Best Salon Shampoo for Curly Hair Reviews

Best Salon Shampoo for Curly Hair Reviews

Those with beautiful curls know it takes special products like the right conditioner, curly hair tools, and frizz sprays to keep their locks shiny and bouncy. But when it comes to the best curly hair shampoos, the foundation of any curly hair routine, the end result comes secondary to the formula.

Showing your curls the love they deserve means using gentle tools, styling your hair with care, and of course, finding the best shampoo for curly hair. It’s easier said than done, given the wide range of curly-hair products on the market, not to mention your personal preferences, hair needs, and curl type. It’s enough to make you feel both spoiled for choice and totally stuck as to which hair care product is worth trying, especially if you’ve only recently embraced your hair’s naturally curly texture.

Best Salon Shampoo for Curly Hair Reviews

BEST VALUE SHAMPOO FOR CURLY HAIRNew Wash Original Hair Cleanser & Conditioner
BEST SHAMPOO FOR FRIZZY HAIRCarol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Sulfate Free Shampoo
BEST SHAMPOO FOR COILY HAIRKerastase Aura Botanica Bain Micellaire Riche


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Got frizz? Ouai’s shampoo is specially made for thick, curly hair types battling dry strands, but it’s recognized as being particularly effective against frizz. This is thanks to the inclusion of keratin, marshmallow root, shea butter, and avocado oil in its luscious lather, so don’t wait—suds up.

2.BEST VALUE SHAMPOO FOR CURLY HAIR:New Wash Original Hair Cleanser & Conditioner

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Stanley recommends this co-wash from Hairstory. “You use it like shampoo; scrub the roots of your hair with your fingertips, then run it through your ends, and rinse it well,” she explains. “It works to get rid of the oils that make your hair look greasy, while locking in the good hair oils that naturally moisturize your hair. I think it brings out the best hair texture possible for anyone with wavy or curly hair.” It’s sulfate- and paraben-free, but since it has the texture of a conditioner, it doesn’t lather.

3.BEST SHAMPOO FOR FRIZZY HAIR:Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Sulfate Free Shampoo

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Are your strands lacking in the luster department? Enter Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture and Shine Shampoo, which will add life to tired-looking tresses. It’s formulated with shea butter, aloe, and rosemary to give hair a much-needed moisture boost, but these ingredients also contribute to your curly hair’s shine factor (increasing its luminosity by 6x). So what are you waiting for? Give your head a sip of this.


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“I know a lot of people think apple cider vinegar is really drying, but when it’s diluted, it really helps calm my scalp. I have a pretty itchy scalp—it gets dry and flaky, and so far this is the only one that has calmed the itchiness. But it doesn’t dry out my hair, which is always a fight for me, because I’m color-treated,” Christina Poitier, a curl specialist at Southern Curl, tells SELF. She recommends this shampoo from AG Hair for people who usually cleanse every five to seven days.

5.BEST SHAMPOO FOR COILY HAIR:Kerastase Aura Botanica Bain Micellaire Riche

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Celebrity hairstylist Jennifer Yepez is a big fan of this shampoo. “If you have curly or wavy hair, embrace texture and go for that straight off-the-beach look. I love cleansing with this Kérastase option since it’s so hydrating for curls,” she says. “Style your hair with the collection’s Eau de Vagues for even better results.”

6.BEST CO WASH FOR CURLY HAIR:Kinky Curly Come Clean

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Shelley Davis created Kinky-Curly for all the natural hair people out there. “I recommend the Come Clean Shampoo because it’s moisturizing and sulfate-free and has sea kelp that deep cleans your curls without drying them out,” she says.

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:

  • Hydrating!
  • Curl-quenching!
  • Anti-frizz!
  • 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.

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!

About De Hua

De Hua is a former New Yorker who now lives at the beach. She received a double B.A. in International Relations and Marketing from The College of William & Mary and an M.A. in Interactive Journalism from American University. De Hua has been published in The Washington Post, New York Daily News, Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, The Bump, and Yahoo, among others.How We Tested and Reviewed

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