Hair Products » Best Shampoo for Damaged Hair in 2023

Best Shampoo for Damaged Hair in 2023

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

Damaged hair can and does happen. Sometimes, it’s because you’ve overprocessed your hair with frequent bleaching or color changes which can lead to dry, frizzy, straw-like strands. Other times, it’s because you’re handling your hair far too harshly for what it can sustain, thus causing breakage. 

While topical treatments can only do so much, damaged hair needs reparative haircare that works to boost moisture while simultaneously strengthening bonds. And in some cases, a good shampoo can help you save that last inch. Keep reading to discover our top picks for the best shampoo for damaged hair.

Best shampoo for damaged hair overview:

How we chose the best shampoo for damaged hair

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including scent, key ingredients, damage being targeted, and more to create a short list of the top shampoos for damaged hair. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best shampoos for damaged hair for each category.

Our picks for the best shampoo for damaged hair

Best overall
Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

What we love

  • Repairs bonds
  • Safe for all hair types
  • Vegan and free of harsh ingredients

What we don’t love

  • Somewhat expensive

A variety of factors can cause hair damage, but the biggest culprits are overprocessing and improper handling. Olaplex’s No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo is designed to strengthen and repair your tresses by reinforcing bonds so that you experience better manageability, increased softness, and shinier hair with each use. 

This pick is color safe and works for all hair types. It carries a pH balance between 6 and 6.5 and is a great vegan pick free of harsh ingredients like phthalates, phosphates, sulfates, and parabens.

Best for: Split ends, frizziness | Size: 3.3 oz

Best budget
Aussie Total Miracle 7N1 Shampoo

What we love

  • 7-in-1 multitasking formula
  • Affordable
  • Readily available in drugstores and big-box retailers

What we don’t love

  • May weigh down finer hair types

At Glowsly, we swear by landing gorgeous results without breaking the bank. Aussie is a brand known for creating effective products at wallet-friendly prices. The brand’s Total Miracle 7N1 Shampoo is a powerhouse solution to common haircare woes. 

This shampoo infuses apricot and Australian macadamia oil to help strengthen your hair, impart softness, protect against split ends, moisturize, control frizz, infuse shine, and smooth your tresses. Best of all, it comes complete with a scent of zesty citrus that works for all hair types.

Best for: Dryness, frizziness | Size: 26.2 fl oz

Best for scalp
Vitabrid C12 Scalp+ Shampoo

What we love

  • Prioritizes scalp health
  • Formulated with 97% natural ingredients
  • Protects against environmental stressors

What we don’t love

  • May require consistent use to see results

Healthy hair starts at the scalp, so ensuring that you’ve properly cleansed it is a critical step in any haircare routine. Vitabrid C12’s Scalp+ Shampoo is designed to effectively cut through dirt, grime, and oils to fully cleanse your scalp’s follicles. 

Derived from 97% natural ingredients, the antioxidants, vitamin B complex, and proprietary peptide complex work to improve the scalp’s health while also protecting it against UV rays and environmental stressors. This shampoo is free of mineral oils, silicones, phthalates, sulfates, parabens, artificial colorants, and phenoxyethanol.

Best for: Irritated or dirty scalps | Size: 10.14 fl oz

Best drugstore
Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Shampoo

What we love

  • Easily accessible brand
  • Affordable
  • Plant-based formula to repair hair damage

What we don’t love

  • May be too heavy for fine hair types

Accessibility is important when shopping for health and beauty goods. Garnier Fructis is a readily available haircare brand, which is why it deserves a spot on our list. If your strands have seen better days, this Damage Eraser Shampoo promises to fortify and repair damage in just one use. 

Created with a vitamin blend of B3 and B6, you also get plant-derived extracts and citrus proteins that work to rebuild your hair’s bonds from root to tip. It’s specifically formulated to tackle the damage caused by routine styling, such as brushing, heat tool usage, and even repeated chemical treatments and coloring.

Best for: Damage caused by styling, chemical treatments, frequent coloring | Size: 12.5 fl oz

Best for protective styles
Creme of Nature Pure Honey Cleansing Scalp Treatment

What we love

  • Allows you to stretch a protective style
  • Targeted nozzle design eases application
  • Removes dirt and product buildup

What we don’t love

  • Not a substitute for washing your hair

If you’re a type 3 or 4, you’re most likely familiar with protective styles. They can encourage hair growth by giving your hair a break from damage caused by daily styling. But, if you don’t take care of your actual hair, protective styles can also lead to widespread damage. 

Creme of Nature’s Pure Honey Cleansing Scalp Treatment is a scalp-focused solution designed to keep your hair fresh even in a protective style. The nozzle design allows you to easily apply product directly on your scalp, whether rocking braids, twists, a wig, or a weave. 

