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  • Writer's pictureElise Wallace

2024’s Top 15 Shampoos for Curly Hair

curly hair, curly haircare, shampoo

When choosing a shampoo to help maintain and define your curls, looking for products specifically designed for curly hair is essential. Here are some general tips on what to consider:

Sulfate-Free Formula: Opt for sulfate-free shampoos, as sulfates can be harsh and strip the hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness.

Moisturizing Ingredients: Look for shampoos with moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, shea butter, or argan oil. These help hydrate and nourish your curls.

Curl-Enhancing Ingredients: Some shampoos contain ingredients that enhance and define curls. Look for products with polymers or proteins that help maintain curl structure.

Avoid Silicones: Some people prefer shampoos without silicones, as they can build up on the hair and weigh it down. If this is a concern for you, choose silicone-free options.

pH-Balanced: A pH-balanced shampoo helps maintain the natural pH of your hair, preventing excessive dryness or oiliness.

Everyone's hair is unique, so finding the best shampoo for your curls may take some experimentation. Additionally, consider using a conditioner and styling products tailored for curly hair to enhance your curls' overall health and appearance. Factors like curl type, damage levels, hair density, and porosity are essential for choosing the right product.

Here’s Our Top Picks for the Best Shampoo for Curly Hair in 2024:

No. 1

Pattern Beauty Bounce Back Pre-Shampoo

Best Pre-Shampoo for Curly Hair: Available at Sephora

Key ingredients: Murumuru seed butter, jojoba seed oil, hydrolyzed vegetable protein

Sulfate-free: Yes

Hair type: Dry, damaged, color-treated

The Pre-Poo treatment from Pattern Beauty is designed to address the moisture loss often associated with shampooing, especially for those with curly hair. Indeed, shampoos, especially those with harsh sulfates, can sometimes strip the natural oils from the hair, leading to dryness and frizz, which can be particularly noticeable in curly hair. That's why many people with curly hair prefer sulfate-free and moisturizing shampoos to maintain the health and definition of their curls. It's a mix of butters and oils that seal your hair with moisture to prevent your shampoo from drying out your locks. It also uses proteins to help strengthen your hair and aids in reducing damage over time.


No 2.

Function of Beauty Pro Bond Repair Custom Shampoo

Best Customizable Shampoo for Curly Hair

Best for Curly, Damaged Hair: Available at Sephora

Key ingredients: Alanine, amino acids, panthenol, sodium PCA

Sulfate-free: Yes

Hair type: All (plus options for wavy and coily hair, too)

The custom formula from Function of Beauty Pro is a versatile option for addressing various hair needs. Including amino acids to strengthen the hair is a beneficial feature, and adding different boosters based on individual hair goals allows for a personalized approach to hair care.

Customizable hair care products are becoming increasingly popular as they cater to individual needs and preferences.


No. 3

Not Your Mother's Curl Talk Bond Building Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Damaged, Curly Hair: Available at Walmart and Ulta

Key ingredients: Amino acids, arginine, avocado oil

Sulfate-free: Yes* (but it contains other strong surfactants)

Hair type: Damaged, color treated, chemically treated

Using a strengthening shampoo like the one from Not Your Mother's can be particularly beneficial for those who color or chemically treat their hair. Amino acids play a crucial role in re-linking broken bonds in the hair strands, helping fill in the cuticle's gaps and cracks. This can contribute to the overall health and strength of the hair, especially after chemical processes that may cause damage.

Incorporating a strengthening shampoo into your routine can help address issues such as brittleness and stringiness, providing a boost of care and support for chemically treated curls.

Many people with curly hair prefer products without silicones to avoid buildup that can weigh down the curls—using lightweight avocado oil in the strengthening shampoo from Not Your Mother's assists in smoothing flyaways without compromising the natural texture of curly hair.


