These 13 Shampoos Are What Your Damaged Hair Needs

Kérastase Resistance Bain Force Architecte Strengthening Shampoo is our favorite

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Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Byrdie / Peter Ardito

We can accept the fact that some people are just blessed with better hair than others. But is the desire for healthy hair too much to ask? Most definitely not—and that's where reparative hair care comes in.

Final Verdict

Our top choice is Kérastase’s Resistance Bain Force Architecte Strengthening Shampoo, a stylist-approved formula that calls on keratin proteins, amino acids, and ceramides to restore damaged hair. For a wallet-friendly pick, you can’t go wrong with the moisture-rich Aussie Total Miracle Shampoo.

The right shampoo can help reverse some of the effects of daily blow-drying, years of coloring, or back-to-back chemical treatments. According to Chicago-based hairstylist Shelly Aguirre of Maxine Salon, there are a few types of 'poo that can remedy the issue. "If the hair is damaged from too much color or heat, you will want to add protein to build up the strength of the shaft," she tells Byrdie. "Amino acid is another key ingredient that will lend to repair." However, if your hair simply looks damaged due to overly dry strands, she recommends reaching for a moisturizing shampoo.

To find the very best damage-repairing shampoos, we first took one of the highest-rated options for a spin, our tester rating how well it repaired damage and improved strength, elasticity, and hydration. We then coupled Aguirre's expert recommendations with our own extensive research to compile this list.

Ahead, the best shampoos for damaged hair.

Best Overall: Kérastase Resistance Bain Force Architecte Strengthening Shampoo

4.6
Kérastase Resistance Shampoo

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Contains keratin

  • Strengthens

  • Smooths split ends

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Infused with pro-keratin and ceramides, our top choice gives broken hair a little pick-me-up while working to repair frayed fibers and even potentially encouraging new growth. With daily use, you can expect your brittle hair to look and feel stronger with fewer split ends and an overall more lustrous appearance.

"Kérastase Bain Force Architecte is a great shampoo to help repair hair that is damaged," Aguirre tells Byrdie, noting that the brand's Resistance formula transformed her hair from overprocessed to healthy. "It has a balance of protein and amino acids that restores the hair instantly."

Also, Aguirre says, "You will notice how concentrated the products are, which means you will need to use less." Considering this shampoo is on the pricier end of the spectrum, this means you'll get way more bang for your buck. Consider it worth the splurge.

Hair Type: Damaged | Sulfate-Free: No | Size: 8.5 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Budget: Aussie Total Miracle Shampoo

Aussie Total Miracle Shampoo

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Moisturizing

  • Smooths split ends

What We Don't Like
  • May be too heavy for fine hair

On a budget? You can count on Aussie Total Miracle to deliver the TLC your hair craves. Boasting a blend of apricot and macadamia oils, the formula provides ample moisture and protection while smoothing split ends.

Hair Type: Damaged, dry | Sulfate-Free: No | Size: 12 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore: Nexxus Keraphix Damage Healing Shampoo

Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Contains keratin

  • Noticeable results

What We Don't Like
  • May be too heavy for fine hair

While there are lots of standout drugstore formulas, we're particularly fond of Nexxus Keraphix. According to the brand, this protein-rich shampoo provides healthier-looking hair after just one wash and works to repair damaged hair with continued use.

Hair Type: Damaged, dry | Sulfate-Free: No | Size: 33.8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Splurge: Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo

Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo

Courtesy of Nordstrom

What We Like
  • Contains biotin

  • Repairing

  • Nice scent

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Aguirre appreciates that Oribe's blend of argan oil, biotin, and other state-of-the-art ingredients not only helps to heal the hair but also leaves it smelling amazing. "After using Gold Lust, the shine alone will turn you into a fan," she says. "The price tag is higher, but you will find it is definitely worth it."

