A major mission for those with curly hair is to find a way to effectively cleanse hair without stripping it.
Type 2 waves can be especially dry and fragile, while Type 3 curls need moisture for more definition. We often try to overcompensate for drying shampoos by doubling up on conditioning treatments, but wouldn’t it be nice if our hair was never stripped of moisture in the first place?
There are many new gentle cleansers containing natural, nourishing ingredients that are ideal for Type 2 and Type 3 curls. Check out our picks for optimal wave and curl cleansing!
QUIZ: What's Your Curl Type?
Wavy-haired girls can really benefit from low-foaming or completely sulfate free cleansers. This means that strands won’t be stripped of their natural oils.
Type 2A waves will love Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Cleansing Shampoo, which is free of sulfates and excludes parabens and silicones as well. Silicones weigh hair down, so formulas without them are great for creating volume. This shampoo contains green tea and Vitamins B5 and E for added softness.
A great option for 2A curls that tend to be oilier (or if you have product buildup) is Kinky-Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo. This sulfate and paraben-free formula contains mandarin orange extract and sea kelp and keeps hair moisture levels balanced.
Type 2B waves tend to be a little bit drier, so a creamier cleanser may be necessary.
Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream makes strands silky with avocado oil and free of harsh detergents as well. It comes in three different scent options (including fragrance-free for those with allergies), but the Citrus Lavender is wonderful!
Another option containing natural ingredients is Carol's Daughter Rosemary Mint Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo. This cleanser contains refreshing rosemary, peppermint, and sage oils that will make hair shiny.
Type 2C hair often consists of a mixture of waves and curls. In order to cater to both patterns, it is necessary to find gentle cleansers that moisturize without adding too much weight.
U R Curly Soya Shampoo is free of drying alcohol and contains scalp-soothing ingredients like abyssinian oil, tea tree oil, and aloe vera.
Another mild cleansing option is DevaCurl Low-Poo, which is extremely popular for those who do not want to commit to the full “curly girl” method of using only conditioner to cleanse hair. It is also sulfate and paraben-free.
Type 3 curls benefit in many ways from the same cleansers as Type 2’s do, but they have more texture and often need a bit more moisture in order to maintain curl form and elasticity.
ApHogee Curlific! Textured Hair Wash works well on Type 3A hair (and really on all variations of Type 3 curls) because it helps to detangle and reduce frizz, especially in humid environments.
QUIZ: What's Your Curl Type?
Tighter Type 3B curls perform well with cleansers that contain protective oils.
Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Shampoo has a creamy formula that is free of petroleum and mineral oil. It contains monoi oil and hibiscus extract, which are ideal for repairing damaged hair.
EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Cleansing CoWash promotes growth and contains shea butter and coconut oil, which add necessary weight to help manage curls.
Type 3C Curly Hair
Curls and coils that fall under the Type 3C category (along with Type 4’s) need the maximum amount of moisture.
Karen's Body Beautiful Delicate Do No Poo Lather Free Hair Wash is a new product that contains nettle and aloe vera and is ideal for detangling and repairing coarser hair.
As I Am Cleansing Pudding was voted as one of NaturallyCurly’s Best of the Best in 2012 and works from the scalp to revitalize and add moisture to curly strands. It has a balancing effect that helps to promote growth.
What are your favorite gentle cleansers for Type 2 and 3 curls? Let us know!