No matter our hair type, texture, length, or climate, dry hair happens to the best of us. Dryness can strike in the most unexpected moments, leaving even the most resilient strands parched and in need of rescue. You can have dry hair in humid climates or suddenly experience dry strands after years of never struggling with moisture levels—a number of reasons, from overuse of hot tools to a shift in hormone shifts, could be to blame. Luckily, dry hair is one of the easiest hair woes to tackle. Besides being more mindful of chemical processing and heat styling, incorporating a specific conditioner for dry hair into your hair care routine can make a world of difference.
Here, we'll introduce you to our best 25 hair conditioners tailored for dry hair as we unravel the telltale signs of dryness, shed light on the essential role of conditioner, and provide expert tips on how to apply conditioner on dry hair properly.
Why It's Important to Select the Right Conditioner When You Have Dry Hair
If you have dry hair, selecting a conditioner that will specifically address your thirsty tresses is essential. The goal here is hydration, restored brilliance, and stronger-feeling hair. While all conditioners moisturize, ultimately, the best conditioner for dry hair is the one that will address your specific hair type and concerns.
How to Tell If You Have Dry Hair
Aside from feeling brittle to the touch, there are a few other dry hair signs to look out for. First, examine how your hair looks. Dry hair is often dull or lackluster versus shiny and brilliant. Ends might also look fried or frayed, or even have a frizzy, straw-like appearance. Another sign of dry hair is split ends and breakage. If you notice tiny pieces of hair that fall like (unwanted) confetti while brushing, this is a sign of damaged, dry tresses. And, spoiler alert: the longer your hair remains dry, the more at risk it is to accrue damage.
Why Conditioning Your Hair Is Important
In the same way you moisturize your hands, face, and lips, hair benefits from routine conditioning, too. Conditioner adds a boost of nourishing hydration to your strands, which can help reduce dullness, breakage, and split ends. It can also help hair look and feel stronger and shinier. Beyond enhancing its aesthetic appeal, conditioning your hair significantly improves manageability. Goodbye, unruly tresses!
How to Condition Dry Hair
Adding a conditioning product to your shower routine is extremely straightforward. After shampooing, apply a quarter-sized amount of conditioner (or more if you have longer, thicker hair) to your strands and then rinse away. We recommend focusing your conditioner for dry hair onto the upper mid-shaft and ends since natural oils from the scalp can’t travel down to those areas as easily versus applying it at the root. You’ll typically rinse out conditioner after a good lather, but it’s always best to follow the directions on the bottle since sometimes more intense formulas will instruct you to let the product sit longer.
What conditioner is best for dry hair?
The best conditioner for dry hair will depend on your hair type, but it’s all about the ingredients. Look for hydrating elements like aloe, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin. Many formulas also include moisturizing oils such as coconut, olive, avocado, and macadamia, or nourishing butters like cupuaçu and shea. You will most likely find at least one or more of these in today’s top conditioner offerings. Here are 25 of the best hair conditioners for dry hair from the L'Oréal portfolio of professional brands, organized by hair type.
Our Best Conditioners for Dry Hair
Our Best Conditioners for Dry, Fine Hair
Kérastase Paris Nutritive Lait Vital Conditioner
Some people experience dry hair all year, while others only experience dryness seasonally. If your typically hydrated hair is going through a bit of a thirsty spell, swap out your regular conditioner for Kérastase’s Nutritive Lait Vital. The formula boasts incredibly light, exceptional nourishing care for normal to slightly dry hair.
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Urban Moisture Conditioner
No matter how well you care for your hair, there are some aggressors you can’t protect your strands from. Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Urban Moisture Conditioner adds hydration and protection against future dryness through purifying ingredients that shield strands from urban aggressors, such as dust, pollution, and hard water. Recommended for fine to normal hair densities, the lightweight conditioner leaves dry hair more manageable, easier to comb, and with a healthy sheen.
Kérastase Elixir Ultime Le Fondant Conditioner
Love what Kérastase’s cult-favorite Elixir Ultime L'Huile Original Hair Oil does for your dry strands? You’ll be obsessed with Kérastase Elixir Ultime Le Fondant Conditioner, a beautifying oil conditioner for fine to normal hair types.
Pureology Hydrate Sheer Conditioner
For fine hair that looks and feels dry, you need a conditioner that will impart moisture to your strands without weighing them down. Add lightweight moisture and shine with Pureology’s Hydrate Sheer Conditioner. The silicone-free formula does not create build-up or leave a heavy coating on hair.
Our Best Conditioners for Dry, Damaged Hair
Redken All Soft Argan-Enriched Conditioner
If you suffer from hair that feels stiff and coarse, swap your regular conditioner for Redken’s All Soft moisturizing and hair-softening conditioner enriched with argan oil. In addition to making your hair feel and look silky and shiny, it instantly detangles and replenishes moisture.
Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Conditioner
This conditioner, formulated with citric acid and Redken’s bonding care complex, repairs the look and feel of damaged hair. With a pH of seven, Acidic Bonding Concentrate Conditioner is designed to help keep hair at its optimal pH to prevent future extensive damage.
Redken Extreme Length Conditioner with Biotin
Seriously damaged tresses are susceptible to breaking off. If that sounds like what you're dealing with, we recommend using a conditioner that helps strengthen weakened, damaged locks. Redken's Extreme Length Conditioner contains castor oil and biotin to help fortify your strands while hydrating them.
L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Inforcer Anti-Breakage Conditioner
Elevate your hair care routine with this pro favorite for restoring locks. Formulated with vitamin B6 and biotin, L’Oreal Professionnel’s Serie Expert Inforcer helps improve strand strength every time you use it. Another one of our best conditioners for dry, damaged hair.
