Byrdie February 21, 2024



The 13 Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Dry Hair, Tested & Approved


Hydrated hair is only one wash away.

There’s no shortage of factors that can cause dry hair—everything from heat styling and chemical perms to sun exposure and washing too frequently, says Amy Abramite, creative director and stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago.

Fortunately, something as simple as using the right type of moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can be a great way to start quenching parched hair. Look for words such as ‘hydrate’ and ‘repair’ on the labels, suggests celebrity hairstylist Alex Brown. She adds that choosing sulfate-free formulas is also a good idea; these cleansing ingredients can strip the hair of its natural moisture.

Now, there are many shampoos and conditioners out there that claim to combat dryness and damage. To find the best of the best, we researched and tested over 30 of the highest-rated options, rating each formula’s texture and feel, ingredient list, and how well it hydrated and repaired our hair. We used each multiple times during a six-week period, paying attention to how clean our hair felt after using it or if it caused irritation. After consulting with hair experts, we then used the results to pick the following best in show. 

Best Overall

Aveda Nutriplenish Light Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner


What We Like

  • Leaves hair shiny and glossy
  • 94% naturally-derived formula
  • Defines hair texture

What We Don't Like

  • Conditioner might be too lightweight for thicker hair types

Hair Type: All dry hair types | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Cocoa, ginger, cardamom | Size: 8.5 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Dry hair needs products that will gently cleanse without causing further irritation to the scalp—and the Aveda Nutriplenish shampoo and conditioner do exactly that and more. They’re formulated with superfood ingredients (pomegranate and coconut oils, as well as mango butter and oat extract) to nourish and protect dehydrated hair types. We loved how hydrating they felt, and we noticed an increase in overall moisture immediately after the first wash. They both have a rich, creamy consistency that is easy to work into the hair, leaving a completely clean—but not stripped—feeling.

We found that our hair was more defined and just overall easier to manage during the testing period, and it felt softer and smoother with less static. The result was hair that looked healthier and stronger from root to tip. Another plus is the lovely scent, which has notes of cocoa, cardamom, and ginger. 

Who It’s For

We think this is a great shampoo and conditioner set for everyone, but we especially recommend it for wavy hair types. It’s able to make detangling easier, and our waves look more defined with continued use. 

Best Budget

Nexxus Ultimate Moisture Therappe Shampoo and Humectress Conditioner

What We Like

  • Salon-quality formula
  • Repairs damaged hair

What We Don't Like

  • Product can be hard to get out of the bottle as it nears the bottom

Hair Type: Dry, dull | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Fruity | Size: 33.8 oz | Cruelty-Free: No

Buying a quality shampoo and conditioner can get costly, but you can get this Nexxus shampoo and conditioner for just around $30 without skimping on quality. A great pick for damaged or hair that needs more TLC, they both contain green caviar (which is full of hair-nourishing antioxidants and proteins) and elastin protein to repair dry, brittle strands.1 While testing, we saw that our hair looked healthier and shinier with each use. 

Both the shampoo and conditioner have a creamy but lightweight texture that is easy to wash out and doesn’t leave the scalp or hair feeling oily. We loved the sweet, fruity smell that wasn’t too overpowering, and our hair felt clean after washing—no irritation in sight. The best part is that our hair was much easier to style while using, with strands that looked thick and lustrous. 

Who It’s For

This is a great duo to use if you’ve been experiencing more hair fallout than usual. They’re formulated with ingredients to strengthen and replenish nutrients in the hair—and we experienced very little shedding while using them. 

Best for Thick Hair

Amika Normcore Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner

What We Like

  • Color- and keratin-safe
  • Antioxidant-rich formula

What We Don't Like

  • Strong smell that lingers for days

Hair Type: Fine to medium | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Vanilla, clover, citrus | Size: 9.2 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes

If you’re looking for a shampoo and conditioner that has hair-nourishing ingredients for overall healthier strands, you’ll want to try the Normcore collection from Amika. Sea buckthorn, shea butter, and coconut acid are all included in the formula for hair that’s soft, healthy, and hydrated. We found both products to be thick and incredibly moisturizing—a must for those with a lot of hair—but they didn’t feel heavy or leave a residue. 

