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Are you looking for the best shampoo bars & conditioners for curly hair?
Since getting more conscious about eco-friendly & natural living, it made me much more cautious about what I put on my hair, which is curly and very dry if I don’t put effort into keeping it moisturized.
After trial and error, I found some great natural products that work well for my hair. While I can swear those products are excellent for me, it is essential to say that – what works for me may not work for you.
That may be because of your hair type, the water quality where you live, or even your skin’s pH. Nevertheless, I will include products that work well for most curly (and dry) hair.
*All the products below are low-waste (plastic-free), made with (mostly) organic ingredients, and vegan!*
I will divide the list into three sections:
- Shampoo bars for curly hair
- Conditioner bars for curly hair
- Other natural products for curly hair
Before we look into the products, let’s briefly examine something super important – your WATER quality.
Water Quality And Your Hair:
I wanted to look at one essential factor we can’t ignore – WATER. The water quality where you live is super important.
When I moved from Bulgaria to study in Denmark and after that to live in Croatia, I saw a massive difference in my hair.
At first, I didn’t connect the dots, but after having many issues, I found out it was because of the water. My hair not only got drier, but I also got dandruff and an itchy scalp.
It turned out that the water in both Denmark and Croatia was very hard. The difference between hard and soft water is this:
- Hard water – with excess minerals, like calcium and magnesium
- Soft water – free from these minerals
These minerals can negatively affect the hair because they produce a film on the hair, making it difficult for moisture to penetrate.
As a result, you can experience dryness, dullness, hair breakage, hair loss, and even scalp irritation. The minerals also create buildup & residue, which can weigh down the hair and make it less manageable.
How To Deal With Hard Water
To minimize the harmful effects of hard water, and maintain healthier-looking hair, consider the following tips:
- Use a clarifying shampoo bar to remove mineral buildup and residue from your hair. Look for products specifically designed to combat the effects of hard water. Below, I share a great natural option. 🙂
- Install a water shower head that can remove or reduce the minerals. It will make the water softer and gentler on your hair.
- Use vinegar rinses to remove mineral deposits from your hair and help restore the natural shine and manageability. This was a game changer for me, and I saw a lot of improvement with my itchy scalp.
- Moisturize your hair with deep conditioning treatments. It will replenish lost moisture and improve its health and appearance.
- If you swim in a pool treated with hard water or chemicals, protecting your hair is essential by wearing a swim cap to minimize exposure to rough water.
For more tips, you can also check my detailed article with 7 natural ways to remove hard water from your hair & avoid damage.
Best Natural Shampoo Bars For Curly Hair:
Best for: All curly hair types
Size: 108g (3.8oz) – up to 80 washes
This pH-balanced shampoo bar is designed to gently cleanse your curls without stripping them of moisture. Sulfates, silicones, waxes, or drying alcohols are nowhere to be found in this solid shampoo.
Instead, it is made with a nourishing blend of shea butter, betaine from sugar beets, and cocoa butter. It’s like a delicious treat for your hair, promoting softness and bouncy curls!
According to a survey of 83 customers who tried it, 88% reported that their hair felt unbelievably softer and easier to handle after using Professor Curl.
- It won’t weigh the hear down
- Allow the curls to be defined and not frizzy
- Gives more volume
- No conditioner is needed
- Works well for oily hair
- It requires a bit of extra effort to apply & get a lather
- Not suitable for dyed hair
- Storing the bar can be tricky – If you don’t keep them in a dry place, the bars last shorter because they will melt away quickly
Best for: For curly hair types
Size: 110g (3.88 oz) – up to 80 washes
A clarifying shampoo clears residue and buildup on your scalp or hair. For example, if you have curly hair that feels limp, heavy, or weighed down, using a clarifying shampoo at least once or twice a month can restore your curls, making them soft, shiny, and healthy.
Ethique clarifying shampoo will be a game-changer for you, especially if you live in a place with hard water! The bar gently removes away excessive oils (making it suitable for oily hair), chlorine, and even stubborn styling products.
- It contains humectants such as glycerine, which draw moisture to hair without any heavy oils
- Generally, no need to pair it with a conditioner
- Works well if your hair is oily
- If you don’t wash it off thoroughly, it can leave residue on your hair
- If your hair gets oilier quicker, it may be cleansing it too intensely, making your scalp overcompensate by creating more oils
- If you have sensitive skin, the essential oil may cause itchiness or irritation
Best for: textured hair, types 3 (curly hair) and 4 (kinky hair)
Size: 3.2 oz (90g) and 2.7oz (76g)
HiBar has shampoo and conditioner sets designed for different hair types. Their Curl bars are sulfate and paraben-free to protect curly-haired users from dehydrated and brittle hair.
