The 10 Best Hydrating Shampoos
Let’s face it – dry, dull, brittle hair isn’t top of anyone’s wishlist. And, while the supermarket is flooded with ‘healing formulas’ promising to hydrate dry strands, they don’t always work. In fact, some can even leave you with drier hair than you started with. So, what’s a dry-haired babe meant to do?
Because we care about you – and your strands – we’ve put together a list of our 10 favourite hydrating shampoos. These are the formulas to turn to if you’re looking to defeat dryness and get yourself a head of shiny, happy, healthy hair.
Read on to discover the top hydrating heroes, plus some essential shampoo shopping tips to ensure you find the right product for your haircare routine. Lush, hydrated locks await!
Tips for Picking a Hydrating Shampoo
- Sulfates - The two main kinds of sulfates found in shampoos are sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate. While they create a lovely lather and help remove dirt and oils from your hair, they basically do too good a job – meaning that they also strip away moisture and can leave your tresses and scalp dry. (Plus, if you have dyed hair, sulfates will also wash out the colour more quickly!)
- Alcohol - Not all alcohols are created equal, meaning that some will help your hair (long-chain alcohols) while others (short-chain alcohols) will leave your strands brittle, frizzy and dry. If you have dry hair, steer clear from shampoos or other products containing ethanol, SD, SD-40, denatured, propanol, propyl, or isopropyl alcohols. Long-chain alcohols on the other hand, such as cetyl or lauryl alcohol, actually help hydrate and smooth damaged hair. So, there’s no need to avoid these.
- Silicone - Silicone isn’t inherently bad for your hair. In fact, it can help prevent frizz and heat damage from blow drying by forming a thin coating around your cuticle. But here’s the kicker – silicone does build up on your hair over time, and can leave it drier, duller and prone to breakage. So, if you’re wanting to replenish parched hair, a silicone-free shampoo is best.
As for hydrating ingredients dry strands will love? Look out for honey, shea butter, glycerin and aloe vera, plus nourishing plant oils like coconut, macadamia, argan and avocado. Oils replenish the natural oils in your hair that prevent your strands from getting too dry. They also seal the cuticle, which helps prevent breakage and strengthens your hair’s overall integrity. Nice work, oils!
Other hydrating helpers in shampoos include glycerin and shea butter. These ingredients restore your hair’s structure and give you a healthy scalp. Shea butter also contains vitamins A and E plus essential fatty acids – helping lock that precious moisture into even the driest of hair types.
When looking for ways to restore moisture to your hair, also consider the frequency of shampooing, what other products you’re using, and what might be causing the dryness in the first place! Shampooing every day of the week will dry you out no matter how much deep conditioner you use. And too much heat styling or heat drying is another surefire way to leave your strands parched.
Our tip? Use a little hair oil or coconut oil on the ends, once dry, to keep your hair healthy, hydrated and gorgeous.
The Top Shampoos for Dry Hair
Now that we’ve tackled finding the right hydrating shampoo, let’s get down to business! We’ve selected 10 of our favourite shampoos formulated for hydration and dryness prevention. Ranging in price from save-y to a bit of a splurge, all offer ah-mane-zing benefits for dry hair.
1. Coco & Eve | Super Hydrating Shampoo
Formulated with hydrating hyaluronic acid, our new Super Hydrating Shampoo is your answer for healing dry, dull hair. Instead of using sulfates or other harmful chemicals, we took the fatty acid power of coconut and combined it with the natural goodness of avocado oil, green tea, almond oil and enzyme-rich pineapple to replenish hydration, seal split-ends, strengthen, smooth and nourish hair from within. With a delicious coconut and fig fragrance, this might just be the best moisturizing shampoo for dry hair. (Biased? Maybe. But we stand by our selection!)
2. Verb | Hydrating Shampoo
Verb’s vegan, cruelty-free shampoo makes your hair sing! Made with ingredients like argan oil and sunflower seed extract, this shampoo moisturises, softens, and minimises frizz, while providing a touch of natural UV protection. Vitamin B5 gives your hair body and brightens dull strands, while antioxidants from argan oil strengthen strands from the inside out. This dry hair shampoo works great for all hair textures and can be concentrated at the roots for extra protection and hydration.
