The 15 Best Shampoos For Natural Hair, According to Editors and Experts

Keep those curls hydrated.

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Finding a shampoo and conditioner for your hair needs may, at first, seem straightforward—but in reality, your hair type, porosity, and individual needs determine what products are best for you. And when it comes to finding the best products for natural hair, it's especially important to look for conditioners, leave-ins, and shampoos that moisturize and protect those curls and coils.

"If you have textured hair, you will most likely agree with me when I say that we need texture, nourishment, moisture, and, sometimes, repair," says Janelle Sands, expert hairstylist and Senior Director of Marketing at CURLS. "Therefore, people with textured hair should check ingredient lists for additives that add value and renew the integrity of the hair itself."

But what are those ingredients, and what are some formulas that incorporate them? Read on to get the best tips and product recommendations on the best shampoos for natural hair, sourced from experts, editors, and reviewers alike. 

What To Look For in Shampoo for Natural Hair

As Sands said, hydration is key when finding the right shampoo for your natural hair. But how do you know which ingredients hydrate best?

"You cannot get more "hydrated" than water, but ingredients like moisture-attracting glycerin and antioxidant-rich aloe provide moisture to your locks," she explains. She adds that while people with hair types 2 and 3 would be more inclined to look for lightweight hair products that won't weigh their hair down, like "water, aloe, and glycerin, which have a lighter effect." Furthermore, she advises that those who are worried about their products being too heavy should "steer clear of coconut oil, shea butter, or castor oil, which can be great ingredients, yet contribute more 'weight' to a formula."

On the other hand, Sands says, type 4 hair "tends to like a product with more emollients to add 'weight.' A few great emollients to look for include plant butters like shea, waxes like carnauba, and oils like castor oil."

The Best Shampoos for Natural Hair

Meet the Experts

Cataanda James
Cataanda James

Cataanda James is a natural hairstylist and brand educator for The Mane Choice. Currently, she's based in New York City. 

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at