Most people view shampoos as a mere cleanser for their hair; what they don’t realize is that a shampoo can be so much more than just a cleansing agent. Wondering how?
Well, a shampoo can be a styling instrument just like your styling gels. For instance, with the right shampoo, aside from cleaning your manes and scalp, you can also change their appearance and give them a super smoother and straighter outlook. Frowning your brows already? Excited to know more?
Then keep on reading as, in this article, we have talked in great length about the best hair straightening shampoos available in the market and every other thing related to them so that you have a very clear idea and can find the most suitable one for you easily.
An Overview of Our Top Favorite Hair Straightening Shampoo
Before going into the details with a full swing, let’s have a quick look at our top favorite shampoos used for hair straightening:
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 shampoo looks and is used as like as a “normal” shampoo, the special blend of ingredients is what 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 tresses and give them a very silky straight look whenever you wish- especially in damp or very humid conditions. With a hair straightening shampoo, you can turn your unmanageable manes into straight smooth locks anytime and anywhere you wish; this type of hair cleanser contains certain smoothing agents and is designed to fight the root of the problem by helping to weight 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 than ever.
How Does a Hair Straightening Shampoo Work?
Before discussing how a straightening shampoo works, let’s first make it very clear that, even though it is called a hair straightening shampoo, it will never be able to replace your flat iron or produce the same results- even the best of the best straightening shampoos are, at the end of the day, just a rinse-out product that actually stays in your manes for a few minutes, and you really can’t expect a great deal from a product that stays for such a short period of time.
But then again, the fact that hair straightening shampoos are becoming popular with each passing day proves that they are useful and delivers what they claim.
So, what does a hair straightening shampoo actually do? How?
Well, this special kind of hair cleanser makes it easier and quicker for you to straighten your hair with a flat iron or other straightening tools. The high amount of heat-activated substance, like silicones and silicone-based ingredients, and heavy-duty conditioning agents present in this type of shampoos form a microfilm around the hair shafts that not only lock in hair’s moisture and seal the cuticles from the inside out but also prevents the strands to absorb moisture and nourishment from the surrounding environment to make sure that your flat ironing process is much faster and the straightening result last longer than usual- a faster straightening process means the manes are less exposed to heat and thus, would suffer from less heat damages. Also, because of this microfilm property, hair straightening shampoos also work wonders in your manes even in high humidity regions.
Furthermore, besides straightening your tresses quickly, the microfilm also smooths down the hair locks and makes them shinier and more vibrant- just as you have always wanted.
Advantages of a Hair Straightening Shampoo
The benefits of a hair straightening shampoo are:
- It reduces and even eliminates frizz and flyaways from your hair leaving it silky and smooth.
- It makes it easy to detangle your tresses; 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 a Hair Straightening Shampoo
Some of the drawbacks of a straightening shampoo that you should know about are:
- The microfilm created by this shampoo is water-resistant and might be quite difficult to remove from the 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, which will make hair super dry and cause severe potential damages.
Note: But then again, these disadvantages don’t take a bit 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 have mentioned before that a hair straightening shampoo and a “normal” shampoo look and are used in the same way, but it’s the list of ingredients that makes all the difference. In this section, we will discuss the ingredients that must be present and the ones that should be avoided so that you can score yourself the best straightening shampoo to straighten your manes easily.
Does the Presence of Silicone Really Matter?
Silicone is the most important substance that needs to be present in a straightening shampoo. Hair experts put so much importance on silicone because it is one of the most effective ingredients out there 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 not only provides the much-needed slip to the tresses but at the same time also smoothens the hair cuticle, seals in the moisture and refuses any moisture loss from the inside of the manes so that the heat can easily reach the hair’s inside and straighten your manes quickly yet precisely with a flat iron.
Also, you must 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.
You also should know that silicone is not a single item- it’s a large class of material that can be usually recognized by names ending in ‘cone, conol, and xane’
The most common and effective silicones that are found in straightening shampoos are:
- Polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS
- Pheryl Trimethicone
- Ceteraryl Methicone
Why Keratin Protein is So Important?
It’s obvious that you have heard about keratin protein over a zillion times, but do you know why this protein is a crucial ingredient in a hair straightening shampoo? Let’s find out together.
Keratin protein (keratin hydrolysates) is the type of protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails. As it is the building block of your hair, the presence of the protein is extremely important in your straightening shampoo- it gets inside the hair shaft and relaxes the cuticle layer so that it is well nourished and strong and becomes more resistant to damage and breakage. When you apply high heat to the hair for the straightening purpose, this keratin protein would make sure that your precious tresses don’t suffer from burns and damages and are straightened properly for a luscious appearance.
Aside from 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 as well as manageable.
Keratin protein is usually listed under the following names is 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 and by this point we all know that conditioning agents are super important to prepare the hair strands for a quicker yet more precise straightening session.
Even though a shampoo formula may contain several different types of hair oils, we prefer coconut oil the most because coconut oil can actually 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 manes 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 the argan oil; the reason behind favoring this “liquid gold” oil is that it acts as a hair conditioner. This rich in vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants oil moisturizes your hair and makes them softer and silkier so that heat styling your manes become much quicker and easier 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 the lather, but 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 and brittle and at the same time extremely tough to straighten. Dry, rough manes are damaged and they don’t style or hold a style as precisely as healthy tresses.
