By Chinwe of Hair and Health

When it comes to shampoos, it can be tough searching for one that is both cleansing and non-stripping.  Many naturals successfully turn to “sulfate-free” shampoos but some find such options to be just as drying or not as cleansing as sulfate ones.  Still others experiment with co-washing but dislike the eventual buildup or try shampoo bars but are just not fans.  If you are one of these naturals, the search for a moisturizing, cleansing shampoo – especially for those with parched hair – has just been made easier.  Here are four recommended options for you:

1. Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo

WHAT’S IN IT: Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo combines a few cleansing agents  — sodium myreth sulfate (gentler than SLS and SLES), olefin sulfonate, and cocamidopropyl betaine (gentler than sulfates) – into a very effective cleansing formula that is not harsh. It also contains conditioning aids, such as polyquaternium-10 (cationic) and panthenol (lubricant), as well as several extracts (including peach, anise, and irish moss) among other ingredients.

WHY ELUCENCE: This is one moisturizing shampoo that many ladies (even those with dry, chemically treated hair) love.  The combination of ingredients makes for an effective cleansing shampoo that is mild (but also has a good lather for those who desire one).  The product is not drying, leaving the hair feeling moisturized and non-stripped.  You can get your hands on this shampoo for a relatively inexpensive cost.

WHERE TO FIND: Other online stores.  Local distributors or salons.

2. Creme of Nature Argan Oil Moisture & Shine Shampoo

WHAT’S IN IT: Among its top ingredients, Crème of Nature Argan Oil Shampoo contains a combination of gentle cleansing and conditioning components, including water (solvent), trideceth-7 carboxylic acid (cleansing), decyl glucoside (cleansing agent), glycol stearate (emulsifying, conditioning), polyquaternium-10 (conditioning), and argania spinosa kernel oil (argan oil, conditioning).

WHY CREME OF NATURE: A number of naturals rave about this product for cleansing the hair while leaving it extra moisturized, soft, and manageable.  It also has a good amount of slip (similar to a conditioner) and is really inexpensive.

WHERE TO FIND: Local drug stores or beauty supply stores.

3. Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner

WHAT’S IN IT: The Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner contains water (solvent); the conditioning combination of cetyl alcohol (fatty alcohol), cetearyl alcohol (fatty alcohol), and behentrimonium methosulfate (detangling); cetrimonium chloride (detangling, antiseptic); and cocamidopropyl betaine (mild cleansing agent).

WHY CURL JUNKIE: Though this product is a conditioner (not a shampoo), it is formulated to be cleansing as well, hence the term “cleansing conditioner”. This Curl Junkie option is gentle enough for daily use, if necessary. It is also ideal for co-washers who want a bit more cleansing.

WHERE TO FIND:, (US and possibly other countries). (UK). (more expensive here).

4. Homemade Quick Fix: Shampoo Mixed with A Moisturizing Conditioner

WHAT’S IN IT: This homemade quick fix to transform a harsh, stripping shampoo into a gentle, moisturizing one consists of 50% shampoo and 50% of your favorite conditioner. Another alternative is to perform a pre-shampoo treatment (i.e., pre-poo) to reduce the drying effects of your shampoo.

WHY HOMEMADE: This option is probably the cheapest (and most convenient if you cannot obtain the previous shampoo recommendations).  It allows you to ”fix” seemingly unusable shampoos from your product junkie days.

What are your favorite moisturizing shampoos for dry hair?


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56 Comments on "4 Moisturizing Shampoos for Super Dry Natural Hair"

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My favorite is the Creme of Nature moisture and shine shampoo since 2014 after my bc

Dalila M. Lujan

The shampoo Pro Naturals makes the best in my opinion 😉


Pro Naturals makes the best in my opinion


Sigh, still searching for a good shampoo. Giovanni Smooth as Silk preps my hair nicely for styling, but it causes too many tangles in my hair. Crème of Nature seems like a good place to start on this list. At least it’s on the ground.


