The Best Shampoos for Wavy Hair
Wavy hair, or type 2 hair, can be difficult to manage at the best of times. In between working out exactly what kind of curls your hair has, and which of the several hair categories your hair falls into, comes finding the best products to work with your particular hair type.
For people with wavy hair, finding the right product is essential. Wavy hair sits between straight and curly hair, with both the advantages and downsides of both. It is also the most prone to frizz and oily scalps, which makes it somewhat of a difficult hair type for people who are novices at taking care of their hair.
Because wavy hair often dries straight, it can be difficult to tell which kind of hair you have. This is especially true when you are using products that weigh down or artificially straighten your hair without you even noticing.
As such, we have put together a list of the 13 best shampoos for wavy hair, so we can help you to achieve the locks of your dreams.
1. Blu Atlas Shampoo (Classic)
Blu Atlas, a well-established male grooming company, has come out with an absolutely classic all-hair-type shampoo. This makes it the best shampoo for wavy hair, which is known to be a mix of several different hair types and characteristics.
In addition, the shampoo is absolutely jam-packed with natural ingredients to help with a wide range of hair conditions. This gentle shampoo can be used for everyday use, as well as having lots of saw palmetto and vegan biotin to help fortify those hair strands.
The shampoo also has some jojoba proteins and aloe vera to help soothe and control the stressed-out hair strands. It can even help to maintain scalp health through the cooling action of aloe vera.
Finally, the shampoo uses coconut surfactants to clean the hair, rather than relying on soaps or sulfates. This is especially important for wavy hair, as it is often the goal to enhance the natural curl pattern, rather than weigh down or frizz up the hair.
2. Garnier Hair Care Fructis Sleek and Shine Zero
Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Zero is a shampoo made specifically with curly hair types in mind. Although wavy hair lies between curly and straight hair, it often requires treatment with curly hair suitable shampoos to allow the curling nature of some of the strands to show through.
This shampoo has been specially formulated to help reduce frizz, which helps to make it one of the best shampoos for wavy hair out there. As a liquid, lemon-scented shampoo, it also has an excellent lather feel, which helps to spread the product evenly throughout the hair.
This shampoo also has added marula oil, which helps to give the hair weight enough to stop frizz, without weighing it down so much that it is unable to curl. Together, these attributes allow the user to have weightlessly bouncy curls, with frizz-controlled straighter sections.
In addition, the zero silicones in the shampoo that give it its name allows for the shampoo to be used by people with curls in their hair. Silicones can form a sheathe over the hair cuticle, which causes it to change from the natural wave to a more unflattering limpness. However, this shampoo has no silicones, and thus doesn’t run into this problem.
3. Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo
This shampoo focuses heavily on the reduction of frizz, which is one of the most common complaints of people with wavy hair, especially when they aren’t sure how to look after it properly.
The Living Proof shampoo uses the first anti-frizz technology in 30 years, which is able to block the effect of humidity on the hair to reduce the frizzing of hair when in unsuitable climates. This means that whatever your plans, your hair will be safe with this shampoo.
In addition, the shampoo is carefully formulated to be lacking in sulfates, heavy silicones, or oils, so it won’t weigh down the hair. The lack of sulfates also helps to maintain hair health by reducing the stripping effect of some shampoos.
The final aspect of this unique formulation is the higher level of conditioning agents present in the shampoo. This helps wavy hair specifically, as it is able to act as a medium between harsh shampoos and overly strong conditioners.
4. OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo
This shampoo has one very unique ingredient that is unlikely to be found in the others on this list. It uses egg white protein to help support and strengthen the strands, in addition to a variety of other ingredients.
Two such ingredients are coconut milk and coconut oil. Both of these work together to create a pleasing coconut scent, as well as nourish and lock in the moisture to the hair. This would be the best shampoo for wavy hair that is also a bit dry, because it is a super hydrating shampoo.
In addition to having a great ingredients list, this shampoo also leaves off the key ingredients we don’t want or need for wavy hair. This includes being sulfate free, which means that the hair is not being stripped of all its natural oils by harsh soaps or detergent ingredients.
