Is it worth it to use a special product to wash curly hair?
The answer depends on you.
Would you like to have healthy, bouncy curls, shiny waves, or luscious coils?
If so, you need the best shampoos and conditioners for curly hair.
Is shampoo bad for curly hair?
Fans of the Curly Girl Method (1) look down on shampoo.
But shampoo is still the best way to get rid of excess oil, dirt, and impurities.
What matters are the ingredients.
Some shampoos are good for curly hair. They add moisture instead of removing it.
Conditioners help, too.
Instead of washing every day, you can protect your curls by co-washing.
That’s using conditioner instead of shampoo for alternating washes.
How to tell if a shampoo is safe for curly hair
The experts recommend washing with sulfate-free shampoos.
Sodium lauryl sulfate can be very drying, and it could cause frizz (2).
That’s a problem when naturally curly and kinky hair tends to be dry already.
Instead, look for shampoos that have natural oils. They may not lather up as nicely, but they’ll get the job done.
They will make your locks lustrous and manageable.
Also, avoid silicone to avoid weighing down the strands. Look for shampoos and conditioners with protein instead.
In a pinch, shampoos made for dry, damaged hair are generally safe for curly hair.
To fight tangles, try massaging shampoo into your dry scalp before you shower. Then rinse well and apply conditioner.
How to select the right shampoo for your curly hair
You may already know about the different curly hair types.
It’s important to understand what type of hair you have before you purchase shampoo and conditioner.
Most people have a mix of types, but one will be more prominent.
They are rated according to how tight the curls are.
Type II is wavy, type III is loose curls, and type IV are tighter curls. Each type is further divided by how big the curls are.
For example, type II a has wide waves, and type IV C has the tightest kinks.
Next, you need to know how porous your hair is. Does it soak up products quickly, or do they take a while to absorb?
To check the porosity of your hair, all you need to do is dunk your hair ends in a cup of water.
Do they float or sink?
If they float, you can use thick, creamy products.
If they sink, use lightweight products.
After all, the right shampoo and conditioner avoids tangles and enhances the natural beauty of your hair.
DevaCurl One Condition Original
Pretty much every curly girl has heard of DevaCurl.
If you can only afford one product, get the original conditioner.
It works best after you wash with the No-Poo Original Shampoo, but it can help rescue your hair no matter what product you’ve used.
Like everything that DevaCurl makes, it’s free of sulfates, silicone, and parabens. It doesn’t even have wheat or animal byproducts.
The creamy formula is based on botanicals and olive oil and has a lemongrass scent.
Devacurl No-Poo Decadence Milk Cleanser
If you have very curly hair, get the Milk Cleanser. It’s based on quinoa protein and chufa milk to fortify damaged, color-treated, and frizzy curls.
It’s mild enough to use daily – and that’s great news for those who never want to skip washing after a workout.
DevaCurl How to Quit Shampoo, Cleanse & Condition Kit
Sample what DevaCurl has to offer with this kit. It includes one 8-ounce bottle each of the No-Poo Original Cleanser and the Original Conditioner.
It also comes with a microfiber DevaTowel that prevents your curls from frizzing.
Carol’s Daughter Coco Creme Curl Quenching Shampoo
Here is a moisturizing shampoo that’s free of sulfates. It’s enriched with coconut oil, mango seed butter, and Vitamin E.
It’s made by a company that started over two decades ago in Brooklyn.
Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Defining Shampoo
Are you looking for the best shampoo and conditioner for frizzy hair? Then check out Marc Anthony’s products.
The shampoo ads elasticity, shine, and bounce to curls. At the same time, it minimizes tangles and frizz.
It’s free of sulfates. Instead, it cleanses with hydrolyzed silk and shea butter and gentle surfactants.
Follow up with the conditioner below for perfect results.
Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Frizz Sealing Conditioner
The Frizz Sealing Conditioner locks in moisture to smooth dry, damaged strands. Meanwhile, it repels humidity to prevent flyaway.
No, this is not a silicone-free product.
Don’t be afraid to use this on your scalp as it nourishes it, too. It’s packed with Vitamin E, aloe, and silk proteins.
Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Conditioner Leave-in
For extra detangling power, grab the leave-in conditioner. Yes, it has silicone. But it may be just what you need to tame unruly curls.
Other ingredients include shea butter and avocado oil. These fortify and moisturize naturally coarse hair.
Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Shampoo & Conditioner Set
Take the guesswork out of shopping and buy this set.
It includes shampoo and conditioner, but the conditioner also functions as a co-wash and a leave-in product. Both have a subtle grape fragrance.
The conditioner is fortified with a blend of keratin amino acids, enzymes, and rice. This complex hydrates and protects curls.
Everything is free of sulfates and silicone so that the shine is all-natural.
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Combination Pack Curl & Shine Shampoo, Conditioner
When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with Shea Moisture.
Their shampoo and conditioner are trusted by shoppers with wavy, curly, and kinky coils.
In fact, this could become the default duo in your bathroom for everyone in the family. That’s because they are safe for color-treated, damaged, dry, or oily hair.
The creamy shampoo and conditioner moisturize and detangle as they define curls. Moreover, they avoid artificial ingredients.
Tigi Catwalk Curls Rock Curly Hair Set
As you can see, there are plenty of options for washing curly hair.
This set from Tigi includes shampoo and conditioner with an orange berry scent.
It’s best for normal to dry hair. The most common complaint we heard was that you might need a leave-in conditioner if your hair is anything other than wavy.
Carol’s Daughter Cactus Rose Water Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner
Clear away build-up from styling products with a clarifying shampoo for curly hair.
The Cactus Rose Water set revives fine, limp hair by removing excess oil and gunk. Happily, it works without drying out curls.
