When your hair is dry and lifeless, you know that you need the best shampoo for dry hair for it to perform the way you would like. You might struggle with flyaways and tangles, experience more split ends, and even notice that it’s harder to style your hair. Dry hair can be frustrating but thankfully, there are products designed especially for your hair’s condition. In particular, we’re talking about the best shampoos for dry hair. They help to infuse moisture, smooth the hair shaft, and protect your hair from further damage.
While you might think that any shampoo will do to clean your hair, this isn’t the case. Some shampoos can contain drying agents such as phthalates and parabens, which can make dry hair more prone to damage. So, in addition to tweaking your hair care routine, you should consider trying one of these top-rated hydrating shampoos for damaged hair.
Your Guide to Shampoos for Dry Hair: Contents
- 21 Best Shampoos for Dry Hair to Revitalize
- Common Dry Hair Causes
- How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Dry Hair
- How Often to Wash Dry Hair
- Dry Hair Remedies: How to Get Rid of Dry Hair
The best shampoo for dry hair should be hydrating and with repair benefits, while also providing thorough cleansing to your dirty hair and scalp. The options we have reviewed below are the best on the market, based on user experience and the overall benefits they promise to bring to your hair.
1. Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo
Dry hair needs to be gently cleaned. And that means that the best shampoo for dry hair should be free of harsh chemicals. Briogeo’s moisture-infusing shampoo is designed to work with a variety of hair types ranging from straight to coily.
While it works to effectively remove dirt, product build-up, and oil from the hair and your scalp, it’s also ultra-hydrating thanks to critical ingredients like biotin, vitamin B, algae extract, and panthenol. Best of all, this cruelty-free shampoo for damaged hair is also vegan-friendly and can be used on chemically treated hair. Buy it now at Sephora!
2. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Olive Fruit Oil Nourishing Shampoo
Kiehl’s has long been a brand associated with effective skin and hair care products designed from natural ingredients for superior results. Their shampoo for dry hair is a creamy option that promises to moisturize and fortify your hair instantly. You’ll appreciate that the avocado oil, lemon extract, and other fruit oils all work to mimic the oils naturally found in your hair, making this the best shampoo for dry hair. Buy it now at Nordstrom!
3. Vernon François Pure-Fro Shampoo
When you have very curly or coily hair, you know that dryness can be a serious issue. And that also means that you can’t just use any shampoo that’s lying around. In your case, you need to focus on the best shampoo for dry hair. This one is specifically designed to work with dry curly or coily hair. The shampoo is formulated with ubuntu Kalahari melon oil to infuse essential moisture into your hair while also gently cleansing your hair and scalp. Shop it now at Net-a-Porter!
4. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo
Who wouldn’t want to have a perfect hair day? Thankfully, Living Proof has created a shampoo that promises to give you precisely that result. Their shampoo for dry hair is ideal for damaged hair, as it promises to restore shine and smoothness on the hair shaft, increase volume, and strengthen your hair. You’ll appreciate that this shampoo can be used on a variety of hair types and thicknesses, and is cruelty-free with a formula that doesn’t contain parabens or silicone. Buy it now at Sephora!
5. Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo
If your tresses have seen better days, this is the perfect shampoo for damaged hair. Joico’s shampoo gently cleanses your hair with specially selected surfactants, while a blend of nourishing natural oils helps to infuse moisture. You’ll appreciate ingredients like jojoba oil and keratin that nourish and strengthen your hair shaft. This shampoo is ideal for dehydrated and damaged hair. Buy it at Ulta!
6. Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo
If you’re looking for a solution to your dry hair woes, you can’t go wrong with a brand like Bumble and Bumble. Especially if you’ve been struggling with dry, brittle, and damaged hair, their Invisible Oil shampoo promises to revive your hair thanks to a blend of six oils including sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, and safflower oil. This is the best shampoo for dry hair that can be used on straight, wavy, and curly hair. Shop it now at Sephora!
7. MoroccanOil Moisture Repair Shampoo
Coloring and straightening your hair can be a great way to express yourself, but it can also leave you with serious damage. If this sounds familiar, then you’re going to like the MoroccanOil Moisture Repair shampoo. This is the best shampoo for dry hair that’s also been damaged, as it works to restore your hair’s moisture balance and strength thanks to ingredients like keratin, argan oil, fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E. Pick it up now at Nordstrom!
8. Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo
It’s only natural that just like everything else on your body, age can change how your hair behaves. If you’ve noticed that your hair is more prone to dryness or shows damage more quickly, then this shampoo is a smart pick for you. This shampoo for dry hair works to reverse the signs of damage by specifically focusing on infusing moisture into your hair shaft. Rated for use with all hair types, you’ll appreciate how this shampoo hydrates while improving shine, softness, texture, and manageability. Buy it now at Sephora!
9. Julien Farel Vitamin Shampoo
When you color or chemically straighten your hair, you need to give it a bit more TLC than hair that hasn’t been heavily manipulated. In that case, Julien Farel has a shampoo for damaged hair that’s sure to turn back the hands of time on your strands. Their Vitamin shampoo is formulated in Italy with rice protein, honey, mushroom extract, and glycerin. Buy it now at Net-a-Porter!
10. Pureology Hydrate Shampoo
If you weren’t aware, you can’t always use the same products on color-treated hair as you would on virgin (non-treated) hair. Pureology’s Hydrate shampoo is specially formulated with hydrating ingredients to keep color-treated hair from being brittle and dry. In particular, you’ll like the green tea, and sage, all of which help to not just hydrate but strengthen your delicate strands. Shop for it at Ulta!
11. Shu Uemura Urban Moisture Hydro-Nourishing Shampoo
Dry hair needs moisture, that’s a no-brainer. And that’s why this Shu Uemura option is the best shampoo for dry hair. This color-safe formula is ultra-hydrating thanks to moringa and red algae extracts. You’ll like how it gently cleanses your scalp without stripping essential oils. Get it now at Sephora!
12. Oribe Shampoo for Moisture and Control
When you have dry hair, you know that finding the perfect balance of ingredients that will keep your hair moisturized can be a tall order. But Oribe’s shampoo is designed to do exactly that. Natural extracts like watermelon, lychee, sunflower seed, and edelweiss flower help to deeply penetrate the hair shaft and restore its moisture balance. This is the best shampoo for dry hair that will deeply nourish and hydrate your tresses from root to tip, giving you smoother hair without flyaways or kinks. Shop it now at Net-a-Porter!
13. Wella Invigo Nutri-Enrich Shampoo
If your hair is damaged or dry, the last thing you want to do is test out a product from an unknown brand. But with a company like Wella, best known for creating hydrating hair dyes, you know you’re getting a product that you can trust. Their shampoo is perfect for reviving dry or damaged hair. Oleic acid and panthenol work to moisturize and nourish your hair, making it one of the best shampoos for dry hair. Pick it up now at Ulta!
14. Klorane Shampoo with Mango Butter
Parched hair needs serious ingredients to turn it from dry, brittle, and damaged to healthy and robust. Klorane’s shampoo for dry hair tackles that problem thanks to the core ingredient – mango butter. The title ingredient helps to gently cleanse your scalp and hair while also providing intensive hydration to damaged and dry hair. Shop it now at Dermstore!
15. Drybar Sake Bomb Shampoo
Sake bombs are for more than a night out at your favorite sushi bar. The brand that brought you the concept of a blowout-only salon also creates hair care products that you can use at home. Drybar’s Sake Bomb shampoo is designed to be used on all hair types and specifically focuses on strengthening and softening dry, damaged hair. You’ll enjoy the watercress extract and keratin, which make this one of the best shampoos for dry hair. Get it now at Sephora!
16. Malin + Goetz Peppermint Shampoo
Imagine giving your scalp an invigorating tingle every time you wash your hair. You don’t have to live in a fantasyland because you can experience this with the Malin + Goetz shampoo. This shampoo for dry hair relies on natural peppermint extract and synthesized amino acids to effectively cleanse your scalp and hair without stripping natural oils that your scalp needs to stay moisturized. Shop it now at Nordstrom!
17. IGK Hot Girls Hydrating Shampoo
Styling tools can help transform your hair from curly to straight and back to curly. But all of that heat can fast track you onto a path of damaged and dry hair. If you’ve been relying a bit too much on heat tools, this is the best shampoo for damaged hair. It features litchi extract and vitamin E to infuse moisture while also strengthening it and repairing against heat damage. This shampoo is ideal for all hair types as well as chemically and color-treated hair. Buy it now at Sephora!
