Best Shampoos for 4C Hair: Reviews and Buying Guide

A common misconception about the 4C hair is that it is strong and healthy. 4C hair, also known as Afro hair, is like a wire tightly coiled, which is dry, fragile, and prone to breakage.

Due to the coils, the natural oils produced in the scalp have a harder time reaching the strands resulting in frizzy and dry hair.  It is considered the most difficult type to take care of and maintain.

So, the universal truth about 4C hair is that they are thirsty for some moisture. That means you need to look for shampoos with moisturizing and nourishing ingredients to reduce the frizz and bring the natural luster of thick curly bouncy hair.

So, on what basis you should look for a shampoo? Simple, just remember these two points:

Look for super hydrating ingredients: You must include one or more rich moisturizing and hydrating ingredients in your shampoo: Shea butter and aloe vera are two examples of amazing natural moisturizers. Consider deep conditioning oils, preferably—coconut oil, avocado oil, almond oil, argan oil, etc. And Vitamin B5, Honey, Vitamin E as well!

Stay away from sulfates: Sulfates are nothing but hard detergents. Though the sulfates provide lather, it is a strict no for 4C hair. The two most drying sulfate is Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium Laureth sulfate. It can make your cuticles rough, strip down the oils, and leave you a straw-like hair. Avoid these!

To get more ideas on finding the best 4C hair shampoo, scroll down to check our detailed Buying Guide. If you are are ready to proceed to the reviews, continue reading.

Best Shampoos for 4C Hair

Shampoo for 4C HairActive IngredientsVolumeBuy Now
Shea Moisture Hibiscus Curling ShampooShea butter,
Coconut oil,
Hibiscus Extracts
13 OzCHECK ON AMAZON
Tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free ShampooVitamin B5,
Coconut oil,
Amla oil
13 OzCHECK ON AMAZON
Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic Curl Defining ShampooAloe vera, Vit E,
Chamomile,
Agave extracts
18 OzCHECK ON AMAZON
Cantu Shea Butter ShampooGlycerine,
shea butter
13.5 OzCHECK ON AMAZON
Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing ShampooAlmond oil,
avocado oil,
coconut milk
8 flozCHECK ON AMAZON
Carol's Daughter Cactus Rose ShampooBiotin, Cactus
tree extract,
rose water
18 OzCHECK ON AMAZON
OGX Quenching Plus Coconut Curls ShampooCoconut oil,
honey
19.5 OzCHECK ON AMAZON
Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse shampooGinger extract,
cassea, castor oil
12 OzCHECK ON AMAZON
Honeydew Natural Daily ShampooBeta karotine,
jojoba oil
19 ozCHECK ON AMAZON
TigiCurls Rock Curl Hair ShampooComplex mositurizerspanthenol,propylene glycol,
etc
12.5 ounceCHECK ON AMAZON

1. Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curling Shampoo

Shea Moisture Curl & Shine ShampooDeep moisturizing and nourishing is critical to tame the frizzy, unruly 4C hair, considering that this Shea Moisture would be an excellent choice for you. The shampoo has it all, best conditioning elements, delicious smell, and a gentle sulfate-free formula.

The sulfur-free formula gently cleanses your scalp without stripping the vital oils. Sulfur free also means that it is safe on color-treated hair. The bottle includes coconut oil, an irreplaceable ingredient for any hydrating shampoo. It moisturizes your hair fibers, the scalp the cuticles and replenishes the lost oil.

Hibiscus flower extract, which is being used from the ancient period, makes hair stronger, more elastic, reducing damage, breakage, and minimizes split ends. Silk proteins such as shea butter add a layer of smoothness and make it smooth, bouncy, and a lot more manageable.

The shampoo is a boon to fragile, damaged hair due to heating tools. It also has neem oil, which has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Its sulfate and silicone-free mild formula results in a rich, creamy lather that gently cleanses the hair. Saying that, it’s not the best choice if your scalp naturally produces more oil.

But if your hairs are dry brittle and scalp is oily, we suggest using a deep cleansing shampoo once or twice and use the Shea Moisture on the other days.

Pros:

  • Excellent moisturizing elements
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Silicon free natural shampoo
  • Smells amazing
  • Cruelty-free
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • Mild cleansing formula is not suitable for oily scalp types
  • Shipment issues

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2. Tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo

tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo

4C hair is the most difficult type to manage. They look wild, unruly, but they are also the most fragile ones. tgin Moisture rich shampoo is infused with vitamins and oils. The formula works by naturally improving the overall hair health with time.

