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Amazing hair can amount to an amazing amount of confidence. But nearly everyone has suffered from a bit of hair damage in their day, whether it's from going a little overboard with color, hot tools, or chemical treatments. In fact, some of the most common causes of damaged hair include heat damage from blow-drying and hot tools, chemical damage as a result of highlights or straightening, and environmental damage from sun exposure, says Tina Deeke, hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. The good news is that there are plenty of shampoos out there for damaged strands that'll give your hair a much-needed revival. Trust that employing these products will breathe life into weak, brittle, and dry strands
When it comes to undoing damage, look for products that contain antioxidants, protein, ceramides, lipids, and healing oils to incorporate into your wash routine. It may take some trial and error to figure out what works for you, but here, with the help of Nunzio Saviano, salon owner and NYC-based stylist, we've rounded up the very best strengthening shampoos for all types of damaged hair.
Scroll down for the winner's list of the best shampoos for damaged hair.
Best Overall: Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
If there's one shampoo for damaged hair that people unanimously agree on, it's this pick from Olaplex. Whether you're dealing with split ends or excess frizz as a result of environmental stressors, chemical treatments, or heat styling, this formula can help undo the damage. It works by re-linking broken hair bonds so your mane is stronger, more manageable, and healthier.
Best Budget: OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo
Not only does this formula infuse strands with essential vitamins with reparative and strengthening benefits, but it also helps hair look thicker and fuller, thanks to the inclusion of collagen. It's the perfect volumizing option for fine, damaged hair—and the price tag doesn't hurt either.
Best Sulfate-Free: Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo
If a foamy shampoo and deep conditioning mask had a baby, the result would be this hydrating shampoo. It features a unique blend of hydrating oils and natural extracts that deliver a surge of moisture to dry, damaged hair, as well as repairing ingredients like biotin and panthenol to prevent breakage and seal up split ends.
Runner-Up, Best Sulfate-Free: Davines Nourishing Shampoo
This ultra-nourishing shampoo is a favorite of Faith Xue, Byrdie editorial director, and for good reason. It has a gentle sulfate-free formula that works wonders on dry scalp and brittle, damaged hair. Plus, the shampoo is formulated with antioxidants that protect hair from further damage. Reviewers note how soft and shiny their damaged hair feels after using this shampoo.
Best Drugstore: Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo for Damaged Hair
For salon-quality results at drugstore prices, look to this protein-rich shampoo that can repair severely damaged hair. Results might be visible after just one wash if you use it with the full Keraphix system.
Best for Color-Treated Hair: Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Shampoo
Coloring your hair, especially often, can wreak havoc on strands. This hydrating shampoo can work wonders to curb the level of damage. It includes jojoba, green tea, and sage to strengthen and protect hair. Since it's formulated specifically for color-treated hair, it goes a step further and protects your dye job at the same time.
Best for Fine Hair: Shu Uemura Ultimate Reset Shampoo
Nunzio Saviano, master stylist and the owner of New York-based Nunzio Saviano Salon, had nothing but stellar things to say about this reparative shampoo: "I love that it's gently purifying while still strengthening the hair," he says. "It doesn't weigh the hair down, which typical repair products do. So you're still able to achieve your optimal style.”
Best for Protection: Living proof Restore Shampoo
Trust us—this shampoo will leave your hair healthier, shinier, and more prepared to withstand the elements. The star of its formula is Living Proof's patented healthy hair molecule, a compound designed by MIT scientists that repairs damaged cuticles and helps protect against future stressors. (It also helps repel dirt and oil, which we love.) Also, if you dye your hair, no problem—this shampoo is color-safe.
Best for Thick Hair: R+Co Atlantis Moisturizing Shampoo
If you have thick hair and your strands have seen better days, you're in luck—this R+Co shampoo is designed just for you. Vitamin B5 delivers a major dose of hydration while prickly pear stem extract (which contains lots of vitamin E, minerals, and antioxidants) repairs and nourishes. Basically, you'll have silkier hair in no time.
Best for Split Ends: Kerastase Resistance Bain Force Architecte Reconstructing Shampoo
Think of this as a hair pick-me-up in a bottle because of the combination of pro-keratin, which is made to rebuild broken strands, and resurrection sap, which repairs the hair fiber.
"This is a great everyday shampoo that works to reconstruct weak, brittle hair with ingredients that rebuild and strengthen," says Saviano. "Plus, it works on all hair textures."
Best for Curly Hair: Mizani True Textures Moisture Replenish Shampoo
Formulated specifically for wavy, curly, and coily hair, this shampoo delivers maximum moisture, controls frizz, and restores the natural pattern of your hair—all thanks to hero ingredients like coconut, marula, and olive oils. An added bonus: It's free of sulfates, parabens, and silicone.
Best Keratin: Virtue Recovery Shampoo
This award-winning shampoo is what your stressed-out strands have been looking for. Why? It's loaded with nutrients to reform dry, brittle, and weak strands.
Best Splurge: Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo
If your color-treated or damaged hair needs a little love, invest in this gorgeous bottle that will provide equally gorgeous results. Natural oils and a restorative complex unique to the brand will breathe life back into your hair.
"This is an iconic, reparative shampoo that's super gentle yet extremely rejuvenating," says Saviano. "The natural oils deeply penetrate for optimal results."
Runner-Up, Best Splurge: Philip B. Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo
Before you turn your nose up at the thought of spending this much on a shampoo, trust that this stuff is seriously next-level. Dubbed "the fountain of youth for your hair," the rectifying formula will make your previously damaged strands feel good as new.
Look no further than these shampoos to bring life back to your dry, brittle, damaged hair. Our top choice, Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, repairs broken hair bonds for stronger, smoother, healthier hair, no matter what’s caused your damage. If you’re on a budget, you can’t go wrong with OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo, which is loaded with reparative and strengthening vitamins. Finally, if you have color-treated hair that’s also damaged, Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Shampoo deeply nourishes hair while also protecting your dye job.
What to Look for in a Shampoo for Damaged Hair
Damaged hair often feels very dry, so it’s important to look for a shampoo that has moisturizing and smoothing properties, says Deeke. 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.
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 back into a healthy mane.
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 strands and won’t strip your hue.