The 11 Best Shampoos for Damaged Hair of 2023

We like the Nexxus Keraphix Keratin Shampoo because its keratin-rich formula helps to repair and protect damaged hair.

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Shampoos for Damaged Hair

Real Simple / David Hattan

Hair damage is incredibly common, whether it’s from color treatments, hot tools, or environmental factors. But the good news is that fixing damaged hair is easier than ever thanks to specialized products, including shampoos designed specifically to combat damage. 

We spent hours researching the best shampoos for damaged hair to help you get smooth, shiny hair again—regardless of what kind of damage you’re dealing with. We also spoke to Krysta Biancone, independent hair stylist and co-owner of Amari Salon and Spa in Santa Barbara, California, and Watson Anthony, hair stylist and editor-in-chief of Hairstyle Camp

Biancone says that damaged hair needs products designed to “repair, strengthen, and protect” your hair. “Look for shampoos that contain natural oils such as jojoba, argan, and coconut; proteins such as keratin and biotin; and antioxidants such as vitamins A and E,” she says. “These ingredients help combat oxidative damage caused by free radicals while nourishing your hair with essential nutrients.”

Our top pick is the Nexxus Keraphix Keratin Shampoo. It contains keratin and black rice extract, which are designed to penetrate your hair shaft and help repair it from the inside. It’s ideal for combating frizz, dullness, dryness, and breakage. 

Our Top Picks
Best Overall Shampoo for Damaged Hair:
Nexxus Keraphix Damage Healing Shampoo at Amazon
Best Shampoo for Damaged Color-Treated Hair:
Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo at Amazon
Best Moisturizing Shampoo for Damaged Hair:
Bumble and Bumble Bond-Building Repair Shampoo at Amazon
Best Strengthening Shampoo for Damaged Hair:
Living Proof Restore Shampoo at Amazon
Best Volumizing Shampoo for Damaged Hair:
Virtue Flourish Shampoo for Thinning Hair at Amazon
Best Shampoo for Damaged Hair With Split Ends:
Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo at Amazon
Best Shampoo for Damaged Natural Hair:
SheaMoisture Hydration Shampoo at Amazon
Best Shampoo for Damaged Curly Hair:
Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo at Amazon

Best Overall Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Nexxus Keraphix Damage Healing Shampoo

Nexxus Keraphix Damage Healing Shampoo

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a strengthening shampoo for all hair types that will repair hair and prevent further damage. 

Who it’s not for: People looking for a moisturizing shampoo. 

This shampoo contains keratin, a type of protein that plays a key role in the structure of your hair. Research shows that using topical keratin (like in hair products) can improve hair’s strength and smoothness, which makes it a star ingredient. The formula also contains black rice, which is a rich source of glutamic acid—an amino acid linked to hair growth. This shampoo is a great all-around product that helps strengthen hair and improve smoothness, not to mention fight breakage, frizz, dullness, and dryness. 

If you want to purchase in a smaller size, it's also available in a 13.5-ounce container.

Price at time of publish: From $18

Product Details:

  • Size: 13.5 or 33.8 ounces
  • Hair Types: All, including color-treated
  • Key Ingredients: Keratin protein, black rice

Best Budget Shampoo for Damaged Hair

L'Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Shampoo

L'Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Shampoo

Walmart

Who it’s for: People seeking a budget-friendly shampoo for damaged hair and dandruff. 

Who it’s not for: People who want a fragrance-free shampoo. 

This drugstore shampoo contains L’Oreal’s Repair Concentrate With Protein, which aims to fight five signs of hair damage: hair that’s weak, brittle, tangled, fried, or has split ends. Ingredients include amino acids arginine and serine, which help strengthen hair follicles and may boost hair growth. Also present is hydrolyzed wheat protein, which can condition hair and repair damage. 

The lightweight formula also contains salicylic acid, which helps with dry scalp skin and dandruff. Plus, it has a pleasant, fruity scent. 