The first active ingredient of this shampoo is pro-vitamin B5 and coconut oil. Both of them have amazing moisture restoring capabilities to maintain beautiful curls. The Pro-Vitamin B5 also makes the hair healthy and reduces breakage.

tgin shampoo for 4C hair is definitely sulfate-free and color-safe. It has natural alternatives of sulfate, and coconut-derived cleanser. It effectively cleans the scalp and removes build-up but doesn’t lose the natural curves.

Other active ingredients are amla oil, which has a past of being used in Ayurvedic shampoos. The amla oil stimulates the follicles to secrete more natural oil and improves hair quality. Lastly, it includes Vitamin E, another ingredient to add shine, strength, and softness.

The shampoo is free of parabens, petroleum, lanolin, fragrance, artificial colors, and animal testing. Together with the tgin triple moisture conditioner, it does wonder for the 4C hair. Also available in small travel packs, this shampoo is worth a try.

Pros:

  • Moisturizes and strengthens the hair, Improves the hair quality
  • Delicious smell suitable for both men and women
  • Suitable for all types of curly and damaged hair
  • Sulfate-free, paraben-free, no fragrance and cruelty-free
  • Available in small trial or travel packs ( 2 ounces)

Cons:

  • Liquidy ins consistency runs out faster

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3. Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic Curl Defining Shampoo

curly magic shampoo

This shampoo has received love from people with curly and kinky hair all around the globe. Honestly, it’s a flawless shampoo of a unique blend of ingredients and formulation.

The shampoo contains Aqueous extract of Marshmellow, Nestle, and horsetail—two potent ingredients found in hair gels. This is the main secret of the lustrous, bouncy hold that the shampoo provides.

It’s infused with the goodness of Aloe Vera—one incredibly hydrating natural moisturizer, which also has anti-fungus properties to deal with dry scalp and dandruff. It has Vitamin E, Chamomile (moisturizes), and Agave nectar extract—a rare plant-based conditioner that draws more moisture and tames the frizz.

The all-natural shampoo is vegan and uses plant-derived cleansers and fragrance. The fragrance is also mild and refreshing, something that men would definitely like.

Curly magic is a whole range of products made for curly hair. They have hair masks, conditioner, mousse, hair serum everything you need to lock those curls in place without looking like a furball.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t lose the natural curls
  • Tames the frizz and maintains the moisture
  • All-natural shampoo, sulfate-free and cruelty-free
  • Also treats dandruff and dry scalp

Cons:

  • Expensive

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4. Cantu Shea Butter Shampoo

Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Double Combo Shampoo

If you are not aware of this brand, then do a quick google search. Because this award-winning shampoo is undoubtedly the best shampoo for 4C hair at least under this price.

The sulfate-free shampoo combines glycerine with shea butter and coconut water. Three intense- moisturizing properties to moist the unruly curly hair. Made with alternative sulfate cleansers gives a deep clean, removes all the product build-up between your curls but doesn’t strip the moisture off.

The formula creates a rich, creamy lather that smells amazing and feels luxurious. We recommend this shampoo to people with curly hair and oily scalp. Not only it cleanses impurities from the scalp, but the moisture-rich ingredients also reduce the frizz and add shine.

The shampoo can be used as an everyday shampoo. And this is something that will suit everyone with thick hair and oily scalp. The quantity for the price is sufficient. And the thick consistency goes a long way even if you use it on a regular basis.

Pros:

  • Hydrates reduce frizz and add shine
  • Gives a deep clean without making hair dry
  • Suitable for everyone with voluminous hair and oily scalp
  • Rich, creamy lather
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • Doesn’t do much other than deep moisturizing
  • Doesn’t lather much

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5. Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing Shampoo

Design Essentials Natural shampooWe have only picked the best of the best shampoos for the very curly hairs. And this is another one with fantastic customer response. Design essentials super moisturizing shampoo mixes some super hydrating natural conditioners with gentle cleansers.

The formula has avocado oil, sweet almond oil, coconut milk, and wheat proteins. Such rich oils infuse the hair cuticles with moisture and reduce the time of detangling your hair.

This is the shampoo for thirsty natural hair afro-women. Free of any sulfactants, the mild soapy formula cleanses the roots and moistens the tips. Avocado oil, rich in vitamins and minerals, when absorbed in the scalp moistens and stimulates the hair follicles to improve the blood flow. Coconut milk and wheat have hair proteins to repair damaged hair and add shine.

