Best Hair Straightening Shampoo 2021 – a Complete Buyers Guide

Most people view shampoo as a mere cleaner for their hair; they don’t realize that shampoo is much more than just a cleansing agent. Wondering how?

Featured Image of Best Hair Straightening Shampoo Buyers Guide

Namely, a shampoo can be a styling instrument, just like your styling gels. For instance, aside from cleaning your manes and scalp with the right shampoo, you can also change their appearance and give them a smoother and straighter outlook.  Excited to know more?

In this article, we talked in great length about the best hair straightening shampoos available in the market and everything related to them. Hence, you’ll have an obvious idea about the most suitable one for you.

An Overview of Our Top Hair Straightening Shampoo

Before going into full details, let’s take a quick look at our top shampoos used for hair straightening:

OGX Ever-straightening + Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo
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OGX Ever-straightening + Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo - Small INS701$
Pure Nature Lux Spa Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
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Pure Nature Lux Spa Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo - Small INS701$$
Hask Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo
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Hask Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo - Small INS701$
John Frieda Frizz Ease Flawlessly Straight Shampoo
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John Frieda Frizz Ease Flawlessly Straight Shampoo - Small INS701$

Hair Straightening Shampoo Buying Guide

What is a Hair Straightening Shampoo?

In simple words, a hair straightening shampoo is a special kind of shampoo that is used to get your unruly and frizzy hair under control and give them a smooth, straightened outlook.

Even though this type of shampoo looks and is used as a “normal” shampoo, the special blend of ingredients makes it different from others (which we will discuss later).

We understand the amount of frustration and anxiety you go through when you cannot manage your hair and give them a silky straight look, especially in damp or very humid conditions.

Nevertheless, with a hair straightening shampoo, you can turn your unmanageable manes into straight, smooth locks anytime you wish.

This type of hair cleanser contains certain smoothing agents.

It is designed to fight the root of the problem by helping to weigh down the hair strands (in a good way) and resist their natural tendency to form curls and waves so that your manes become sleeker and more manageable.

How Does Hair Straightening Shampoo Work?

Shampooing Hair - INS701

Before discussing how straightening shampoo works, let’s first make it very clear that, even though it is called hair straightening shampoo, it will never be able to replace your flat iron or produce the same results.

Even the best straightening shampoos are, at the end of the day, just a rinse-out product that stays in your manes for a few minutes.

Thus, you can’t expect a great deal from a product that stays in your hair for such a short period of time.

Nevertheless, hair straightening shampoos are becoming more popular with each passing day, proving that they are useful and deliver.

So, what does hair straightening shampoo actually do? And how?

This special kind of hair cleanser makes it easier and quicker for you to straighten your hair with a flat iron or another straightening tool.

The high amount of heat-activated substances, like silicones and silicone-based ingredients, and heavy-duty conditioning agents present in these types of shampoos form microfilm around the hair shafts.

These hair shafts lock in hair’s moisture and seal the cuticles from the inside out and prevent the strands from absorbing moisture and nourishment from the surrounding environment.

Ensuring that your flat ironing process is faster and the straightening result lasts longer than usual.

A faster straightening process means the manes are less exposed to heat and would suffer less heat damage.

Moreover, hair straightening shampoos work wonders in your manes even in high humidity regions because of this microfilm property.

Furthermore, besides straightening your tresses quickly, the microfilm also smooths down the hair locks and makes them shinier and more vibrant.

Advantages of Hair Straightening Shampoo

The benefits of hair straightening shampoo are:

  • It reduces and eliminates frizz and flyaways from your hair, leaving it silky and smooth.
  • It makes it easy to detangle your hair; it doesn’t form knots and crimps in the hair.
  • Makes sure less time and heat are required to style your manes with a heated styling tool.
  • Ensures hair stays straighter for longer than usual.
  • Adds luster and shine to your hair locks.

Disadvantages of Hair Straightening Shampoo

Some of the drawbacks of straightening shampoo that you should know about are:

  • The microfilm created by this shampoo-type is water-resistant and might be quite difficult to remove from your hair; this can lead to build-up in your hair and scalp, making them greasy and itchy.
  • To remove this film, you will need a strong sulfate-based shampoo, making your hair super dry and causing severe damage.

Note: nevertheless, these disadvantages don’t take away from the wonderful benefits of these shampoos.

When you need to remove the microfilm, wash your manes with a strong sulfate-based shampoo and then apply a moisturizing conditioner to restore the lost moisture and prevent your manes from drying out.