Any sulfate free shampoo should do the trick. Sulfates dry out your hair and can cause irritation so that might be your problem. Always check the ingredient list for them. Try to get argan oil shampoos, I read that argan oil is the best oil for keeping hair soft and shiny. Look online for Pro Natural’s argan oil shampoo. They have a conditioner too (silicone free, also important)


Ouidad Curl Recovery – Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil is really great but not cheap!

ulimited hosting

Keep on working, great job!|


Shea moisture retention shampoo is the best shampoo for me, non strippin and natural ingredients, its the best!


These are great but Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo would have been a great addition.


Love, love, love Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo!


I get great results with argan oil products from WOC ( I have only been able to find WOC products online. I wish they sold in stores because I have found nothing that compares to their results.


My staple is the creme of nature sulfate free! LOVE IT! It works a lot like the old creme of nature shampoo I used 2 use back in the day when I wasn’t natural and could care less abt sulfates! It has a lot of slip& helps with the tangles. I liked shea moisture but it didn’t seem to win me over and it was almost TWICE the cost of creme of nature unless I fould it on BOGO Sale at walgreens. Didn’t seem worth it but its a good backup to have in a pinch!


Chagrin Valley Babassu Marshmallow shampoo bar and the Butter conditioner bar are hands down the most moisturizing for me. I follow with TRESemme Nourishing Moisture conditioner. It works so well for me.


when my saclp is clean, my hair regulates itself. I like Trader joe’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo

Dee M

I LOVE Chantu!


L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner. Love that stuff!


I bought it last week, I can not wait to try it! I bought the sulfate free shampoo and it did an amazing job!


@Joan B You get the poo bar at I recommend the cocoveda.

Joan B. in S. C.

Friday is paycheck and I now know where I’ll be. Thanks, @Evelyn!


I like V05 Strawberries & Cream and also Cream of Nature Shampoo


Eclark6 an bglh style icon has new pics and video up of her hair. It’s freaking gorgeous.

Click to watch ~
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I love Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo! I’ve been using it for over a year (or two..?). I dilute it and focus it on the scalp (via an applicator bottle). It gets my scalp clean without drying my hair out.


Ditto! Shea Moisture Retention has been my keeper for over a year. My hair did not feel stripped when using it for just 1 shampoo. Now, i only focus on using it to cleanse my scalp and have found that I only need to use shampoo every 3 weeks. Biggest change for me in helping to maintain moisture is also applying conditioner to my hair strands prior to any cleansing. When not using shampoo, I focus on massaging my scalp and rinsing my hair and scalp with warm water for about 15 minutes total time.


i’m always confused when moisturizing shampoos have protein in them. Will I ever escape protein in products?! My goodness



Hi lulu! Depending on the protein, it is my understanding that adding one can help fill in gaps in the hair shaft and make for less tangling as well as less breakage during the shampoo process. I hope that helps.


Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo is not expensive. It’s $5 for a 10 ounce bottle and only is expensive if you wish to purchase the liter bottle which is about $20. I am using Shea Moisture products and since I have only used it twice I won’t reveiw it for six months to see how it really does hair moisture and growth.


Which of these would you recommend for persons with locs? oh, and sebhoreic dermatitis?

I am in Love with the Shea Moisture retention line and the curl line ( the pink label and yellowe labels) And for the dermatitis coconut oil. I do use a brief course of steoids if i have a bad flare ( my flare ups are always diet related) like cortisone. But mmy regular regimine in to part my hair and massage the area until all flakes come up . Next massage in cocnut oil and then make a part about half an inch away and repeat. I do this before i shampoo. so 1-2 times a week and usually… Read more »

I have not tried any shampoos on this list. I always get excellent results with SM moisture retention shampoo as well as the other products that I use from that line.




I use the SM Raw Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo. I didn’t know about the lawsuit so I’m gonna check that out. It has worked best for me but I’m also on the broke college student budget. If I could find something that worked better and wasn’t supper expensive I’d use it.


I love the Creme of nature shampoo! My hair is always left feeling so soft. The first time I used it I had to check that I didn’t accidentally use conditioner. Even then, it softens my hair quicker than conditioner which I need to leave on for a while for the same effect.