These sulfate-free surfactants are also paraben free, which may make them more suitable for people with more sensitive skin. In addition to the hydrating nature of the shampoo, this makes it the perfect shampoo for wavy hair that is also dry.
Take your hair on the trip of its dreams to the tropics with OGX coconut milk shampoo with this beautifully scented mix of coconut, peach, and shea butter.
5. Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Shampoo
Pureology is a professional color care company, which means that their shampoos are all made with anti-fade complexes for all hair types. In addition, the formulas are 100% vegan and have zero sulfates.
Other notable ingredients for this shampoo include jojoba, which helps to add and lock in moisture. This is great for people with wavy hair, as enhancing curls often requires adding in a fair bit of moisture.
In addition to jojoba, this shampoo has ingredients such as sage and green tea. These ingredients function to help stimulate the follicles responsible for hair growth and to help support and achieve a healthy scalp.
Finally, the shampoo is made with an interesting blend of lavender, bergamot, and patchouli scents, all of which combine to make a lovely floral blend. This scent is not only relaxing but helps you to imagine being in a spa each and every time you use this Pureology hair product.
As such, the Pureology brand boasts their shampoo has both natural ingredients and aromatherapy to help you achieve the wavy hair of your dreams.
6. Hask Curl Care Moisturising Shampoo
This product from Hask is mainly aimed at curly-haired people; however, those with wavy hair may also benefit from using the carefully crafted formula to enhance and define their curls.
This product is designed to hydrate, strengthen, and ultimately brighten your hair experiences. It is designed to accommodate all curl patterns, which makes it suitable even for those with wavy hair.
It achieves these lofty goals by using a so-called miracle blend of oils and vitamins. In particular, coconut oil and argan oil are used to protect your curls from damage and subsequent frizz, while vitamin E is used to hydrate the hair.
These ingredients combine into a lightweight formula that doesn’t end up weighing down or flattening those aggravatingly difficult-to-define wavy curls. However, the product is able to help reduce frizz enough to see those natural curls within.
In addition, the shampoo is free of silicones, sulfates, and parabens, as well as gluten and artificial colors. It is also completely vegan and cruelty-free, which makes it not only Curly Girl Method approved, but also morally acceptable if that is something that concerns you.
However, this shampoo seems to be available mostly as a package deal with associated conditioners and curl creams, and may be difficult to locate if you have to order online.
7. Sun Bum Revitalising Shampoo
Another shampoo with an interesting ingredient on our list, Sun Bum’s revitalizing shampoo harnesses the moisturizing power of bananas. This includes using the banana pulp and peel, as well as banana leaf in its unique formula.
This shampoo is usable for all hair types, and can even be used daily. The main function of the shampoo is to act as a hydrating agent, as it has coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, and of course, bananas to act as moisturizers.
This shampoo would be well suited for people with wavy hair who live in very dry or hot climates. Unfortunately, in these climates, frizz is often a problem, and the dry climate can even start to give scalp issues like dandruff. Sun Bum is developed by people who work within these conditions, and who are proud to have created products that work.
In addition, the shampoo is a vegan blend that is also gluten, paraben, and cruelty-free. This means that it is Curly Girl Method approved for wavy hair, which often needs a little extra moisture.
As a side note, because it is so hydrating, it may be the most suitable for medium to thick hair types, which can withstand some extra hydration.
8. Goldwell Dualsenses Curls and Waves Hydrating Shampoo
This curly hair shampoo is also formulated to work well with wavy hair. The liquid shampoo utilizes a fantastic array of ingredients, including the addition of a milk protein. This protein is able to help to rejuvenate curls through hydration and elasticity.
Although you might think of bouncy curls as belonging solely to the curly-haired region of the spectrum, it is important to remember that wavy hair can be very varied. In fact, some regions or sections of wavy hair might be quite tightly curled, while other regions are nearly straight.
This variation means that some people may be better suited to using products such as this one, which are more usually intended for people with strictly curly hair. In this case, it will likely help to expose hidden curls and help to make the overall hair effect seem bouncier and more voluminous.
