentle
- Pura D’or Advanced Therapy
- Davines OI
- American Crew Daily Hydrating
- Healthy Sexy Hair
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Top 10 Best Shampoos for Active People
1. Maple Holistic Tea Tree
Cures and prevents dandruff
Kills lice naturally
Good for dyed hair
Thickens thinning hair
May dry scalp if used to often
This highly reviewed option is great for everybody, but is especially beneficial for people who have an itchy scalp, dandruff, or even lice. It contains tea tree oil, which is one of the most effective natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial substances in the world. Not only that, but it also smells great, and will leave your hair soft and shiny. It is a bit expensive but most reviewers felt it was worth the money.Read more
Pretty high. It's gentle enough for everyday use, but can also be used to treat dandruff and even lice, and is a great option for people with dyed hair who encounter these problems. It also encourages fast hair growth and helps to thicken thinning hair and prevent hair shedding.
Users reported it works great for curing and preventing dry, itchy scalps, dandruff, and lice. Be sure to follow the directions for use carefully, and maybe not use every day as the application of too much tea tree oil can cause additional drying of the scalp some users reported.
It has rosemary and tea tree oil for natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties is sulfate-free, hypo-allergenic, and can be used to treat dandruff as well as head lice.
This shampoo is made of completely hypoallergenic ingredients, so most of you can use them! It is also completely free of sulfates, so if you want something that is sulfate free you will love this one! The Tea Tree Oil will moisturize your skin and smell great!
It's a bit expensive, but most users felt that it was worth the money. Some users noted that the company has changed its formula to include more ingredients and that the new one isn't as effective as the previous version.
2. Neutrogena Anti-Residue
Great for greasy roots and product build-up
Contains aluminum sulfate which may be drying
Not ideal for daily use
Affordable clarifying shampoo that can be used once a week for a deep clean. This shampoo is ideal for those who avoid regularly washing with shampoos and rely heavily on hair products to refresh. The best part about this shampoo is that you can get them in most stores, so you don't have to worry about going out of your way to order online.Read more
Greasy roots and product build-up. This clarifying shampoo gently cleanses and removes sweat, grease and any residue left from products used during the week.
Hair that is greasy at the roots, thick hair that is difficult to get clean and/or people who use a lot of products that leave some residue.
This clear shampoo lathers nicely and makes hair feel clean while in the shower and once the hair is dry. People note hair feels very clean and soft after use without feeling dried out or brittle. Most users note the mild smell as a positive and feel the lack of overpowering scent makes it a great option for both men and women.
This Neutrogena shampoo features a sensitive formula that is free of artificial ingredients—so it doesn’t have any artificial colors or dyes in it.
Very affordable price and it may last you a while if you are only using it once a week.
3. Deva Curl No Poo Decadence
No detergents or sulfates
Defines curls and eliminates frizz
Transforms hair to require less washing
Adds moisture, shine, and protection
There is usually an adjustment period when switching to this product
This detergent and sulfate-free shampoo transform hair so it does not need to be washed as regularly. “No Poo” has been a popular trend in recent years and can be very beneficial for curly and natural black/African American hair. DevaCurl Decadence is a fan favorite for DevaCurl loyalists and dabblers alike.Read more
This shampoo takes care of frizzy, dry or poorly defined curls. No Parabens, Sulfates or Phthalates. This shampoo features vitamin-rich Chufa Milk and strengthening Quinoa Protein to add moisture, shine, and protection.
Curly hair of all kinds! Fine or coarse, thick or thin, tight or loose. Deva curl products are a beloved line for transforming and defining curls. Although the line is targeted at curls, many people with wavy and even straight hair love this shampoo for joining the No Poo movement.