Matrix Food For Soft Detangling Hydrating Conditioner
This Food For Soft Detangling Hydrating Conditioner from Matrix works overtime on parched, brittle strands by deeply penetrating layers of hair with much-needed moisture. Thanks to key ingredients avocado oil and hyaluronic acid, hair retains seven times more moisture for up to 72 hours when used with the complete Food For Soft system.*
*vs. non-conditioning shampoo.
Kérastase Nutritive Fondant Magistral Conditioner for Severely Dry Hair
You’ll need to break out the big guns if you’re battling severely dry, brittle hair, but Kérastase Nutritive Fondant Magistral Conditioner is up for the task. It contains powerhouse ingredients such as benzoin resin and ceramides to aid in moisture retention and enhance shine, restoring soft, healthy-looking hair from roots to ends.
Our Best Conditioners for Dry, Frizzy Hair
Redken Frizz Dismiss Smoothing Sulfate-Free Conditioner
Matrix Mega Sleek Conditioner
Did someone dial the smooth operator? Formulated with nourishing shea butter, this frizz-busting Mega Sleek Conditioner from Matrix helps tackle a rebellious mane, so hair looks and feels smoother, shinier, and more manageable. It'll even stand up to the most humid of climates.
Our Best Conditioners for Dry, Dull Hair
Biolage Professional Hydra Source Detangling Solution
Inspired by the aloe vera plant that never seems to dry out, Biolage Professional Hydra Source Detangling Solution helps optimize moisture balance for healthy-looking hair. The result is nourished strands that look shiny, feel soft, and are easier to manage.
Matrix So Silver Nourishing Conditioner
Blonde, platinum, or silver/gray hair can quickly turn dull, brassy, or yellowed. Matrix So Silver Conditioner not only helps tone your hair but also uses targeted nutrition technology that helps hydrate dry and porous hair. The result is a truer tone, softer strands, and improved hydration.
Our Best Conditioners for Dry, Curly Hair
Redken All Soft Mega Curls Conditioner
Calling all spiral-haired beauties! Redken All Soft Mega Curls Conditioner is specifically formulated for extremely dry curls and coils. Featuring Redken’s exclusive Nourish Complex plus aloe vera, cactus flower extract, and inca inchi oil, it offers superior detangling and moisturizing while helping to strengthen even the most compromised medium to thick, coarse hair.
Biolage Professional Ultra Hydra Source Conditioning Balm
Unruly ringlets are a thing of the past with Biolage Professional Ultra Hydra Source Conditioning Balm. This conditioner is made with aloe, cupuaçu butter, and apricot kernel oil to optimize hydration levels within very dry, coarse hair—especially waves, curls, and coils. Curious about how to work it into the rest of your routine? Read all about the range in our editor-approved review.
Matrix A Curl Can Dream Co-wash for Curly and Coily Hair
What are you waiting for if you haven’t tried a co-wash on your textured hair? While every hair type and texture can experience dryness, curly hair is often the most susceptible to dryness. Matrix A Curl Can Dream Co-Wash is a gentle cleansing conditioner ideal for in-between wash days to help revive curls without drying them out with shampoo.
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Mizani True Textures Cream Cleansing Conditioner
Another great co-washing pick for parched curls is Mizani’s True Textures Cream Cleansing Conditioner. This formula helps your strands retain moisture while maintaining their natural curl pattern for touchable texture.
Kérastase Curl Manifesto Fondant Hydratation Essentielle Conditioner
Made with nourishing ingredients like manuka honey and ceramides, Kérastase Curl Manifesto Fondant Hydratation Essentielle Conditioner infuses ringlets of all shapes with lightweight moisture and helps detangle even the most stubborn knots.
Our Best Conditioner for Dry Hair and Dandruff
Biolage Professional Scalp Sync Conditioner
If dandruff is making your already dry strands look worse for wear, pick up a bottle of Biolage Professional Scalp Sync Conditioner. Inspired by the anti-bacterial and calming properties of the mint leaf, this conditioner weightlessly soothes and nourishes to condition hair and promotes a healthy-looking scalp.
Our Best Conditioners For Dry Color-Treated Hair
Kérastase Blond Absolu Cicaflash Conditioner for Blonde Hair
Bottled blondes know a thing or two about dryness. Kérastase Blond Absolu Cicaflash Conditioner contains hyaluronic acid, a skincare fan-favorite, to deeply moisturize sensitized blonde strands and protect them from breakage.
Matrix Dark Envy Hydrating Conditioner
Although they require less drying bleach than their blonde-haired friends, dark hair still needs moisture, and a little TLC—Matrix Dark Envy Hydrating Conditioner will do just that. This non-color depositing conditioner helps to nourish virgin and color-treated dark brown to black hair while neutralizing red undertones. Its signature citrus, jasmine, and cedarwood scent is an added bonus.
Pureology Hydrate Conditioner
While those with fine hair benefit from the Hydrate Sheer formula, those with medium to thick color-treated hair should pick up Pureology’s OG Hydrate Conditioner. It gives your strands essential moisture while protecting the vibrancy of your salon hue.
Matrix Keep Me Vivid Conditioner
If you’re rocking salon color, you’ll want to protect your investment by applying a conditioner on dry hair that is the result of bleach or dye. The lightweight formula of Matrix’s Keep Me Vivid conditioner smooths, softens, and hydrates while ensuring your color stays radiant.
L’Oreal Professionnel Vitamino Resveratrol Color Moisturizing Conditioner
Frequent color sessions can cause your mane to look and feel dry, but the rich texture of the L’Oreal Professionnel Vitamino Resveratrol Color Moisturizing Conditioner leaves color-treated hair smoother and easier to detangle. When used after the Vitamino Shampoo, dyed hair is softened, and shine and vibrancy levels are beautifully boosted.
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