5 Top Shampoo Options for Curly Hair

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Long curly hair on a brunette woman.

Curly locks follow a different hair regimen than that needed by sleek, straight locks and other hair type. For curly hair, it’s best not to shampoo frequently. You can cleanse your locks every other day or even go three or more days without a wash depending on how fine your hair is.

The most important thing to consider is the shampoo you’ll be using. Most traditional shampoos have harsh ingredients that can leave your hair dry and frizzy. If you want to know the best shampoo options for your curly hair, check out our list below.

1. L’Oreal Shampoo EverCurl Sulfate-Free Hydracharge


L'Oréal Paris evercurl hydracharge shampoo sulfate free.


This shampoo is based on coconut oil and lacks sulfates, parabens, and dyes. It is gentle enough to use every day without drying the scalp while controlling the frizz many curly haired people suffer from. Shampoos containing sulfates may be appropriate for individuals with naturally oily hair, but they tend to strip the natural oils out of hair, which can leave naturally dry hair feeling and looking like straw. This particular offering from L’Oreal seems to be the overall top shampoo preferred by the majority of people with naturally curly hair, which is not surprising since L’Oreal was founded in 1905 and has demonstrated time and again its expertise in beauty.

Pros:

  • Nice light scent
  • Leaves hair feeling soft but not weighed down
  • Only need a small amount
  • Sulfate, parabens, and dye free

Cons:

  • Can strip out hair dyes
  • Needs to be used with the paired conditioner or it can cause frizzing
  • May not be appropriate for people with naturally oily hair

2. Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Moisturizing Shampoo

Not your mother's beach babe moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.

This shampoo is produced by the Not Your Mother’s hair products company, which strives to provide affordable hair products that manage today’s hairstyles while also supporting ethically sourced products and materials. This shampoo is intended to create an impression of a naturally wind-tossed curly mass of hair, complete with a scent that reminds users of their last trip to the beach.

Pros:

  • Contains sea kelp and coconut oil
  • The fragrance that reminds you of the beach
  • Will not strip out hair dyes
  • Sulfate free

Cons:

  • Tends to relax curls
  • May dry some users’ hair
  • Very thick and difficult to get out of the bottle

3. Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo

Kinky curly come clean natural moisturizing shampoo sulfate free.

Kinky Curly is a company that specializes products for kinky and curly hair, primarily aimed at women of color. This shampoo is possibly the best shampoo for curly hair on the market today for women of color with beautifully kinky and curly hair. It is primarily intended to remove the build-up left behind by other products; some users report it is fine for everyday use, but others recommend using it only once a week or so to strip out the products and clarify the hair, while also supporting lovely kinks and curls.

Pros:

  • Removes product build-up to leave your hair clean
  • Mandarin orange and sea kelp extract
  • Leaves kinks and curls soft yet defined

Cons:

  • Maybe too harsh for everyday use
  • Not much lather

4. Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Shampoo

Herbal essences totally twisted curl shampoo.

This offering from Herbal Essences specializes in controlling frizz, even on a very humid day. It can control frizz for up to 20 hours, even in very humid and hot climates. It has a fairly strong fruity/floral scent that some users report liking but others feel it is overwhelming and “artificial.” This is surprising since Herbal Essences was founded by Clairol in 1971 as an offshoot to promote products made from all-natural products; the company was later acquired by Proctor & Gamble to target young women who desired all-natural hair care products.

Pros:

  • 20 hours of frizz control
  • Lovely fruity scent
  • Adds body and bounce to curls while leaving them manageable

Cons:

  • Some people find the fragrance overwhelming
  • The paired conditioner product is not well liked by users

5. TRESemmé Curl Hydration Botanique Shampoo

TRESemmé botanique shampoo, curl hydration.

Many people are surprised to learn that TRESemme is not French at all; the brand originated in St. Louis, Missouri. This shampoo promises to moisturize curly hair without weighing it down, a difficult feat. Many people with naturally curly hair have very dry hair, and this product uses shea butter to moisturize the hair and scalp. It is recommended by many professional hairstylists, but some users may feel it has too many “unnatural” ingredients, although it is parabens and dye-free.

Pros:

  • Moisturizes with shea butter
  • Lovely delicate scent
  • Leaves hair soft and bouncy

Cons:

  • May irritate some users’ scalp
  • May not work well with artificially curly hair (perms)

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