You’re looking good, curly head!
But your stylist just told you not to wash your hair for forty-eight hours.
Then they said to use the best shampoos and conditioners for permed hair.
What does that mean?
Do you need to buy expensive salon products?
There was a time when that was all I’d recommend to my clients. Realistically speaking, not everyone can afford it.
That’s why today I’ll review the best drugstore shampoos for permed hair.
I’ll also recommend sulfate-free products to wash curly hair, plus conditioners to tame frizz and tangles.
How to wash and condition permed hair
Someone once asked me if it was okay to condition permed hair. They were afraid that it would make the curls loosen.
Yes, please condition permed hair.
Conditioner will keep your curls soft and shiny and resilient. It will repair damage caused by chemical processing.
Moreover, the conditioner takes care of frizz and tangles.
If you have dry hair, apply a deep conditioning treatment once a week or at least once a month (1).
Feel free to enjoy the leave-in conditioner to maintain shine and softness.
As for washing newly permed hair, please wait at least a day before you shampoo it. Stay out of the rain as well.
Water will make the curls straighten.
If you have oily hair or you perspired, use dry shampoo to freshen up (2).
If you can wait two days after your perm, it’s better. The hair will settle, and the curls will likely last longer.
When you wash, sulfate-free shampoo is the best choice. Sulfates are detergents that create lather and wash away oil and impurities.
You might hear them called anionic surfactants – they are what causes oil and water to bind together.
The main one to avoid is sodium lauryl sulfate (3). Thankfully, it’s rare to find this in shampoo nowadays. You’re more likely to have it in your toothpaste.
More commonly, it’s sodium laureth sulfate or ammonium laureth sulfate that are in many shampoos (4).
But you don’t need harsh sulfates to have a clean scalp or hair. Avoid them if you have dry skin, but don’t fear them if you have oily skin.
In any case, if you rinse well enough, you’re less likely to have problems. Be sure to use warm water to avoid stripping the natural oil and moisture from your hair.
Now, let’s start with the best discount shampoos and conditioners for permed hair and work our way down to salon selections.
L’Oréal Paris Hair Care EverCurl Shampoo & Conditioner Kit
L’Oreal’s EverCurl shampoo and conditioner are free of sulfates. They use coconut and sugar surfactants instead.
This set is ideal for curly hair whether or not it’s permed.
The vegan formulas also lack irritants like gluten, dyes, and parabens
Once you wash and condition with them, your hair should be good to go for forty-eight hours.
L’Oreal Paris Hair Care Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm
L’Oreal’s Elvive lineup includes this deep conditioner to repair processed hair.
It promises to fix up to one year of damage with only one use.
The magic comes from ceramides, protein, and almond extract. Together, they strengthen broken fibers and restore shine.
Garnier Hair Care Fructis Curl Nourish Shampoo, Conditioner, and Butter Cream Leave-In Conditioner
Garnier’s Fructis curl kit says you’ll go twenty-four hours without frizz. It also infuses three days’ worth of moisture to leave curls defined and silky soft.
The active ingredients include glycerin to attract moisture and coconut oil to smooth the cuticle. Then, there are vitamins and botanical extracts to strengthen the hair.
Happily, all three products are free of parabens and sulfates.
TRESemmé Flawless Curls Shampoo & Conditioner Set
You might be tempted to get the TRESemmé Flawless Curls set, but the shampoo contains sulfates.
That’s not as big a black mark as you might think as long as your hair isn’t damaged.
The formulas are moisturizing, and they protect against harm from heat-styling. The company also says that they are safe for color-treated hair.
Let me tell you a secret.
If you’re ever in a bind without your favorite sulfate-free shampoo, you have options. Choose a shampoo that’s labeled as “safe for color-treated hair.”
Generally speaking, it should be mild enough for permed hair as well.
Pantene, Shampoo and Sulfate-Free Conditioner Kit
Pantene created this the rose-scented shampoo and conditioner without sulfates or parabens. Both are safe for chemically-treated and color-treated hair.