Price at time of publish: From $6

Product Details:

  • Size: 12.6, 25.4, or 28 ounces
  • Hair Types: All, including color-treated
  • Key Ingredients: Hydrolyzed wheat protein, amino acids, salicylic acid

Best Shampoo for Damaged Color-Treated Hair

Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo

Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo

Amazon

Who it’s for: People with color-treated hair who want to repair damage and preserve their color. 

Who it’s not for: People who want a volumizing shampoo. 

Color treatments for hair can often leave your hair strands weak or brittle. Pureology Strength Cure shampoo helps prevent that damage and give you longer-lasting color. 

Keravis, one of the brand’s specialty ingredients, is a protein designed to prevent hair breakage. Another key ingredient is astaxanthin, an antioxidant that combats free radical damage. And finally, tocopherol provides protection against UVB rays, which helps prevent hair color from fading.

Price at time of publish: From $36

Product Details:

  • Size: 9 or 33.8 ounces
  • Hair Types: All, including color-treated
  • Key Ingredients: Keravis, astaxanthin, tocopherol

Best Moisturizing Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Bumble and Bumble Bond-Building Repair Shampoo

Bumble and Bumble Bond-Building Repair Shampoo

Ulta

Who it’s for: People dealing with heat, color, or chemical damage. 

Who it’s not for: People with oily hair. 

This lightweight, floral-smelling formula contains Bumble and Bumble’s Honey Bond-Building Complex, which helps to build new bonds to “strengthen hair, improve elasticity, and help repair damage,” per the brand. The shampoo’s moisturizing ingredients include hydrogenated castor oil, panthenol, and hydroxypropyl gluconamide. This shampoo is a great pick for people dealing with very dry damaged hair that needs a major hydration boost. 

Price at time of publish: From $34

Product Details:

  • Size: 8.5 or 33.8 ounces
  • Hair Types: All, including color-treated
  • Key Ingredients: Honey Bond-Building Complex, wildflower honey and honey ferment

Best Strengthening Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Living Proof Restore Shampoo

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Who it’s for: People who want a shampoo that strengthens and cleans hair without stripping it of its natural oils. 

Who it’s not for: People who want a more clarifying shampoo. 

This Living Proof shampoo contains a glutamic acid-based emollient, which strengthens hair and helps reduce breakage. Phytantriol works to preserve color treatments and also protects your hair against damage caused by heat tools. The formula also contains the brand’s Amino Cleansing Complex, designed to gently clean your hair without stripping it of nourishing natural oils. 

Price at time of publish: From $32

Product Details:

  • Size: 8 or 24 ounces
  • Hair Types: All, including color-treated
  • Key Ingredients: Amino Cleansing Complex, phytantriol, glutamic acid-based emollient, marine algae polysaccharide 

Best Volumizing Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Virtue Flourish Shampoo for Thinning Hair

Virtue Flourish Shampoo for Thinning Hair

Ulta

Who it’s for: People with thinning hair who want to add more body and volume.

Who it’s not for: People with color-treated hair. 

This shampoo combats thinning hair by removing any buildup and debris from around your hair follicles, creating an ideal environment for new hair growth. It contains Virtue’s Alpha Keratin 60ku Clinical protein, an ingredient made up of two types of keratin proteins that reinforce hair strength, improve elasticity and flexibility, and nourish your hair’s microbiome. 

For added volume, red algae extract and sodium hyaluronate provide a “moisture shield” to help thicken hair and keep the fibers soft and supple. And lightweight moisturizing ingredients help hydrate your hair without weighing it down, so there’s more lift at the roots. 

Price at time of publish: $44

Product Details:

  • Size: 8 ounces
  • Hair Types: Fine or thinning
  • Key Ingredients: Alpha Keratin 60ku Clinical protein, red algae extract, sodium hyaluronate, biomimetic signal peptides

Best Shampoo for Damaged Hair With Split Ends

Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

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Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Ulta

Who it’s for: People whose hair is prone to split ends. 

Who it’s not for: People who want a more lightweight formula.

The best way to tackle split ends is to trim your hair before the damage can get any worse. If you’re prone to them, look for a shampoo that helps moisturize and strengthen your hair to prevent split ends from forming in the first place.

