It's true that when you're dealing with damaged hair, it can be a totally frustrating and annoying ordeal. Damaged hair is more prone to breakage, which can lead to frizz. Your hair could look dull and overall unhealthy, and if you leave it untreated and continue to cause damage, the American Academy of Dermatology says it might lead to thinning hair or even bald spots.
If that scared you a bit, it's okay. Take a moment. You good? Okay, now there's good news to all of this: Damaged hair is fixable—you just have to be willing to put in the work, be patient, and use the right products. There are leave-in treatments, masks, oils, serums, etc., that can give your hair a boost. You can also avoid using heat tools, tying your hair too tight, and rubbing your hair with a towel when drying it. And as always, you should try to make sure you are conditioning your hair after coloring it or getting other salon treatments.
One way to combat hair damage? Swapping out your regular shampoos and conditioners for products that are specifically created to treat breakage and troubled hair. These formulas contain nutrients, vitamins, and other ingredients to give your stressed-out strands some TLC.
Take a look at some of the best and highly-rated shampoos and conditioners for damaged hair out there, with real-person reviews for proof that the stuff really works.
If your hair is super dry and damaged, this shampoo from Briogeo is ultra-hydrating. It cleanses the hair and scalp and reduces any buildup, but it's also fortified with nourishing ingredients like algae extract, panthenol, biotin, and rose oil.
What a reviewer says: "I've seen huge changes in my hair after only a couple of uses. I have really thick and pretty curly/wavy hair that I straighten almost every day, and it had been feeling super dry and brittle at the ends. After switching my hair is so silky and soft! And there is little to no noticeable breakage!! It also straightens much easier I've noticed and stays straight."
Pair the above shampoo with this conditioner which contains argan oil, algae extract, and panthenol to repair damage to the cuticle, hydrate, and protect against free radicals.
What a reviewer says: "It has been a while since I have been able to get a haircut. Currently my ends are very dry and frizzy. After using this conditioner I have noticed my hair overall is softer and more hydrated. My ends are more manageable and look better—so I can't wait to see continued positive results."
Olaplex's lineup of hair products really does an amazing job of bringing lackluster hair back to life. This shampoo is formulated to repair the bonds within the hair and also protect against frizz, split ends, and more breakages.
What a reviewer says: "My hair had become the texture of straw, with no movement. After trying all the things… Biotin, vitamin, collagen, etc. to no avail I tried this line with the Bond Repair No. 3 (use overnight) and I have my teenage hair back at 40-plus. I'd [been] resolved to short bobs because my hair was bad but now it's growing past my shoulders and I'm thrilled."
Olaplex's conditioner deeply hydrates and repairs the hair, but it won't weigh it down. Leave it on for three minutes and then rinse.
What a reviewer says: "The first time I used No. 5 I noticed a difference in my hair—it felt and looked soft, smooth, and shiny. The drying time was also accelerated; it took me less time to blow dry my hair (which is long), and I like that. My hair feels full with body yet flows with the wind and the sun reflects itself in the shine of my hair."
This shampoo will repair strands that were damaged by heat, environmental stressors, and chemical treatments. It also contains essential amino acids and omega-7-rich sea buckthorn berry to nourish and strengthen hair.
What a reviewer says: "This is amazing. My hair is silky-smooth after using. I dyed my hair recently and it was very brittle but after using this I can feel my hair transforming right away. What I love is that most of my damage comes from dyeing my hair and this product is color-safe, so I am not afraid to use it. After just one use I notice a difference in my hair; it had a natural shine and [looked] healthy."
Pair Amika's shampoo with the conditioner, which provides extra hydration and strengthening ingredients.
What a reviewer says: "I love this conditioner! I have thin hair with bleached ends. It helps keep my hair happy, healthy, and knot-free."
This keratin-rich shampoo works to repair from within the hair's fiber. It will smooth and strengthen the hair, making it look healthier.
What a reviewer says: "My hair was severely damaged from over-processing by a hairdresser. I tried Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo hoping for a miracle. The product is amazing. My hair felt brittle as if burnt by a fire. After only one use my hair was almost completely restored. It looks extremely healthy and is soft to the touch. I have just ordered the conditioner to go with it."
