Want to keep your curls bouncy, hydrated, and defined? Then you need to choose a curl-specific shampoo that targets the unique needs of your ringlets! We’ll show you the 7 best shampoos for curly hair below.
Our Search for the Best Shampoo for Curly Hair
In our search for the best shampoo for curly hair, we came across tons of options that promise to be the best thing to happen to your curls. Their claims are impressive:
- More definition!
But you’ve got to look a little closer to separate the wheat from the chaff and find the shampoos that are actually designed to be a perfect fit for finicky curls.
If you’ve experimented with a lot of different curl shampoos, you know that there’s a major difference between the way your hair looks when using a $5 bottle of drugstore shampoo (we’re looking at you, Aussie) versus a $30 bottle of salon-quality shampoo.
The variety and quality of ingredients in professional curl shampoos simply cannot be rivaled by drugstore brands that use the cheapest and most widely-available ingredients.
Yes, Curl-Specific Shampoo Matters. Here’s Why
And the difference is easy to see and feel, even for a first-time salon shampoo user. When you use a salon-quality shampoo formula, your curls are going to look defined and bouncy with less effort on your part.
They’re going to feel touchably soft and hydrated. They’re going to smell ah-mazing. And you’re going to start getting tons of compliments on your gorgeous curls.
Does it hurt to spend a little more on curl-specific shampoo that brings your ringlets to life? A little – we can’t lie. But literally one use of a luxe, salon-quality curl shampoo will be enough to change your mind about how much a great curl shampoo is worth.
Because when it comes to spending $5-$10 on drugstore curl shampoo that leaves your hair frizzier and harder to manage, you’re not getting a good deal.
You’re getting ripped off and paying the price with the appearance and health of your curls. Trust us on this – spend a little more to get a quality curl shampoo that you’re more likely to see in a high-end salon than the crowded shampoo aisle at WalMart.
It’ll last longer, revive your ringlets, and solve your most pressing curl concerns. Check out our list below to see the best shampoo for curly hair and 7 high-end options to choose from.
Read Next: Best Products for Curly Hair
The 7 Best Shampoos for Curly Hair
Reach for any of the following high-end shampoos to get enviable curls that look, feel, and smell great. We found a variety of curl shampoo options from professional salon brands like Biolage and Aveda to luxe, high-end specialty brands like Davines and Curly Girl.
Take a look below to learn what’s special about each shampoo and how the quality ingredients can reset and revive your curls.
Biolage Ultra Hydrasource Shampoo
Matrix Biolage is one of the top salon brands and is trusted by top cosmetologists all over the globe. Biolage Ultra Hydrasource Shampoo is a perfect fit for curly hair.
If there’s one shampoo on this list that you absolutely must try, it’s this one. It gets 4.8 stars on average from reviewers online.
Biolage formulated this shampoo specifically for chronically dry, breakage-prone hair. These are some of the most common issues curly girls face, so naturally, this shampoo is a perfect fit for curls!
If you’re watching out for harmful ingredients, you’ll be happy to find that this shampoo is completely silicone and paraben free. Your curls won’t be coated with artificial silicones that dull and weigh down your curls.
Instead, they’ll be plumped with moisture and intensive hydration, smooth, frizz-free, and perfectly defined. Oh, and your hair is going to smell deliciously intoxicating when you use this shampoo – it contains the signature Biolage fragrance blend with 27 rich scent notes.
Davines Love Curl Enhancing Shampoo
Davines Love Curl Enhancing Shampoo is a top-notch shampoo option for curly hair of all types. This curl-enhancing shampoo lathers up into a creamy, curl-quenching foam that brings out your natural curl pattern and leaves you with lasting shine and smoothness.
It gets an average rating of 4.7 from users – it’s really good stuff! For softness, better curl elasticity and bounce, and powerful hydration that prevents frizz and breakage, Davines Love Curl Enhancing shampoo is a choice pick.
The brand is all about bringing sustainability and beauty together, so you can feel good about the ingredients and brand values when you use it.
Users say a little of this curl shampoo goes a long way – one noted that it only takes a half dollar-sized amount to fully lather her long, curly locks.
That’s because the creamy formula is designed to lather up into a light and foamy matrix that bathes and nourishes your curls with sustainable natural ingredients like sweet almond seed extract, vitamin E, protein, magnesium, and strengthening iron.
This is a great shampoo for eco-minded people who want moisture without weighing their curls down.
Pura D’or Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Shampoo
An anti-thinning shampoo might not seem like it would be great for curls, but Pura D’Or’s Original Gold Label shampoo seems tailor-made for all types of curly hair.
Since curls tend to be a little more fragile and need more care than straight or wavy hair types, finding a shampoo that is nourishing while promoting new growth is key to keeping curls healthy and strong.
This biotin-based anti-thinning shampoo contains an herbal blend of proven extracts and vitamins that have been shown to promote new hair growth. That’s awesome for curly-haired people who want to thicken up their mane.
But even if thinning isn’t a concern, there are tons of benefits packed into this natural and nourishing shampoo for you. Deeply moisturizing argan oil keeps every strand hydrated to combat frizz and dryness.
Natural ingredients and extracts like pumpkin seed oil, black cumin seed oil, nettle extract, and biotin are all scientifically linked to helping grow stronger, healthier hair.
That makes it a great option for curly hair! Reviewers with curly hair rave about this shampoo and the matching conditioner, giving it 4.4 stars on average with more than 14,400 reviews.
Aveda Be Curly Shampoo
Aveda Be Curly Shampoo is one of our favorite options for people with curly hair on the fine-medium side. It’s a lightweight, airy formula that leaves curls freshly cleansed and extremely soft and bouncy without frizz.
This is definitely a salon-quality brand and this unique formula for curly hair can transform your mane.
Hydrolyzed (which means the molecules are small enough to penetrate deep into your curls) wheat protein and cornstarch in the formula add fullness and strength to curls for better hair health and less breakage. Users report that the unique Aveda scent is great and lasts longer in your hair than other shampoo scents.
This formula is all about keeping your curls lightweight and bouncy. So while there’s plenty of moisture for thirsty strands, this isn’t a curl shampoo that’s going to drown your ringlets in a heavy, oily liquid.
If you have fine or medium-textured hair, Aveda’s Be Curly shampoo (there’s also a matching conditioner for maximum benefits) is the perfect choice.
Luseta Curl Enhancing Coconut Oil Shampoo
If you like using natural ingredients to cleanse and tame your curls, we present Luseta Curl Enhancing Coconut Oil Shampoo. Don’t be fooled by the name – while it contains coconut oil, this is a really lightweight shampoo that can work for curly hair types from oily to dry.
Deeply-penetrating coconut oil in the formula delivers intense moisture deep into strands, pulling the other natural ingredients (like rosemary leaf oil, nourishing fats, and vitamins B-1, B-5, B-6, C, and E) into the heart of each strand.
Rosemary oil has been linked to improved hair growth (with better results than Rogaine in some cases) and may help prevent premature graying. We think this is an ideal option for anyone with curly hair who wants the added boost of thicker, fuller hair.
Plus, they offer an unheard-of “Exclusive Empty Bottle Guarantee.” Use all of the shampoo at your own pace, and if you don’t absolutely love it by the end, send the empty bottle back to get a complete refund.
Curly Girl Curl Definition Shampoo
Curly Girl Curl Definition Shampoo is a curl-intensifying shampoo, so it’s a great option for anyone with loose curls or waves they’d like to enhance a little more. It also works well for super-curly hair in need of a little extra definition and bounce.
The formula is paraben and sulfate-free, so if you try to avoid conventional nasties in your hair products, this one’s a winner.
It’s packed with natural ingredients and smells like sweet, citrus-y grapefruit to leave a delicious fragrance lingering in your curls all day long. Users say the grapefruit fragrance is a welcome change from the many coconut-scented products for curly hair.
It contains uniquely beneficial ingredients for curly hair, like marigold flower extract (to hydrate and de-flake the scalp), cucumber extract (to stimulate growth and strengthen strands), witch hazel extract (to soothe and reduce scalp irritation), and willow bark extract for gentle scalp exfoliation.
It’s even recommended for color-treated curly hair, so you know it will be incredibly gentle on your hair.
Royal Locks Curl Cleansing Set
Last but definitely not least in our picks for curly hair is Royal Locks Curl Cleansing Shampoo. This gentle, pH-balanced formula specifically designed for curls is sulfate-free to ensure a deep clean that doesn’t strip your strands bare.
And it’s just as effective for wavy/loosely curly hair as it is for intense coils and kinky hair. Argan oil is one of the main ingredients in this shampoo for curly hair. It’s there to detangle, smooth, moisturize, and even help repair existing damage.
You’ll also find nutrient-rich macadamia seed oil for added shine and damage repair. Rich fatty acids in the oils help nourish curls deeply from the inside out to create frizz-free shine and bounce.
You’ll know this shampoo is working because it enhances and intensifies your existing waves, curls, coils, or kinky texture without weighing the curls down.
This sulfate-free shampoo is powerful, but gentle enough to use on color-treated hair. It’s a perfect option for any curl type, but it gets a lot of great reviews for coily and kinky hair.
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve seen the top 7 options for shampoo for curly hair, narrowing them down to make your decision is the final step. Before you settle on one of these luxe shampoos, there are a few things you should consider:
- Don’t shampoo too often. Over-washing is one of the most common mistakes women with curly hair make. Yes, it’s exciting to get a new curl shampoo that you absolutely love. But cut back on shampooing to about 2-3 times per week – this will prevent you from stripping all those nourishing natural oils from your hair and help your salon-quality shampoo last longer.
- Consider updating your other hair products. Once you’ve found a quality curl shampoo and can see what a huge difference it makes for your hair, the next step is adjusting your other hair care products. If you can, find the matching conditioner, curl cream, leave-in, etc. from the same line as your curl shampoo to ensure you’re getting the maximum benefits for your curls.
- Try an experiment. If you’re a little skeptical about giving a new shampoo a try, think of it as an experiment. Grab a bottle of salon-quality curl shampoo and use it for a month. Make sure you take before and after pictures to compare. If you’re like most women, the differences will be impossible to deny and you’ll be more than willing to offically make the switch.
- Weigh the cost if you’re unsure. Yes, salon-quality curl shampoo is always going to be more expensive than the cheapest Suave or drugstore option. But if drugstore shampoos are doing more harm than good to your curls, you need to be willing to make the switch to a higher-end product that won’t damage or flatten your curls. After all, you won’t know how amazing your curls can look until you try something better!
We’ve shared our top 7 picks in this shopping guide, but the best shampoo for curly hair is going to be one that you can stick with long-term.
So, What’s the Best Shampoo for Curly Hair?
You might experiment with a few different shampoo options for curly hair before you find The One – that’s part of the fun!
You’ll know you’ve discovered the perfect shampoo for your curls when your hair is smooth and resistant to tangles, less frizzy after air-drying, bouncier with lots of movement, and deeply moisturized with less breakage and fewer flyaways.
If you’ve wasted years using drugstore shampoo only, do yourself a favor and switch to a high-end shampoo for curly hair. Not only will your curls thank you – they’ll show their appreciation by making your hair care routine a little easier thanks to their improved elasticity, definition, and shine.