3. Living Proof | Restore Shampoo
With a light citrus fragrance, Living Proof’s Restore Shampoo provides a gentle, comprehensive clean for damaged or dry hair. Free of any silicones, parabens, phthalates, or sulfates, this vegan shampoo is rich in amino acids – restoring your hair’s dry cuticles and reversing damage, while also protecting against future harm. Your hair will look and feel clean for longer with a healthy, radiant gloss. Not convinced? The proof is in the bottle.
4. WOW | Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
This one’s stands out on our list because it’s formulated with raw apple cider vinegar – straight from the Himalayas. The apple cider vinegar works to clear away build-up of oils and dirt, while balancing your hair’s pH level, sealing split ends, taming tangles and hydrating and revitalising limp, lacklustre hair. Free from harsh chemicals such as sulfates and parabens, it contains sweet almond oil for moisturising and strengthening, as well as nettle leaf extract to soothe irritation and control dandruff. Not everyone is mad about the vinegar scent, but if you follow up with a conditioner you should be good to go.
5. IGK Hot Girls | Hydrating Shampoo
Formulated with a blend of vitamins and hydrating ingredients, this shampoo helps repair hair damage and gives your locks a luscious shine! It also works well to protect hair when using heat styling tools, and is safe for chemically treated tresses. Like many of the options on this list, this hydrating shampoo is vegan, cruelty-free and provides deep moisture to your hair. Key ingredients include sunflower extract for moisturisation, vitamin E for conditioning and litchi extract for protecting hair from damage and oxidative stress. Give it a red hot go!
6. Noughty | To the Rescue Shampoo
A great budget great option for dry or damaged hair, Noughty’s plant-powered replenishing shampoo is made with 97% natural ingredients. Sunflower seed extract and sweet almond extract work together to restore essential moisture while boosting elasticity and strength. This gentle yet effective shampoo for dry hair is ethically conscious, free of petrochemicals and perfect for natural rejuvenation. What’s not to love?
7. Leonor Greyl | Shampooing Crème Moelle de Bambou
A bit more spendy, this Leonor Greyl nourishing shampoo is the cream of the crop for cleansing away impurities without zapping your hair of moisture. Created with bamboo marrow, collagen and wheat proteins, this unique formula tames frizz, restores softness and seals in moisture for even the most breakage-prone strands. Because of its vigorous ingredients, this hydrating shampoo works great for longer and thicker manes, as well as being colour safe and free of silicone, parabens, SLS and coal tar.
8. Briogeo | Don’t Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo
A go-to for dryness or damage, this cruelty-free shampoo hydrates like a hair mask while providing a deep, sulfate-free clean. It’s made with coconut oil, algae extract, biotin, panthenol and other naturally derived ingredients that deliver enhanced moisture retention and hydration, plus elasticity, durability and long-term protection. This dry hair shampoo is a saviour for colour-, keratin- and chemically-treated hair of all types.
9. Davines Love | Smoothing Shampoo
No pun intended, you’re going to love this smoothing shampoo. With a soft, creamy foaming formula, it’s perfect for frizzy, dry, coarse or otherwise unruly hair. Its key ingredient is a moisturising Minuta olive extract, found in the rare Minuta olive – rich in fatty acids and harvested within the small commune of Ficarra in Messina, Italy. With a light lavender scent and lots of vitamin E, this shampoo restores your hair’s shine and elasticity while preventing any future frizz or breakage.
10. Kérastase | Bain Magistral Shampoo
Rounding out our list is an essential nourishing shampoo for damaged and healthy hair types alike! This Kérastase hydrating shampoo removes build-up while providing a deep, comprehensive clean. Created with iris root extract for smoothing rough hair fibres, ceramides for moisture retention and benzoin resin for forming a protective layer around the strands, it’s no wonder this award-winning product is dubbed one of the best shampoos for dry hair!
The Final Word
Finding the best moisturising shampoo isn’t rocket science, but it does take a little time to work out what’s right for you. We really hope this list helps! And if you’re looking for more dry haircare treatments and tips? Explore the our blog or try our Like a Virgin Hair Mask to transform your locks in only 10 minutes.
P.S. We know we mentioned it above, but our instantly iconic Super Hydrating Shampoo really does work wonders for dry, damaged, oily and otherwise unhappy hair. Try it today and let us know what you think below!
Written By: Pip Jarvis
Edited by: Vidhya