Any hair care enthusiast will agree that the term “damaged hair” is like a dagger to the heart. Despite applying salon-quality hair products and being extra vigilant about our hot tool temps, dry, brittle strands that break off at the slightest infraction are a tell-tale cry for help. Sure, prevention is the best way to avoid damaged hair, but we’re realistic enough to admit that this is much easier said than done. That’s where a shampoo for damaged hair can help to turn things around.
The foundation for a reparative hair care regimen starts with how you wash it. A reliable shampoo creates a clean slate for your conditioning and styling products, allowing you to get the most out of your routine. However, a quick stroll down your local beauty supply store’s hair care aisle is enough to leave your head (and hair) spinning. Luckily, we’ve made it easy to sift through Hair.com’s portfolio of the best shampoos for damaged hair. Read on to discover the reparative and strengthening formulas that will guarantee your shower shelfie racks up as many likes as your revived mane.
Can damaged hair truly be repaired?
Unlike resilient skin that bounces back after an injury, hair has no regenerative abilities (like a nervous system or living tissues), so it can’t heal itself from damage inflicted by chemical or mechanical stressors. Unfortunately, once the damage is done, there’s not much that can reverse it in the most literal sense.
How can I repair my extremely damaged hair?
Armed with a proper hair care routine, you can strengthen your existing hair and minimize the chance of future damage. Frequently trimming split ends (about every four to six weeks), deep conditioning hair, and swearing off heat styling are all small steps you can take towards rejuvenating your locks. We also suggest being extra gentle when styling hair and avoiding harsh hair accessories like tight elastics or extremely taut hairstyles, which can put tension on already sensitized strands.
Can shampoo fix damaged hair?
As mentioned, only a significant haircut (or a full-on buzz cut, for that matter) can truly banish split ends and limit new breakage. Still, the right shampoo can certainly mask the appearance of damage and reduce its recurrence. Stronger hair starts in the shower, so picking a shampoo for damaged hair can make all the difference.
When searching for the best shampoo for damaged hair, look for formulas with strengthening ingredients like proteins. If your goal is to find the best shampoo for dry, damaged hair, we recommend keeping an eye out for nourishing and moisturizing ingredients like oils and ceramides to keep dry strands hydrated and healthy. After all, moisturized strands are your first defense against irreparable damage like split ends and breakage.
What shampoo is best for damaged hair?
Keep scrolling to discover 19 formulas to repair damaged hair, no matter the underlying cause. Be warned: You may want to try more than one!
Our 19 Best Shampoos for Damaged Hair to Buy Now
Best for All Hair Types
Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Sulfate Free Shampoo For Damaged Hair
Powered by an acidic formula and a high level of bonding ingredients, Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate Sulfate Free Shampoo For Damaged Hair helps to intensely condition, repair strength, and recreate weakened bonds on all types and textures of damaged hair.
If your locks are extremely damaged, consider pre-treating the shampoo with the line’s Intensive Treatment. Since hair stretches up to 50 percent when wet, shampooing can add more tension to already-weakened strands. The Intensive Treatment fortifies hair to prepare it for washing, lessening the likelihood of further damage.
L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Hydrating Shampoo
Made with strengthening proteins and superfood quinoa, L’Oréal Professionnel’s Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Hydrating Shampoo cleanses strands, restructures them with every use, and leaves them with a lightweight touch.
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ultimate Reset Shampoo
Shu Uemura Art of Hair’s Ultimate Reset Shampoo is proof that repairing shampoos don’t need to be heavy. Formulated in extremely small, fine droplets, it relies on co-emulsion to gently remove impurities while fortifying and beautifying the hair with a combination of powerful restoring ingredients. The result: Deeply repaired hair that isn’t weighed down.
Best for Men
Kérastase Genesis Homme Bain de Masse Épaississant Shampoo
Boasting creatine and ginger root to fortify existing thin hair and protect against damage, Kérastase’s Genesis Homme Bain de Masse Epaississant Shampoo leaves weakened hair cleaner, stronger, smoother, and more hydrated than before.
Kérastase Genesis Homme Bain de Force Quotidien Shampoo
For men hit with the double whammy of weakened and thinning hair, look no further than Kérastase’s Genesis Homme Bain de Force Quotidien Shampoo. Besides fortifying thin, weak hair and preventing future damage, this shampoo works to purify the scalp to create an optimal environment for healthier hair growth.
Best for Blonde-Treated Hair
L’Oréal Professionnel Blondifier Illuminating Shampoo
Thanks to the bleach required to reach our blond bombshell dreams, it’s no surprise this hair hue requires some heavy-duty repairing action. L’Oréal Professionnel’s Blondifier Illuminating Shampoo provides nourishment and helps smooth strands that have been damaged in the coloring process—courtesy of acai polyphenols.