Furthermore, if you already have relaxed or permanently straightened hair locks, we would recommend you to keep sulfate shampoos at arm’s length because chemically treated manes are already fragile and delicate and washing with sulfate would not only damage them but at the same time cause the style to wear off quickly.
A Quick Summary of the “must-have” Ingredients
Let’s sum up the “must-have” features/ingredients of a hair straightening shampoo so that its 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 team of hair experts researched and reviewed some of the most well-known and amazing hair straightening shampoos in the market before we came up with the best ones for our readers.
But before jumping into details, let’s first compare and contrast between some of the top straightening cleansers for better understanding.
A Table of Content With Proper Justification
|The Must-have Features||OGX Ever-straightening + Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo||Pure Nature Lux Spa Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo||Hask Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo||John Frieda Frizz Ease Flawlessly Straight Shampoo||R+Co Bel Air Smoothing Shampoo||Acure Organics Coconut Straightening Shampoo|
|Hair Oil||Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil||Argan Oil||Argan Oil||Jojoba Oil||Plum Seed Oil||Argan Oil|
OGX Ever-straightening + Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo
The reason this OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo ended up being our top favorite 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).
The reason we are labeling it as extremely suitable for both before and after straightening hair is 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, beside keratin protein and coconut oil, the formula of this cleanser contains avocado oil which is also super moisturizing; the oleic acid and monounsaturated fats present in this oil help it to penetrate deep into the hair shaft making them well-moisturized and nourished from the inside out so that they are easy to style and the style remains in place for an extended time period.
This shampoo formulation also contains cocoa butter which not only nourishes your manes perfectly but at the same time also 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 types of hair out there. From fine to thick, curly, natural, or damaged hair, this cleanser will wash all the dirt and buildups from your manes super gently without making them dry and brittle (its sulfate-free guys!) and prepare them completely for the upcoming straightening session.
Pure Nature Lux Spa Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
The reason we consider this Nature Lux as one of the best shampoos for straightening hair is that it offers more than what we look for in a straightening shampoo for all types of hairs. But as it contains argan oil instead of coconut oil (our top choice nourishing oil), it ended up being in the second position in our list.
Other than this minor gripe, this cleanser is just the right one for your precious hair.
Let’s start by discussing the hair conditioning agents present in this wonder shampoo; aside from 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 a faster straightening result without any burns and damages.
Also, because of its deep hydrating and nourishing properties, this cleanser can also be considered as the best straightening shampoo for curly hair as it fights frizz actively and smoothens the “hard to flatten” curly tresses for a super effortless straightening procedure.
Moving on, besides drying sulfate, this shampoo is also free from Parabens, Sodium Chloride, Gluten, and Phothalates, which not only dries your manes out and damages them (aka makes it difficult to straighten the tresses) but at the same time are also linked to severe skin irritations, cell damage, and even cancer.
Hask Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo
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 at the same time also prevents your already chemically straightened tresses from wearing and 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 and stronger than ever. This protein element also lessens the amount of damage and breakage your delicate tresses suffer from 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 tresses well moisturized and prevent breakage by taking the required nourishment deep into the cortex layer and hydrate 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.
Moving on, the mixture of Dimethiconol and Dimethicone (silicones) are also known to make your hair straightening process a piece of cake; the Dimethicone coats the hair strands and provides a slip to them while the Dimethiconol helps to spread the Dimethicone evenly all over the hair and create an excellent base for the straightening process.
Another excellent property of this cleanser is that, even though it is sulfate-free, it lathers as like as a sulfate shampoo and also clean dirt and debris effectively from your delicate manes.
John Frieda Frizz Ease Flawlessly Straight Shampoo
The only reason this John Frieda shampoo scored the last position in our list is that, unlike its competitors, this cleanser contains sulfate which is a BIG NO-NO for straightening shampoos. The sulfate dries down hair making them rough, brittle and very tough to style.
Also, this cleanser doesn’t include coconut oil or argan oil in its formulation, which are our top 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.
But then again, 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 smoothing results as coconut oil, if not the same.
However, as 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 without much difficulty. The hydrolyzed keratin protein not only nourishes hair and makes them strong but at the same time it also fights frizz and flyaways for silkier and more manageable manes.
Reasons for Not Recommending
R+Co Bel Air Smoothing Shampoo
We don’t consider this Bel Air shampoo as the best one hair straightening purpose because:
- The formula of this shampoo doesn’t incorporate any form of 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 in our best list as:
- The shampoo doesn’t contain any silicone or silicone-based substance that is extremely important for the hair straightening routine.
Our Final Words
Each and every shampoo we have reviewed above can straighten your unruly manes flawlessly; they nourish, hydrate and control frizz completely so that your tresses are well-prepared and respond incredibly to the straightening regime you are about to adopt. We would suggest you shed off all the skepticism and try any of the above-mentioned shampoos to experience the wonderful results for yourself.