Any hair care enthusiast will agree the term “damaged hair” is like a dagger to the heart. Despite applying salon-quality hair products and reducing hot tool temps, your dry, brittle strands are still snapping off at the slightest infraction. Even if you’ve taken heat styling down a notch, other factors like genetics, tight hairstyles, and the environment can still wreak havoc on your hair.
If you see signs of damage, building a reparative hair care routine is essential. And at the core of this regimen should be a good shampoo for damaged hair. Paired with proper cleansing, it can help get your hair back on track. Here, we’ve made it easy to sift through L’Oréal professional’s best shampoos for damaged hair, including options that address all types of damage. Scroll on to discover the right one to help rejuvenate your mane.
Can damaged hair truly be repaired?
Unlike your skin, hair doesn’t have regenerative abilities, so it can’t heal from chemical services, hair coloring, or mechanical damage. Only a significant haircut or buzz cut can fully remove existing damage, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. We’ll explain why next.
How can I repair my extremely damaged hair?
With a proper hair care routine, you can strengthen your existing hair, improve its look and feel, and minimize future damage. Frequently trimming split ends (about every four to six weeks), deep conditioning hair, and reducing heat styling are small but mighty steps you can take toward reviving 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 repair damaged hair?
Shampoo can help improve the look and feel of damaged hair, depending on the formula. When searching for the best shampoo for damaged hair, look for ones with strengthening ingredients like proteins. If you’re seeking the best shampoo for dry, damaged hair, we recommend moisturizing ingredients like oils and ceramides to defend against split ends and breakage. For bleach or chemically damaged hair, bonding shampoos are the way to go. Hair bonding formulas target the broken proteins within strands that keep them strong and healthy. When bonds break from mechanical, physical, or environmental damage, it changes the look and feel of hair.
What shampoo is best for damaged hair?
The best shampoo for damaged hair is contingent on hair type and the kind of damage incurred. You may even need to experiment with more than one shampoo before finding the right fit. Here are 17 of our best damaged hair shampoos to get you started, including a few exciting bonding innovations.
Our 17 Best Shampoos for Damaged Hair
Best Bonding Shampoos
Biolage Professional Bond Therapy Shampoo
First up is Biolage Professional’s Bond Therapy Shampoo, which helps transform over-processed hair using citric acid and conditioning coconut oil. The former ingredient is a very small alpha-hydroxy acid that can penetrate hair’s fiber, helping rebuild broken hair bonds from the inside out.
L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Molecular Shampoo
The L’Oréal Professionnel labs have created a patented formula with five amino acids and 2% peptides bonder to repair hair’s structure on a molecular level. The result is the Absolut Repair Molecular collection, a system shown to visibly fight two years of damage in just one use*. The products work most effectively together, so we suggest washing your hair with the Absolut Repair Molecular Shampoo, then following it up with the Rinse-Off Serum and the Leave-In Mask.
*with system of Shampoo, Rinse-Off Serum, and Leave-In Mask
Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo
Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo is a sulfate-free bonding shampoo powered by an acidic formula and highly concentrated bonding ingredients. It offers strength repair, intense conditioning, and color fade protection. For best results, apply a dime-size amount to fine hair, a nickel-size to medium hair, and a quarter-size to thick hair.
If your locks are extremely damaged, you can pre-treat the shampoo with the line’s Intensive Treatment. Hair stretches up to 50 percent when wet, and shampooing can add more tension to already-weakened strands. The Intensive Treatment strengthens wet hair to prepare it for the washing process, cutting down on further damage.
L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Shampoo
Made with strengthening proteins and superfood quinoa, L’Oréal Professionnel’s Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Shampoo immediately cleanses strands, restructures them with every use, and leaves hair feeling lightweight.
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ultimate Reset Shampoo
Shu Uemura Art of Hair’s Ultimate Reset Shampoo is luxury hair restoration at its finest. This delicate cleanser helps to lift away dirt, impurities, and product build-up while strengthening strands from root to tip. It contains Japanese-sourced rice extract, an ingredient Japanese women cherish for its ability to hydrate and protect the hair.
Best Shampoos for Blonde-Treated Hair
L’Oréal Professionnel Blondifier Gloss Shampoo
Thanks to the bleach required to reach your blonde bombshell dreams, this hair hue requires more heavy-duty repairing action. L’Oréal Professionnel’s Blondifier Gloss Shampoo uses Açai berry polyphenols to nourish color-treated blonde strands and emphasize their multi-dimensional shine.
Matrix Unbreak My Blonde Shampoo
Add Matrix’s Unbreak My Blonde Shampoo to your lineup, and you’ll be waving goodbye to breakage caused by chemical damage. This product reinforces weakened bonds and revives all types of lightened, sensitized hair—even brunettes with blonde highlights.
Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Purple Shampoo
Pureology’s Strength Cure Best Blonde Purple Shampoo is a shampoo for damaged hair that does it all. Not only does the anti-brass purple formula brighten, tone, and fortify lightened hair, but it also helps hair heal from damage.
Best Shampoos for Color-Treated Hair
Kérastase Bain Riche Chroma Respect Shampoo
Medium to thick, color-treated hair may require a richer, more intense lather. Try Kérastase’s Bain Riche Chroma Respect 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 damage and seal the hair’s surface.
Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo
In a consumer study, participants reported that washing with Pureology’s Strength Cure Shampoo left hair feeling two times stronger. 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 remain intact.
Best Shampoos for Breakage
Matrix Instacure Anti-Breakage Shampoo
Brimming with liquid proteins, Matrix’s Instacure Anti-Breakage Shampoo realigns hair’s cuticle to create a more even and balanced (read: smooth) surface.
Redken Extreme Length Shampoo With Biotin
If split ends prevent you from reaching your long hair goals, Redken’s Extreme Length Shampoo With Biotin may be the antidote. While nothing can make hair grow faster (except for precious time), this shampoo with biotin, castor oil, and Redken’s Length Care Complex prevents hair breakage, so you can more easily achieve your desired length.
Kérastase Resistance Bain Force Architecte Shampoo
You don’t need a miracle to cure brittle strands—you just need to stock your shower shelf with Kérastase’s Resistance Bain Force Architecte Shampoo. 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 hair growth feel drawn out. Kérastase’s Resistance Bain Extentioniste Shampoo has an exclusive complex composed of the amino acid creatine, reinforcing the internal structure of the hair fiber to support healthy lengths.
Best Shampoos for Strengthening
Biolage Professional Strength Recovery Shampoo
Biolage Professional’s Strength Recovery Shampoo is a gentle cleansing shampoo that reduces breakage and leaves hair feeling softer. The creamy formula features vegan squalane, ethically sourced from olives, to provide intense repair.
Redken Extreme Shampoo
Redken’s Extreme Shampoo is a game-changer for damaged locks thanks to its RCT Protein Complex, which helps fill in weakened parts of the hair. 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. If you need more convincing, read one editor’s Redken Extreme review.
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Silk Bloom Shampoo
With the help of vitamin E, ceramides, and nourishing argan oil, Shu Uemura Art of Hair’s Silk Bloom Shampoo repairs and reinforces the hair fiber and leaves behind a silky finish. Plus, it’s safe to use on color-treated hair.