18. Virtue Labs Recovery Shampoo
Dry and brittle hair is more prone to damage such as split ends. But you can turn back the hands of time with Virtue Labs’ shampoo for dry hair. This shampoo is designed for all hair types and repairs damaged hair by filling in cracks, cleansing daily build-up, and infusing moisture. Key ingredients include hydrolyzed quinoa, grapefruit extract, and baobab seed oil. Buy it at Sephora!
19. Redken All Soft Shampoo
If you prefer a brand that has name recognition, you can’t go wrong with the salon favorite, Redken. Their All Soft shampoo is specifically formulated to cleanse your scalp and hair gently. But more importantly, this is one of the best shampoos for dry hair thanks to Redken’s exclusive RCT Protein Complex that works to improve the overall health of your hair while enhancing structure and volume. Shop for it now at Ulta!
20. Rahua Hydration Shampoo
Finding the right shampoo that will not only work for dry hair but also your hair type can feel like a challenge. Rahua’s Hydration shampoo is designed to work with all hair types from straight to tightly coiled. The best shampoo for dry hair, it offers a massive moisture infusion that improves hydration, prevents frizziness, and also improves the look and feel of your hair. Buy it at Sephora!
21. Christophe Robin Regenerating Shampoo with Prickly Pear Seed Oil
Finally, if you need the best shampoo for dry hair, Christophe Robin has a solution that focuses on naturally-derived oils like prickly pear seed. Not only is this shampoo rated for all hair types, but also it promises to hydrate while correcting damage like split ends and breakage. Best of all, it’s safe for color-treated hair. Shop it now at Sephora!
Now that you know what shampoos can help to reverse the effects of dry and damaged hair, it’s equally important to know what causes it. While there are plenty of products that you can use to treat dry, brittle or damaged hair, one of the best options is to avoid hair care behaviors that encourage dryness or increase the risk of hair damage.
Dry hair tends to look dull like it’s missing sheen. This is the most obvious sign that your hair is lacking critical moisture to keep it looking healthy. But damaged hair can also look and feel brittle. And in some severe cases, you can hear an audible noise like the sound of dry grass or straw when you squeeze your hair.
So what causes hair damage?
When your scalp doesn’t produce enough oil to keep your hair hydrated, you get dry hair. Using wrong hair products like shampoos can also aggravate the state of your dry hair.
There are a variety of factors that can cause hair damage. Some of them are environmental, while others have to do with your hair care or lifestyle habits. Below are the most common causes of dry hair.
If you live in a dry climate, your hair is going to need more moisture than someone who lives in a humid region. In particular, people who live in seasonal climates might experience seasonal dryness as the drier winter air saps their hair of essential moisture. You might also experience more split ends during colder times of the year versus in the spring and summer when the air has more moisture.
• Lack of Hydration
The saying “you are what you eat” should be expanded to mean “you’re also what you drink”. If you don’t drink enough water, that can also impact your hair, making it dry, brittle and more prone to damage.
Some medicines can have unintended side effects, and that can include dry or damaged hair. While you might not be able to stop taking a medication without adversely affecting your health, it’s important to be mindful of how your prescriptions could impact other areas of your life.
• Washing Hair Too Frequently
Infrequent hair washing can lead to product build-up, greasiness, and just a generally gross appearance. But you can also wash your hair too much. When you overindulge in this area, you end up stripping your hair and scalp of natural oils that help to keep them moisturized and healthy. This can lead to dull-looking dry hair, an increase in breakage, and even dandruff and scalp irritation.
• Excessive Use of Hot Tools
There’s nothing like a great blowout or flat iron to give you that sleek or bouncy look you crave. But if heat styling tools are a part of your daily routine, you could be encouraging damage and hair dryness.
• Chemical Styling
Coloring your hair, getting a curly perm, or straightening it via the various treatment methods available can be a great way to switch up your look. But constant chemical applications without any breaks can ultimately damage your hair.
In mild situations, your hair can become dry. But in severe cases, it can lead to serious damage such as breakage and thinning. If you are dead set on leaving chemical styling as a part of your hair care routine, always go to a professional.
