10 Drugstore Shampoos You Shouldn’t Buy (Even if they’re on Sale)


If there’s one hair care secret I’d like everyone to know it’s this: you don’t have to spend a lot of money on shampoo to have healthy hair. True, there are great salon and high-end shampoos out there that are more than worth their price. But, for most of us, we can get along just fine using a quality drugstore shampoo.
Please note however that I said a quality drugstore shampoo. Because plenty of them just aren’t good enough for your hair. Take, for example, the shampoos below. TotalBeauty.com readers tried them and found they left their hair dirty, dry or greasy — ugh! Peruse the products below, and toss any coupons you may have for them, they’re totally not worth it.
No. 10: Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Smooth Vitality Shampoo, $8.33
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.8 (out of 10)
Why: Most readers weren’t impressed by this. “I don’t think this shampoo and conditioner did anything out of the ordinary for my hair,” one reader says. Another reader says it gave her “the weirdest breakouts on my upper arms.”
No. 9: Suave Professionals Radiant Brunette Shampoo, $3.48
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.8
Why: Most readers did not find that this enhanced their hair color. Instead it “left my hair rather tangled” and one reader says it actually “stripped away the color!” Others complain that this left them with “straw-like [and] dull” hair. One reader says, “I had colored my hair [and] it went a little too dark. I went to a salon … this is what they used to strip my hair of the color. LOL!”
No. 8: Sunsilk Anti-Caida (Anti-Fall) Shampoo, $4.59
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.6
Why: The verdict: “This stuff dried my hair out and made my color run.” Other readers agree, saying even though “I love the Sunsilk brand … this dried my hair out.” The final word: “BAD.”
No. 7: TIGI Bed Head Self Absorbed Shampoo, $10.50
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.5
Why: Readers feel a bit “blah” about this shampoo. “[Hair] wasn’t stripped, but it wasn’t very soft or shiny,” readers say. While most readers had a so-so experience, one reader says, “my hair [was] so dry and tangle-y that my fingers got stuck in it when I tried to rinse the shampoo out.” One reader laments, “Now I have 1 liter of this sitting around. It wasn’t completely terrible but I don’t use it.”
No. 6: John Frieda Radiant Red Color Captivating Shampoo, $5.49
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.5
Why: This was a double-whammy disappointment, readers say. One complaint: “[It] made my soft, silky hair rough and tangled … unmanageable.” But the biggest problem: “it did not seem to preserve my color at all,” readers say. One reader was so sad that “all it did was stain my fingernails and towels red.”
No. 5: TIGI Bed Head Moisture Maniac Shampoo, $10.50
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.4
Why: While readers do concede that this “smells good,” they still can’t endorse it. Why? “After using it my hair is rough and hard to brush,” one reader says. Readers generally agree that this shampoo is “not nearly as moisturizing as its name leads you to believe.”
No. 4: Burt’s Bees Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar, $5.99
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.1
Why: While this may work for short hair, readers with long hair say, “you’ll do what I did and give up in the shower the first time.” One reader says, “it was pretty difficult to get enough lather to completely get my hair clean, and I ended up in the shower for way longer than I wanted to be.” The ultimate un-endorsement: “It made my hair look and feel like pubic hair,” one reader says. “Nuff said.”
No. 3: TreSemme ColorThrive Brunette Shampoo, $3.99
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5
Why: Our readers’ major complaint with this was its lack of cleaning power. “I have fine, oily hair and must shampoo daily. With this product, I find myself wanting to wash my hair twice a day,” one reader says. Another agrees, saying “my hair doesn’t feel as clean after I rinse.” Other annoyances: “the smell isn’t that great” and “three times after I had used it, my scalp was all itchy,” one reader says, adding “I’m not [usually] allergic to any shampoo.”
No. 2: TreSemme Vitamin B12 & Gelatin Anti-Breakage Shampoo, $6.99
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 4.9
Why: This left readers perplexed: “You’d think that a product that’s supposed to inhibit breakage would help moisturize hair, but this really didn’t at all,” one says. She adds, “This ? actually seemed to dry my hair out even more.” Other readers didn’t like that “it left my hair feeling waxy (from the gelatin in it) and dry.”
No. 1: Samy Smooth Shampoo, $5.99
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 4.3
Why: Smooth? Not so much, readers say. Instead, “it completely left my hair feeling heavy and dry,” one reader says. Another adds, “It doesn’t smooth, and it leaves hair funky feeling and dry.” Fine, oily haired readers didn’t like it either. “Made my fine hair greasy,” and “made my hair limp and unmanageable, and it always felt dirty,” readers say.