The above shampoo conditioner is designed to work with this conditioner as part of a treatment system. The formula includes proteins that contain keratin, collagen, and elastin.
What a reviewer says: "I have only used the Keraphix shampoo and conditioner four times so far. My hair type is 4B/4C which tends to be dry in the back. The first time—following the use of a clarifying shampoo—my hair was quite dry. The second time, I only used the Keraphix shampoo and conditioner and my hair transformed. The shampoo has a light fragrance and cleanses well without stripping the hair. I really saw the difference upon using the conditioner."
This shampoo is formulated with pro-keratin to rebuild the hair's structure, ceramides to smooth, and resurrection sap to restore the hair's surface.
What a reviewer says: "Amazing product! I've always had issues with dry, damaged hair, and even after conditioning my hair was so tangly after showering. This product leaves my hair soft, shiny, and very manageable. I'm very very pleased with this product; it is totally worth the money."
Redken's shampoo cleanses your hair thoroughly while also restoring and protecting brittle strands. It's formulated with ingredients like amino acids, arginine, and citric acid.
What a reviewer says: "I have been using Redken for a little bit over a month now, almost daily as I wash my hair that way. I can definitely tell it's protecting my hair from drought or damage. My hair curls are more defined now too, and it smells and feels super fresh. I had just gotten my hair dyed the day before I bought this, and it's preserving the color pretty well."
When you use this conditioner with Redken's shampoo, both will work to reduce breakage and split ends. To finish the whole treatment system, there's also a leave-in treatment as the third step to fortify the hair cuticle.
What a reviewer says: "I have silver/blonde hair so it is damaged. I snagged this shampoo at TJ Maxx and I will not use any other. My hair is so much healthier now. I have never been one to believe hair products so much because nothing has ever worked for my hair but this works so well! My hair started feeling so much stronger, shinier, and less frizzy!"
For a completely rejuvenating experience, try Oribe's shampoo, which is made especially for color-treated or damaged hair. In addition to nourishing and strengthening the hair, it also balances the scalp, promotes circulation, and protects against further damage.
What a reviewer says: "I have never seen my hair look better! I have very fine, chemically-treated blonde hair and usually use a volumizing shampoo. This shampoo has not weighed my hair down but has made it unbelievably shiny and soft. I honestly can't stop looking in the mirror—I can't believe this is my hair!"
If your hair is super dry and frizzy, R+Co's Atlantis shampoo will give it some sweet relief. It's formulated with pro-vitamin B5 for hydration, prickly pear stem extract to promote a healthy pH, and vegetable protein to increase moisture.
What a reviewer says: "Very hydrating and leaves my hair feeling great. I use on color-treated hair and have been for a year—this shampoo also comes as a recommendation from my hairstylist."
This conditioner is designed to treat damaged hair, split ends, and breakage, while also protecting hair color. It's good for straight, wavy, curly, and coily hair types.
What a reviewer says: "Smells very very good! It also works wonders on dry hair and you'll notice improvements within the first day of using it. The ingredients are fungal acne-safe for those who are sensitive, meaning if you have dandruff due to imbalances, this conditioner won't aggravate your scalp."
Good for all hair types, this shampoo targets dried-out strands and other types of damaged hair. The formula is vegan and doesn't contain silicones and sulfates, SLS, or SLES.
What a reviewer says: "I have extremely thick, frizzy hair that requires a lot of attention. I’ve tried so many shampoos and conditioners but this is the one I always come back to. I love how soft and healthy it makes my hair feel. I highly recommend it."
Formulated with argan oil, ceramides, and vitamin E, this shampoo repairs damage from within the hair fiber and leaves your hair silky and shiny.
What a reviewer says: "This fixed my damaged hair. And it smells great. Yes, it's expensive, but it's amazing. A salon burned my hair, and my beautiful waves were funky for months. I had my hair in a ponytail every day. After a month my hair is less damaged for sure. The salon really messed up my hair so I have no choice but to grow it out. But this restored my hair to maybe 85 percent. I can wear my hair down again! I have the conditioner and mask as well."