We used it about two to three times per week during the testing period, and we loved that our hair looked noticeably better with each wash—dry, dehydrated locks transformed into shiny, healthy ones. We especially loved that the conditioner had a hair mask-like consistency that felt like it was repairing each strand one wash at a time. The shampoo didn’t leave the hair feeling parched after rinsing, instead it still felt pretty soft and easy to manage. Since our hair felt so clean and hydrated while using, we found that we didn’t feel the need to wash as often—a major plus for hair types that need a couple of hours for wash day.

Who It’s For

We love this shampoo and conditioner for thick, dry hair types that are prone to flyaways. This formula deeply hydrates for silky smooth hair.

Best for Definition and Body

Davines Momo Shampoo and Conditioner

What We Like

  • Lightweight consistency
  • Helps to detangle
  • Great smell

What We Don't Like

  • Shampoo could have a better lather

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Melon | Size: 8.45, 8.7 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Hair can be dry because it’s lacking nutrients and hydration, so you’ll want to look for products that are rich in vitamins that can thicken and strengthen the hair. The Momo Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner from Davines both have Cartucciaru melon—a good source of vitamins A, C, E, and niacin—as the main ingredient for healthy, voluminous hair.2The lightweight formulas can also add shine and make the hair softer and easier to detangle. 

Testing these two was delightful from start to finish— including the initial wash, the results, and the great smell that lasted for days. The shampoo had a lightweight, thinner texture that rinsed out easily, and the conditioner was thicker but not at all heavy. While it didn’t lather that well, our scalp felt squeaky clean after shampooing—and the conditioner spread throughout the hair easily. Immediately after washing, we noticed that the hair felt fuller and softer, with waves that looked more defined and manageable. We especially love that the volume stuck around until the next wash, and it even prevented the usual dandruff from coming in. 

Who It’s For

If you have limp or flat hair, this is a shampoo and conditioner that won’t weigh your hair down any further. We loved that our hair looked more full as we continued using it. 

Best Soft and Silky

Kérastase Nutritive Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner

What We Like

  • Softens and detangles the hair
  • Prevents breakage and shedding
  • Hydrating formula specifically designed for very dry hair

What We Don't Like

  • Conditioner could have a thicker consistency

Hair Type: Medium to thick, dry | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Citrus | Size: 6.8, 8.5 oz | Cruelty-Free: No

If you want shiny, soft, and strong hair, you’ll want to try this hydrating shampoo and conditioner from Kerastase’s Nutritive line. As the name suggests, these two are made with ingredients to reinforce and protect the hair from damage—like niacinamide and plant-based proteins. They both work to condition and detangle dry hair types.

We didn’t see dramatic results after the first wash, but our hair felt softer and thicker with curls that were more manageable after the testing period. We found that our hair wasn’t breaking as much as usual, and it looked overall bouncier and healthier with fewer flyaways. The shampoo had a lightweight feel that was easy to rinse out, and the conditioner—while thinner than we expected—absorbed well. When using twice a week, we loved that our scalp felt very clean with no irritation, and we felt that our hair could stay cleaner even longer. 

Who It’s For

Very dry, brittle hair types that are prone to breakage will benefit the most from this strengthening formula. 

Best for Static Control

Lolavie Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner

What We Like

  • Subtle citrus scent
  • Adds shine and softness

What We Don’t Like

  • Shampoo could have a better lather

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Fresh, Citrus | Size: 8.5 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Frequent static and flyaway hairs are often an indicator of dryness or damage, so you’ll want a shampoo and conditioner that can repair and hydrate. This Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner from Lolavie (Jennifer Aniston’s brand) is filled with plant-based ingredients to nourish and strengthen the hair, such as vegetable ceramides, vegan keratin, and B vitamins biotin and niacinamide. 