The Curl contains a magical duo – Babassu Butter and Pracaxi Butter. These ingredients work wonders to define your curls and waves, giving them that beautiful shape you’ve always wanted.
And that’s not all! They also help seal much-needed moisture, keeping your hair hydrated and soft.
- Rich lather
- Works well for fine curly hair
- Make your curls soft and easily manageable
- The shampoo may get mushy after a while if you don’t keep it in a dry, well-ventilated place
pH: pH balanced
Best for: All hair types. Works well for dry & color-treated hair, too
Size: 3.2 oz (91g) – 100 washes approx
Kitsch shampoo bar is packed with rice water protein, pure essential oils, and other natural ingredients and will perfectly balance the PH in your hair to keep it soft, healthy, strong, and shiny.
It contains rice amino acids which tame frizz and add shine to your hair, plus support the manageability of your curls. Additionally, it strengthens your hair shaft, meaning that your curls aid in retaining their shape and definition.
The shampoo bar is free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, artificial fragrances, and dyes to minimize irritation and provide gentle use.
I haven’t tried this one yet, but I ordered it to try it out. Once I use it for a couple of weeks, I will add my personal impressions and let you know how it affected my wavy hair!
- It does wonders for frizz
- Adds shine and bounce to dull, dry hair
- Strengthens and promotes hair growth
- Not specially designed for curly hair, but based on reviews of users, it works well on wavy hair, too
Best for: curly, dry, or fine hair
Size: 3.5 oz / ~ 100g
This creamy all-in-one wash & conditioner has the potential to revolutionize your hair care routine.
I need to mention a small tricky thing – this product has somewhat mixed reviews, so you will either hate it or love it.
The bar is created to offer the perfect balance of cleansing and hydrating ingredients that work together to give you weightlessly moisturized hair without stripping away the natural oils.
Not only will it define your curls and tame frizz, but it will also leave your hair glowing.
- Moisturizing and adding shine
- It helps to define your curls
- It can have a drying effect on your hair
- It can cause tangles
Best Natural Conditioner Bars For Curly Hair:
Best for: wavy, curly, or coily-hair
Size: 110g / 3.88 oz – Up to 120 uses when used as a conditioner
Ethique Curliosity bar is a fantastic choice for conditioning and co-washing.
If you didn’t hear or tried co-washing, it is a fantastic technique to cleanse and hydrate your hair using conditioner instead of regular shampoo. You see, some shampoos can be drying, so many people, especially those with curly hair, prefer using conditioner only.
It may sound unbelievable, but trust me; you don’t need those foamy bubbles to clean your hair! Instead, the bar is made with ingredients like shea butter, jojoba, and cocoa butter and will leave your hair feeling incredibly soft and your curls beautifully defined.
- Provides deep hydration
- Reduces frizz
- It enhances your natural curls
- It can be not easy to distribute the product throughout their hair evenly
- It may not last very long if you use it for co-washing and conditioning
pH: pH balanced
Best for: dry, damaged hair
Size: 2.7 oz (77g)
Kitsch Deep-Moisturizing goes beyond moisturizing and repairing your hair. You will say goodbye to tangles and frizz as it effortlessly detangles and conditions your locks, leaving them soft and shiny.
The conditioner bar does not contain saponified oils or cold-pressed ingredients to ensure your hair’s PH level is properly balanced so your strands remain nourished, hydrated, and healthy.
And here’s a bonus: you can even use it as a hair mask! Melt a piece of the conditioner bar with a bit of water until it forms a thick paste, then apply it to your hair and let it work its magic for 10-15 minutes.
- Deep moisturizing
- Hair is easy to detangle
- It does not weigh my hair down
- It works well also for colored hair
- It gets gooey after use. If you don’t let it dry properly, you will use it up faster
- It will get through about 40 washes (not 100, as advertised), especially if your hair is long
Other Natural Products For Curly Hair:
I’ve been using the Moroccanoil for over a year and can only recommend it! It moisturizes curls extremely well without leaving any greasy feeling, even if I add more.
The instantly absorbable, non-greasy formula leaves my hair smooth, conditioned, and manageable without weighing it down.
It contains two powerful ingredients: Argan oil, known for its abundance of Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants, which deeply nourish and hydrate, and linseed derived from flaxseed, a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid—an essential fatty acid that promotes overall hair health.
If you want to test it and see if you like it, you can purchase the travel size (0.85 oz).
- Super fast absorbing & non-greasy
- You can use it on both damp and dry hair
- Very long-lasting
- Pricey (but totally worth it, in my opinion)
If your hair has been damaged and needs extra care and love, this game-changing treatment is just what you need.
Designed for dry, damaged hair and packed with a blend of nourishing oils and static-resistant guar gum, it’s the ultimate remedy for bringing vitality back to your curls.
With the power of extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, and organic avocado oil, it’s a powerhouse of nourishment that will leave your hair irresistibly smooth and shiny.
