Home Curly Hair Products Find Your Perfect Match: The Curly Hair Shampoo and Conditioner You Should Be Sudsing Up With

Find Your Perfect Match: The Curly Hair Shampoo and Conditioner You Should Be Sudsing Up With

by Michelle Swift
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Curly Hair Shampoo and Conditioner

If you’re still searching for a shampoo and conditioner that are like relationship goals for your hair, don’t settle on subpar suds just yet. We’re playing matchmaker with our comprehensive guide to your cleanest, healthiest and most fabulous curls. That’s right! We’ve compiled which shampoos and conditioners you should be sudsing up with based on your hair type. We know what you may be thinking — “What’s my hair type”?

Read on to find out more and discover which hair type most resembles your lovely locks, but first we are going to lay down some ground rules:

Rule #1: Purpose of Shampoo and Conditioner:

The only place where your shampoo should go, is on your scalp. The only place where your conditioner should go, is on your ends. Here’s why: Your scalp produces oils that naturally cleanse and moisturize your hair, shampoo is used to rinse out built up oils (and product) to give your scalp a reset. Conditioner is used to add moisture to your ends minimize frizz, prevent breakage and combat dullness.

Rule #2: It’s Okay to Mix and Match:

We don’t advocate cheating, but you know that whole matching your shampoo and conditioner thing? The truth is, pairing the same brands’ shampoo and conditioner may not be benefitting your hair, so by all means go ahead and start seeing other brands that suit your strands. Here’s why, companies typically pair shampoos and conditioners based on your hair type and the styling result you’re after, but nobody’s hair is just one thing, so go ahead and mix and match.

Rule #3: How To Choose Your Products:

Now that you know you can mix and match products, where do you start? Follow our guide and keep in mind that shampoo should address the chemical nature of your hair, fine, wavy, thick, curly etc. and conditioner should tackle the styling that you want to do. Now that know the ins and outs of shampoo and conditioner, get to know your hair type and try out our best products to get your best hair day. Ever.

Type 2: Wavy Hair

Many Type 2 waves are delicate, so the less you touch your hair the more wave you’re gonna get. A lot of Type 2 curly girls straighten their strands, but we’re going to show how to make those waves behave! Hint: Finger-styling is your new BFF. Type 2 hair types will shoot for cleansing daily or every other day and conditioning as needed.

2a: This hair type is easy to style and is categorized by loose, beachy waves that make a letter “S” shape. Strands are typically fine and thin, so you need to pump up the volume.


source: Jason Merritt via Getty Images

2a Celebs: Scarlett Johansson, Kate Hudson, Amanda Seyfried

2a Shampoo and Conditioner:
Elucence Clarifying Shampoo ($9): By exfoliating your scalp to remove buildup, this shampoo has a secret weapon to lift those roots and add volume to your hair — white willow bark extract.
Mop Top Bamboo Daily Conditioner ($12): If there is one conditioner that any curly girl needs, it’s this one. Honey and sea botanicals penetrate your waves to combat dry, frizzy hair locking in moisture and preventing split ends.

2b: These waves are are all the rave right now, think surfer girl texture with a slightly tighter “S” pattern, but more prone to frizz.


source: Frederick M. Brown via Getty

2b Celebs: Carrie Underwood, Nellie Furtado, Joss Stone

2b Shampoo and Conditioner:
Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream ($17): To maintain your coveted waves, gentle is the name of the game. This alternative to shampoo is ultra-moisturizing and leaves your hair refreshed and silky-soft.
Ouidad Curl Recovery Whipped Curls Daily Conditioner & Styling Primer ($26): Frizz can easily be tackled with a daily conditioner like this one. Yes, it’s a bit on the spendy side, but this dual-purpose formula acts as a styling primer too.

2c: Borderline curly. This thick, wavy hair can be coarse and susceptible to frizz, you’ll want to up the moisture factor to keep those waves nice and full.


source: Evan Agostini via Getty Images

2c Celebs: Shakira, Daisy Fuentes, Lorde

2c Shampoo and Conditioner:
AG Hair Cosmetics Re:coil Sulfate-Free Curl Care Shampoo ($20): A sulfite free ‘poo is exactly what your mix of waves and curls need to maximize definition. This cleanser is also gentle enough to reduce flyaways.
Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner ($9): This conditioner works double duty as a simple rinse-out or as a leave-in deep conditioning treatment. It contains Scalene (a special ingredient that comes from olives) to manage moisture balance.

Type 3: Curly

Springy, well-defined curls are what graces the crowns of girls with this hair type. These soft and finely textured curls are the largest in diameter out of all the hair types and have a definite loopy “S” pattern. One thing to watch out for is heat damage, so keep blow drying to a minimum and try plopping instead. Type 3 hair types will want to cleanse their hair every three days and rinse and condition daily to keep it moisturized and looking fresh. 3b’s and 3c’s will also want to add a leave-in conditioner or even leave in some “regular” conditioner on cleansing days.

