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There are a number of ways to end up with damaged hair. Too much sun, bleach, heated styling tools, chemicals in the water and even poor nutrition can all play a part. Once your hair is damaged, you need to know how to fix it and importantly, how to stop happening again… Otherwise you’ll be left with limp, lifeless and frizz prone hair which is difficult to manage.


Damaged hair shows itself in several ways. You’ll notice it’s brittle and easily breakable. You might have split ends and an uneven feel (where some hair is healthier and fuller than the rest) and it’s often dry and lifeless.


Of course everybody knows that prevention is always better than the cure. But, if the damage has already been done, start by switching to one of these shampoos. As a hair stylist with over seven years experience, I’ve seen all sorts and these tried and tested shampoos have fixed even the worst cases of damaged hair.


What can damage your hair?


Most commonly, heat damage. This is caused by over-using styling tools like curling wands, straightening irons and blasting your hair with the hot setting on your hair dryer. Off the top of my head, the biggest no-no here is using irons on wet hair! It causes your hair to split and fray!


Bleaching hair can also cause damage because it strips your hair of it’s pigment leaving it very weak. Perming your hair can also have the same effect. Look for a good sulfate free shampoo which is gentle on your hair and won’t strip your hair of it’s natural oils.


Weather can damage your hair. Both scorching hot sun and freezing cold winter air. Both can hurt burn your scalp and frazzle your hair to it’s roots. My advice is the same in both scenarios; wear a hat! 


Interestingly, poor nutrition can also damage your hair. Just like nails and skin, if you don’t eat a balanced, nutritious diet, you’ll soon notice it in your hair. It’ll lose its shine and weaken over time. You might experience a higher level of hair shedding than normal and find it’s flat and dull. Water, vitamins from fruit and veggies and protein all play a key role in keeping hair follicles and natural oils on the right track.


Finally, your hair can become damaged simply from the water you use to wash it in. Hard water, pollutants and mineral build ups can weigh your hair down. If you’re a swimmer, chlorine can strip hair of it’s oils and leave it brittle. For this, a good clarifying shampoo will work wonders at removing those nasties, leaving your hair cleaned of anything which shouldn’t be there!


Let’s take a look at my top 5 tried and tested shampoos for treating damaged hair.


Best Hypoallergenic Treatment for Dry & Damaged Hair: Maple Holistics Moisturizing Shampoo for Dry & Damaged Hair with Lavender & Jojoba


Maple Holistics is a great hair care brand and this particular shampoo is perfect for dry scalps and dandruff sufferers. It’s sulfate free, hypoallergenic formula of essential oils gently soothes scalps whilst the jojoba and keratin help prevent hair shedding and promote healthy growth.


The essential oils in this shampoo (carrot oil, parsley seed, silk peptides and almond oil) will help restore damaged hair by repairing hair follicles and strengthening hair strands against breakage.


Of course it’s not just us girls who suffer with dry, damaged hair. A few months ago I had a new male customer come in. He’d been plagued with an itchy, flaky scalp and began to use this product on my recommendation. On his last visit to the salon, everything was looking so much healthier. His hair felt soft and healthy and he was happy to report that his itchy, dry scalp was a thing of the past.


It stands to reason that a sensitive scalp needs a natural and gentle shampoo which isn’t full of chemicals. This shampoo from Maple Holistics is just that. It contains pure essential oils, no artificial fragrances and is completely sulfate, paraben and silicon free. Why not try it for yourself and purchase a bottle here.


Best Shampoo for Damaged Hair With Dandruff: Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Shampoo


For dandruff (which can be different to a dry scalp) I’m recommending another Maple Holistics shampoo. This one, made to clear dandruff, contains a mix of essential oils including tea tree which is naturally antifungal and antibacterial.


Just like the first shampoo on this list, it’s sulfate free and gentle on your scalp meaning it won’t irritate sensitive skin. In fact, the natural antiseptic found in tea tree oil will cleanse your scalp and eliminate dandruff flakes. Lavender oil acts as a soothing agent which will reduce the desire to itch.


As well as tea tree and lavender, this shampoo contains argan oil which smooths hair and jojoba oil which is very moisturizing. Silk protein amino acids also feature and they are great for repairing damaged ends, leaving your hair less prone to breakages.


