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Wash and go doesn’t work the same way when you have curly hair. Hair with texture requires more finesse — and that starts in the shower. Sudsing up with one of the best shampoos for curly hair ensures that you’ll be primed for a good hair day as soon as you step out of the shower. That’s because they work with curly hair follicles to enhance and maintain the natural pattern of your hair.
When shopping for a shampoo, those with curly hair need to find hydrating formulas. Unlike straight hair, it’s tough for natural oils from the scalp to travel down the hair shaft because of those twists and turns that give curls their texture. As a result, curly hair is prone to dryness. The structure of curly hair also makes it more likely to get frizzy and dull. The best shampoos for curly hair address all of those challenges, starting with infusing strands with plenty of moisture. When textured hair is hydrated, it also makes it much easier to detangle and style. Make sure to avoid shampoos with harsh ingredients like alcohol and sulfates which can make locks even more parched. To help you have good hair days regularly, we found the best shampoos for curly hair, including options for waves, ringlets, corkscrews and every texture type out there.
1. Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Shampoo
A universal delight for curls—it works equally well on wavy, curly or coily hair — Briogeo’s Curl Charisma delivers much-need moisture to the hair while defining your natural texture. The sulfate-free shampoo gently lifts buildup, dirt and oil without stripping hair. The hero ingredient is rice amino acids to go deep into the hair shaft to keep moisture in and frizz out. There’s also tomato fruit ferment to seal the cuticle, which helps hair dry evenly — that’s the secret to uniform curls. The final hydrating touch is shea butter and avocado oil, which also soften strands. Impressively, the formula is made with 98 percent natural ingredients.
2. Bread Beauty Supply Hair Wash Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser
BEST FOR TIGHT CURLS
“Frizz” shouldn’t be a bad word. In fact, Bread Beauty Supply founder and chief executive officer Maeva Heim is trying to make it aspirational. She’s challenging the status quo of the definition of “good” curls by celebrating every curl type out there. She’s also creating positive conversations about natural hair and women of color. Bread Beauty Supply is a clean, vegan line designed for 3a to 4c curls, so its Hair Wash Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser is ideal for natural texture. Gentle yet deeply cleansing, this product combines the best of both worlds of a cowash and a shampoo, working into a mild creamy lather. For extra nourishment and hydration, it spotlights ingredients from Heim’s native Australia, including vitamin C-packed Australian Kakadu Plum.
3. Pattern Clarifying Shampoo
Tracee Ellis Ross has given curly-haired people something to be excited about with her hair line, so it’s no surprise that Pattern makes the best clarifying shampoo for curly hair. Styling curls can require a lot of products, so getting a fresh slate is important to keep your scalp happy and healthy. Pattern’s Clarifying Shampoo will do the trick, as it removes buildup and refreshes the scalp without washing away the naturally nourishing oils in your hair. Packed with antioxidants to nurture and strengthen curls, it contains matcha green tea, aloe vera and panthenol. Ross selected a clean floral fragrance for the shampoo, a blend of jasmine, bergamot and sweet sandalwood.
4. Moroccanoil Curl Cleansing Conditioner
Two-in-one shampoo and conditioners have gotten a bad rep over the years, but a good cowash defies that category. Essentially a cleanser and conditioner in one step, a cowash doesn’t lather so it is extra delicate on the hair. Moroccanoil’s Curl Cleansing Conditioner is infused with its signature argan oil, which curly hair drinks right up. Designed to maintain the integrity of textured hair, it enriches curls while increasing softness and shine. Hair is left healthy and smooth.
5. Ouidad Curl Shaper Good As New Moisture Restoring Shampoo
BEST FOR LOOSE CURLS
Sometimes it can be tough to coax loose curls and waves into their texture. Ouidad’s new Curl Shaper Good As New Moisture Restoring Shampoo will help. The oil-based shampoo imitates the natural oils found in your hair to create consistent curls and oomph up your pattern. But don’t let the oily base fool you — it’ll never weigh hair down or leave locks greasy. Instead, it leaves them infused with moisture and loads of shine, plus it’s gentle enough for daily use.
6. Aveda Be Curly Shampoo
BEST NATURAL FORMULA
There’s a reason this gentle shampoo is consistently a best seller for Aveda. It refines curls, fights frizz and boosts shine for every type of texture. Wheat protein and organic aloe team up to define curls and perk up your natural pattern. Aveda’s signature citrus scent — a combination of certified organic lime, lemon, bergamot, orange and other pure plant and flower essences — instantly lifts your mood. True to Aveda’s ethos, the bottle is made from 100 percent recycled plastic, plus the company manufactures with 100 percent wind power.
7. Vernon Francois Curl Shampoo
BEST FRIZZ FIGHTER
As the mane man behind Lupita Nyong’o and Solange, stylist Vernon Francois knows his way around curly hair and his eponymous line is proof. Chock full of incredibly enriching ingredients, this sulfate-free shampoo has mongongo oil to protect strands from sun damage, coconut oil to soften, seaweed extract to smooth, olive oil for moisture, tea tree oil to cleanse the scalp and baobab oil to boost growth. In other words, it works from roots to tips to improve hair health. This frizz tamer also keeps flyaways in check while enhancing the natural pattern of wavy, curly or coily hair.
8. Dr. Miracle’s Conditioning Shampoo
Curly hair is often fragile and delicate, but Dr Miracle’s Conditioning Shampoo can bring it back to good health and give it a boost, making this one of the best shampoos for curly hair. The line was developed with input from trichologists, stylists and beauty experts to create products that deliver results. This Conditioning Shampoo is spiked with olive and jojoba oils to fortify and nourish strands, leaving them strong and shiny.