If you deal with dry hair or a dry scalp on a regular basis, we feel you. It can be difficult to find the right products to hydrate dry hair in general and even more difficult to find the right ones to actually keep it moisturized for longer than, like, five minutes. Here at SELF, we recognize that there’s more than one way to classify dry hair, which is why we’ve tested and rounded up the best products for all kinds—from dry, natural hair , to dry scalp . Brands like Aussie and Mielle Organics were among our testers' favorites that helped pump up hair hydration for real, for real.
No matter what your specific hair type, our panel of experts advised that you look for products that contain ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E , as well as a blend of oils, like coconut, olive, and jojoba, to keep strands super moisturized. As far as what to avoid if you have dry hair? They said to try to steer clear of ingredients like alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate, which can be even more drying to an already dry scalp and tresses. Keep reading for the 2019 Healthy Beauty Awards picks for dry hair that will give thirsty
strands (no shade) a much-needed pick-me-up.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Reviews have been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
Best Shampoo for Dry Hair: Marc Anthony Bye. Bye. Frizz Silicone Free Keratin Smoothing Shampoo
This shampoo is formulated with ingredients like Abyssinian oil and amino acids to help lock in moisture while blocking out frizz in the process. See the full ingredients list here .
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product is sulfate-free and contains Abyssinian oil, which our derms recommended you look for.
One Tester Said: “The first time I used this shampoo, I proceeded to spend the next 12 hours outside at a music festival. There was sweat. (A lot of it.) There was wind. There was dirt, and grime, and even a cowboy hat…and my hair magically managed to remain soft and bouncy through it all. Was it because of this shampoo? I’m gonna say yes.”
Buy It: $10, walgreens.com
Best Shampoo for Dry, Natural Hair: Carol's Daughter Coco Creme Curl Quenching Shampoo
Created specifically for extremely dry hair, this hydrating shampoo features a blend of coconut oil and other ingredients to help hair and scalp look and feel moisturized. See the full ingredients list here .
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product has coconut oil, dimethicone, glycerin, and mango seed butter, which our derms recommended you look for if you have dry, natural hair.
Just So You Know: This product also contains sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (SLS), which our derms said to watch out for—it can be more drying to some.
One Tester Said: “I'm obsessed with this! It has a beautiful—but not overpowering or overly fake—coconut smell, and the texture is much thicker and more luxurious than the shampoos I've used recently. That made it seem pretty moisturizing, which is great because my hair gets dry really easily. It also worked up a great lather with only a few dollops of product—key for me, since my hair is really thick and I hate feeling like I need half a bottle of shampoo to get a few suds.”
Buy It: $9, amazon.com
Best Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Dry Hair: Biolage R.A.W. Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
This exfoliating shampoo is formulated with a mix of salicylic acid and willow bark to help eliminate dandruff. Our reviewers love that this product helps to remove flakes and dandruff without sacrificing moisture. See the full ingredients list here .
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product contains salicylic acid, which our derms recommended you look for.
One Tester Said: “I’m just gonna say it: I have a bit of a dandruff problem. Which means I’ve tried a lot of dandruff shampoos; most of which dry out my hair, make my scalp burn, and/or smell medicated. Except for this one. Biolage’s shampoo doesn’t strip my strands of much-needed moisture, but does loosen dead skin cells sitting on my scalp. After one shampoo, I went from very flaky to mid-level flaky, and after two, I saw significant improvement.”
Buy It: $25, ulta.com
Best Conditioner for Dry Hair: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Curls Conditioner
If you struggle with keeping your curls frizz-free and moisturized, this conditioner might just be the one for you. Formulated with coconut and jojoba oils, it literally takes three minutes for this product to transform dry curls into bouncy, hydrated spirals. See the full ingredients list here .
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product contains aloe extracts, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and dimethicone, which our derms said to look for.
Just So You Know: This product contains alcohol, which our derms said could be drying.
One Tester Said: “As someone with dry, color-treated hair, I've used a lot of conditioners in my day. Anything to give my hair some oomph, right? So I can say with some authority that this deep conditioner smells and feels a-ma-zing. The creaminess of the avocado and jojoba oil worked great. Seriously, I felt like a mermaid. While my hair is pretty straight right now, I can't wait to try this out during the summertime when New York City humidity makes my hair curly/wavy. I'm optimistic.”
Buy It: $10, target.com
Best Conditioner for Dry, Natural Hair: Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Leave-in Conditioner
Not only does this conditioner help to hydrate dry, natural hair, but it also helps to make detangling way easier after it’s rinsed out. Our reviewers loved how hydrating this conditioner was without weighing down the hair. See the full ingredients list here .
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product contains hydrating oils such as babassu oil, buriti fruit oil, and Murumuru butter, which our derms suggest you look for.
One Tester Said: “I. Love. This. As soon as you pump some into your hands, the smell basically transports you to a lush tropical island populated with fruit trees. Even though it smelled great, that got a little overpowering when it was all over my hair. But my hair soaked this up really quickly, which I loved because I hate when conditioners just sit on top of my strands. This seemed to quench my hair's thirst pretty well.”
Buy It: $13, amazon.com
Best Deep Conditioner for Dry, Natural Hair: Curls The Green Collection Bamboo Protein Treatment
Created specifically for weak or brittle hair, this deep conditioning treatment features key dermatologist-approved ingredients, like hydrolyzed keratin, for optimal hair hydration. See ingredients list here .
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product also contains avocado oil and coconut oil, which our derms suggested you look for.
