The Best Shampoos For Damaged Hair & Split Ends

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If your hair has become damaged, and your ends have started to split, one of the best things you can do is invest in a good shampoo. Obviously, there are plenty of options to choose from out there, but the best shampoos for damaged hair and split ends focus on restoring moisture and strength using ingredients like coconut oil, argan oil, biotin, and keratin. To find out more about what to look for in a damage-repairing shampoo, Elite Daily spoke with professional hair stylist Tia Ashe, who shares her tips below.

The Expert

Tia Ashe is the owner of Love Hair Salon in Kingston, New York. In addition to being an expert hair stylist, she also specializes in hair extensions and wigs.

What To Consider When Shopping For A Shampoo To Repair Damage & Split Ends

In addition to using a strengthening shampoo that’s rich in nourishing ingredients, Ashe suggests choosing a formula that’s sulfate free, since sulfates can exacerbate dryness. Look for terms like “repairing,” “moisturizing,” and “hydrating” on the label, and be sure to scan the INCI list to ensure your shampoo doesn’t contain any sulfates like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) or SLES (sodium laureth sulfate).

As already mentioned, coconut oil, argan oil, biotin, and keratin are some particular standouts when it comes to repairing dry hair, but so are lots of other, plant-derived oils, extracts, and proteins (such as avocado and baobab seed; lavender, grapefruit, and rosemary; and hydrolyzed wheat and quinoa, respectively). Ceramides and antioxidants are great for restoring damaged hair to its shiniest, strongest self, too.

How To Repair Damaged Hair & Split Ends

Ashe suggests trying to shampoo your hair less frequently: “I feel like the natural oils that come out of the scalp are underestimated,” she says. Additionally, always use conditioner, and at the end of your shower or bath, rinse your hair with cool water to lock in all the moisture. Finally, take breaks from heat styling when you can, and use a hair mask about once a week (if your hair is really damaged and on the thicker side, consider swapping out your conditioner for a hair mask whenever you shampoo).

Shop The Best Shampoos For Damaged Hair & Split Ends

In a hurry? These are the best shampoos for damaged hair and split ends:

1. Best Argan Oil Shampoo: Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo

2. Best Budget Argan Oil Shampoo: OGX Anti-Breakage + Keratin Oil Shampoo

3. Best Keratin Shampoo: Virtue Recovery Shampoo

4. Best Shampoo For Curly, Damaged Hair: Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo

5. Best Shampoo For Fine, Damaged Hair: OUAI Fine Shampoo

6. Best For Color-Treated Har: Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo

Best Argan Oil Shampoo For Damaged Hair & Split Ends

Moroccanoil’s iconic Moisture Repair Shampoo contains a rich, creamy blend of nourishing ingredients like keratin, silk amino acids, and argan, jojoba, and avocado oils. It was created specifically to strengthen and repair hair that's become damaged and weak; with continued use, you can expect stronger, smoother, more manageable-feeling hair, as well as enhanced shine. The sulfate-free shampoo also boasts the brand's signature spicy-sweet scent — just another added bonus.

Key Ingredients Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Lavender Extract, Rosemary Extract, Jojoba Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Silk Amino Acids Sulfate-Free? Yes Cruelty-Free? Yes

Relevant review: “After the first use I was able to notice a huge difference in the feel and appearance of my hair and I am now OBSESSED! This product is absolutely amazing it rebalances and restores the health, strength and elasticity to your hair. It also is infused with repairing proteins and fatty acids to help mend broken, damaged and split ends. Def use the shampoo and conditioner for optimal results!”

Best Budget Argan Oil Shampoo

For just over $5, OGX’s Anti-Breakage + Keratin Oil Shampoo aims to strengthen hair, prevent against damage, and increase shine using a sulfate-free formula that’s rich in argan oil and keratin. It also helps smooth away unwanted flyaways and frizz, and smells like tropical fruits.

Key Ingredients Argan Oil, Hydrolyzed Keratin Sulfate-Free? Yes Cruelty-Free? No

Relevant review: “Perfect. I started using the entire product line of the OGX Keratin Oil about 8 months ago to fix my breaking, falling out, damaged hair. It has worked miracles. My hair is noticably stronger, more supple, and more shiny. And it is no longer falling out.”

Best Keratin Shampoo

The buzz around the admittedly splurge-y Virtue Recovery Shampoo is due to one key ingredient: Alpha Keratin 60ku, a human keratin protein trademarked by Virtue that has impressive damage-repairing and hair-strengthening benefits. According to the brand, studies for the ingredient have shown 95% less split ends, a 22% increase in hair thickness, and hair color that's 138% more vibrant, while studies for the shampoo itself showed softer, more manageable hair and less damage. The sulfate-free formula also contains other moisturizing and shine-enhancing ingredients, like baobab seed oil and grapefruit extract.

