The Best Shampoos For Dry, Damaged Hair, According To Experts

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If you’re experiencing hair damage in the form of breakage, brittleness, dryness, and split ends, it’s time to upgrade your shampoo. Generally, the best shampoos for dry, damaged hair are loaded with hydrating and strengthening ingredients, and made without too-powerful cleansing agents, like sulfates. That said, there are a lot of great damage-repairing shampoos out there, so to narrow down the best ones, Elite Daily spoke with six top hair stylists who share their recommendations — for all hair types and budgets — below.

To keep your hair healthy and strong, celebrity hairstylist Tyler Bishop recommends shampooing two to three times per week and alternating between two gentle shampoos (and conditioners). He explains, “You can target different hair concerns throughout the week while keeping your hair fresh, and your hair won’t get used to the same shampoo and conditioner every time you wash.” Keep your other hair care products in mind, too, says stylist Alessandra Bruno. She suggests steering clear of styling products with alcohol, as they can make your hair more dry and brittle. One of the best things you can do to repair dry, damaged hair is use a hair mask in lieu of conditioner whenever you shampoo (a “deep conditioner” would also work). Keep in mind that the longer you can leave these products in your hair, the better — so it’s even better if you can incorporate an overnight hair mask into your routine once or twice weekly.

To shop the best shampoos for dry, damaged hair, according to experts, keep scrolling.

1. Best For Most

U:LUXURY’s Pearl & Honey Shampoo will strengthen, heal, and repair hair that’s become fragile or weakened from over-processing, says hairstylist Tyler Bishop, who calls this shampoo “decadent.” The rich formula includes Hawaiian white honey for hydration, argan oil for its nourishing and protecting benefits, and crushed pearl powder to give your hair shine. Like all the shampoos on this list, it’s sulfate-free — and as an added bonus, it’s cruelty-free, too.

2. Best Keratin Shampoo

“My go-to shampoo for dry, damaged hair is the Recovery Shampoo from VIRTUE,” says salon owner Chris Jones. Thanks to the Alpha Keratin 60ku in the formula — the star ingredient in all VIRTUE products — Jones says that this shampoo effectively repairs damage and replenishes the moisture that dry hair desperately needs. In addition to that signature protein ingredient, the formula is made with hydrolyzed quinoa and baobab seed oil to add shine and reduce unwanted frizz. Like the shampoo above, this is both sulfate-free and cruelty-free.

3. Best For Thick, Coarse Hair

“I love Fekkai’s Shea Butter Shampoo for dry, damaged hair,” stylist Alessandra Bruno tells Elite Daily. She adds that this shampoo, which is designed for wavy and curly hair, is also a particularly great pick for people with thick, coarse hair. It’s so rich and moisturizing, [and] keeping the hair properly moisturized helps prevent breakage,” Bruno says. It’s made with super-rich nourishing ingredients like shea butter and monoi oil, as well as pro-vitamin B5 (aka panthenol) to help prevent environmental damage. This shampoo is free of silicones and sulfates, and is a cruelty-free and vegan product.

4. Best For Curly Hair

The Mane Choice’s Pink Lemonade and Coconut Shampoo is “a mildly clarifying cleanser that dissolves product buildup without stripping the hair, revealing the hair's best texture and curls,” says celebrity hairstylist Cataanda James, who recommends this biotin- and vitamin-enriched shampoo for coily, curly, and wavy hair types. “It is infused with a generous amount of antioxidants which help to protect the hair from environmental damage while providing moisture to dull, limp hair,” she explains. Other helpful ingredients that add gloss and restore moisture are castor seed oil, avocado oil, aloe, marshmallow root, and grapefruit extract (a blend that sounds good enough to eat, if we’re being honest).

5. Best For Keratin-Treated Hair

For keratin-treated hair, Maxine Salon hairstylist Leigh Hardges uses the Color Care Smoothing Shampoo by Keratin Complex. She says that it helps give your keratin treatment its “longest life,” and notes that it’s also great for smoothing and detangling (making it a nice choice for dry hair that’s prone to flyways and frizz). Though it’s designed with color- and keratin-treated hair in mind, anyone can use this sulfate-free shampoo. It comes at a great price, too.

6. Best For Color-Treated Hair

Elite Daily beauty editor Adeline Duff swears by Pureology’s Strength Cure Shampoo for her hair that’s “constantly being abused by hot tools and bleach.” She explains, “I get highlights every two to three months, and I style my hair with hot tools multiple times a week — so it can use all the help it can get. I’ve tried every ‘repairing’ and ‘moisturizing’ shampoo out there, and Pureology Strength Cure is by far my favorite. It leaves my hair super smooth, and since I’ve started using it, my hairstylist is always telling me how healthy my hair feels. I love the smell, too.” Like all Pureology products, this shampoo was created with color-treated hair in mind, as it uses the brand’s signature AntiFade Complex to keep your color vibrant and protect it from fading. It’s sulfate-free, vegan, and “mixes nicely with purple shampoo to keep brassy tones at bay, if you’re a blonde like me,” says Duff.

7. Best Dry Shampoo

Give your hair a refresh between shampoos with IGK’s First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo, which Mane Addicts hairstylist Kathleen Riley says is amazing because it uses charcoal to help lift dirt and buildup while absorbing excess oils. “It also soothes the scalp and supports hair follicles with white tea powder,” she explains, adding that it’s “not drying at all and does not leave a white cast.” For best results, Riley says to spray it in, let it sit for a minute, and massage it into your scalp before brushing it out.


Tyler Bishop, Celebrity Hairstylist

Alessandra Bruno, Stylist, FEKKAI SoHo

Cataanda James, Celebrity Hairstylist

Chris Jones, Salon Owner, Salon Bugatti

Leigh Hardges, Stylist, Maxine Salon Chicago

Kathleen Riley, Mane Addicts Stylist