Being blessed with thick hair is an amazing thing — but caring for it is anything but easy. Like how a solid skincare regimen all stars with cleanser, the same goes for hair care — but it all depends on the right product. Finding the best shampoo for thick hair can be a daunting task, but it’s a major game-changer once you do.
Obviously, if you have lots of hair, it’s going to be more difficult to style. And while nobody here is hating on frizz, most of us can agree that hair is way more manageable when it’s smooth and knot-free. For those with a thick texture, an ineffective product can easily lead to using half a bottle of shampoo in one cleansing session. Sulfates are a good example of harsh ingredients to avoid, which can lift the hair’s cuticle and leave it dry and unruly. Choosing a shampoo that offers a balance between cleansing ingredients and conditioning agents is essential: You’ll want a hearty shampoo that fully cleans the hair without stripping the scalp of its natural oils needed for lubrication, so everything will be kept healthy and looking vibrant.
The good thing is that there are loads of shampoos that don’t use sulfates and other harsh cleansing agents. And even if you happen to have thick, oily hair? There’s an option for that and every other unique hair type, below.
1. A Creamy Yogurt Shampoo To Wake Up Thick Hair
This yogurt shampoo has a creamy — and more importantly, sulfate-free — formula that will make thick hair shine. Loaded with yogurt protein, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and prebiotics to nourish dry hair, it also contains quinoa, which helps repair damage and maintain a rich color. It’s a great option for thicker textures because it has moisturizing ingredients like hazel seed, sweet almond, and raspberry oil to keep hair from drying out. The scent is fruity (but not overpowering) and delicious, and the formula produces a lightweight lather that reviewers say makes the hair feel lighter and easier to style.
2. An Apple Cider Vinegar “No-Poo” To Nourish Kinky Hair
For thick, textured hair that remains coarse even when it’s at its healthiest, this vinegar rinse is a great way to lift product and oil build-up without stripping the scalp of its natural oils. It’s loaded with natural ingredients that are well-known for their cleansing abilities, like apple cider vinegar, manuka oil, and tea tree oil. Of course, the reason it’s a prime-choice for thick, afro-textured hair is because of the balancing formula created to retain moisture in each strand. It includes ingredients like aloe vera and avocado, which are amazingly nourishing. The chemical-free formula goes one step further and includes comfrey root extract, which stimulates hair growth by improving circulation.
3. An Ojon Oil Shampoo That Cures Dryness And Damage
T’zikal Deep Hydrating Shampoo with Ojon Oil is a Natural Conditioning Shampoo for Women – Moisturizing Shampoo for Color Treated Hair- Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment – Sulfate Free – Paraben Free, $32, Amazon
This pH balanced, hypoallergenic hydrating shampoo is great for thick hair that’s prone to dryness because of its rich emollients and ability to restore moisture. Its sulfate-free formula includes one of the hottest natural ingredients for hair therapy — ojon oil — which is native to Central America and repairs damage from heat styling, manipulation, and UV rays. Loyal customers on Amazon love the weightless shine this shampoo provides, and find it increases manageability while keeping hair squeaky clean.
4. A Grapefruit Shampoo For Brightening Thick, Color-Processed Hair
Kenra Clarifying Shampoo, $13, Amazon
If you’re using rich masks to keep your color-treated hair healthy, it might start to feel weighed down. This clarifying shampoo is a great way to remove residue left over from conditioning treatments while keeping color vibrant, especially if you have highlights or use bleach. It’s formulated with witch hazel and grapefruit to eliminate buildup, so it’s a great option for swimmers or people living with hard water because of its ability to gently remove dulling deposits.
5. An All-Natural Shampoo For Retaining Moisture
Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo, $20, Amazon
This organic shampoo produces a gentle lather that cleans and moisturizes thick hair without stripping the scalp of its natural oils. Its salon-quality formula leaves out the harsh ingredients commonly found in high-end brands, so it’s totally free of sulfates, chemicals, synthetic dyes, and fragrances. Instead, it’s filled with moisturizing emollients, like coconut and olive oil, which keep each strand strong and soft after washing.
6. A Moroccan Oil Shampoo That Makes Curls More Manageable
First Botany Cosmeceuticals Damage Repairing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo, $14, Amazon
This damage-repairing shampoo is a wonderful cleansing option for curls. The gentle, hypoallergenic formula is great for people that wash-and-go because it’s filled with natural ingredients that won’t make hair look brittle once it’s dry. It makes detangling easier, increases manageability, and revitalizes hair that’s been over-processed from straightening treatments, heat styling, and extensions. Amazon reviewers love how hydrated their scalps feels after washing it with this argan oil-infused formula, and find the subtle, natural fragrance is soothing on sensitive scalps.
7. A Fragrance-Free Shampoo For Those With Sensitive Scalps
Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Shampoo For Sensitive Skin, $12, Amazon
For those with thick hair and a sensitive scalp, this fragrance-free shampoo will work wonders to gently cleanse without causing any irritation. Its pH-balanced formula is free of common skin irritants like sulfates, dyes, fragrances, and formaldehyde, and though it’s incredibly gentle, it will still remove dirt and buildup while rehabilitating your scalp. It doesn’t matter if your scalp is super dry, flaky, or greasy — this formula is made to balance oil production and leave the hair clean and manageable. People with allergies, dandruff, and eczema will also benefit from this gentle formula.
8. A Plant-Based Healing Shampoo For Dull, Lackluster Hair
Pura D’OR Healing Conditioner, $38, Amazon
Filled with delicious smelling essential oils, this 99.9 percent plant-based healing shampoo naturally adds shine to dull hair. Its plant-based formula helps detangle the hair and provides instant hydration, bringing each strand back to life. It’s formulated with soothing lavender and vanilla essential oils, as well as nourishing emollients like coconut and argan oil, which keep thick hair moisturized. This shampoo produces a gentle lather that fully cleanses and removes product buildup and dirt, and is suitable for daily use.