No. 4

Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Loose Curls: Available at Amazon, Walmart, and JC-Penny

Key ingredients: Avocado oil, sweet almond oil

Sulfate-free: Yes* (but contains other strong surfactants)

Hair type: All

This shampoo from Design Essentials is tailored to address the specific needs of loose curls prone to stretching out from residue and oils. Using sulfate-free surfactants to break down product buildup is a good choice, and incorporating lightweight oils like avocado and almond oils is beneficial for mitigating dryness without weighing down the curls.


No. 5

Twist Hit Reset Light Clarifying Shampoo

Best Clarifying Shampoo for Curly Hair: Available at Amazon and JC-Penny

Key ingredients: Ammonium laureth sulfate, aloe vera, jojoba oil

Sulfate-free: No

Hair type: All* (*but can be drying if used too often for dry hair)

Using a clarifying shampoo with sulfates can be beneficial for breaking down wax, silicone buildup, and product residue that may weigh down curls. The clarifying shampoo you mentioned, with added moisturizing ingredients like jojoba oil and aloe vera, strikes a balance by addressing product buildup while providing hydration to prevent excessive dryness.

Finding the right balance for your hair is essential, as frequent use of sulfate-based shampoos can lead to dryness for some individuals. Incorporating a clarifying shampoo once a month can help maintain a clean scalp and prevent buildup without overly drying the hair.


No. 6

Sienna Naturals HAPI Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Color-Treated, Curly Hair: Available at Target

Key ingredients: Aloe vera, baobab seed oil

Sulfate-free: Yes

Hair type: All

Using a moisturizing and gentle shampoo like the one from Sienna Naturals is a thoughtful approach, especially for those who have colored their curls. Hair dye can dry, and damage and color fading are common concerns. Using mild surfactants to clean the scalp and roots and moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera and baobab seed oil helps maintain hydration and prevent color from looking dull.

No. 7

The Doux Bee-Girl Ladies’ First Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Dry, Curly Hair: Available at Target

Key ingredients: Silk amino acids, honey, hyaluronic acid

Sulfate-free: Yes* (but it contains other strong surfactants)

Hair type: All

It's a creamy cleanser and an excellent choice for dry and brittle curly hair. Including moisturizers like honey, hyaluronic acid, and silk amino acids for strength reflects a thoughtful formula for maintaining the hair's hydration and structural integrity.

The advice to use the strong cleanser once or twice a week and follow with a deep conditioner is a good practice. This helps strike a balance between cleansing the hair effectively and preventing excessive stripping that could lead to dryness.



Bread Beauty Supply Hair-Wash Milky Hair Cleanser

Best Co-Wash for Curly Hair: Available at Ulta

Key ingredients: Coconut oil, argan oil, avocado oil

Sulfate-free: Yes

Hair type: Dry, damaged

This shampoo is a fantastic option for those with curly hair, combining the benefits of a shampoo and co-wash in one. Using emollients such as coconut oil, argan oil, and avocado oil helps seal in moisture, while the ultra-light cleansing agents effectively lift off dirt and grime from the roots. Finding a product that cleanses effectively and adds to the overall joy of the wash day experience is always great.



Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo

Best Smoothing Shampoo for Curly Hair: Available at Walmart, Ulta, and Amazon

Key ingredients: Grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, argan oil, and safflower-seed oil

Sulfate-free: Yes

Hair type: Dry, dull, frizz-prone

Embracing natural texture and frizz is a personal choice, but the moisturizing shampoo from Bumble and Bumble seems like an excellent option for those who prefer to smooth out their hair. The combination of various oils like grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, argan oil, and safflower-seed oil is designed to lock in moisture and provide a shiny coating to the hair. It's lovely to have a range of products that cater to different preferences and hair needs.



Hair Rules No Suds Cleansing Cream

Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Curly Hair: Available at Amazon

Key ingredients: Honey, castor oil, crambe oil

Sulfate-free: Yes

Hair type: Dry, damaged, chemically treated, color treated

It's a great point that sulfate shampoos can dry and potentially irritate the scalp. The emphasis on providing a super-light cleanse while seriously hydrating the hair is a positive aspect.

