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Shampoos are well-known cleansers that remove product buildup, dirt, and oil, leaving your head feeling light and fresh. But you can also think of shampoo as your inviting calling card. Your shampoo scent can be as unique as your personality and reflects your vibe or “who you are.”
Are you a sharp, citrusy lemon guy or gal who takes cleanliness and scent seriously? Or are you more of a sultry, peppery type who enjoys brooding over 200-year-old books from your personal library? Whatever your scent profile, your shampoo can do much more than just cleanse and hydrate your hair and scalp.
We have a scent for every nose on this list. Whether you prefer softly scented florals or rich fields of lavender and rosemary, there’s a shampoo that will perfectly complement you while giving you fantastically clean hair and scalp. Not only are these the 12 best-smelling shampoos in 2023, but they’re also the best shampoos available on the market today.
1. Blu Atlas Shampoo Coconut Apricot
As the best-smelling shampoo in 2023, you’ll be sniffing every last inch of your hair to fully enjoy this delightful scent. Competing with the brand’s Classic signature scent, Coconut Apricot Shampoo is a mini tropical vacation that awaits you in the shower every morning.
Light, vibrant, and oh-so-good smelling, the Coconut Apricot Shampoo from Blu Atlas is formulated for all hair types and textures. Men and women with different hair issues, ranging from flakiness, dryness, dandruff, breakage, and frizziness, suds up with Blu Atlas Shampoo to treat their hair concerns.
Supportive, nourishing ingredients work their way into your scalp and strands to create healthier, happier tresses. Aloe barbadensis leaf and jojoba oil are replete with natural antioxidants and fatty acids. They moisturize the hair and scalp, leaving it refreshing and intensely hydrated. Saw palmetto is best known for its hair-growing superpowers, but it also boosts hair volume and moisturizes the scalp. Vegan biotin increases volume, protects strands, and even strengthens the natural fiber of your hair.
But hey, maybe you don’t care about all those hair-lovin’ ingredients, and you want to know more about the scent? Coconut Apricot is inspired by the wild coastal vibes of Bali, where you can get lost as soon as you step out your door and take off on your next adventure.
Whether you’re soaking in the sun or striding through the snow in mid-winter, this tropical scent gives you an incredible, long-lasting fragrance. Blu Atlas Coconut Apricot Shampoo is the best-smelling shampoo in 2023.
2. Pureology Hydrate Shampoo
Aromatherapy junkies will rejoice after using Pureology’s Hydrate Shampoo. Not only is it a salon-quality shampoo, but it also contains an award-worthy scent that will blow you away. Hydrate Shampoo is a multipurpose, creamy cleanser formulated for all hair types, including thick, dry, or color-treated hair.
Does your hair get dry, stressed out, or experience flakiness? Hydrate Shampoo is made for constantly dehydrated strands that need the best nourishing materials to rehydrate and revitalize hair strands. The cleanser washes away dirt, oil, grime, dead skin cells, and product buildup from your hair and scalp, and it also releases a signature aromatherapy blend that works like magic.
With an exclusive blend of ingredients, the shampoo becomes an aromatherapy treatment as you shower (the best way to enjoy the aromatherapy benefits is in the shower, where the scent can mingle with the steam and your whole body). Lavender, bergamot, and patchouli weave together to make an unforgettable scent. Don’t worry. You won’t smell like a hippie.
Enjoy the natural scent throughout the day. Because the fragrance uses botanical extracts, it will slowly disappear throughout the day.
3. R+Co Atlantis Moisturizing B5 Shampoo
Made for dry, thirsty strands and those with frizzy, damaged hair, R+Co Atlantis Moisturizing B5 Shampoo is a hydrating cleanser that soothes and restores the hair. Due to its moisturizing formula, it’s safe for all hair types and textures and works exceptionally well for those with damaged, dry hair.
We know what you’re here for—the scent. Lotus flower, bergamot, and wild fig are the bright, refreshing scents that make the cleanser smell fresh and appealing. Darker aromatics like roasted tonka bean and cedarwood turn the fragrance into a mass-appealing fragrance that smells like a trip to the salon.
4. Aesop Shampoo
If you see a bottle of Aesop Shampoo nestled in someone’s shower caddy, you know they dropped a lot of money to have breathtaking hair. Frankincense, bergamot rind, and cedar atlas will steal your breath away with their sharp citrusy, and woody scent.
Aesop is a high-end brand, meaning they use high-quality ingredients to cleanse the hair and leave it feeling lighter and healthier. One or two pumps of the low-foaming gel are all you need to wash the hair from root to tip and blast away dirt, oil, and dirt.
If you’re interested in an inviting unisex scent from a premium brand, you’ll love Aesop Shampoo.
