Micellar shampoosShare on Pinterest

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

You may already be familiar with the benefits of micellar water in your skin care routine, but this gentle cleanser can work just as well in your hair.

The micelle molecules that so efficiently trap oil and dirt on your skin do the same on your scalp. They can help clear away product buildup, pollution, sweat, dirt, and oil — all without stripping your skin or overdrying your strands.

Read on for a closer look at the benefits of micellar shampoo, plus some of our top product picks.

Micelles are tiny molecules created in surfactants, which are chemical compounds used in cleansing products.

Micelles form when surfactants dissolve in water. As you wash your hair, micelles trap oil, water, and other impurities before being rinsed away.

Micellar shampoos are similar to clarifying shampoos, which are designed to remove buildup.

Buildup can develop from regularly using styling products, which can accumulate on hair strands and leave residue on the scalp. Buildup can also naturally occur as dead skin cells, sebum, and sweat accumulate.

Either way, buildup can cause an itchy, flaky scalp and dull, waxy hair.

Clarifying shampoos should only be used once per week at most, and never on color-treated hair. However, micellar shampoo is gentle enough to use more frequently for a deep clean and shiny strands.

Micellar shampoo may also be a good swap if your current shampoo is leaving your hair feeling dry, or if you live in an urban area and want to wash away lingering pollutants and their odors.

As a lighter product that offers a deep clean, micellar shampoo can add volume. That makes it particularly effective on thin and fine to medium hair textures.

Keep in mind that because micellar shampoo is so gentle, hair that’s especially gritty or oily may need more cleansing than this product can offer.

Before making a purchase, check the ingredients to ensure the product is suited to your hair’s texture and preferences. If you’re not sure where to start, try one of our top picks.

Not all micellar shampoos are created equal. In our search for the best micellar shampoos, we looked closely at ingredients and chose products that were rated well by online reviewers. We also prioritized companies with good reputations for quality products.

Finally, we considered hair type. We chose options for hair that’s naturally curly or dry, as well as options that should work well for all hair types.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$20
  • $$$ = over $20

Best for curly hair

Palmer’s Natural Fusions Micellar Rosewater Cleanser

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: rose water, coconut oil
  • Vegan: yes

A handy nozzle tip makes it easy to apply this cleanser directly to the scalp. The addition of rose water should help maintain scalp hydration, while the micelles offer a deep, gentle clean.

Palmer says its micellar cleanser contains ingredients that are ethically and sustainably sourced, and the formula is free of parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, phthalates, dyes, gluten, and GMOs.

Reviewers found that it dramatically cut down on frizz and worked well to soften and moisturize dry curls.

Schwarzkopf Professional Bonacure Hyaluronic Moisture Kick Micellar Shampoo

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid
  • Vegan: yes

With the addition of hyaluronic acid, a hydrating agent, this micellar shampoo is specifically formulated for dry, brittle hair, or curly hair.

The silicone-free formula is meant to gently cleanse and moisturize for softness and shine. Some reviewers reported a silkening effect on their hair.

Kerastase Aura Botanica Bain Micellaire

  • Price: $$$
  • Key ingredients: argan oil, coconut oil, orange peel oil
  • Vegan: yes

This micellar shampoo was created to clean and nourish dry hair, thanks to the addition of argan oil and coconut oils. Reviewers reported the product left their hair feeling soft and lightweight.

It’s free of silicones, parabens, and sulfates. However, it does contain sodium chloride, so avoid this shampoo if you have keratin treatments. Sodium chloride can shorten the lifespan of keratin.

TRESemmé Pro Pure Micellar Moisture Daily Shampoo

  • Price: $
  • Key ingredients: coconut acid
  • Vegan: yes

This micellar shampoo is designed to moisturize dull, dry hair and add shine. It contains no parabens, sulfates, or mineral oils.

Many reviewers found that it left their hair feeling sleek, shiny, and moisturized. Plus, they love the light floral fragrance.

Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Micellar Water and Blue Ginger Shampoo

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: aloe juice, alpinia galanga rhizome extract
  • Vegan: yes

Designed to cleanse and refresh dry, limp hair, this formulation is free of silicones, parabens, and dyes. It’s also color-safe and pH-balanced, which may help reduce frizz.