Things to Look for While Choosing a Hair Straightening Shampoo

We mentioned before that hair straightening shampoo, and “normal” shampoo look and are used in the same way.

But it’s the list of ingredients that makes all the difference.

This section will discuss the ingredients that must be present and the ones that should be avoided when getting the best straightening shampoo.

Does the Presence of Silicone Really Matter?

Sleekly Hair - INS701

Silicone is the most important substance that needs to be present in a straightening shampoo.

Hair experts emphasize silicone because it is one of the most effective ingredients available that makes your hair frizz-free, sleek, and more manageable.

This heat-activated material covers the hair strands with a thin hydrophobic (waterproof) layer that provides the much-needed slip to the tresses and smoothens the hair cuticle, seals in the moisture, and refuses any moisture loss from the inside of the manes.

Allowing the heat to easily reach the hair’s inside and precisely straighten your manes with a flat iron.

You must also know that the hair strands that are less likely to attract and lose moisture are more likely to stay straight for an extended period of time.

Moreover, you also should know silicone is not a single item.

It’s a large class of material usually recognized by names ending in ‘cone, conol, and xane.’

The most common and effective silicones found in straightening shampoos are:

  • Dimethicone
  • Dimethiconol
  • Amodimethicone
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS
  • Phenyl Trimethicone
  • Cetearyl Methicone

Why Is Keratin Protein So Important?

Keratin protein (keratin hydrolysates) is a protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails.

Since it is the building block of your hair, the protein’s presence is significant in your straightening shampoo.

It gets inside the hair shaft and relaxes the cuticle layer so that it is well nourished and strong, becoming more resistant to damage and breakage.

Additionally, when you apply high heat to the hair for straightening purposes, this keratin protein will ensure that your precious tresses don’t suffer from burns or damages and are straightened properly.

Besides making the hair straightening session safer for you, the keratin protein also acts as an incredible conditioning agent for your manes.

It helps to eliminate frizz and flyaways from your tresses and gives them a glossy look and feel healthy and manageable.

Keratin protein is usually listed under the following names in a straightening shampoo:

  • Keratin Protein
  • Hydrolyzed Keratin
  • Cocoyl hydrolyzed keratin
  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed keratin

What’s the Role of Hair Oils in a Straightening Shampoo?

The different types of oils in a straightening shampoo work as a conditioning agent for your hair.

By this point, we all know that conditioning agents are super important to prepare the hair strands for a quicker and more precise straightening session.

Coconut Oil - INS701

Even though a shampoo formula may contain several hair oil types, we prefer coconut oil the most.

Mainly because coconut oil can go deep into the hair follicle and nourish the strands from the inside out so that they are well-moisturized and soft.

This makes straightening your hair fast and effortless.

This miracle oil also helps to calm down frizz and reduce split ends for healthier locks of hair.

Another type of oil we prefer in straightening shampoos is argan oil. The reason behind favoring this “liquid gold” oil is that it acts as a hair conditioner.

This oil is rich in vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants.

Furthermore, it moisturizes your hair and makes them softer and silkier than before.

Why We Don’t Prefer Sulfate

Many shampoos in the market contain sulfate because it is one of the most prominent components that create lather.

Still, we don’t prefer sulfate in hair straightening shampoos because this material strips away moisture and natural oils from the hair strands making them dry, brittle, and tough to straighten.

Furthermore, if you already have relaxed or permanently straightened hair locks, we would recommend you to keep sulfate shampoos at arm’s length.

Namely, because chemically treated manes are already fragile and delicate, and washing them with sulfate would damage them and cause the style to wear off quickly.

Quick Summary of the “must-have” Ingredients

Let’s sum up the “must-have” features/ingredients of  hair straightening shampoo so that it’s easier for you to buy the most effective one.

  • Presence of Silicone: Must
  • Presence of Keratin Protein: Must
  • Presence of Different Hair Oils:
    • 1st Preference: Coconut Oil
    • 2nd Preference: Argan Oil
  • Sulfate-free: Must

Top Hair Straightening Shampoos

Our hair experts’ team researched some of the most well-known hair straightening shampoos in the market before coming up with the best ones for our readers.

But before jumping into details, let’s first compare some of the top straightening cleansers for better understanding.

