Cleansing curly hair with the wrong shampoo (or conditioner!) can make all the difference in the world. When faced with the plethora of products claiming to nourish curls, it can be difficult to select the product that works best. It gets even more complicated when you consider how hair textures differ-dry, thick, fine, or natural.
This is why we invited Evan Joseph, an advocate and hairstylist at Evan Joseph Salon, to join us. In his opinion, curls are delicate creatures that prefer gentle, natural ingredients rather than harsh chemicals and drying synthetics.
The purpose of shampoo is to cleanse gently. For curly clients, I recommend using cleansers every 2-3 days to maintain scalp health and avoid product buildup. Curly cleansers are typically gentle and should be used often to avoid product buildup.”
However, you might only need to wash your hair once a week if you have natural Black curls. In order to retain the natural oils in your hair, dermatologist Sharleen St. Surin-Lord, MD, at Visage Dermatology in Maryland, suggests washing it less frequently. Sometimes she suggests every other week.
The doctor’s recommendation is unchanged as long as a scalp disorder such as seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis is not present. Furthermore, the fact that many people with African/Black hair only get their hair washed twice a week by their beauticians has an effect on the frequency of hair washing.
To find nourishing ingredients in products, look for those that add moisture instead of removing it. In addition to avocado oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil, Dr. St. Surin-Lord suggests naturally hydrating oils and essences. He notes that many coconut-derived cleanser and conditioner products can effectively cleanse hair without stripping it of its natural oils and leaving it dry and brittle. In terms of conditioner, Guar is an excellent alternative to silicon. It provides the same slip, manageability, and easy rinsing as silicon.”
There are 16 of the best shampoos for thick, curly, and dry hair
Need a cleanser that’s good for curls? These 16 shampoos for curly hair are guaranteed to add shine, moisture, and volume to wavy manes.
A shampoo to use if your hair is dry and curly
Raw Shampootie Coconut Curls Quench Shampoo – $9.00
A curl-quenching shampoo from Real Raw costs only $9. It is made with curly-friendly ingredients, such as yogurt, coconut oil, and manuka honey, which are all cold blended for nutrient richness. How did it turn out? A healthy, bouncy, and smooth curl.
Mango and coconut smells good
Curls for a sunbum. & Waves Shampoo — $10.00
It contains hydrating ingredients like macadamia nut oil, coconut oil, and kukui nut oil. A little goes a long way, and you’ll have silky, smooth curls free from frizz. Use it in conjunction with other Sun Bum curly hair products, such as curl gel or mousse.
The smell of the sunscreen you love
Cleansing Gel – Authentic Beauty Concept Detox Cleanser – $28.00
Joseph recommends a shampoo that hydrates dry hair, scrubbing dirt and grime from it without removing natural oils. Coconut, mango, and basil extracts are included to help you cleanse your locks and give them some TLC.
Cotton that smells fresh and clean
Shampoo by Davines – $30.00
The products from Davines are all made with natural and organic ingredients and delivered in recyclable packaging, so it’s good for the body as well as the environment. Almond oil sourced locally from Italy infuses this shampoo with hydration, giving curls an instant boost.
Fresh air smells good
Curly hair shampoos that work
$10.00 for Mixed Chicks Sulfate Free Shampoo
All-natural ingredients in Mixed Chicks gentle shampoo scrape the baking soda and the coloring agents to make your curly hair healthier. As you lather, it unlocks the moisture and vitamins that nourish the hair. It cleanses and hydrates the hair while reinvigorating every strand.
Aloe, avocado, and almonds smell great
Shampoo Hydrating Pattern – $20.00
A pattern hydrating shampoo is perfect for hair in need of moisture, especially those with dry hair and thirsty coils. Aloe juice, coconut oil, and delectable honey are all feel-good ingredients hair will love. It removes grease and grime while providing the natural oils your hair needs.
The scent is citrusy and subtle
Cleaning Crème for Moisture & Control – $45.00
For nourishment, cleansing, and a smoother hair, treat yourself to this indulgent shampoo. It is non-foaming, formulated to remove oil, dirt, and debris gently. Among the nourishments are fruit extracts that purify (for extra cleanliness), coconut oil that nourishes (for nourishment), and water mint essence that cools (to keep you from overheating).
Eucalyptus with a minty scent
Curly hair shampoos that work best
Coconut Fine Curls with OGX Lightweight – $7.00
You won’t find a better alternative to OGX’s coconut-infused shampoo anywhere else that’s specifically formulated for fine, thin curls than this drugstore option. Unlike greasy products, it won’t weigh down your curls, so they keep their bounce. The hair will look salon-worthy with its matching conditioner paired with it.
Coconut beach scent
Shampoo Verb Ghost – $18.00
All types of curls feel great after using Verb’s weightless shampoo. There’s no weighing down or leaving hair flat with this item’s feather-light moringa oil. Moreover, it has UV-protectant, is dye-safe, vegan, and has a low price.
Citrus scent with a hint of grapefruit
Weightless Hydration Shampoo by Aveda Sap Moss – $28.00
What’s that smell? Yes, I really mean that. A shampoo from Aveda that’s infused with Icelandic moss and tree sap is designed to keep curls soft and moisturized while not causing them to become greasy or heavy. Curls are left silky and rejuvenated after using this natural shampoo’s natural ingredients and silicone-free formulation.
The smell of forest air
Curl Shampoo by Living Proof – $32.00
The curl shampoo from Living Proof is a product of their high-quality, powerful hair care line. It’s creamy and hydrating but not in a way that’s too hydrating for fine, sensitive hair. This wash is accompanied by a matching conditioner, leaving curls feeling springy and clean.
The scent is citrusy
Curly thick hair shampoos that work
Shampoo for thick hair by OUAI – $28.00
The shampoo from OUAI is designed specifically for thick hair, as its name suggests. OUAI’s shampoo repairs and detangles dense hair, preparing it for conditioning, while other shampoos can make it even more tangled. The formulation, packaging, and recycling make the product stand out from the crowd.
The scent is a mix of lemony, jasminey, and musk
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