15 Best Shampoos for Curly Hair

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Life would be far easier—and our pockets much happier—if we could all use one shampoo for all our hair woes and types. Unfortunately, every hair type—fine, straight, thick, curly—requires specific formulas to give our strands the love they rightfully deserve. Most curly-haired folks can agree: We’ve had some horrible experiences with shampoo, from sulfate-heavy formulas that leave our hair stripped of everything good to ingredients that weigh down our curls and coils. Plenty of us gave up on traditional shampoos altogether. But while co-washes work great for some people, curly hair still needs a deeper cleaning from time to time.

Products we need to keep our texture defined and frizz-free, like creams, gels, and leave-in conditioners, can drown our hair in gunk and build-up. Thankfully, we found some life vests for those limp spirals. Ahead, the 15 best shampoos for curls.

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Best for Hydration

KEVIN.MURPHY

Hydrate-Me.Wash

Best Drugstore

SheaMoisture

Curl & Shine Coconut & Hibiscus Shampoo

Best for Scalp

Adwoa Beauty

Baomint Moisturizing Shampoo

Best for Subtle sheen

Living Proof

Curl Shampoo

Best for Softening

OGX

Quenching + Coconut Curls Shampoo

Best for Salon-Level Results

Kérastase

Curl Manifesto Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Best for Anti-Breakage

Virtue

Curl Shampoo

Best for Nourishment

Bouclème

Curl Cleanser

Best for Repair

Olaplex

No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Best for Moisture

Briogeo

Don’t Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo

Best for Body

Bounce Curl

Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

Best for Wavy Hair

Aveda

Be Curly Shampoo

Best for Thick Hair

PATTERN

Hydration Shampoo

Best for Dryness

Rizos Curls

Hydrating Shampoo

Best

L’Oréal Paris

Ever Curl Sulfate-Free Coconut Oil Hydracharge Shampoo

Sarah Lund, professional hairstylist and Style Master at Kevin Murphy

What kind of shampoo should someone with curly hair use?

Not all shampoos are created equal, nor is every formula suitable for curly hair. Lund explains that every head of hair has different needs and to get the healthiest, best-looking hair possible, it’s important to fulfill or replenish curls based on what it’s craving at the moment. “Curly hair tends to be on the dryer side due to the shape of the strands so making sure your curls are properly moisturized is vital for healthy, bouncy curls.” For curls that are damaged, a shampoo with protein can help strengthen and repair them. Additionally, “over time, ingredients, hard water, and pollution can build up on the hair creating a barrier that doesn’t allow ingredients to absorb,” says Lund, which is why a detoxing shampoo is also an essential product to have in your lineup.

Will shampoo make my curls frizzy?

We often think of shampoos as drying and stripping, therefore leading to more frizz. But there are plenty of hydrating cleansers on the market that both combat the fuzz and hydrate hair. “Frizz is best alleviated by the use of moisturizing products like shea butter, murumuru butter, and thicker oils like baobab seed oil. I also look for products with lotus extract as it acts as an emollient, leaving hair silky and soft,” says Lund. To find the best shampoo for curly hair that meets your texture needs, here are 15 options that can get you the healthiest, cleanest curls ever.

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