Trust me when I say that I understand what it is like to have severely damaged hair; only, my damage was brought on by illness and stress rather than styling.
You see, over the past few years my poor locks went through a lot: there were the three major surgeries I had, which required anesthesia and meant that my hair got no attention for almost two months; the chemotherapy sessions that left me feeling nauseous most of the time; and then, there was the anxiety disorder that kept me in bed for days on end with zero human interaction.
My hair went through breakage after breakage, it lost its shine, its bounce, and became extremely frizzy. And the worst part about all of this? My hair was nowhere near ready to accept a dye job when I finally felt healthy enough to go back to my stylist.
That’s when I began the search for the best shampoo for damaged hair. And this list of 19 options is what I found.
These shampoos were specially designed with damaged hair in mind and will help rebuild it from the inside out, giving you the freedom to snip off that split end in peace without ruining your chances of ever having healthy hair again.
What causes dry and damaged hair?
So, what exactly is it that causes hair to become dry and brittle? Well, the answer is pretty simple: over-styling and over-processing.
In simple terms: if you use heat styling tools, chemical dyes, or bleach your hair too often – your hair is going to become damaged.
What’s more, heat styling is just one of the many reasons why people end up with dry hair – harsh chemical treatments used on color-treated hair can strip it of any natural lipids it may have left, leaving the cuticles dry and damaged.
Do certain hair types get damaged more easily?
Some hair types are indeed more resistant to damage than others but everyone loses their natural lipids with time and over-styling. What matters most is the frequency at which you style your locks – if you let them go for months without doing anything to them, all sorts of bad things can happen.
And for you girls out there who love their hydrogen peroxide, remember: please don’t tone your hair too often, either!
What are the signs of damaged hair?
There are quite a few ways of telling if your hair has been damaged by styling tools or harsh treatments, but some are easier to spot than others. For example, you may notice that the ends of your locks look dry and frizzy – this is true for most types of hair as frizziness is often a sign of dry hair.
You may also find that your hair tangles more easily, or that it’s simply not as shiny as it used to be. This is another clear sign of damage because split-ends lead to breakage and, therefore, lack of shine.
Can a moisturizing shampoo fix damaged hair?
You should also consider ditching your old brushes and combs, taking biotin supplements, giving up on dye jobs for a while (or forever) – essentially doing anything that will help you build healthy hair back up from the ground.
Of course, moisturizing shampoos are not the only way you can fix severely damaged hair. But for this article, that’s what we’ll be talking about.
The Best Shampoo For Damaged Hair – 19 Choices!
What are the best shampoos for damaged hair?
For this article, we’ve selected 19 shampoos that were specially designed to help you fix severe hair damage and get back your healthy hair.
Best overall: Dove Hair Therapy Shampoo
If we only had to pick one of these shampoos from this list, it would be this one from Dove. Dove is one of the most popular brands when it comes to moisturizing and repairing shampoos and you can certainly tell why.
This cruelty-free shampoo is designed for dry and damaged hair – but, more importantly, it has an amino acid-based formula that’s good enough to repair even the driest locks out there. What I like about this shampoo is that it washes out in a flash and leaves absolutely no residue, making it perfect for everyday use.
What’s more, Dove Hair Therapy is sulfate-free which makes it even friendlier towards your locks. It also has an extremely fresh scent that will make you want to wash your hair every day!
Best for chemically treated hair: Luseta Biotin & Collagen Shampoo
If you’ve ever chemically treated your hair, then you know how important it is that you use a shampoo that will nourish and fix the damage. In other words, it’s a super moisture shampoo.
This Luseta shampoo has an amazing formula with collagen and biotin – two ingredients known for reversing hair loss and repairing damaged locks. It also has argan oil and amino acids – this shampoo is designed to fix just about all the damage your hair may have suffered!
What’s more, although it contains sulfates, they are milder than most shampoos on the market. This means that you get a deep clean without scrubbing too harshly at your locks.
Best for brittle hair: L’Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair Shampoo
If brittle hair is your main concern when it comes to damage, then you should consider this shampoo.
Elvive Total Repair has ceramides which are great for strengthening hair strands – it’s also one of the best shampoos when it comes to repairs and nourishment of dry locks.
What I like about this shampoo is that it makes my hair feel extremely soft and silky to the touch, but without any sort of residue. I feel like it transforms my brittle hair into feeling much more thick, strong, and healthy.
