When it comes to shampoos, we all know at this point that sulfate, paraben, and silicone-free are the way to go. But even some of the cleanest formulas out there aren’t necessarily good for naturally curly hair — especially during cold and brutal winters. Because curly hair is a lot more prone to dryness than straight hair, regular shampoos don’t usually cut it. Lack of hydration can cause everything from frizz, undefined curls, dullness, and even breakage. In other words, moisture is a must! The trick is to finding shampoos — cleansing conditioners especially — that work for curls, are looking for formulas that gently cleanse while also deeply moisturizing your tresses. Fortunately, there are plenty of products made specifically for those curly hair needs. Here’s a look at some of the best shampoos and cleansing conditioners for curly hair. Check them out and nourish those curls back to health by spring!
Rizos Curls Hydrating Shampoo
I’m a major fan of co-washing. In fact, I usually wash my curls with a cleansing conditioner 1-2 times a week depending on the need. But sometimes — especially after weeks of applying styling products to my hair — my hair needs a little lather to really cleanse my scalp thoroughly. When I need that, I opt for Rizos Curls Hydrating Shampoo because it really leaves my hair and scalp squeaky clean without drying it out. In fact, it’s formulated with shea butter and moringa oil, which works to hydrate my hair without leaving it greasy, and fights dandruff and dry scalp, all while leaving my curls super soft. A lot people believe in using a clarifying shampoo once or twice a month — but that dries the heck out of my hair. I go for this shampoo instead when my scalp is really in need of removing residue. It’s the healthiest options for my curls.
Rizos Curls Hydrating Shampoo, $ 20, rizoscurls.com
DevaCurl No-Poo Original
Created by DevaCurl and Devachan salon founder and CEO Lorraine Massey, the No-Poo is one of the first —if not the first —cleansing conditioner and no lather shampoo that hit the market. I started using it years ago and it’s honestly still one of my favorite formulas. It’s formulated with peppermint and grapeseed oil that works to gently cleanse hair and scalp without stripping it of the natural oils curly hair actually needs. It loads my hair with moisture, leaving it silky soft and bouncy after every wash!
DevaCurl No-Poo Original, $24, devacurl.com
R+ Co Cassette Curl Shampoo Superseed Oil Complex
This hydrating shampoo leaves curls cleansed and deeply nourished. It’s made with flax seeds extract which adds instant moisture and shiny. It makes sense considering how shiny and defined my curls looked after washing with this formula!
R+ Co Cassette Curl Shampoo Superseed Oil Complex, $30, randco.com
Amika Nice Cream Cleansing Conditioner
I’m obsessed with this no-lather co-wash. It gently cleanses, while adding a major boost of hydration to my curls. The formula is super nourishing without actually weighing hair down. Great for all curl textures.
Amika Nice Cream Cleansing Conditioner, $18, loveamika.com
Honey Baby Naturals Honeychild Moisture Balance Gentle Shampoo
This sulfate-free shampoo is so gentle you can use it on babies. It’s made with a special blend of premium honey and chamomile leaves that not only leaves your hair and scalp clean and moisturized but also protects it from developing dandruff or dry scalp. My hair feels soft and smooth after using.
Honey Baby Naturals Honeychild Moisture Balance Gentle Shampoo, $11 honeybabynaturals.com
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash
Formulated with avocado, coconut oil, organ oil, rose-hip oil, and quinoa, this sulfate, silicone, and paraben-free formula works to cleanse, strengthen, and hydrate hair, leaving it smooth, frizz-free, soft and perfectly defined. While $32 might seem pricey for a cleansing conditioner, 16 ounces of this product goes a very long way.
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash, $32, sephora.com
As I Am Coconut Cowash
Curly girls have been using and recommending this co-wash for years and with good reason. It’s made with water, coconut, tangerine, and castor oil and does a phenomenal job at cleansing, conditioning, AND detangling curls. It’s also pretty affordable. You can get a tub at Target for less than 10 bucks — I’m just saying.
As I Am Coconut Cowash, $8, target.com