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 . 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.
Environmental and lifestyle factors are the most common reasons for dry hair. These include:
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.
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.
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 .
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?
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.
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.
Also containing aloe vera extract, this shampoo will help protect your hair from the sun.
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.
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.
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.
This formula also contains rosemary and lavender oil, which have been shown to help treat alopecia areata when massaged into the scalp daily . Rosemary oil for hair may also help minimise the effects of male pattern baldness, making this a good option for men with hair loss.
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 .
Shea butter is also a good source of vitamins A and E. Research suggests applying shea butter topically can effectively moisturise your hair .
Goat milk has been shown to increase hair softness, shine, and smoothness . 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.
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.
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.
In addition to these, rosemary oil and tea leaf extract may promote hair growth and moisture retention respectively.
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.
Avocado oil has been shown to minimise hair breakage, while also promoting regrowth and reducing dandruff.
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.
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.
L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Shampoo contains wheat proteins, which have been shown to help treat damaged hair . Wheat proteins bind with hair keratin, smoothing out your hair cuticle for sleeker hair.
Soy and corn proteins can also be beneficial for dry, brittle hair . So this formula may be a good option for those with hair breakage around the crown, hairline, or mid-scalp.
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.
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.
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.
Here are our picks for the top shampoos for different dry hair types:
See more of the best and worst shampoos for hair loss.
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.
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.
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