8 Best Hairstylist-Approved Shampoos For 4C Hair Type (2024)

Give some love and attention to your gorgeous 4c hair with these hydrating shampoos.

Reviewed by Alexandro Vasquez, Hairdresser Alexandro Vasquez Alexandro VasquezHairdresser facebook_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA Experience: 5 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
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4C hair, commonly known as afro hair, is versatile and can be molded into the hairstyle of your choice. Since this hair type requires more care and attention than others, only the best shampoo for 4C hair will do. Before you go for the shampoo of your choice, you need to keep these few points in mind. The texture, porosity, density, and thickness all determine the quality of your hair. 4C hair tends to get entangled and needs gentle care and patience to untangle them. They can also get really dry, which causes damage and breakage. This makes it that much more essential to choose the right product. Listed below are a few shampoos that will add that oomph to your hair! Scroll down to know more!

Top Picks
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Best Cruelty-Free: Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo
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Best Color-Safe:Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo
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Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo: Artnaturals Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
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Best Gentle Formula: Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo
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Best Silicone-Free: OKAY Black Jamaican Castor Oil Shampoo
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Best Petroleum-Free:Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Luscious Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner SetPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Hydrating Formula:tgin Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner Duo
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Best Nourishing Formula: Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse
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8 Best Shampoos For 4C Hair Type You Must Try In 2024

1. Best Cruelty-Free: Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo

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4.5
SoftSheen-Carson No-Lye Relaxer Image: Softsheen-carson

This range falls under the category of gentle, cleansing shampoos for curly hair. It is made in the USA using all-natural ingredients. This moisturizing shampoo doesn’t only cleanse the hair but also helps in detangling by retaining moisture and hydrating every hair shaft evenly. The ingredients in the shampoo help in deep conditioning your wavy hair and improve the overall hair health. Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo is hands down, one of the best products to have graced the market to help solve curly-hair problems. This hair care product lets your natural curls shine and keeps your hair color intact.

Hair Type: Wavy, textured, Frizzy, Color Treated, Curly, Dry, Chemically Treated, Thick, Coily | Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 2.1 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 12.8 Ounces.

Pros

  • Hydrates hair
  • Detangles curls with ease
  • Does not disrupt the natural oil balance of the hair
  • Cruelty-free
  • Does not contain parabens, paraffin, petroleum products or derivatives

Cons

  • Leaves behind residue if not rinsed off well
  • Makes hair oily

protip_icon Pro Tip
You can follow up with leave-in hair masks after shampooing to improve your scalp health and enhance hair growth.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

A whopping 363 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.

2. Best Color-Safe: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo

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4.4
SheaMoisture Curl and Shine Coconut Shampoo for Curly Hair Coconut and Hibiscus Paraben Free Shampoo 13 oz 13 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Sheamoisture

This shampoo guarantees soft, bouncy hair and is made using hand-picked natural ingredients like organic shea butter. It helps restore hydration and makes your hair easy to manage. Formulated using natural ingredients, this curl-defining shampoo helps enhance the shine and luster of your curls, giving you frizz-free, healthy and natural hair. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo does wonders for 4C hair types and helps to add volume and bounce to it. If you are a fan of shea-butter based hair products, this frizz control volumizing shampoo is a must try! You can also use a deep conditioning cream to get the most benefits of the shampoo and to improve the overall hair health. If you are struggling to take care of your natural curls, this hair care product is for you. If you need further convincing, check this YouTuber’s review out. Also, this hair care brand prides itself for testing on people and not animals.

Hair Type: Thick and Curly hair | Product Dimensions: 2.68 x 2.68 x 6.24 inches | Weight: 13.97 Ounces

Pros

  • Free from sulfates
  • Consists of all-natural ingredients
  • Color-safe
  • Can be used daily
  • Helps manage curls with ease

Cons

  • It has a strong fragrance
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has garnered over 1,509 positive reviews on Amazon, and the number continues to grow.

3. Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo: Artnaturals Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo

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4.3
Artnaturals Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo Image: Art Naturals

The Artnaturals Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo effectively makes your hair silky, smooth, and shiny. It contains natural and organic ingredients that help repair damaged hair and add extra protection from heat and excess styling effects. It is a sulfate-free, hydrating shampoo that removes the excess oils and dirt from your hair and leaves you with zero greasiness or residue. The shampoo is ideal for both men and women with 4C-type curly hair. This anti-breakage shampoo contains hydrating minerals and oils that keep your hair and scalp hydrated, soft, and refreshed. It also provides ample moisture to prevent your hair from breaking. In addition, Argan oil will help repair dry, brittle, and damaged hair caused by blow drying, flat ironing, and sun exposure. It also helps in conditioning your hair, makes your natural curls soft and bouncy, and protects it while heat styling.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 5 inches | Weight: 1 Pounds

Pros

  • Ideal for men and women
  • Hydrating and repairing
  • Sulfate-free
  • No chemicals
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-GMO hypoallergenic
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • A bit costly

Our Tester's Experience

"This shampoo works wonders on my long hair and leaves a pleasant smell. It makes the hair glossy and manageable without tangles. It has helped reduce my hair loss problem and made it healthy and shining. It may cause a bit of dryness, but nothing that a mousse or serum cannot handle."


protip_icon Pro Tip
Avoid using styling tools after shampooing and deep conditioning to maintain 4C hair.
Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Best Cruelty-Free
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo
Best Color-Safe
Artnaturals Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Hair Type Wavy, textured, Frizzy, Color Treated, Curly, Dry, Chemically Treated, Thick, Coily Thick and Curly hair All
Dimensions 2.1 x 2.1 x 7.5 inches 2.68 x 2.68 x 6.24 inches 2 x 2 x 5 inches
Weight 12.8 Ounces. 13.97 Ounces 1 Pounds
Rating
Reviews3631,5091,837
Price$11.99$9.73$12.95

4. Best Gentle Formula: Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo

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4.5
Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo Image: Cantu

Specially formulated to prevent  hair breakage, this repairing shampoo gently cleanses hair while  shampooing. The shampoo produces thick lather and removes dirt and buildup more effectively than other shampoos formulated for 4C hair. It Consists of pure shea butter, which  deeply moisturizes your hair . This deeply conditioning ingredient is good for brittle hair as well as coily hair. So, for those looking for a solution to hair-breakage, this growth promoting sulfate-free shampoo with a pleasant citrusy scent and creamy texture is what you must get your hands on! If you love to leave your hair in loose waves, definitely try out this shampoo. Check out this video review on YouTube featuring the tester’s experience to get a better understanding of the Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo.

Hair Type: Wavy, Curly, Coily | Product Dimensions: 3 x 1.75 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 14.11 Ounces

Pros

  • Sulfate and paraben-free
  • It works great on 4C hair to remove dirt
  • Does not contain mineral oil
  • It has a pleasant smell

Cons

  • Can weigh your hair down
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 565 reviews, this product has become a fan favorite among users.

5. Best Silicone-Free: OKAY Black Jamaican Castor Oil Shampoo

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4.5

This rich shampoo, which is made in the USA, comprises exotic natural ingredients like vitamin E, omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, and argan oil along with some other key nourishing ingredients. It helps to improve hair elasticity and the texture of hair, thereby imparting a natural luster to it. It is safe for daily usage. The argan oil helps in giving a deep conditioning treatment to the hair to help dull hair regain hair strength and become less brittle. Generally, those with 4C hair types find managing their hair quite challenging. But thanks to OKAY Black Jamaican Castor Oil Shampoo, they can keep these troubles at bay. Check out the review of this strengthening shampoo on YouTube to know why it is one of the best ones out there.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 2.25 x 8 x 2.25 inches | Weight: 12.52 Ounces

Pros

  • Sulfate, paraben, and cruelty-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Detangles curls

Cons

  • Some may find the smell too strong

Our Tester's Experience

"This shampoo is soothing for dry and itchy scalp. It made my hair soft and I loved the pleasant smell. It helped in strengthening my hair strands. However, it may not be suitable for daily use. I use it alternating with other hair care products to maintain the balance."


protip_icon Did You Know?
4C hair is the only type that can shrink up to 75%.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received over 313 rave reviews on Amazon, proving it is a mass favorite.

