From shampoo to masks, these are the best wash and care hair products on the market right now

The crème de la crème, according to our Marie Claire UK Hair Awards 2023

Marie Claire UK Hair Awards 2023 Wash & Care Winners
(Image credit: Future)

The foundation of a perfect hair day normally rests with a great hair wash routine. When you’re using the products tailored to your hair care needs, everything just falls into place. These are the cream of the crop for the best start of your hair care routine. 

For this year's Marie Claire UK Hair Awards, our panel of expert judges tested hundreds of products across our Wash & Care, ColourStylingSustainability, Tools & Accessories and New to Market categories to create a definitive edit of the best in hair. Here's their list of all the best wash and care hair products out there, from shampoos and conditioners to masks and serums.

Best Brow Care Product

Winner: Nez Hasan Hairgredients The Brow Mask

Your masking routine has a new addition. This clever and targeted mask is specifically for maintaining healthy and strong brows. “The experience of using this is really pleasing,” said judge Madeleine Spencer. “The dropper dispenses the thick oil, which really coats eyebrows properly. Overnight, the oil penetrated, and I noticed that my eyebrows felt softer and more conditioned in the morning.” The formula contains active ingredients to strengthen, thicken and nourish the eyebrows and provide essential nutrients and vitamins to help awaken the hair follicles.

Highly Commended: Natucain Brow Serum

Best Colour Conditioner

Winner: LABEL.M Vibrant Rose Colour Care Conditioner

Vivid hair colours can be the hardest to maintain. Not only do you have to keep on top of a toning routine as they fade, the colour can look dull and lack shine. The LABEL.M Vibrant Rose Colour Care Conditioner helps to preserve the stepped-out the salon look and lengthen time between salon calls. It contains LABEL.M’s exclusive Supreme Colour Blast Technology, rich in Sunflower Seed Extract and Quinoa Protein to keep colour vibrant and bleached hair healthy. 

“I absolutely ADORED this product,” said Marie Claire UK Senior Beauty Editor Shannon Lawlor. “It conditioned my bleach-damaged lengths with expert ease and left my hair looking vibrant and shiny afterwards. I also love that the pumps are recyclable.”

Highly Commended: Dr.Organic Organic Guava Shine & Radiance Conditioner

Best Colour Shampoo

Winner: Pureology Nanoworks Gold Shampoo

Described as Pureology’s most indulgent shampoo yet, Nanoworks Gold works to spark life back into dull, brittle or tired hair with a highly nourishing formula that renews softness and shine for when hair is needing some TLC. With golden marula oil and plant-based keratin, Keravis, this formula softens and protects. “I felt as though I didn’t need conditioner after using this product because of how soft it makes your hair feel,” said judge Sophia Hilton. “I love the fact it has over 80 washes in the bottle too as a little really does go a long way.” 

Highly Commended: Virtue ColorKick De-Brassing Shamp

Best Conditioner for Curly Hair

Winner: Trepadora Coconut Almond Detangling Conditioner

“Detangling is super easy with this,” said judge, Nia Petitt. The key ingredients are sweet almond oil to calm frizz, virgin coconut oil for sealing in moisture and organic Peruvian inca inchi oil to give the hair fibre more suppleness. This conditioner can be used multiple ways including as a leave-in and as a mask, so depending on the level of attention your curls need Trepadora has you covered. 

Highly Commended: Aussie Bouncy Curls 3 Minute Miracle

Best Conditioner for Damaged Hair

Winner: FFØR Re:Nourish Conditioner

This sumptuous conditioner is designed to give a daily dose of intense hydration. The formula is highly moisturising, nourishes and revitalises dry and damaged hair thanks to brazil nut oil, which adds moisture, and sunflower seed oil which helps protect against free radical damage and environmental stresses. “I love that this product is responsible and cruelty free with good hydrating performance, good finish and a gorgeous smell,” said judge, Ricardo Vila Nova.

Highly Commended: Me+ by Superdrug Argan Oil Conditioner

Best Conditioner for Natural/Textured Hair

Winner: Curlsmith Essential Moisture Conditioner

“This is a good moisturising conditioner that’s great for curly hair types,” notes judge, Loretta De Feo. The Curlsmith Essential Moisture Conditioner helps to increase hair moisturisation by up to 87%, so if you struggle with super-dry coils, this formula will soften and rectify any parched feeling. The texture is lightweight and nourishing, so it’s suitable for finer coils as well and thicker hair—all textured hair types can benefit from the long-lasting coil control and deep moisturisation. 

Highly Commended: Wakati Water-Activated Advanced Conditioner

Best Exfoliating Scalp Treatment

Winner: Kristin Ess Hair Instant Exfoliating Scalp Scrub

This scalp scrub provides the perfect canvas for healthy hair. “It’s an effective and soothing exfoliant,” notes judge, Ricardo Vila Nova. “[It's] very comfortable to use and can be used regularly too.” The scrub is gentle and formulated with a sugar complex to keep natural moisture intact as it removes product build-up, excess oils and hard deposit that can compromise scalp health. 