One Tester Said: “I have this theory that this product actually makes my hair dry a little quicker post-wash, which is crucial and amazing. It's not too thick so it was easy to finger comb through my tight coils. As my hair air-dries with this product, it feels sooo soft and fluffy, which is a win since my hair can get so hard and weird sometimes. Two of my biggest complaints about leave-in treatments is that they leave behind residue or just sit on top of your hair doing nothing—this treatment did none of that and I was pleasantly surprised!”
Buy It: $20, target.com
Best Deep Conditioner for Dry Hair: Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector
This treatment is free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates, if that's something you care about. It's also formulated with jojoba seed oil, a moisturizing ingredient our dermatologists gave gold stars to for dry hair types. See the full ingredients list here .
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product is sulfate-free, which our derms suggested you look for.
Just So You Know: This product also contains propylene glycol (PG), which our derms suggested you watch out for.
One Tester Said: “Olaplex is the best. I tried the whole system, so the treatment (Number 3) followed by the shampoo (Number 4) and conditioner (Number 5) and my hair looks so incredibly healthy right now. This product feels thicker and softer and my ends don't look nearly as dry as they do most days. As someone with highlighted hair, I need to use deep conditioning treatments about once a week (especially on my ends) and this Olaplex system is the best I have used in a long time. I am psyched that you can now get Olaplex at home (it used to be a salon-only treatment, and I've had it used on my hair before during a highlights appointment). The fact that I can now do it myself every week is a total game changer.”
Buy It: $28, sephora.com
Best Deep Conditioner for Damaged Hair: Kérastase Paris Résistance Masque Extentioniste
All you need is a dollop of product and about five to 10 minutes for this hair mask to lock in extra moisture. Reviewers love it because of how shiny and soft it leaves their hair after using it. See the full ingredients list here .
One Tester Said: “I will be a Kerastase girl until the day I die, loved this product. It left my hair feeling nourished, soft, and shiny. What more could you want?”
Buy It: $39, amazon.com
Best Deep Conditioner/Hair Mask for Damaged, Natural Hair: Oribe Moisture & Control Deep Treatment Masque
If your curls are feeling a little on the thirsty side, this deep conditioner—featuring a blend of butters (like mango seed) and oils (like sweet almond and coconut)—will keep them hydrated and super soft. See the full ingredients list here.
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product contains hydrating ingredients like murumuru seed butter, mango seed butter, coconut oil, soybean oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, which our derms suggested you look for.
One Tester Said: “So into this deep conditioner! I was pleasantly surprised by how hydrated my hair felt after I used it, and how creamy and buttery the conditioner itself feels. It also smells wonderful and makes detangling my hair way easier."
Buy It: $63, dermstore.com
Best Exfoliant for Dry Scalp: Renpure Tea Tree and Lemon Sage Refreshing Moisture Scalp Serum
This plant-based serum features ingredients like tea tree oil and peppermint extract to help invigorate and moisturize the scalp. See the full ingredients list here .
One Tester Said: “Great smell! The texture of this was a rich and pudding-like, which is the perfect consistency. As someone who has never considered scalp-care before, I have realized the error of my ways. Massaging it into my scalp was so pleasant—my scalp feels squeaky clean and healthy.”
Buy It: $8, target.com
Best Oil for Dry Hair: Bumble and Bumble Bb. Curl Luminous Oil Spray
Not only does this oil-based spray feature a blend of moisturizing oils, but it also provides heat and UV protection to help keep curls looking their bounciest and healthiest. Bonus: The spray can be used on either damp or dry hair. See the full ingredient list here .
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product contains hydrating oils such as babassu oil, pracaxi oil, cupuaçu oil, and Brazil nut oil, which our derms said to look for.
One Tester Said: “This light and moisturizing oil was great on my curls! It didn't weigh them down and they stayed defined and frizz-free for longer than usual without any other styling product. If I wanted multiple days of style or definition I had to layer this product with my gel, but they worked well together. I followed the instructions on how much to use, which is good because when applying to wet hair I would definitely have over-applied! You don’t need as much as you might think. It soaks in immediately and almost disappears but I was left with soft, shiny, flexible curls.”
Buy It: $34, ulta.com
Best Styling Product for Dry Hair: Adria by Thalia “The Stylist” Styling Foam
This lightweight foam is made with hydrating ingredients like avocado seed oil that provides moisture and hold for dry hair without weighing it down. Even better: Our reviewers also say that it smells amazing. See the full ingredients list here .
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product contains hydrating oils like hibiscus seed oil, avocado seed oil, and coconut fruit extract, which our derms said to look for.
Just So You Know: This product contains propylene glycol (PG), which our derms said to watch out for.
One Tester Said: “This stuff is awesome. Smells amazing. Gives a good hold, texture, and volume. I've been using it to revive my second-day hair and it's been working like a charm.”
Buy It: $10, target.com
Best Styling Product for Dry, Natural Hair: Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Curl Sculpting Custard
If you’re a fan of twist-outs or braid-outs, you might just fall in love with this sculpting custard. Our reviewers love the curl definition they received after using it in their natural hair. See the full ingredients list here .
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product contains hydrating ingredients like coconut oil, honey, babassu oil, murumuru seed butter, and sweet almond oil, which our derms said to look for.
One Tester Said: “I liked this because it was more of a jelly consistency which actually defines my curls and holds the shape a little bit more. I would definitely use this for wash-n-go's in the future.”
Buy It: $12, sallybeauty.com