6. Best Petroleum-Free: Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Luscious Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner Set

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4.4
Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Shampoo and Conditioner Image: Carol’s Daughter

Transform your unmanageable hair into soft and shiny hair with Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner set. The moisture shampoo is color-safe, gently cleanses your hair, restores your hair’s natural moisture, and improves scalp health. The presence of aloe vera, sweet clover, and rose in the shampoo provides 3X moisture to your 4C curls. The blend of shea butter, lavender, and vanilla in the conditioner adds smoothness and shine, making the hair detangled and soft. It also makes the hair more manageable. This hair care product offers a deep conditioning treatment that makes hair soft and bouncy. Also, several Amazon reviewers noted that their hair looked noticeably shiny after using this formula for a few weeks.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 4.5 x 8.38 inches | Weight: 1.5 Pounds

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • No petrolatum
  • Mineral oil-free
  • No artificial colors
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Value for money

Cons

  • None

7. Best Hydrating Formula: tgin Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner Duo

tgin Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner Duo is suitable for all hair types and works wonderfully well on 4c hair types. The rich shampoo, followed by the triple-moisture replenishing conditioner, helps to maintain the natural oil balance of the hair while also making it lustrous and healthy. This shampoo consists of coconut oil and pro-vitamin B5, which helps manage your curls easily, while the shine-enhancing conditioner is composed of shea butter, argan oil, and jojoba oil that work towards retaining the moisture. tgin Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner Duo is perfect for 4C curls as it does not strip the hair follicles of its natural oils and rejuvenates your scalp. These amazing products are great for the healthy growth of your hair.

Hair Type: Curly Hair,Dry Hair | Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 5.5 x 6.6 inches | Weight: 1.88 Pounds

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Free from sulfates, lanolin, petroleum, etc.
  • Free from harsh or harmful chemicals
  • Not tested on animals
  • Enables natural-oil retention

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 369 reviews claiming its efficacy.

8. Best Nourishing Formula: Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse

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4.5
Camille Rose Image: Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse

Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse by Camille Rose Naturals is a perfect formula composed of Asian ginger, essential oils, and castor seeds, which leave your hair feeling nourished and soft. It helps in the retention of moisture in your hair and makes 4C hair more manageable. If you are worried about dehydrated hair or extreme dryness, this shampoo is for you. You can use it regularly without worrying about it drying out your hair. This product is perfect for those who are looking to make their curls bouncy and moisturized. It also has an aromatic fragrance that gives you a soothing cleansing experience.

Hair Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 2.69 x 2.69 x 6.5 inches | Weight: 11.99 Ounces

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone and paraben-free
  • Highly recommended for 4c hair

Cons

  • The product may take a while to rinse off
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

4C hair looks gorgeous, but needs a lot of maintenance to look its best! Hair care for 4C starts with the right shampoo and if you do not find your perfect fit, your hair may end up looking frizzy, dry, and excessively voluminous. But before you go off buying a shampoo off the shelf, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

Things To Know Before Buying A Shampoo For 4C Hair

  • Ingredients

Natural is the way to go if you want to maintain the health of your hair for a long time. Look for nourishing ingredients like aloe vera and coconut oil that help prevent hair loss and damage and improve overall hair texture. Opt for clarifying ingredients for effective cleansing. Avoid products with parabens, paraffin, lanolin, silicone, sulfates, mineral oil and petroleum. Those that mention ‘non-toxic’, ‘dermatologist-tested’, or ‘clinically proven’ on their packaging are good options. Avoid shampoos that contain artificial colors.

  • Hair Concerns

Since you need to start the detangling process in the shower itself, a shampoo that helps you do just that is a good buy. Also, opt for lightweight formulas as they will minimize product build-up and greasiness. However, if you have a dry scalp and frizzy, dry hair, you should go for creamy or oil-based formulations for enhanced scalp care and hair loss prevention. Dehydrated hair, itchy scalp, and frizzy hair require extra care and formulations that reduce scalp buildup.

