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Curly Nikki

True Moisturizing Shampoo- An Urban Legend?

By January 27th, 202142 Comments

by KurlyBella of

The other day I was chopping it up with a friend about shampoos. To be specific – moisturizing shampoos, the big foot in hair cleansing. As I always do, because it’s true, I lamented about how much I hate washing my hair. Don’t get me wrong, I want and like clean hair, but having to wash my hair is a chore because my tinky (tiny + kinky) coils easily catch on each other and shampoo just adds to that madness. I must always wash my hair in sections but no matter the poo I use – SLS free or even one with a recent “non-drying” voodoo spell on it, it never fails, during the washing process my hair feels way too dry so i have to hurry to get to the conditioning part. *sigh*

I’m starting to think that truly moisturizing shampoos are an urban legend. Something like big foot or the Lochness monster – some claim to have used them but many others are skeptics. And if it does exist, why are there not tons of naturals screaming from the roof tops about these shampoos that make it able to skip conditioner? And speaking of skipping conditioner, your folks over at lush claims that is what you can do with their Curly Wurly Shampoo.

True Moisturizing Shampoo- An Urban Legend?

Preservative free, this shampoo actually comes with an expiration date much sooner than traditional shampoos because it’s packed full of nutritious creamed coconut and coconut oil, moisturizing vanilla, softening eggs and avocado. I have to give it to them, the description sounds impressive – but so does a no good man on paper. Even still, I so want to be hyped up just from hearing what’s inside, you know, jumping up and down, whipping out the credit card and buying this “Curly Wurly” but I’ve been disappointed so many times before that I just know deep down in my shampoo weary heart that it’s probably just too good to be true.

Okay, so many naturals swear by the old cream of nature formula that you can only get now on amazon or ebay because the last of the bottles are being sold, and many have even said that aubrey organics shampoo is moisturizing. I must have had ten off wash days because each time I used honey suckle rose shampoo, I could hear train tracks coming to a screeching halt. So where are all of these so-called moisturizing shampoos that naturals are using with success? Why am I missing out on all the goodness? I’m no fool, just because the bottle says moisturizing does not make it so, I need to hear the proof and see the pudding.

Maybe my hair is just what it is – it loves conditioner and hates shampoo. And maybe, just maybe I’m wasting my time searching for something that’s going to leave these kinks non-stripped before my conditioner application and make my wash sessions much more of a breeze, but I have to keep looking. I want to see this big foot in hair – that urban legend bottle of moisturizing shampoo. I want to be able to say it’s true, there is such a thing as moisturizing shampoo. To be convinced that it exists, you know, just like crop circles and perky natural boobs after 45.

What’s your favorite shampoo brand? Have you found that bottle of shampoo that leaves your hair so soft and so clean that you can skip conditioner? or are you still on the search for said mystical, miracle shampoo?

CN Says:
For me, the only poo that comes close is KeraCare’s Cleansing Cream. I always follow up with conditioner, but that’s just for good measure. I can even use this shampoo post henna and not worry about contributing to the haystack feel. It’s good stuff and I highly recommend it. Hubby likes it too.
I also like CURLS’ Curlicious Cleansing Cream


  • Anonymous says:

    I usually don't comment but I had to post something about the LUSH Curly Wurly shampoo! It is my dream shampoo! I love everything about it, it is the most moisturizing shampoo I've ever used. (For me even the mildest shampoos are too drying). This shampoo cleans your hair and smells wonderful. Now, there are certainly chunks of coconut in it and you will find it in the shower strainer and in your hair after you're done (especially if your hair is thick, sometimes I stumble on coconut a day or two after styling with kinky curly). However, I don't even mind because it is such a great product. I don't work for LUSH but I will give praise where praise is due. They did a great job with this product and my 4 a/b-ish loves it.

    Also, it's pricey, BUT a little goes a long way! I use about one to two fingerfuls per section (I shampoo in eight sections) and apply right at the roots and cleanse my scalp and squeeze the suds down the rest of my hair. I think it probably makes conditioning a little better too because your hair isn't so dry.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wen. Pricey but spectacular.

  • FrankoJulio says:

    Black soap works for me =D

  • Anonymous says:

    Kera Care Natural Texture Line's cleansing cream is the first shampoo I've had success with in my entire 7 years of being natural. I've tried too many to count and this shampoo has finally made me enjoy washing my hair again. 🙂 It is really gentle and cleans surprisingly well. My 4b hair doesn't feel like hay after washing.

