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How do I Choose the Best Dry Hair Shampoo?

Paul Woods
Paul Woods

Finding the right dry hair shampoo takes time and patience, but can ultimately be beneficial for overall hair health. There is no one dry hair shampoo that works for all people. To choose one an individual needs to sample several, settle on a few to try for a week at a time and assess which one appears to best moisturize his or her hair.

Dry hair can be caused by many disparate factors, including the hair’s texture, an individual’s skin type, outside temperature, moisture levels and hair products. To ensure that hair is as healthy as possible, it is best to start by consulting with a stylist. Dead ends will inevitably dry out, and need to be trimmed regularly. In addition, excessive heat dries hair out; a person with dry hair should avoid straighteners and hot irons, and should only blow-dry hair on a cool setting.

Plastic bottles of shampoo.
Plastic bottles of shampoo.

The best type of shampoo for dry hair will be a moisturizing shampoo. These can be found at department stores, beauty salons and grocery stores. Dry hair shampoo should have a higher level of essential fatty acids, which help the hair shaft retain moisture. In addition, a good dry hair shampoo will have a low pH, which makes it more acidic; such shampoos help to close the hair cuticle rather than opening it and allowing moisture to evaporate.

Shampoo for dry hair should contain a high level of fatty acids to provide moisture.
Shampoo for dry hair should contain a high level of fatty acids to provide moisture.

Because every person has unique hair, it is important to try several similar products and determine which one works best on each specific person. There is not just one good dry hair shampoo, which is why an individual should take home several samples. Most department stores will be open to allowing a customer to use a sample before purchasing an entire bottle.

A good dry hair shampoo will have a low pH.
A good dry hair shampoo will have a low pH.

Narrow down the list of preferred products to one or two, then try out a dry hair shampoo for an entire week. Some people wash hair every day, while others prefer every other day, or even every two days. There is no one right way — a person, rather, should find out what works best for himself or herself.

After trying a dry hair shampoo for an entire week, an individual should have a pretty good idea of the effects the shampoo has on his or her hair, and can make an informed decision for the long term. Any shampoo regimen should be followed by equally careful selection and use of conditioner. In addition, an individual should keep up steady trims of the hair every three months.

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Discussion Comments


Can anyone recommend specific shampoos and conditioners for dry hair that they've tried and liked?

I've been looking for the best dry hair shampoo and conditioner for a while now. I have terribly dry hair thanks to color treatments and hair styling. The problem I have with dry hair shampoos is that they are not suitable for color treated hair. They moisturize but also strip the color from my hair.

Does anyone know of a dry hair shampoo that doesn't do that?


I think there is confusion between dry hair shampoo and dry scalp shampoo. It's possible to have both of these conditions, but this doesn't mean that a dry scalp shampoo will help someone with dry hair.

I made this mistake once. I bought a dry scalp shampoo thinking that it's the same thing as a dry hair shampoo. But it isn't and it really didn't help my hair at all. I learned to read labels really carefully after that.

It's also a good idea to read dry hair shampoo reviews. Sometimes it's not possible to get samples to try and a good quality shampoo can be expensive. I don't like to waste money so I'd rather spend some time reading reviews first.


I have extremely dry and brittle hair. I think many of the dry hair shampoos on the market work fairly well if they contain natural oils in them. I always check the ingredients list on the back of the bottle before I buy it.

From my experience, shampoos with olive oil and coconut oil are really good. These oils are absorbed nicely into the hair. I always get beautiful, soft and shiny hair when I use a dry hair shampoo with these oils.

And something else which really helps in addition to using a good shampoo for dry hair is rinsing with cold water. I rinse with warm water first but my final rinse is always done with cold water. Cold water closes hair cuticles and keeps the moisture locked in the hair. This is a tip I learned from my hair stylist.

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    • Plastic bottles of shampoo.
      By: Dessie
      Plastic bottles of shampoo.
    • Shampoo for dry hair should contain a high level of fatty acids to provide moisture.
      By: Valua Vitaly
      Shampoo for dry hair should contain a high level of fatty acids to provide moisture.
    • A good dry hair shampoo will have a low pH.
      By: thelosteyeball
      A good dry hair shampoo will have a low pH.