The Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Dry Hair
Say goodbye to brittle hair for good.
Does your hair feel drier than usual? There might be a few reasons why. First, as the temperature turn cool, it's normal for hair to become more brittle (just like what happens to your skin). The same can be true if you live in a hot climate—in fact, hair and skin are affected the most by extreme environments on either side of the spectrum. Beyond environmental factors, another common culprit of dry, lackluster hair are the products you actually use to care for it—your shampoo and conditioner might actually be parching your strands. With this in mind, it's critical to understand which ingredients best benefit dry hair. And while shea butter, aloe vera, oat milk, and glycerin are well-known hydrators, some moisturizing ingredients aren't as obvious.
According to celebrity hairstylist Cheryl Marks, the best ingredients to look for in shampoos and conditioners for dry hair are all oil based: think argan oil, coconut oil, and hemp oil. Where argan is antioxidant-rich and helps repair and ward off breakage, split ends, and frizz, vitamin- and mineral-rich coconut adds next-level shine and softness. As for hemp? Thanks to its fatty acid-heavy composition, Marks says the ingredient locks moisture into each strand and restores elasticity—which means less breakage and more hydration.
But those aren't the only ingredients to put on your radar. According to celebrity hairstylist and R+Co Collective member Ashley Streicher, prickly pear, moringa oil, vitamin B5, and acai fruit oil also work wonders for brittle hair when formulated into cleansers and conditioners. Where prickly pear is chock-full of vitamin E (a natural conditioner), moringa oil is ultra-hydrating and delivers moisture straight to the scalp to replenish and prevent dryness at the root. Then there's acai: Streicher adores this ingredient for its ability to heal, hydrate, balance, and restore dull hair. "It also provides excellent protection against environmental aggressors, while also strengthening the hair so that it can grow to be strong," she explains.
Now that you're up to speed on the ingredients to know about, give your current shower products' ingredient lists a scan. If they don't boast hydrating formulas, consider the following shampoos and conditioners, which work wonders on dry, brittle hair whatever the season.
A high-quality conditioner for dry hair doesn't need to be loaded with scent. Case in point: This fragrance-free wonder from Briogeo. Made with oat milk and aloe vera, the creamy formula is a dream for brittle hair.
Shop Now: Briogeo "Be Gentle, Be Kind" Aloe + Oat Milk Ultra Soothing Fragrance-Free Hypoallergenic Conditioner, $26, sephora.com.
"Our hair gets damaged by heat styling tools, shampooing too often, and by sun exposure," celebrity hairstylist and R+Co Collective member Ashley Streicher says. "Vitamin B5 in ATLANTIS works with other nutrients to rebuild the individual hair shafts and nourish the follicle." What's more, she says it is packed with hydrating, reparative prickly pear. "It can repair damaged hair and act as protection from sun damage," she says. "Prickly pear also gives hair shine and volume."
Shop Now: R+Co ATLANTIS Moisturizing B5 Shampoo, $29, dermstore.com.
Celebrity hairstylist Cheryl Marks applauds this shampoo for its fatty acid content. "I love to use HASK's HEMP Oil and Agave products when I'm looking for [maximum] hydration," she says. "The combination of hemp oil and agave, which is also a natural humectant, adds intense moisture and glossy shine to the hair."
Shop Now: Hask Hemp Oil & Agave Moisturizing Shampoo, $5.99, ulta.com.
This deliciously-scented shampoo is infused with coconut oil, but it's renowned for its Mirsalehi honey. The ingredient—which is farm-grown—locks in moisture and promotes head-turning shine. After just one use, you'll want to add every other product in the chic line to your routine, too.
Shop Now: Gisou Honey Infused Hair Wash Shampoo, $37, sephora.com.
Shampoo: Paul Mitchell
Conditioner: Drunk Elephant
Conditioner: Hair Food
Shampoo: Fable & Mane
Coconut, aloe, and tiger herb combine to soothe, moisturize, smooth, and add shine from roots to ends.
Shop Now: Fable & Mane HoliRoots Moisturizing Shampoo, $29, sephora.com.
Made with shea butter, sunflower oil, and a bevy of other beneficial ingredients, this moisture-replenishing shampoo is worth your attention. In addition to pumping up the moisture, it also works to prevent color fade and protects against UVA and UVB rays. Talk about a multitasker!
Shop Now: Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo, $34, ulta.com.
Three minutes to visibly-improved hair? Yes, please. Enriched with avocado and jojoba oil, this longtime favorite deep conditioner will transform your texture.
Shop Now: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner, $4.99, target.com.
Shampoo: Matrix Biolage
This salon-professional, aloe-infused shampoo promises 15 times more hydrated hair after each use (so long as you use the full system, that is).
Shop Now: Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Shampoo, $30, ulta.com.
Coconut oil, glycerin, and aloe vera work together to make this conditioner as hydrating as can be.
Shop Now: OGX Extra Strength Damage Remedy + Coconut Miracle Oil Conditioner, $6.99, target.com.
Made with shea butter, olive oil, moringa seed extract, and other hydration heroes, this de-frizzing deep conditioner transforms dry hair—you'll look fresh out of the salon after just a few uses.
Shop Now: IGK Hot Girls Hydrating Conditioner, $25, sephora.com.