Key Ingredients Alpha Keratin 60ku, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Baobab Seed Oil, Grapefruit Extract Sulfate-Free? Yes Cruelty-Free? Yes

Relevant review: “This shampoo is AWESOME! My hair was like straw [before] I used Virtue Recovery. Every expensive shampoo I tried did not work. My hair was dry, brittle, dull & kept breaking off. The difference this shampoo has made is remarkable! Well worth the price to me to have my shiny, healthy hair back. Love it!”

Best Shampoo For Curly, Damaged Hair

In Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo, coconut oil and monoï oil work together to restore softness and moisture to curly hair that's become dry or damaged. Other key ingredients include vitamin E, which helps prevent against breakage, and keratin protein for even more strengthening benefits. But perhaps best of all is the great value you get with this shampoo: For just $10, you'll get not one but two big bottles, so you'll be stocked for ages.

Key Ingredients Coconut Oil, Monoï Oil, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Vitamin E Sulfate-Free? Yes Cruelty-Free? No

Relevant review: “This stuff is amazing. My hair has been brittle and frizzy all summer long due to being outside and in the pool a lot. One use and my hair was soft and silky. My waves were manageable and not out of control. Very nice lather, mild smelling. I can't wait to try the conditioner as well.”

Best Shampoo For Fine, Damaged Hair

Formulated with fine hair in mind, this shampoo from OUAI — celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin’s wildly popular product line — nourishes and adds volume to hair that’s thin, weak, limp, or just in need of a boost. Strengthening ingredients like keratin, panthenol (aka vitamin B5), and biotin help to repair damage and split ends (and though the science is iffy, anecdotal evidence points to biotin helping with hair growth), while chia seed oil offers further moisturizing benefits. When you run out, don’t throw out the bottle — instead, invest in the eco-friendly refill pouch so you can keep topping up your bottle whenever it gets low.

Key Ingredients Keratin, Biotin, Panthenol, Chia Seed Oil Sulfate-Free? Yes Cruelty-Free? Yes

Relevant review: “So glad I purchased this shampoo. My hair was thinning due to medication I am taking. After using for a few weeks my hair looks thicker and smells great.”

Best Professional Shampoo & Conditioner Set

Olaplex is best known for their iconic No. 3 Repairing Treatment, the product that put the brand on the map (and launched them into countless luxury salons across the globe). But their Bond Maintenance shampoo, and its matching conditioner, are just as deserving of your attention. Both products harness Olaplex’s unparalleled bond-building technology — which is the only bond builder with a patent — to repair split ends and strengthen damaged hair that’s become weak, brittle, and dry. In turn, they also help promote smoother, shinier hair that looks and feels healthier.

You can use both products as frequently as you want, or you could alternate with a less-expensive repairing shampoo/conditioner if you want your bottles to last you longer.

Key Ingredients Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate Sulfate-Free? Yes Cruelty-Free? Yes

Relevant review: “I’m in shock at how quickly this stuff worked. I’d heard about Olaplex for a while, so I finally caved and bought it. For the first time in idk how long, my hair didn’t feel like straw as soon as I took it out of the towel after my shower. My ends are almost back to a normal state and don’t feel as dry. I’ve used this stuff once and I’m in awe. My hair is shiny and smooth for the first time in a long time.”

Best Budget Shampoo & Conditioner Set

If it’s not in your budget to splurge on Olaplex, you can try L’Oreal’s bond-building shampoo and conditioner instead. Though it doesn’t use the same technology as Olaplex, it does work similarly in that it helps to repair broken bonds that have become weakened due to things like dyeing your hair and frequently using hot tools. Also like Olaplex, it strengthens your hair so it’s less susceptible to future damage — though unlike the salon-favorite brand, L’Oreal’s two-piece set rings up at less than $15 on Amazon.

Key Ingredients Aloe, Sunflower Seed Oil, Rosemary Leaf Extract Sulfate-Free? Yes Cruelty-Free? No

Relevant review: “I can’t say enough good things about this line! You’ll think it is high end hair products & it’s so affordable…it leaves my hair silky smooth & smelling great! Great for any hair type but it really helps my frizzy hair & smooths my split ends.”

Editor’s Pick: Best For Color-Treated Har

“I bleach my hair, so I’m always dealing with damage to some extent. Pureology’s Strength Cure shampoo helps mitigate that damage, however — considering how often I chemically treat my hair, it should be in a lot worse shape,” says Elite Daily beauty editor Adeline Duff. “Not only does this shampoo smell great, keep my wavy hair smooth, and cut down on both frizzies and split ends, but it also ensures my color stays vibrant between salon visits, thanks to the brand’s signature AntiFade complex, which can be found in all their products.”

Pro tip: For best results, follow up with the matching leave-in conditioner.

Key Ingredients Astaxanthin, Keravis, Ceramides, Arginine Sulfate-Free? Yes Cruelty-Free? Yes

Relevant review: “Since giving birth my hair has been falling out and breaking nonstop. This really have helped with decreasing the amount of breakage plus my hair feels softer and healthier!”


Tia Ashe, professional hair stylist and owner of Love Hair Salon in Kingston, New York

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