This cult favorite shampoo is made with Olaplex Bond Building Technology, which contains the company’s signature ingredient: bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. According to the brand, this helps repair damaged molecular bonds in your hair and prevent further breakage. Other ingredients include seed oil extracts for moisture and shine and amodimethicone for long-lasting hydration. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Size: 8.5 ounces
  • Hair Types: All, including color-treated
  • Key Ingredients: Olaplex Bond Building Technology, sunflower seed oil

Best Shampoo for Damaged Fine Hair

Briogeo Destined for Density Caffeine + Biotin Peptide Density Shampoo

Briogeo Destined for Density Caffeine + Biotin Peptide Density Shampoo

Sephora

Who it’s for: People who want to increase hair growth for fuller, thicker hair. 

Who it’s not for: People with color-treated hair.

This formula contains Briogeo’s Density Boosting Complex, which includes biotin for strength and elasticity, copper peptides to support hair growth cycles, and an Energy Complex that stimulates the scalp for fuller, denser hair. It combats weakness and breakage while also offering extra volume and thickness. 

Caring for fine hair can be tricky, since heavier products can add extra weight for limp, dull-looking hair. This Briogeo shampoo is lightweight and offers gentle cleansing, leaving no extra residue on your scalp or around your roots. 

Price at time of publish: $32

Product Details:

  • Size: 8 ounces
  • Hair Types: Fine, thinning hair 
  • Key Ingredients: Biotin, copper peptides, vitamin E

Best Shampoo for Damaged Natural Hair

SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo

SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a hydrating shampoo for natural hair. 

Who it’s not for: People with fine hair.

If you have damaged natural hair, you’ll want a shampoo designed specifically to nourish your curls without sacrificing definition. This SheaMoisture shampoo is packed with rich, deeply hydrating ingredients like shea butter and Mafura oil to address dryness and restore shine. Hydrolyzed rice protein helps boost hair growth, while aloe vera soothes the scalp. 

Like all the products created by this Black-founded brand, the formula is free from mineral oils, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, and sulfates. 

Price at time of publish: From $10

Product Details:

  • Size: 13 or 24 ounces
  • Hair Types: Type 4 (coily)
  • Key Ingredients: Manuka honey, Mafura oil, shea butter

Best Shampoo for Damaged Curly Hair

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo

Sephora

Who it’s for: People who want to restore their hair’s natural curls. 

Who it’s not for: People with oily hair. 

This formula helps lock in hydration and boost elasticity, making it a great choice for people with curly hair who want to restore their bouncy, soft curls. Argan oil and avocado oil help restore smoothness and shine, while hydrolyzed keratin and keratin amino acids add strength and fix damage. 

The formula also includes a number of nourishing plant extracts as well as moisturizing ingredients like panthenol, dimethicone, and cocamide mea. 

Price at time of publish: From $26

Product Details:

  • Size: 8.5, 16.9, or 33.8 ounces
  • Hair Types: All, including color-treated
  • Key Ingredients: Argan oil, keratin protein, amino acids

Best Shampoo for Damaged Bleached Hair

K18 Peptide Prep pH Maintenance Shampoo

K18 PEPTIDE PREP pH Maintenance Shampoo

Sephora

Who it’s for: People who want a color-safe shampoo to reset and repair bleached hair. 

Who it’s not for: People who want a volumizing shampoo. 

If you’re looking to fix damaged, bleached hair, you’ll want a color-safe formula that counters dryness and helps repair broken chemical bonds in your hair. The K18 Peptide Prep pH Maintenance Shampoo contains the brand’s specialty K18 Peptide, designed to help repair broken bonds in your hair’s keratin proteins. 

This product is also pH-optimized, which helps to prevent excess water from entering the hair, as this can cause damage, dullness, frizz, and tangling.