Comparison Table

Must-have FeaturesOGX Ever-straightening + Brazilian Keratin Therapy ShampooPure Nature Lux Spa Moroccan Argan Oil ShampooHask Argan Oil Repairing ShampooJohn Frieda Frizz Ease Flawlessly Straight Shampoo
Keratin ProteinYesYesYesYes
Hair OilCoconut Oil, Avocado OilArgan OilArgan OilJojoba Oil

OGX Ever-straightening + Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo

Ranking Position: 1
Our Opinion: A Budget-friendly Option

The reason this OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo ended up being our top choice is that this shampoo not only comes with all the “must-have” ingredients we look for, making our hair straightening process easier, but it also proved itself to be the most suitable shampoo to use after straightening hair (chemically relaxed or straightened).

We label it as extremely suitable for both before and after straightening hair because of its super bled of conditioning agents, silicones, and sulfate-free nature.

The dimethicone (also referred to as silicone oil) coats hair completely, while the amodimethicone makes the coating stick better to the strands.

So that you can enjoy a quicker straightening session after you wash your manes with this cleanser.

Furthermore, besides keratin protein and coconut oil, this cleanser’s formula contains avocado oil, which is also super moisturizing.

The oleic acid and monounsaturated fats present in this oil help it penetrate deep into the hair shaft, making them well-moisturized and nourished from the inside out.

They are easy to style, and the style remains in place for an extended time period.

This shampoo formulation also contains cocoa butter that nourishes your manes perfectly and replenishes the moisture lost due to chemical treatments (relaxing, straightening, and Brazilian keratin) to give your manes a healthy look and feel.

Because of its “over the top” conditioning and moisturizing ingredients, this OGX Ever-Straightening Shampoo is suitable for all hair types.

From fine to thick, curly, natural, or damaged hair, this cleanser will wash all the dirt and buildups from your manes gently without making them dry and brittle (its sulfate-free guys!).

Additional Features:

Pure Nature Lux Spa Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo

Ranking Position: 2
Our Opinion: Suitable for All Types of Hair

We consider this Nature Lux as one of the best shampoos for straightening hair because it offers more than what we look for in a straightening shampoo for all types of hairs.

However, because it contains argan oil instead of coconut oil (our top choice nourishing oil), it is in our list’s second position.

Other than this minor gripe, this cleanser is a great one for your precious hair.

Let’s start by discussing the hair conditioning agents present in this wonder shampoo.

Besides keratin protein and “liquid gold” argan oil, Pure Nature Lux also incorporated a mixture of vitamins and nutrients in this cleanser that penetrates deep inside each hair strand and relaxes the cuticle layer.

To make your manes well-moisturized, soft yet strong, so that when you apply heat to them, the heat is quickly absorbed, resulting in faster straightening without any burns or damages.

Additionally, this cleanser can also be considered the best straightening shampoo for curly hair because of its deep hydrating and nourishing properties.

It fights frizz actively and smoothens the “hard to flatten” curly tresses for an effortless straightening procedure.

Furthermore, besides drying sulfate, this shampoo is also free from Parabens, Sodium Chloride, Gluten, and Phthalates, which not only dries your manes out and damages them but are also linked to severe skin irritations, cell damage, and even cancer.

Additional Features:

Hask Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo

Ranking Position: 3
Our Opinion: Ideal for Damaged, Dry, or Chemically Straightened Hair

Another of our favorite shampoo for straightening hair is this Hask Repairing Shampoo.

As it not only prepares your manes for a complete straightening process but also prevents your chemically straightened hair from tearing off by replenishing plenty of moisture and nourishment to them.

Aside from the must-have keratin protein and argan oil blend, this shampoo also has hydrolyzed soy protein in it, which is the flag bearer of hair care items.

The hydrolyzed soy protein increases hair’s moisture-binding properties so that your manes can absorb more moisture and nourishment from the other conditioning agents and become smoother.

This protein element also lessens the amount of damage your hair suffers due to heavy chemical treatments like permanent straightening and Brazilian blowouts.

Hydrolyzed corn protein, another type of protein present in this shampoo, also plays a great role in keeping your hair well moisturized and preventing breakage.

Namely, by taking the required nourishment deep into the cortex layer and hydrating them from the inside.

Moreover, all these conditioning proteins and components actively fight frizz, dryness, and split ends to make the manes healthy, smooth, and easier to straighten.

Furthermore, the mixture of Dimethiconol and Dimethicone (silicones) are also known to make your hair straightening process easier.

The Dimethicone coats the hair strands and provides a slip to them, while the Dimethiconol helps spread the Dimethicone evenly all over the hair.

Creating an excellent base for the straightening process.

Another excellent property of this cleanser is that it lathers like a sulfate shampoo while cleaning dirt and debris effectively from your hair even though it is sulfate-free.

