Hair care products formulated for your specific hair type can make the difference between flat and fabulous. In recent years, companies have realized that wavy hair is a category that needs some attention. That’s why we’re exploring the best wave shampoos today.
What’s the Best Wave Shampoo
Fortunately, wavy/curly hair care is a rapidly growing market. We’ve rounded up a list of fantastic wave shampoos from various hair care lines.
Our Top 7 Picks for the Best Wave Shampoos
- Best Overall: Aussie Miracle Curls with Coconut and Australian Jojoba Oil
- Best for Chronically Dry Hair: Aunt Jackie’s Curls and Coils Oh So Clean Deep Moisturizing and Softening Hair Shampoo
- Best for Damaged Hair: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo
- Best for Vegans: Sun Bum Curls & Waves Shampoo
- Best for Fine Wavy Hair: OGX Lightweight + Coconut Fine Curls Shampoo
- Best for Training Curls: Pacifica Beauty Pineapple Curls Defining Shampoo
- Best for Kids: Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo with Shea Butter for Natural Hair
The best shampoo for your waves depends on a few factors. Your hair type is the main factor you should consider. However, the prices for wave shampoo vary widely by brand. Deciding how much you are willing to spend on hair products will influence your choice too.
Why You Need a Wave Shampoo
Different hair types require unique care. Wavy hair is at its best when you shampoo with a product that moisturizes, protects your curl pattern, and contains gentle ingredients.
Wavy and curly hair tends to be dry because the natural oils and sebum from the scalp take longer to travel down the strands for natural hydration. Products that help moisturize with coconut oil and olive oil keep wavy hair from being dry and frizzy.
Many wave shampoos contain ingredients that encase your strands and contract as they dry to help establish your curl pattern. They also detangle so you can dispense with brushing to help protect your waves.
A good wave shampoo has gentle ingredients that don’t build up and dry out your scalp. They cleanse without harsh compounds like sulfates and alcohol.
Read Next: How to Active Curls at Home
Best Wave Shampoo: Top 7 Picks
Now you know why shopping for a wave shampoo is better than generic shampoo for all hair types. But what is the best wave shampoo?
1. Aussie Miracle Curls
Aussie is a familiar and trusted brand you can find easily in your grocery store and online. It’s fantastic for several hair types and an economical choice if you are just getting into wavy hair care. That’s why we gave it Best Overall.
Aussie customers love the scent of Miracle Curls. They also love how their hair feels soft and looks shiny after using this shampoo.
A great thing about the Aussie line is all the coordinating products you can get for a whole haircare program. You may want to try the Spray Gel, Detangling Milk, or Oil Hair Treatment.
2. Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Clean
- No sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, or petroleum
- Available in three sizes (12, 16, and 24 oz.)
- For many hair textures from wavy to coily
- Not always available for Prime delivery
- May be too heavy for some wavy hair
This shampoo is a deep moisturizer for chronically dry and frizzy hair. Coconut oil, shea butter, and olive oil are natural sources to lock in hydration for dry stands. Aunt Jackie’s is an economically priced brand.
You can find the 12 oz bottle of Oh So Clean between $7 and $12 online. Customers note that this product is great for summer when their hair tends to be drier. They love the coconut scent, too.
3. Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus
Most curly and wavy hair products have delightful scents. That is especially true of the Shea Moisture Curl and Shine Shampoo. It smells like Hawaii in a bottle.
Many women with wavy hair are discovering how to care for their hair without taking a straightening iron to it. A large part of natural hair care is damage control from heat tools. Shea Moisture helps restore and refresh damaged hair.
This company has been in the natural hair care arena for a long time. They don’t include any ingredients on the naughty list like silicones, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, or petrolatum.
4. Sun Bum Curls & Waves Shampoo
Brands in the wavy/curly hair space use as many natural products as possible. Sun Bum goes to the next level with an awesome vegan product.
The Curls and Waves shampoo is made with a unique blend of Kukui Nut oil, Manoi oil, and coconut oil. You’ll be pleased with Sun Bum for beach hair care. Its blend of oils cleanses and protects your strands from UV rays.
5. OGX Lightweight + Coconut Fine Curls Shampoo
Many curly heads have thick hair that needs lots of creamy, heavy products. It’s difficult for our fine-haired wavy friends to find products that won’t weigh down their strands.
This light, non-oily formula cleanses, refreshes, and moisturizes your fine wavy hair for bouncy, defined curl clumps. OGX offers a coordinating lightweight conditioner to complement this shampoo.