While testing, we loved that it thoroughly but gently cleansed the scalp and hair, leaving us with weightless and soft strands. Since our hair was so smooth and silky after washing, we found that we didn’t have to use as many detangling products as usual, nor did we have to use as much heat as we normally would. While brushing, we also noticed that we had way less breakage—which can often appear as static—since using the Lolavie products. 

Who It’s For

Those with hair that gets tangled and matted easily will love using this shampoo and conditioner, as they both make post-wash brushing easier. 

Best Scent

Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner

What We Like

  • Luxurious scent that’s not too overpowering
  • Rich, creamy consistency 
  • Smoothing

What We Don't Like

  • Might be too heavy for fine hair types

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Spicy amber, floral | Size: 8.5 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Having a great-smelling shampoo and conditioner can make every wash day feel like a treat, and this duo from Moroccanoil does not disappoint. With sweet floral and spicy amber notes, the brand’s signature scent lingers about a day or two after washing to keep your hair smelling fresh—but it still isn’t too strong or overwhelming. Both the shampoo and conditioner work to balance the moisture levels in the hair for strands that look hydrated and soft— with argan oil, red algae, and vitamins A and E in the formula. 

We loved that our hair was more defined and felt more moisturized than usual when using (which is probably due to the thick, luxurious feel). It didn’t weigh down our locks, however, and our scalp felt completely clean after washing. The clean feeling lasted as we went a couple of days between washes without the hair becoming oily. After the testing period, we noticed that our hair was sleeker and smoother and looked healthier with less breakage.

Who It’s For

We recommend this for curly and coily hair types that are prone to dryness. The argan oil in the formula provides deep hydration, and the rich texture can lather easily, even in the thickest hair types.  

Best Deep Clean

Olaplex Bond Maintenance No.4 Shampoo and No.5 Conditioner

What We Like

  • Prevents breakage and repairs damage
  • Effective for all hair types
  • Doesn’t strip the hair or scalp of moisture

What We Don’t Like

  • Conditioner could have more slip

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Citrus | Size: 8.5 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes

If you use multiple hair products daily and have a lot of buildup, you’ll need a powerful shampoo and conditioner to clean everything out without causing dryness or irritation. These two picks from Olaplex will give you that hair reset you want. The shampoo has a great lather, and our hair felt super clean after the first wash (and during the entire testing period). 

Since our hair had nothing weighing it down, it dried quickly and looked fresh and healthy after styling. It felt like it was really getting all the dirt and oils out every wash, so much so that we were excited to wash our hair again and again because we knew we would get that clean feeling. 

While the conditioner was a little difficult to distribute throughout the hair, we loved that it added some hydration back in and was easy to rinse out. After the test, we noticed that some flyaways and damage we had prior were completely smoothed out and barely noticeable. Our hair felt more nourished without being slick or greasy. 

Who It’s For

Olaplex is a reparative, bond-building system, so we recommend this pick if you have damaged hair already—or you frequently use heat or color-treat.

Best for Color Care

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner

What We Like

  • Makes hair look and feel more full
  • Gentle formula
  • Adds bounce and shine

What We Don't Like

  • Shampoo has a strong scent

Hair Type: Medium to thick, dry | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Menthol, mint | Size: 9 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Those with color-treated hair need a sulfate-free shampoo that won’t strip color, as well as a conditioner that hydrates and extends the life of their shade. This shampoo and conditioner from Pureology were formulated for color-treated hair types that are in need of some moisture. They both are 100% vegan, with ingredients like green tea, sage, and plant-based proteins for strong, soft hair. We thought that our hair looked thicker and healthier just after the first wash and was much bouncier and softer after the entire test. It also added some much-needed hydration to our scalp and strands. 