This creamy formula does not lather at all due to the lack of detergents and sulfates. It does take some work to massage onto scalp and once massaged in it must be scrubbed out as well. Some people note some increased greasiness when initially switching to no poo but most agree the end result is worth the wait. Once adjusted, the hair will feel clean and curls will be well-defined and soft with very little frizz. Many devoted DevaCurl users prefer the Decadence shampoo to the original as it is more moisturizing. The scent is described as fresh, fruity and creamy.
This shampoo is made of ingredients that work for people with curly hair. It features peppermint oil, grapeseed oil and it is free of harmful ingredients that will weigh your hair down and strip away its moisture.
Cost and Value
A little pricey and a big commitment but many users note a complete hair transformation and report not needing to wash nearly as much.
4. Fekkai Apple Cider
Fresh apple and pear scent
Not great for daily use
Another great clarifying shampoo that is ideal for runners reliant on hair products to get them from wash to wash. This shampoo is more expensive but many users love the gentle deep clean and apple scent from clarifying apple cider.Read more
This clarifying shampoo is great for purifying hair and removing chemicals and product build up. If you rely heavily on products to refresh hair and avoid washes this is a great option for cleansing and resetting hair.
Any hair type prone to product or chemical buildup. This gentle but deep cleansing formula is perfect for resetting hair once or twice a week without drying it out. This product is also great for removing chlorine if you cross-train with swimming.
Clear, gel formula lathers up easily and leaves hair feeling soft, shiny and very clean. Users love the fresh green apple and pear scent of this shampoo.
When it comes to product purity, the main ingredient in this shampoo is apple cider and fresh pair. It is free o silicone and other harmful ingredients you may not want in your shampoo.
This product is on the pricier end but you are paying for quality ingredients and a lovely fresh scent. Additionally, the bottle should last a while if you are only washing once or twice a week.
5. R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste
Dry shampoo saves time after a run
Easier to control than spray-on formulas
The scent is not overpowering
Adds volume, texture, and hold
Leaves some grit
This dry shampoo paste is a great alternative to typical spray-on formulas. The paste can easily be applied in small targeted amounts to absorb oil and refresh hair after a run.Read more
This particular product is a dry shampoo paste that is great for sweaty or greasy roots that you just don’t have time to wash. And it has amazing results.
Any hair type! This paste is great for anyone who wants to skip a shampoo. Like most dry shampoos, it will add some volume and texture so you can use this product for a second-day refresh or add a little to damp hair before blow-drying for a little extra boost.
This dry shampoo comes in a gritty paste but when rubbed between fingers the paste becomes powdery and can be easily worked into greasy areas of the scalp. Once worked in, users note hair feels volumized and texturized. Hair may feel a bit gritty but users are surprised by the lack of stiffness and leftover product residue. R+Co describes the fragrance as “a bright earthy composition” featuring notes of lemon, tangerine, eucalyptus and tree moss. Users report the scent is pleasant and not overpowering. For most this is a huge advantage over the stronger scented spray-on dry shampoos.
This dry shampoo paste is made Vegan and Gluten-Free ingredients—specifically coconut oil, Argan Oil, Volcanic ash, Zeolite, and sunflower seed extract. This shampoo is actually completely free of parabens, sulfate, and petrolatum. It is completely cruelty-free and made for those of you who not only want clean ingredients but also an eco-friendly option.
This is a bit expensive for a hair care product but the more controlled application means little product is wasted and will likely last for a while.
6. Aveeno Pure Renewal Gentle
Cheap and functional
Gentle enough to use daily
Works for all hair types
Leaves no residue
Does not do much to nourish or protect hair
An affordable option for a sulfate-free formula that is gentle enough for daily washing. This shampoo works well for all hair types and leaves hair feeling soft and shiny without being stripped of natural moisture.Read more
Because this shampoo has a sulfate-free formula, it is perfect for restoration of hair that is dried out from daily washing.
It can be used for all hair types! This sulfate-free shampoo features seaweed extract to help rebalance hair’s moisture. This shampoo is gentle enough to use daily and will not cause damage or drying.
