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10 Clinically Proven Best Shampoos For Dry Hair
Dr Peter Thomas (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Peter Thomas (GMC)
Updated on January 15, 2024

Dry hair is a very common problem. Research has shown that three-quarters of people lack confidence in their hair — and 40% of these blame dryness and frizziness for their concerns [1]. So finding the best shampoo for dry hair is essential for restoring your confidence and rejuvenating your hair.

In this article, we explore which shampoo ingredients are clinically proven to moisturise and hydrate hair, so you can find the best shampoo for dry hair.

Table of Contents

What makes your hair dry?

Environmental and lifestyle factors are the most common reasons for dry hair. These include:

  • Heat styling — Using hairdryers, straighteners, or curling tongs regularly is a surefire way to dehydrate and heat-damage your hair.
  • Harsh chemicals — Chemicals in hair dye, relaxers, and other cosmetic products can strip oils and moisture from your hair.
  • Getting older — As you age, your hair naturally becomes drier due to hormone changes, as well as reduced oxygen and nutrition supply to the follicles caused by age-related skin changes.
  • Diet — Not getting enough vitamins for hair (as well as other nutrients) can result in dry, brittle hair that falls out.
  • Excessive sunlight exposure — Too much sunlight isn’t good for your hair, as it exposes you to heat and harmful ultraviolet radiation that can dry out your hair by exposing your hair cortex to the elements.

These factors can all force the hair cuticle to lift, allowing more moisture to escape the hair shaft which in turn leaves it dry and prone to breakage.

hair structure informational graphic

Wearing a hat in the sun, limiting heat styling, and eating a balanced diet can all protect your hair from drying out and contribute to healthy, shiny hair.

But the right haircare products are important, too. Certain chemicals found in shampoo can strip your hair of its natural oils, dehydrating rather than moisturising your tresses.

Does shampoo dry out your hair?

Using the wrong shampoo for your hair type can make your hair feel straw-like, leading to frizzy, broken hair on top of your head. While plenty of ingredients are known to cleanse your hair, it’s not as easy to formulate a shampoo that leaves your hair feeling soft and moisturised as well as clean [2].

person holding dry, brittle hair

Surfactants are ingredients that remove dirt from your hair. But they can also strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving your hair and scalp feeling dry. Emollients balance the effect of oil-stripping surfactants, moisturising your hair to keep it healthy and hydrated.

So which shampoos contain the right balance of surfactants and emollients to prevent your hair drying out?

10 best shampoos for dry hair

Here, we’ve ranked the best shampoos for dry hair based on their nourishing, hydrating ingredients. See the clinical evidence for each shampoo, and how it helps keep your hair clean, moisturised, and healthy.

 

