Sunsilk and Dove: My Favourite Drugstore Shampoos

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How to cite: Wong M. Sunsilk and Dove: My Favourite Drugstore Shampoos. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. October 14, 2015. Accessed July 21, 2024.

My hair has semi-fancy taste – it’s OK with some drugstore shampoos and conditioners, but some will make my scalp scabby and disgusting for no apparent reason. I’ve never gone wrong with Sunsilk or Dove though. Here are my current favourite types:


Sunsilk Perfect Straight (shampoo and conditoner both $4.79 for 200 mL) was designed in conjunction with Yuko Yamashita, creator of the Yuko straightening system I’ve tried in the past. Sunsilk shampoos leave your hair strongly scented, which can be good or bad depending on your preference. This does leave my hair slightly straighter and tamer than usual, but since nothing changes my hair shape except blistering amounts of heat, it’s pretty impressive. I’ve also tried Longer & Stronger and Addictive Brilliant Shine sets in the past, which also played nicely with my hair.


Dove Intensive Repair conditioner inspired my first MakeupAlley review back in 2011 – whenever my hair is looking sad, it’ll kick it back into happy split-end-free bouncy shine. However, it does feel a little superficial – the hair is smooth and shiny with lots of body, but the hair still feels a little stiff. I used to mix a pump of macadamia oil into the conditioner to penetrate the strand and soften it a bit. Dove have made it easier for me now, with the Nutritive Solutions Nourishing Oil Care series (shampoo and conditioner both $6.89 for 320 mL) – it’s got oil AND my beloved silicones! It’s not as moisturising as my DIY combo, but it’s handier, and it avoids the issue of sometimes getting some oily patches afterwards because it’s impossible to mix oil evenly into conditioner in the shower.

Both brands are free of sodium lauryl sulfate, which is one of the harshest detergents around and is a frequent cause of skin and scalp irritation. Instead we have sodium laureth sulfate, which still has good cleaning action, but not so good that it’ll clean the skin off your head.


Sunsilk Straight Perfection Shampoo: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate/Sodium C12-13 Pareth Sulfate*, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Dimethiconol, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone, Lysine HCl, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, TEA-Sulfate, Poloxamer 407, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, PEG-9M, Xanthan Gum, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Carbomer, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance. *Used Interchangeably

Sunsilk Straight Perfection Conditioner: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Behentrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, Cetrimonium Chloride, Lysine HCl, Lactic Acid, Dipropylene Glycol, PEG-7 Propylheptyl Ether, Propylene Glycol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, DMDM Hydantoin, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance.

Dove Nutritive Solutions Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Glycol Distearate, Dimethiconol, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycerin, Carbomer, Gluconolactone, PPG-9, Guar Hydroxpropyltrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Adipic Acid, Sodium Sulfate, Trehalose, Tetrasodium EDTA, TEA-Sulfate, DMDM Hydantoin, PEG-45M, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 33 (CI 17200), Blue 1 (CI 42090)

Dove Nutritive Solutions Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride, Perfume, Mineral Oil, Lactic Acid, Dipropylene Glycol, DMDM Hydantoin, Amodimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, PEG-7 Propylheptyl Ether, Cetrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, CI 19140, CI 17200, CI 42090.

Which drugstore shampoos and conditioners are your favourites?

These products were provided for editorial consideration, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

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7 thoughts on “Sunsilk and Dove: My Favourite Drugstore Shampoos”

  1. The Sunsilk products here in my country have a slightly different packaging. The ones you have look more pretty. 🙂 That Dove variant is my favorite shampoo. I haven’t tried any high-end shampoos yet because uh student budget lol 🙂 When I’m in a hurry (which is like most days of the week) I just use the shampoo even without the accompanying conditioner and my hair still feels so soft and smooth. I’ve stopped using it to try other drugstore shampoos but so far nothing I’ve tried compares to it.

    Sadly I’m currently experiencing increased hair loss. Must be from a mild seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp, ugh. Not entirely sure yet. I just purchased the Dove variant for hair fall control which contains Climbazole and some other ingredients. Hopefully it helps.

  2. OT Humour Mini-Rant: As an American immigrant to Australia, I have to say, I’m amused that you used the word “drugstore”. It took me ages to say “chemist” (I actually say “pharmacy” because it’s something any English speaker understands, regardless of dialect). Aussies used to look at me really weirdly when I’d say “drugstore”. Can’t tell you the number of times Australians said, “Drugstore? What’s a drugstore?!” It was like I’d said “I’m going to the gontzgluben to get some ibuprofen”. (Don’t even get me started on the whole tuh-may-to/tuh-mah-to thing, heheh.) And, yes, I do know why you said “drugstore”, given that a big percentage of your readers are probably American.

    Okay, that said, my favourite shampoo/conditioner is Nature’s Organics, which are quite readily available in grocery stores and pharmacies and the like. They’re also quite good value for cost, especially if you buy in the big bottles.

    • Haha, I find it hard to say chemist because after doing a PhD in chemistry, it’s been drilled into my brain that a chemist is someone who does chemistry… so I also say pharmacy!

      Nature’s Organics doesn’t agree with my scalp 🙁 Makes it all scabby and gross! My scalp reacts to the weirdest things. I do like their biodegradable bottles though.

    • I have this problem as an American in the UK! I hate toilet/loo,but bathroom gets me mocked, so I say lavatory. Finding middle ground words is tricky (hate chemist; they are not mixing them up back there!)

  3. Thank you for this review! I’m searching a shampoo that works for my itchy scalp, but still cleans my hair. So this is very helpful.
    I can’t find the Dove Nutritive Solutions Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo in the U.S. though. Is this sold under a different name? When I search for it I find “Dove Nutritive Solutions Shampoo with Charcoal for Oil-Prone Hair” which I think isn’t it and “Nutritive Solutions Anti-Frizz Oil Therapy Shampoo”.
    Does anyone know? Thanks in advance!


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