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What to look for in shampoo if you’ve got dry, damaged hair

What to look for in shampoo if you’ve got dry, damaged hair
Posted at 6:30 AM, Feb 01, 2023

Dry and damaged hair is quite common. From too much sun exposure, to washing too frequently and styling, there are so many things that can cause dryness. Dry hair not only looks bad, but it can also become even more damaged if left untreated.

Sorting through all the different varieties of shampoos in the haircare aisle can leave you feeling lost and confused, particularly if you have dry, dull hair. How do you know if you’re purchasing a high-quality shampoo that is right for your brittle locks?


We know that finding the right shampoo can leave you feeling like you’ve unlocked a new level of beauty. We’re here to help you sift through all the haircare lingo so you can confidently shop for shampoo without wanting to pull your hair out.

Get to know your scalp

Generally speaking, shampoo is meant to clean your scalp while conditioner nourishes your locks. So, in order for shampoo to be the most effective, it’s important to know your scalp type before selecting a product. If your scalp is typically dry, you’ll want a moisturizing shampoo. If it’s relatively greasy, opt for a clarifying shampoo.

If this information still leaves you scratching your head, answer this question: What does your scalp feel like after washing? Is it tight or itchy? If so, you may have a dry scalp. If it’s shiny, you might have an oily scalp.


If your scalp is oily and your ends are dry, then you want to buy a shampoo created for an oily scalp and a conditioner designed to add moisture to your strands, which you’d only apply from mid-shaft to the ends.

Know what to avoid

To moisturize frizzy strands, you’ll want to steer clear of harmful ingredients like sulfates, which can leave hair feeling dull and fried. Check the labels and stay away from drying ingredients like lauryl sulfates, sarcodines and sulfosuccinates. Avoid parabens, silicone, isopropyl alcohol, phthalates and hexachlorophene too for better hair health.  Instead, look for natural ingredients that will hydrate your strands like jojoba, avocado and argan.

Oftentimes the most nourishing ingredients (without all the bad offenders) can be found in shampoo bars  which can hydrate and nourish locks while still being gentle on the environment.


Think outside the plastic bottle

New eco-friendly hair care products are ditching plastic bottles and taking shape in bar form, similar to a bar of soap, but for your hair. The best shampoo bars are formulated for sensitive scalps and nix ingredients like parabens and sulfates. Since they are solids, they’re also travel-friendly, meaning no leaks or extra liquids on board. If you’d like to try one out yourself, check out our selection of the best shampoo bars, which has been vetted by a team of experts.

Luckily, you don’t need to go to the ends of the earth to find the right shampoo for dry hair, but you do need to do a little detective work to find out what your scalp type is. Be sure to stay away from harmful ingredients and you’ll be swinging those newly moisturized, luscious locks around in no time.

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for product reviews and other great ideas to save and make money.