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Take it from someone who once had nearly half of her hair bleached off of her head—hair loss, hair breakage, and, honestly, any huge change or shift to our hair’s overall look or health, can be traumatic as hell. Sure, in the grand scheme of this whole life thing, hair may seem comparably inconsequential, but hair also happens to be something that almost every human I’ve ever talked to regards as a key part of their identity. So, it goes without saying that when our strands are unexpectedly compromised in some kind of way, it has the potential to cause a major blip in our self-esteem. 

Damage and breakage are pretty inevitable to some degree, but depending on your age, any underlying health conditions, lifestyle, and styling or coloring habits, both can greatly vary. For instance, the bleach-incurred damage I experienced back in college (during my self-proclaimed “bleach apocalypse”) is very different than the bleach-incurred damage I face now, years later, when I’ve found a trustworthy colorist who prioritizes my hair’s integrity above all else. (Obviously, I still have damage—bleach is strong stuff—but my hair no longer falls from my scalp like a cascading waterfall.) Through every season of life, breakage, and damage, high-quality haircare products have made a huge impact on my hair’s healing process and overall well-being—especially my chosen shampoos and conditioners.

The best formulas that address breakage will be different for everyone, but, to help steer you in the right direction, we’ve compiled a 10/10 list of the breakage-banishing shampoos and conditioners according to us beauty editors and an amazing roster of celebrity hairstylists. Keep scrolling—15 of the best shampoos and conditioners to help stop breakage in its tracks are just ahead

“I highly recommend Milbon’s new Repair Heat Shampoo and Conditioner to mend hair and combat hair breakage,” says Anh Co Tran, celebrity hairstylist, and co-founder of Beverly Hills’ famed Ramirez Tran Salon. “These products work together to mend heat-stressed hair while also protecting against future damage that can be caused from styling tools and even the sun’s damaging rays. Using both of these products over time will leave your hair looking healthier than ever, and they’ll also make styling your hair much easier.”

(Editor’s note: Milbon is only available for purchase for hair professionals only, so use the brand’s salon locator to find the nearest retailer close to you.)

“This shampoo from Fanola is great for retaining moisture which helps stop breakage,” notes celebrity hairstylist Ro Morgan. “The pH is on the lower end (4.3-4.7) to help seal the cuticle to prevent further damage to hair strands. The result is smoother, softer hair and is a great option for anyone looking to revitalize lifeless curls. For conditioner, I love this overnight treatment from Save Me From because of how fast you will notice results. With the help of carob seed, vegetable protein, and New Zealand wool keratin, hair’s porosity is reduced and hair is reconstructed and strengthened. After a few uses, you will notice fewer split ends and less breakage. It can be used as a protein treatment or a leave-in conditioner.”

“The Good Life Shampoo is a concentrated formula of biotin which improves the keratin structure of the hair, celebrity hairstylist Matthew Collins tells us. “It’s filled with UV protection to help prevent damage from the sun, and it also moisturizes the hair leaving a super-glossy finish. The brand’s Liquid Hairbrush Conditioner is a lightweight formula that doesn’t weigh the hair down as much as other damage repair conditioners. It utilizes key ingredients like pea protein, Tsubaki oil, and avocado oil to lock in moisture and combat tangles, reducing the need for brushing post rinse, which can help curb excess breakage.”

“I love using the Milbon’s Restorative line of shampoo and conditioner for people with breakage concerns,” shares Cervando Maldonado, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of 454 North Salon in West Hollywood. “The shampoo allows you to scrub your scalp while minimizing friction and further breakage. The conditioning treatment has silk proteins and keratin to protect and reinforce the hair leaving it hydrated and healthy. It’s the perfect shampoo and conditioner duo to keep in your shower as your new go-to.”

(Editor’s note: Milbon is only available for purchase for hair professionals only, so use the brand’s salon locator to find the nearest retailer close to you.)

“The Extreme Shampoo and Conditioner from Redken are also amazing for hair that’s prone to breakage—either from bleach or because you just have brittle hair,” adds Maldonado. “These products are pH balanced and full of amino acids to strengthen hair and leave a soft and shiny finish once it’s dried. I also recommend following up with the Anti-Snap Anti-Breakage Leave-In Treatment ($25) for even better results as it provides 5-in-1 protection against heat, styling, and brushing.”

