The best shampoo and conditioner combos for curly hair
Think hydration without weight
By Delaney Loane
Digital Beauty Editor / May 25 2022
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 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. With so many of the hydrating mixes on the market specifically designed to smooth as well as moisturise, even the traditionally nourishing formulas that the 'hydration is key for curls' argument will make you think you need will flatten out as they hydrate. Not exactly ideal for anyone with texture that they want to amp up, not beat down.
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…
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 conditioner’s one). The result? Buttery smooth curls that don’t lose any of their divine definition or body.
$31 at Sephora and $43 at Sephora
Virtue Labs Curl Shampoo and Virtue Labs Curl Conditioner
Non-drying is the buzzword to 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
Moroccanoil Curl Enhancing Shampoo and Moroccan Oil Curl Enhancing Conditioner
Nourishing argan oil may be the heart of this curl-preserving pair, but don’t let that fill your head with fear of your texture falling flat. It won’t weigh anything down, it’ll just bring dwindling moisture levels up. It’s devoted to enhancing shine, softness and elasticity of curls while also making sure your shape stays in tact for the long haul. On top of all the moisturising, it's also damn good at improving manageability, a gift to any goddess with textured hair.
$52 at Sephora and $52 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.
$45 at Charli & Kate and $45 at Rogue 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 for. 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