Can You Use Curly Shampoo On Straight Hair?

Can you use curly shampoo on straight hair? If you have straight hair and want to know whether shampoos marketed for curls are beneficial for you, check out this article!

The haircare industry has made great strides in improving its products, and there were no longer one-size-fits-all products for all types of hair.

Now we can easily come across shampoos or other hair care products that are marketed for a specific niche, such as for straight or curly hair. 

But have you ever wondered if it is ok to use a product that is not labeled for your hair type? Say, can you use curly shampoo on straight hair? Check out this article for the answer!

Can You Use Curly Shampoo On Straight Hair?

Yes, straight-haired people can use curly shampoo to enjoy some of its benefits!

First of all, these shampoos still serve the function of cleansers, which clean your dirty hair thoroughly and remove product build-ups.

In addition, curly hair shampoos contain more nutrients than regular shampoos. Common nutrients in these shampoos are protein blends and essential oil, which can strengthen, moisturize straight hair and reduce frizz. 

Curly hair, in many senses, is more vulnerable than straight hair. This includes the inclination to get dry and frizzy and the need to be frequently styled to achieve the desired curls and waves. 

Therefore, shampoos labeled for curly, wavy hair come with extra nutrients as mentioned above to keep hair healthy. 

So, suppose your straight hair shares some or all of the characteristics of curly hair, such as dryness and frizziness. In that case, you can benefit from the ingredients specially formulated in curly hair shampoos! 

You Can Use Curly Shampoo On Straight Hair
Curly Shampoos Can Work Wonders For Dry And Frizzy Hair

What’s The Difference Between Shampoos For Straight And Shampoos For Curly Hair?

Due to the differences in structure, straight and curly hair each have different needs and, therefore, different hair care approaches. The distinction between straight and curly hair lies in the shape of the follicles. 

Curly, wavy hair does not grow from the shaft in a vertically-upright direction. In other words, the hair follicles are slanted, preventing the natural oil from traveling freely from tips to ends. 

The result is curly hair is prone to dryness, especially towards the ends, whereas a lock of straight hair is essentially more moisturized. 

The Slanted Hair Follicles Make It Hard For The Natural Oils To Travel Down The Ends
The Slanted Hair Follicles Make It Hard For The Natural Oils To Travel Down The Ends

This fundamental difference makes the ingredient list of curly hair products slightly not similar to “regular” or straight hair ones. So, what’s in it – shampoo for curly hair?

First off, because curl shampoos are specifically made for curly hair, they typically contain curl enhancement and curl activating formula to improve the appearance of curly hair shape.  

As curly hair tends to be dry and frizzy, they are packed with mild and hydrating agents to reduce dryness, promote better moisture retention, and balance the moisture level of hair strands. 

Natural emollients, such as argan oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, shea butter and honey, are also one of the main ingredients in curly shampoos, which works to improve the balance of oil level of the hair.

Curly, wavy hair is in desperate need of detangling, too. That’s why many shampoos contain ingredients that provide “slip” or “lubrication”. In traditional curly shampoos, silicones are used to provide slip and boost shine.

Although silicones can help the hair strands feel silky smooth, they form an impenetrable fortress and deter moisture and the natural oils from entering the strands (and only sit on the scalp). In addition, silicones add more weight to the hair, so there is a high risk of losing hair shape. 

Another problem with silicones is that they are only washed away with sulfate, further dehydrating your hair if used frequently. 

Recently, the formulation in curly shampoos has seen noticeable improvement. Brands increasingly replace silicones with soluble ingredients, which gives lubrication and boosts shine and flexibility to curly hair. 

Does Curly Hair Shampoo Create Curls For Straight Hair?

The answer is NO! Curly shampoo won’t create curls or waves for straight hair.

Shampoos are not made to create a pattern for the hair. So, if you’re expecting them to do so, you should be disappointed! Curly shampoos can enhance the existing curls by providing moisture to make curls and waves more easily formed and held a bit longer. 

Tips To Use Curly Shampoos On Straight Hair

Soak Your Hair Thoroughly

Before reaching the shampoo bottle, thoroughly saturate your hair with water. Otherwise, you won’t get the most out of your shampoo. The water helps distribute the shampoo more evenly to be fully absorbed into your hair to clean your hair. 

Also, Rinse Thoroughly To Remove Shampoo

Do not end your hair washing process with even a small amount of soap left on your hair.

If you do not rinse the shampoo thoroughly, the shampoo will create build-up on the scalp. The good rule of thumb is to spend 1 to 2 minutes rinsing all the shampoo. 

Dry Your Hair Natural Instead Of Blow Drying

We recommend air drying your hair with a soft towel, even with the healthiest strands.

The heat from a hairdryer will take a toll on your hair in the long run, especially with already damaged, dry strands. 

Always Read The Ingredient List

You should look at the ingredient list of the shampoo to see whether it speaks to your hair’s needs. It also pays to understand the importance of ingredient concentrations in shampoo. 

Just because a product is listed with argan oil does not mean that it contains a high amount of this oil. According to either mass or volume, ingredients are typically shown in descending order. 

For this reason, when you are going through the ingredient list, you should pay attention to the first five ingredients since they are in the highest amount. 

Pay Attention To Your Scalp After Shampooing

Observe closely how your scalp reacts after using the shampoo. If there is a burning sensation, itching, lumps, redness, or anything unusual happens to your scalp, there is a high chance that the shampoo isn’t suitable for you. 

Itchy, inflamed or painful scalp will cause hair to break and shred than normal, and can even lead to severe hair loss. 


So, can you use curly shampoo on straight hair? The answer is yes, as curly shampoos can be beneficial for dry and frizzy straight hair.

Curly shampoos are specially formulated to add the much-needed moisture and nutrients for curls, and these ingredients work the same for straight hair. 

Yet, you would be disappointed if you are expecting the curly shampoo can create curliness and waves for your straight hair. These shampoos are simply not made for that function!


I am Jessica Coles, a hairstyling and trends expert who also holds a master's degree in cosmetology. I am one of the leading hair care experts who has been offering support round the clock.

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