9 gentle shampoos for damaged strands
Let the follicular rehabilitation begin
By Briar Clark
BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / September 01 2023
In times of need (AKA when our strands are in dire straights), nothing gets our damaged hair back on track quite like a gentle shampoo.
These nourishing, conditioning, rehydrating, and (most importantly) purifying shampoo formulas are the guiding light to better hair days in our opinion, dealing with a myriad of sins like chemically over-processing, bleaching and heat styling with an undeniable grace. We’re forever grateful for their mere existence, TBH.
So join us in heralding a brand new and better hair day with these gently cleansing shampoo formulas – your strands just met their saviour.
Unwritten Bliss Out Hydro Repair Shampoo
Level up your hair game with this weightless shampoo that’s positively swimming with potent, shine-infusing goodies. Just like it says on the bottle, it's full of vitamin C and B3 to reduce scalp inflammation and improve the health of the hair follicle, giving your overall ‘do a delicious boost. It contains no nasties, and is infused with all the good stuff to help bring your hair back from the brink.
$39.55 at Unwritten
Jurlique Sandalwood Shampoo
Jurlique Sandalwood Shampoo is a gentle clarifier formulated with sandalwood, burdock, horsetail, lavender and birch extracts that help to soothe, hydrate and balance the scalp. Wheat amino acids, soy protein, jojoba oil, honey, glycerine and aloe support a clean scalp and oil-free lengths.
$34 at Jurlique
R+Co ATLANTIS Moisturizing Shampoo
Remedy the damage caused by sun, colour treatments and heat styling with this sulphate-free shampoo. Its formula utilises pro vitamin B5 to deeply hydrate strands, while prickly pear stem extract helps to maintain an optimum pH-balance for scalp health, humectant glycerin draws in moisture, and nettle extract tackles frizz and imbues shine.
$49 at Adore Beauty
Glow Lab Hydrating Shampoo
Need a naturally nourishing (AKA impressively gentle) shampoo that'll actually make strides in the damage-repair realm? This hydrating wash is definitely worth adding to your shower shelf. Designed to deeply moisturise, while also protecting the hair against breakage and frizz, it's a vitamin E, argan and jojoba oil combo your hair will be thrilled to meet.
$16.50 at Woolworths
OLAPLEX No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
The OGs of saving our hair from the brink, Olaplex’s bond repairing shampoo gently cleanses hair and the scalp, helping to repair and maintain bonds within the hair, while simultaneously smoothing frizz and flyaways. Shiny, healthy strands here we come!
$54 at Sephora
VIRTUE LABS Recovery Shampoo
As the name indicates, this replenishing formula is here to rehabilitate your hair pronto. We’re talking about gently cleansing away product build-up, while revolutionary Alpha Keratin 60ku® (a super nifty keratin protein) helps to reinforce and strengthen the hair shaft by filling in cracks in the hair cuticle caused by heat, colour or chemical damage.
$60 at Sephora
Kérastase Resistance Bain Force Architecte Shampoo
This shampoo formula utilises a pretty special VITA-CIMENT® ADVANCE complex that combines the hair strengthening powers of pro-keratin (a protein that fulfils the purpose of keratin in reinforcing hair bonds) and ceramide (which is full of amino acids that act like cement), to strengthen hair on a cellular level. Wash your hair and watch as it goes from strength to strength, becoming more manageable, soft, healthy and flexible.
$55 at Adore Beauty
QV Hair Gentle Shampoo
Gentle on hair and on the ol’ wallet, this pH-balanced, fragrance-free, sensitive skin-friendly and dermatologist-approved pick cleanses and purifies the scalp while instilling much-needed moisture back into hair, promoting a healthy scalp and strands.
$15.99 at Chemist Warehouse
Nioxin 3D System 5 Cleanser Shampoo
Glyco-Shield 2.0 technology is the genius ingredient inclusion that’s going to take your damaged, thinning hair to new heights as it removes sebum, fatty acids and product build-up for cleansed strands and knock-out volume.
$44 at Adore Beauty
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.