13 Best Shampoos & Conditioners for Curly Hair in 2022: Moisturizing Curls, Enhancing Color
We all have that one shampoo and conditioner we reach for when we don’t know what else to purchase, but is it truly getting the work done? Whether you have got color-treated hair, fuzzy curls or an itchy scalp, chances are you’re always on the lookout for items that checks all the correct boxes—but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to recognize. To help you out, we’ve adjusted up the best shampoos and conditioners for curly hair to purchase before your another wash day.
There are a lot of products available in the market that will meet your personal hair preferences, needs, and curl type. Curly hair needs a lot of care and attention, and everyone’s curly hair journey involves a lot of trial and error. These shampoos should be free from sulfates and alcohol because these ingredients can leave your hair even more dry, stringy, and unhealthy. However, if you want to tame those wild hair strands, you need to use the best shampoos for curly hair.
Let’s check out our list of the 13 best shampoos for curly hair.
How To Clean & Wash Curly Hair?
Since shampooing can dry out your hair, and curly hair often leans towards drying out easily, it is essential that you know how to shampoo your hair while preserving moisture. Follow the tips below to ensure that you’re on top of your shampoo game.
Apply conditioner or oil on dry hair 10-15 minutes before you shampoo so that you can minimize moisture loss when you lather up.
You must always dilute your shampoo before you apply it to your hair. This will make it less dehydrating and also help in forming more lather.
3. Be Gentle
Do not get busy rubbing and scrubbing your hair and scalp. Rub your hair gently in between your palms and use the pads of your fingertips to massage your hair gently.
Although you did start with conditioning, it is essential that you seal the deal as well to lock the moisture in your hair. Since you are conditioning twice, it is important that you invest in a good one and lots of it because you’ll be running out of conditioner much faster than shampoo.
Do not attack your hair with a towel to get the moisture out. This will create friction and dry out your hair more than necessary. Instead, gently squeeze the water out of your hair with a towel and then let it air-dry. If you are in a hurry, use the blow dryer on the cold setting to get the job done faster.
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What to look for in curly hair shampoos?
According to hairstylist and curl expert Daisy “Daze” Henson of The Daze Studio, you’re going to want to look for a curly hair shampoo that: (1) contains natural humectants, i.e., ingredients that help pull water into your hair (like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera), and (2) contains natural emollients, like fruit, nut, and vegetable oils, to soften curls and smooth your hair cuticle.
You should also pay attention to what type of surfactants (cleansing agents) are in your shampoo. Which will be found in the first 4-5 ingredients on the label. In general, unless your curls are in need of a clarifying rinse. You should avoid shampoos that contain harsh sulfates, like sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, and sodium laureth sulfate. If you need a handy-dandy list of good vs. “bad”.
What shampoo is best for curly hair?
There’s no right answer here, since everyone’s curls are different. Like, possibly your current curly hair shampoo is filled with sulfates and silicones, but it appears to be working for you. Awesome—keep on keepin’ on. But in case you’re not sure if you should swap your current shampoo for a new one, here are a couple of tips to help you troubleshoot:
- If your roots feel “squeaky”/tangled/stripped after rinsing…your shampoo is too harsh. Swap it for a sulfate-free formula (always!) with a mix of oils in it.
- If your curls are feeling dry…try loading your hair with conditioner before shampooing, then rinse and condition your ends like usual. Or, you know, try out a more moisturizing formula.
- If your hair is coily, color-treated, and/or damaged…it’ll likely be happier with a rich, hydrating cleansing conditioner rather than a curl shampoo.
What shampoo is bad for curly hair?
There’s not necessarily a “bad” shampoo—what makes your hair feel like straw may make another person’s curls feel light and bouncy. Still, it’s best to avoid the cruel sulfates (as mentioned over), and re-consider using shampoos that contain silicones, says Henson. Most silicones—i.e., polymers that coat your hair to grant it elusive smoothness—can rapidly build up on your strands, avoiding water from entering your hair cuticle.
Unless the silicones in your shampoo are water-soluble (meaning they’re easily washed away with a sulfate-free shampoo). but if you’re already super overwhelmed, I highly recommend copy/pasting the ingredients of your current shampoo into Is It CG?, which will tell you if your shampoo has “bad” sulfates or silicones in it.
13 Best Shampoos & Conditioners For Curly Hair
1. Aveda Be Curly Shampoo: Best Shampoo for Curly Hair
This shampoo stands out because of its excellent and consistent results. It is a gentle cleanser made especially for curly and wavy hair. It defines the curls while taming frizz. The formula contains wheat protein and organic aloe blend, which help hydrate dry and parched hair. The shampoo has a refreshing citrus aroma from certified organic lemon, bergamot, orange, and other plant and flower essences.
Why this is best shampoo for curly hair?
- Makes your hair incredibly soft
- Cleanses scalp well
- A little product goes a long way
- Brings out your curls
- Adds intense shine
2. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo: Best For Restoring Shine
The coconut curl & shine is best shampoo for curly hair. Treat your tresses without breaking the bank thanks to this sulfate-free formula that leaves curls soft and silky. Shea butter softens and smooths the hair, neem oil controls frizz and restores shine, and coconut oil helps reverse the effects of UV rays, dirt, and pollution, which can lead to dull hair.
