7 Shampoos That Are Gentle On Dry, Damaged Hair

For those struggling with hair breakage, it’s hard to find the best shampoo for dry, damaged hair with split ends that won't cause more dryness. It can be tempting to ditch shampoo for good, but keeping your scalp clean is essential for healthy hair. You don’t have to ban shampoo for good to revive your hair’s health. Find a product with nourishing ingredients and you can give your mane some love while you cleanse.

Traditional shampoos can be brutal on the hair by stripping it of its natural oils. Anyone who's ever washed their hair with the wrong shampoo knows they can be drying — even if they're followed up by a great conditioner. People with dry or damaged hair should focus on finding a shampoo that'll remove excess oils without removing everything.

Your genetics and hair history will help you decide which shampoo (or no-poo) is best for you. Dry hair types should look for mild cleansers that are free from sulfates, sodium chloride, and formaldehyde — drying ingredients that may work well for oily hair, but can do more harm than good to dry hair. While everyone is different, these seven gentle shampoos are a great place to start.


A Lathering Hair Cleanser That Treats Dry Hair Naturally

Soapberry for Hair, Awakening Peppermint, $20, Amazon

Truly a gift from nature bottled up and made for all hair types, this awakening peppermint shampoo is going to be amazing on dry hair. It gently cleanses the hair without stripping the scalp of its natural oils. In case you aren’t familiar with soapberries, they are the odorless relative of lychees. Since they have extremely gentle antiseptic and antimicrobial properties and naturally lather, they’re wonderful alternatives to sulfates. This organic cleanser is infused with peppermint to give your scalp a tingling sensation, and it’s pH-balanced, which is important for scalp health.


A Hydrating Shampoo That's Made For Color-Treated Hair

Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo, $46, Amazon

Created with a sulfate-free formula to repair dry, brittle strands, this hydrating shampoo contains awapuhi extract to increase manageability and moisture. This shampoo may be pricey, but loyal customers are finding this investment brings soft, shiny hair. It contains keratin protein to rebuild and strengthen damaged strands. Gentle enough for daily washers, it’s going to be ideal for finer textures to wash-and-go because it offers a deep, lathering cleanse. This is a great shampoo to splurge on damaged, color-treated hair.


A Poo-Less Option For Afro-Textured Curls

Deva Curl No-Poo, $17, Amazon

If you’re jonesin' to start your new shampoo-less life, Deva Curl’s No-Poo cleanser will hook you up by keeping hair moisturized and squeaky clean. This is a great hair cleanser for afro-textured curls because it’s enriched with stimulating, hair-growing botanicals that help the scalp maintain a healthy environment for new growth. Not technically a shampoo, but definitely a cleanser, this option gently gets down to business by keeping the hair clean and nourished from frazzled ends to dry roots.


A Strengthening Shampoo That Fights Dry Split Ends

Pureology Strength Cure, $28, Amazon

Made with a sulfate-free formula to prevent breakage, this strengthening shampoo is a great way to fight split ends. It’s wonderful for folks that want the same powerful cleanse of traditional shampoo without further drying out their tresses. By adding moisture, repairing hair bonds, and restoring the hairs natural vibrancy, it helps seal split ends while defending against future hair breakage. This treatment is safe for color-treated hair and it has plenty of antioxidants to keep your hair thriving.


A Repairing Co-Wash For Coarser Textures

R+Co Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner, $29, Amazon

For permanently dehydrated textures, this cleansing foam conditioner is a wonderful addition to your hair routine. This co-wash removes dirt and product buildup while nourishing the hair to keep it soft and manageable. It’s formulated with horsetail extract which cleans and strengthens fragile hair and nettle leaf extract to add shine and repair hair damage. Loaded with antioxidants to protect and restore hair, this cleansing foam offers a similar lather to shampoo without any of the usual suspects that cause dryness and breakage.


A Restorative Shampoo For Damaged Processed Hair

Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Shampoo, $33, Amazon

This restoration shampoo is made specifically to nourish super damaged hair. It solidified the hair fiber within by using lipids and ceramides that bind the hair cuticle. The hydrating formula helps prevent split ends, so it’s going to work wonders on hair breakage. Though it isn’t a clarifying shampoo, it’s definitely a wise choice to use in between relaxers and it’s safe enough for color-treated hair.


A Natural Shampoo That's Loaded With Natural Oils

Majestic Pure Argan Oil Shampoo, $14, Amazon

You can immerse your dry strands in strengthening carotene, fatty acids, and moisturizing natural oils with this sulfate-free shampoo. It’s gentle formula works well with sensitive scalps and fragile hair in search of hydration. This shampoo has a hearty ingredient list that includes: argan, almond, avocado, jojoba, coconut, and tea seed oils, plus botanical keratin to strengthen weak strands. With loads of hair-loving ingredients and zero hair-drying ingredients, this is a great way to restore shine and moisture while you cleanse.

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