Almond oil nourishes and adds strength to damaged hair. After one shampoo, you will feel smoother and softer curls. It’s color-safe, paraben-free, and is not tested on animals. The price for just 8 ounces is without any doubt high, but if you are into luxurious shampoos and great smells, give it a try!

Pros:

  • Enriched with oils, milk, and proteins
  • Cleanses the scalp and leaves a great smell
  • Everyday shampoo for curly hair
  • Sulphate free, paraben-free, cruelty-free

Cons:

  • Costly

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6. Carol’s Daughter Cactus Rose Water Sulfate Free Shampoo

Carols Daughter shampoo

It’s hard to find a shampoo for a thin curly hair that will wash off the build-up and add volume. Carol’s Daughter is making shampoos since 1993, and now they have a full line of hair care products.

The sulfate-free curl-friendly shampoo is perfect for thin, greasy curly hair. It won’t weigh your hair with an oily feeling, but the hair still feels soft and hydrated. Something like this is also suitable for waxy, grimy, lifeless hair.

The ingredient list adds cactus tree extracts, rose water, and biotin, which lets your curls and coils have the best cleaning, also adds volume, strength, and softness. The shampoo is good for anyone who needs a little hair lift. And the smell is the best part! It smells like wildflowers and roses, that lasts for a really good time.

The sulfate, paraben-free conditioner with glycerine, aloe vera, biotin, and cactus extract provides the much-needed moisture and strength to your thin, fragile hair. The price of this 16 Oz bottle is on point. It free of silicons, added colors, parabens, but sadly, it contains alcohol.

Pros:

  • Best shampoo for thin 4C hairstyle
  • Cleans the scalp and hydrates the tips
  • Color safe, paraben-free
  • Adds volume, shine, and strength
  • Smells amazing
  • Budget product

Cons:

  • Contains Alcohol. Alcohol can dry out your hair

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7. OGX Quenching Plus Coconut Curls Shampoo & Conditioner

ogx quenching shampooInfused with coconut oil and honey—the OTG Quenching shampoo is a solution for the dry, frizzy curls within a budget. As mentioned earlier, coconut oil is one of the best natural moisturizers for dry and thirsty hairs.

Honey, which is rich in anti-oxidants, have both of the moisturizer and anti-bacterial properties. Together with coconut oil and honey conditions, each cuticle and soothes the hair follicles. The emollients and humectants in them soften the fibers, adds shine, and replenishes the natural luster of curly hair.

The citrus oil helps to relieve the stress also cleanses the excess oil from the scalp. The sulfate-free mild lather prevents drying out or shrinking of your coils throughout the day.

The shampoo is suitable for natural afro hair of type 3 and 4. In fact, anyone with dry hair ends will be benefitted from this shampoo. It smells like creams and conditioners.

It’s good as an everyday shampoo, but if your hair produces a lot of dirt and build-up, we recommend using a clarifying shampoo once in a week, along with this intense hydrating shampoo.

Pros:

  • Coconut oil and honey infuse the moisture
  • Makes and soft fights frizz
  • Anti-bacterial, anti-stress and anti-inflammatory shampoo
  • Smells amazing
  • Reasonable price

Cons:

  • Not the best at removing build-ups
  • Availability issues

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8. Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse

Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse

Not everyone is blessed with beautiful curly hair and a healthy scalp. Some need a hydrating shampoo to fight issues that come with dry scalp. The sweet ginger shampoo infused with essential oils and natural sulphacants makes enough lather to give you a clean scalp.

It has Asian ginger root extracts. Ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, which soothe the scalp and prevents itchiness. This aromatic rinse is comprised of essential oil from aniseed, cassia, castor, which helps in retaining the moisture and reduces damage and frizz.

Even when used daily, it doesn’t dry out your coils but only enhances your waves and bounciness. The ginger cleansing rinse is also good at removing product residues, paraffin, wax, and other hair pollutants.

The mild shampoo has a gingerly delicious aroma. After each use, it makes your afro hair clean, nourished, and refreshed. For the best result, use the conditioner from the same line.

 Pros:

  • Free from sulfate, silicon, paraben
  • Has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties
  • Keep your hair hydrated, shiny and restores hair oils
  • Light, refreshing aroma with a great cleansing formula that doesn’t dry out your hair

Cons:

  • It takes a while to wash it off.

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9. Honeydew Natural Daily Shampoo

ethnic hair shampoo

How about a shampoo with no sulfate that cleans your dirt daily right from the root? Change your curly hair routine by adding this ethnic Natural Daily Shampoo for by Honeydew.

The ultra-rich avocado oil works great for the curly and kinky hair stypes, starting from 3A to 4C. The cold-pressed avocado oil is enriched with Beta Carotene and full of vitamin A, B1, B2, D, E. It seals the natural waves of an Afro American hair eliminating frizz and fluff.

The balanced pH formula cleans the hair keeping the natural moistures levels intact. So you can control the frizz, dryness that results in hair breakage. It also has jojoba oil, which improves the blood flow, stimulates the follicles to bring the luster of curly hair.

It suits all kinds of hair types, irrespective of gender, age, hair type from the brunettes to the blondes. You can share it with your partner or with the whole kinky hair family.

Pros:

  • Color safe, free from sulfates, and paraben
  • No harsh elements used in it, making it great for everyday usage
  • Vegan product packaged in BPA free bottle.
  • Ethnic moisturizing shampoo

Cons:

  • The 8-ounce bottle seems to be small
  • There are better hydrating shampoos

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10. TigiCurls Rock Curl Hair Shampoo

TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Curly Hair shampoo

Finding the right shampoo that smoothes your frizz, define the curls daily, and protects your hair from heat damage? Unlike others, the TiGi curl rock has a curl-enhancing formula loaded with glycerine and silicons.

It locks the natural moisture in and prevents the outside humidity from penetrating the hair, which is the main reason behind frizz and flyways. The formula with glycerine mixed with thermal protectants enforce moisture and helps in detangling the strands.

It lathers well and also reduces the product build-up that happens after prolonged usage of hair styling products. We love how it holds the curls nice and soft after a hot blow dry without giving up the moisture shine.

It smells really nice, but unfortunately, it has got fragrance, parabens, and it’s not cruelty-free. The shampoo and conditioner package makes a great deal for the price.

Pros:

  • Acts as a safeguard from heat damage
  • Designed for dull and dry curly hair
  • Locks the moisture in and holds the curls
  • Best heat-protective shampoo for 4C hair

Cons:

  • It is not good for colored hair. You tend to lose color very soon.
  • Expensive buy

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Things To Consider Before Picking The Best Shampoo For 4C Hair

Retain the magic by investing in right hair care products, most importantly, by choosing a shampoo as per your hair type, is a challenging job. Not all fancy expensive shampoo bottles that sell as “curl defining shampoo” gives the best result.

Just like finding the best skincare product, or choosing the best make up for your skin, the hunt for the perfect 4c hair shampoo has some considerations.

So, don’t just walk into a store, buy some products as per the salesman/fragrance/packaging.

Here are some tips and tricks to have gorgeous bouncy, shiny 4C hair.

1. Pick a Bottle Full of Moisturizing Properties

4c hair dries out very soon, making it frizzy, prone to breakage. Moisture is the game-changer for 4C hair darlings.  Use it to notice the impact.

Due to the pattern of the coils, the natural oils in the hair don’t reach the roots making it drier. Try to lock more hydrating ingredients in your 4c hair shampoo.

Look for a shampoo that retains moisture or delivers moisture into your hair. Check the exact water ratio and sufficient slip to untwist the hair while shampooing.

Some ingredients that you can count in are—coconut oil, aloe vera, avocado oil, shea butter, almond oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin B 5, glycerine, etc. Silicons are also great at retaining moisture, but they can weigh the hair down. So, the best quality shampoos have dropped them

A shampoo with hydrating agents gives the right shine, gloss to the coarse, frizzy, afro hair.

2. Include Sulfate-Free Product

Think about washing your hair with a harsh detergent! It is that scary! Sulfates are nothing but hard detergents.

Though the sulfates provide lather, which results in effective cleaning by removing dirt and oil, it is a strict no for 4C hair. The most drying sulfate is Sodium lauryl sulfate. Using a bottle filled with this in it can make your cuticles rough, strip down the oils, and leave you a straw-like hair.

Sulfates are harmful to both the hair fibers and scalp, which removes the natural moisture from the hair, which is the reason for the shine and softness in your hair.

Pick bottles that are free from sulfate and have organic elements/silicons/proteins to retain moisture in the strands.

Few sulfates come with dioxane, which is a carcinogen agent.

3. A Big No To Over Drying

As you know, this hair tends to dry very easily than other hair types. Therefore, find the ideal shampoo that doesn’t dry out the scalp. You may find ‘hydrating shampoo’ that can dry your scalp. This happens when there are secret elements in it.

Some shampoo brands don’t mention the full list of ingredients. In most cases, it is because there are cheap alternative artificial ingredients that can make your hair dry or frizzy.

Check the user reviews. Apart from checking levels, do your research for a particular brand of shampoo to be aware of the harshness of the products.

Overdrying is also caused by using too many styling tools. If you use them regularly, look for a shampoo that has silicons, best if it includes natural silicons. And always use a heat protectant spray to minimize heat damage and overdrying.

4. Try to Avoid Shampoos that Has Alcohol

Few alcohol ingredients make your curls dry, frizzy, and crumbly. While alcohol in a shampoo blends with water, the essential hair oils get dissolved easily in this process. Due to their light-weight, these evaporate in no time, making it dry.

4C hair craves for moisture. And adding alcohol In your everyday shampoo can only worsen the frizzy crazy hair. If your shampoo has alcohol, make sure it’s the fatty alcohols/the benzyls. For instance, cetyl alcohol gives softness to your hair, makes it manageable. Never shop for a shampoo with short-chain alcohols, for instance, propanol, isopropyl, propyl, etc.

5. Clarifying Shampoo for Clean Scalp

Due to the overuse of styling products, it leaves a coating on your hair shaft, which prevents the hair follicles from producing natural oil into our scalp.

Clarifying shampoo removes the dirt by keeping your scalp clean, free from any residue, any product build-up. Clarifying shampoos make more lather or foam for a deep cleanse. They also give more volume and bounce.

They can be used twice a week when your hair needs a deep wash. If you have thin curly hair or a naturally oily scalp, then they are a must-have in your hair care regime. A clarifying shampoo can make hair dry if used regularly.

Go for a shampoo with moderate acidic content for cleaning your scalp and hair effectively.

6. Natural Ingredients

We hardly pay attention to these organic ingredients, which are essential for our haircare. But its high time to stop considering the fragrance, parabens in the packaging.

Check out the impact of each ingredient from the table:

INGREDIENTS BENEFITS ON YOUR HAIR
Black Castor pH Balancing
Aloe Vera Retains moisture, defines the coils
Honey Hydration and deep moisturization
Ginger Gentle Cleansing, anti-fungal
Tea Tree Revitalized Scalp
Shea Butter Hydration, prevents breakage, tangle-free hair
Biotin Reduces hair fall, adds shine
Argan Oil/ Moroccan oil Adds shine and strength
Coconut Milk Adds moisture, proteins, and nutrients

 

7. Choose Shampoos with Slip

Afro hair needs shampoo with a slip to make it manageable and easy to detangle.

Dealing with messy tangles lead to breakage. So you need shampoos with a slip which gives you tangle-free hair, making it easy to manage by kneading it. This reduces the time for detangling your hair, giving it a smooth finish, a  soft feel. This makes less usage of conditioner.

Some of the ingredients that provide the much-needed slip are shea butter, almond oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc.

8. Balanced Ph Scale

Shampoos with balanced pH clean the scalp without stripping the much-needed moisture. So you can control the frizz, dryness that results in hair breakage. Choose a shampoo with Ph value ranging from 4.5 to 5.5. Shampoo with Citric acid adjusts the ph level of the hair.

9. Few more complex Ingredients

  • Panthenol(Type of Vitamin B5) moistures your hair and hold it for a longer time.
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine has excellent conditioning and softening features.

Give a break to the shampoos with parabens, which cause irritation, dryness, hair loss, hormonal imbalance.

Avoid silicon-free shampoos to get rid of product build-up on your hair shaft, closing your pores, making it drier.

Consider shampoos with salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, zincpyrithione to treat dandruff. This helps in soothing, exfoliating the scalp.

 Conclusion:

Finally, you know the factors to consider the best shampoo for your 4C hair. It’s about time to pamper your curls, let it grow, bounce and shine! Be choosy while selecting one!

All of these above-listed products work well. However, the all-rounder with the best price is Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curling Shampoo, which delivers the notable change.  The organic ingredients present in shampoo gives an absolutely free, healthy curls by restoring the moisture, lost oil.

Refer our blog to all the 4C sweeties who are fighting with breakage, fragile split ends. Don’t give up on your hair goals. Also, if you have any queries leave them in the comment section below.

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