5. Ursa Major Go Easy Shampoo
Are you one of those people who needs their daily shower to thrive? Go Easy Shampoo from Ursa Major is a gentle daily cleansing shampoo that turns your hair into a soft, tameable mane. While the blend of balsam, fir, and ginger may appeal more to those who love a masculine scent, the earthy, enticing aroma also appeals to women.
Clean, naturally-derived ingredients suds up and cleanse the hair and scalp of pollutants, oil, and dirt. Ingredients like coconut-derived surfactants, licorice, bergamot, and macadamia help the clean formula dive into your hair strands and offer a deep clean.
You can’t go wrong with Ursa Major’s Go Easy Shampoo if you want a rich citrus and woodsy scent.
6. Paul Mitchell Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash
Delight in the refreshing scent of lavender and mint as you clean your hair. Formulated for curly or coarse hair, this thick conditioning shampoo ensures the hair stays hydrated as it removes dirt, oil, and other pollutants. It’s not a traditional shampoo full of harsh surfactants to scrub the hair and scalp clean. It’s a conditioning no-lather cleanser that uses unique ingredients to help hair feel fresh.
Two main characters create a lovely earthy scent: lavender and mint. As lavender leaves your body and senses feeling calm and relaxed, the mint jumps in to invigorate and help you feel alive. Mint also gives a cooling, tingling sensation on the scalp, which makes their hair feel squeaky clean.
If you want to tame frizz, boost volume, detangle knots, or even add shine, then Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash is your perfect match.
7. Native Moisturizing Shampoo Coconut & Vanilla
If you’ve ever visited a tropical beach town that sits right up against the ocean, you’ll likely know the scent of Native Moisturizing Shampoo. The crisp scent of coconut and vanilla is a soothing, calming scent that helps hair feel clean and fresh.
Native is a well-loved, popular brand focusing on hair and skin-safe products that leave your body clean and smelling fantastic.
Coconut and vanilla can help you wind things down at the end of a long day or set you up for success if you use the poo during your morning shower. Native also has two other popular scents: Sweet Peach & Nectar and Gummy Bears.
8. Bumble and Bumble Creme de Coco Shampoo
Fight frizz, cleanse your hair, and get a sensational tropical scent with Creme de Coco Shampoo from Bumble and Bumble. As one of the brand’s top-selling products, it flies off the shelves and into its customers’ homes.
Men and women interested in a hydrating, de-frizzing shampoo should use this cleanser. It’s full of intense moisturizers like Murumuru butters and tropical oils that keep the hair feeling soft and manageable as the formula cleanses the hair and scalp.
Most reviewers mention the wonderful scent of the shampoo and how much they love the smell.
9. Davines LOVE Shampoo Bar
You’ll fall head over heels for this uber-convenient shampoo bar. If you’re team “I hate shampoo bars and bar soap, and I will never use it in a million years because it’s gross and disgusting,” we hear you. We really do. We understand that shampoo bars are not for everyone. But lordy be, this shampoo bar is one of the best-smelling shampoos in 2023, and we can’t keep our hands off it.
Davines is a popular hair care brand that pays close attention to their products’ fragrance and overall scent and how they wear and fade throughout the day. LOVE Shampoo Bar has a refreshing floral scent that makes you feel like springtime flowers are bursting in every room of your house.
While the fragrance isn’t overwhelming, it is strong enough to smell throughout your day. Shampoo bars work exactly like your favorite liquid shampoo. Instead of pouring some product into your hand, you can just suds up and rub it all over your hair and scalp if you’d like.
LOVE Shampoo Bar provides a gentle clean and removes any product buildup, dirt, grime, or oil. It’s super easy to lather and spread evenly throughout the hair and run it through the ends of your hair.
What’s one word that describes this shampoo bar? Portability. Tossing this in an overnight bag or tucking it in a backpack is ridiculously easy. Take it to the gym, grandma’s house, or on your next flight. Pro-tip: When flying in the USA, a shampoo bar doesn’t count as a liquid.
10. Garnier Fructis Damage Repairing Treat Shampoo
Alerting all bargain shoppers, Garnier Fructis Damage Repairing Treat Shampoo is an incredibly affordable cleanser. Find it in your local grocery store or snag a bottle online; this vegan formula gets hair good and clean while giving you the best scent.
Made with 98% naturally derived ingredients, Garnier is turning over a new leaf and ditching the all-too-common fillers and harmful chemicals found in popular grocery store shampoos. Free from parabens, silicones, and animal-derived ingredients, it’s a safe choice for all hair types and textures. The special formula helps repair and restore dry or damaged hair.
