Yahoo August 29, 2022



Hyaluronic Acid for Hair Is the Expert-Approved Ingredient You Need ASAP


Hyaluronic acid is a prevalent skincare ingredient that dermatologists and beauty editors love for its incredible moisturizing powers — but did you know this clear liquid ingredient is also fantastic for your hair?

Applying skincare ingredients and technology to scalp care is a trend that has been getting more popular over the past few years, and according to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, M.D., “The trend makes total sense because the scalp, although specialized, is skin. And there is the bonus that a healthy scalp can help support healthy hair growth.”

To help you understand why hyaluronic acid for hair will legitimately upgrade your beauty routine, our beauty editor, Nicole Saunders, consulted experts about its benefits and their go-to product recommendations.


As a quick reminder, hyaluronic acid is a moisture magnet that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. King considers hyaluronic acid a powerful humectant, meaning it loves water, and your scalp and hair will be hydrated AF when you incorporate it into your routine.


Hyaluronic acid for hair is particularly helpful for anyone with a dry scalp or dry hair because it draws moisture — but that's not its only amazing benefit. We asked two of our favorite hairstylists about the many pros of using hyaluronic acid for hair.

Works for all hair types: Aaron Grenia, cofounder of IGK Hair Care, says everyone can use hyaluronic acid for hair regardless of their hair density (fine, medium, or thick) and hair texture (sleek straight to 4C coils on the natural hair chart). "It will definitely work best on drier hair types, but it will not damage other hair types," he says.
Goodbye frizz: Hyaluronic acid helps eliminate frizz and potentially adds volume, notes hairstylist Jenna Spino of Maxine Salon in Chicago.
Calms inflammation: During seasonal changes, we usually experience dry scalp and dandruff, and hyaluronic acid can help reduce inflammation caused by irritation, adds Spino.
Strengthening hair: “Hyaluronic acid is good for the overall health of the hair and scalp. It will help with damaged and dry hair, and make the hair more resilient, which helps prevent breakage,” says Grenia.


Hyaluronic acid for hair is incredible, but King says products without emollients and occlusives may deplete moisture from your hair and scalp. She suggests using hydrating hyaluronic acid hair products such as hair masks and leave-in conditioners to prevent dry scalp and dry hair. "Moisturizers ideally contain a combination of humectants to hydrate, emollients to support the barrier, and occlusives to lock in moisture," adds King.

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, but panthenol, glycerin, glycogen, xylitol, elastin, collagen, and silk keratin are other sought-after humectants.
Common emollients include lipids, oils, shea butter, and colloidal oatmeal.
Popular occlusives are olive oil and beeswax.

Ready for soft, glossy, and frizz-free hair? These hyaluronic acid for hair products either earned a recommendation from our experts or were carefully vetted by Saunders, who considered their ingredients, texture, smell, and reviewer feedback to ensure they moisturize your hair and scalp but are lightweight and non-greasy.


Hydration Spa Therapy Shampoo


  • 24-hour hydration
  • Clean ingredients (and sulfate-free!)
  • Not tested on animals


  • Smaller sizes are sold out on Amazon

Given its relatively affordable price tag, hundreds of glowing online reviews, and the fact that it earned snaps from King, we knew this was our best overall hyaluronic acid for hair product. It's a sulfate-free shampoo, meaning it's a super gentle formula that will remove dirt and product buildup from the scalp without stripping your hair of moisture.

King adores both the shampoo and conditioner from Dove's Hydration Spa Hair Therapy line. "These products are formulated with hyaluronic acid, and I find that they leave my hair feeling soft and moisturized without feeling oily or weighed down," she says.

One 5-star Amazon review adds, “It makes my hair feel really clean, and when used with a good conditioner, my hair has hardly any frizz and is super shiny.”

More: Why the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Lives Up to its Hype

Key Specs

Rating 4.2-star average from nearly 400 Amazon reviews
Other standout ingredients Sodium chloride and glycerin


Densifique Bodifying Shampoo


  • Detangles hair
  • A little goes a long way


  • Some reviewers prefer fragrance-free products

If you're willing to spend more money to achieve thicker hair, opt for Spino's no-fail shampoo and conditioner from the French label Kérastase.

“This shampoo helps hair appear fuller while still providing moisture without being heavy. The concentrated acid plumps the hair preventing future breakage. It also contains gluco-peptide and ceramides to strengthen the hair and add shine,” she says.

Need further proof these are incredible hyaluronic acid for hair products? Spino converted her mother into a longtime fan of the collection. "She actually uses the conditioner every shampoo now because of how lightweight it is. As a result, her hair is healthier and appears fuller. It also smells great," she adds.

Key Specs

Rating 4.6-star average from nearly 3,630 Amazon reviews
Other standout ingredients Ceramides and gluco peptides


Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Anti-Frizz Conditioner


  • Safe for sensitive scalps
  • Provides UV protection


  • Skip if you don't like the smell of coconuts

Grenia co-founded this celeb-favorite line, so naturally, he’s partial to the brand. Still, we’re impressed with the Thirsty Girl conditioner because it combines hyaluronic acid with coconut milk to help cleanse and hydrate hair, leaving it smooth, soft, and frizz-free without weighing it down.

