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Extremely Dry & Damaged Hair? Why Your Shampoo May be to Blame

Did you know that the shampoo you choose can be the difference between having healthy, moisturized hair and dry, damaged hair? Really!

Choosing the wrong type of shampoo – and shampooing too often – can leave your hair parched and prone to damage. If you have dry, damaged hair, keep reading to learn the causes and what you can do to improve the condition of your hair. Plus, we’ll tell you how to find the best shampoo for dry hair!


What is Dry, Damaged Hair?

Dry hair happens when your hair doesn’t receive or retain enough moisture. How do you know if you have dry hair? Dry, damaged hair looks dull, frizzy, and straw-like. Dry hair is more brittle than moisturized hair, which means it’s prone to breakage and split ends.

Do you find yourself scratching your head often? A dry, itchy scalp often goes hand-in-hand with extremely dry, damaged hair.

What Causes Extremely Dry, Damaged Hair?

So what causes dry, damaged hair? Here are a few common culprits:

Environmental Conditions

You’ve probably already noticed that both your hair and skin are drier in the winter. The frigid temperatures in the winter mean that there is less humidity in the air, which causes moisture to escape from your skin and hair.

Heat Damage

Using heat tools without any kind of heat protectant damages the cuticle of the hair shaft, allowing moisture to escape.

Hair Type

Some hair types are just more prone to dry hair. In general, the curlier your hair is, the more likely you will have dry hair.

In fact curly hair requires a special care. Check out this blog post, and learn everything you need to know to start The Curly Girl Method - including the approved products to use.

Chemical Damage

Chemical treatments like bleaching, hair coloring, relaxing, and perming can also damage the protein structure of the hair, leaving your locks parched.

Using the Wrong Types of Products

Using hair products with harsh ingredients can also dry out your hair. That’s why it’s so important to use a moisturizing shampoo (more on that later).

Inadequate Nutrition

If you don’t eat enough vitamins and minerals, your scalp may struggle to produce enough oil to keep your hair adequately moisturized.


Believe it or not, using cotton towels and pillowcases can dry out your hair. Cotton has rough fibres, and when you rub those fibres on your hair, they can muss up your cuticle and allow moisture to escape. This is a common cause of dry hair that not many people know about!


As we get older, our scalps produce less natural oils. If you’ve just developed dry hair, this could be the reason why! To counteract this aspect of aging, it’s important to use a shampoo for dry hair.

Why Your Shampoo May Be Causing Dry, Damaged Hair

One of the biggest causes of extremely dry, damaged hair is using the wrong type of shampoo. Many shampoos on the market are simply too harsh for the hair. These shampoos contain drying ingredients that strip the hair and scalp of its natural protective, moisturizing oils. That’s why it’s so important to choose a shampoo for dry hair.

Washing your hair too often may also be the reason why you have extremely dry, damaged hair. Most people should aim to wash their hair two to three times per week.

The only exception is people who exercise vigorously daily. If you exercise often, you should rinse the sweat out of your hair (sweat can also leave you with dry, damaged hair). However, you only need to use shampoo every other day.

That doesn’t mean that washing your hair less than two to three times per week is necessarily better. Just as you can wash your hair too often, you can also wash your hair too little.

How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Dry Hair

Now that you know how your choice of shampoo affects your hair, it’s time to choose the best shampoo for dry hair. We recommend looking for a moisturizing shampoo that contains the following ingredients:

Shampoo for Dry Hair Ingredient #1: Organic Aloe Leaf Juice

Aloe is rich in enzymes, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients that moisturize the hair and scalp. Plus, aloe helps maintain an ideal pH level of the scalp to support healthy hair growth.

Shampoo for Dry Hair Ingredient #2: Vegetable-Derived Glycerin

Glycerin is a natural humectant, which means that it draws moisture into the hair. This is an ideal ingredient for extremely dry, damaged hair because the glycerin will help the hair maintain its hydration for long periods.

Hairlust only uses natural, vegetable-derived glycerin, which is healthier for the hair.

Shampoo for Dry Hair Ingredient #3: Organic Mango Extract

Mango extract has hydrating properties that imbue parched locks with moisture. Mango extract is also rich in antioxidants that protect damaged hair against environmental aggressors like UV rays and air pollution.

Shampoo for Dry Hair Ingredient #4: Organic Blueberry Extract

Like mango extract, blueberry extract is rich in protective antioxidants. Blueberries also contain compounds called proanthocyanidins, which work to improve hair elasticity and shine.

Shampoo for Dry Hair Ingredient #5: Aquaxyl™

This sugar-derived compound provides deep yet lightweight moisture for hair, skin and scalp. By preventing water loss through evaporation AQUAXYL™ helps hair and scalp maintain their moisture level for 8+ hours.

There are also several ingredients you should avoid when shopping for a moisturizing shampoo:

  • Parabens – Parabens are used as preservatives in beauty products. Parabens are considered potential endocrine disruptors, which means that they can mess with your hormones. Parabens have no place in a shampoo for dry hair!
  • Sulfates – Sulfates are added to shampoos to help them lather. Sulfates can have many names, including sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), laureth sulfate sodium, and lauryl sulfoacetate sodium. Sulfates strip the hair and scalp of its natural moisturizing oils, which can leave you with dry hair. That’s why you should avoid certain types of sulfates when shopping for a moisturizing shampoo. However, not all types of sulfates are created equal! Ingredients like Sodium sulfate and Sodium Coco-sulfate (SCS) are gentler options and a safer alternative to SLS! These gentle sulfates still provide a rich lather and leave skin and hair feeling clean.
  • Silicones – By coating the hair, silicones make the hair shiny and give it a healthy appearance. However, prolonged use can lead to issues such as buildup, making the hair appear dull and weighed down. This also prevents the hair from absorbing the much needed moisture, resulting in dryness and brittleness, particularly for people who already have damaged hair.
  • Phthalates – Like parabens, phthalates are considered to be endocrine disruptors and should be avoided when choosing a moisturizing shampoo.