For better or worse, you may have gotten your dry hair from your parents or their parents. Just like eye color, body type, and height are all inherited traits, so is your hair type. If everyone on your mother’s side of the family has dry hair that constantly needs deep conditioning treatments, you shouldn’t be surprised when you also have to incorporate them into your hair care routine.
If you struggle with dry hair, you’re probably at the end of your rope trying to find remedies to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy. So, even though we’ve outlined a few of the top-rated shampoos for dry hair, you’re probably wondering if there are specific ingredients you should be seeking or ones to avoid.
Best Shampoos for Dry Hair
Note that there are varying levels of hair dryness. For some people, it’s a scalp issue, while for others it can be just the hair shaft, and for others a combination of the two.
If you’re facing dry scalp problems, the best shampoos for dry hair will highlight their ability to moisturize, hydrate, and smooth your hair. In particular, products aimed at curly hair are ideal because they almost exclusively focus on moisture.
Ingredients like menthol, aloe vera, shea butter, tea tree oil, olive oil, coconut oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil are ideal for helping to stimulate oil production in your scalp. Likewise, shampoos that feature essential oils are also good options because they’ll help to improve the moisture balance of your hair and scalp.
Shampoos to Avoid
The primary cause of dry hair is a lack of moisture and essential natural oils. In that case, you’re going to want to avoid shampoos that promise to fortify or volumize, as these types of shampoos tend to strip hair of critical oils. Skip high-pH shampoos that contain sulfates, parabens, and alcohol, as these can aggravate your issues.
Is there a magic number of times that you should be washing your hair? Can you go all week without washing it? We promise it’s not as complicated as creating an algebraic equation.
Like we mentioned earlier, washing your hair too frequently when you already have dry hair can make a bad situation worse, encourage breakage, split ends, and even an itchy scalp.
• Washing Dry Color Treated Hair
If your dryness is related to color processing, you should scale back to a once a week hair washing regimen. Instead, between washes opt for a great dry shampoo that can control any oil build-up.
• Washing Thick Dry Hair
Dry, thick hair should be washed more frequently than color-treated hair. Opt for twice a week cleansing routine for shampoo and between shampoos rely on co-washing or the act of only washing your hair with conditioner. This is a gentler process on your hair and is less likely to strip critical oils from your scalp and hair.
• Washing Thin Dry Hair
Thinner hair can be washed the most, with as many as three times a week being perfectly safe. But just like with color-treated hair, you should invest in a good dry shampoo to keep oil under control between washes.
Aside from picking the best shampoo for dry hair and the right wash schedule, there are other things you can do to help restore the health of your hair and scalp. In particular, some of those options include DIY solutions and treatments you can make from products found in your kitchen.
In this section, we discuss how to get rid of dry hair and have luscious locks at all times.
• Never Skip the Conditioner Step
Dry hair is more prone to damage. And that means that it needs even more TLC to keep it looking healthy. This also means that you should never skip the conditioning step. Look for conditioners that contain natural oils and are free from silicones.
• Limit Your Chemical Treatments
This should seem obvious, but if your dry or damaged hair is being caused by chemical straightening, coloring or curl processing, it’s time to cut back. No matter how many restorative shampoos, conditioners, and deep treatments you use, you’ll never totally erase the damage caused by frequent chemical styling. Instead, you need to reduce the number of chemical treatments you undergo.
• Reduce Your Heat Styling
Along the same lines as chemical treatments, constant heat styling can lead to damaged and dry hair. The best way to minimize this risk is by cutting back significantly on your heat styling tool usage. Learn ways to style your hair that are heat-free.
This can include allowing hair to air-dry or styling by using techniques such as setting your hair on Bantu knots, braids, or twists, as well as incorporating styling solutions like beach wave sprays that can give you the desired look without the need for heat.
And when you do need to use heat, be sure to keep styling tools on the minimal temperature required to achieve desired effects. This means using blow dryers on medium heat and not turning flat irons up to 450F. And always use a heat protectant spray or serum before touching your hair with a heat styling tool.
• Swap the Brush for a Comb
For most people, they can benefit from changing their styling tools routine and opting for a comb instead of a brush. While it might sound counterintuitive, a brush can encourage damage by ripping through tangles rather than gently removing them. Opting for a comb to gently work through tangles from tip to root is a safer alternative that minimizes the risk of damage.