Those who have chemically-treated their hair or colored it should go for specially formulated shampoos. Products marked ‘color-safe’ will not only keep in the color for a longer time but also add moisture to your strands.

Fragrance

Always stick to shampoos that have no added fragrances. This ensures your hair and scalp do not have to deal with extra chemicals. However, if you absolutely want a perfumed shampoo, stick to those with natural scents like lavender, coconut or jojoba.

Usage

Look for products that offer long lasting results. As washing your hair is a mammoth task, you should try to ensure it stays fresh as long as possible between washes. Shampoos that thoroughly cleanse the scalp to get rid of product-build up, dirt, grease, and grime are good options. Also, 4C hair needs a lot of hydration, so unless you have an excessively oily scalp, look at shampoos that moisturize your curls while cleansing it.

The Bottom Line

4C hair type has coiled curls that are difficult to maintain, and they require a lot of effort and patience to detangle the knots. The strands are prone to dryness, dullness, and breakage. Therefore, they require shampoos that help retain the texture and thickness and keep your hair feeling soft and hydrated. Opt for the Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo if you need moisturizing and detangling properties. For overall manageability issues, the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo is your solution. And if your dry and damaged hair needs some nourishment and softness, get the tgin Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner Duo. These shampoos contain natural ingredients like almond and avocado oil and shea butter that are gentle and penetrate deep into the scalp to promote scalp moisture as well as promote healthy hair growth, increase hair elasticity, and help in detangling your hair smoothly. These shampoos for 4C hair are a one-stop solution for damaged hair. These products are lightweight, cruelty-free, and color-safe. However, some may leave some residue. Check the product reviews to help you pick the rght shampoo for 4C hair.

Infographic: Key Ingredients In Shampoos For 4C Hair Type

Your hair needs equal attention as your other body parts, and you need to choose a suitable shampoo to reap benefits. Before you do that, it is important to know what the components of a shampoo are and how they can benefit your hair and scalp type. Check out the infographic below to learn about the key ingredients in shampoos for 4C hair type and make a wise purchase.

Key Ingredients In Shampoos For 4C Type Hair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Why Trust Stylecraze?

Medha Deb, the author of this article, has an immense interest in hair care. After extensive research and reading many user reviews from trusted forums, she curated this list of the best shampoos for 4c hair type. This narrowed-down list can make readers’ choices easy. These shampoos hydrate the hair and are suitable for daily use. In addition, they manage hair loss effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

What shampoo is good for 4C low porosity hair?

The Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo is good for 4C low porosity hair. It moisturizes and nourishes the hair deeply while cleansing it thoroughly.

What is the best way to wash 4C hair?

Wash your 4C hair only once or twice in 15 days. Follow the steps below for simple tricks to clean your hair.
• Detangle your hair before stepping into your washroom. This will save a lot of time while shampooing.
• Spritz water in your hair and section it into four parts. Use hair ties to hold the sections separately in place. Wash one section at a time.
• Apply some shampoo to your scalp and hair. Massage gently to lather, giving special attention to your scalp.
• Rinse your hair thoroughly and re-tie that section of the hair.
• Repeat this with the other sections. Once all the sections are cleansed, untie all your hair.
• Run water through your hair to make sure that no product is retained.
• Squeeze out all the water and tie a t-shirt to dry your hair.

What shampoo is best for damaged long 4C hair?

For damaged 4C hair, always avoid shampoos with harsh ingredients like parabens and sulfates. They dry out your hair and make it even more brittle. Look for nourishing and moisturizing ingredients like avocado oil, argan oil, coconut oil, vitamin E, and shea butter. These ingredients protect hair from thinning and breakage, strengthen your tresses, increase hair elasticity, and make it healthy.


Alexandro Vasquez

Alexandro VasquezHairdresser

Alexandro Vasquez has been a hairdresser since 1997 and has worked in various countries, including Brazil, Spain, Ireland, Indonesia, Singapore, and UAE. His experience spans salon brands such as Toni&Guy, Aveda, and Leekaja. He specializes in traveling and training hair salon staff around the world. He is adept at adapting to different styles and cultures and speaks 3 languages –...read full bio

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