At least 90% of its ingredients are naturally sourced with minimal processing, according to the company — but this shampoo does contain sulfates, which can be drying. Reviewers rave about the scent, a blend of ginger, floral, and musk.

Kristin Ess Scalp Purifying Micellar Shampoo

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: chamomile extract, mango seed butter, avocado and castor seed oils
  • Vegan: yes

With its pointed nozzle, the bottle makes it easy to apply the formula directly to the scalp before lathering. It’s a vegan, cruelty-free product that’s both color- and keratin-safe — and it contains no sulfates, parabens, phthalates, or silicones.

Instead of swapping out your shampoo completely, try rotating in this micellar shampoo a few times a week to boost shine, clarify, and hydrate the scalp, and lightly moisturize.

Yves Rocher Anti-Pollution Detox Micellar Shampoo

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: moringa, agave
  • Vegan: yes

This dermatologically tested formula is biodegradable and silicone-free. It includes moringa and agave, which are intended to remove pollution residue.

Since this product includes sulfates, it doesn’t make it ideal for hair that’s naturally dry. Reviewers found that this micellar shampoo left their hair feeling clean, silky, and weightless.

L’Occitane Aromachologie Gentle & Balance Micellar Shampoo

  • Price: $$$
  • Key ingredients: lavender, lemon, orange, rosemary, chamomile essentials oils
  • Vegan: yes

Designed for all hair types, L’Occitane’s micellar shampoo includes lemon, orange, rosemary, chamomile, and lavender for a light, fragrant aroma that reviewers love.

The formula contains no sulfates or silicones. Reviewers report that it leaves their hair feeling clean, shiny, and voluminous.

ProductPriceIngredientsVegan?
Palmer’s Natural Fusions Micellar Rosewater Cleanser$$rose water, coconut oilyes
Schwarzkopf Professional Bonacure Hyaluronic Moisture Kick Micellar Shampoo$$hyaluronic acidyes
Kerastase Aura Botanica Bain Micellaire$$$argan oil, coconut oil, orange peel oilyes
TRESemmé Pro Pure Micellar Moisture Daily Shampoo$$coconut acidyes
Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Micellar Water and Blue Ginger Shampoo$$aloe juice, alpinia galanga rhizome extractyes
Kristin Ess Scalp Purifying Micellar Shampoo$$chamomile extract, mango seed butter, avocado and castor seed oilsyes
Yves Rocher Anti-Pollution Detox Micellar Shampoo$$moringa, agaveyes
L’Occitane Aromachologie Gentle & Balance Micellar Shampoo$$$lavender, lemon, orange, rosemary, chamomile essentials oilsyes

Look for a micellar shampoo that’s designed for your hair type. There are options specifically formulated for curls, for example, or hair that’s prone to dryness.

Like any shampoo, micellar shampoos come in various price points. Setting a budget is a good way to narrow your options.

It can also be helpful to check customer reviews for feedback from people who have tried the product already. Shopping for small sizes, if they’re available, is a good way to test out a product before spending money on a full-size bottle.

Can you use micellar shampoo every day?

Micellar shampoos are gentle enough to use daily. But because they’re so gentle, they may not offer the type of cleansing that oily, gritty, or especially dirty hair needs. In that case, they work well as an alternative to your regular shampoo a few times a week.

Is micellar shampoo drying?

No. Micellar shampoos are similar to clarifying shampoos, in that both help remove buildup. But micellar shampoos don’t remove all of the natural oils from your hair, so they aren’t drying.

Is micellar shampoo good for your scalp?

Yes. Micellar shampoo is designed to remove buildup, including on the scalp, without stripping the skin. This kind of shampoo can help soothe dry, itchy, flaking, or tightness on the scalp.

Natural buildup on the scalp and the accumulation of styling products can make hair feel dull and lifeless.

While clarifying shampoos can be a good option to remove that buildup, they may leave your scalp tight and itchy, and your hair feeling stripped.

Micellar shampoo is a gentle alternative you can use more frequently for fresh, clean, voluminous hair.