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The Best Shampoo for Natural African American Hair in 2021

For African Americans, finding a shampoo that keeps your hair type healthy can be challenging. African American hair is naturally stunning, but it requires a different shampoo and conditioner formula to stay healthy than the hair of other ethnicities.

Instead of settling for a shampoo that doesn’t address the unique concerns of your hair, consider switching to a brand that is specifically formulated to help you maintain your beautiful locks.

In this article, we’ll review the best shampoo for African American hair, as well as giving you some shopping tips to help you find great beauty products that will work for your style.

Best Shampoo for African American Hair​

There are many brands of shampoo that are developed specifically for African American hair. These shampoos are great for keeping your hair healthy and nurtured, without the harsh chemicals that are often founding mainstream shampoos.

Here are some of our favorite shampoos for African American hair.​

1. Virgin Hair Fertilizer Shampoo​

Virgin Hair Fertilizer Shampoo

This shampoo is designed to give a deep cleanse to African American hair (or anyone who experiences lots of dryness and breakage), without causing damage or stripping away helpful oils.

It contains a nice blend of natural ingredients, including jojoba seed oil, tea tree oil, honey extract, and aloe vera extract, all of which are very soothing and moisturizing for the hair.

It helps strengthen the structure of the hair so that it can grow effectively, and it also helps moisturize the scalp to prevent dandruff.

Many people find this shampoo to have a nice tingling sensation on the scalp

It is important to note that if you have extremely sensitive skin, this might be a bit uncomfortable, so use with caution the first time just to be sure that you are comfortable with it.

It feels very rich and creamy and helps make the hair softer and easier to style. They also have a very pleasant scent.​


  • Moisturizes the hair and scalp effectively
  • Natural ingredients that strengthen hair
  • Smells pleasant


  • Tingling sensation may be overwhelming for those with sensitive skin

2. Honeydew Ethnic Hair Shampoo​

Ethnic Hair Shampoo for Thick and Curly Hair

This completely natural shampoo is designed to be very creamy and moisturizing for African American hair.

It is made with a blend of avocado oil, which helps to keep the hair clean, strong, and moisturized, regardless of exactly what type of curls or texture you have. It is also designed to condition as it cleans to keep your hair from breaking.

It his pH balanced, which is ideal for African American hair, and it is also free of chemicals, parabens, sulfates, and other potentially damaging ingredients.

This shampoo is particularly great for textured hair because it keeps it feeling light and soft, without weighing it down the way other, more commercial formulas might

You can even use it multiple times a week without worrying about the hair drying out or becoming greasy. Some people do find that it takes some time to notice a difference when using this shampoo, or that they need to pair it with a detangler to get the best results.​


  • All natural formula with healthy ingredients
  • Very moisturizing for the hair, prevents breakage


  • May take some time to notice a difference
  • May need to be paired with a detangler or other product to smooth the hair

3. Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo

Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo

This shampoo is not only great for addressing the unique challenges of cleaning African American hair, but it also is ideal if you have sensitive scalp. It is hypoallergenic and does not contain any fragrances, parabens, or chemicals.

It’s even safe to use on babies and young children if the need arises. The formula is quite nourishing, and contains a blend of natural oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower seed oil, and aloe vera juice.

For anyone that struggles with scalp dryness or irritation, this shampoo is a very great investment.

It is extremely nourishing for the skin and hair, which helps hair grow stronger at the root and continue to stay thick and healthy as it grows out.

Most users do emphasize that you should use a conditioner with this shampoo, however. It is a bit thinner than other shampoos for African American hair, so you’ll need to use a creamier product to provide as much moisture as possible.​


  • Natural ingredients with no irritating chemicals
  • Very good for sensitive skin and scalp


  • Needs to be paired with a conditioner to see great results

4. Art Naturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo

Art Naturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo

This natural blend of oils and other ingredients is designed to clean your hair effectively, without stripping it of color or the natural oils that your hair produces. It is very gentle and very hydrating, so it leaves hair softer and easier to work with.

In particular, the argan oil provides shine and softness, while protein and vitamin E make the hair stronger. The shampoo is great for preventing breakage and minimizing frizz.

Users really like how much this shampoo promotes hair growth. Because the formula is so good for strengthening hair, it can really grow unencumbered. It also helps detangle the hair and make it easier to style. It also helps preserve color when necessary.

The downside to this product is that it is fairly heavily fragranced, which may be irritating to some customers.​


  • Good blend of moisturizing and strengthening ingredients
  • Helps hair grow faster and style easier


  • Heavily fragranced

What Should you Look for When Shopping for Shampoo for African American Hair?

african american girl


It is very important that African Americans use a very thick moisturizing shampoo to coat the hair with nutritious oils.

Since the oils from the scalp don’t distribute themselves through the hair, your shampoo should have oils in it that can replace them.

The moisturizing ingredients should be designed to strengthen the hair, add shine, and keep it soft and touchable.

In particular, look for natural oils, such as tea tree oil or jojoba oil, which don’t have any extra chemicals in them that could cause dryness or breakage.


You’ll likely also want to look for a shampoo that has frizz and volume controlling ingredients.

This will make the hair much softer and easier to style. It can also prevent breakage, which is something that is a common problem with African American hair.

The less breakage you have, the easier it will be to grow your hair longer. Healthy hair will also enable you to try out a variety of different styles.

A good frizz control shampoo will likely control the pH balance of your hair and scalp, which is very important for keeping it healthy.​

It’s important that you use your moisturizing shampoo roughly once a week
Although you may want to avoid washing your hair too often because you are afraid of breakage, it’s still important to get your hair and scalp clean.

Your shampoo should remove dirt and bacteria in a gentle way that doesn’t strip the hair of its natural moisture.

Be sure to use a matching conditioner with your shampoo as well – this will help lock in the good ingredients in your shampoo and keep your hair nice and nourished.

What Things Should You Avoid in Shampoo for African American Hair?​

It is very, very important for African Americans to avoid any alcohol or alcohol-based products in their shampoo.

Alcohol is extremely drying and can lead to breakage and extra coarseness, making it very difficult to style
Any other potentially harsh chemicals should be avoided as well. Generally, natural shampoos work well for African Americans, because they are gentler and more nourishing for the hair.

How is African American hair Different from Hair of Other Ethnicities?

Obviously, the way your hair looks and feels depends on your own individual genetics. However, there are key characteristics that define the hair of many different ethnic groups.

African American hair has a naturally curly follicle, which produces tightly wound hair with kinky curls. It also tends to be very coarse and thick, and is wiry in nature.

It has a tendency to be drier than other hair types, because it is difficult for the scalp’s oils to distribute themselves among this hair shape. It is more prone to breakage than some other hair types as well.

This is just a general description of the tendencies of African American hair – your hair may be different depending on your own genetics.


It can be difficult to find shampoo for African American hair, but these four products provide the right blend of moisturizing ingredients to keep the hair healthy and happy.

Once you find a great shampoo, it makes styling your hair much easier and more enjoyable.​

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