The shampoo is thick and creamy and lathers well despite the lack of sulfates. Do not expect this shampoo to transform your locks or give you a super deep clean. However most users note this is perfectly efficient for cleaning, it does not leave residue and is not drying or irritating. Light and a bit fruity. This scent does not seem to be overpowering and does not linger in hair.
The Aveeno dry shampoo is made of all-natural ingredients that are free of sulfates. It features seaweed extracts and a ton of additional vitamins, minerals, and proteins that will keep your hair soft and moisturized.
It is difficult to find cheap shampoos that do not rely on harsh ingredients that strip hair. This shampoo is one of the cheapest you can find that avoids these harsh surfactants and can comfortably be used daily.
7. Pura D’or Advanced Therapy
Strengthening and thickening formula repairs damaged hair
Sustainable, plant-based ingredients
Gentle enough for daily use
Fresh citrus scent
This is a great strengthening shampoo for hair damaged from UV exposure, tight elastics and/or daily washing. High-quality plant-based ingredients restore strength and thickness to damaged or thinning hair.Read more
This shampoo is perfect for damaged hair due to its restoration capabilities. It hence combats hair thinning or breakage.
It is quite effective for anyone with thinning hair or damaged hair.
This shampoo has a thick, honey-like consistency that lathers well into scalp. Users note their hair feels stronger and thicker after just a few washes with this shampoo. It also has a
light citrusy/lemon scent that is pleasant but not overpowering.
This shampoo features Aloe Vera as one of its main ingredients. It also features Amino Acids and additional enzymes that will make your hair healthy in no time.
On the more expensive end of shampoos but the extra money will get you high-quality, sustainable ingredients that will improve the thickness and strength of hair.
8. Davines OI
Gentle enough for daily use
Good for a variety of hair types
Moisturizing and protective
Leaves hair silky, soft and clean
Smell is not for everyone
Davines Oi is a great moisturizing and protective shampoo that is gentle enough to be used daily and works for almost any hair type. This sulfate and paraben free formula have a silky smooth texture that lathers into hair easily and leaves the hair feeling clean, soft and silky.Read more
Hair that is dried out from daily washing. This sulfate-free formula is gentle and moisturizing with proteins and antioxidants to protect hair from further damage.
Any hair type! Most popular among people with drier hair especially with waves or curls. It does have some heavy moisturizers so it may not be ideal for thin, straight hair.
The silky smooth texture is easy to work through hair and lathers up well, especially when compared to other sulfate-free shampoos. Users note hair feels smooth, silky and clean after use and some note they can cut back on or skip conditioner. The scent is best described as powdery-floral and is a bit controversial among users. Some people absolutely love it while others find it overpowering and almost chemical-like.
This shampoo is completely free of parabens and sulfates. It is made of nourishing ingredients and the Roucou oil will nourish your hair and help bring it back to life.
The price is the biggest downfall of this product. It is quite expensive and although you do not need much to get clean hair, you may run through it quickly if you are using it daily.
9. American Crew Daily Hydrating
Gentle enough for daily use
Comes in a large bottle that will last a while
Some users reported receiving a counterfeit product, always order from a reputable seller
This one comes in a large bottle that lasts a long time and is gentle and moisturizing for daily use. It smells fresh and clean but the scent isn't overpowering. You'll want to be sure to order from a reputable seller as we did find some reports of people receiving products they suspected weren't the real deal.Read more
This one is a standard shampoo that will leave your hair moisturized but doesn't do anything additional such as cure dandruff or kill lice. It is nice and gentle however so you can use it every day and it will leave your scalp and hair feeling moisturized.
It does what it's supposed to do and cleans hair without drying it out like some other products. It's also moisturizing for the hair and scalp.
Nothing additional beyond typical cleansing properties.
If you are looking for a shampoo that is all organic, this is not it. It does not feature harmful ingredients, however, it has some” harsher” ingredients that will help you deal with dandruff.