ShampooActive ingredientsHow it helpsHair typesClinical evidence
Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil ShampooCoconut oil, aloe vera, glycerinHydrates and conditions hair with organic ingredients. Can also reduce hair porosity, helping hair retain moisture.Dry, porous hair (try dropping a strand of clean hair in a glass of water; high porosity hair will quickly sink, while low porosity hair will float for a while before sinking).Coconut oil contains moisturising fatty acids. With a low molecular weight, it can penetrate and hydrate the hair shaft while making your hair less porous [3-4]. Aloe vera protects hair from the sun [5].
Second Chance Repairing Shampoo for Dry or Damaged HairRice bran oil, argan oil, tea leaf extract, glycerin, dimethiconeArgan oil and tea leaf extracts promote moisture retention, while rice bran oil may enhance hair growth [6].Dry, dyed, brittle hairGlycerin and dimethicone are common conditioning agents [2]. Argan oil flattens the hair cuticle, reducing moisture loss, especially after hair dye treatment [7].
Monpure Strengthening Silk Protein ShampooVegan silk protein, aloe vera, argan oilContaining aloe vera and argan oil, this shampoo can protect hair from harmful UV radiation while smoothing the hair cuticle for optimal hydration.Dry hair, those experiencing alopecia areata, those who follow a vegan dietIn addition to aloe vera and argan oil, silk proteins condition the hair [2]. Rosemary and lavender oil may also help treat alopecia areata [8].
Matrix Mega Sleek ShampooShea butter, dimethicone, glycerinShea butter can restore moisture to hair following heat styling and other treatments [9].Dry, curly hair, heat-styled hairShea butter contains fatty acids that make it an effective moisturiser for your hair and scalp [9].
Ganders Goat Honey Shampoo & Bodywash SoapGoat milk, coconut oilBoth coconut oil and goat milk are packed with hydrating ingredients. All-natural ingredients are great for sensitive skin.Dry hair, sensitive skinIn addition to coconut oil, goat milk can both cleanse and condition hair, adding shine and helping moisturising agents better penetrate the hair shaft [10].
Pattern Cleansing Shampoo For Coilies, Curlies & Tight TexturesCoconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter, rosemary oil, tea leaf extractPacked with moisturising agents from coconut oil to shea butter, this hyper-hydrating shampoo is great for dryness-prone curly hair types.Dry, Afro hair, textured hairTea leaf extract has antioxidant properties and has been shown to protect against hair moisture loss [11].
Indie You’re a Smooth Talker ShampooAvocado oil, coconut oilCoconut and avocado oil are great hair moisturising agents. Avocado oil can reduce breakage in brittle hair.Dry, brittle hairAvocado oil protects against hair breakage and damage [12]. It may also promote hair growth and reduce dandruff.
Bumble & Bumble Curl Moisturising ShampooAvocado oil, coconut oil, shea butterCoconut oil penetrates the hair shaft easily, adding moisture, while shea butter contains healthy hair vitamins.Dry, curly, heat-styled hairBoth shea butter and coconut oil contain fatty acids that prevent moisture loss from the hair [9].
L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair ShampooWheat protein, soy protein, corn protein, dimethicone, glycerinSmooths the hair cuticle to make hair feel softer and shinier.Dry, damaged hairWheat proteins can help recover damaged hair, smoothing the hair surface [13]. Glycerin and dimethicone are common conditioning agents.
Capure Goat Milk Deep Cleansing ShampooGoat milk, aloe veraGoat milk cleanses and conditions hair, while aloe vera offers UV protection.Dry, sun-exposed hairBoth goat milk and aloe vera offer hair moisturising properties [5, 10].

1. Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Shampoo

Coconut oil is renowned for its super-hydrating properties, so it’s a key ingredient to look out for in many of the best shampoos for dry hair. It contains lots of saturated fatty acids that help the hair shaft retain moisture while also reducing hair porosity.

Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Shampoo

Also containing aloe vera extract, this shampoo will help protect your hair from the sun.

2. Second Chance Repairing Shampoo for Dry or Damaged Hair

Second Chance Repairing Shampoo includes the active ingredients of rice bran oil and argan oil to flatten the hair cuticle, boost moisture retention, and even promote hair growth.

10 Clinically Proven Best Shampoos For Dry Hair, Wimpole Clinic

Dry hair doesn’t necessarily grow slowly, but it can break off and create the appearance of thinning hair or split ends. So this restorative shampoo is ideal for promoting healthy root growth. Find out more about split ends vs healthy hair.

3. Monpure Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo

Protect hair from strong sunlight with this Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo from Monpure. While this shampoo is a little pricey, its range of hydrating ingredients makes it one of the best shampoos for dry hair. Argan oil smooths the hair cuticle, while silk proteins condition the lengths for a sleeker look.

Monpure Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo

This formula also contains rosemary and lavender oil, which have been shown to help treat alopecia areata when massaged into the scalp daily [7]. Rosemary oil for hair may also help minimise the effects of male pattern baldness, making this a good option for men with hair loss.

4. Matrix Mega Sleek Shampoo

Matrix Mega Sleek Shampoo contains shea butter, a common shampoo ingredient for moisturising hair. It’s been shown to restore moisture to hair affected by heat styling and other dehydrating treatments [9].

Matrix Mega Sleek Shampoo

Shea butter is also a good source of vitamins A and E. Research suggests applying shea butter topically can effectively moisturise your hair [9].

5. Ganders Goat Honey Shampoo & Bodywash Soap

Goat milk has been shown to increase hair softness, shine, and smoothness [10]. It’s also a two-in-one cleanser and moisturiser with good foaming properties, so it’s a great all-round shampoo for dry hair.

Ganders Goat Honey Shampoo & Bodywash Soap

Unlike most shampoos, Ganders Goat Honey Shampoo is a shampoo bar. With plastic-free packaging, it works for those seeking an eco-friendly shampoo for dry hair.

6. Pattern Cleansing Shampoo For Coilies, Curlies & Tight Textures

Created specifically for people with Afro hair, Pattern’s Cleansing Shampoo contains tons of hyper-hydrating ingredients to moisturise dryness-prone hair types (such as type 3A hair). These include coconut oil, aloe vera, and shea butter.