3. Rizos Curls Hydrating Shampoo: Healthiest options for curls
Most of people major fan of co-washing. In fact, Some people usually wash their curls with a cleansing conditioner 1-2 times a week depending on the need. But sometimes — especially after weeks of applying styling products to your hair — your hair needs a little lather to really cleanse scalp thoroughly. When you need that, You can opt for Rizos Curls Hydrating Shampoo because it really leaves hair and scalp squeaky clean without drying it out.
In fact, it’s formulated with shea butter and moringa oil, which works to hydrate hair without leaving it greasy, and fights dandruff and dry scalp, all while leaving my curls super soft. A lot people believe in using a clarifying shampoo once or twice a month. I go for this shampoo instead when my scalp is really in need of removing residue. It’s the healthiest options for my curls.
4. Together Beauty Wash & Co Cleansing Conditioner: Best Conditioner For Daily Cleansing
When Shorter is styling a client’s curls, she reaches for this hydrating option instead of shampoo because it cleans the scalp without any harsh ingredients. “A co-wash is a conditioner with some cleansing agents,” she explains. “The essential oils help restore moisture that curly hair lacks.” The best Shampoos & Conditioners Curly for Hair
5. Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Shampoo: Best For Dry Curls
This hydrating shampoo is formulated with naturally derived ingredients like tomato fruit ferment, shea butter, avocado oil, and quinoa extract. These ingredients hydrate your curls, increase softness, and enhance the body of curls. The unique blend of ingredients keeps your hair healthy, fresh, and hydrated until the next wash. This shampoo offers high performance for all hair types.
Why this is best
- Allows uniform curl formation
- No added preservatives
- Free of harsh chemicals
- 98% naturally derived ingredients
- Gluten-free and cruelty-free
6. Aphogee Curlific Textured Hair Wash: Best Hydrating Shampoo
Hydrate your dry and moisture ridden hair with Aphogee’s Curlific Textured Hair Wash. It is a pH-optimized shampoo that contains a high amount of protein for strength, elasticity, and shine. The formula contains quinoa protein and keratin to help hydrate and detangle even the most unruly hair. This shampoo is ideal for all curly hair types.
Why this is best
- Creamy lather
- Makes your hair soft and more manageable
- Tames unruly hair and flyaways
- A little product goes a long way
7. NYM’s Sicilian Blood Orange & Black Currant Shampoo: Best Drugstore Curl Shampoo
If you’ve ever spent time on Reddit’s r/curlyhair community (…so, if you’re me), you’d know that zillions of people are obsessed with Not Your Mother’s Naturals. The line tends to be CGM-approved (i.e., free of silicones, sulfates, and waxes) and perfect for a mix of textures. Try the lightest “dark blue bottle” for super-fine waves/curls, the heaviest “pink bottle” for thicker, drier curls and coils, or this mid-weight, perfect-for-most shampoo, which uses sunflower and black currant oils to soften and define your hair.
8. Carol’s Daughter Wash Day Delight Water-to-Foam Shampoo: Best Curl Shampoo for Dense Hair
This sulfate- and silicone-free cleanser uses micellar water to attract and break down oil and grime, without stripping your curls. And the pointed nozzle is 10/10 if you’re working with thick or dense curls, says Cosmo beauty director Julee Wilson. “So many of the super-creamy products never reach my scalp, but the thin liquid formulation of this one really does.”
9. Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Clean Moisturizing & Softening: Best For Detangling
If you have chronically dry hair with zillions of tangled coils, this shampoo is the perfect product for you. It contains a powerful blend of moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and extra virgin olive oil. These keep your curls soft, silky, and hydrated and enable you to comb your tresses easily. They condition your curls thoroughly and gently cleanse away dirt and impurities.
Why this is best shampoo for curly hair
- Rich, creamy lather
- Softs dry ends
- Suitable for curls, coils, and waves
- Free of sulfates, parabens and mineral oil
10. Attitude Curl amplifying Shampoo: Best For Wavy and Loose Curls
Keep your hair hydrated and nourished with the Attitude Curl amplifying Shampoo. The Shampoo is loaded with chamomile extract and coconut oil that enhance your hair, make it smooth, and define your curls. It has a peach and vanilla fragrance that makes you feel refreshed. In addition, the shampoo eliminates frizz from your hair.
Why this is best
- EWG verified
- May make the scalp oily
11. Pattern Hydration Shampoo: Best for Clarifying
The shampoo’s clarifying formula (aka aloe vera, honey and coconut oil) can remove any dirt or oil found on the scalp or strands. And don’t worry about it stripping your natural oils, as the product focuses on keeping curls nourished even before you add conditioner. Plus, the signature scent (jasmine, sweet sandalwood and bergamot) is not overpowering and adds to the whole experience.
12. Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo: Best for Frizzy Hair
This hydrating shampoo works to reduce any signs of frizz, split ends and breakage. Whether you have color-treated, dry or damaged hair, add this to repair it all. “This have been highlighting hair for the years. After using this product for one week hair is noticeably softer and less frizzy. It’s the best shampoo ever.
13. OGX Quenching Coconut Curls Shampoo: Best Budget Shampoos for curly hair
The cleanser is ready to tame frizz, nourish curls and improve your hair’s definition. The blend of coconut oil, citrus oils and honey improves shine and brings back volume to dull strands. And come on, you simply can’t beat the $7 price tag. One reviewer gave this shampoo a perfect score and pointed out their favorite feature: “The smell of this shampoo alone is IMMACULATE. I’m a big fan of the coconut smell. It leaves your hair feeling clean and moisturized without that greasy feeling on your scalp. 10 out of 10 would definitely recommend.”
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