Want To Clean Your 4C Hair Without Stripping It?

Check out thes tested products for our perspective, suggestions and tips


Discover the Best Shampoos for 4C Hair

By Miracle Westfall17 Jun 2024

Wash day is a big deal.  It's a big investment of time and energy and if you haven't found the perfect shampoo for 4c hair yet, it can be a big aggravation.  Experimenting with products can become confusing and expensive.  We hope to give you some of the answers that you need to make a great selection right off the bat when purchasing your cleansing products for your 4C hair.

We'll touch on the pros and cons of the products that we tested for this roundup. We'll include price, availability and product size as factors.  Sometime you fall in love with a product that is so hard to find, that it makes it more of a hassle and sometimes the product is so small that it only lasts 2-3 washes.  That can really add up.  Especially if there is more than one person in the house who needs to use it.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to click through and make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you.  Please read my disclosure for more information. We purchase and test products.  We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.


Best Sulfate Free Shampoo for 4C Hair

Keracare Natural Textures Sulfate Free Cleansing Cream

A long time favorite product that cleans without stripping and irritating the scalp. A rich thick cream that is sulfate free for gently cleaning scalp debris, oils and styling products.

The Good Stuff:

  • The number one reason that I love this product is that I have very sensitive skin and scalp.  Many shampoos and cleansers leave my scalp itchy and flaky.  My scalp would flake after a few days of using other sulfate based shampoos.  My scalp would generate a lot of oil to compensate for the stripping effect and I would need to wash again. No stripping and dry itchy scalp with this product.
  • It cleans without stripping.  My stylist at the time even noted that my scalp looked nice and healthy and wondered what I was doing different.  I was washing once a week with this sulfate free formula.
  • It comes available in 8 oz bottles and it is a pretty thick formula.  It takes a generous amount to spread throughout the hair but it only takes one round to get the hair and scalp clean.  Give your hair a good rinse before applying. Once you apply it, add a little extra water, lather (more like a few tiny bubbles, not a real foaming lather) and let it sit for 3-5 minutes to dissolve the oils, dead skin and styling products. You can detangle it while you wait to save a little time. Rinse well and move on to more detangling and your conditioning steps. You can repeat if needed but I hardly ever need to.
  • I'll have to admit that I'm a bit biased when it comes to the Avlon Keracare product line.  I've been using it for years.  I used the products for relaxed hair when I still rocked a relaxer and I used the Natural textures line while I transitioned to natural.  Over the years, I have tried many other products but I alway return to the Keracare Natural Textures Sulfate Free Cleansing Cream for a simple wash and go shampoo.

The Bad Stuff:

  • It used to come in a 1 quart size which gave a great value and lasted a long time. Now it is only currently available in 8 oz bottles.

Best CoWash for 4C Hair

As I Am Long & Luxe GroWash Cleansing Creme Conditioner

With a great pomegranate and passionfruit fragrance, this rich, creamy cleanser cleans and conditions dry, brittle 4c hair without stripping natural oils.

The Good Stuff:

  • This product felt more like a conditioner than a cleanser.  It left our testers hair feeling soft, supple and moisturized.
  • Its formulated for Type 3 and type 4 hair.
  • It comes in a 16 oz tub.
  • This product is a great addition to your wash day routine when you want to switch up the cleansers.  this product is rich and creamy and offers a nice conditioning cowash when you don't need to wash away a lot of gel or other high hold products.

The Bad Stuff:

  • It's very thick and creamy and you have to dip your hand into the container in order to apply it.  I always tend to use more product when I have to dip my hand into the jar.
  • The scent is deliciously fruity but it might be too strong if you're sensitive to fragrance.
  • If you tend to use a lot of product on your hair this cowash may not feel like it is truly cleaning the hair and scalp.  

Best Selling CoWash for Natural Hair

As I Am Products:  Classic Coconut Cowash Cleansing Creme Conditioner

This coconut oil cowash gently cleans and provides great slip for detangling.  It helps the hair retain moisture and is safe enough to use for a daily wash routine.

The Good Stuff:

  • It is gentle enough to use every day and leaves the hair soft, bouncy and moisturized.  You can just apply a leav-in conditioner and keep it moving.
  • The manufacturer reports that it is safe to use for color treated hair as well.
  • It is available in a 16 oz tub and a 32 oz jumbo pump bottle that is great for the shower.

The Bad Stuff:

  • It may not strip away heavy styling products as easily as some of the other products.
  • This product seemed to either leave a bit of residue on my scalp or it made my scalp flake a few days after the wash.  but I have really sensitive quirly skin...It will probably be fine for most users.

Best Clarifying Shampoo for Natural Curly Hair

As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo

For a clarifying shampoo that is not overly drying, this product is a great option.  It cleans away product buildup very effectively.

You'll need to add back some moisture with a good moisturizer and it's not for everyday use but it cleans away buildup.

The Good Stuff:

  • Removes scalp residue, flakes and product buildup.
  • A little goes a long way.  You only need a small amount to cleanse the scalp, roots and length of the hair.
  • Works well when used in conjunction with a deep conditioner afterwards 

The Bad Stuff:

  • Only available in 8 oz bottles

Moisturizing Shampoo for Natural Curly Hair

DevaCurl No Poo Decadence Zero Lather Ultra Moisturizing Milk Cleanser

This shampoo was great for the comb through while wet.  It had nice slip and does a great job cleaning the hair.

The Good Stuff:

  • It is a non-lathering formulation with protein that strenghtned hair.  
  • Very fragrant.  Not fruity or herbal, but more like perfume.
  • Available in 3 oz, 12 oz and 32 oz sizes so that you can test it out before you commit the larger sizes.

The Bad Stuff:

  • The smell may be too strong for some users.  It wears off after a couple of days but my clash with your perfume if you use a strong fragrance.
  • Our testers definetly wanted to use a moisturizer after this product.  The hair wasn't dry and crunchy but it felt really, really clean. 

And the winner is...

As someone who usually suffers with dry 4C hair, I really appreciate a gentle cleanser that doesn't foam and strip away my natural oils.  With a light fragrance and a formula that is great for detangling, we rate the Keracare Natural Textures Cleansing Cream as the winner.  We hope that they decide to bring back the large 32 ounce bottles and maybe include a pump bucket like some of the other Keracare products for natural hair.

  • light fragrance
  • not drying
  • sulfate free
  • detangling
  • cleans residue and buildup



As I Am Coconut CoWash

Why wait? Get the product now!

Sometimes you can even get this product on sale at BOGO 50% off.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to click through and make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you.  Please read my disclosure for more information. We purchase and test products.  We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.