They contain the classic Pro-V vitamin blend to fortify each strand.
Plus, the conditioner is free of silicones and mineral oil.
If you prefer to wash your hair every day, this is a good choice.
Renpure Beauty Coconut & Vitamin E Hydrate + Replenish Dry Shampoo
Extend the lifetime of your perm by using dry shampoo.
The less you expose your curls to water, the longer they will last.
Renpure’s dry shampoo is more moisturizing than the average product. It’s fortified with vitamin E and coconut for extra shine.
What’s more, it’s free of dyes, parabens, phthalates, and propylene glycol. They even go the extra mile to source sustainable ingredients and produce products ethically.
DevaCurl Low Poo Mild Lather Cleanser
Those with naturally curly hair, naturally dry hair, and permed hair can all benefit from co-washing.
DevaCurl is the expert.
Get a bottle of either the Low Poo or No Poo Cleanser and keep it in your shower. Alternate washes with it and your regular shampoo, or switch completely.
You’ll be amazed at the results.
The first thing you’ll notice is that there isn’t much lather if any.
The second thing you’ll notice is that your scalp and hair feel better. Your hair will be luminous and bouncy.
The mild formula is free of sulfates, parabens, and silicone. The base ingredient isn’t even water – it’s a botanical extract.
DevaCurl One Condition Decadence Conditioner
Follow-up your wash with this moisturizing milk conditioner.
Work it through your hair, then use your fingers, a pick, or a wide-tooth comb to detangle.
Then rinse well after a couple of minutes.
The conditioner is free of silicone that could weigh down your hair. Instead, it’s enriched with quinoa protein and chufa milk, botanicals that nourish the scalp and strands.
Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing & Detangling Shampoo- Almond & Avocado Collection
Design Essentials want you to spend less time in front of the mirror. No, seriously. They say their shampoo and conditioner will save up to thirty minutes detangling time.
The Almond and Avocado products are free of parabens, sulfates, paraffin, petrolatum, and mineral oil. They are made in the USA.
The shampoo focuses on benefits from coconut milk, wheat protein, avocado oil, and sweet almond oil.
Together, these rejuvenate dry, damaged hair and nourish the scalp. They prevent breakage and promote shine.
Design Essentials Natural Moisturizing & Super Detangling Conditioner, Almond & Avocado Collection
The accompanying conditioner also lacks parabens. Be sure to apply it after washing to reduce frizz and prevent breakage.
Pureology | Strength Cure Strengthening Shampoo
This shampoo is for damaged hair that’s been color-treated or chemically processed.
It’s vegan and free of sulfates. Plus, the bottle is eco-friendly as it’s 95% post-consumer recycled plastic.
Pureology explains that chemical processes and heat styling cause micro-scarring of the hair. But their formula is packed with antioxidants to promote healing.
They performed a brush test after only one use of the shampoo, conditioner, and the Split End Salve. The result was a verifiable improvement in hair strength.
If you’re curious about the scent, it’s a blend of vanilla, peach, honey, and lavender.
Pureology Strength Cure Strengthening Conditioner
Use this conditioner after the shampoo above. It continues the healing process to repair damaged hair.
It will leave your curls free of tangles, soft, and moisturized.
HASK COCONUT MILK + HONEY Curly Hair Shampoo and Conditioner, Curl Care
The HASK shampoo and conditioner is made for all curly hair types and textures.
It’s free of gluten, sulfates, and parabens.
Moreover, it’s safe for color-treated hair, too.
If you want defined curls and no frizz, try these products. They have an interesting technology called Memory Curl Complex.
The natural oils, coconut milk, and organic honey minimize split ends and add bounce. It’s almost like you used a styling product.
TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Curly Hair Shampoo and Conditioner
TIGI’s curly hair shampoo and conditioner are popular. But I was a little disappointed when I read the ingredients.
The shampoo has ammonium lauryl sulfate as well as parabens, methylisothiazolinone (a harsh preservative), and silicone (dimethicone).
