The 7 Best Shampoos for Curly Hair to Buy in 2019

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As any curly-haired girl will tell you, this type of texture requires an entirely different set of products and styling techniques than the straight-haired contingent needs. At the risk of getting overly complex, straight hair has hair follicles that are symmetrical, while curly hair follicles are asymmetrical. And then, even within curly hair, the number of bonds between the keratin (protein) within the hair shaft affect exactly what type of curl pattern you end up with. All of that is a fancy way of saying that curly hair is totally different, and, as such, also has different issues and needs.

First and foremost, there’s the issue of dryness. Curly hair is much more likely to be dry than straight hair because it’s harder for the natural oils to travel down the hair shaft. This lack of natural oils also leads to another common curly hair issue — frizz. Lack of shine can also be a problem, since light reflects more easily off of straight, flat surfaces than curved or curly ones. Happily, there are now plenty of products made specifically for curly hair that address all of these needs. The key is starting in the shower with the right shampoo formula, since that sets up the foundation for all of the styling and coiffing to come. Here, the top shampoos for addressing all of your specific curly hair needs.

Aveda Be Curly Shampoo

Courtesy of Aveda

One of the brand’s best-sellers, this classic remains a consistent standout in the curly shampoo world. It gently — yet effectively —cleanses both curls and waves and defines them, too. Credit a combination of wheat protein and organic aloe; both of these expand when the hair is wet, then contract when it’s dry, helping to define your curl pattern. It has the signature Aveda scent (a mix of refreshing citrus notes). Plus, you’ll be doing good for both your hair and the environment; the bottle is made of 100 percent recycled plastic, and the company manufactures with 100 percent wind power. More »

Garnier Fructis Curl Nourish Shampoo

Courtesy of Walmart

At just a few bucks, the price tag on this drugstore standout can’t be beat. But despite the wallet-friendly price, you still get all of the same benefits of many other pricier shampoos. Think a sulfate-free, silicone-free, paraben-free formula that has conditioning coconut, jojoba, and macadamia oils, plus strengthening proteins and B vitamins to keep your curls healthy.  More »

Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo

Courtesy of Ulta

Humidity is to curls what Kryptonite is to Superman — the arch-nemesis of all arch-nemeses. When humidity gets into your curls, it makes the cuticle swell and expand, making your curls look frizzy and undefined. Enter this sudser, which touts a unique anti-frizz nano technology that uses silk protein to lock out humidity and lock in your hair’s natural moisture. Couple that with plenty of hydrating ingredients — shea butter, murumuru butter, ceramides — to keep the cuticle smooth, and you’ve got a surefire way to ensure smooth curls, no matter how humid it gets. Even better, this shampoo also has a UV filter to protect your hair from sun damage. More »

L’Oréal Paris EverCurl HydraCharge Shampoo

Courtesy of Walmart

Not only is this shampoo sulfate free, it’s also free of harsh salts and surfactants that can wreak havoc on both your color and your curls. Coconut oil adds the hydration your hair needs, though the vegan formula is still light enough that it won’t weigh your hair down; it also smooths down frizz and increases shine. But perhaps most impressive of all? When used with the accompanying conditioner and treatment, the trio will keep your curls defined for 48 hours…yes, as in two full days. More »

DevaCurl No-Poo Original Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser

Courtesy of Ulta

To be fair, this technically may not be a shampoo, but few other curly-haired products have as much of a cult-following as this one. (Fun fact: The brand also coined the unique DevaCut hair-cutting technique, a special kind of dry cutting technique to best enhance all kinds of natural textures.) The brand’s best-selling, original cleanser, it’s non-lathering and moisturizing, cleanses your scalp and hair without removing any natural oils. Peppermint oil and Turkish rose make for an invigorating and refreshing scent, too. Top tip: Focus on working it just into your scalp and roots, and let the water carry it down through the ends as you rinse. Like all of the brand’s products, this is also cruelty-free, vegan, and 100 percent silicone-, paraben-, and sulfate-free. More »

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo

Courtesy of Walmart

Sulfates are the detergents found in all kinds of your beauty products, from shampoo to soap to face wash. They’re used for cleansing purposes and are why things lather and foam up, but they can admittedly be harsh and stripping, especially for curly hair, which is already more prone to dryness to begin with. Many shampoos for curly hair are sulfate-free; this is a top pick given the addition of strengthening silk protein, plus hydrating coconut and neem oils. Not only does it gently cleanse, it also adds back and moisture and shine, while helping fight frizz, too. Not to mention that the ingredients are ethically traded and sustainably produced. More »

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Shampoo

Courtesy of Sephora 

No matter whether your hair is wavy, curly, kinky, or coiled, you can use this shampoo. The sulfate-free formula gently cleanses, while tomato fruit ferment seals the hair cuticle to ensure that hair dries consistently, the secret to maintaining a uniform curl shape. But to the point of volume, it’s the addition of hydrating shea butter and avocado oil that increases volume and body, without ever weighing down the hair down. (Because while curly hair can often look big, it can also easily go limp and fall flat.) It’s also made of 98 percent naturally-derived ingredients, and without gluten, silicones, or artificial dyes, and good to use on color-treated or chemically-treated hair.  More »