In order for our gorgeous curls, waves and coils to blossom, they need to be given the right kind of love from the time that they’re washed. By using a shampoo and conditioner that doesn’t cause breakage, you can keep your hair hydrated, moisturized and bouncy. Since our curls are prone to becoming dry, it’s important that you keep your locks well-loved from start to finish in your hair care routine.
Many people love the feeling of classic shampoos that get bubbly, smell great, and leave your hair with that “squeaky clean” feeling. The problem comes when your hair strands become a little too clean, meaning they’ve lost their natural protectants.
So - what shampoo is good for curly hair? The key is to use products that are gentle, PH balanced and sulfate-free. If you don’t know exactly what those terms mean, you’re in luck. As always, we’re here to guide you to the products that will keep your curls glowing as much as you do.
Key Factors For Your Shampoo
Ensure your shampoo has the right pH levels for curls
Curly hair naturally has a higher pH level than straight hair does, which is why it can get dry easily. All pH balanced shampoo formulas are designed to cleanse hair without stripping it of its natural oils. The ideal pH level for a shampoo product is between 4.5-5.5 if you’ve got wavy or curly hair. If a shampoo lands too highly on the pH scale and it’s used on curly hair, you’ll likely be left with frizz, fly-aways and hair that feels brittle. Not only that, without those important oils protecting your hair, your scalp can become itchy and irritated.
Using a pH balancing shampoo is especially important if you color your hair regularly. It’s no secret that continuously dying hair can cause damage, so by using products that can help seal the cuticle of the hair strand, you’re preventing the color from fading and increasing the longevity of your gorgeous dye job.
Go with a sulfate-free shampoo that won’t dry curls
Another factor you want to avoid in your shampoo? Sulfates. Though it can be incredibly satisfying to get a foamy lather going when you’re washing your hair, the sulfates that are used to make those fluffy bubbles is actually harmful for your natural curls. While the suds do clear away dirt and unwanted oils, they can also take your protective oils with them. Without your natural oils caring for your curls, you’re likely to end up with hair that’s reminiscent of Ms Frizzle from The Magic School Bus.
Go paraben-free for safety
A term you may have heard thrown around when you’re looking into hair products is “paraben.” To put it simply, parabens are preservatives that are included in shampoo products to prevent any fungus or mold growing in the bottle over time (can you imagine finding that? Gross). When it comes to shampoo specifically, parabens can be drying and make your scalp itchy and uncomfortable. In addition, some recent studies have shown that when parabens are absorbed into the skin, they can mimic the hormone estrogen. Excess estrogen has been linked to breast cell production and hormone disruption.
Luckily, there are plenty of shampoo options that are paraben-free, and use formulas that won’t cause any unwanted bacteria without the need for preservatives. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, which is why we recommend limiting your usage of any products that contain parabens as much as possible. Taking care of your hair health now could have a lasting impact in your future.
Ever heard of the term “No Poo?” It’s a real thing, I swear. Some people in the curly hair community have decided to ditch shampoo all-together, and opt for non-chemical treatments. This can take the form of using pantry products like baking soda and apple cider vinegar, or not using any product at all. If you stop shampooing your hair altogether, or just decide to limit how frequently you do so, you may go through a bit of an adjustment period.
For people who exercise regularly (or who just don’t love the idea of not using any products), sulfate and paraben-free products are the perfect solution. Though it’s still important you use your products correctly. Most curly-haired people love the look of their hair most when they wash it 2-3 times a week, rather than everyday. This gives your hair the opportunity to regulate its oil production naturally.
What Shampoo Is Good For Curly Hair?
So, if you’ve noticed your hair feeling dry or your scalp feeling uncomfortable, it may be time to upgrade your shampoo routine. The good news? There are sulfate, paraben and pH balanced shampoos out there for you. It’s times like these that I’m thankful that there are hair professionals and stylists that dedicate their time to finding the right formulas for those of us blessed with curly hair.
Here at Royal Locks, we’ve developed a Classic Essentials Set that’s designed to cleanse your hair without drying it out. Our formula uses argan oil and natural botanicals to hydrate your curls throughout the cleansing process. Like all of our products, a little goes a long way. Just one nickel-sized amount can cleanse your hair while keeping it moisturized. Yes, shampoo and conditioner matter. Using a curl friendly shampoo and hydrating conditioner sets the foundation for healthy, bouncy curls after every wash!
Remember that it’s always important to follow the instructions on any hair care product that you use. Don’t deny yourself the head massage you’re meant to have when shampooing! By working product into your hair liberally, you give the product the chance to work it’s magic, and you give yourself that 60-90 seconds of self-love-time.
Want to learn the next steps once your hair is clean but still full of moisture? Check out our other hair care blogs. We believe the curly hair community is strongest when we all share our best tips, tricks and hair health recommendations.