Nexxus Therappe Humectress Combo Pack Shampoo and Conditioner
Nexxus offers this shampoo and conditioner to those with damaged, dry hair. Both formulas are silicone-free to avoid weighing down the hair or adding residue.
These are salon products that provide twenty-four hours of moisture.
They contain caviar and concentrated elastin protein to fortify each strand.
Goddess Strength by Carol’s Daughter Fortifying Shampoo
Carol’s Daughter caters to curly girls. The Goddess Strength Shampoo is specifically for weak or damaged hair.
It’s also good for preparing your hair for color treatments or chemical processing. Wash with it regularly for a couple of weeks before the salon appointment.
After only one use, your hair will be fifteen times stronger than it was before.
The formula has castor oil, ginger, and black seed oil to help your scalp and curls stay healthy.
There are no sulfates, artificial colors, or parabens.
Goddess Strength by Carol’s Daughter Fortifying Conditioner
For extra strong hair, follow up with the fortifying conditioner. It’s also enriched with black seed oil, castor oil, and ginger.
Carol’s Daughter Sacred Tiare Leave-In Conditioner
As often as you need, apply this leave-in conditioner to your curls. It’s perfect for fragile, frizzy, or damaged hair.
It fixes dullness and dryness and prevents breakage. Massage it into the tips to smooth split ends.
There’s no silicone, parabens, or artificial dyes in it. It’s made with gardenias, shea butter, coconut oil, and moringa.
Mixed Chicks Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Colored & Chemically Treated Hair
Mixed Chicks understands what it’s like to have textured hair. They designed this mild shampoo to take care of coils, kinks, and waves.
It won’t harm your color treatment or your perm.
You can use it on weaves and straight hair, too.
While panthenol adds body, sesame seed oil promotes growth. Aloe treats and itchy scalp while olive oil moisturizes.
Mixed Chicks Conditioning Cleansing Co-Wash
Better yet, rotate this co-wash into your shampooing routine.
It’s a shampoo and conditioner all-in-one.
Although it’s very low lather, it cleanses your scalp and hair. The result feels soft and manageable.
It contains coconut, castor seed, jojoba seed, wheat germ, and olive fruit oils.
Mixed Chicks Detangling Deep Conditioner
Finally, there’s the Deep Conditioner to counteract the damage caused by chemical treatments and heat-styling.
It sinks into the hair fiber to strengthen and rebuild with Vitamin E and safflower seed oil.
For maximum benefits, apply the conditioner and use damp heat to help it penetrate.
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Combination Pack
Shea Moisture has a selection of shampoos and conditioners for curly, textured hair. This kit includes a leave-in curl-defining cream, too.
Even if you have fine hair, you can benefit from these products. They contain silk proteins to make your curls bouncy and manageable.
Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Shampoo
Ouidad will help you moisturize and care for tight curls when you wash with the Quencher shampoo.
It has corn oil, wheat protein, vitamins, and chamomile in it. These stop frizz and hydrate the hair.
With regular use, it will help your curls become stronger, softer, and healthier.
Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Conditioner
Reinforce every fiber with this protein-enriched conditioner. It’s safe for permed, straightened, and color-treated hair.
It blends moisturizers, botanicals, and vitamins to soften without weighing down or leaving residue.
The best way to take care of your permed hair is to use the best shampoo and conditioner for it.
Moisturize and skip the sulfates to keep the curls as long as possible. Switch up regular washes with dry shampoo and co-washing.
If you discovered new favorite hair care products today, tell us about them in the comments below.
1. https://www.leaf.tv/9564697/rules-for-after-getting-a-perm/ by Kimbry Parker, accessed January 13, 2020
2. https://www.wikihow.com/Care-for-Permed-Hair by Courtney Foster, published December 17, 2019, accessed January 13, 2020
3. http://theconversation.com/what-is-sodium-lauryl-sulfate-and-is-it-safe-to-use-125129 by Yousuf Mohammed, accessed January 13, 2020
4. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/706089-sodium_laureth_sulfate accessed January 13, 2020