Under-$20 Shampoo & Conditioners The Pros Actually Swear By

Photo: Getty Images.
While most beauty pros can wax poetic about their favorite cheap mascaras and bargain hairsprays, they give the world of affordable shampoos and conditioners considerably less love. Don't take these products lightly, though — especially if you're on a budget. Besides cleaning and conditioning, this duo can keep your color true, your scalp healthy, and your miscellaneous woes (frizz, split ends, and so on) in check.
Ahead, members of our own beauty team and a few A-list Hollywood hairstylists share the drugstore hair products they love — all of which clock in at under $20.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
1 of 20
The Expert: Jessica Cruel, R29 Deputy Beauty Director

Best For: Dehydrated coils

"At first I was kind of averse to the fruity scent of this shampoo and conditioner combo. Plus, it's bright blue! But once I started to lather up with the hair wash, this set earned a permanent spot in my shower shelf. Even though it's sulfate-free, the shampoo has a large lather that doesn't make my Afro hair feel squeaky clean.

"The conditioner is one that helps me detangle without spending 40 minutes in the shower. Plus, I don't have to feel bad if I don't rinse every last bit out, because it can also be used as a leave-in conditioner. After getting out of the shower — before I put on any product — my hair has a moisturized shine that makes me feel like it's actually healthy."
2 of 20
The Expert: Korey Fitzpatrick, hairstylist to Charli XCX, Tove Lo, and Dua Lipa

Best For: Any hair type

“I'm not usually a fan of drugstore products, but this conditioner is amazing. It's a little pricier than the others, but it actually works! So spending the few extra bucks is always worth it in the end to me.”
3 of 20
The Expert: Castillo, hairstylist to Halle Berry, Alisha Boe, and Ruby Rose

Best For: Dry hair

"This shampoo combined with the Nexxus Humectress Moisture Restoring Conditioner is great for any hair texture. It's sold in travel sizes, which is perfect for when you're on-the-go. I always make sure my clients carry this before any trip to protect their locks from hotel shampoos and conditioners, which often leave the hair dehydrated."
4 of 20
The Expert: Alexander Armand, hairstylist; roster includes Solange Knowles, Zendaya, and Tiffany Haddish

Best For: Color-treated Hair

"This shampoo and conditioner moisturizes the hair, fully sealing the hair shaft and ends. It also adds a vibrant shine to your hair color whether it’s your natural color or if you have colored strands. Plus, you can’t forget about the affordable price for this product — it's under $5 each. Overall you get a great product for an even better price!"
5 of 20
The Expert: Samantha Sasso, R29 beauty writer

Best For: Dehydrated, fine hair

"My scalp is about as temperamental as I am when I'm hungry. If it's washed too much, it dries out. But if I use formulas filled with moisturizing properties, it's oil city. This shampoo is middle ground. It clarifies to remove all the gunk, hydrates, and adds just enough lift."
6 of 20
The Expert: Sasso

Best For: Heat-damaged hair

"I bought this shampoo on a whim and it blew my mind. I've never experienced such a transformation with such an inexpensive product. My ends had never been softer and my shine levels are through the roof — even after air-drying."
7 of 20
The Expert: Aviva Perea, hairstylist to Brittany Snow and America Ferrera

Best For: Medium to thick hair

"I call this my go-to product... The silicone-free formula gently cleanses hair, and preps it perfectly for conditioning."
8 of 20
The Expert: Thatiana Diaz, R29 beauty writer

Best For: Weak strands

"Someone recommended this formula to me years ago when I was dealing with breakage and I haven't stopped restocking it in my shower since. It not only strengthens my hair, which helps my strands to grow longer, but it also really gets the job done when it comes to cleansing. I always feel brand new after just one wash."
9 of 20
The Expert: Diaz

Best For: Thick Hair

"As someone with very thick hair, I often have to use half a bottle of conditioner for the amount of hair I have — product just disappears into my strands immediately. With this one, a little goes a long way. The best part is that this buy comes in under $5 and has enough in the jumbo bottle to last me for months."
10 of 20
The Expert: Ryan Richman, hairstylist to Sarah Hyland and Lorena Izzo

Best For: Dry hair

"This shampoo is great for damaged and coarse hair, because it helps to strengthen it and leaves hair really smooth."
11 of 20
The Expert: Richman

Best For: Color-treated hair

"This shampoo protects color treated hair and enhances color!"
12 of 20
The Expert: Mi-Anne Chan, R29 writer and video host

Best For: Normal to dry hair

"I'm a huge fan of this brand's body wash, so I was stoked when I discovered the shampoo. The hydrating formula didn't disappoint and left my hair feeling clean, but not deprived of moisture. It's a win-win!"
13 of 20
The Expert: Chan

Best For: Any hair type

"As a beauty writer, I've had plenty of opportunities to try pricey shampoos, but I always go back to this one. Seriously, I rave about this shampoo to anyone who will listen. The scent is super-refreshing, and [it's] really pleasant to use. I wash my hair every day, which I know some people will scold me for, but this one has such a gentle-but-clarifying sulfate-free formula that it doesn't cause me any problems at all."

Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo, $3.99, available in-store at Trader Joe's.
14 of 20
The Expert: Sheridan Ward, hairstylist to Thandie Newton

Best For: Dry hair

"This is infused with naturally-derived cleansing extracts including seaweed. It works best at balancing the hair's moisture levels."
15 of 20
The Expert: Cat Quinn, R29 beauty director

Best For: Color-treated, dry, or damaged hair

"I grabbed this from my roommate's shelf the other day when I ran out of my own $28 conditioner and was seriously impressed by the results. While I didn't love the smell (a bit too honey-sweet for my taste), I air-dried my hair and put it in a bun and when I took it out it was so smooth and shiny it looked like I had gotten a blowout."
16 of 20
The Expert: Quinn

Best For: Fine- to medium hair

"When I want really clean, full roots, this always does the trick. I've been using it since high school."
17 of 20
The Expert: Scotty Cunha, hairstylist to Nicole Richie and Kourtney Kardashian

Best For: Any hair type

"It's natural, paraben-free, blah blah, but it really works! And it's great for all hair types because it's really conditioning, but not too heavy, so it won't weigh down straight hair. It's great for conditioning color-treated hair, and it will also help control frizz on curly hair."
18 of 20
The Expert: Lexy Lebsack, R29 senior beauty editor

Best For: Fine to thick hair

"This clarifying shampoo is super-strong, so don't even think about using it every day. However, if you use it a few times per month it will cleanse every bit of buildup out of your hair. I have highlighted (and therefore, more fragile) hair, so I only use it once a month, but even so, I can immediately tell the biggest difference. It's strong, but when used correctly, it will make your hair bouncier and respond better to all your other products."
19 of 20
The Expert: Lebsack

Best For: Dry hair

"This rich conditioner has long been my drugstore stand-in when my hair feels parched, or just after bleaching, and I don't want to splurge on something more expensive. It makes my strands feel smooth and soft without weighing them down."
20 of 20
The Expert: Lebsack

Best For: Damaged hair

"This mask is incredibly thick, smells great, and you notice a difference in your hair after one use, which, for under $10, is pretty impressive. It makes my hair feel softer — even right after I get it bleached!"

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