Price at time of publish: $36

Product Details:

  • Size: 8.5 ounces 
  • Hair Types: All, including color-treated
  • Key Ingredients: K18Peptide, plant-derived surfactants

Final Verdict

Our favorite shampoo for damaged hair is the Nexxus Keraphix Keratin Shampoo. It contains keratin to help repair broken chemical bonds in your hair’s structure and black rice extract to boost hair growth. The product tackles many common issues seen in damaged hair, including breakage, dryness, dullness, and frizz.

How to Shop for Shampoo for Damaged Hair Like a Pro

Formula

As mentioned earlier, Biancone says that damaged hair needs products designed to “repair, strengthen, and protect” your hair. Thus, it’s important to look for products with natural oils, proteins (such as keratin and biotin), and antioxidants. 

As for what to avoid, Biancone says you should be careful with products that contain sulfates and parabens. “Sulfates strip away natural oils from your scalp and can leave it dry, irritated, and vulnerable to further damage,” she explains. 

Hair Type

Biancone recommends considering your individual hair type when you’re selecting products, so you can purchase something that works for your own specific needs. “For example, if you have fine or color-treated hair then you would want to opt for something specifically formulated for those types of locks,” she says. When browsing, make sure to check item descriptions and reviews for your hair type, whether that’s fine, thick, curly, straight, natural, color-treated, or heat-damaged. 

Another consideration? Porosity. “Low-porosity hair doesn’t allow for moisture to be absorbed as well, which means you need different products than someone with medium or high porosity hair and vice versa,” says Anthony “Figuring out what type of hair you have can help you to pick the right products so you are left with healthy hair.” This simple hair porosity test can tell you how dry your hair is. 

Hair Concerns

What type of damage you’re dealing with will inform what product is right for you. Once you’ve narrowed down the major problems with your hair—whether that’s breakage, dryness, dullness, thinning, or something else—you can find a shampoo that targets that specific issue.

Questions You Might Ask

How often should you shampoo damaged hair?

The answer: It depends. Generally speaking, Anthony and Biancone recommend shampooing less frequently, so your hair’s natural oils can help repair. If you don’t know what products to use or how often to use them, Biancone recommends getting some expert help.

“The best way to figure out which products to use for damaged hair is to consult a professional stylist or trichologist,” she says. “They can assess the damage and recommend specific treatments, products, and styling techniques that will help restore the hair's health. Additionally, you can research products online and read reviews from other customers who have used them. It is also important to understand your hair type and what ingredients will work best for it.”

What are other steps to repair damaged hair?

Using a shampoo designed to counter damage is one step towards restoring your hair’s health, but there are plenty of other things that can be done. Anthony and Biancone recommend:

  • Cutting down on hot tools and focusing on heatless hairstyles instead
  • Avoiding hair styles that involve putting your hair up. Anthony says that “dry, brittle hair can be pulled by elastics and clips which can cause a lot of breakage.”
  • Using deep conditioning treatments or hot oil treatments, which Biancone says “are great for restoring moisture and shine to dry and brittle strands.”
  •  Getting regular trims to remove split ends 

What do hairdressers use for damaged hair?

“For severely damaged hair, hairdressers may use a variety of products such as protein reconstructors, deep conditioners, and heat protectants to help restore it back to health,” says Biancone. “Protein reconstructors help rebuild the internal structure of the hair and can be used weekly or monthly depending on the level of damage. Deep conditioners provide much needed moisture and nourishment for dry and brittle strands while heat protectants shield against further damage caused by styling tools.”

As for specific ingredients, Anthony says that jojoba oil is great for adding moisture, and rosemary oil and tea tree oil can help counter scalp inflammation and irritation.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Nina Bahadur, a writer with over 10 years of experience writing about beauty and health. For this piece, she researched dozens of different shampoos for countering hair damage, and dug deep into the science of restoring broken chemical bonds in hair. She consulted Krysta Biancone, independent hair stylist and co-owner of Amari Salon and Spa in Santa Barbara, California, as well as Watson Anthony, hair stylist and editor-in-chief of Hairstyle Camp, for insight on what professionals use to counter hair damage and how to pick the right products for your hair.

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