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The Best Shampoos for Men With Curly Hair


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When it comes to hair, natural curls should be embraced. Why? Because naturally curly hair is unique. Roughly 20% of the population has naturally curly hair, which is a surprisingly small number considering all the hair types on the nearly 8 billion people on earth. Aside from being one of the rarer hair types, naturally curly hair is distinctive, easy to style and beautiful. Even better: it helps you stand out from the crowd allowing you to show the world your individual look and style.

There are even more reasons to love your curls. One benefit is that curly hair has effortless volume. Unlike people with straight hair, curly haired people don’t experience flat hair days. Curly hair always has volume, texture and depending on the length, movement.

Although curly hair has its own specific needs when it comes to care, curly hair is generally easier to take care of. It’s also less prone to damage because curly hair typically doesn’t need to be washed as often and there’s little need for heat tools like blow dryers and flat irons unless you’ve decided to straighten your hair.

Another reason to embrace curly hair? Bad haircuts. That’s right, even when your stylist makes a faux pas with the shears, curly hair is great at disguising cutting mishaps. In fact, curly hair is one of the only hair types that truly looks good at any length: short, medium and long. An uneven or unflattering haircut is a lot more noticeable on someone with straight hair. If you have curly hair, then you know it’s much more forgiving when it comes to styling. Almost anything goes (and it still looks good).

The Curly Hair Gene

There are three major types of naturally curly hair: coily, curly, and wavy. The shape of the hair follicle causes curly hair. People with naturally curly hair have an oval or asymmetrical hair follicle shape compared to people with straight hair, whose hair follicles are round. What determines the shape of a hair follicle? You guessed it, genetics. Naturally curly hair is considered a dominant gene trait, meaning if one parent gave you a curly hair gene and another a straight hair gene, you’re born with curly hair. Lucky you!

While there are few drawbacks to having naturally curly hair, it does need special care to keep it looking its best. Because of the shape of the hair follicle, curly hair is more prone to dryness and frizz. The spiral or asymmetrical shape of the hair makes it harder for the natural oils produced by your scalp to reach the ends of the hair shaft.

Frizz Factor

Controlling frizz can be a tricky issue. Because curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair, making sure to control any factors that cause frizz is important. Some easy ways to minimize frizz include combing and not brushing hair, using moisturizing products that protect the hair, and air drying and not heat styling hair.

There is a common misconception that frizzy hair equates to damaged or weak hair, but this is a myth. Frizzy hair is caused by one or all of a few factors: the environment or climate where you live and the levels of humidity in the air, the diameter of the hair fiber itself (thinner hair fibers tend to frizz more), and the type of curls. Some people also say that their hair becomes frizzier as they age, which is likely due to hair and skin becoming dryer as you age.

One of the best ways to help combat frizz when you have naturally curly hair is to avoid excessive heat. Heat naturally dries our hair and skin, so avoiding long, very hot showers and traditional hair dryers is best. If you prefer to dry hair with a blow dryer, look for one with an attachment specifically made for curly hair. Attachments like a diffuser help disperse the airstream to one area, helping curly hair dry while it’s intact and not blowing curls around and causing frizz.

Curly Hair Care

One of the best ways to embrace curly hair is to work with it, not against it. A good hair care routine is important to help curly hair look and feel its best. Choosing the right shampoo, not excessively washing hair, using the right styling tools and even keeping hair ends trimmed leads to healthier looking curly hair.

The ultimate goal for curly hair is to keep the curls intact. The texture, curliness and shape of your curls make a big difference in how curly hair looks. For these reasons, all shampoos are not created equal for curly haired men. Choosing a shampoo, and a care routine, that preserves the natural curl and enhances the hair’s shine, bounciness and overall health is vital.

Let’s take a look at the best shampoos for men with curly hair.

1. Blu Atlas Shampoo

Fortifying hair with nourishing ingredients that help curls look their best is the focus of Blu Atlas shampoo. It cleanses dirt and oil and soothes the scalp with jojoba protein, which is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids. The result is a healthier scalp that can hold curls better and hair that has a healthier, stronger texture. It revives stressed, dry hair and gives it the vitality it deserves.

It also nourishes hair with saw palmetto and vegan biotin. Biotin is a key ingredient in helping improve hair’s integrity. It improves the structure of keratin in the hair, which is its basic protein. Saw palmetto balances the scalp and hair and also promotes healthy hair growth. With these winning ingredients, Blu Atlas Shampoo sets your naturally curly hair up for success.

Blu Atlas products have no artificial fragrances, and are vegan and cruelty free. Their products are also made from 96-100% natural origins such as plants, minerals and fruits, so you can feel good about treating your natural curls with high quality ingredients.

2. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Grow & Restore Shampoo

Not only will curls look their perky best, but this moisturizing shampoo from SheaMoisture will also help remove scalp buildup that occurs when using oils, texturizers, and creams to treat curls.

This formula is perfect for kinky, curly hair that needs extra hydration without the ingredients that weigh curls down. With the addition of apple cider vinegar to remove buildup and promote pH balance for the scalp, this shampoo will make hair easier to detangle. It also has organic shea butter and peppermint to condition and stimulate the scalp for healthy hair growth. Castor oil is another key ingredient in this formula that helps add hydration to the hair.

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Grow & Restore Shampoo is sulfate, paraben and phthalate free. It also does not contain mineral oil that can weigh down your locks. Reviewers online say this shampoo makes their hair feel clean, but not stripped of the natural oils that keep their curls soft.

3. Living Proof Curl Shampoo

Reviewers online love the creamy and moisturizing formula of Living Proof Curl Shampoo. They say shampooing their curly hair with this luxurious foaming shampoo helps keep their curls looking their absolute best.

The goal of Living Proof Curl Shampoo is to strengthen curls, giving more definition and improving appearance. Living Proof achieves this with their low later, rich shampoo that gently cleanses the scalp and hair without stripping the hair’s natural oils. It contains rosemary leaf extract, which is a natural antioxidant and antibacterial ingredient, to help keep the hair shaft healthy and scalp oils balanced. Another ingredient, jojoba, is designed to help keep curls smooth but also add hair shaft stability.

Living Proof Curl Shampoo does not contain parabens, silicone, phthalates, or sulfates. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free.

4. Aveda Be Curly Shampoo

Wheat protein and organic aloe are just two of the beneficial ingredients in Aveda’s frizz-taming shampoo formulated for curly hair. Be Curly Shampoo helps curls look their best by adding ingredients that expand when hair is wet but retract when hair is dry, helping curls stay tighter and reducing frizz.

Reviewers online say Be Curly shampoo helps keep their curls looking lively and less frizzy. They also mention that this shampoo’s citrusy scent, with bergamot, lemon and orange, makes their hair look great.

All of Aveda’s products are cruelty free and made with vegan ingredients. There are also no parabens, synthetic fragrances or formaldehydes.

5. Pattern Cleansing Shampoo

Pattern is designed to support curls by removing oil and buildup. This formula helps hair by giving it a deep clean, where dirt and scalp oils are removed, but natural oils that help keep hair healthy aren’t stripped away. If you’re someone who uses a lot of creams, oils and products to support your curls, this shampoo can be a great choice.

Pattern Cleansing Shampoo features antioxidant-rich matcha green tea which protects hair from environmental stresses. It also has aloe vera and panthenol, to strengthen and moisturize hair and keep curls hydrated. Panthenol helps seal off the hair cuticle, keeping moisture locked in and helping prevent frizz.

Reviewers online say they adore the floral inspired, fresh scent of this shampoo, which leaves their hair smelling clean and fragrant. Pattern Cleansing Shampoo is formulated without parabens, silicones and phthalates. It also uses recyclable packaging and is not tested on animals.

6. Bumble and Bumble Curl Moisturizing Shampoo

Curl moisturizing shampoo does exactly what it sounds like: hydrates hair and softens curls while gently cleansing and leaving hair soft and shiny. Without any sulfates, silicone or harsh chemical ingredients, Bumble and bumble’s Curl Moisturizing Shampoo is full of healthy hair ingredients to help naturally curly hair look its best.

It contains avocado, jojoba and coconut for moisturization, and this shampoo won’t strip hair. After washing with this gentle formula, you’re left with clean, hydrated, soft curls that aren’t tangled and hard to comb. This formula is recommended for curly hair that’s coarse, medium and fine, so any type of curly hair will benefit from this curl-loving cleanser.

7. Kerastase Curl Manifesto Bain Hydration Douceur Shampoo

When you’re really feeling the need to treat your curls with luxury and pampering, this specially formulated curly hair shampoo from Kerastase is a great option. This shampoo richly moisturizes hair with manuka honey, and is full of nutrients that nourish hair. It also contains ceramides to keep curls soft and shiny to ensure hair stays strong and healthy.

While gently cleansing the scalp, Kerastase Curl Manifesto shampoo softens hair, enhances curls and reduces frizz. Online reviewers adore the gentle floral fragrance of this shampoo. They also love that it contains no parabens, sulfates or mineral oil. It treats all types of curls, coils and waves with loving care and can make you fall in love with your hair again.

Kerastase Curl Manifesto Shampoo does not contain sulfates.