Dandruff can often caused by heat damage or a buildup of pollutants like chlorine, hair products or hard water minerals. Usually a clarifying shampoo would be advisable for removing these unwanteds but when you add a sore scalp and dandruff into the equation, the solution is to purchase and use a sulfate free, natural shampoo like this one.


Best Shampoo For Sun Damaged Hair: Arvazillia Advanced Hair Repair System


This shampoo from Arvazillia is a relatively recent discovery for me and so far, I’ve used it only on my own hair. I like to test new brands out before recommending them to my customers. It’s important to be able to speak from my own experience.


Sun damage is something we should all be mindful of. Even more so during summer and those vacations to hot and sunny places like Mexico and the Caribbean! You’re going to need something powerful to tame that frizz!


You can use this shampoo to help repair hair damaged by many factors including heat and styling product buildup. Personally, I think it’s perfect for restoring moisture and shine which can be lost by sun damage. It’s ingredients include macadamia oil and argan oil to highly nourish your hair right to it’s roots and restore it’s natural oils.


It’s sulfate and paraben free making it a great option for color-treated hair like mine. I road tested this shampoo on a long weekend with the girls to Cabo in Mexico. It left my hair feeling soft and sleek, impressive given the humidity in the air! Why not pick this one up from Amazon like I did? Get it here.


Best Shampoo for Heat Damaged Hair & Split Ends: Andre Lorent Argan Oil Crazy Beautiful Shine Shampoo


If you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you’ll know I’m a big fan of argan oil. It’s just so great for your hair and leaves it looking silky, shiny and full of life. It’ll smooth down frizz and moisturize dry hair by helping restore its natural balance.


Andre Lorent promises a lot with this shampoo. The description tells us that it’ll make your hair smoother, healthier, deluxe, salon like quality and more. Well…  I’d have to agree! It’s a brilliant shampoo which works really well on heat damaged hair.


A woman I recently met with very long hair and split ends galore (due to over styling and infrequent hair cuts) told me about this product. Within one wash her hair felt smoother and after a few weeks of using it a couple of times a week, her hair was visibly healthier with volume and shine.


Do you want to conquer split ends and get ‘crazy beautiful shine’? This shampoo could be the one for you! Oh, and it’s also very reasonably priced. Double winner!


Best For Brittle, Bleach Damaged Hair: Shea Moisture Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo


The most damaged hair I see tends to be that which has been repeatedly bleached over a long period of time. I see it in my profession; years of home-coloring can leave hair very weak and brittle to the point of breakage. You need a very rich, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to repair hair which is this damaged.


Cue Shea Moisture and their strengthen, grow restore shampoo which is gentle enough to use every day. Ingredients include shea butter to moisturize, peppermint for protein and keratin omegas to nourish and protect hair follicles from product build up.


The main ingredient here is one you might not have heard of before: Jamaican castor oil. It gives the shampoo a dark brown almost treacle-like appearance which can be a bit alarming at first but it smells lovely and sweet. Jamaican castor oil is great for repairing very damaged hair because it promotes new growth and is great at detangling even the curliest hair. In fact, this shampoo and the matching conditioner are great for color treated hair of all types. 


Grab a strengthen, grow & restore shampoo and conditioner duo on Amazon here.


The Road to Recovery Starts With A Good Shampoo


Your hair can sustain damage from something as small as the quality of water in your area. Sometimes people don’t even realise it’s happening. Actually, people often laugh when I tell them a good shampoo is all you need to start repairing dry and damaged hair. It’s true though. Something as simple as switching your shampoo can make a big difference. That, and changing your habits to prevent more damage in the future of course!


Be patient. Repairing damaged hair doesn’t happen overnight and it takes time for new hair growth to come through. In time, you’ll see that any one of the five shampoos will help restore your shine and healthy bounce.


Have you tried any of these shampoos? I’d love to hear your recovery stories.

From the author:

My name is Amanda Cooper, and I’ve spent the last seven years of my life as a stylist in Orange County, California helping women like you feel confident about their hair. One of the most important parts of maintaining beautiful hair is using great hair products. That’s why I’m excited to tell you that there are great shampoos and conditions for YOUR hair. I’ve helped hundreds of women find the perfect hair products for them, and I can help you, too. It’s easy… and I’ll be here to guide you every step of the way.


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