In addition to helping to add elasticity to the curls, the milk protein is also able to help to clean and hydrate the hair without adding either weight or drying out the hair. This works well with wavy hair, which can sometimes struggle with damage at either extreme.
9. Fanola Curly Shine, Curly, and Wavy Hair Shampoo
If you have yet to hear of Fanola, it is a small hair care business from Italy. This company is well-versed in caring for both curly and wavy hair. This shampoo is suitable for both hair types and is an excellent choice for someone who isn’t sure which of the two categories they fall into.
The ingredients are enriched with extra silk proteins, which helps to reduce the frizz often associated with curly or wavy hair. This helps with the easy maintenance of defined curls, and can be especially helpful with wavy hair, when all those different curl types begin to interact.
However, there is no information on whether the shampoo is vegan, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, or paraben-free. In particular, the silk-enriched proteins may be derived from biological origins.
On the other hand, supporting this small business will certainly make a difference to both them and your beautifully supported hair.
10. Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo
Ouidad isa well-known brand and self-proclaimed curl expert. They have a lot of curl products out there, but one of the best is their clarifying shampoo. For the unaware, it is often important to use a clarifying shampoo alongside a regular gentle cleanser to maintain optimal hair health.
It is the role of a clarifying shampoo to remove the build-up of all the other products you use to tame your hair, as well as help to remove all of the grime that accumulated on your scalp. It is a slightly harsher shampoo than would be wise to use on an everyday basis and should be used between once a week to a few times a month, depending on your hair.
This particular clarifying shampoo cleans with gentle fruit acids, which makes it well-suited to managing curly or wavy hair. These will not be so harsh as to strip the essential oils from the hair, but will be enough to make everything a bit cleaner.
In addition to getting rid of product build-up, this clarifying shampoo can also help remove things like salt water or chlorine residues, or even the minerals from hard water if you don’t have a specialty shower head.
11. Rhyme and Reason Curl Quench Shampoo
This is a shampoo well-suited for a variety of hair types. From coily, bouncy curls to light waves, this shampoo can help to deliver the well-defined curls of your dreams.
In addition to having a packed ingredient list of nut butters and oils to help to tame your mane, this shampoo can also boast being dermatologist approved. The stand-out ingredient in this mix is ceramides, which are natural compounds known to improve the quality of the skin on the scalp, as well as help hair to anchor well to form those beautiful curl clumps.
In addition, this shampoo has fragrances such as peach, sandalwood, and tonka bean to help carry you away for your wash day experiences. It is notably missing sulfates, silicones, parabens, mineral oils, or artificial colorants, which definitely makes it curly girl approved.
In case you are interested, this shampoo is also environmentally friendly, with each bottle being made of 100% recycled plastics. The bottle can also be recycled once finished. With 92% of the ingredients derived from natural products, this is a shampoo made to wow.
12. La Biosthetique Curl Activating Shampoo
This shampoo has been specially picked for people with wavy hair who aren’t sure if their hair is more curly, wavy, or what type of hair they have. It can be very confusing to figure out exactly which products to use, especially if you are new to looking after your curls.
Especially as you begin your curly hair journey, you may find that your curls grow and change. This shampoo is gentle but has a unique formula packed with polymers made just for curly hair. As a result, this shampoo can function very well to help you define your curls and pack them with moisture.
Chronic lack of looking after curls can destroy the curl clumps, and make your hair look straighter than it really is. For people with wavy hair, using a shampoo such as this one will help to reformulate your curls and improve the elasticity and bounce of your hair to define those curls.
13. Redken Frizz Dismiss Shampoo
This is another specially chosen shampoo, this time to help tame the frizz common to those with wavy hair. It comes with a frizz-protectant ingredient, which contains babassu oil. This is sustainably sourced and can also help to nourish and tame the hair while also giving that beautiful shine.