8. Redken Curvaceous Shampoo

All curly hair types can benefit from this sulfate and alcohol-free shampoo from Redken. It contains natural oils that help moisturize hair while enhancing curl definition. Curls will be shiny, bouncy, and smooth with this creamy, hydrating shampoo.

With the addition of soy protein to nourish all curly hair, from loose waves to spiral curls, Redken’s low-foaming cleanser helps tame frizz, too. It also contains moringa seed oil to reduce dryness and protect hair from heat damage.

Reviewers online tout this shampoo’s ability to cleanse and leave their hair and scalp smelling and feeling clean without stripping away hair’s natural oils and drying their hair out. They say leaving this product on a little longer than usual while shampooing delivers even more hydration and softens their curls.

9. Kiehl’s Nourishing Olive Fruit Oil Shampoo

Made for dry, damaged or frizzy hair types, this Kiehl’s shampoo addresses the undernourished hair issues. It helps restore hair’s naturally healthy appearance and adds vital moisture to stressed and dry hair follicles.

Enriched with olive oil, avocado oil and lemon oil, which is high in Vitamin C, this formula returns moisture to the hair when it’s been stripped away by heat, styling and other damaging factors. It helps improve hair’s manageability, and makes it easier to comb through frizzy hair while giving curls definition and softness. It also helps add shine to the hair.

This gently cleansing shampoo gets rave reviews from reviewers online. They say it helps keep their curly hair manageable and full without weighing it down. Others comment on its fresh, lemony-scent that leaves their hair smelling clean and citrusy.

10. Keranique Curl Preserve Scalp Nourishing Shampoo

This shampoo may be formulated for women, but it still makes the list of the best shampoos for men with curly hair. Why? Because men have issues with hair growth, too. This formulation is also designed to promote hair growth. So if thinning hair or slow hair growth are challenges for you, this formula will also address those issues. Reviewers online say this is their ‘go-to’ shampoo for moisturizing their curls, and it also leaves their hair feeling clean and bouncy.

Keranique Curl Preserve Scalp Nourishing Shampoo works to promote healthier curls by improving hair’s overall texture. It’s infused with keratin that promotes healthy hair growth. Whether your curly hair is loose and flowing or tight and coiled, Keranique will strengthen hair follicles, nourish the scalp and help hair grow faster and healthier.

11. Carol’s Daughter Wash Day Delight Sulfate Free Shampoo for Curly Hair

Frizz and de-tangling aren’t an issue for me, said no one with naturally tight curls…ever. Carol’s Daughter understands the issues of detangling and gaining control over frizz, so they have created a shampoo to help manage these concerns.

The sulfate-free, gentle foam lather works into hair quickly and rinses away cleanly, leaving curls softer and more moisturized. It contains aloe to clean deeply, replenishes lost moisture, and micellar water, which acts like a magnet to attract and lift away build-up on the scalp. The result is healthy clean hair that has no residue or buildup to weight curls down.

This formula contains 98 percent naturally derived ingredients and no silicone, artificial colors or parabens. It’s also derived from a vegan formula.

12. Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo

Davines is another shampoo devoted to fighting frizz. Smoothing out hair, adding softness and shine and prompting a healthier texture are all part of the formulation of Davines Love Smoothing shampoo.

Natural ingredients that are locally sourced near the Davines production plant in Italy are the cornerstone of the quality ingredients in this shampoo. It contains Minuta olive, rich in essential fatty acids to promote elasticity while deeply hydrating hair. This shampoo also has Vitamin E to add additional moisture and tame frizz. The goal is softer curls that are more defined and pliable.

Davines is a company that believes in quality and sustainability. Reviewers online say Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo gently foams into a soft lather that leaves their hair feeling clean and their curls more hydrated.

13. VERB Ghost Shampoo

Although not specifically formulated for naturally curly hair, VERB Ghost Shampoo makes the list of the best shampoos for men with curly hair because of its thousands of favorable reviews online, and its ability to smooth frizz and add shine to all types of hair. And it’s also vegan, gluten, sulfate and paraben free.

Ghost shampoo calls its formulation weightless hydration, meaning it won’t drag curls down or leave buildup on the scalp that can compromise curls. It contains hydrating moringa oil, which works to hydrate and soften the hair. It penetrates the hair shaft to deliver essential nutrients that strengthen the hair while also providing natural UV protection. This shampoo helps guard the hair from dryness and protects it from the elements and heat styling tools.

Reviewers online say this shampoo feels luxurious and works into a rich, foamy lather that smells fresh and citrusy.

14. Sienna Naturals Hapi Shampoo

This moisture-rich, creamy cleanser is designed to revive curls. It gently removes dirt, oil and buildup from the hair which can compromise hair texture and weigh down curls. It coats, conditions and protects hair without sulfates, parabens, silicone or mineral oils.