While washing, we loved that they had a thick texture—so we only needed a little bit to cover our entire head. The shampoo had a great lather, and cleansed the scalp thoroughly. The conditioner took some time to work into our hair, but we did appreciate how well it nourished our hair. Neither of them caused irritation, and our hair felt clean and smooth after washing.

Who It’s For

If you have split ends or damage, this shampoo and conditioner is able to help. While testing, we noticed that it made our ends feel healthier and more moisturized. 

Best for Thin Hair

Redken All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner

What We Like

  • Great, fresh smell
  • Feels refreshing on the scalp
  • Makes the hair smooth and soft

What We Don't Like

  • Last bit of product is difficult to get out of the bottle

Hair Type: Fine to medium, dry, rough | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Fresh | Size: 10.1 oz | Cruelty-Free: No

Having thin and dry hair can be tricky, since a lot of hydrating products can be too heavy and weigh the hair down. You’ll need a shampoo and conditioner that are nourishing and cleanse well—without leaving a residue behind. We recommend these two from Redken, which are  formulated with argan oil to treat dry, brittle hair types.  When we tested it, we loved that they both had a creamy consistency that spread through the hair well, and they didn’t leave the hair feeling greasy after rinsing. After the first wash, our hair was immediately softer and bouncier—which can be hard to achieve for thin, rough hair. The shampoo removed any gunk that had accumulated throughout the day, and the conditioner was thick and hydrating. The result was smooth, shiny hair—which we were very pleased with.

Who It’s For

If you want to add more bounce and volume to your thin hair, give this shampoo and conditioner a try. 

Best Lightweight

Shu Uemura Urban Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

What We Like

  • Removes product buildup while hydrating
  • Gentle formula
  • Defines thick hair

What We Don't Like

  • Shampoo can be runny

Hair Type: All dry hair types | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Camellia, white strawberry, heliotrope, musk | Size: 8, 10 oz | Cruelty-Free: No

If you have dry hair but don’t enjoy using heavy products, don’t worry—there are still lightweight formulas that can pack in hydration. Our favorite is the Shu Uemura Urban Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner, which have a thinner consistency but are still able to nourish the hair and scalp. They contain moringa oil and red algae, which work together to strengthen and protect the hair from damage.3Both ingredients are also rich in antioxidants to shield and purify the hair from environmental pollutants.4

Our hair was noticeably softer using both for the first time—but didn’t feel weighed down. As we continued using, we saw that it became shinier and stronger, with ends that looked more healthy. We also felt that our waves were more defined after the testing period, and the scalp felt more hydrated.  

Who It’s For

We recommend this pick for color-treated hair types who are in need of a little hydration.

Best for Sensitive Scalps

Virtue Labs Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner

What We Like

  • Works to repair all types of damaged hair
  • Non-irritating formula
  • Beautiful lather

What We Don't Like

  • Bottle caps utilize a lot of plastic, not environmentally friendly

Hair Type: Color-treated, dry, damaged | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Citrus, coconut, and yuzu | Size: 6, 8 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes

When using a variety of haircare products, it’s easy for the scalp to get irritated. If you have dry hair especially, your scalp might feel sensitive at all times—and it can be made worse by using harsh cleansing options. This shampoo and conditioner from Virtue Labs contain a blend of powerful ingredients to make the hair stronger and thicker without causing any irritation. It’s formulated with a protein patented by the brand—Alpha Keratin 60ku—to treat and mend all types of damage. It also contains quinoa, baobab, and grapefruit extract for longer, stronger hair. 

We tested these on fine, thin hair, and we loved that they had a thick, luxurious feel that wasn’t too heavy on the scalp or difficult to rinse out. The shampoo had an intense lather that made it easy to spread across the scalp, and the conditioner was creamy and rich. After washing, our scalp felt super clean and our sensitive scalp wasn’t irritated. The hair felt light and silky, and was much softer and easier to comb. We also loved the subtle scent, which has notes of citrus and coconut. 