Additional Features:

John Frieda Frizz Ease Flawlessly Straight Shampoo

Ranking Position: 4
Our Opinion: Best Shampoo for Sleek, Manageable Hair

This John Frieda shampoo scored the last position in our list because, unlike its competitors, this cleanser contains sulfate, a BIG NO-NO for straightening shampoos.

The sulfate dries down hair making them rough, brittle, and very tough to style.

Additionally, this cleanser doesn’t include coconut oil or argan oil in its formulation, which are our preferred oils for hair straightening shampoos.

Instead, it contains jojoba oil, which is excellent for reducing dandruff and promoting hair thickness but doesn’t have any part in the hair straightening process.

Nevertheless, the blend of this cleanser has a material called Cocamidopropyl Betaine that is derived from our favorite coconut oil and provides similar hair conditioning and the same smoothing results as coconut oil.

Namely, this shampoo has active silicone-like Dimethicone and keratin protein in its formula; it would be an excellent choice to straighten your unruly manes flawlessly.

The hydrolyzed keratin protein not only nourishes hair and makes them strong but, at the same time, fights frizz and flyaways for silkier and more manageable manes.

Additional Features:

Reasons for Not Recommending The Below:

R+Co Bel Air Smoothing Shampoo

We don’t consider this Bel Air shampoo as one of the best hair straightening shampoos because:

  • This shampoo formula doesn’t incorporate silicone, which is a must-have ingredient for straightening shampoos.
  • There is no keratin or keratin protein present in this hair cleanser.
  • The plum seed oil makes hair stronger but does not directly assist in the straightening process.

Acure Organics Coconut Straightening Shampoo

This Coconut straightening shampoo didn’t end up being on our best list since:

  • The shampoo doesn’t contain silicone or silicone-based substances, which is extremely important for the hair straightening routine.

Our Final Words

Each shampoo we have reviewed above can straighten your unruly manes flawlessly.

They nourish, hydrate, and control frizz completely so that your hair is well-prepared and respond incredibly to the straightening regime you are about to adopt.

We suggest you shed off all the skepticism and try any of the above-mentioned shampoos to experience the wonderful results for yourself. Additionally, make sure to take a look at of the other articles available at Instraight.

Reader Interactions


  1. Hello peeps,

    As a student of a haircare institute, I visit your blog regularly to get ideas about many hair related topics. Not only your articles are extremely interesting to read but they also contain so much useful information to help a lot of people out there like me. This piece of writing is also no different. Here, you have explained the concept of straightening shampoos so nicely that anyone and everyone would find it easy to understand the idea and why and why not they need a straightening shampoo in their routine.

    I found this piece of writing very useful and informative. Thank you for such a detailed buying guide.

    Keep up the good work.

    Best wishes for your guys.

    • Dear Ethel,

      Thank you very much for your sweet and inspiring words. We appreciate our readers’ feedback.

      Please come back for more informative reviews.

  2. Hello good people,

    After reading this piece of writing thoroughly, I wonder has anyone ever thought of writing such an elaborate review just on hair straightening shampoos. I am extremely impressed with your idea and dedication. I enjoyed reading it word to word. Not only the idea is great but the article is also amazingly penned and easy to understand. Very well done guys! From this piece of writing, readers will not only get a clear idea about how these shampoos work but also can find the best one in the market.

    After reading your article, I was so intrigued that I bought OGX Ever-straightening + Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo from amazon. This is my first ever straightening shampoo. I hope that it will work exactly as you have described.

    Fingers crossed.

    • Dear Myra,

      First of all, thank you for such kind praising words. We are overwhelmed with your response. Our readers’ feedback is what helps us to think and write better.

      Secondly, we are glad that our writing helped you to find your first ever straightening shampoo. Please let us know how it worked on your hair.

      We will be waiting for your review.

      • It worked exactly as you have mentioned. I am really impressed with the results. Thank you guys for always recommending only the best in the market! I wish you all the best.

  3. Hi,

    I wonder have you ever try the products that you recommend to your readers. I have doubts. If you have tried them then I am sure that you wouldn’t suggest the Hask Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo. I bought and used this shampoo just to damage by precious manes. This disgusting shampoo crimped my hair rather than straightening it. My hair also becomes sticky and unpleasant.

    I would request you guys to use the products at least once before recommending it to other people.

    • Dear Lisa,

      First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to write to us. We appreciate our readers’ feedback.

      Secondly, we are extremely sorry to hear about your experience. We are sure that somehow you didn’t get an authentic shampoo. We would suggest you to not use it. Try to find the original one. We are sure you would love it as much as we did.


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