The 10+ Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Curly Hair 2021

Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Curly Hair

It takes more effort to maintain and nurture curly hair than common hair because the curly shape often prevents the oil and nutrients from deeply penetrating.

You will thank us, knowing these best drugstore shampoo and conditioner for curly hair products. They contain safe and helpful ingredients such as pure coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, glycerin, aloe vera, etc., to give a smooth texture to the scalp.

If you are in a hurry , the following summary of the top 10 products will come in handy. Let’s check it out!

Drugstore shampoos:

Drugstore conditioners:

7+ In-depth Reviews for The Best Drugstore Shampoo for Curly Hair

All products on the list are hand-picked and tested to ensure that they will cause no harm to your beautiful curly hair. More importantly, they are always readily available  in any local drugstore!

L’Oréal Paris EverCurl – Best for Curly Hair in Cold Weather

General information:

  • Ingredients: Coconut oil quenches
  • Aroma: Strong floral scent
  • Free of sulfates, vegan, harsh sales, and parabens

Best for curly hair in cold weather:

Low dew points, wind, and snow in winter make your beautiful hair ridiculously tangled and frizzy. Your curls need additional water more than ever. As a result, you should use a shampoo that provides additional moisture. Meanwhile, it is light enough not to weigh down your curls.

Take the L’Oréal Paris EverCurl, for example.

The key ingredient of this shampoo is coconut oil, which is supposed to deeply penetrate the shaft rather than on the surface like others.

Even more, the EverCurl of L’Oréal Paris has an amazing slip – it is rare for drugstore shampoos. 

When contacting your palm, you will find the shampoo is very lubricated. It means a deeper application and longer effect inside your curls – up to 48 hours, we can confirm. It’s great because you do not want to shampoo too much in cold weather, right?

Note:

This shampoo is very nutritious to your hair, and it cleans the dirt away. However, you should know that the EverCurl also stripped out hair colors – revealed by some customers.

Moreover, its scent is overwhelming with a heavy floral aroma rather than a hint of coconut oil. This characteristic might be a turn-off for some users with a keen nose.

Pros:

  • Deep penetration to improve curls’ quality
  • Lubricated for longer effects in the winter
  • Nutritious coconut oil to extra moisture against winter conditions
  • Lightweight application
  • No harsh surfactants and salts

Cons:

  • Color stripping
  • Strong scent

Maui Moisture Curl Quench – Best for Thick Curls

General information:

  • Ingredients: Coconut oil and aloe vera
  • Aroma: Light scent
  • Free of mineral oils, silicones, parabens, etc.

Best for thick curls:

If you want a deep penetrating formula like the shampoo of L’Oréal Paris but do not like its strong scent, we recommend using Maui Moisture Curl Quench then.

The shampoo is also mainly made from curl-defining coconut oil. Thus, you can expect it to work effectively and restore the shine and health of your curls. In addition, there are additional agents such as aloe vera, plumeria extract, as well as papaya extract.

Together, they create deep moisturizing blends to nurture the ultra-thick curls and soak them up with water. You will not feel any weighing-down on your curls because oils in the shampoo will be intaken extremely fast, leaving a light application.

The smell is comfortable on the nose and lingers throughout the day.

Note:

A tip from our testing team is to apply shampoo to very damp hair. You can mix it with some water before dabbing it on your hair.

Moreover, you will not want to use too much product. Otherwise, it can cause grease on your curls — it does more damage than cure in such a case.

Pros:

  • Very affordable price
  • The nice smell on your hair
  • Deep penetration on thick curls
  • Free of harmful chemicals but plenty of curl-oriented ingredients

Con:

  • Hair grease while using too much

Design Essential Natural Shampoo – Best for Colored Curly Hairs

General information:

  • Ingredients: Almond and avocado oil
  • Aroma: Neutral scent
  • Free of sulfates, vegan, harsh sales, and parabens

Best for colored curly hair:

Color-treated curls make you look more stylish – as long as you apply proper care for it. Otherwise, you won’t look as put together as you wish. One key to take home is to buy sulfate-free hair products. They do not strip the color while cleaning your hair.

Design Essential Natural Shampoo is a recommendation.

It has no paraffin, parabens, petroleum, mineral oil, and, more importantly – no sulfates. The shampoo clears out the dirt and build-up without stripping the natural oils and colors on hair.

Even better, the shampoo will also add moisture to your curls, using the combination of almond and avocado oils. 

The two oils are famous for increasing hair strength and softness from the inside: Vitamin A, E, and Omega-3 acids in almond agents enable length retention, whereas avocado oil is packed with monounsaturated fats.

Our tester used to have thick, thirsty, color-treated hair; she decided to use the Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing shampoo. In the end, she could run my fingers through it, and it did not feel dried out or start breaking off like it did when I used sulfate shampoos.

Note:

It is easy to use the shampoo by applying it to wet hair and lather. However, you will want to rinse or clean it carefully because many customers found grease and residue after cleaning.

Not to mention, the shampoo feels a little heavy on the curls if you overuse it.

Pros:

  • Good moisturizing and hair growing
  • A completely sulfate-free formula to retain dyed curly hair
  • Deep penetration into thick, curly hair

Cons:

  • Residue and grease if overused
  • Heavy application on hair if overused

Carol’s Daughter Coco Crème Curl – Best Affordable Shampoo for Curly Hair

General information:

  • Ingredients: A combination of coconut milk and oil, mango butter, and murumuru butter
  • Aroma: Mixture of mango and coconut
  • No sulfates, artificial colors, or paragons

Best budget for all hair types:

No doubt, Carol’s Daughter Coco Crème Curl is one of the most popular drugstore shampoos on the market, which can be bought at any local drugstore. Many consumers praised it as affordable but surprisingly effective to make curls popping!

What is special about this shampoo?

Coco Crème is a homage to the beauty of coconut and the magic of those childhood memories in her kitchen. “In the beginning, I added my oils to unscented things I would buy at the drugstore and then I began to mix up butters in my kitchen” said Lisa, Carol’s Daughter Founder.

And now the shampoo is blended with Coconut Oil and Milk, plus Murumuru and Mango Butters.

The benefits of coconut oil are a no-brainer, but you will be surprised that mango butter is effective and lightweight on your hair with nutrients and antioxidants as well.

Moreover, despite the small amount, the murumuru butter provides additional fatty acid to promote moisture retention and cuticle sealing – much needed to keep your curls from turning undesirably frizzy.

Not only does the shampoo clean build-up without stripping the dried colors out, but it can also take care of your curls – make them soft and shiny.

Note:

So far, so good, except that the Crème Curl shampoo does not last long on your hair, and you might end up frequently shampooing to get the best result.

Another note is to wait for the scent to fade out before applying a heated treatment to your hair. Otherwise, the smell might be rather overwhelming.

Pros:

  • Affordable drugstore shampoo
  • Rich nutritious formula
  • Additional fatty acid included
  • Not heavy on your hair

Cons:

  • The bad smell when being heated
  • Not long-lasting on hair

OGX Extra Strength Damage Remedy – Best for Damaged Curls

General information:

  • Ingredients: A blend of with coconut oil, the Tiare essence, and vanilla bean extract
  • Aroma: Strong scent of coconut nut 
  • No sulfates, artificial colors, or paragons

Best for damaged curls:

Why do we choose an OGX bottle as the best drugstore sulfate free shampoo for damaged curly hair?

In fact, this shampoo is controversial since some beauty bloggers praised it for treating the damaged scalp with moisture and nutrients; meanwhile, others claimed that the shampoo contains silicones and salt that cause even worse damage.

We bought one bottle to try within three weeks. The result is auspicious; the damaged curls are significantly cured and become shiny again.

The impressive outcome is thanks to the blended formula of coconut oil, the Tiare essence, and vanilla bean extract because they are all helpful moisturizers, especially for tight curls. 

They are also free of sulfates, vegan, harsh sales, and parabens. You will not have to worry about scalp irritations, hair loss, and frizziness.

We love the Tiare ingredient the most. It helps rẹuvenate and condition damaged scalp and hair cuticle, and more excitingly, it provides a soothing smell on hair for one or two days.

Note:

From our expectation, we wonder whether people complaining about the shampoo use it properly.

The OGX Extra Strength Damage Remedy provides a lot of moisture, and it can be heavy. We would not recommend it for very fine thin curls unless you wished to experience grease or residue.

Our true concern is the shampoo’s capacity. You might need to wash your curls more frequently than normal; thus, the bottle runs out quickly!

Pros:

  • Affordable and accessible drugstore shampoo
  • Smells pleasantly for 1-2 days and soft on hair
  • Good at curing damaged curls in a short period
  • No harsh surfactants and salts

Cons:

  • Greasy on thin curls
  • Frequent uses required

Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Shampoo – Best for Curl Loss

General information:

  • Ingredients: Aloe Extract and Vitamin E load
  • Aroma: A cucumber scent
  • Free of sulfates, vegan, harsh sales, and parabens

Best for hair loss:

When you have undergone hormonal changes, for example, during your pregnancy, puberty, or menopause, your curls start to be split or even fall. Do not worry; proper maintenance can help save the condition.

Here we introduce the Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Shampoo, which features two main ingredients: aloe extract and vitamin E.

The aloe extract – like you can find on some shampoos as above, has many benefits. It calms your sensitive, itchy scalp while stripping off excessive sebum and residue effectively – allowing your curls a clean and healthy base to thrive.

Then, vitamin E can help shine to dry, frizzy kinks, curls, and waves.

Note:

Be careful because the shampoo gets the cleaning job done effectively. However, it means a deep clean that can strip the natural oil away. If you have fine curls, you had better check other products on this list.

Some consumers also complain about the scent. At first, it was as nicely fresh as a cucumber. Nonetheless, the scent is very light and will disappear quickly.

Hence, more scent is required because when it comes to a Fructis shampoo, you would expect a fruity odor, but it turns out to be odorless.

Pros:

  • Vitamin E to heal split-ends and frizziness
  • Aloe vera to calm itchiness, thus reducing curl loss
  • The pure formula for even sensitive scalps
  • Deep clean on curls
  • No grease founded

Cons:

  • Odorless
  • Not for dry hair

Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo – Best for Curls with Dandruff

General information:

  • Ingredients: Ketoconazole 1% to treat dandruff
  • Aroma: A medicated fresh scent
  • No sulfates, artificial colors, or paragons

Best for curls with noticeable dandruff:

Dandruff makes your gorgeous curls less attractive, particularly if your hair has a black tone. Not to mention, it is an indicator of fungus, and it causes scalps to be red, flaky, and itchy.

Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo – as the name suggests, helps treat dandruff thanks to its ketoconazole content. It helps reduce the growth of Seborrheic dermatitis fungus effectively. 

One small pilot study consisting of 15 people with alopecia revealed that ketoconazole might improve hair regrowth as well. So convenient to kill two birds with one stone!

Note:

Ketoconazole can have side effects sometimes, such as pimple-like bumps and skin irritation. Some users report that the shampoo causes either dryness or oiliness on the scalps, which might be due to the deep cleaning performance.

You should know that the shampoo has a medicated fresh scent rather than a smell of perfumes or natural oils. If you are not used to drugstore products, you might not like them.

Pros:

  • Excellent at treating dandruff
  • Boosting hair growth
  • A medicated fresh scent
  • Lightweight on hair
  • Deep cleaning ability

Cons:

  • Expensive shampoo
  • Some side effects

3+ Best Drugstore Conditioner for Curly Hair: In-depth Reviews

Dove Amplified Textures Shampoo & Conditioners – Best for Thin Curls

General information:

  • Ingredients: Coconut milk, aloe, as well as jojoba agents
  • Aroma: Perfume-like scent
  • No sulfates, artificial colors, or paragons

Best for thin curls:

Thick curls are a headache to take care of, but fragile curls are a true nightmare. You need to keep a delicate balance by not using too many products or products that are sticky or heavy. Otherwise, the thin curls easily get frizzy.

Dove Amplified Textures set is a good drugstore shampoo and conditioner for curly hair to trust. It is a designed line built with Black girl curls in mind.

The main ingredient is sulfate-free aloe. You can expect the shampoo to clean all build-up, whereas it restores the moisture and shine of your curls.

Besides, there is natural coconut milk and jojoba oil in the formula to help fasten the moisture penetration. The two oils are super slippery to be intaken quickly on the thin hair and leave no heavy feeling. Moreover, they nurture the hair from the inside, making your curls stronger over time.

The shampoo and conditioner smell amazing. And we loved that they were rich enough that we didn’t need to use a lot to get a good lather and get to all my strands. The slip was great, and we detangled with no issues.

Note:

After cleaning all the shampoo from your hair and waiting for some minutes to reduce the water-soaked situation, you can apply the conditioner or leave-in conditioner.

With the conditioner, you will use it under the shower. Meanwhile, you will want to “leave” the leave-in conditioner on your hair – from roots to the ends, so that your tresses are better nourished and soft like silk. No rising is required.

Pros:

  • A package of three products
  • Moisture-rich shampoo and conditioners
  • Light on thin curly hair
  • Strengthening thin curls from within
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Expensive package
  • Too perfume-like scent

DevaCurl One Condition Decadence Conditioner – Best for Sensitive Curly Hair

General information:

  • Ingredients: Chufa milk, blended with quinoa protein
  • Aroma: A strong perfume scent
  • No sulfates, artificial colors, or paragons

Best for the sensitive scalp:

The scalp is the most neglected and abused skin on our body. Only when you have a sensitive scalp will you pay attention to it and make more effort in finding suitable hair products. 

Itchy scalps cause pain, distraction, and hair loss, etc. At that time, DevaCurl One Condition Decadence Conditioner is supposed to save your life.

Ingredients are free of sulfates, artificial colors, or paragon. Most noticeably, quinoa protein is good for sensitive and low-porosity hair since it goes into the hair quickly without weighing our hair down.

In the end, your dry hair will be soft to touch.

Note:

You should use the conditioner after the shower, leaving it on for 10 minutes. All nutrients can be intaken into the scalp. Wash the conditioner cleanly in the end to prevent fungi or grease.

A small complaint about the conditioner is its strong scent that resembles that of floral or woody perfumes. If you are not used to such a strong smell, you may suffer a slight headache.

Pros:

  • Not expensive
  • A pH-balanced formula for sensitive scalp
  • Scalp-friendly ingredients
  • No harsh and abrasive chemicals
  • Deep penetration

Cons:

  • Strong woody perfumes
  • A little watery look on hair 

L’Oreal Paris Elvive Renewing Conditioner – Best for Damaged Curls

General information:

  • Ingredients: A mixture of protein and ceramide to fortify each strand.
  • Aroma: Fresh scent
  • Free of sulfates, vegan, harsh sales, and parabens

Best for damaged curls:

Keep reading the L’Oreal Paris Elvive Renewing Conditioner – a good drugstore conditioner for all curly hair types, particularly when using shampoo for damaged curls.

The Total Repair Extreme conditioner is supposed to penetrate layers deep from roots to ends. Then, it repairs broken hair fibers and brings strength and shine to your hair.

We appreciate that the product can control the scalp oil effectively, and you will not have to condition your hair too frequently. After a time, you can expect your hair to be smooth and shiny, reducing frizzes. The hair loss also reduces significantly.

Plus, the conditioner is its extensive capacity at an affordable price. You won’t be bothered buying a new bottle for a very long time.

Note:

Apply some conditioner on your palm, and then rub it on your damp hair, focusing on its ends. You will want to run your fingers to promote the penetration and let it stay for 1-3 minutes.

Remember to rinse off the conditioner thoroughly. Otherwise, the conditioner will weigh down the hair and even leave a residue.

Pros:

  • Big bottle at a low price
  • Good texture and smell
  • Excellent penetrating ability to cure damaged curls
  • Oil control to grow new hair strands and replace dull ones
  • Fresh, smooth scent

Cons:

  • Possible residue sometimes
  • Not for dry scalp

FAQs

Drugstore vs. Normal Hair Products: Which Is Better for Curly Hair?

A drugstore hair care product often features fewer ingredients, so you might wonder whether it is as helpful as salon shampoo.

We can confirm that salon products are better at caring for your hair since they have a high concentration of oils, vitamins, and minerals. 

Meanwhile, drugstore shampoos and conditioners have paraben-free and sulfate-free ingredients but with more fillers. Those chemicals can strip natural oils away, causing the hair to be dry.

It does not mean that drugstore products are not well-worth purchasing as long as you know your hair condition and choose one among the 10 products mentioned. There is a good chance that you will get an affordable shampoo and conditioner for curly hair.

How to Choose The Best Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner for Curly Hair?

Here are several factors to help you bring home an affordable and helpful hair product.

  • Moisturizing formulation

Curly hair looks gorgeous but often dry quickly since the texture often blocks natural oils from reaching the scalp. Your hair ends up being dizzy while trying to intake water from the environment.

For that reason, you will want to use ultra-conditioning products. They usually contain essential oils to rejuvenate and tress your hair in the water.

  • Porosity

You should identify the porosity of your curly hair to choose a suitable product. For instance, curls with a high porosity often soak up lots of moisture. Whereas low porosity hair will not absorb oils quickly, and you should avoid heavy shampoos or conditioners.

The easiest way to test your hair’s porosity, suggested by Healthline is to drop a single strand into a glass of water. Low porosity means the strand will float at the top before it sinks; normal porosity situation is when it floats in the middle of the glass. If it quickly sinks to the bottom, your strand has a high porosity.

  • High-quality ingredients

Drugstore hair products might not offer as many nutrients as salon ones, but they need to be safe – with high-quality agents such as essential oils, glycerin, shea butter, aloe vera, etc.

  • Protein level

Protein on hair products can make your curls stiff and dry, which causes some difficulties while styling the hair. As a result, you should consider it carefully.

  • Shampoos/conditioners with slip

Slip is helpful to keep the hair manageable and tangle-free. It reduces the time to detangle and also avoids damages to your curls.

Do You Also Need a Drugstore Conditioner?

Using drugstore shampoos is good, but a very high frequency will cause dry and split ends. Then, conditioners are recommended to bring back nutrients and shiny beauty to your curls.

Takeaway

Of all, we would suggest L’Oréal Paris EverCurl Shampoo, in combination with L’Oreal Paris Elvive Renewing Conditioner, since products from the same brand are often made to work well together.

We hope you will be able to pick up some products from the best drugstore shampoo and conditioner for curly hair listed above. Although, always keep in mind that whatever is in your shopping cart then, you will want to keep your hair condition in mind.

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Edna

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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