However, if you do want to use a hair brush, invest in a boar bristle brush. This type of styling tool is designed with bristles meant to stimulate the scalp and encourage the production of natural oils.
• Invest in Moisturizing Styling Products
Look for products that contain essential oils like jojoba or argan oil, or butters such as shea and mango. These products will infuse critical moisture into your dry hair every time you use them and help to reduce the appearance of dryness.
• Don’t Skip Sun Protection
Just like your skin, your hair needs protection from harmful UV rays. Invest in products that highlight these features and use them regularly to keep the sun from sapping essential moisture from your tresses. If you can’t find products with built-in sun protection, invest in a sun hat to block your hair and scalp from the sun.
• Be Gentle with Your Hair
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. Roughly raking through our hair with brushes and combs or being impatient when detangling hair can all add to the damage.
For example, when washing your hair, instead of scrubbing your hair, begin by working the shampoo or conditioner into scalp and roots and gently smoothing it down the length of the hair to fully cleanse your hair. And when drying your hair, use a microfiber towel or cotton T-shirt and gently blot rather than roughly handle your hair.
• Use Cool Water
If you only wash your hair in the shower, this may be a hard tip to embrace. But hot water is more likely to strip your dry hair and skin of moisture than lukewarm water. If the idea of taking tepid showers is unappealing, save washing your hair to the end and turn the temperature down to as cool as you can stand it. This will help to protect your hair and retain moisture.
• Deep Condition
Even if you never skip the conditioner step when you wash your dry hair, you can still benefit from a good deep conditioning treatment – a good hair mask or hair oil. This is when you use a conditioner on your hair for an extended period – sometimes under a hood dryer to help the product better penetrate the hair shaft.
For especially dry and damaged hair, opt for a weekly deep conditioning treatment. Make sure that your hair is thoroughly coated and then wrap your hair in either a plastic shower cap or plastic bag. If you don’t have a hood dryer, this will allow the heat from your body to help the product penetrate the hair.
Regardless of whether you use a dryer or natural body heat, let the conditioner sit for at least an hour for best results before washing it out.
• DIY Hair Masks for Dry Hair
There are countless recipes for DIY hair masks for dry hair that feature everything from coconut oil and lime juice to mayonnaise and eggs. The version you choose is going to be dependent on your specific goals, your hair’s chemistry, and what’s in your kitchen.
Honey, mayonnaise, avocado, and egg yolks are some of the best ingredients to use in your DIY hair mask for dry hair, since they all have nourishing, conditioning properties. For instance, you can combine a mashed ripe avocado with an oil of your choice and apply it to newly washed hair, rinsing it after 30 minutes.
Another good idea is using hot oils to treat dry hair, like olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil. You just need to warm the oil of choice and massage your scalp with it. Leave it on either overnight or for some 30 minutes before completely rinsing the hair.
But unlike a deep conditioning treatment, you don’t want to leave a DIY hair mask in your hair for too long as you may have trouble rinsing it out. A general rule of thumb is to apply it to wet hair as soon as you get in the shower and then wash it out when you’re finished showering.
• Scalp Massages
A lack of oil production is one of the main causes of dry hair. And often, this can be because the scalp isn’t being properly stimulated. Start making it a habit to give yourself a scalp massage every day.
Invest in a natural oil like jojoba, argan, or even coconut oil and apply a little bit to your fingertips before you begin massaging your scalp. Much like the boar bristle brushes, your fingers will help to stimulate your scalp and encourage it to produce natural oils that will help to moisturize your scalp and dry hair.
• Inspect Your Diet
Again, you are what you eat. Often unhealthy hair can be linked to poor diet and not drinking enough water. If your diet leaves a lot to be desired, it’s time to start increasing the number of healthy foods you eat and aiming to meet the recommended amount of water intake for your weight and height ratio.
• Don’t Forget the Trim
There’s no point in holding onto lifeless split ends. One of the quickest ways to make your dry hair look healthier is by getting a trim. Doing this will help prevent split ends from growing any further up the hair shaft.
Opt for a trip every two to three months, and if you’re concerned about your hair being too short, ask your stylist to only trim off the absolute necessary amount to banish split ends.
Photos via @natalieannehair, @briana.wilvert, @laurencrowe88, @theskinjournals, @styling.sunshine, @beautiliciousc, @mygglow, @hairbybritny