Best Shampoo for Damaged Hair and Split Ends

Unless you have pristine strands that have never seen a color treatment, heat tool, or long day at the pool, you’re probably no stranger to damaged hair. And you probably know the basics of how to deal with it: treat yourself to a hair mask, avoid heat styling when possible, book a trim, etcetera, etcetera. But personally, we could always use a little help with the specifics. Enter Brittany Deen, Moroccanoil Artistic Team Member and salon owner. We talked to her to get some damage-focused insider info on a crucial component of any haircare routine: shampoo. Read on to find out her pick for the best shampoo for damaged hair, plus more tips and tricks for getting your hair back on track.

What are the most common causes of hair damage?

I believe one of the most common causes of hair damage is heat. Chemical services can sometimes compromise the structure of the hair. However, daily heat styling can be more detrimental to the integrity of the hair in the long run.

How can you determine if your hair is damaged?

A good way to determine if your hair is damaged is to observe how quickly the ends of your hair dry naturally after the shower. If the ends seem to dry more quickly than the rest of your hair, that’s a sign that your hair is porous and could lack moisture. You can also do a simple at-home test. Hold a single strand of hair between two fingers, at approximately mid-length. Tug on the end with your other hand. If your hair feels stretchy or brittle, it’s more than likely damaged. If the hair bounces back and does not stretch when pulled, then the bonds of the hair are strong and are more than likely healthy.

Why is it important to choose a shampoo carefully when your hair is damaged?

Choosing the right shampoo for damaged hair is very important. Shampooing is the first step in the process of treating the hair, and it is crucial to attack you hair issues from step one. Using a strengthening or reparative shampoo will help to start the process of reinforcing the bonds within the hair.

What qualities or ingredients should you look for when choosing a shampoo for damaged hair and split ends?

When I notice that my hair is dry or damaged, the first ingredient I look for is argan oil is sunflower seed oil. I know that both of these are high in antioxidants and will benefit dry, damaged hair. Other ingredients I look for when choosing a shampoo for damaged hair are Vitamin E or coconut oil. [Editor’s Note: Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo is infused with argan oil, reconstructive keratin, and essential fatty acids to help breathe life back into damaged strands.]

What qualities or ingredients should you avoid when choosing a shampoo for damaged hair and split ends?

Two things I try to avoid when selecting a shampoo for damaged hair are sulfates and parabens. Sulfates can be a harsh cleansing agent, so using a sulfate-free shampoo will ultimately leave the hair more moisturized. [Hi, editor here again with good news. All Moroccanoil shampoos are sulfate-free!] Parabens can leave a buildup on the hair, preventing moisture from penetrating into the hairs cuticle.

What actions can you take to help prevent damage and split ends?

You can take a few preventative measures to protect your hair. Using a silk pillowcase can reduce friction on brittle hair and help prevent future breakage. Choosing a loose ponytail holder is also ideal for brittle hair. (A tight hair tie may cause more breakage when used repeatedly.) Another preventative measure would be to deep condition your hair weekly.

What are your top tips for dealing with and styling damaged hair?

When styling damaged hair, it’s very important to use the proper heat settings and also to apply a heat protectant to the hair. Typically, at-home styling tools shouldn’t be used at temperatures higher than 375–400 degrees. The less heat you use on damaged hair, the better. Look up a few no-heat hair styles to find new ways to style your hair. For instance, braids are a great way to style your hair without the use of hot tools.