It works to dissolve product buildup while also cleansing your scalp and creating an invigorating sensation that boosts circulation. This pick is a great way to stretch a style since it’s intended to be used between wash days. And, it’s made without sulfates, mineral oil, silicones, and petrolatum.

Best for: Scalp care with protective styles | Size: 8 oz

Best vegan
Biolage Professional Strength Recovery Shampoo for Damaged Hair

What we love

  • Vegan squalene
  • Strengthens hair by 3 times
  • Reduces breakage by 3 times

What we don’t love

  • Contains SLS

In truth, there are a lot of vegan haircare brands. But Biolage’s Strength Recovery Shampoo for Damaged Hair gets a mention because it features vegan squalene, which boosts hydration. The rich lathering formula is designed to gently cleanse your scalp and hair to remove dirt and product buildup. 

Biolage promises that this shampoo will leave your hair three times stronger — even after the first use. And that can translate into hair three times less likely to experience breakage. This pick is safe for color-treated hair and is free from parabens and mineral oils. However, it does contain sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), which might be a turn-off for some.

Best for: Breakage | Size: 13.5 fl oz

Best for thinning
Nioxin Cleanser Shampoo System 1

What we love

  • Serves as a clarifying shampoo
  • Peppermint oil boosts scalp circulation
  • Removes excess sebum

What we don’t love

  • Works best as part of a 3-step Nioxin system

Thinning hair can be caused by genetics — not only because of aggressive styling. But sometimes damage can encourage thinning or hair loss. Nioxin is a haircare brand focused on boosting hair growth and retention. The Nioxin Cleanser Shampoo System 1 is specifically designed for people with natural (not chemically altered or colored) hair experiencing light thinning. 

Note that this shampoo is intended to be used as the first step in a three-part treatment system from the brand. It’ll cleanse your hair and scalp while strengthening your strands and amplifying the hair’s structure. It also doubles as a clarifier by removing excess sebum, while peppermint oil stimulates scalp circulation.

Best for: Thinning | Size: 16.9 fl oz

Best for dryness
Drybar Gin Twist Curl Quenching Shampoo

What we love

  • Hydrates thirsty curly hair
  • Keratin protein strengthens hair
  • Also works as a detangler

What we don’t love

  • Not intended for straight hair
  • Larger size is expensive

Dry hair can create a domino effect that encourages a wide array of damage. From split ends to frizziness that later encourages breakage, achieving proper moisture balance is critical if you want every day to be a good hair day. 

Drybar’s Gin Twist Curl Quenching Shampoo gently cleanses and detangles your curls while infusing moisture with a hydrating oil blend. Key ingredients include coconut oil and a premium mix of indica seed and linseed oils, aiding in hydration and curl definition. Meanwhile, the inclusion of keratin protein strengthens your strands and reduces breakage.

Best for: Dryness, frizziness, curls | Size: 8.5 fl oz

Best for fine hair
Bumble and Bumble Full Potential Shampoo

What we love

  • Strengthens fragile hair
  • Promises to visibly thicken hair after just 1 use
  • Clarifying scalp shampoo

What we don’t love

  • Intended to be used with Full Potential system
  • Expensive

Sometimes damage and fine hair can be co-conspirators, as fine hair can’t sustain as aggressive handling as other hair types. So reinforcing it with a strengthening shampoo like this Full Potential Shampoo is a smart move. 

This shampoo is a 4-in-1 solution that strengthens, prevents breakage, visibly improves volume, and protects your scalp. The brand’s proprietary Hair Preserve Blend exfoliates the scalp to remove pore-clogging buildup while also making the hair look immediately fuller. However, for best results, this shampoo is intended to be used with the complete Full Potential haircare line.

Best for: Volume | Size: 8.5 fl oz

Best cleansing
John Frieda Detox & Repair Shampoo

What we love

  • Detoxifies scalp and hair without stripping it
  • Contains green tea for antioxidant benefits
  • Moisturizes with avocado oil

What we don’t love

  • Contains SLS

Sometimes traditional clarifying shampoos can be too harsh by removing not just dirt and grime but also critical oils. John Frieda’s Detox & Repair Shampoo is different because it’s a detoxifying cleanser. Instead of simply stripping the hair, this shampoo infuses hemp seed oil and avocado oil to hydrate and repair your tresses. 

You’ll also enjoy the green tea ingredient rich in antioxidants to protect your hair from environmental stress. However, this shampoo does contain known SLS ingredients.