Hair Type: Dry, damaged | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 8.5 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Bond-Building: Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

5
Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
What We Like
  • Patented bond-building technology

  • Repairing

  • Nice scent

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

If you're not on the bond-building bandwagon yet, allow us to introduce you to the brand that started it all. Olaplex's patented technology works to repair broken hair on a molecular level while protecting your hair from further damage.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 8.5 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

What Our Editors Say

"Olaplex saved my hair. Full stop. In my mid-20s, my hair texture went from healthy to extremely dry and brittle. I had been on a journey to grow it out past shoulder length, and it just wasn't happening. So, after a fellow beauty editor recommended it, I decided to try out this miracle product. After the first use, I could feel an immediate difference in my hair. It felt softer, moisturized, and even healthier. And, after a few months of diligent application, I finally reached my hair length goals." Madeline Hirsch, Senior News Editor

Best Moisturizing: Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo

briogeo dont despair repair shampoo

Courtesy of Briogeo

What We Like
  • Moisturizing

  • Contains biotin

  • Smooths split ends

What We Don't Like
  • May be too heavy for fine hair

Thirsty hair? Reach for Briogio's Super Moisture Shampoo. Containing earth-sourced oils and biotin, the formula combines the deep conditioning of a mask with the foaming lather of a traditional 'poo to provide a much-needed surge of hydration and damage control to boot.

Hair Type: Damaged, dry | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 16 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Strenghtening: Fekkai Super Strength Shampoo

Fekkai Super Strength Shampoo

Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Contains keratin

  • Strengthens

  • Nice scent

What We Don't Like
  • Not very moisturizing

In addition to keratin, this strengthening shampoo is infused with rice protein and vitamin B5 and helps to protect from heat styling and environmental damage. The all-star formula fortifies brittle hair and revives weak, overprocessed, color-treated hair from root to end.

Hair Type: Damaged, color-treated, chemically treated | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 8.5 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Split Ends: Amika The Kure Bond Repair Shampoo

Amika The Kure Bond Repair Shampoo

Amazon

What We Like
  • Contains amino acids

  • Bond-repair technology

  • Nice scent

What We Don't Like
  • May be too heavy for fine hair

Split ends got you down? With a blend of amino acids and omega-rich sea buckthorn berry, Amika's The Kure boasts its own bond-repairing complex to mend broken hair from root to tip.

Hair Type: Damaged, color-treated, chemically treated | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Natural Hair: Pattern Hydration Shampoo

Pattern Hydration Shampoo

Ulta

What We Like
  • Moisturizing

  • Promotes elasticity

  • Formulated for natural hair

What We Don't Like
  • May be too heavy for fine hair

Formulated with coily, curly, and tight textures in mind, Pattern Hydration Shampoo provides a heaping dose of moisture. Natural ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, and honey hydrate stressed hair while leaving you with stronger, more elastic hair.

Hair Type: Textured, curly, dry, damaged | Sulfate-Free: No | Size: 9.8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Curly Hair: Curls Dynasty Cocoa Mint Moisture Rich Shampoo

Curls Dynasty Cocoa Mint Moisture Rich Shampoo

 Courtesy of Target

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Moisturizing

  • Contains organic ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • May be too heavy for fine hair

For curly-headed beauties, we recommend Curls Dynasty. The ultra-moisturizing, organic-based formula contains ingredients parched hair craves like aloe juice, botanical extracts, coconut oil, olive oil, vitamin E, and cocoa butter.

Hair Type: Curly, textured, dry | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Color-Treated Hair: Pureology Hydrate Shampoo

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Moisturizing

  • Contains amino acids

  • Prevents color fading

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Color-treated hair? Your best bet is Pureology Hydrate Shampoo. The moisturizing formula calls on jojoba oil, plant proteins, and amino acids to strengthen damaged hair and protect color vibrancy.

Hair Type: Color-treated, dry | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 9 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Sulfate-Free: Davines NaturalTech Nourishing Shampoo

Davines Nourishing Shampoo

 Courtesy of Davines

What We Like
  • Moisturizing

  • Nourishing

  • Smooths split ends

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

  • Expensive

Davines NaturalTech flaunts an earth-sourced formula that's free of sulfates and chock full of antioxidants and polyphenols, which are micronutrients derived from plants. This shampoo does wonders on dry scalps and split ends while mending and protecting brittle hair.

Hair Type: Damaged, dry | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 8.45 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Pump Bottle: Luseta Perfect Bonding Restoring Shampoo

Luseta Perfect Bonding Restoring Shampoo

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Generous size

  • Contains amino acids

  • Nice scent

What We Don't Like
  • Not very moisturizing

This hefty pump bottle from Luseta contains nearly 34 ounces of bond-restoring shampoo. Thanks to quinoa seed extract, it supplies nine essential amino acids to strengthen the stressed hair shaft while encouraging healthy hair growth.