Frizzy hair comes from damage to the cuticle that surrounds the hair strand itself. Thus, it is essential to make sure that frizzy hair is treated only with the best shampoos to ensure that it is not more damaged. This shampoo can clean thoroughly, while also being gentle enough to ensure no further damage will be caused. This is done by maintaining a perfect natural acidity to the shampoo to prevent dry, damaged, and broken hair.
In addition to helping you to tame your wavy locks, this shampoo also comes in a sustainably sourced bottle. Every bottle is made of at least 93% recycled plastic, and holds a creamy textured shampoo that is specially formulated to help regulate issues with frizz.
As a side note, it is recommended that this shampoo is used only by people 13 years old or older, although there was no explanation associated. It is suitable for any type of hair, but does not claim to be free of parabens or cruelty, or vegan.
What is wavy hair?
Wavy hair is one of the more complicated types of hair to classify, on account of the fact that it can be any texture from fine and thin to very thick, and can have a mix of curl types, straight sections, or be all one similar loose wavy curl.
With so many options, it is no wonder that people often only start looking after their curly hair later in life. However, a good general rule is that if your hair pattern ranges somewhere from a loose, loopy curl to a S-shaped wave, you likely have wavy hair.
In all honesty, wavy hair is sort of the same as curly hair. It just has different kinds of curls that are less distinct, hence the name wavy hair. This means that it needs all the same care and consideration as other curly hair types, but it tends to go unappreciated during adolescence, especially.
Wavy hair can be very loose curls (2A), distinct S-shaped curls that start from the mid-lengths of the hair (2B), or a very tight S-shaped curl that starts from the root.
How do I wash my wavy hair?
Wavy hair is prone to accumulating things like oil and dirt on the scalp, simply due to the way that the hair is. As such, you should shampoo more often than you would for curlier hair, at around 3-4 times per week.
You should also use a clarifying shampoo to get the best effects. These are shampoos that are responsible for removing the build-up of product from the hair to stop you from getting an irritated scalp, or weighted, flat hair.
Finally, conditioner is essential for wavy hair, just as it is for curly hair. However, be wary about using a heavy product, as your curls are likely unable to hold up very well on their own.
Thus, we would recommend using a moisturizing conditioner, as well as a deep conditioner, on occasion. Each person’s hair will have different tolerances for conditioning, but remember to watch out for over-conditioning for the best results.
What else should I worry about?
There are two other main factors to wavy hair. These are porosity and how to style the hair. In fact, hair porosity is almost as important as figuring out which hair type you have, so you can figure out which products will suit you and your hair best.
For people with wavy hair and high porosity, each individual hair can accept moisture quite easily. However, this moisture is also easy to leave, which can increase the frequency of the hair looking dry.
Medium porosity, on the other hand, is sort of the perfect balance between retaining moisture and not having it difficult to penetrate.
Low-porosity hair types can find it difficult to have products penetrate the hair, as the strands simply aren’t open enough for the products to enter and have an effect. As such, the hair is more prone to having a build-up of product that actually isn’t doing anything.
However, once you figure out which products work for you and your hair, you should be able to maintain the hydration of your hair relatively easily. Low-porosity hair has a very tight cuticle, so once hair has become moisturized, it is pretty likely to stay that way.
The way to deal with porosity is to balance the amount of protein present in each of your products. Products with high concentrations of proteins are more suitable for high-porosity hair.
Styling wavy hair is the final frontier. Honestly, what looks best is pretty dependent on each individual person, and what they value in their own appearance. However, there are some general rules of thumb for styling wavy hair:
Don’t use too many products: layering products on top of one another is a pretty good way to weigh down your curls and leave them flat.
Apply styling products at the root, or even upside down: although it may feel silly, this one is a good hack to help get some volume in the roots, to stop your hair from helmeting to your head
Apply products to very wet hair: soaking wet hair is the best to apply product to for wavy hair. This is because when hair is this wet, it is able to distribute the product more evenly
Take from other hair types: try plopping, scrunching, and diffusing your hair. If you think that a styling product will help you to create and maintain hair you feel comfortable in, you should make that your priority, not being fixated on what works for others with your hair type.