The curly girl method just keeps growing in popularity, because it is so extremely effective at returning lifeless curls and waves back to their previous glory.

Yet, it can still be challenging to find products that are curly girl approved. One of the first products you will be looking for, especially if you are looking for curly girl products for wavy hair, is a curly girl approved shampoo.

Related: 7 curly girl approved hair oils for shiny locks

Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

What shampoos are curly girl approved?

So, what shampoos can you use if you decide to follow the curly girl method? The first step is understanding that it’s all about the ingredients. Lorraine Massey, the author of the curly girl method, identified a few ingredients that kill your curls.

CGM ingredients to avoid

So, what should curly hair stay away from?

  • Sulfates
  • Silicones
  • petroleum
  • drying alcohols

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just buy products that don’t have these ingredients? Unfortunately, you won’t find an ingredient list saying “silicones”. No, these hide behind names like “Dimethicone”, “Cyclomethicone”, or “Amodimethicone”, to just name a few.

So finding curly girl approved shampoos can easily become a long process of checking long ingredient lists manually. But don’t worry. I’ve got a nice list for you!

What shampoos are good for curly hair?

Alright, now that you know which ingredients to avoid, one last word of information: in the original curly girl method, it is recommended to go “poo-free”. Meaning, it is recommended to avoid using shampoo completely and washing with conditioner instead. (Gentler cleaning, less drying out of the hair.)

Still, many people opt for using shampoos, just avoiding the above-mentioned ingredients. And, depending on your hair type, that might work much better for you than co-washing.

If that’s you, here comes a list of curly girl-approved shampoos for you to choose from. Enjoy!

Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore Shampoo*

Shea Moisture is a super popular brand for fans of the curly girl method. They have lots of products that fit the method and they do deliver results!

This shampoo with castor oil is curly girl “approved with caution”. This means that all ingredients are curly girl-approved, and you should be able to use it without issues. However, some of the ingredients could potentially be problematic for a subset of people.

For one, this shampoo contains fragrance. If you’ve never even thought about that – don’t worry, you’ll be fine. People who have issues with fragrance definitely know!

It also contains proteins, which are super helpful to deal with damaged hair. Just be careful if your hair is protein sensitive.

Lastly, this curly girl-approved shampoo has ingredients that can build up over time, for example, castor oil. So if you want to change to a co-wash routine, definitely wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo before.

If, on the other hand, you are planning to keep using shampoo while doing the curly girl method, this product is an amazing way to start!

You can buy the Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore Shampoo here!*

Kinky Curly Clarifying Shampoo*

Clarifying shampoos are an important part of the curly girl method. You won’t use them often, but they help to remove product buildup and hard water. (Lord knows I’m struggling with the latter one!)

This curly girl approved shampoo by Kinky Curly will work well for clarifying because it contains c14-16 olefin sulfonate. (That is a clarifying ingredient. I don’t know why these names need to be like that either!)

Clarifying ingredients have a “detergent-like” effect so that they can effectively remove and oils, products, and whatever else might have build up on your hair and scalp. Basically, they work similarly to the sulfates we’re trying to avoid, just not quite as harsh.

Still, you want to only use that when necessary. Try two times a month to begin with and see how that works for you!

You can get the Kinky Curly clarifying shampoo here*!

Moptop Gentle Shampoo*

This curly girl approved shampoo is great for wavy hair! Wavy hair often needs stronger shampoos than, say, 4c type of hair. And this shampoo has cleansing agents that will work in removing sebum and oil from your hair but are not as harsh as sulfates.

This shampoo also contains proteins, so it’s great for damaged hair. Just watch out for that protein sensitivity!

Order the Moptop Gentle Shampoo here*!

Not your mother’s High Moisture Shampoo*

First, a word of warning: if you don’t like the smell of coconut, stay away from this! Otherwise, you’ll love this shampoo!

It leaves your hair soft and still feeling clean and not weighed down, and it works for curls and waves alike.

Buy the “Not your mother’s High moisture” shampoo here*!

Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Clean Lather*

You might know that my favorite curly girl approved hair gel of all times is from Aunt Jackie’s. So, of course, I had to look for shampoos as well!

And, obviously, they do have a curly girl-approved shampoo as well. But this product is not for your daily or even weekly use. As the name suggests, it is a clarifying shampoo, containing chelating agents that you shouldn’t use more often than once a month.

It also contains fragrance and preservatives that could cause problems on very sensitive scalps.

So, if you are in the market for a curly girl-approved clarifying shampoo, you’ll very likely love the result of using this product. If you are looking for a shampoo to use more often, this is not quite it.

You can order Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Clean Lather here*!

Ultra Gentle Shampoo for sensitive skin*

No matter if curly or not, lots of us struggle with irritated skin on our scalp. This shampoo isn’t only curly girl-approved, it is also super gentle for your scalp!

It’s free of irritants and any harsh chemicals, and still contains mild cleansers to wash with. Win win!

You can buy the Ulta Gentle Shampoo here*!

Got any more products?

I hope you liked the curly girl approved shampoos. If you have feedback or know of other great examples, do let me know down below!

And make sure to pin this to your hair care board on Pinterest!

*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.