Modern women aren’t afraid to express their unique styles. When it comes to hair, many women go for high-drama looks that embrace their naturally coily, curly, or wavy hair. To achieve those styles, they must choose hair-care products that are gentle, effective, and nourishing. Cleansers are at the foundation of every healthy curly hairstyle. Here is a breakdown of 10 cleansers that curly girls can expect to encounter on their hair-care journey.       

#1 Co-Wash 

Many curly girls struggle with dry hair. Excessive shampooing strips hair of the moisture and oils that make it look shiny and vibrant. Some women replace their shampoo with a co-washing cleanser to help cut down on the harsh effects of frequent shampooing. A co-wash cleanser is just a regular, rinse-out conditioner that’s used to clean the hair. Some go-to co-wash conditioners include those that are made by Cantu, Aussie Moist, and Carol’s Daughter. 

#2 Clarifying Shampoo

While co-washing works in moderation, all curly girls must free their hair of dirt, oil, and product build up occasionally. The best way to do that is by washing the hair with a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos contain more surfactants and fewer conditioning agents than regular shampoos. Hair-care experts recommend that women limit clarifying shampoo washes on their curly hair to every six to eight weeks to avoid overly dry hair. Some go-to clarifying shampoos for curly tresses include products by Alikay Naturals, Eden BodyWorks, and Giovanni.  

#3 Chelating Shampoo

It’s hard to avoid the negative effects that mineral and chemical deposits have on curly hair. Whether a woman regularly swims in a chlorinated pool or washes her waves in unfiltered water, she’ll appreciate a chelating shampoo that removes these residues without further harming her hair. Some go-to chelating shampoos for curly hair include products by Paul Mitchell, Pureology, and Joico.     

#4 Low-Poo Shampoo

Low-poo shampoos refer to shampoos that are sulfate and silicone free. These cleansers are gentler on the curls because they contain fewer lathering agents that over-strip the hair. Some popular low-poo shampoos are made by brands such as Hair Rules, NYC Curls, and Miss Jessie’s.  

#5 No-Poo Shampoo

No-poo shampoo is a cleanser that washes with zero lather. It’s one of the gentlest cleansers to keep curl patterns intact. Popular no-poo shampoo brands include DevaCurl, Karen’s Body Beautiful, and Lus.  

#6 Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Some curly girls love shampoos that contain silicone because of the shine that it imparts to their hair, which is why they don’t choose a no-poo or low-poo shampoo. However, many of them want nothing to do with the oil-stripping sulfates that most products contain. They look for a high-quality, sulfate-free shampoo. Some top sulfate-free shampoos are made by brands that include Aphogee, Pantene, and Mielle Babassu.  

#7 Color-Safe Shampoo

A shampoo that’s labeled color safe helps to maintain the look and health of color-treated strands. While all shampoo products fade hair colors, color-safe shampoo contains gentler ingredients that slow this process. Briogeo, Nexxus, and Moroccan Oil make popular color-safe shampoo products for curly hair. 

#8 Dandruff Shampoo

Dry scalp, fungus, and other skin conditions are the leading causes of dandruff. To eliminate dandruff flakes from curly hair, women turn to products that contain cleansing botanicals such as tea tree oil and lemon extract and nourishing, lightweight oils. Some tried-and-true brands that make dandruff shampoo include Head and Shoulders, Neutrogena, and Luseta.  

#9 Hydrating Shampoo

Hydrating shampoo contains humectants that attract water to hair strands. The results are more shine and manageability. Hydrating shampoo brands such as Shea Moisture, Mizani, and Oidad bring needed relief to dull, unmanageable hair.   

#10 Defrizzing Shampoo

Frizzy curls are caused by heat styling products, frequent shampooing, and hot-water cleansing. Switching to a defrizzing shampoo helps to improve shine, elasticity, and softness. Some brands that make popular defrizzing shampoos are Living Proof, Organix, and John Frieda. 


Wearing your hair in its naturally curly state is a reflection of your personal style and your desire to maintain your tresses without damaging them with harsh chemicals and excessive heat. Whether you’re just beginning to enjoy the freedom of wearing your hair naturally curly or you’re a long-time fan of the style, there’s a cleansing product on the market for you. 

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