Can you guess the signature scent? That’s right, papaya! The rich aroma of freshly-sliced papaya soaks into your hair as you wash away dirt, grime, and oil. Delicious without being overbearing or overpowering, the fruity fragrance is a crowd-pleaser.
11. Not Your Mothers Beach Babe Dry Shampoo
We had to add a dry shampoo for all the busy men and women running around trying to check everything off their lists. Dry shampoo is a blessing when you’ve run out of time to shower and wash your hair, but your hair needs some TLC. It’s also easily available from any grocery or drug store, so you’ll never have to worry about stinky hair again.
When strands look weighed down, greasy, or a bit oily, you can quickly spray Beach Babe Dry Shampoo onto the hair and scalp and gently massage the product into your hair. The product will soak up and absorb any dirt, grease, and impurities that make the hair look dirty.
The only thing better than your hair looking fabulous and fresh after each use is the incredible scent. Toasted coconut takes center stage and leaves your hair with a light tropical aroma. While some folks may not love a coconutty scent, those who do will fall head over heels for this hair product.
What makes dry shampoo so amazing is you don’t have to have a full shower to help your hair smell better. You can use it in the car, in the bathroom, or anywhere you want.
12. Hempz Sweet Pineapple & Honey Melon Herbal Shampoo
Don’t let the name scare you away. Hempz is made with 100% pure natural hemp seed oil and is THC-free (so you don’t have to worry about getting high from your shampoo).
You can tell by the name that the shampoo smells fabulous. It’s made with sweet pineapple and honey melon to give your hair the ultimate tropical fruit vibe. While the scent is amazing and hard to beat, the formula targets thin or fine hair. Meaning if you have thick, coarse, rough, or coily hair, this cleanser won’t be able to penetrate and cleanse your hair.
Those with thin or fine hair will appreciate the refreshing ingredients that give hair an extra boost. Vegan biotin and vitamin C revive dull, dry, tired hair while giving it extra strength. The ingredients also help prevent breakage and hair loss.
Sweet Pineapple & Honey Melon Herbal Shampoo is a budget-friendly cleansing option, but that doesn’t mean it’s full of harmful chemicals. The formula is free from parabens, SLS, SLES, phthalates, colors, and gluten.
The ultimate guide to the best-smelling shampoos
We’re here to fill you in on all the details about shampoo. Learn how to choose the best-smelling shampoo in 2023 and key features to be aware of, and learn top tips and tricks to fully enjoy your shampoo.
How to choose the best-smelling shampoo
There are key features that make up a great-smelling shampoo that will help you make a perfect choice. Be aware of important factors like ingredients, hair type, and scent preference.
Ingredients your hair will love
Allow your hair to soak up good, hair-loving ingredients. If you don’t have much time to find a new shampoo formula, look for products labeled vegan, organic, or all-natural. While they may still contain a few unwanted ingredients, they’re likely formulated with hair-safe ingredients from natural plants and botanical-based materials.
Ingredients to avoid
You need to know the low-down on harsh, toxic chemicals in many popular shampoos. High-quality ingredients make self-care products more expensive and often have shorter shelf lives. That’s why many drug and grocery store brands use cheap filler ingredients to cut costs and extend shelf life, making it more affordable.
Common ingredients to avoid include sulfates, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, synthetic dyes, artificial fragrances, lanolin, and mineral oil. Many of these fillers kill bacteria and fungi in a product, giving the shampoo a longer shelf life.
Keep an eye out for artificial fragrances while you’re shopping. They create long-lasting, powerful scents, but the ingredients used to make the scents are often irritating, drying, and harsh on the hair and scalp. If possible, try to use a shampoo with natural essential oils or botanical extracts.
Identify your scent preference
Choosing a scented shampoo is much like picking a new cologne or perfume. You know everyone will smell it, and people may form opinions based on the smell.
If you’re hoping to layer other fragrances on top of your shampoo scent, choose a light, airy smell that doesn’t overpower. For those hoping to use a shampoo that’ll become your signature scent, double-check that it also treats your specific hair concerns and won’t irritate your hair or scalp.
While browsing, have an idea of what scent you think works best for your lifestyle. This will help you narrow down a few favorites to choose from.
Understand your hair type
While it’s great to have incredible-smelling hair, it’s even better to have healthy, happy tresses. Understanding your hair type will help you identify the perfect shampoo for your hair, and then you can narrow down your search by scent.
People with dry, thick, curly, coily, kinky, or coarse hair should use thicker hydrating and moisturizing shampoos to maintain proper moisture levels. Anyone with oily, thin, or fine hair should use lightweight moisturizing shampoos that won’t leave the hair saturated and greasy.
Those with specific issues like flakiness, frizz, dandruff, and other hair problems should first identify what shampoo formula best treats these problems.
Meet its match
For every shampoo you come across, there’s—almost always—a matching conditioner that compliments it. If you’re interested in the poo, use the matching conditioner for the best results. Each shampoo and conditioner bottle uses complimenting ingredients that support, strengthen, or hydrate your hair.
Our top tips and tricks for shampoo (and how to smell your best)
Are you interested in smelling even better? With our top tips and tricks for shampoo and hair hygiene, you’ll be the best-smelling person in every room.
Use one product at a time
When it comes to looking and smelling your best, using fewer products is better than using too many. This also applies to your hair. Layering up too many products may cause a mix of scents and create product buildup on your hair and scalp.
The build-up of hair products causes the hair to look weighed down and greasy, affecting how your shampoo smells. Keep it simple by using high-quality hair care products in moderate amounts. You should only use one or two products to achieve your desired results, especially if you use the right products for your hair type.
Shampoos with natural, organic ingredients are safe for their hair and give it a healthy, natural scent. If you are using natural, high-quality shampoo, be sure not to use harsh hair products on top, as this can cause damage to the hair and scalp.
How often to wash your hair
How often you wash your hair depends on your hair type and texture. That said, you want to find the delicate balance between washing and not washing your hair. There should be a perfect “middle ground” of how many times to wash your hair each week to smell fresh and fabulous without drying out the hair or causing stress or damage.
Finding your perfect number of washes per week will take trial and error to uncover. Here are a few common suggestions from haircare experts: Those with fine, thin, or oily hair typically wash it once daily or every three days. Those with thick, coarse, curly, or kinky hair wash their hair less frequently. Usually, once every three to five days, while some wash it once per week. It really depends on your lifestyle and how dirty your hair gets. Folks with damaged hair should try to go further in-between washes and be sure to use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner.
Stay away from heat
Protect your hair and see faster improvements with your shampoo by avoiding the heat. Heat damages the hair and causes frizziness, breakage, and stresses out your strands. Avoid heat from styling tools, and use lukewarm or cool water while washing your hair.
Rinse, rinse, rinse
When you cleanse your hair, rinse away all the soap from your hair thoroughly. Stick your head under the shower head for one to two minutes (using lukewarm water) to ensure the product residue is completely removed from your scalp and hair.
After hopping out of the shower, it can be hard to remove leftover shampoo residue, and it can cause a change in the scent or how your hair appears.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use dry shampoo instead of liquid shampoo?
Definitely, if you’re short on time, you can use dry shampoo to revive and refresh your hair. Dry shampoo is an absorbent product that soaks up excess oil, grease, and dirt on your scalp. It’s a hard-working powder that draws out impurities and often comes with an incredible scent. While dry shampoo is a great way to revive your hair for an extra day and hide oil and grease streaks, it’s not a replacement for washing your hair with a real liquid or bar shampoo. Dry shampoo doesn’t remove product buildup. In fact, it adds to it. So when you do find the time to hop into the shower and give your hair an intense wash, we recommend washing your hair twice to remove all of the product build-up. Not removing all of the buildup may affect your hair follicles, strength, and how your hair grows.
What makes my hair smell bad?
Everything from sweat, pollutants, dirt, product residue, and eating habits can make your hair smell funky. These different factors can build up on your scalp and hair and leave it smelling stinky. One factor to be aware of is product buildup. If you use multiple styling products but have many days between washes, the products will likely build up on your scalp and cause unwanted odors. Be aware that products like dry shampoo also contribute to a smelly scalp or head, even though they often cover up scent problems when first applied. The best way to take care of bad-smelling hair and scalp is to find the ideal number of washes per week that your hair needs. This ensures it doesn’t get stinky and stays fresh all week long.
Will my shampoo expire?
Yes, your shampoo will expire. All self-care products, including liquid shampoo, dry shampoo, and shampoo bars, have an expiration date. Check the side or bottom of each product to see if there is a printed expiration date. Most self-care products will have an expiration date listed on them. If your product doesn’t have one, check for signs that your product has gone bad. These can include a change in scent, color, texture, or effectiveness. If you suspect your product has passed its expiration date, throw it away and purchase a new one. It’s not worth using expired products because they may contain harmful bacteria or fungi.
What’s the best-smelling shampoo in 2023?
The winner of the best-smelling shampoo in 2023 is Blu Atlas Coconut Apricot Shampoo. Coconut Apricot Shampoo is the perfect pick if you want to smell like tropical sunshine, fruit, and your next dream vacation. While the scent is incredible, it’s also a great cleanser that effectively cleans your hair without causing distress. The formula is suitable for all hair types and textures and leaves your hair healthy and hydrated after each wash.
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