The best shampoo for dry hair: soften coarse, brittle hair with our top shampoo picks

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  • It's not just our skin struggling with dehydration in the winter – hair can also become dry, coarse and rough. Luckily, we've rounded up the best shampoos to save the day...

    If you’re having a tough time with dry hair, enough is enough. You don’t have to put up with split ends and rough-feeling lengths anymore; the best shampoo for dry hair is here to change your locks for the better.

    First things first, it’s important to know how to identify dry hair – because it can so often be mistaken for damaged hair. We spoke to  Antony Rawlings, Creative Director at Lockonego and Redken Expert, and asked him to clear a few things up.

    ‘Generally, dry hair is moisture starved, whereas damaged hair has bonds that are broken either by heat or colour. The way to diagnose this at home is by doing an elasticity test. Take a strand of your hair and place it between your fingers, try and see how easy it is to break your hair with a singular strand, if it snaps easily then your hair is damaged,’ he explains.

    ‘Dry hair on the other hand will generally feel rough and become frizzy, unruly and flyaway when dried – both naturally and using a hair dryer. You can test this by running your fingers down a single hair shaft in the opposite direction of growth from tip to root. It will feel rough if your hair is dry.

    ‘Moisturising treatments, like the Pureology Hydrate Superfood Mask, are perfect for thirsty hair. The Superfood Mask is an intense formula that utilises powerful superfoods to fortify and invigorate strands from root to tip. Packed with essential nutrients, proteins and vitamins. The Coconut and Avocado Oils work to replenish and hydrate dry hair, as they calm and moisturise the scalp.’

    So there we have it. Use the best dry hair shampoo (as listed so handily below), teamed with one of the best hair masks, and these hero formulas can and will replace lost moisture in your locks for the bouncy mane you crave.

    Best shampoo for dry hair

    Kérastase Nutritive Bain Satin 2 Shampoo: £16.70 | Lookfantastic
    Arguably Kérastase’s most recognisable and best-loved shampoo. It’s no surprise really, because it transforms really, really dry hair into shimmering silk. It nourishes and conditions hair with every single wash, leaving it so silky smooth that you’ll want to sit there running your hands through it all day.

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    Best shampoo for frizzy hair

    Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo: £25.50 | Lookfantastic
    Hair on the more coarse side and plagued by frizz? We get it, you need a nourishing shampoo that defrizzes in one wash and keeps you hair smooth throughout the day. Say hello to that very shampoo. It’s made up of six super duper light oils that don’t weigh your hair down and protect your hair from frizz-inducing elements.

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    Best shampoo for damaged hair 

    Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo: £16.48 | Amazon
    When hair is both dry and damaged, it’s tricky to get to grips with and manage it. Moroccanoil’s Moisture Repair Shampoo takes coloured and heat styled hair (guilty as charged) and basically brings it back from the brink.

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    Best shampoo for dry coloured hair

    Pureology Hydrate Shampoo: £32.80 | Lookfantastic
    Specially designed for colour-treated hair, Pureology’s hydrating formula locks in moisture while also adding radiance to your colour. Hair is strengthened with oat, soy and wheat proteins as well as nourishing jojoba and green tea. Right this way for shiny, shiny hair.

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    Best shampoo for brittle hair

    Redken All Soft Shampoo: £12.80 | Lookfantastic
    Redken’s All Soft range is made up of a blend of cactus extract, aloe vera and sacha inchi oil, also known as their Superfood Nutri-Complex. This particular shampoo also has an Interlock Protein Network, which goes a step further at trasnforming the look and feel of your hair – smoothing and making it super sleek.

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    For more of the best shampoos for the driest hair, shop our edit below. Your newfound luscious locks will thank you for it…

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    Shampoo for dry hair: the best all-rounders

    Aveda Weightless Hydration Shampoo: £21.50 | Lookfantastic
    It might look a bit like peanut butter, but this thick shampoo works wonders on dry and frizzy hair. Don’t just take my word our it; the core blend of Iceland moss and larch tree sap can improve your hair’s hydration by up to 81%. Pair with the softening conditioner and you’re golden.

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    Dizziak Hydration Wash: £20 | Cult Beauty
    Formulated to be effective on afro hair (though suitable for all hair types), this is a super hydrating deep clean that boasts a lot of hair benefits. It’ll balance pH, strengthen the barrier of each strand of hair and hydrate your scalp as well as your hair. What’s more it’s free from sulphates, parabens, mineral oil, silicones and any animal products.

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    Sachajuan Moisturising Shampoo: £22 | Cult Beauty
    A super moisturising shampoo that’s particularly good for frizzy, treated hair, Swedish brand Sachajuan has got you covered when it comes to turning back the clock on dryness. Team with their conditioner and your hair will be back to its shiny, shiny old self.

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    Davines MOMO Shampoo: £17.50 | Cult Beauty
    You can credit the gooey green colour of Momo to rocket extract, adding a burst of essential fatty acids and vitamins C & B to replenish and restore dry, frazzled locks. Sweet almond protein seals in moisture, while olive oil helps to gently cleanse all the nasties away.

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    Philip Kingsley Re-Moisturising Shampoo: £14 | Beauty Bay
    If your hair is dry, there’s a chance it will also be brittle. Broken and damaged locks can be vastly improved with the Philip Kingsley Re-Moisturising Shampoo. Gentle but thoroughly cleansing, this softening shampoo uses elastin to improve the hair’s inner strength and ability to hold moisture. The result? Even coarse and wiry lengths are left softer and more supple than before.

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    …… And pause for breath. Time to say goodbye to dry, brittle winter hair for good? We thought so, too.

    Happy shopping!

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