Sephora and Amazon reviewers are also into the tropical-scented conditioner. “It feels so rich immediately out of the bottle, and the way it goes onto your hair is better than any conditioner I’ve tried in the last 10 years (and I’ve tried many),” says one 5-star Sephora review.

Key Specs

Rating 4.6-star average from more than 1,060 Amazon reviews
Other standout ingredients Coconut milk


Coco & Eve
Miracle Hair Elixir


  • Protects hair up to 428 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Coconut and fig scent


  • Not for the scalp

If a hot tool, such as a rotating curling iron, hair dryer, or flat iron, is part of your hair styling routine, then you should never skimp on a heat protectant or risk damaging your healthy strands.

Enter Coco & Eve's moisturizing leave-in hair treatment that uses EmoGreen L15 to reduce heat damage and detangle hair. It's also formulated with a combo of hyaluronic acid and fruits to transform dull, dry strands into shiny, healthy-looking hair.

With a slew of impressive 5-star Amazon reviews, shoppers can't deny this hyaluronic acid hair product's effectiveness. One reviewer with bleached hair gave this treatment a 5-star review because it smells delicious and it softens their delicate strands.

"It's a fantastic heat protectant and makes my hair super soft while holding curls. I can see a huge difference when I don't use it. It makes it look as if you spent a long time styling your hair. 10/10 would recommend," adds another Amazon reviewer.

Key Specs

Rating 4.6-star average from nearly 500 Amazon reviews
Other standout ingredients Mangosteen, papaya, prickly pear, and virgin coconut oil


The Ordinary
Natural Moisturizing Factors + Hyaluronic Acid Scalp Serum


  • Fragrance-free
  • Milky texture absorbs quickly


  • Sold out on Amazon

“It’s nice to have a leave-in option that doesn’t make the hair feel dirty,” King says of this affordable serum. The Manhattan-based dermatologist loves that it combines hyaluronic acid with squalane and natural moisturizing factors to rehydrate the scalp, without weighing down the hair or feeling greasy.

Spino also loves this lightweight leave-in scalp treatment because it comes with a dropper for easy application.

We appreciate that it has a fragrance- and cruelty-free formula, and so do Sephora reviewers who describe it as their holy grail hair product. “My scalp stopped itching instantly, I had my hair in a knot all day, and when I put it down tonight, my ends felt so silky and hydrated, they are usually dull,” says one 5-star review.

Key Specs

Rating 3.9-star average from more than 510 Sephora reviews
Other standout ingredients Squalane and glycine


The INKEY List
Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Hair Treatment


  • Clean formula
  • Softens and moisturizes brittle hair


  • Sold out on Amazon

Key Specs

Rating: 4.3-star average rating from more than 140 Sephora reviews
Other standout ingredients: Betaine and panthenol

We already love The INKEY List's skincare products, so it's no surprise this top-rated hyaluronic acid for hair product earned a spot on our list.

Beyond the enticing under-$10 price tag, this alcohol-, silicone-, and sulfate-free formula is pregnancy- and breastfeeding-safe. Plus, it’s compatible with all hair textures, including coily locks. Just run it through your hair to instantly cut down on frizz and amplify shine, and as your hair dries, your curls will begin to pop.

“It made the hair immediately smooth like a conditioner, and I could untangle my hair easily. It wasn’t greasy, and I didn’t notice any buildup on my hair and kept it manageable and smooth even the next day,” says one Sephora reviewer with curly hair.


NatureLab. Tokyo
Perfect Shine Oil Mist


  • Clean ingredients
  • Conscious Beauty at Ulta


  • Coily hair will need more hydration

The best part about this hyaluronic acid for hair product? It's made with 100% clean ingredients, including grape extract to guard against environmental damage, antioxidant-rich pearl extract, and platinum fibers to add a megawatt shine.

This easy-to-use spray is my personal favorite go-to finishing product for shine. It's so effective that it even helped me refresh my hair to perfection after I got caught in a nasty rainstorm. Its super lightweight formula never weighs down my extensions, either!

Key Specs

Rating 4.8-star average from more than 330 Ulta reviews
Other standout ingredients Grape and pearl extracts, and platinum fibers


Q: Can I use hyaluronic acid skin products on my hair?

Yes, you can apply hyaluronic acid products to your hair and scalp, but King and Spino agree it’s not ideal because skin products could be greasy or weigh down hair in a way that products made for use on your strands won't. Plus, hyaluronic acid skincare products come in small bottles and are relatively expensive, especially compared to larger bottles of hyaluronic acid hair products.

Q: How should readers apply hyaluronic acid to their scalp and strands?

All of our sources agree that it depends on the manufacturer's guidance, but Grenia notes some products can either be applied to the scalp and massaged in or to the strands and damaged ends. His pro tip: Apply hyaluronic acid onto wet hair to help lock in water and add extra moisture.

Q: What is the best formulation of hyaluronic acid for hair?

While hyaluronic acid for hair is found in shampoos and conditioners, Grenia especially loves leave-in products, like serums and sprays. “This is an ingredient that you don’t need to wash out, it’s going to continue to work over time, so I’d actually recommend adding this to your routine as a leave-in conditioner or spray for extra benefits,” he says.