Reach for These Hydrating Conditioners to Revive Dry Hair

Reach for These Hydrating Conditioners to Revive Dry Hair

Much like your skin, fall and winter don't do your dry hair any favors. Quite the opposite: Unless you actively condition your strands, the chilly, windy environment will zap even more moisture from your hair, leading to damage, frizz, and overall dullness.

Beyond environmental aggressors, there are several factors that can contribute to dry hair. One top culprit? Coloring your hair, particularly when you go lighter, can lead to damage that's difficult to bounce back from.

"Going blonde is hard on the hair and strips it. Bleaching raises your hairs' outer cuticle, allowing the bleaching agent to fully penetrate and in turn, makes hair drier and less healthy," says Debra Jaliman, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist and the author of Skin Rules. Heat styling tools, washing hair with hard water, and daily shampooing can also wreak havoc on your hair, she says.

That's where the right hydrating product comes in. "Conditioners coat the hair and help smooth and soften it," says Dr. Jaliman. Shampooing naturally steals some moisture, but your conditioner helps replenish what's been lost, she says.

How to choose the best moisturizing conditioner for dry hair

Search for silicones: Read the ingredient label—does it list silicones and oils in the mix? Those are the two ingredients that Dr. Jaliman recommends when it comes to conditioning dry hair. (General rule: Silicones end in -icone, as in "dimethicone.") One warning if you have defined curls: "Silicones flatten out the hair cuticle and make your hair smooth, but if you use it often, you might get buildup," she says. In that case, occasionally washing with a clarifying shampoo suited for your hair type can help freshen things up.

Scan for buzzwords: Like most beauty products, your conditioner will have a few keywords on the label. Look for those that say they're "hydrating," "moisturizing," "smoothing," or "anti-frizz," says Fran Cook-Bolden, M.D., a dermatologist affiliated with Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York. Key hydrators to look for include plant oils like coconut, argan, or jojoba, shea butter, and glycerin.

Try curly hair formulas: Even if you don't have curly hair, a conditioner that caters to coils will boost hydration. "Generally, conditioners for curly hair are more moisturizing. If you have straight hair, the natural oils from your scalp can easily run down the hair shaft. But, if coarse and curly, it's harder for these oils to do so, and therefore, hair tends to be drier," says Dr. Cook-Bolden.

Because of that, conditioners designed for curly hair have to pick up the slack by ramping up their moisturizing potential with hydrating butters and oils. These formulas may actually omit silicones to prevent weighing down natural texture, so it may take some trial and error to find a formula that plays nice with your strands.

Now that you have the basics down, you can start trying out some hydrating game-changers. Here, the best conditioners to revive dry, dull, and frizzy hair.

Reach for These Hydrating Conditioners to Revive Dry Hair, Source: