Marie Claire August 19, 2020

Marie Claire


The Best Shampoos for Natural Hair, According to Celeb Stylists


The industry's top curl experts have spoken.

When wash day rolls around, you need a shampoo that's going to give you the best curls of your life. Period. And in the over-saturated land of shampoos, that is not easy—especially for women with natural hair. Fun fact: no one curl is the same—even you have several different curl patterns on your head of hair. It's important to find the right shampoo that caters to various curl types and deeply nourishes hair with hydration to keep dryness, damage, and breakage at bay without weighing your curls down. I know, that's a lot of asks, but the right shampoo will exceed these expectations. And who says you need to lower your shampoo standards? Absolutely no one.

Whether you're looking to hydrate your hair in preparation for a protective style or you're cleansing your hair in between a heated style, skipping shampoo is not an option. To save you time and the stress that comes with testing every shampoo under the sun, I tapped trusted celebrity stylists to share what they love using on their textured hair clients. From drugstore gems, eco-friendly faves, to shampoos worth splurging on, click on for the absolute best shampoos for natural hair, recommended by the pros.


Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo

This gorgeous bottle does more than look pretty. "It helps reverse damage, boost scalp circulation, smoothes down the cuticle for ultra-soft hair, and it’s sulfate free," explains Michelle Dixon, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. "It’s great for those who need strengthening or have damage, and it’s very gentle, which is important for textured hair. It has a secret weapon, bromelain, a natural enzyme derived from pineapple, which gently exfoliates and balances the scalp to cultivate the most optimal environment for healthy hair. I love that it helps with scalp health."


Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo

This sulfate-free shampoo is full of botanical oils to strengthen brittle hair. If you're looking for a shampoo that'll give your curls a nice slip for easy detangling, Dixon recommends this. "It increases moisture retention and smoothes the surface of the hair, which is essential for textured hair," she explains. "It really helps to hydrate and you instantly feel softness after use. I use this on myself and my daughter."


Pure Aloe Vera Shampoo with Lavender Fragrance

CurlMix is a clean beauty brand that caters to various curl types with strengthening, mosturizing, softening, and growth shampoos. "You fill out a quiz to determine which shampoo is best for you and it even shows a picture of curls, so you can easily match your curls to the appropriate curl pattern," Dixon describes, adding that it's a plus that this brand is natural, vegan, handmade, cruelty free and organic. "Aloe vera is gentle for the hair and this shampoo elongates the curls, so it can really show the length of your hair," she says. "It also doesn’t make the hair crunchy or flaky and smells really good." 

Leigh Hardges, who is also a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, also recommends CurlMix for textured hair. "It's a low-sud shampoo that still leaves the scalp feeling clean and the hair uber-hydrated,"


Discipline Sulfate Free Smoothing Shampoo

When you want to fight frizz to make your hair more manageable, use this smoothing shampoo. "It's a dream of a shampoo for hair that is dry and in need of some tender loving care," Hardges says. "It works well for straightened or curly hair because the polymers coat each strand to ensure a soft, smooth finish even before applying conditioner." 


Cleansing Oil Shampoo

Besides being a straight-up sensorial experience, cleansing oils can actually be really detoxifying, like this innovative formula loved by Hardges. "Instead of using harsh surfactants to remove oil, Shu Uemura uses neroli, rice bran, and olive oils to cleanse the hair and soothe the scalp," she explains.