As anyone with dry hair knows, the maintenance is real. It's a constant quest for more moisture, and sometimes, all the masks and leave-ins in the world don't help. With dry hair, it's especially important to pay attention to the products you use in the shower, since the wrong cleansers can cause further dryness and frizz. Ahead, a guide to the best shampoos and conditioners for dry hair to try now.
Before you arm your shower with a new arsenal of hydrating products, it's important to take steps to prevent dry hair from occurring in the first place. Factors like UV exposure and pollution can be harder to eliminate if you plan on leaving your house, which is why you'll want to mist a protecting spray over your hair if you plan on spending time outdoors. You can also look for shampoos and conditioners that contains ingredients which help protect hair from the sun and pollutants like argan oil and sunflower seed oil.
Other common causes of dry hair include over-processing and styling. That includes everything from dyeing, perming, and chemically-straightening your hair to using heat styling tools, like blow dryers and curling irons, on a regular basis.
In addition to cutting back on the above, dry hair types should look for both a shampoo and a conditioner that contain multiple moisturizing ingredients. Most popular among these include oils like argan, moringa, and camellia. These are naturally loaded with antioxidants and fatty acids that help soften hair, encourage moisture retention, and prevent damage.
Ahead, you'll find six of the best shampoos and conditioners for dry hair, no matter what your hair type or your budget.
1. Best Shampoo For Generally Dry Hair
Restoring moisture to dried out hair is only half the battle. If you're not willing to give up on your styling tools, you also need to be protecting your hair from further damage. This CHI Argan Oil Shampoo aims to help hydrate and shield hair when used in conjunction with the matching conditioner. To double down on its moisturizing abilities, CHI combined argan and moringa oils in this shampoo: Both are rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamin E, which immediately soften your hair while helping it to retain moisture and neutralize damage in the long run. This shampoo also contains CHI's ceramic compound, which works by interlinking proteins into your hair strands for a stronger, shinier overall appearance.
2. Best Shampoo For Thick, Dry Hair
Ideal for thick, coarse, or seriously parched hair, R+Co's Atlantis Moisturizing Shampoo was created to revive and protect your hair. The brand was founded by three of the world's biggest hairstylists (Garren, Howard McLaren, and Thom Priano), so you know they're only putting out products that are the best of the best, and this shampoo is a prime example. The vegan shampoo is sulfate-free, so it's safe for use on color-treated and chemically-processed hair, and it takes things even further by including color-protecting nettle in its formula. To rehydrate hair, R+Co added Brazilian babassu oil, witch hazel, and vegetable protein, while rosemary extract helps remove product buildup to maintain a healthy scalp. Plus, it has an addictive scent with its blend of botanical notes like bergamot, lotus flower, and tonka beans.
3. Best Shampoo For Dry, Curly Hair
If you have curly hair, you're well aware that it requires more moisture to prevent frizz and keep your curl pattern intact. Ouidad's Curl Quencher Moisturizing Shampoo was specifically formulated for curly hair to ensure manageability, definition, and softness. To do this, Ouidad included a blend of heavy-duty moisturizers in the formula, like pro-vitamin B5, to nourish the hair and scalp, and hydrolyzed wheat protein to encourage moisture retention and eliminate frizz by reducing your hair's porosity.
Amazon reviewers agree this is a keeper when it comes to leaving you with frizz-free curls. "Gives my curls great moisture and definition without feeling weighed down," writes one fan of the shampoo. "My curls need a ton of moisture, [and] this really helps," adds another user who shares, "I use the conditioner with it and a diffuser."
4. Best Splurge-Worthy Conditioner For Dry Hair
Dry hair also means knots that can be impossible to comb through without losing clumps of hair in the process. Mixed Chicks Detangling Deep Conditioner uses safflower oil to deeply penetrate brittle strands and impart moisture. Ideal for thick, curly, or generally hard-to-detangle hair, this conditioner works miracle as increasing softness and manageability. While it might seem like a bit of a splurge, this version comes in a massive 33-ounce pump bottle, so you won't be running out of conditioner anytime soon. Plus, a little product goes a long way.
One reviewer writes, "My daughter has very dry hair and this is the only product that consistently gets the snarls out and keeps her hair soft but not weighed down or greasy."
Another says, "I have tired all sorts of products on my hair, but this is the best conditioner I've ever used. I normally have very dry curly hair, but within a few days of using this my hair retained moisture and became much more manageable."
5. Best Drugstore Conditioner For Dry Hair
If you're looking for a drugstore fix for your dry hair, L'Oréal Paris's Elvive Extraordinary Oil Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner promises noticeably nourished and tangle-free hair after just one use. The secret for delivering maximum moisture in this conditioner is a concentrated hair serum that makes up 20 percent of the formula. The serum contains camellia oil and sunflower oil which contain fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E. All these help protect and moisturize hair for a silky-smooth finish. And the best part is that despite its deep conditioner name, it only needs to sit on your hair for one minute before you can rinse it clean.
"After multiple protein reconstruction treatments during the long process of going back to brunette from bleached blonde, my hair was still frizzy and dry. In 60 seconds, this took my hair from fuzzy and frizzy to shiny and healthy for the first time in months," one reviewer reports.
6. Best Drugstore Shampoo & Conditioner Bundle For Dry Hair
If you're looking for a completely fresh start with a new shampoo and conditioner, make your search easier with this two-in-one set from L'Oréal Paris. Both the shampoo and conditioner are sulfate-free, so they're safe for color-treated and chemically-processed hair, and they're formulated without any heavy waxes (so fine-haired friends with dry hair can use them too without being weighed down). Apricot seed oil is the hydrator of choice here, which, like many of the other oils on this list, is rich in fatty acids that help to immediately condition the hair while also sealing in moisture to maintain hydration. Expect softer, silkier, shinier hair — bonus points for the delicious scent.
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