It's a little more expensive than other options when you look at it from a per bottle point of view, but the bottle is large and lasts a long time making it a pretty good deal for a quality shampoo. We did note several users who felt they had received a counterfeit product, so please be sure to order from a reputable seller if you buy it online.
10. Healthy Sexy Hair
Great for normal hair
Can be used almost every day
Works for color treated hair
Some users prefered old formula
This one is safe enough to use every day and is perfect for those of you who workout hard and need a shampoo that will keep your hair clean without destroying it.Read more
This is great for normal hair and will prevent damage from occurring. It's great for those of you who like styling your hair because it doesn't it weigh it down with a moisturizing product.
Best for those of you with normal to oily hair.
It leaves the hair soft, and while it has a mild scent, most people love it and find it to be just enough.
This shampoo features the Mimosa flower as one of its main ingredients. It is free of most sulfates, however, it is not free of parabens.
This one is super cost-effective when compared to our top 2 picks.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
First, we wanted to make sure that each option addressed an issue that may be affecting runners. One problem many runners (or active individuals in general) have in common is dry hair from overwashing. It can be difficult to fight the desire to wash hair after every workout so we looked at a variety of ways to wash hair gently or skip the standard shampoo.
Other common hair problems include dandruff, frizz, hair thinning and damage. Dandruff and lice are two other hair and scalp issues that can happen to anyone, so products that helped with these received high scores in this area. Some shampoos can also be used as body washes, which means fewer products to buy and a quick shower as well.
We always love products that stack functions, meaning they do more than one thing, so we wanted to add products that are effective at cleansing, not just the hair but different parts of the body as well. However, in our research, we found that these types of products tend to not be effective at cleaning the hair as ones that are dedicated to just hair.
We'd be remiss if we didn't look at this factor when choosing products for our list because no matter how nice a shampoo smells how soft and shiny it leaves your hair, or how much it moisturizes your scalp if it doesn't get your hair clean what's the point? That's what shampoo is meant to do, so products that did a good job of removing dirt and unwanted oils from your hair got high marks.
Hair type is an important factor when choosing a shampoo as different hair types have different needs. We took hair type into account when compiling this list to ensure there are options for everyone. Some shampoos are great for a wide range of textures, while others have a more narrow scope. We looked for reviews and made sure to note which groups had the most success with any given product.
Some products just clean your hair. But some will clean while also killing lice, curing dandruff, or be ultra-moisturizing for your scalp. Usually serving more than one function is a great quality in a shampoo, but not if it means sacrificing functionality in another area. We've all heard the saying, "Jack of all trades, master of none" right?
Well, that can be all well and good for people, but when it comes to shampoo, we want something that is at the very least a master of cleaning your hair. If it does other things, great, that's a bonus. The scent is largely a personal preference. However, when it comes to shampoo, most people prefer scents that are subtle and fresh as opposed to artificial and overpowering.
We looked closely to user reviews to determine which shampoos had smells that were pleasant or agreeable to most.
Product purity is one of the most important factors to consider because this is where we take a look at the ingredients each of the shampoos on our list are made of. Nowadays there is a lot of hype when it comes to the ingredients in all of our products, which is why we wanted to make sure we let you know what was in each shampoo before you buy it.
Most of the shampoos on our list feature all-natural--or mostly all-natural--ingredients. Most of the shampoos on our list are also completely free of parabens and sulfates, however, not all of them are. If it is important for you that your shampoo is free of these two types of ingredients, make sure you take a close look before making your purchase.
Since these shampoos are made for runner's that sometimes need to wash their hair on an almost daily basis, we made sure they were all made with gentle ingredients. So, even those that do have less than all-natural ingredients are still gentle enough for long-term use--so you won't have to worry about them damaging your hair.
To determine value price, how long you can expect the product to last and any added benefits were all considered. The shampoos on this list range from less than $10 to over $40 per bottle. Each one will work effectively to clean hair without damaging it. When you invest in the more expensive bottles you are paying for higher quality (usually more natural ingredients) and added benefit to your hair.
