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What Can I Do about Dull, Dry Hair?


Photo courtesy of Heather Hazzan/The Licensing Project

What Can I Do about Dull, Dry Hair?

When your hair is in bad shape, you know it. “It’s hair with split ends, no bounce or shine, little to no flexibility, that breaks super easily,” says top New York hairstylist Harry Josh, who definitely sees his share of it. (To his list, we might add dullness, flatness, nonstop dryness, and color that’s lost its luster.) The potential causes—from overprocessing, overstyling, hard water, sun damage, and chlorine damage to something as basic as a poor diet—are many, but the road back to shiny, bouncy, healthy-looking hair is the same regardless: a consistent hair routine designed to nourish and revive.


Shampoo Less Frequently

This allows your hair’s natural oils to moisturize your hair—something any hair type benefits from. When you do wash, avoid harsh shampoos (like those with sulfates, for example, which can strip your hair). Instead, use ones made with moisturizing oils and botanicals to keep your hair smooth and elastic.

  1. Moringa and rose hip oils:

    goop Beauty G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo, goop, $45/$38 with subscription

    goop Beauty
    G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo
    goop, $45/$38 with subscription


  2. Rahua and morete oils:

    Rahua Color Full Shampoo, goop, $38

    Color Full Shampoo
    goop, $38


  3. Provitamin B5 and geranium oil:

    Grown Alchemist Anti-Frizz – Shampoo 0.5, goop, $49

    Grown Alchemist
    Anti-Frizz – Shampoo 0.5
    goop, $49



Condition Religiously

If there’s one key to keeping your hair soft and silky, it’s smoothing on the right nourishing hair treatment after every shampoo—it makes a huge difference in the way your hair looks and feels. Check the ingredient label for moisturizing oils like jojoba or morete; Josh also loves lactic acid and aloe vera to keep hair strong and shiny.

  1. Jojoba and avocado oils:

    Sangre de Fruta Garden of Earthly Delights Botanical Conditioner, goop, $52

    Sangre de Fruta
    Garden of Earthly Delights Botanical Conditioner
    goop, $52


  2. Lactic acid and tsubaki seed oil:

    Crown Affair The Ritual Conditioner, goop, $38

    Crown Affair
    The Ritual Conditioner
    goop, $38


  3. Aloe vera and morete oil:

    Rahua Hydration Conditioner, goop, $38

    Hydration Conditioner
    goop, $38



Pre-Treat for Shine and Great Texture

  1. This preshampoo treatment forms a protective layer around your hair so you don’t strip too much moisture away when you’re shampooing, and the result is shinier, softer, more-manageable hair with noticeably better texture.

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Restore + Shine Hair Serum, goop, $48/$44 with subscription

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGLOW Restore + Shine Hair Serum
    goop, $48/$44 with subscription



Smooth in Leave-In

Unless your hair is very fine, add leave-in conditioner to your routine (after conditioning, once you’re out of the shower). “Straight, fine hair can get oily and too shiny, so you need just the tiniest amount of leave-in on the ends if that’s your hair type,” says Josh. But every other hair type benefits immensely from an added leave-in step, whether you use a spritz, a cream, or an oil. Smooth or spray it through towel-dried hair from the midlengths to the ends before styling as usual.

  1. Ultimate frizz cream:

    Grown Alchemist Smoothing Hair Treatment, goop, $49

    Grown Alchemist
    Smoothing Hair Treatment
    goop, $49


  2. Light but powerful and volumizing spritz:

    Innersense Hair Love Prep Spray, goop, $28

    Hair Love Prep Spray
    goop, $28


  3. Amazing for thicker and textured hair:

    Act + Acre Cold Processed Hair Oil, goop, $48

    Act + Acre
    Cold Processed Hair Oil
    goop, $48



Deep-Condition Like You Mean It

The color-treated, heat-styled, chemically straightened, and pool-, ocean-, or sun-soaked should never skip a weekly hair mask. “If you’re regularly coloring your hair and you’re starting to see it dry out, a heavy-duty hair mask once a week for about three to five minutes will work miracles,” says Josh.

  1. Strengthening:

    Dr. Barbara Sturm Hair Repair Mask, goop, $65

    Dr. Barbara Sturm
    Repair Hair Mask
    goop, $65


  2. Silkifying:

    Crown Affair The Renewal Mask, goop, $58

    Crown Affair
    The Renewal Mask
    goop, $58


  3. Softening:

    Innersense Hydrating Hair Mask, goop, $30

    Hydrating Hair Masque
    goop, $30



Use the Highest-Quality Stylers

When you use heat tools, never turn them up to the max heat setting to finish styling more quickly. Think of it like cooking: If you put oil in a scalding hot pan, the oil smokes and burns. To avoid burning your hair, choose tools with adjustable heat settings, says Josh. “And for an extra layer of defense, apply heat protectant before using any hot tools,” he says. “It really works.”

  1. Josh’s dryer is made with eight heat, speed, and ion settings:

    Harry Josh Pro Dryer 2000, goop, $249

    Harry Josh
    Pro Dryer 2000
    goop, $249


  2. Softening, color-protecting spray:

    Rahua Hydration Detangler + UV Barrier, goop, $34

    Hydration Detangler + UV Barrier
    goop, $34


  3. Smoothing leave-in and heat-protectant cream:

    Augustinus Bader The Leave-In Hair Treatment, goop, $50

    Augustinus Bader
    The Leave-In Hair Treatment
    goop, $50



Take Vitamins to Support Healthy Hair

  1. Eating a diet full of omega-3s (think salmon) and antioxidants (berries and spinach) helps support super soft and shiny hair. You can also get essential healthy-hair nutrients from this daily multivitamin, which supports healthy hair, skin, and nails with biotin, niacin, zinc, and iron, plus the antioxidant nutrients beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, lycopene, selenium, and more.*

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Everyday Glow Multivitamin, goop, $60/$55 with subscription

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGLOW Everyday Glow Multivitamin
    goop, $60/$55 with subscription



Schedule Regular Trims

A good trim goes a long way in making your hair look and feel healthier. “Everyone’s hair grows at a different rate, but a general rule of thumb is, look to get your hair cut every two to three months to keep it healthy,” says Josh.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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