Reviewers said this product was perfect for their fine curls. It left their hair soft and their waves and curls hanging nicely.
6. Pacifica Beauty Pineapple Curls
Pacifica promises enhanced bounce and curl definition from this vegan product. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, Aegean oil, and quinoa help to strengthen and define your wave pattern.
At first, many wavy-haired ladies must train their curl pattern. The curl-enhancing ingredients make this product great for anyone starting on their natural hair care journey.
7. Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo
Cantu has been in the natural hair market for decades. This company understands curl patterns and texture, and they help you learn the ins and outs of wavy hair care.
While Cantu shampoo works well for all wavy and curly types, it is gentle enough to use on curly-headed kids. It removes dirt, oil, and product build-up without harsh ingredients.
Finding the Best Wave Shampoo for You
These 8 best wave shampoos for 2024 offer everything a wavy girl could want in a hair care line-up. Let’s look at some specific considerations to help you make the best choice for your hair.
Your Wave Pattern
Wave and curls patterns are rated from 2a–4c by how tightly each curl section wraps. 2a waves are loose, beach-wave-type hair. 4c curls coil tightly around themselves and usually spring back into place when you pull down on a section.
Most wave shampoo products are great for any type of wave and curls. However, if you have loose curls or waves, you’ll want to use lighter products that won’t weigh down your strands and elongate your wave pattern.
Your Hair Thickness
Similar to considering your texture, the thickness of your hair will affect which products you choose too. Having thick hair means you have an abundance of strands on your head. Even short, thick hair requires more product for even application throughout your hair.
You may want to use a less expensive wave shampoo like Aussie or Shae Moisture to keep hair care from consuming too much of your household budget.
What about thin hair? Similar to considering your wave pattern, thin hair gets weighed down easily by heavy products. OGX Lightweight or Cantu are excellent choices for thin, wavy hair.
Your Hair Texture
Sometimes texture and volume are conflated in terms of hair care. When individual strands of hair are thick, they are classified as coarse. So, a head of hair can be thick and coarse, thin and coarse, thick and fine, or thin and fine.
The texture is another important factor when considering products. Coarse hair tends to require heavier products that help lock in moisture. Try Aunt Jackie’s or Shae Moisture for coarse, wavy hair.
Your Hair Goals
Some products help most types of wavy/curly hair to bring out all the bounce and shine possible. If you have a well-established hair care routine, then any product on this list is a great place to branch out and find more products you like.
However, if you have some specific hair goals in mind, then some specific selections are better for you than others. If you want to establish curl patterns or heal some damage then Aunt Jackie’s, Shea Moisture, or Pacifica Beauty are excellent starting points to refresh and replenish your hair.
If buying an awesome product that is vegan while it makes your hair luscious and smooth, then Pacifica Beauty and Sun Bum are for you.
The prices for wave shampoo vary widely. The great thing is that you can get amazing products for a few bucks on your grocery store shelf or online. But you can also spring for some luxury products if you have room in your budget.
If you want economical brands that still deliver on their promise of silky waves, then Aussie, OGX, and Cantu have your back.
Frequently Asked Questions
A few more wavy hair facts will help you on your hair care journey.
What is the best product for waves?
Good wave shampoo and coordinating conditioner are the best foundation for wavy hair care. Adding in a lightweight gel or mousse to cast your curls for an all-day hold is the next step.
What is the healthiest way to wash your hair?
While these products smell delicious and work wonders, it’s better to wash your hair a few times a week. Washing every day dries out your scalp and strands.
Should I use shampoo or conditioner first?
Shampoo cleanses away dirt, oil, and product build-up. Conditioner locks in moisture and vitamins that nourish your hair. Shampoo first so that the conditioner has a clean foundation on which to work.
Is it OK to wash hair with just water?
Technically, yes. Water will wash away dirt and debris. However, your scalp produces oils and you may use styling products that are not water-soluble. Using a gentle shampoo is a better option than just water.
What can I do instead of shampooing my hair?
Co-washing means using conditioner or a specially formulated product to replace your shampoo. Some people find that co-washing works for their hair, and many do not. It’s worth a try to see if it is right for your hair.
So, What’s the Best Wave Shampoo?
The answer depends on your hair type, goals, and budget. Whether you want a natural product with gentle ingredients, a lightweight shampoo, or curl training products, you’re sure to find something on this list of the best wave shampoos.