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12 Best Shampoos That Hydrate Dry Hair, According to Hair Pros

Moisturize split ends, damaged hair and dry scalp.

shampoos for dry hair
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Choosing a hydrating shampoo and conditioner to combat dryness is a beauty rite of passage: That's because most women want a shampoo that is moisturizing and hydrating, according to GH's survey of more than 1,400 respondents. Dry hair is often due to "chemical damage from permanent coloring or relaxants, mechanical damage from grooming and heat damage from hot tools like curling and flat irons," all of which can affect the structure of your hair fibers, says Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek. Your hormones, age and ethnicity can also be factors.

To find the best shampoo for dry hair, the GH Beauty Lab tests formulas in the Lab and with consumer testers to find the ones that actually work to hydrate parched strands. After sifting through more than 5,000 data points, these are the best-tested shampoos for dry hair, developed alongside conditioners that are meant to get you the best moisturization and hydration possible.

Our top picks

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    Best Overall Shampoo for Dry Hair
    Bio:Renew Hydrate Coconut Milk Shampoo
    Herbal Essences
    Herbal Essences

    A heavy-duty hair hydrator, this Herbal Essences drugstore shampoo (with its matching conditioner) was the winner of the GH Beauty Lab's moisturizing shampoos test. Made with coconut extract and aloe, it boasted the highest level of conditioning. The shampoo lathered most of all products tested and effectively cleansed, and the duo performed best in a test proving strong conditioning. “My dry hair was much more moisturized,” a tester marveled.

    Pair it with: Herbal Essences Bio: Renew Coconut Milk Conditioner

    • Great lather
    • Leaves hair super soft
    Best Value Shampoo for Dry Hair
    Whole Blends Replenishing Shampoo
    Garnier
    Garnier

    It may be “blended” with olive oil and argan oil, but Garnier’s combo was a front-runner in GH Beauty Lab testing for its nourishing cleansing with no heaviness. The shampoo plus its matching conditioner (below) tied for second in the Lab's combing test for conditioning, yet more than 90% of users said they didn’t weigh hair down. Hair was left “manageable”
    “supersoft” and “bouncy," testers noted. Almost all gave the “fresh” scent a perfect score.

    Pair it with: Garnier Whole Blends Replenishing Conditioner

    • Lightweight
    • Fresh scent
    • Doesn't build up on scalp
    Best Shampoo for Dry, Frizzy Hair
    Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Shampoo
    John Frieda
    John Frieda

    This John Frieda shampoo formulated to fight frizz moisturized so well in GH Beauty Lab testing that testers were tempted to skip conditioner. One felt she "could already tell a significant change in my hair texture for the better." Another said that she only needed a small amount to cleanse her long hair.

    Pair it with: John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Conditioner

    • Only need to use a little
    • Improves texture
    • Super hydrating
    Best Shampoo for Dry, Thin Hair
    Bain Magistral Shampoo for Very Dry Hair
    Kerastase
    Kérastase

    For straight or fine hair, Alvarez says, "avoid anything heavy that could weigh down your hair and instead look for a lightweight or mild formula." So if you have dry and thin hair, this Kérastase formula is your best shampoo bet for nourishment that won't deflate strands. In GH Beauty Lab testing, it provided light conditioning and earned the highest score for not weighing hair down. Testers noted how smooth their hair was after application. "Where can I buy this by the case? Where has this been all my life?" one raved.

    Pair it with: Kérastase Nutritive Conditioner for Severely Dry Hair

    • Won't weigh hair down
    • Smooths strands
    • Good for color-treated hair

    • Pricey
    Best Shampoo for Dry, Damaged Hair
    Nutritive Solutions Daily Moisture Shampoo
    Dove
    Dove

    The refreshing Dove formula and its matching conditioner also topped the GH Beauty Lab’s hydrating shampoos test: It was by far the tester favorite, with 100% stating they would continue using it. These rated best for leaving hair clean and easy to style. “The effects were wondrous,” a fan raved. “My hair was fantastic — brushable, silky and flowing.”

    Pair it with: Dove Nutritive Solutions Daily Moisture Conditioner

    • Leaves hair silky
    • Helps prevent future damage

    • Mixed reviews on the scent
    Best Shampoo for Dry, Damaged Hair with Split Ends
    Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo
    Oribe
    Oribe

    This luxurious Oribe shampoo is packed with nourishing skincare ingredients like shea butter, amino acids, vitamin C, caffeine and niacinamide, plus a laundry list of botanical oils and extracts, from argan oil to green tea. "It has noticeable silkening effects on even severely damaged hair with tattered ends— plus the fragrance leaves strands scented like a rich, high-end perfume," GH's beauty editor says.

    Pair it with: Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Conditioner

    • Powerful ingredients
    • Luxe scent
    • Softens strands

    • Pricey
    Best Shampoo for Dry Hair and Scalp
    Professionals Coconut Milk Deep Moisture Shampoo
    Suave
    Suave

    The coconut scent of this Suave formula was seriously noticeable (and described as "divine"), but the GH Beauty Lab was particularly impressed with its suds, great for deep-cleaning the scalp. "I liked that it lathered easily, rinsed well and didn't weigh down my hair," a tester shared.

    Pair it with: Suave Professionals Coconut Milk Infusion Deep Moisture Conditioner

    • Lathers nicely
    • Deep cleans scalp
    • Good value
    Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Dry Hair
    Raw Nourish Shampoo
    Matrix
    Matrix Biolage

    If you have a sensitive scalp or sulfate allergy, the GH Beauty Lab recommends this sulfate-free Biolage shampoo. Made with quinoa husk and honey, this more natural option showed a significant improvement in our testers' hair. Two testers described its "rich" feel and consistency, and another said she didn't need much to clean her entire head of hair.