Best for: Dryness | Size: 8.45 fl oz

Best for growth
Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo

What we love

  • Effectively cleanses scalp and hair
  • Ana:Tel complex promotes thickness
  • Zinc, keratin, and biotin stimulates growth

What we don’t love

  • Hair may become drier after use

We don’t know very many people who don’t want their hair to grow. If slow growth is an issue for you, you’ll like the Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo. This brand is another haircare icon known for specifically targeting hair loss. 

The densifying shampoo leverages a proprietary complex rich in zinc, keratin, and biotin to not only strengthen your hair but boost growth. This product will gently cleanse your hair and scalp while thickening your tresses with the Ana:Tel proprietary complex. The Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo is suitable for all hair types and can be used on color-treated hair.

Best for: Product buildup, thin strands | Size: 8.45 fl oz

Best co-wash
Pattern Heavy Conditioner for Coilies

What we love

  • Hydrating formula ideal for type 4 hair
  • Can double as a detangler
  • Encourages curl definition

What we don’t love

  • May be too heavy for type 3 hair

If you have type 4 hair, you know that traditional shampoos can be too harsh for your hair type. Often, they can pull too much moisture out of hair struggling to maintain hydration. Curly and coily hair types will love Pattern’s Heavy Conditioner for Coilies because it’s a heavier conditioner with plenty of slip that can double as a co-wash. 

The thicker texture makes it perfect for detangling while ensuring proper pattern definition. Key ingredients include avocado oil, shea butter, and safflower oil to nourish, hydrate, and condition your hair. Meanwhile, you’ll like that this product is free from harsh ingredients such as SLS, SLES, parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde.

Best for: Frizziness, dryness | Size: 13 fl oz

Let your tresses flourish

No one likes bad hair days. But sometimes, using the wrong products that tackle different concerns can be the culprit. In most cases, hair damage is caused by weak hair that needs repairing. We recommend Olaplex’s No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo as a great starting point. Along with being ideal for all hair types, it works to repair your hair at the structural level for better hair days. 

How to pick the right shampoo for you

To find the right shampoo that’ll turn your damaged hair into luscious locks, you’ll want to identify your hair type, understand the specific damage you’re encountering, and seek out the right ingredients to target that damage. 


Typically, shampoos targeting damaged hair will have a few target goals: repair, protect, and hydrate. Repairing shampoos will often feature protein as the key ingredient to fortify bonds, reduce breakage, and strengthen the hair to prevent future damage. Standard options include keratin, silk, wheat, soy, and even protein blends that might also include peptides.

Shampoos targeting protection will prioritize ingredients that strengthen the hair and create a barrier from environmental stressors. This might include green tea or plant extract blends rich in antioxidants. 

Hydration solely focuses on infusing moisture into the hair, as moisturized hair is more elastic, less likely to succumb to frizz, and has more shine than dry hair. Ingredients best suited for this are typically oils, such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, or even hemp seed oil. But if you have a more textured hair type, like 3 or 4, you may need to look for shampoos that contain butters like shea or mango because they offer more intense hydration.

Damage type

Most hair damage can also be categorized into groups: chemical, styling, and dryness. Chemical damage refers to overprocessed hair resulting from frequent bleaching, coloring, or treatments like relaxers and perms. This type of damage requires protein ingredients to repair the hair visibly. 

Styling damage can range from exposing your hair to too much heat to being too aggressive when you brush or comb your hair. Likewise, pulling your hair back too tightly can also encourage breakage and hair loss. Like chemical damage, this type of issue will usually rely on protein ingredients to boost repair. However, for heat damage, moisture loss will also be an issue. 

Damage from dryness — whether naturally occurring because of your hair type or due to misuse — will require hydrating ingredients, like oils or butters, to improve moisture retention and prevent frizz, static, or dullness.

But it’s important to note that not all hair damage can be repaired. Often, severe damage caused by excessive heat exposure or chemical processing requires a haircut because the hair’s structure has been damaged beyond repair. If you’ve tried at-home damage repair products with no luck, it’s time to ask your stylist for a cut to remove severely damaged hair so you can start over.


Which shampoo is best for extremely damaged hair? 

The right shampoo will depend on the type of damage you’re experiencing. But a general repairing shampoo that we recommend is Olaplex’s No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo.

What do hairdressers use for damaged hair?

A hairdresser will pick the right treatment based on the specific type of damage you have. For example, a hairdresser won’t recommend a shea butter-based hair mask for someone with type 1 hair, as it would be too heavy and might encourage greasiness. 

Does damaged hair grow back healthy?

In a perfect world, a miracle product would exist that could instantly improve the look and feel of any damaged hair. The reality is that depending on the type and severity of the damage exhibited, cutting the damaged portions and starting over is sometimes the best solution. For example, curly and coily hair that experiences heat damage usually can’t be repaired back to the original curl pattern and should ultimately be cut.