Highly Commended: Innersense Organic Beauty True Enlightenment Scalp Scrub

Best Hair Growth Scalp Treatment

Winner: Chāmpo Pitta Growth Serum

Hair growth can be one of the hardest beauty goals to achieve, but the Chāmpo Pitta Growth Serum can help you on your way. The innovative bi-active treatment serum harnesses breakthrough trichology to volumise the roots while toning the scalp to encourage stronger, thicker and fuller hair. Judge, Ricardo Vila Nova described the treatment as a “root workout in a bottle.” Ingredients-wise it has a complex of biomimetic peptide amino acids and biochanin a-rich red clover extract which help prevent excess hair loss while plant lipo amino acid helps calm a sensitised scalp and protects against hair loss.

Highly Commended: Philip Kingsley Density Preserving Scalp Drops

Best Hair Supplement

Winner: Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement For Women

“This supplement really makes a difference,” said judge, Loretta De Feo. “My hair is visibly thicker,” she adds. It’s often said that beauty starts from within and it couldn't be more true than with the Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement For Women. With AminoMar C, a rich marine protein complex, zinc and biotin, to contribute to the maintenance of healthy hair alongside vitamin C, niacin, iron and millet seed, this supplement helps to fight hair loss by creating thicker strands and reducing hair shedding by 39%.

Highly Commended: Vida Glow Hairology

Best Haircare Range for Kids

Winner: Vosene Kids 3 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioning Defence Spray

Head lice is one of the biggest hair pests for children, so a range that helps to combat that while also keeping hair healthy is a gift. The Vosene Kids Squeaky Clean 3 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioning Defence Spray leave children’s hair clean and conditioned, deterring head lice with the tea tree oil and lemon eucalyptus oil in the formula. 

Highly Commended: My Little Coco Coconut Curling Custard 

Best Hydrating Conditioner

Winner: Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Hydrate Conditioner

This Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Hydrate Conditioner contains 92% natural-origin ingredients and is packed with olive and oat peptides for a real boost of softening power. “This conditioner has a gorgeous texture and my hair felt really beautiful,” said judge, Chris Kiernan. The formula is intensely nourishing, hydrating and restoring parched hair for softer, shinier strands no matter your hair type. 

Highly Commended: Innersense Organic Beauty Hydrating Cream Conditioner

Best Hydrating Shampoo

Winner: Aveda Nutriplenish Shampoo Light Moisture

With 94% naturally-derived ingredients, including powerful superfoods, luxurious omega-5-rich organic pomegranate oil, certified organic coconut oil with low molecular weight, mango butter packed with fatty acids and smoothing oat extract, this shampoo nourishes dry, dull hair without coating hair or weighing it down. “This shampoo was light but hydrating,” said judge, Samantha Cusick. "The smell was immersive, plus the packaging is great.”

Highly Commended: Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Hydrate Shampoo 

Best Intensive Colour Mask

Winner: FFØR Re:Fresh Colour Bond Mask

Available in six rich shades, this vegan-friendly colour mask is packed with antioxidants giving a non-permanent hue boost while restoring strength, reducing frizz and improving shine. “This is perfect for refreshing colour,” said judge, Madeleine Spencer. “It’s a gloss which enhances and adds tonality,” she adds. The dual-action formula works to aid colour vividness as well as helping to repair broken bonds that may have been impacted by chemical colour processes. 

Highly Commended: PROVOKE Blonde Rehab Hair Perfector Treatment No 1

Best Intensive Nourishing Hair Mask

Winner: Hair Gain Nourishing Miracle Treatment Hair Mask

This mask’s star power is hinged on the wonder-ingredient AnaGain, derived from peashoot. When applied from root to tip, it nourishes the scalp and penetrates the hair’s cortex to hydrate, moisturise and stimulate hair growth. “This mask has a great consistency making it easy to apply. It’s absolutely hydrating and lives up to all claims. I recommend this product for all hair types, and it is particularly good for fine hair as it leaves it fully conditioned but with zero residue,” said judge, Lorraine Dublin.

Highly Commended: BondiBoost Miracle Hair Mask

Best Intensive Repairing Hair Mask

Winner: Philip Kingsley Elastizer

One of the most classic and enduring masks in the hair-sphere, one is sold every minute to its loyal fans and recent converts. This pre-wash treatment was originally formulated for Audrey Hepburn and has stood the test of time, with a formula crafted to add moisture and elasticity back to dry and damaged strands. It helps encourage greater hair retention, meaning stronger, longer strands giving the added benefits of more shine, bounce, manageability and less frizz too. “Definitely a good choice for instant hydration,” noted judge, Lorraine Dublin.

Highly Commended: Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask

Best Lash Care Product

Winner: Natucain Lash Serum

Maintaining long and strong lashes takes the pressure off of the job that your mascara has to do, so adding a serum into your routine feels like a no-brainer. This one from Natucain contains MKMS24, an ingredient clinically proven to help lengthen lashes by 52% in just six to eight weeks. The formula is 100% vegan, too, and contains no hormones, still providing effective results. “This didn't irritate my sensitive eyes at all,” said Madeleine Spencer, “but did provide the promised longer, healthier lashes.”