Pattern Cleansing Shampoo For Coilies, Curlies & Tight Textures

In addition to these, rosemary oil and tea leaf extract may promote hair growth and moisture retention respectively.

7. Indie You’re a Smooth Talker Shampoo

Indie’s You’re a Smooth Talker is a silicone-free shampoo for dry hair. Silicones are often used for conditioning and detangling hair, so instead of these ingredients, this formula uses natural avocado and coconut oils to make dry hair soft and manageable.

Indie You're a Smooth Talker Shampoo

Avocado oil has been shown to minimise hair breakage, while also promoting regrowth and reducing dandruff.

8. Bumble & Bumble Curl Moisturising Shampoo

Curly hair is often prone to dryness. With ingredients including shea butter, avocado oil, and coconut oil, Bumble & Bumble’s Curl Moisturising Shampoo is a great way to lock moisture into your curls.

Bumble & Bumble Curl Moisturising Shampoo

With fatty acids to promote hydration and vitamin-rich ingredients to keep your hair healthy, this shampoo can effectively treat damaged hair from heat styling.

9. L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Shampoo

L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Shampoo contains wheat proteins, which have been shown to help treat damaged hair [13]. Wheat proteins bind with hair keratin, smoothing out your hair cuticle for sleeker hair.

L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Shampoo

Soy and corn proteins can also be beneficial for dry, brittle hair [14]. So this formula may be a good option for those with hair breakage around the crown, hairline, or mid-scalp.

10. Capure Goat Milk Deep Cleansing Shampoo

Another goat milk-based formula, Capure Goat Milk Deep Cleansing Shampoo also contains aloe vera, which can protect your hair from harsh sunlight that may dry out your hair. 

Capure Goat Milk Deep Cleansing Shampoo

With all-natural ingredients, this formula can work well for those with a sensitive scalp. It may reduce any scalp burning sensations or scalp itchiness while cleansing and conditioning your hair.

What are the best shampoos and conditioners for dry hair?

While they may not be marketed as such, all the shampoos listed above are actually two-in-one shampoos and conditioners. In addition to cleansing agents, they also contain moisturising and conditioning ingredients to help keep your hair smooth, soft, and hydrated.

That said, it’s best to use a separate conditioner alongside your shampoo if you have dry hair. Using a shampoo and conditioner together will give your hair optimum moisture and prevent future dryness.

What’s the best shampoo for dry hair?

Here are our picks for the top shampoos for different dry hair types:

  • Best shampoo for extremely dry hair — Pattern Cleansing Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for dry frizzy hair — Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for dry damaged hair — Second Chance Repairing Shampoo for Dry or Damaged Hair
  • Best shampoo for dry fine or thin hair — L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for dry curly hair — Bumble & Bumble Curl Moisturising Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for dry Afro hair types — Pattern Cleansing Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for menopausal dry hair — OGX Anti-Hair Fallout Niacin + Caffeine Shampoo (see more shampoos for menopausal hair loss and damage)
  • Best shampoo for men with dry hair — Monpure Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo
  • Best shampoo for dry coloured hair — Second Chance Repairing Shampoo for Dry or Damaged Hair
  • Best shampoo for dry hair and a sensitive scalp — Ganders Goat Honey Shampoo & Bodywash Soap

See more of the best and worst shampoos for hair loss.

More clinically proven ways to moisturise dry hair

Switching to a moisturising shampoo is a great way to give your hair an added hydration boost. But there are some other ways to keep your hair healthy and hydrated.

  • Make sure you drink enough water. Keeping your body hydrated will ensure your hair gets plenty of moisture, too.
  • Use a conditioner to top-up the moisture in your hair. Conditioners add extra emollients to your hair, making it less dry and more manageable.
  • Consider moisturising treatments carefully. Keratin for hair treatments can make your hair look sleeker. But they’re also known to release toxic chemicals that expose you to dangerous compounds, so it’s best to avoid these treatments where you can.
  • Treat your hair to a coconut oil hair mask. Applying coconut oil directly to your hair pre- or post-wash can give it an added moisture boost, and even reduce hair protein loss [4].

Certain hair and scalp conditions can sometimes lead to excessively dry hair. So if none of these tips and lifestyle changes work, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a trichologist. They can help you uncover the reason for your hair damage before it progresses to more concerning hair loss.

Book a consultation at the Wimpole Clinic if you’re worried about the condition of your hair.

10 Clinically Proven Best Shampoos For Dry Hair, Wimpole Clinic

Dr Peter Thomas (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Peter Thomas (GMC)Updated on January 15, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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