The suggestion to massage the cream into the roots and smooth through the conditioner for an all-in-one wash day is convenient, especially for those looking to simplify their hair care routine.



Rizos Curls Hydrating Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Curly Hair and Dry Scalp: Available at Walmart and Amazon

Key ingredients: Shea butter, moringa oil

Sulfate-free: Yes

Hair type: Dry, damaged, color treated, sensitive scalps

A dry scalp can indeed contribute to itching, flakes, and irritation, impacting the overall appearance of curls. The hydrating curl shampoo you mentioned, using shea butter and moringa oil, sounds like a gentle and moisturizing solution. The emphasis on providing hydration to the scalp without weighing down the curls is particularly beneficial.

Avoiding harsh sulfates favoring a more hydrating shampoo is a good strategy for those dealing with scalp issues.



LUS Love Ur Curls Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Fine, Curly Hair: Available at Amazon

Key ingredients: Shea butter, moringa seed oil

Sulfate-free: Yes* (but contains other strong surfactants)

Hair type: All

Finding the right shampoo for fine, thin curls can be challenging, and it's great to hear about a lightweight and hydrating option that addresses this concern. The fact that it's free of silicones, sulfates, and mineral oil makes it suitable for those who want to avoid these ingredients.

Additionally, having a fragrance-free version caters to individuals with sensitive scalps. Various options catering to different hair types and preferences are crucial, and it's terrific to see products designed specifically for those with fine, thin curls.



Briogeo Curl Charisma Hydrating Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Chemically-Treated Curls: Available at Amazon

Key ingredients: Keratin amino acids, shea butter, avocado oil

Sulfate-free: Yes

Hair type: All

Incorporating a strengthening shampoo into the wash-day routine is excellent, especially after chemical treatments like relaxers or keratin treatments. Using keratin amino acids to strengthen damaged hair and moisturizing and smoothing ingredients like shea butter and avocado oil is a well-rounded approach to caring for chemically treated hair.

Including mild, sulfate-free cleansers to break down buildup and dirt without stripping the hair of moisture is a thoughtful choice. Maintaining moisture is crucial, especially for chemically treated hair that may be more prone to dryness.



Adwoa Beauty Blue Tansy Clarifying Gel Shampoo

Best Shampoo for Oily, Curly Hair: Available at Sephora

Key ingredients: Jojoba seed oil and blue tansy flower oil

Sulfate-free: Yes *(but it contains some other potent cleansers)

Hair type: Oily

The clarifying shampoo from Adwoa Beauty is an excellent choice for those who find heavy, ultra-moisturizing shampoos to leave a greasy film on their curls. Using jojoba oil, blue tansy flower oil, and lightweight oils is a smart approach to sealing in hydration without weighing down the curls.

The combination of strong, sulfate-free cleansers is beneficial for providing a deep clean, especially for individuals dealing with oil or product buildup on the roots. This can be particularly important for maintaining healthy and bouncy curls.



Vernon François Curl Shampoo

Best Drugstore Shampoo for Curly Hair: Available at Walmart

Key ingredients: Shea butter, castor oil, olive oil

Sulfate-free: Yes

Hair type: All

It's great to hear about the celebrity hairstylist Vernon François and his curl collection, especially the defining shampoo. The inclusion of shea butter and, castor and olive oils suggests a moisturizing and nourishing formula that aims to bring dry, limp curls back to life. Having a product designed by a hairstylist who works with celebrities adds a touch of expertise and experience to the collection.

curly hair, curly haircare, shampoo

Curly Haired Girls, Say Goodbye to Bad Hair Days!

When selecting your shampoo this year, Considering curl type, porosity, scalp condition, and hair goals is crucial for finding the best option for curly hair. Tailoring your choice based on specific factors such as curl pattern, hair density, and texture allows for a more personalized and effective hair care routine.

Our stylist at Finesse Hair Salon can assist you in the best way to start your hair journey. Be bold and ask all the hard questions. Book an appointment today!

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