If there’s one hair care secret I’d like everyone to know it’s this: you don’t have to spend a lot of money on shampoo to have healthy hair. True, there are great salon and high-end shampoos out there that are more than worth their price. But, for most of us, we can get along just fine using a quality drugstore shampoo.

Please note however that I said a quality drugstore shampoo. Because plenty of them just aren’t good enough for your hair. Take, for example, the shampoos below. TotalBeauty.com readers tried them and found they left their hair dirty, dry or greasy — ugh! Peruse the products below, and toss any coupons you may have for them, they’re totally not worth it.

No. 10: Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Smooth Vitality Shampoo, $8.33

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.8 (out of 10)

Why: Most readers weren’t impressed by this. “I don’t think this shampoo and conditioner did anything out of the ordinary for my hair,” one reader says. Another reader says it gave her “the weirdest breakouts on my upper arms.”

No. 9: Suave Professionals Radiant Brunette Shampoo, $3.48

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.8

Why: Most readers did not find that this enhanced their hair color. Instead it “left my hair rather tangled” and one reader says it actually “stripped away the color!” Others complain that this left them with “straw-like [and] dull” hair. One reader says, “I had colored my hair [and] it went a little too dark. I went to a salon … this is what they used to strip my hair of the color. LOL!”

No. 8: Sunsilk Anti-Caida (Anti-Fall) Shampoo, $4.59

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.6

Why: The verdict: “This stuff dried my hair out and made my color run.” Other readers agree, saying even though “I love the Sunsilk brand … this dried my hair out.” The final word: “BAD.”

No. 7: TIGI Bed Head Self Absorbed Shampoo, $10.50

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.5

Why: Readers feel a bit “blah” about this shampoo. “[Hair] wasn’t stripped, but it wasn’t very soft or shiny,” readers say. While most readers had a so-so experience, one reader says, “my hair [was] so dry and tangle-y that my fingers got stuck in it when I tried to rinse the shampoo out.” One reader laments, “Now I have 1 liter of this sitting around. It wasn’t completely terrible but I don’t use it.”

No. 6: John Frieda Radiant Red Color Captivating Shampoo, $5.49

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.5

Why: This was a double-whammy disappointment, readers say. One complaint: “[It] made my soft, silky hair rough and tangled … unmanageable.” But the biggest problem: “it did not seem to preserve my color at all,” readers say. One reader was so sad that “all it did was stain my fingernails and towels red.”

No. 5: TIGI Bed Head Moisture Maniac Shampoo, $10.50

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.4

Why: While readers do concede that this “smells good,” they still can’t endorse it. Why? “After using it my hair is rough and hard to brush,” one reader says. Readers generally agree that this shampoo is “not nearly as moisturizing as its name leads you to believe.”

No. 4: Burt’s Bees Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar, $5.99

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.1

Why: While this may work for short hair, readers with long hair say, “you’ll do what I did and give up in the shower the first time.” One reader says, “it was pretty difficult to get enough lather to completely get my hair clean, and I ended up in the shower for way longer than I wanted to be.” The ultimate un-endorsement: “It made my hair look and feel like pubic hair,” one reader says. “Nuff said.”

No. 3: TreSemme ColorThrive Brunette Shampoo, $3.99

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5

Why: Our readers’ major complaint with this was its lack of cleaning power. “I have fine, oily hair and must shampoo daily. With this product, I find myself wanting to wash my hair twice a day,” one reader says. Another agrees, saying “my hair doesn’t feel as clean after I rinse.” Other annoyances: “the smell isn’t that great” and “three times after I had used it, my scalp was all itchy,” one reader says, adding “I’m not [usually] allergic to any shampoo.”

No. 2: TreSemme Vitamin B12 & Gelatin Anti-Breakage Shampoo, $6.99

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 4.9

Why: This left readers perplexed: “You’d think that a product that’s supposed to inhibit breakage would help moisturize hair, but this really didn’t at all,” one says. She adds, “This ? actually seemed to dry my hair out even more.” Other readers didn’t like that “it left my hair feeling waxy (from the gelatin in it) and dry.”

No. 1: Samy Smooth Shampoo, $5.99

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 4.3

Why: Smooth? Not so much, readers say. Instead, “it completely left my hair feeling heavy and dry,” one reader says. Another adds, “It doesn’t smooth, and it leaves hair funky feeling and dry.” Fine, oily haired readers didn’t like it either. “Made my fine hair greasy,” and “made my hair limp and unmanageable, and it always felt dirty,” readers say.

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