The pH-balanced formula nourishes hair from roots to ends. Reviewers online praise Hapi Shampoo from Sienna Naturals for its detangling properties and clean, refreshing scent. With key ingredients of aloe vera for moisturization and coconut for hydration, this shampoo delivers nourishing hydration. It also contains Baobab oil, which is rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin C, helping nourish the hair strands at their core.

15. Act + Acre Cold Pressed Hair Cleanse 

This plant-derived scalp and hair cleanse improves hair’s overall health and vitality. Suitable for all hair types, this cleansing shampoo can also give new life to curls by improving the hair’s texture, hydration and shine.

This formula helps break down build up with apple amino acids, which gently break down scalp buildup that accumulates over time with sweat, air pollution and styling product residue. It also contains glycerin and Baobab oil for nourishing hydration.

Reviewers online enjoy Act + Acre Cold Pressed Hair Cleanse for its scalp nourishing properties and the way it improves the overall look and texture of their hair. This shampoo is silicone, phthalate, sulfate and petrolatum free, and vegan. Its clean and beneficial ingredients will keep your naturally curly hair looking gorgeous and soft.

16. Apivita Oily Roots and Dry Ends Shampoo

Lack of moisture is usually a primary concern for people with naturally curly hair. But, sometimes excessive oil at the root but dry, frizzy ends are an issue with naturally curly hair. Apivita Oily Roots and Dry Ends Shampoo helps solve this problem. It tackles oily roots, but still leaves hair smooth, full of volume and shiny.

The ingredients that help nourish hair in Apivita Oily Roots and Dry Ends Shampoo are honey, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and panthenol. Wheat protein helps keep hair moisturized and protected and also give hair a glossy, shiny finish. It also contains natural botanicals of Greek organic nettle and sage for their astringent properties that also work to absorb excess oil.

This shampoo is formulated without harsh chemicals such as parabens, silicones, and phthalates that can damage hair. Reviewers online like its light, botanical fragrance and gentle foaming lather that leaves their hair clean and smelling great.

17. Klorane Shampoo with Organic Cupuacu Butter

This plant based shampoo from Klorane boosts hair’s natural shine and strength. It adds moisture to dry, naturally curly hair, and gives curls texture and hydration.

Klorane Shampoo with Organic Cupuacu Butter contains Cupuacu butter, which is a natural emollient that restores elasticity to the hair follicles with antioxidants. It’s often considered a super-moisturizer because of its ability to help attract moisture to the hair. While formulated for all hair types, Klorane Shampoo works well on dry, naturally curly hair for its beneficial moisturizing properties.

This formula is silicone, paraben and sulfate free.

18. R+Co Cassette Curl Defining Shampoo with Superseed Oil Complex

R+Co’s Curl Defining Shampoo tames frizz and gives hair optimal nourishment without adding weight. It gently cleanses the hair and will help define the shape of naturally curly hair.

With flax seed extract to help add moisture, and aloe leaf extract to add strength and luster to the hair, this formula gives hair the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. It also contains rice protein to help prevent breakage and red algae extract to reduce frizz.

R+Co products are cruelty-free, vegan, and contain no parabens.

19. Goodfellow & Co. Moroccan Mint & Cedar Shampoo

This mint and cedar shampoo is a great daily moisturizing shampoo that is beneficial for naturally curly hair. It makes the list of the best shampoos for men with curly hair for its ingredients that deliver hydrating nutrients to the hair.

With a moisturizing base of glycerin, this shampoo also has the addition of hops. Hops are flowers harvested from the hop plant. Hops are anti bacterial, anti inflammatory and full of antioxidants, so hair can grow stronger. Hops also help reduce hair loss. Because of its anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial properties, this shampoo leaves the scalp clean and reduces buildup.

Reviewers online enjoy the minty fresh scent of this shampoo, and praise its moisturizing qualities. It leaves hair looking and smelling clean, but adds enough hydration to promote healthier looking curls.

20. Bevel 2-in-1 Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner

If you like the 2-in-1 aspect of shampoos that have the conditioner added, this formula by Bevel is a good choice. Formulated for all hair types, Bevel Shampoo and Conditioner cleanses the scalp, but adds hydration to curls.

This shampoo and conditioner is formulated to reduce hair breakage in textured hair. It’s infused with hemp seed oil for natural hydration and an infusion of antioxidants.

Reviewers online say Bevel 2-in-1 Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner has a great smell and improves the texture of their hair. They also note it saves time in the shower as a product that cleanses and hydrates their hair in one step.

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