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Some people always tend towards naturally dry hair, but most of us will experience it at some point. When you get dry skin, it’s easy to know what to do – grab a pot of moisturizer – but with so many conditioners out there designed to target lots of different hair needs, how do you find the one that’s best for your dry hair?

What causes dry hair?

When your hair is feeling a little dry, it’s often related to the condition of its outer layer. Your hair is made up of several different layers, and the outermost one is called the “f-layer”. This waxy covering is your hair’s first line of defense against damage, and acts almost like a ‘waterproof coat’ for your hair.

Underneath the f-layer, the cuticle is made of tiny overlapping scales. It is also essential for protecting your hair fibers from damage and making them feel smooth.

Over time, chemical treatments and styling stress can strip away the f-layer. When that’s gone, the cuticle can be harmed. Its overlapping scales start to lift up instead of lying flat, and the edges chip off; sections of the cuticle may be entirely removed.

That’s why hair can feel dry and rough. But don’t worry, with the right conditioner you can help keep your cuticle in great shape, and keep your hair’s defenses high.

So how do you choose a conditioner to help keep your hair feeling healthy? We have a few things you should check for on the ingredients list.

What to look for in a conditioner:

  1. Dimethicone: it has a complicated name, but a pretty straightforward job. A conditioner with ingredients like dimethicone helps restore the ‘waterproofing’ on the outside of your hair and smooths down cuticle edges.

  2. Nourishing lipids:. Also look for ingredients that act like hair’s natural, healthy oils, like “cetyl alcohol” and “stearyl alcohol.” Their job is to nourish hair from the inside, out and can be found in good protective conditioners.

  3. Look for benefit words, like “repair” “moisture” or “smoothing”. There is a huge number of possible ingredients in conditioners, so these benefit words let you know which hair issue the manufacturer is targeting with their ingredient selection and which would be the best conditioner for the issue you want to address.

  4. Use an anti-dandruff conditioner: If you use dandruff shampoo, make sure to use anti-dandruff conditioner for soft hair. Most ordinary conditioners will wash away some of the active ingredients left on the scalp, so you’ll lose a lot of the anti-dandruff protection. Our anti-dandruff conditioners have been designed to work hand-in-hand with anti-dandruff shampoos, so they will leave your hair well moisturized and also leave behind anti-dandruff actives to ensure you’re protected against a visibly flaky scalp.

Once you’ve found your perfect conditioning partner, head over to our article on how to use conditioner for some top tips on application. If you have dry hair, getting the best out of your conditioner is even more important.


Sometimes dry hair can be accompanied by dry scalp, so if your skin is also feeling tight, remember: your scalp is just like the skin on the rest of your body. When it gets dry it needs moisture.

Head & Shoulders conditioners moisturize your hair and also contain an active ingredient to help soothe any scalp dryness. So, if you want a conditioner that does it all, try out our Nourishing Hair & Scalp Care conditioner and get those locks rehydrated in no time.

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