Highly Commended: Pixi Large Lash Serum 

Best Shampoo for Curly Hair

Winner: Kristin Ess Hair Moisture Rich Curly Shampoo

It’s not often that you find packaging as thought through as this, but this curl cleanser from Kristin Ess hair is packaged in the cleverest way to remind you just where you need to concentrate the shampoo, on your scalp. The sulphate-free formula is made with a blend of shea butter, soy bean oil and castor oil, alongside the brand's signature Curl Hydration Complex for ultimate frizz control and hydration. “The nozzle is a great idea for targeting areas and distributing product evenly,” said judge, Nia Petitt. “It left a refreshing feel on my scalp."

Highly Commended: Function of Beauty Curly Hair Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Winner: Augustinus Bader The Shampoo

Renowned for its incredible skincare formulations, Augustinus Bader has turned its hand to incredible haircare with this shampoo. Utilising the brand's patented TFC8, which supports cellular renewal and guides key ingredients to the cells, the formula is ideal for over-manipulated hair that is in desperate need of extra TLC. Judge, Ricardo Vila Nova described it as a “high performer and high-tech product that delivers longterm results.”

Highly Commended: Olaplex No 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Natural/Textured Hair

Winner: Creme of Nature Pure Honey Moisturizing Dry Defense Shampoo

Looking like a smoothie isn’t a coincidence for this product, it’s essentially a concoction of coily-hair-friendly ingredients to cleanse hair without stripping away necessary oils and nutrients. The key ingredients include pure honey, shea butter and coconut oil for maximum hydration without the need for sulphates or mineral oils.

Highly Commended: Curlsmith Essential Moisture Cleanser

Best Shine-Boosting Conditioner

Winner: R+Co Gemstone Ultra Shine Glossing Treatment

With a rich crème formula, this treatment provides deep hydration, enriches colour and seals damaged cuticles so that hair genuinely reflects like glass. Especially great if you colour your hair, the combination of ingredients like vitamin C and E plus the ChromoHance Complex keeps the sheen of fresh, salon-like colour and super-shiny hair that’s UV protected. “ I absolutely love this product, it's ace,” said judge Shannon Lawlor. 

Best Shine-Boosting Shampoo

Winner: OGX Frizz-Free + Keratin Smoothing Oil Shampoo

If you have ever had to deal with a halo of fuzz that’s unwilling to settle, you will welcome the words ‘frizz-free' in any product name. With this shampoo you benefit from frizz-fighting capabilities thanks to the blend of keratin, argan oil and ceramides, and the lack of sulphate surfactants to help revitalise and nourish your hair, leaving it frizz free and super smooth.

Highly Commended: Daniel Galvin Love Your Highlights Illuminating Shampoo

Best Soothing Scalp Treatment

Winner: Ouai Scalp Serum

Dry, tight and irritated scalps can impinge on the quality of your hair and styling. This serum focusses on rebalancing the scalp and helps support the appearance of thicker, healthier hair. The key ingredients include adaptogens like arctic root, Siberian ginseng, and chaga mushroom, alongside hyaluronic acid for strength and hydration. “A gentle, moisturising formulation with great results,” said judge, Ricardo Vila Nova. 

Highly Commended: Monpure Hydrate and Soothe Scalp Serum

Best Strengthening Treatment

Winner: OLAPLEX No 3 Hair Perfector

Judge, Paul Percival noted this as a “very effective formulation for dry hair”. This pre-wash treatment is excellent for hair that’s been ravaged by chemicals, colour, heat or styling manipulation. By now you’re probably aware of how this trail-blazing bond builder works, but if not, this is the low down. The formula includes a single molecule, free of silicones and oils, that works deep within the hair to rebuild weak and broken disulfide bonds. The best part is that you only need to use it weekly for optimum hair health. 

Highly Commended: Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Treatment

Best Volumising Shampoo

Winner: juliArt Exfoliating Liquid Shampoo

Product-build up and an oily scalp are two things that are not conducive to voluminous hair. This shampoo targets the problem at the root (pun intended) to gently exfoliate away anything impacting your chance for a great hair day. Used directly on a dry scalp, this is going to change your approach to hair wash days for the better. 

Highly Commended: Percy & Reed Turn Up The Volume Volumising Shampoo

Best Volumising Conditioner

Winner: Rossano Ferretti Parma Grandioso Volumising Conditioner

“This product delivered promised volume without weight while seeming to strengthen the hair as well,” noted judge, Paul Edmonds. “The packaging was also sleek and uncluttered.” The formulation is made with 95% naturally-derived ingredients, from sunflower to shea butter, and vegetable proteins all of which aid in lifting fine, limp and flat hair for a big boost to body while also strengthening hair.

Highly Commended: TRESemmé Pro Pure Airlight Volume Conditioner

Keeks Reid
Keeks started her career in beauty journalism in 2013 as editorial assistant at Blackhair and Hair magazines working her way to Acting Editor of Blackhair magazine at 23 years old. She now works with a range of companies, from consumer and trade magazines and websites to beauty brands and salons. She regularly contributes to Cosmopolitan, Who What Wear and most recently became a regular on ITV's This Morning.