3a: These curls are big and loose and there are a lot of them. 3a curls are more prone to frizz, and be a bit lackluster in shine.


source: Chris Graythen via Getty Images

3a Celebs: Taylor Swift, Nicole Kidman, AnnaLynne McCord

3a Shampoo and Conditioner:
Curl Junkie Gentle Cleansing Shampoo ($20): This sulfate-free shampoo is infused with vitamin B5 for added moisture along with silk amino acids and green tea extract to amp up the shine.
Kinky Curly Knot Today ($12): You get a two-for- one with this leave-in conditioner and detangler. Expect smooth curls that are snarl, knot and tangle free.

3b: These curls can range from perfect spirals to bouncy ringlets or twisty corkscrews. Type 3b hair lacks some shine, but is big on volume.


source: Kevin Winter via Getty Images

3b Celebs: Halle Berry, Keri Russell, Julianna Margulies

3b Shampoo and Conditioner:
Sheamoisture Raw Shea Retention Shampoo ($11): This sulfate-free cleanser encourages growth, prevents buildup and uses sea kelp, Argan oil and Shea butter to smooth cuticles, restore shine and moisturize both the hair and scalp.
Aunt Jackie´s Curls & Coils In Control Anti-Poof Moisturizing & Softening Conditioner ($10): Curly hair loves options and this conditioner has plenty of them. Control frizz and unwanted volume with this nourishing moisturizer that can be used as a normal conditioner, a co-wash, a leave-in conditioner or as a reconstructive treatment for super dry or damaged hair.

3c: Textures can vary from corkscrew curls to kinky or coiled strands that have a lot of volume, but are typically fine in texture. This hair type doesn’t have a lot of shine and eats up moisture, so stay away from harsh chemicals like mineral oil, SLS and petroleum.

3c Curly Hair Shampoo and Conditioner

source: Jason Merritt via Getty Images

3c Celebs: Jada Pinkett-Smith, Kelis, Alicia Keys

3c Shampoo and Conditioner:
SoCozy Boing Curl Shampoo ($13): A perfect shampoo to use in between co-washing. It’s gentle, but tough enough to remove dirt and buildup all while reducing breakage and
maintaining some welcomed moisture balance.
Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner ($12): Yes, you can wash your hair with a cleansing conditioner — no ‘poo needed. Type 3c hair will love this co-wash that’s filled with agave nectar, Shea butter and vitamin B5 that will clean your curls, minimize frizz and keep hair thoroughly quenched.

Type 4: Kinky Hair

This is the kinkiest of curly hair types. In fact, it’s known to shrink up to 75% of the actual hair length! The hair is very tightly coiled, wiry and very fragile. Densely packed strands can be coarse or thin and it’s not very forgiving when it comes to damage. Girls with type 4 hair know a thing or two about breakage. Type 4 hair should be shampooed a minimum of once per week. A clarifying shampoo should be used every six weeks to remove product buildup and return shine back to the hair. Moisturizing should be done daily and definitely allows for some heavier moisturizing products like deep conditioner, butters and creams.

4a: This hairstyle is so tightly curled, it can shrink to less than half its length when dry. Picture tiny ringlets that coil up like a spring. Your main goal is to stretch those curls and quench their thirst for moisture.


source: Jemal Countess via Getty Images

4a Celebs:, Syesha Mercado, Esperanza Spaulding, Teyonnah Paris

4a Shampoo and Conditioner:
CURLS Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream ($15): Not only does this natural ‘poo have an amazing smell, but it’s super hydrating and cleans your scalp and conditions your curls without stripping your fragile strands, minimizing breakage.
Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque ($13): Looking for the perfect boost of moisture that this hair type craves? Try this deep treatment masque that promises to correct dry, damaged hair by helping it grow and strengthen with a little help from Argan oil, Shea butter and sea kelp.

4b: This curl pattern is more angular and less defined, the hair bends into a letter “Z” pattern that if not cared for properly, can be overcome by the dreaded frizz.


source: Jason Merritt via Getty Images

4b Celebs: Solange Knowles, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monàe

4b Shampoo and Conditioner:
Kinky-Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo ($12): This gentle shampoo uses sea kelp to help balance the moisture in your hair and mandarin orange extract to rid your scalp of buildup so that your locks shine.
Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner ($14): All Oyin products are made in small batches, from scratch, by hand. This all natural conditioner blended with aloe vera gel, hemp oil and honey, packs some serious moisturizing power and works double duty as a rinse-out or leave-in to combat flyaways and frizz.

4c: This hair type is most likely responsible for the invention of the afro pick. There is no distinct curl pattern in these densely textured strands. Type 4c hair soaks up moisture like a sponge and is super difficult to untangle, but that’s okay, because we’ve found some products to help your curls POP.


source: Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

4c Celebs: Lupita Nyong’o, Macy Gray, India Arie

4c Shampoo and Conditioner:
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo ($11): Talk about a triple threat! This gentle, clarifying shampoo, rids your scalp of damaging product buildup while nourishing your hair with moisture and stimulates growth with Jamaican black castor oil and certified organic Shea Butter.
Blended Beauty Curl Quenching Conditioner ($19): Some may find this moisture-rich conditioner a splurge, but we promise you it’s totally worth it. Formulated with chamomile and rosemary extract, grape seed oil, silk proteins, cysteine and keratin that lock in moisture and slippery elm bark to prevent breakage and encourage growth —what’s not to love!?

Okay girls, we want to know, what hair type do you have and what products do you use to get
your best hair day?

Michelle Swift

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