It also provides a boost of biotin to add volume.
Sun Bum Curls & Waves Shampoo
Finally, someone has figured out how to make a shampoo for beach bums and those who love to swim.
It’s designed for women, men, and children who have wavy to kinky hair whether or not it’s color-treated.
The formula not only repairs damage, but it also protects against ultraviolet radiation. The end result is hair that’s shiny and hydrated, not frizzy or dull.
The shampoo is vegan and free of sulfates and parabens.
Sun Bum Curls & Waves Conditioner
Be sure to apply this conditioner after washing as it seals in moisture.
Like the shampoo, it’s safe for color-treated hair and free of parabens.
Unfortunately, it has silicones. But it also has Kukui nut, seaweed protein, Monoi, and coconut oil.
SILK18 Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner for Dry, Damaged Hair
The Silk18 shampoo and conditioner rejuvenate dry hair whether or not it’s curly. They come with a money-back guarantee.
The shampoo strives for salon perfection as it hydrates while removing oil and dirt. It shouldn’t cause flyaway or frizz, especially if you apply the accompanying conditioner.
The conditioner is enriched with silk amino acids, argan oil, and other natural extracts. It does not contain silicone.
Not Your Mother’s Coconut Milk & African Marula Tree Oil High Moisture Shampoo
Did you know that keratin comes from animals? But Not Your Mother’s will only use Carroten derived from sheep’s wool after shearing. In other words, they refuse to harm animals to make this product.
If the entertaining name and the eco-friendly behavior isn’t enough to hook you, here’s more to appreciate.
The formula has 98% naturally-derived ingredients. There’s no gluten or dye. Furthermore, there are no sulfates, phthalates, parabens, or silicones.
Not Your Mother’s Naturals Coconut Milk & African Marula Tree Oil High Moisture Conditioner
It smells good, but what’s more important is that it works well.
This conditioner prevents tangles even in tight curly hair.
It’s also mostly natural and free of problematic ingredients.
OGX Quenching Plus Coconut Curls Bundle Shampoo & Conditioner
Do you need the best shampoo for fine curly hair? Then try the OGX Coconut Curls. It reduces frizz even in humid weather.
A glance at the label reveals tasty moisturizers like citrus oil, coconut, and honey.
Plus, both the shampoo and conditioner are free of sulfates and parabens.
L’Oréal Paris Hair Care EverCurl Shampoo & Conditioner
L’Oreal makes the best drugstore shampoo and conditioner for curly hair.
The EverCurl set promises to give you 48 hours of curl definition.
They are free of harsh surfactants and salts that strip moisture and damage color-treated hair.
The vegan hair care products don’t have parabens, either.
TRESemmé Flawless Curls
You might also see this brand’s shampoo and conditioner in the drugstore or supermarket.
It’s labeled for curly hair.
But I was a little disappointed with its performance and its ingredients.
The second ingredient in the shampoo is a sulfate, and things go downhill from there.
Yes, it’s better than some things you could use to wash your curly hair. But it doesn’t provide the shine or bounce that other products do.
L’Oreal Paris Hair Care Advanced Extraordinary Oil Curls Shampoo
What if one wash were enough to make a noticeable difference in your hair?
Then try L’Oreal’s Extraordinary Oil Curls Shampoo.
It has a natural complex that includes amla, coconut, flax, soy, rose, and sunflower oils.
Pantene Pro V Curl Perfection Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner
Pantene’s products are popular as they make hair shiny and smooth.
But they have both sulfates and silicones.
Over time, you could end up with dry, dull strands.
Garnier Fructis Curl Nourish Shampoo, Conditioner, and Natural Styling Curl Treat Butter
Garnier’s Curl Nourish set is targeted at dry, curly, and kinky hair. It calms frizz for up to 24 hours without making the hair greasy or limp.
Each product is made from 98% naturally-derived ingredients. They explain that each component retains half or more of its original structure even if it’s undergone processing.
Also, the shampoo is free of sulfates. All three products are free of silicone, mineral oil, and parabens.
Aussie Miracle Curls Shampoo and Conditioner Set
I know that there are Aussie fans out there. There’s something about the fragrance that’s addictive.
And the way their products smooth hair is attractive.
But be aware that alongside coconut and jojoba oils, you’ll be washing with sulfates.
Fairy Tales Curly-Q Daily Kid Hydrating Shampoo
Take good care of your kid’s curls with this shampoo. It’s perfect for fine hair.
Wash with this, and you’ll eliminate tangles and frizz. Quinoa, rice amino acids, and murumuru butter smooth and define those cute little ringlets.
Additionally, it’s free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and even soy, nuts, and dairy.
SoCozy Curl Shampoo Sweet-Crème, No Frizz or Fuss, Curls Done Right
Here’s another kid’s shampoo that you might be tempted to use yourself. It has a delicious orangesicle fragrance.
Like other premium products for children, it’s free of nasty chemicals and allergens. It doesn’t have sulfates, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, artificial dyes, gluten, wheat, nuts, or propylene glycol.
Instead, it features also natural ingredients like watermelon and plum seed oil. These, in combination with hydrolyzed keratin, prevent frizz, strengthen each strand, and add natural shine. They also soothe itchy scalps.
The formula was created by a national children’s hair care expert.
Take your ordinary curly hair and make it extraordinarily well-defined and gorgeous.
Start with the right shampoos and conditioners.
The way you wash doesn’t just remove dirt – it sets the stage for the performance. It strengthens your hair and prevents frizz and tangles.
If you discovered hair care products today that you love using, tell us about them in the comments below.
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curly_Girl_Method accessed December 2, 2019
2. https://www.wikihow.com/Wash-Curly-Hair by Ashley Adams, published September 6, 2019, accessed December 2, 2019