Who It’s For

If you find that most hair products feel like they’re stripping all of the natural oils from your hair, you should give this shampoo and conditioner a try. They have a gentle formula that cleanses without drying out sensitive scalps. 

Best Shine

Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner

What We Like

  • Chic packaging
  • Keratin-safe and dermatologist-tested
  • Made the hair look glossy and smooth

What We Don't Like

  • Shampoo is a bit sticky

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Fresh, citrus | Size: 6.5, 8.5 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes

If lustrous locks are what you crave, you’ll want to try this Oribe shampoo and conditioner for a glossy shine. Formulated with argan and cypress oils and a fortifying complex (caffeine, biotin, niacinamide, and plant collagen), these work to add intense moisture and restore your hair back to its healthiest state. The shampoo is able to balance oils in the scalp (no stripped feeling here), and the conditioner smooths and seals in hydration. After using them for six weeks, we were getting compliments that our hair looked considerably healthier. 

We saw results after the first wash—our hair was softer and smoother than usual—and it looked silkier and shinier with each use. They both have a luxurious texture that can take a minute to lather, but it did feel more nourishing than the average shampoo and conditioner. They have a fresh but sweet citrusy scent that just added to the lavish experience (and we can’t forget to mention the beautiful packaging). We didn’t experience any irritation or itchiness—making it a great choice for tender scalps—and we loved that it didn’t fade color. 

Who It’s For

Dry, thick hair types will benefit the most from using this shampoo and conditioner. It has a luxurious consistency that provides a lot of moisture.

What to Look for in a Shampoo or Conditioner for Dry Hair

  • Hydrating ingredients: To repair dry hair, Abramite recommends shampoos and conditioners that contain coconut oil, argan oil, and shea butter. “Coconut oil moisturizes and softens dull, coarse hair and prevents protein loss by nourishing and strengthening it with vitamins,'' she explains. “Argan oil contains vitamin E for silky soft strands, and shea butter locks in moisture with vitamins A and E to heal and seal the cuticle, preventing breakage.” 
  • No sulfates and harsh ingredients: Sulfates and other harsh ingredients (like parabens, mineral oil, and more) strip the hair of its natural oils. They can be very drying, which is exactly what you're trying to avoid. You want the shampoo to increase moisture and repair hair, not do the opposite. 


What causes dry hair?

Dry hair can be caused for a variety of reasons. "First, some people naturally have a drier texture," says Shelly Aguirre, a professional stylist of Chicago's Maxine Salon. “Beyond that, overprocessing and the climate can affect moisture levels.” Celebrity hairstylist Adam Maclay also notes that hot tools can be a common dry hair culprit.

What can I do to treat dry hair?

“Utilizing a gentle shampoo and a hydrating conditioner will help treat dry hair,” Maclay says, “For an added boost, a hair mask once or twice a week will help to keep your ends moisturized." He also recommends taking a break from heat styling and getting a trim every few months to shed dead ends.

How often should you wash dry hair?

Unfortunately, there is no set rule for how often you should wash your hair, however, “dry hair can be caused by overwashing the hair,” according to Maclay. If your hair feels particularly brittle, eliminate one wash from your weekly routine.
As a good rule of thumb, Aguirre recommends washing twice weekly and seeing how your hair responds.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie commerce updates writer Shannon Stubbs updated this article with new products based  on testing insights. She’s worked at Byrdie since 2022, where she covers beauty, wellness, and fashion. 

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. As someone who highlights and often uses hot tools, she’s all about using hydrating products that help keep her hair strong and healthy; she uses a moisturizing shampoo almost every time she washes her hair.

Team Byrdie consulted the following experts for more insight:

Amy Abramite, hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago
Alex Brown, Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist
Adam Maclay, NYC-based celebrity hairstylist
Shelly Aguirre, hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago