The Best Hydrating Shampoos in 2023
Did you know that hydrating and moisturizing your hair are two separate things altogether? If you have noticed someone’s hair just glowing and shining super brightly in the sun, it is probably because they have done a lot of hydrating. Not moisturizing!
Before moisturizing your hair with conditioners and hair oils, etc., you should make sure that you have moisture in your hair even to begin with! And that’s where hydration comes in. Hydrating your hair essentially keeps your hair soft, strong, and bouncy even in hot and humid climates. Without hydrating your hair first, your hair will be frizzy and will most likely “puff up” when you are in a hotter climate.
Plus, the intense hair blowing, color treatments, and curling that we do to our hair has a much larger impact on hair health than we think. The amount of heat that has been applied to our hair while we’re in a hair salon (or using heat tools at home) affects the hydration in each strand of hair.
Both hydrating and moisturizing are crucial to your hair routine, but most people often neglect it, choosing to just do one over another. Some also refuse to use a proper hydrating shampoo even though their hair gets color-treated every month. If that sounds familiar, and you’re now in the market for some hydrating shampoo to restore your hair to its former glory, we have you covered.
Let’s explore the best hydrating shampoos in 2023 that are guaranteed to leave your hair feeling fantastic!
1. Blu Atlas Shampoo
The one that tops our shopping list is definitely Blu Atlas Coconut Apricot Shampoo. Blu Atlas is a firm favorite for many of us in the beauty world and we are so glad that it’s so easily accessible to everyone else!
They have a couple of shampoos, but this gentle shampoo made with saw palmetto and vegan biotin is the one that you should use if you need more hydration in your hair. It is formulated with jojoba protein, which is rich in Vitamins A, D, and E and helps with fortifying strands that have undergone hefty salon work.
On top of that, it also contains aloe barbadensis, more commonly known as aloe vera. Aloe vera is widely used to soothe your skin after a sunny day out, but did you know that aloe vera can also act as a natural hydrator for your hair? It has antioxidants properties that help to keep scalp clean, protect it from UV damage, and ultimately strengthens your hair. This gives your hair that gloss that everybody wants.
The nice smell that this shampoo will waft through your bathroom comes from the coconut-derived surfactants that help to deep clean the dirt and oil on your scalp. Saw palmetto is another ingredient in this shampoo, and it is known to counter DHT, a hormone that plays a part in hair loss by acting to improve hair volume. Not too shabby a shampoo, we’d say.
The Blu Atlas shampoo is gentle enough to be used daily. Just lather a quarter-sized dollop onto your palm and massage it through your wet scalp. If we had just one shampoo to recommend from our list of the best hydrating shampoos in 2023, this is it!
2. Aesthetic House CP-1 Nourishing Shampoo
Ever wondered why Koreans seem to have really glossy and straight hair even though they style their locks so often? It’s because while they are always heating and coloring their hair to make it look as trendy as possible, they know that this type of intense, daily styling can take a toll on their hair. So, they ensure that their hair care routine includes a good hydrating shampoo that can take their hair through the four seasons.
This Aesthetic House CP-1 Bright Complex Intense Nourishing Shampoo is a necessity in Korean bathrooms. It contains a good mix of amino acids, ceramides, and proteins that rebuild the keratin that is lost during styling. So many of their ingredients are focused on keeping the moisture within the hair strands so that they stay glossy and soft to the touch.
This product also helps to repair damaged and brittle hair, which can occur as a result of bleaching and dyeing. This is achieved through the natural oils that are included in the shampoo, which are brilliant for hair that is thirsty for some good hydration.
Another feature of this Korean shampoo is that it does not contain any sulfate, silicones, or alcohol—hooray to no harsh chemicals and residue sitting on your hair!
3. Canviiy Scalp Bliss Moisture + Repair Organic-Based Shampoo
One of the things we love about founder-led brands is that the mission they have really shines through in their products. This Black-owned brand, Canviiy, was founded by Sherrel Sampson. She set out to make products to fix irritated and itchy scalps because she could not find one that was organic, nourishing, and actually dealt with the root cause of scalp issues. On top of this organic shampoo, the brand sells treatments, cleansers, and hydrators to help soothe and nourish the scalp.
This organic-based shampoo is infused with natural minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants meant to hydrate your hair while cleaning your scalp so that it is healthy. It also provides your hair strands with the nutrients it needs to look shiny and bright. Further, it will detox your scalp from all impurities with organic extracts of turmeric, aloe vera, biotin, shea butter, and Vitamin E.
This formula is non-drying and non-stripping, so don’t worry about your scalp becoming even drier than it was. Your hair will definitely end up a) being infused with all the moisture it needs from the aloe vera and shea butter the shampoo contains, and b) smelling great because of the rose oil, green tea, and vanilla extract in the formula. The next time someone asks you why your hair smells so good, you’ll know who to thank!
Plus of course, this formula is free of sulfates, parabens, zinc pyrithione, and any artificial fragrances and colors.
4. Phytojoba Moisturizing Shampoo For Dry Hair
Did you know that if you have dehydrated hair strands, this will lead to dandruff and hair loss in the long term? That’s because your hair becomes brittle when it is dry and once you start brushing through it, your hair tends to fall from the follicles pretty quickly.
To mitigate that, give Phytojoba Moisturizing Shampoo For Dry Hair a try. It is formulated with a mixture of mallow flowers and jojoba milk, which helps restore elasticity for smooth hair. We love that it conditions and hydrates your hair deeply, without stripping your scalp of the natural oils it possesses. The end result is that your dry and dull hair becomes a lot more nourished and healthy.
Fun fact: Phytojoba is actually the brainchild of Patrick Alès, the hairdresser who invented the blow dry in 1964. If anyone understands the impact blow drying has on the hair, it would be him!
5. Sukin Hydrating Shampoo
Ah, an Australian brand in our midst. If you live in a hot and dry climate most of the time, your hair might be in dire need of hydration. It may not be obvious at first. Suskin started off creating moisturizers for skin because our skin is the largest organ, but they soon realized that our hair also needs a lot more hydration than we think it does.
Hydrating our hair involves providing moisture to it so that it improves its ability to absorb water. This keeps it smooth and hydrated for longer. Hydrating your hair is essential to keeping it shiny and glossy—when your hair is deprived of moisture, it becomes dry, frizzy, and brittle. As we previously noted, brittle hair can lead to hair loss in the long term.
Sukin Natural Balance Shampoo contains root burdock, nettle, and horsetail extract to cleanse and energize the scalp. There are no sulfates or parabens—harsh chemicals you do not want in your shampoos—that would harshly strip the natural oils you have on your scalp. Meanwhile, baobab oil helps to keep the hydration within your locks and adds luster to your hair.
One of the best things about this shampoo is that it smells divine. Enjoy its signature scent of mandarin, lavender, and vanilla while you are gently scrubbing your hair, making your hair-washing experience such a refreshing one.
6. Avocado Infusion Hair Milk
While having curls is pretty awesome, it can be a hassle to handle if they become too dry. Unfortunately, that’s kind of a given when it comes to curls, especially type four hair. Luckily, Shawna Moses founded Kinky Tresses to address dry and dehydrated hair, with a focus on curly hair.
Whether you have hair that has low or high porosity, you are definitely going to benefit from using this hydrating shampoo from Kinky Tresses. The brand also covers the basics with cleansers, oils, and moisturizers.
Customers love Kinky Tresses Avocado Infusion Hair Milk because it is suitable for all curly types. It is rich in natural ingredients such as avocado oil and botanical extracts, and it helps to soften the hair and kinks, plus melt away tangles. The milky texture also goes a long way in providing curly hair with smoothness and definition, making Influencer-like hair within reach.
A bonus? It doubles up as a leave-in conditioner. A double bonus? It is also safe to use on children. This saves you having to buy two separate shampoos for you and your kids.
7. PUREOLOGY Hydrate Sheer Nourishing Shampoo
Pureology is a Californian icon, and their Hydrating Sheer Shampoo contains emollient jojoba, green tea, sage, lavender, bergamot, and patchouli oils that help to moisturize your hair. Plus, it is perfect for dry and fine color-treated hair. This product is free from sulfates and parabens, which means that you will not be exposed to more chemicals than you already have from all that color treatment done previously.
The green tea extract included helps to support a healthy scalp. Sage—not just there for the scent—stimulates hair follicles. A potent blend of lavender, bergamot, and patchouli aids in relaxation while you are washing your hair.
8. JVN Hydrating Shampoo
Ah, JVN of Queer Eye fame. On the show, Jonathan Van Ness always has his long, moisturized locks on show, and to be honest, we are totally shippin’ his line of hair care products. Who else can we trust if not him?
JVN Hydrating Shampoo promises to gently cleanse your scalp without stripping the hair of its essential moisture. A lot of companies think of cleaning the scalp and hair as two different steps, but this shampoo combines it in one. It comes in a thick, slightly pearlescent gel that will lather up really well. Once you rinse the shampoo off, you will feel like your hair has been cleansed from root to tip.
This product also contains aloe leaf juice, which helps to keep your hair hydrated and shiny, and hemisqualane, which helps to improve hair health over the long term.
If frizz is an issue for you, know that this hydrating shampoo can add shine and smooth your strands and frizz without fuss. It is gentle enough to use for all hair types, but honestly, frizzy hair is the reason why JVN originally created this hydrating shampoo. And, based on a user study of 39 subjects, participants reported that this shampoo reduces frizz by at least 56%.
Need we mention that it smells heavenly as well? It smells like ice cream, seriously. That is, a lemon and blackcurrant ice cream that has sandalwood, vanilla, and white orchid all blended into one potent concoction.
9. HERBAL ESSENCES Bio:Renew Hydrate Coconut Milk Shampoo
Hormones, age, and ethnicity play a large part in determining whether your hair is hydrated or not. However, with a good hydrating shampoo, you can help to minimize the impact these have on your hair health.
Of course, if you have been coloring or relaxing your hair frequently, no matter how “ideal” your hormones and age are for having hydrated locks, your hair is still going to be damaged in one way or another. Especially due to all that heat from your curling tools and straighteners!
In comes Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Coconut Milk Shampoo. Its high level of coconut extract and aloe vera are meant to give your thirsty hair a big gulp of hydration. Available widely at most drugstores and pharmacies, this hydrating shampoo is inexpensive and lathers up really well. It has won several beauty awards just because of its hydrating properties.
10. REDKEN Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo
We see Redken in salons often enough to know that its products must pack a punch. If our hair stylists trust it, so should we, right?
Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Sulfate-Free Bonding Shampoo is Redken’s most concentrated formula for repairing hair that has suffered through years of heat damage and styling. It is imperative that hair stylists use an ultra-rich and hydrating shampoo to repair some of the damage caused by all the coloring, curling, or straightening that happens in a salon. This shampoo claims to repair brittle and damaged hair by providing intense conditioning and color fade protection.
With a 7% bonding care complex, this acidic bonding shampoo reinforces bonds within your hair to improve hair health. This shampoo is formulated to combat the negative effects of hair coloring, using heat styling tools, and even hard water.
The nourishing formula surprised consumers in a good way. When Redken did a consumer study, participants actually stated that they experienced less breakage and less visible split ends. In fact, participants said the pH balancing formula gave them much smoother hair than they’d ever had!
11. Hairpy Birthday Organic Scalp Serum
While this is not a shampoo per se, we thought we should also include this small but mighty product on our list of best hydrating shampoos in 2023. That’s because scalp serums play such an essential role in making sure your scalp stays healthy.
A small product that is made fresh to order, Hairpy Birthday Organic Scalp Serum should be applied right after shampooing your hair with a hydrating shampoo. It comes in an easy-to-use bottle. All you have to do is spray the organic scalp serum directly on your clean scalp and massage it into your hair.
It is free from sulfates, silicones, and harsh chemicals that can strip your hair and scalp of their natural oils. Instead, it contains natural ingredients like rosewater, mint, and rosemary. Besides adding a beautiful scent to your shower routine, rosewater can also help to balance excessive sebum production and restore balance to the scalp environment so your oily hair doesn’t go out of control.
Plus, it can last up to eight weeks in the refrigerator as it does not contain any preservatives at all. Think of it as a nice-smelling and healthy treat for your scalp every time you wash your hair.
12. Curl Dynasty Cocoa Mint Moisture Rich Shampoo
From another Black-owned business that we absolutely adore, this is an obvious addition to our list of best hydrating shampoos in 2023.
Available widely at supermarkets and beauty stores, this sulfate-free shampoo is formulated with a long list of essential vitamins and ingredients that help to purify hair and keep it hydrated. The Curls Dynasty Moisturizing Shampoo hydrates your hair without stripping your scalp and hair of the natural oils. And surprise, surprise, it’s also child-friendly!
Plus, need we also mention that the scent of cocoa mint in this shampoo is amazing?
Formulated specially for curly, kinky, and coily (3B, 3C, 4A, 4B, 4C) hair, this product does not contain harsh chemicals that will further harm your tresses. It has rave reviews from women all around the world.
If you have some extra money to spend, we recommend also checking out their hair mask and hydrating conditioner. Used together, the effect these have on keeping your hair hydrated and smooth cannot be overstated.
The best thing is, when buying this shampoo you will be supporting a Black-owned business that deeply understands their customers. You cannot say that about a lot of mass-produced brands nowadays, so we are very proud to back this brand up.
13. KÉRASTASE Bain Magistral Shampoo for Very Dry Hair
Kerastase is a firm favorite in beauty and hair salons, and for good reason! Curl specialists and hair stylists swear by Kerstase, and this nutritive shampoo is one they swear by when it comes to normal or slightly dry hair. Sometimes your hair just needs a little boost in hydration so that it stays hydrated for longer.
If you have thin and dry hair, this product is a good way to nourish your locks, as it does not deflate or add any extra weight to your tresses. Shampoos that are too thick or contain sulfates and parabens can actually add residue to your hair even after washing the shampoos out. Therefore, a lightweight and mild formula such as this is ideal.
This hydrating shampoo contains benzoin resin, which is used for its soothing and calming qualities. It forms a protective layer on the hair, preventing moisture loss from the hair and boosting its overall shine.
When you apply a lot of heat on your tresses, moisture rapidly disappears. This is where the thermo-protective properties of xylose come into play to avoid this. In fact, GH Beauty Lab tests backed this up. This product earned the highest score for not weighing hair down while providing light conditioning.
It might be a little difficult to source the salon-standard version of this shampoo, but hey, it is definitely worth the effort to do so!
14. ORIBE Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo
Last on our list of best hydrating shampoo is this luxurious Oribe shampoo. It promises to restore your hair to its former glory (we hope your hair HAD glory days!) and keep it super hydrated and glossy.
This luxurious shampoo combines healing oils and extracts—cypress, argan, and maracuja—with their revolutionary bio-restorative complex to balance the scalp and reinforce the inner strength of each strand. That means that the complex, which contains plant collagen, biotin, and niacinamide, assists to repair any damage and fortifies each strand so that it does not stay brittle.
It also contains an amino acid complex that was developed to closely resemble the proteins in the hair. This allows it to provide moisture to both the hair and scalp and strengthen each hair follicle. Each strand is thus deeply hydrated everytime you wash your hair with Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo—and it will stay that way.
Finding a hydrating shampoo can be quite a difficult task. Moisturizing ones seem to be easier to find, and there are plenty of conditioners to promise you shiny tresses. However, now that you have read this article and know the differences between a hydrating and moisturizing shampoo, we hope that you will look for a hydrating option the next time your current shampoo runs out.
Here’s a bonus piece of advice for styling and drying your hair to keep it hydrated and smooth. If you’re located in a climate where there is warm weather all year around, air-drying is a possible option instead of using heat. The less heat your hair gets, the better it is for your hair.
If that’s not possible, then consider using a heat protectant or not fully drying your hair with your hair dryer. You can always leave about 30% of your hair wet and get on with your day.
Also, if it’s not too much trouble, spray your hair with water throughout the day to keep it hydrated—sort of like a facial mist, but for your hair instead.
Above all, find the best hydrating shampoo for you!