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Dry Hair: Best Shampoos and Conditioners

My top picks for dry, coarse and curly hair


If your hair is bone dry because of the lack of humidity in the air, you may need to switch up your shampoo and conditioner. The shampoos and conditioners below are formulated for dry hair.

You should condition every time you shampoo. Look for an ultra-moisturizing conditioner made especially for coarse hair. Look for conditioners that contain avocado, macadamia oil, shea butter or aloe vera, suggests stylist Alain Pinon in O the Oprah Magazine. Once a month use a hot oil treatment. For extra-dry hair, use an intense moisturizing treatment every 2 weeks.

More bests:

Best Shampoo for Very Dry Hair: Kerastase Bain Satin 3

The creamy formula found in Kerastase Bain Satin 3 is known for cutting down on frizz (something about cationic polymers that target damaged areas, but we won't bore you with the details). What's great about this shampoo? "It really hydrates the whole hair shaft," according to Roanni Castro of NYC's Julien Farel salon in InStyle Magazine, which makes this a beauty best buy year after year.

Best Conditioner: Kerastase Nutritive Masquintense

I use this conditioner on my hair every few days. It's rich and ultra-moisturizing. If you have super dry hair, use this after you shampoo. There's no better conditioner. Pat hair dry, then coat in this mask. Leave on for a few minutes, rinse and you're left with soft, manageable hair.

Best Oil Treatment: Morrocan Oil

For distressed, dry hair, there is no better lifesaver that Moroccanoil. A staple backstage at Fashion Week and a favorite of NY's top hairstylists like Orlando Pita, this oil is famous for revitalizing hair while creating shine and manageability. While all this may sound like some sort of PR agency talk, consider that Vogue editor Sally Springer uses it every day. If someone who has access to every beauty product love this stuff, it's gotta work.

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A Great Conditioner: Redken All Soft Heavy Cream

Another fabulous salon conditioner, Redken All Soft Heavy Cream won't weigh hair down or leave residue as it moisturizes and detangles. This deep conditioner is great for de-frizzing.

Best Curly Hair Shampoo: DevaCurl No Poo Products

I don't have curly hair, but I have many friends who do and the ones with the best hair use DevaCurl's No Poo products. These super-moisturizing cleansers were created with super curly hair in mind. They use little- to no-lathering agents, which cut down on frizz while hydrating dry, coarse hair. Choose from products formulated for blonde and brunette hair color, leave-in conditioners and more.

John Masters Evening Primrose Shampoo for Dry Hair

A favorite among bloggers concerned about sulfate-free shampoos, John Masters is a great company. Sulfate-free shampoos are a great bet for dry hair because they are free of detergent, which can strip hair of moisture. (I have a list of other good ones here).


Best Organic Shampoo: Alba Botanical Cocoa Butter Dry-Repair Hair Wash


Alba Botanical is one of the best organic shampoo companies. This Cocoa Butter Dry-Repair Hair Wash is excellent for dry hair because it's signature ingredient is cocoa butter, a very concentrated, protective emolient that's full of nutrients while also protecting hair against natural elements. This shampoo also contains aloe and kelp and tropical fruit extracts to wash away impurities. 


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Best Leave-in Conditioner: Kiehl's Leave In Hair Conditioner

Nicole Pearl, founder of thebeautygirl.com, says in Allure Magazine that she swears by Kiehl's Leave-in Conditioner. She suggests using a nickel-sized amount of Kiehls with a dime-size blob of your favorite sculpting gel on towel-pressed hair (never rub hair if you have a tendency for frizz or you have curly hair). Then dry with a blow-dryer or let air dry.

Best Inexpensive Conditioner: Herbal Essences Replenishing Conditioner

Bought at any drugstore, you'll find Herbal Essences Replenishing Conditioner will give you salon-quality softness for a fraction of the price.

Redken All Soft Shampoo

Redken is a great drugstore shampoo and conditioner for dry hair. The All Soft line is specially formulated for dry hair.

Also try Redken All-Soft Conditioner

Mane 'n Tail Conditioner

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Mane 'n Tail Conditioner was created for show horses and is meant to soften their manes and tails. It has been around since at least 1993 and many celebrities including Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker have touted it as one of their beauty secrets. I'm serious. I have a friend who swears by it and says "nothing makes my hair softer." This is a good product for typically dry, coarse hair. You can get it at Ricky's for $9, your local horse grooming store (heh) or buy it online cheaper.

Skip the Shampoo, Try a Cleansing Conditioner

You can also skip the shampoo completely (even some sulfate-free shampoos contain gentle surfacants which can cause frizzing) and try a cleansing conditioner, which contain essential oils that cleanse hair without stripping hair of natural oils. Try: L'Oreal's EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner (buy it online) or Pantene's Truly Co-wash Cleansing Conditioner (buy it online).


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