    Pair it with: Biolage R.A.W. Nourish Conditioner

    • Ideal for sensitive skin and scalps
    • A little goes a long way
    • Luxe formula
    Best Shampoo for Dry, Colored Hair
    White Nectarine & Pear Color Protect Shampoo
    Hair Food
    Hair Food

    The most conditioning of all the winners of the GH Beauty Lab’s color-protecting shampoo and conditioner test, Hair Food’s sulfate-free duo hit the sweet spot for rich hydration and color-saving benefits. These came in on top in the Lab’s wet-combing test. “After five weeks, my color still looks great — my hairdresser commented on it,” one user reported. “Dyeing my hair left it very dry, and I loved how moisturized it felt after just one use,” another said.

    Pair it with: Hair Food White Nectarine & Pear Color Protect Conditioner

    • Doesn't strip color
    • Great scent

    • Can leave residue; rinse thoroughly
    Best Moisturizing Shampoo for Dry Natural Hair
    Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo
    Walmart
    Pantene

    This classic Pantene shampoo is a great choice for dry natural hair as it earned a perfect score for conditioning in GH Beauty Lab testing, key for textured strands that require a higher level of hydration. Paired with the matching shampoo, it tied for the most conditioning formula in Lab measurements of combing force through wet hair. A tester shared, "My hair is silky and voluminous," and another said it did wonders for her long, thick hair.

    Pair it with: Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Conditioner

    • Powerful conditioning effects
    • Helps with breakage
    • Works well on thick hair
    Best Deep Cleansing Shampoo for Dry Hair
    Moisture Recovery Shampoo for Dry Hair
    Joico
    Joico

    The #1 word among GH Beauty Lab testers about this Joico formula was "clean," which is exactly what you should say about your hair after a good shampoo. Not only that, but it was easy to work into the hair and rinsed out just as efficiently.

    Pair it with: Joico Moisture Recovery Conditioner

    • Gets rid of all dirt and product build-up
    • Rinses out easily
    • Pleasant smell
    Best Shampoo for Dry, Curly Hair
    Curl and Shine Coconut Shampoo for Curly Hair
    SheaMoisture
    SheaMoisture
    Now 22% off

    This shampoo from SheaMoisture contains coconut oil to nourish parched curls, plus hibiscus flower extract to improve hair elasticity (hello, bounce!) while minimizing breakage. Plus, the brand claims it's sulfate and silicone free. We haven't tested it in the Lab, but reviewers swear by it: "This shampoo looks and smells incredible and washes out of my hair in a way that makes it feel amazing," says one.

    Pair it with: SheaMoisture Curl Shine Silicone Free Conditioner for Curly Hair

    • Great scent
    • Leaves hair soft and silky
    • Hydrates curls and waves
    How we test hydrating shampoos
    ghi line

    GH Beauty Lab scientists test shampoos for dry hair both on consumers and in the Lab using technical instruments. First, the GH beauty editorial team scans the market for hydrating and moisturizing shampoos for dry hair, which are then label-masked by Lab scientists and distributed to testers across the country to use in their hair routine at home and provide feedback on their cleansing and conditioning performance, how well they soften and hydrate hair, their weight on strands and ease of use, including dispensing, lathering, rinsing, scent and irritation.

    The shampoos are also evaluated in the Lab using a swatch-wash station, where precise doses of each formula are dispensed and cleansing ability is measured, along with conditioning ability using the Instron machine (pictured below), which calculates combing force through wet hair. Last, all the data points (over 5,000 in the GH Beauty Lab's most recent test) are tallied to find the winners.

    best shampoo for dry hair
    How to find the best shampoo for dry hair
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    When it comes to choosing a hydrating shampoo, ingredients play a big role, says Cynthia Alvarez, Biolage Curl Specialist and celebrity stylist. "Look for a formula with really nourishing ingredients, like aloe vera and shea butter," she says. Alvarez also recommends seeking out vegan shampoos, as she believes "they are usually healthier for your hair and contain natural ingredients that treat your hair follicles with oils and plant extracts to protect and nourish from the roots to the ends."

    Whatever your hair type, Alvarez recommends switching up your shampoo after a while so your hair doesn't get used to one product, and adding a clarifying shampoo into your routine occasionally for a deep clean.

    Why trust Good Housekeeping?
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    The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab has been a leading expert on haircare for decades. Danusia Wnek has spent seven years researching and developing testing protocols for haircare products for the Good Housekeeping Institute. Some of these categories include cleansing conditioners, moisturizing and volumizing shampoo and conditioners, volumizing sprays, flat irons, hair dryer brushes and dry shampoos. April Franzino has over 15 years experience researching, writing, and editing haircare and hairstyling-related content utilizing the expertise of the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists and top industry professionals such as hairstylists, hair colorists, and trichologists. She is an expert in all hair product categories, from shampoos, conditioners, treatments, styling products and tools to hair color, professional services, and more. April works closely with the GH Beauty Lab to coordinate hair product testing and translate test results into best-in-class compelling, factually accurate science-backed content for Good Housekeeping magazine and Goodhousekeeping.com. Dori Price has over 15 years of experience working as a beauty editor, with haircare being one of her specialties. She works with the GH Beauty team, GH Beauty Lab experts and industry pros on hair care, styling and color testing and reporting and lends her product knowledge and expertise to these categories.

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