My Picks for the Best Shampoos for Dry Hair

If you have damaged hair, or suffer from hair breakage, I recommend Split Fix™ Shampoo as the best shampoo for dry hair. If instead your hair is porous, coarse and prone to frizz, try the Moisture Hero™ Shampoo that provides long-lasting hydration. Both of them are excellent moisturizing shampoos formulated without common harsh sulfates and contain hydrating and protective ingredients like organic aloe leaf juice, vegetable-derived glycerin, jojoba oil, and Aquaxyl™.

These shampoos for dry hair contain protective and repairing ingredients that ensure that your hair grows as healthy as possible. If you’re looking for the best shampoo for dry hair, look no further!

Hint: Hairlust has gentle shampoo formulas for blondes and thin hair too!

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8 Steps to Improve the Condition of Dry, Damaged Hair

Besides using the best shampoo for dry hair, there are several other ways that you can improve the condition of dry, damaged hair.

1. Condition Your Hair

Condition Your Hair

Repeat after us: always apply conditioner to hair after shampooing! Conditioner balances your hair’s moisture levels and imbues it with nutrients.

I recommend using Split Fix™ Conditioner if your hair is prone to breakage and split ends. It contains hydrating botanical ingredients like cacao seed butter and oat extract, as well as jojoba esters that work to repair and strengthen dry, damaged hair. The Moisture Hero™ Conditioner is your choice if your hair feels frizzy, extremely dry and coarse. This ultra-hydrating and nurturing conditioner for dry hair hydrates very thirsty strands and prevents moisture loss.

One to two times per week, use Moisture Hero™ Hair Mask in place of your regular conditioner. This moisturizing hair treatment imbues parched locks with an extra dose of hydration for healthier-looking hair.

2. Get a Trim

Get a Trim

Extremely dry, damaged hair tends to have a lot of split ends. If this is the case for you, it may be wise to get a trim to remove those split ends and “reset” the hair.

3. Use a Pre-Shampoo Treatment

Pre-Shampoo Treatment

If you have extremely dry, damaged hair you can also lock in hydration before applying a moisturizing shampoo by using a pre-shampoo treatment like Moisture Hero™ Pre-Shampoo Balm. Made with 100% naturally-derived moisturizing ingredients like olive oil and shea butter, this hydrating treatment leaves hair soft and frizz-free.

4. Change Your Hair Washing Routine

Change Your Hair Washing Routine

As we mentioned before, the best hair washing routine for dry hair is to wash and condition your hair every two to three days. And FYI: using even the best dry shampoo does not count as washing your hair!

Another smart move is to lower the temperature of your shower. While hot showers feel great, they’re very drying for your skin. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to take cold showers! Using lukewarm water will help you to avoid extremely dry, damaged hair.

5. Protect Your Hair from Heat

Protect Your Hair from Heat

While we always recommend skipping heat tools as much as possible, we know that sometimes you want a look that you can only achieve with the help of a curling iron! When you want to use heat tools, make sure to protect your hair first using Thermal Shield™ Heat Protectant. Thanks to its content rich in antioxidants and plant derived DayMoist CLR™ it forms a shield of protection on hair, prepping it for blowdrying, straightening and heat styling.

It’s also wise to lower the temperature on your heat tools. There is no need to fry your hair with a high heat setting if you can get the same result with a lower temperature! In general, the finer your hair, the lower the temperature setting you’ll need to use. Experiment to find the minimum temperature required to achieve your desired look.

6. Shield Against the Sun

Shield Against the Sun

Just as UV rays can damage your skin, they can also damage your hair. The antioxidants (from Phytessence™ French Oak Extract) that help Sun Defense Hair Mist defend your hair against UV rays can also defend your hair against high temperatures. If you’re planning to spend long periods in the sun, it’s also a good idea to wear a hat to protect your hair and your skin.

7. Take Your Vitamins

As we mentioned before, your scalp needs a certain mix of nutrients to produce sebum, the natural oil that moisturizes and protects your hair.

To make sure you’re consuming enough nutrients for healthy hair, try HairLust Hair Formula Gummies for Women. These delicious gummies are formulated with vitamins and minerals proven to promote healthy hair, including vitamin C, biotin, folic acid, silica, and zinc. Plus, they’re vegan and produced with all-natural ingredients, so you know they’re good for you!

8. Protect Your Hair Overnight

Protect Your Hair Overnight

Sleep your way to healthier hair! Swap out your traditional cotton pillowcase with our Silky Bamboo Pillowcase for frizz-free, hydrated hair. Bamboo has much smoother fibres than cotton. Your hair and skin can glide effortlessly across the pillowcase all night long, which means you wake up with less bedhead and smoother skin to boot!

If you have extremely dry, damaged hair, the first step in your plan to regain healthy hair should be to seek out a moisturizing shampoo. By choosing the best shampoo for dry hair, you’ll be well on your way to restoring your hair!

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