Melt down the solid treatment and apply the mixture to your locks.
- It improves texture and adds shine
- Nourishing & improves hair health
- Eliminates frizz
- It leaves a residue if you don’t wash it good
- Hard to wash out – sometimes it will need multiple shampoos to get it out of your hair
10. DIY Flaxseed Gel
pH: between 6.7 to 7.3
Best for: Any type of curly hair and for
Price: $5 – $10
Flaxseeds benefit curly hair due to their rich nutritional profile and unique properties. It has a moisturizing effect, which softens the curls while making them more manageable and less frizzy.
Flaxseeds are also nutrient-dense with vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall hair health, promoting strength, shine, and vitality in curly locks.
You can make a DIY flaxseed gel to use flaxseeds on curly hair. Here are the simple steps:
- Add 1/4 cup of flaxseeds to 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes until it thickens to a gel-like consistency. Stir occasionally.
- Once the gel is ready, use a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the flaxseeds. You’ll be left with a smooth, slippery gel that you can use on your hair.
- Apply the flaxseed gel evenly throughout your curls on freshly washed and conditioned damp hair. You can use your fingers or a wide-toothed comb to distribute the gel from roots to ends.
- Once the gel is applied, air dry your hair or style your curls as desired.
Store any excess gel in the refrigerator and use it within a week! Alternatively, you can also buy flaxseed hair gel from here.
- Leave-in & natural
- It helps to retain moisture
- Easy to make
- It doesn’t last long
- Left residues of flaxseed gel can make your hair sticky and rough
Best Eco-Friendly Natural Ingredients For Curly Hair:
You can check your local options if you don’t want to order those products. The key is to avoid products that contain silicones, sulfates, alcohols, parabens, certain waxes, and mineral oils.
Try to find shampoo and conditioner bars that contain shea butter, aloe vera, coconut, jojoba, and argan oil. Those ingredients can significantly enhance moisture retention, boost shine, and promote overall hair health.
Shea butter is high in Vitamin E content, which helps seal in moisture. It also provides relief for dryness and itchiness on the scalp. In addition, its anti-inflammatory properties make it a soothing and nourishing choice for your hair care routine.
Say hello to healthier, shinier hair with the help of aloe vera! This fantastic plant soothes your scalp, tackles oily strands, and provides vitamins A, C, and E that nourish your locks. So if you’re rocking beautiful curls, aloe vera prevents breakage and strengthens your hair.
Coconut oil is another fantastic choice for hydrating, and it is of the best oils for curly hair. It can help bring moisture to your scalp and add silky smoothness and shine to your curls.
If you’re dealing with a dry scalp, look no further than jojoba oil! This fantastic oil is known for its nourishing properties, balancing oil production, and sealing in moisture to keep your hair and scalp healthy and hydrated.
Discover the secret to glossy curls: argan oil! These fantastic oil works wonder by sealing in moisture, minimizing flyaways, and calming frizz, leaving you with enviable curls that shine with health and vitality.
The pH of shampoo bars and your curly hair:
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 pH. Between zero and 6.99 pH is acidic, and 7.01 and 14 pH are alkaline. Water itself has a pH of 7, which is considered to be neutral.
In other words, your skin’s pH is highly functional, and you want to cleanse it with pH-balanced shampoo that is a similar pH so that you don’t disrupt it and dry it out.
An interesting study found that if the pH is too alkaline, it can make our hair fibers all charged up and increase the friction between them. And you know what that means? Yep, potential damage to the hair cuticles and even breakage.
But here’s the good news: Using shampoos with a lower pH can help reduce frizz because it will generate less pesky negative static electricity on the surface of our hair fibers.
The pH of your product could make a big difference in how your hair looks and feels, so try to keep this in mind.
- What to look for in a product for curly hair? – Shea butter, aloe vera, coconut, jojoba, and argan oil.
- Which ingredients are best to avoid for curly hair? – Avoid silicones, sulfates, alcohols, parabens, certain waxes, and mineral oils.
- Should I air dry or blow dry curly hair? – You should air-dry your hair. It is the easiest way to enhance your naturally curly hair and is ideal for having healthy curls. Plus, it doesn’t require lots of time to style your hair.
When it comes to caring for my curly hair in a natural and eco-friendly way, I’ve learned the importance of considering the products I use, their pH, and the water quality.
To combat the negative impact of hard water, clarifying shampoos, water shower heads, and vinegar rinses are a huge help.
As for products, products containing nourishing ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera, coconut, jojoba, and argan oil have proven to be excellent for maintaining my curls.
By following these tips, you can be sure that you can nourish and care for your curly hair naturally and sustainably.
Now tell me, have you tried any natural or eco-friendly hair care products for your curls? If so, what were the results?