Best for color-treated hair: Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo
If you’re looking for something that will not only fix your severely damaged hair, but a shampoo that will color-protect it in the process, then look no further.
What I like about this product is how gentle it is on the scalp and locks in general – even after a few months of using it, my hair still feels in great condition.
What’s more, this shampoo moisturizes and repairs your hair without leaving any residue or build-up on it – thanks to its amino acids. It’s also great for dry hair!
Best for fine hair: Living proof Restore Shampoo
Do you have extremely fine hair? If so, then this shampoo is your best friend.
What makes it so great is that not only does it moisturize and nourish your locks, but it also gives them an incredible volume boost – I felt like my fine hair was truly transformed when I started using this product!
Another thing that sets this shampoo apart from the competition is that it’s made for color-treated hair, so you can rest assured that it won’t strip your locks of their color.
Living proof Restore leaves no residue on my locks and it does a great job moisturizing my dry hair!
Best for lifeless hair: Pureology Hydrate Shampoo
As the name says, Pureology Hydrate Shampoo is designed to hydrate your locks – but, more importantly, it’s made for lifeless hair.
If you constantly feel like your hair is just too dull and limp to have any life in it whatsoever, then this shampoo will be a real game-changer for you!
What I love about this product is that it makes my locks not only feel incredibly soft to the touch, but also extremely smooth – imagine how great it would feel run your fingers through your locks after using this shampoo? Amazing!
Best for thinning hair: Damila Salt & Sulfate Free Shampoo
Thinning hair is a sign that your locks are severely damaged. This means that you need a product that will nourish and strengthen them – which is exactly what Damila Salt & Sulfate Free Shampoo does.
The thing I like about this cruelty-free shampoo is that it does a wonderful job of hydrating my dry hair. This means that you get more volume, stronger hair, and better shine all with one product.
It’s also completely vegan and free of any harsh chemicals that could end up damaging your hair even further, so it’s a great choice for ladies who want to fix their locks from the roots!
Best drugstore shampoo for damaged hair: Redken Extreme Shampoo
What I like about this cruelty-free shampoo is how soft and conditioned my locks feel after every use – it’s a nourishing shampoo that can be used daily if needed.
Another thing I really like about this product is that it doesn’t have a strong scent, so it’s perfect for ladies who don’t want their locks to smell too strongly after washing them.
Best luxury shampoo for damaged hair: TIGI Bed Head Resurrection Shampoo
If you have the money to spend on a luxury shampoo, then this is it!
What makes this product so great for ladies with severely damaged hair is that not only does it nourish and hydrate excessively dry locks – it also repairs them from their roots.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when my locks are in their worst state, it’s almost impossible to leave them alone until they’re better – this cruelty-free shampoo is perfect for in-between times because it’ll hydrate your locks, but not weigh them down.
The thing I like the most about this product is that not only does it have amazing results, but it also has silk amino acids which give my curly hair a healthy shine without making it greasy!
The rest of these shampoos didn’t make it to our list, but we thought they deserved an honorable mention anyway.
Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
Bad hair days are a thing of the past for me now that I started using this shampoo. It has completely transformed my locks!
What makes it so special is that it repairs your locks from their roots, meaning that you’ll get stronger and healthier locks in just a few uses.
The scent is also absolutely incredible – it reminds me of summer, which is great because it puts me in a good mood whenever I use it!
Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo
This shampoo is perfect for ladies who have dyed their locks, because it’s designed to nourish them without stripping them. It also comes with some amazing results – my locks look extremely healthy and vibrant after using this product.
The one thing I love about this shampoo is that it is sulfate-free – so your locks won’t dry out or become greasy after using it!
Luseta Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner
I don’t know about you, but when I had damaged hair worse than usual, nothing could fix it. So I’ve been searching for a product that would strengthen and hydrate my locks and finally found one: Luseta Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner!
To be honest with you, even though this shampoo is designed to specifically nourish and hydrate locks damaged by keratin treatments, it works perfectly well for hair that isn’t chemically treated – which means that if you have severely dry hair on a regular basis, this shampoo will bring back the shine!
Another thing I really like about this product is how high quality it is for its price – you get amazing results without spending too much money.
Love Beauty And Planet Hope and Repair Shampoo
There are so many reasons why I love this shampoo, but the main one is that it’s extremely affordable. That doesn’t mean that it has bad results – quite the contrary!
My locks have never looked better or healthier after using Love Beauty And Planet Hope and Repair Shampoo. It contains incredible ingredients, like chamomile extract and coconut oil, which help to moisturize hair and protect it from heat damage.
The best thing about it – its scent! It’s amazing, and whenever I use it my whole bathroom smells like fresh oranges. What more could a girl want?
Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Daily Damage Repair Shampoo
I’m sure you’ve all heard of Carol’s Daughter, as they make some of the best hair products out there.
Their Almond Milk Daily Damage Repair Shampoo is a gentle shampoo designed to nourish dry locks. What makes it so great for ladies with severely damaged hair is that it repairs your locks from their roots – which means you’ll end up with stronger and healthier hair in no time.
Another thing that I absolutely love about it is its scent – it’s so fresh, clean and sweet! It will definitely bring out your inner goddess.
I really recommend this shampoo for ladies who have dried out locks – it’s a powerful clarifying shampoo that will change your locks completely.
Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo for Damaged Hair
Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo comes with a great price tag, but it will improve the quality of your hair greatly.
I’ve been using this strengthening shampoo for years and even though I constantly dye my locks, they always end up looking extremely healthy and shiny after I start using this product.
What makes it so special is that it uses coconut oil to repair your hair from its roots, although it will take a few washes to see the results.
Another great thing about this shampoo is that you can use it even if your locks aren’t damaged and still get amazing results! Your locks will become stronger and healthier without any extra effort needed.
SheaMoisture Moisture Retention Shampoo
SheaMoisture is one of the most popular brands on the market, and I’m sure you’ve all heard about it. Thanks to the addition of shea butter in all their products, they bring us some of the best haircare products out there!
One thing I love about SheaMoisture Moisture Retention Shampoo is that it’s extremely affordable – and yet, it’s capable of bringing your hair back to life.
Its primary purpose is to hydrate and nourish dry locks, so if that’s what you’re looking for then this strengthening shampoo will definitely meet your demands.
Another great thing about it is that even though it might take a few washes before you see the results, once they come they will stay with you for a long time.
In general, I would recommend this shampoo if you have severely dry hair – it’s so hydrating that your locks will become healthier in no time!
Redken Bonding Shampoo for Damaged Hair
If you’re looking for a shampoo that will make your hair healthy and shiny, then I recommend Redken Bonding Shampoo.
As the name suggests, this shampoo is designed to bond with your locks – making them stronger, healthier, and shinier. It’s especially great for ladies who have dyed their locks often because it repairs the damage.
Another great thing about it is that you can use it on a daily basis as well, although I would recommend applying conditioner as well.
All in all, this shampoo will leave your hair feeling stronger, healthier and more vibrant. You’ll definitely notice the difference!
Malibu C: Natural Protective Hard Water Wellness Kit
We have all been there – those unfortunate times when our locks become more dry and damaged than they should be.
The best way to get rid of that is by using Malibu C: Natural Protective Hard Water Wellness Kit.
This kit brings 3 products designed to make your locks stronger, healthier, and more vibrant – and it will do its job! I love the fact that it is also sulfate-free, making it perfect for any hair type and sparing your natural oils.
One thing I especially love about it is that it contains coconut oil – making it a great choice for coarse hair.
BIOLAGE Colorlast Shampoo
If you’re looking for a shampoo that will help your hair get better, then this kit is exactly what you need.
It’s designed to repair and protect colored hair, and I love the fact that it doesn’t contain any harmful silicones. Even though it might not be extremely nourishing on its own, you can always use a conditioner for extra hydration.
What makes this shampoo so special is the fact that it provides UV protection which will help your color stay intact longer!
SheaMoisture Strengthen and Restore Shampoo for Damaged Hair
What’s so great about this shampoo is that it heals dry and damaged locks layer by layer. Your hair will become more nourished and healthier than ever before!
Another great thing about it is that you can use it on a daily basis as well, and the effects will remain the same.
In general, I would recommend this shampoo to ladies who have severely dry hair – it’s so hydrating that your locks will become healthier in no time!
The trick to having better-looking locks in less time is simple: use a moisturizing shampoo that contains kukui nut oil, shea butter, argan oil, or anything else that will help you rebuild your hair from within. This means looking for a sulfate-free shampoo that suits your hair type.
What’s more, you should always keep in mind that repairing damaged hair is an ongoing process – small split-ends will appear along the way no matter how well you take care of your locks, but they can be easily fixed once you learn to recognize them and get rid of them before they cause more damage.
Sick of shampoo? Want to try a co-wash instead?
Read our article on the best co-washes for curly hair and make the switch today!