Matrix Total Results Unbreak My Blonde Sulfate-Free Strengthening Shampoo
Seeing breakage from chemical damage? Consider picking up Matrix’s Total Results Unbreak My Blonde Sulfate-Free Strengthening Shampoo to reinforce weakened bonds and revive sensitized hair. It’s also suitable for all types of lightened hair—even brunettes with blonde highlights.
Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Purple Shampoo
Pureology’s Strength Cure Best Blonde Purple Shampoo is proof that we can really have it all in a shampoo for damaged hair! This anti-brass purple shampoo works to brighten, tone, and fortify damaged and lightened color-treated hair.
Best for Color-Treated Hair
Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery Shampoo
If bleached hair could talk, we’d have no doubt it’d be begging for Redken’s Extreme Bleach Recovery Shampoo, a great option if you’re looking for the best shampoo for dry, damaged hair. It contains cica and the brand’s Gentle Conditioning Complex to add softness, suppleness, and shine to dry, brittle, color-treated hair.
Kérastase Bain Riche Chroma Respect Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Medium to thick, damaged hair requires a richer, more intense lather, like Kérastase’s Bain Riche Chroma Respect Sulfate-Free Shampoo. This sulfate-free shampoo features breakthrough technology that infuses centella asiatica, a flowering plant with soothing and recovering properties, with lactic acid to help gently exfoliate and seal the hair’s surface.
Best for Breakage
Matrix Total Results Instacure Anti-Breakage Shampoo
Infused with liquid proteins to strengthen and reduce breakage, Matrix’s Total Results Instacure Anti-Breakage Shampoo removes buildup, priming hair to receive the formula’s reparative ingredients to ensure stronger, more resilient hair.
Redken Extreme Length with Biotin
If split ends prevent you from reaching your ideal length, Redken’s Extreme Length with Biotin may be the antidote. While nothing can make hair grow faster (except for precious time, of course), this biotin-infused shampoo can strengthen the strands you have to help you achieve the length of your dreams.
Kérastase Resistance Bain Force Architecte Strengthening Shampoo
You don’t need a miracle to cure brittle strands; you just need to keep Kérastase’s Resistance Bain Force Architecte Strengthening Shampoo stocked on your shower’s shelf. This strengthening shampoo hydrates and reconstructs your hair, making it shiny and smooth with controlled split ends.
Kérastase Resistance Bain Extentioniste Shampoo
The breakage from frayed, damaged hair can make a highly-anticipated grow-out feel like a century. Kérastase’s Resistance Bain Extentioniste Shampoo transforms the strands you already have by recovering the hair fiber's to perfect condition, sealing the cuticle from root to ends, and ensuring a healthy scalp.
Best for Strengthening
Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo
Just one wash with Pureology’s Strength Cure Shampoo and distressed, color-treated hair will be asking for it by name. This sulfate-free shampoo provides a gentle, rich lather that fortifies and repairs damaged hair, while Pureology’s Antifade Complex® ensures that the vibrancy and shine of your salon color remains intact.
Biolage Professional Advanced Fiber Strong Shampoo for Fragile Hair
Fragile hair that’s difficult to manage will find a companion in Biolage Professional’s Advanced Fiber Strong Shampoo for Fragile Hair. Made with bamboo and ceramides, it gently cleanses hair and fills gaps in the hair cuticle. Hair will be healthier, more resistant to damage, and protected against future breakage and split ends.
Redken Extreme Strengthening Shampoo For Damaged Hair
Redken’s Extreme Strengthening Shampoo For Damaged Hair is a game-changer for damaged locks thanks to its RCT Protein Complex, which helps fill in weakened parts of the hair. How it works: The smart delivery system has three proteins that attract to where the hair needs it most, delivering custom nourishment to the root, the core, and the tip. Don’t believe us? See the results for yourself in this review!
Biolage Professional Advanced Keratin Dose Strengthening Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Keratin is the protein that keeps your mane strong and healthy, but heat and chemical damage can break it down. To the rescue: Biolage Professional’s Advanced Keratin Dose Strengthening Sulfate-Free Shampoo. Its pro-keratin and silk provide targeted reinforcement and moisture balance to hair for shiny, healthy-looking hair with increased elasticity.
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Silk Bloom Strengthening Shampoo
Let the beauty of your tresses shine through with Shu Uemura Art of Hair’s Silk Bloom Strengthening Shampoo. With the help of vitamin E, ceramides, and nourishing argan oil, this shampoo repairs the hair fiber, reinforcing the fiber’s structure and resilience. Plus, it’s safe on color-treated hair.
Eager to discover more salon-worthy products for damaged hair? Head over to Hair.comto stock up.