“When it comes to damaged hair, absolutely nothing is better than Olaplex’s line of products,” explains celebrity hairstylist Iggy Rosales. “I highly recommend the No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, in particular. Used in tandem, they’ll help strengthen and repair damaged strands by re-linking the broken bonds from within.” 

“When it comes to hair breakage, choosing the best products really depends on your texture,” celebrity hairstylist Dritan points out. “In general, fine hair needs lighter conditioners and shampoos to prevent over-cleansing or being weighed down, and coarse hair does better with heavier conditioners to replenish the nutrition that the hair shaft has lost. Most shampoos and conditioners aren’t one-size-fits-all, which is why I love custom haircare brand Prose. Essentially, you get to create your own ultimate shampoo and conditioner based on questions you answer, and then Prose formulates a shampoo and conditioner for your hair based on where you live and the climate, your lifestyle, hair density, and all-around hair health.”

“I love that this shampoo and conditioner are pH balancing, so they combat the effects of hair damage and harsh water,” shares Associate Beauty Editor Katie Berohn. “This set helps repair bonds and mend split ends, so my hair always feels stronger and softer after I use them.”

“This is one of the most hydrating shampoo and conditioner duos I’ve ever used—my hair feels so soft after I use these products, and they help amplify my natural waves,” says Katie. “I also can’t get over how good they smell—thanks to all the intensely moisturizing shea butter, the scent is to die for.”

The technology in hair products has come a long way in recent years, but this is the shampoo and conditioner that practically re-glued the hair back to my head after my bleach disaster in college, and I still swear by its magical reparative powers today, years later. Actually, it’s not magic, per se, but Alterna’s signature Caviar Bond Enforcing Technology which, according to the brand and backed by my own experience too, reduces breakage by up to 99%.

If I’m going to trust any celebrity with my breakage-prone hair, it’s going t be Jonathan Van Ness, the residential groomer on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye. JVN recently launched his very own haircare line (guys, it’s so, so good!) and this damage-erasing shampoo and conditioner has been a notable standout for me and my depleted strands. Both the shampoo and the conditioner utilize strategic, ultra-nourishing ingredients like jojoba esters and ceramides to increase strength and resistance while also repairing split ends and micro-tears. It’s also great if you’re someone who loves impeccable-smelling hair. 

Editors and experts agree that Oribe makes some of the best hair products, bar none. I keep three or four of the brand’s shampoos and conditioners in my rotation, but when I notice an uptick in shedding and breakage, I always re-prioritize the Gold Lust. Its gilded contents pretty much kill every bird with one stone. Each dose contains tried-and-true healing extracts and luxurious oils along with the brand’s signature bio-restorative complex (think plant collagen, caffeine, biotin, and niacinamide) to strengthen and re-gloss stress-ravaged strands. 

Can I just say It’s a 10 products are so underrated? This brand, along with Alterna, truly saved me when my bleach damage and shedding was reaching Everest-high heights. Compared to some of the other formulas on our list, this keratin-infused shampoo and conditioner are slightly more affordable, and in addition to breathing Wonder Woman-like strength into broken, weak hair, they also leave behind a soft, super-silky finish. My mom (who is 73) is also a fan. Just be careful not to use these guys too often. I recommend rotating this duo with a super creamy moisturizing number that doesn’t have a lot of extra protein in it. 

“This shampoo and conditioning set is heaven-sent for deep hydration,” swears Associate Beauty Editor Shawna Hudson. “My hair is extremely thick and curly so it tends to get dry pretty easily. This set is formulated specifically for drier hair types and has aloe leaf juice to help strengthen from the inside out. Their Deep Treatment Packs ($15) are also amazing.”

“I will NEVER stop buying Bread Beauty Supply products,” adds Shawna. “Their shampoo and conditioner are some of the best I’ve used for curly hair—and I’ve used a LOT of hair products. Their Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser is so gentle and doesn’t strip your curls while the Creamy Deep Conditioner helps repair damage and split ends. Their products feature hero Australian ingredients like Kakadu plum and starflower oil which are totally unique and very effective at combating hair breakage”

Up next, I’ve Been Bleaching My Hair for 15 Years, Here’s How I Still Have Hair on My Head

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