The greatest shampoo and conditioner combos for curly hair
Think hydration without weight.
By Delaney Loane
Digital Beauty Editor / May 31 2023
When it comes to curls, moisture is absolutely everything. You can’t expect hair to bounce and behave to the best of its ability when it’s parched, now can you?
But because draining your hair’s natural oils with shampoo can cause an influx of frizz and using a classic conditioner can lead to less defined (or worse, flat) curls, even something as simple as a quick wash can actually seem super scary.
It’s no wonder why the fear of washing exists, either. The market is saturated with hydrating products that are intended to both smooth and moisturise. Even the formulas traditionally recommended for curls, emphasising the importance of hydration, can end up flattening the hair as they provide moisture. This isn't ideal for those who want to enhance their natural texture instead of diminishing it.
So what’s the solution? A shampoo and conditioner combo specifically formulated to hit curls, coils, spirals and kinks with hydration without dulling down the natural texture pattern.
Well, you’re in luck; we’ve found options that fit said brief to a tee. So if stellar in-shower curl care is what you've been searching for, you’ve come to the right place…
Davroe CURLiCUE Cleansing Clay & Davroe CURLiCUE Deep Conditioning Rinse
As their names do suggest, The Davroe CURLiCUE duo is perfect for tending to your curls. The balancing shampoo provides a creamy, low-foam lather to gently detox and cleanse the scalp, without stripping the hair of natural oils. Nourishing quinoa also adds body and aids in detangling, for soft, lifted curls. Meanwhile, the conditioner is enriched with kakadu plum and lotus flower extracts, as well as humidity-resistant, anti-frizz actives for soft, defined curls.
Bread Beauty Supply Hair-Wash Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser and Bread Beauty Supply Hair-Mask Creamy Deep Conditioner
It’s hard to beat Bread in the curl care department – their entire brand is built around it. This combo is all about swapping a super-foamy shampoo and heavily hydrating conditioner for semi-sudsing and lightweight but powerful options (loaded with aloe vera in the shampoo’s case and starflower oil in the conditioner’s one). The result? Buttery smooth curls that don’t lose any of their divine definition or body.
$33 at Sephora and $46 at Sephora
Virtue Labs Curl Shampoo and Virtue Labs Curl Conditioner
Non-drying is the buzzword to best describe this curl-optimising couple. By heroing nourishing alpha keratin, the shampoo is able to reduce brittleness and breakage while also helping you getting a handle on the issues that come to curl town at the first sign of humidity or heat. The conditioner’s aim? Repairing cuticle damage and leaving your curls soft, shapely, and best of all, strong.
$56 at Sephora and $60 at Sephora
R+Co Cassette Curl Shampoo and R+Co Cassette Curl Conditioner
This dryness-fighting duo is determined to replace dehydration for definition, topping up hair’s moisture, strength and shine stocks with the help of the brand’s signature supersede oil complex. Not only will it not compromise your curl definition, but it also harnesses the elasticity-enhancing benefits of rice protein to enhance your texture’s flexibility. And hey, if you’re a big scent person, the Sicilian lemon scent happens to be glorious.
$49 at Adore Beauty and $49 at Adore Beauty
SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo & Conditioner
The name of this duo succinctly sums up what we all tend to want from our texture: curls with shine. Designed to hydrate and define while also amping up the gloss factor, they're packed with a pairing of coconut and hibiscus oils to add in all the softness and shine your curls could ever want. Their formulas also house shea butter, which is the gold standard of hydration and helps to leave curls moisturised enough to live their best, beautifully defined lives.
$19.99 at Oz Hair & Beauty and $19.99 at Oz Hair & Beauty
Aveda Be Curly Shampoo & Aveda Be Curly Conditioner
Organic aloe and wheat proteins are the curl-cleansing and curl-conditioning heroes of these fabulous formulas. They're all about defining curls, taming frizz, and increasing shine, which are the three biggest players on any curl-lover's wash wishlist. Aveda's signature lemon, bergamot and orange aroma is certainly worth putting in the 'win' column, too!
$46 at Aveda and $49 at Aveda