Those fortunate enough to have naturally curly hair get to experience the best of both worlds. They can easily go from stick straight strands to tight ringlets without having to spend a ton of money at the salon; however, finding the right products to care for those curls can be downright frustrating!
Still searching for the best shampoo for curly hair that won’t leave your locks in a tangle?
In our guide, we will help you understand how to shop for shampoos and cleansers that are safe for curly hair.
Whether you have loose, natural waves or tight, kinky curls, find out which of these products you can trust your locks to with the help of our curl experts.
Top 10 Shampoos for Curly Hair Comparison
Start by Considering Your Curl Type
Have you ever considered shopping for a shampoo based on your curl type? If not, then you should!
Curls are categorized by “Type,” going from Type 2A to Type 4C. Straight hair is considered “Type 1” hair, just to.
- Type 2 – Wavy Hair – Type 2b and Type 2C hair has enough curl to be considered for the sake of this guide, and those of you who fit into either of these hair types might want to consider a dry shampoo.
- Type 3 – Curly Hair – Those in the “Type 3” category will do well with cleansing conditioners to help gently wash the hair and scalp without stripping them of natural oil. Sulfate-free shampoo is also a good choice for this hair type.
- Type 4 – Kinky Hair – It is important for those with Type 4 kinky hair to use natural oils to help keep the scalp moisturized and co-washes are usually the products for cleansing the hair.
These Types of Products Work Best on Curly Hair
Traditional grocery store shampoo brands are out of the question if you have curls. They are full of ingredients that usually end up doing more harm than good, which leaves you wondering what types of products you should be using on your curls.
We suggest that you stick with a cleansing conditioner or a sulfate-free shampoo.
- Cleansing Conditioner/Co-Wash – Co-washing is referring to “conditioner washing” only, where you use a product that does not contain any detergents or foaming agents. Curly hair tends to be on the dry side, so regular shampoo that contains those detergents tend to strip it of the natural oils and nutrients that it needs to stay healthy.
The terms “cleansing conditioner” and “co-wash” are used interchangeably, and those who experience scalp-related issues usually do best with these types of products. They are gentler than shampoo and work to clean the hair without stripping it.
- Sulfate-Free Shampoo – If you have color-treated hair and curls, then a sulfate-free shampoo is the way to go. If you have a lot of product buildup or you hair gets greasy, then a sulfate-free shampoo will gently help you remove the excess oil and gunk. If you use them on a regular basis, however, they can end up drying your hair out excessively.
When curly-haired users opt for a sulfate-free shampoo once a week or so, it ends up acting as a clarifying shampoo to help keep the cuticles clean and nourished.
Everyone Is Unique!
What may work for some people with the same type of curly hair may not work for you, which is why you need to consider your individual needs as you select a product.
Is your hair fine or thick? Do you have a dry scalp or oily hair? Do you wash frequently or a couple of times a week?
These are just a few things that could alter your decision.
Keep in mind that your water may also affect your results because those who live in areas with extremely hard water might even benefit from getting a showerhead filter to help remove some of the harsh chemicals and limescale buildup.
5 Best Shampoo for Curly Hair Reviews
Don’t forget! Sometimes the best shampoo for curly hair isn’t shampoo at all, but rather a cleansing conditioner/co-wash.
We will highlight our five favorite products here, but be sure to check all of the ones we suggest in this list to make sure you choose the right one for your scalp and hair type.
Baebody’s formula is ideal for those who use a lot of styling products and who have dry hair.
The list of essential oils is impressive, containing a mixture of Argan oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, almond oil, and coconut oil to help hydrate your hair naturally. It also contains keratin to help strengthen your hair, and it is free of sulfates.
Feel free to use this product if you have color-treated hair, as well, because it won’t fade the dye.
Many people do well with this shampoo, and those with curly hair should try using it once or twice a week to help cleanse the hair with heavy product buildup. If you wash your hair daily, don’t use this each time, as a conditioning cleanser would work better for the majority of your washings.
Do you have long, curly hair? If so, a product like this will help prevent you from tangling disasters as you comb your hair out after washing it.
While it does contain sulfates; however they are naturally derived and are quite mild. They don’t seem to counteract the moisturizing ingredients that the manufacturer has used in the formula. Quite the contrary! This product gently cleanses the hair when used correctly, which should be once or twice a week if you have curly hair.
We found the peachy scent to be quite refreshing, but not everyone is a fan.
If you have Type 4 curly hair, try this shampoo!
Would you like to promote hair growth on your scalp? Do you have curly hair and sensitive skin? If so, Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo is perfect for you.
Castor oil will naturally promote hair growth, which is why many people use it on eyebrows and eyelashes when things get a bit “thin.” The formula also contains apple cider vinegar, which is a natural way to help balance the pH of your scalp and clarify it naturally.
As a clarifying shampoo, it is not something that you should use on a daily basis. It is free of sulfates, and it is safe for color-treated hair, but clarifying shampoos are meant to remove the buildup. In fact, many shampoos should only be used a few times a week rather than daily! If you experience a lot of scalp issues, try cutting down usage of your shampoo to just a few times a week and supplement with a cleansing conditioner.
This shampoo, in particular, is ideal for those who want to naturally promote hair growth.
We recommend this co-wash to every one of you reading because you can always use it in between one of the many shampoos we suggest on our list.
The formula contains tangerine, saw palmetto, phytosterols and castor oil to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss, and coconut oil to moisturize. There are no sulfates in this product, and it looks like a creamy conditioner when you open the jar. You can use it to gently clean your hair and scalp throughout the week.
The packaging, we must admit, is a bit inconvenient. Open up a jar like this in the shower, and you will probably get a lot of water in it. If you wet your hair in the sink or with the showerhead hose and then wash, you will have more luck with this product.
It works well on a variety of hair types, especially curly!
Our final suggestion is another shampoo with a formula similar to that of Baebody’s. It contains Argan oil and is free of sulfates, and in case you prefer to get a product that is free of gluten, there isn’t any of that inside, either!
If you have color-treated or keratin-treated hair, this shampoo is safe for you to use. The ingredients really help reduce the frizz – something that those of us with curly hair have to deal with on a regular basis – and it works well on all curl types.
It is truly an impressive product. Those who try it fall in love with it, and you will immediately notice how smooth your hair feels.