Hair Type: Damaged, color-treated, flaky | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Size: 33.8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Final Verdict

Our number one pick is the Kérastase Resistance Bain Force Architecte Strengthening Shampoo, a stylist-approved formula that calls on keratin proteins, amino acids, and ceramides to restore damaged hair. If you're on a budget, your best bet is the moisture-rich Aussie Total Miracle Shampoo. Open to splurging? Go with Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo.

Olaplex Bond Maintenance System Kit
Byrdie / Ashley Rubell

Meet the Expert

  • Shelly Aguirre is a professional stylist at Maxine Salon, a premier hair destination in Chicago, Illinois. With 12 years of experience teaching haircare classes at salons and tradeshows, she is one of the most sought-after stylists and educators in the industry.
  • Tina Deeke is a senior colorist at Maxine Salon with 18 years of experience. She is responsible for initiating balayage into the salon and worked 12 years as a stylist before switching over to hair color.
  • John Pulitano is a stylist and the co-owner and creative director of Headcase Hair, a salon in Sydney, Australia.



What to Look for in a Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Moisturizing Ingredients

Damaged hair often feels very dry, so it’s important to look for a shampoo that has moisturizing and smoothing properties, says Chicago-based hairstylist Tina Deeke of Maxine Salon. Some of the best moisturizing ingredients to look for in a shampoo for damaged hair include hydrating oils such as coconut, jojoba, and olive. They’ll help keep hair feeling soft and looking shiny. 

Strengthening Ingredients

Because damaged hair also tends to be brittle, keep your eye out for a strengthening formula when shopping for shampoo, says Deeke. Look for reparative ingredients like keratin and biotin on the label. These ingredients will help minimize breakage so you can transform your damaged hair into healthy hair.

Color-Safe Formula

Deeke also suggests looking for a shampoo that’s safe for color-treated hair. This will help keep your damaged hair looking vibrant. Choosing a sulfate-free formula is a good bet for damaged, color-treated hair since it will be gentle on your hair and won’t strip your hue.

FAQ
  • How often should you shampoo damaged hair?

    According to John Pulitano, salon co-owner and Sydney, Australia-based stylist, those with dry, damaged, and processed hair should shampoo up to twice a week, at most. “More than this can irritate the scalp and unbalance its natural oils,” he says. He also adds that the product you use is equally as important as how often you use it and recommends looking for nourishing products that contain reparative ingredients like keratin protein. 

  • Is dry shampoo safe for damaged hair?

    Pulitano says it's safe for those with damaged hair to use dry shampoo. “The key is to use a good quality one,” he says. “You’ll also need to shampoo your hair properly to remove product buildup.”

Why Trust Byrdie?

Theresa Holland is a freelance commerce writer specializing in cosmetics. For this article, she interviewed a hairstylist, compiling their product recommendations and tips on what to look for. Before landing on her final selections, she pored over ingredients lists, referenced several peer-reviewed journals, and combed through reviews. From the above, she has personally tried Kerastase, Aussie, Oribe, Amika, and Olaplex. Theresa has been contributing to Byrdie since 2020, where she covers hair care, makeup, and skincare.

Nexxus Hair Shampoo
Byrdie / Joline Buscemi
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  2. Oh JH, Jeong KH, Kim JE, Kang H. Synthesized ceramide induces growth of dermal papilla cells with potential contribution to hair growth. Ann Dermatol. 2019;31(2):164-174. doi:10.5021/ad.2019.31.2.164

  3. Faria PM, Camargo LN, Carvalho RSH, Paludetti LA, Velasco MVR, Gama RM da. Hair protective effect of argan oil (argania spinosa kernel oil) and cupuassu butter (theobroma grandiflorum seed butter) post treatment with hair dyeJCDSA. 2013;03(03):40-44. doi: 10.4236/jcdsa.2013.33A1006

  4. Replenishing amino acids in damaged hairJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2005;52(3):P114. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2004.10.463

  5. Zielińska A, Nowak I. Abundance of active ingredients in sea-buckthorn oilLipids Health Dis. 2017;16(1):95. doi: 10.1186/s12944-017-0469-7

  6. Rele AS, Mohile RB. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damageJ Cosmet Sci. 2003;54(2):175-192.

  7. Gad HA, Roberts A, Hamzi SH, et al. Jojoba oil: an updated comprehensive review on chemistry, pharmaceutical uses, and toxicityPolymers. 2021;13(11):1711. doi: 10.3390/polym13111711

  8. Ayachit T, Gajbhiye S, Vaibhav V. Quinoa a potential ingredient in cosmetics: A review. IJSDR. 2019;4(5):443-448.

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