If you are seeking a hair transformation, you may need to increase your budget. If you just need to get the job done, don’t bother spending extra on ingredients you don’t care about.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
The shampoo companies don't want you to know this, but the natural oils in your hair are actually healthy and beneficial. Overwashing your hair removes these healthy oils and can lead to dry hair and a dry scalp. We recommend using shampoo no more than every other day. We're not saying don't take a shower and don't rinse your hair and scalp with hot, fresh water, just don't overdo it with shampoo.
We know your hair looks great when you style it with these tools, but all these things are slowly drying out your hair and causing breakage. You're beautiful just the way you are. And worst case scenario, hats are really cool and stylish these days.
Other Factors to Consider
The same shampoo will not work for everyone, if that was possible then there certainly wouldn't be that many options out there to choose from. Below are some factors you need to take a look at to make sure the shampoo you choose is a compatible option for your needs:
What is your hair type?
We don't all have the same hair type--some of us have long hair, curly hair, frizzy hair, and so much more. There are shampoos on our list made for almost all types of hair, so make sure you find the one that is designed for your hair type. This is especially important for those of you with curly hair since you will need additional moisture.
Is your hair dyed?
Over washing your hair will strip away a lot of necessary oils and minerals--and if you dye your hair this can present an issue. Most of the shampoos on our list will be a great option for those of you who need something safe for your dyed hair. However, we do have some specifically made for those of you who consistently dye your hair, so make sure to take a look at those options.
At the end of the day, it is important that you get a shampoo that will fit your needs that you can rely on to keep your hair healthy and the way you want it to look. Make sure you figure out what you need and what your preferences are before making your final decision.
Take a look at how versatile and effective the shampoo is
Some of you may be tired of having different shampoos that address different issues. If you are tired of that, you may want to look for a shampoo that will work for you all the time—so you don’t have to buy 3 or 4 different types to choose from.
As far as effectiveness, this is especially important for those of you who have hair types that require more hair. If you have curly hair then you probably know exactly what I mean by that because there is nothing worse than having to try time after time to find the perfect shampoo.
Consider the Ingredients and any additional features the shampoo has to offer
Ingredients are really important nowadays—and it is not just with the foods that we eat. If you want to stay away from sulfates and parabens, make sure you consider the shampoos that don’t feature those in their ingredient list.
Furthermore, you need to make sure that the shampoo you get will provide you with the additional features that you need. If you want to address specific issues, make sure you get a shampoo that will address your needs.
Make sure it is worth the money
We know many of our readers may be on a budget, or maybe just not willing to spend more than just a certain amount, so we want to remind you to consider your budget when looking for shampoo.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How often should I wash my hair?
This is going to vary from person to person and hair type to hair type. However, most people are washing their hair too often and many experts recommend not washing every day but aiming for once or twice a week instead. Supplementing regular shampoo sessions with Co-Washing (conditioner only washing) and dry shampoos can return moisture to your hair and lead to producing less grease in the long run.
q: Do I need to shampoo after a workout?
No! Most experts agree it is not necessary to shampoo after every workout. The salt content in sweat and excess oil can make hair feel dirty but, if the hair was clean, before washing with shampoo is not necessary. Instead, try using a CoWash or a combination of dry shampoo and a blow dryer to dry up the sweat.
q: Should I avoid sulfates in my shampoo?
If you have dry hair or a sensitive scalp, sulfate may be the culprit and you could benefit from sulfate-free options. However, if you do not have these issues or maybe are finding that your hair is too greasy, you may benefit from a gentle sulfate to help get your hair clean.
q: Can I use shampoo as body wash?
It depends on how picky you are. The best shampoos for active people are formulated for hair, not your skin. Yes, the shampoo will clean other parts of your body, but it may dry out your skin. There are several products on the market that are designed to do both so if this is important to you, you shouldn't have any problems finding a good one.