Elasta qp creme conditioning shampoo. all day, every day. if i start raving about it, i’ll never stop so lets just say i had given up on shampoo completely before i tried this one. it foams easily, and actually moisturises my hair as opposed to stripping it. it leaves your hair clean, but not squeaking. and its sulphate free as a bonus. I cannot recommend it enough. even if you’ve found your staple you can afford to try it as its only 2 quid (guise £2 !!!)


I used this shampoo and raved about it for years! I got bored and tried other shampoos. The results were not close to comparable with the Creme conditioning shampoo. I ended up going back to it. I always tell folks don’t let price fool you. Elasta Creme shampoo outshines a lot of expensive shampoos


+1 love the stuff. But the new formula doesn’t smell as nice as the old one. Still a great inexpensive gentle shampoo.

Sally R

I love Motions Naturally You Moisturizing Cleanser. It’s not sulfate free (but I only shampoo once every three to four washes, and only wash once a week), but it really leaves my hair feeling soft and not stripped like other shampoos I’ve tried, including the Shea Moisture Raw Shea. I do still want to try the Shea Moisture Curl and Shine Shampoo though…


I love Aubrey’s Honeysuckle Rose Conditoner as a co-wash. The Shea Moisture line is my second favorite.


One of my favorites is Dr. Bronners Peppermint Castille Soap. It leaves my hair soft and with the peppermint you get the bonus–TINGLE!
(Love the Almond too!)


I am HOOKED on the shampoo bars through Henna Sooq. I have tried high end and low end shampoos, and I feel that all of them stripped my 4a/b hair. Even the Shea Moisture shampoo (yellow/tan) line was drying.

The shampoo bars thoroughly cleanse my scalp and leave my hair moisturized. I always follow up with an ACV rinse. The result is shiny hair that detangles easily. I don’t think I will ever go back to traditional shampoo!

Joan B. in S. C.

@Landry, what shampoo bars are you using? I’m interested in trying. Where do you shop for them?

Jo Somebody

Try Bobeam bars! Either on Etsy or Curlmart… not sure if they’re sold elsewhere too.


Really appreciate this article.


I can vouch for the first two. I would also add Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo as well as Chagrin Valley Soap Bar and Oyin Handmade Grand Poo Bar.


Creme of Nature Argan Oil shampoo is my STAPLE!!


Just curious…how come Shea Moisture moisturizing shampoo isn’t included in this list? Is it not as good as these others?

Hi Ashley! In all honesty, I was conflicted with whether to put it on the list. I ultimately decided against it for two reasons: 1. Last year, a lawsuit was brought against them (which included the Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo) for mislabeling. I did not feel comfortable including a product with this kind of history on the list. You can find one reference to this lawsuit here on BGLH and other sites. 2. In compiling this list, I peruse what naturals say on the hair care boards as well as reviews on online stores. Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo did not… Read more »

Excellent feedback! I appreciate the poster taking the time to explain!


Thank you, that does explain it! I’m going to have to look up that lawsuit for myself, though. I hope that the mislabeling has been changed by now.


Shea Moisture’s mislabeling has been changed–They’ve taken the word “organic” off of their labels. Their products are natural and feature **some** organic ingredients. The word “organic” is regulated.


Hi, mangomadness. The shampoo containing all natural ingredients is debatable. Check out this article about their possible missing ingredients:


Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shamppo is a amazing and so cheap.


good question


I use the curl & shine one (pinkish line). It’s the only shampoo I’ve tried so far that didn’t torture my hair. I think I’m gonna try the first one on this post though.


+1 I love the curl n shine SM shampoo!!


Another vote for the Curl and Shine Shampoo. I switch between this, the Daily fix and Bobeam shapmoo bars (Cheris Hibiscus) depending on need.


Shea Moisture Moisture Retention shampoo (tan/yellow label) is my shampoo when I use one because it doesn’t totally dry my hair but I find myself using my baking soda solution to no-poo “wash” my hair.