  • Angela says:

    I learned about Terressentials Organic Hair Wash from Whitney on Naptural85's Youtube channel. It's hair mud. Straight up mud and clay. And it's all I use, once a week, for my wash days. It cleans my hair and scalp and detangles. After I rinse, I can shake my hair out and little curls spring out all over. I still wet-detangle with the Tangle Teezer to remove shed hair afterwards, with nothing but water in my hair. I'm a type 4a/4b and I don't use regular conditioner. The only time I use a deep conditioner is after I henna, which is maybe once every 6 to 8 weeks. Then I use Karen's Body Beautiful Luscious Locks Hair Masque. But only then.

    I use water and aloe vera gel mix to moisturize in between washes, and Karen's Body Beautiful Butter Love to seal. Those are my only four hair products not counting the henna. My hair is super-shiny, soft, moisturized, growing like a weed, and retaining length like a champ. So I'm pretty happy with my mix.

  • Anonymous says:

    @ anonymous 2:21 am – Ive heard good things about Kerastase products, but I have priced Kerastase products and those products are way too expensive for me. : ( Right now I have to stick with Deva Care No Poo!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Has anyone tried Kerastase chroma sensitive caressing cleansing balm? I'm not sure about the other ingredients but there are no sulphates parabens and silicone free. What I do know is that I am able to use this on my hair after color processing (I have color and highlights, 4 type hair maybe a little 3) and there is no need for conditioner. I actually think my hair is much softer using this product than with any conditioner I have ever used. Disclaimer: I believe it's about $30 for a bottle that isn't large at all. 🙁 My stylist uses it on my hair and I have not yet taken the plunge to purchase it for myself due to the price and because I usually only co-wash.

  • Natasha says:

    I love the good sales people at lush but that Curly Wurly is no to the bueno. My hair felt uber crunchtastic when I used it after trying their henna.

  • Anonymous says:

    I wrote this entry on site on Sept. 1st 2011 for the blog titled Which products did you try in August…. I tried curly wurly and this is how it went:

    LUSH: Curly Wurly shampoo DON’T DO IT!

    I recently moved to NYC and came across the store LUSH never heard of it before so I was intrigued. So I went in an about an hour later the lovely (non-black) sales woman convinced me to try Curly Wurly. At the time my hair was in braids so she gave me a sample (full size is $20+) and told me to try it when I take my braids down. So last night I took my braids down and decided to give this Curly Wurly shampoo a try. Being from the islands I loved the fact that it had real coconut in it and it smelled amazing! So I followed her instructions to the T! Lather it in your hands first before applying it to your wet hair to avoid the pieces of coconut getting tangled in your curls. So I lathered, applied, massaged, rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed some more! I didn’t like the feel of my hair (kinda crunchy and dry) so I stepped out of the shower to peek in the mirror and to my disgust my hair had a BILLION pieces of coconut in it! I immediately applied conditioner and began the hour long detangling and comb through! I still haven’t gotten all the coconut pieces out so as I write this I’ve got half bottle of conditioner in my hair under a shower cap and i’ll have to comb it out again with a smaller comb!

    So sorry this post is so long but I had to share this! I did google/youtube curly wurly on black hair but I couldn’t find anything so I was hoping that it was a hidden gem that would work wonders and I could share it with a lot of people! WRONG WRONG WRONG! I really hope that I can get all this coconut out of my hair cause i’d hate to be walking around with pigeons pecking at me trying to get coconut from my hair!

  • Anonymous says:

    Urban legend is right! I've heard of moisturizing shampoos, but after searching high and low – found nothing and have concluded that moisturizing shampoos are just old folk tales or worst just a fairy tale. I received therapy for my product junky addiction and settled on Deva Care No Poo, follow by an awesome hair balm which gets my hair a tone of compliments. **long sigh** : )

  • EarthStewardess says:

    Three weeks ago I took a huge leap of faith and ordered Terresentials Organic Cleansing Mud (Lavender) not knowing what to expect from…mud BUT!!! The results were fantastic! I was actually excited to wash my hair again this week- and I did not need conditioner, my curls were more defined and less frizzy than I have ever seen them ( I ended up using my Oyin Honey Hemp condish as a leave in and because that doesn't totally do the job followed up with SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie) My hair has fallen hard! Did I mention that detangling was a breeze too! (although I did do a pre detangling session with my fingers)- It was and has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to a long healthy relationship (my hair also feels stronger and healthier….and with all of the above mentioned benefits- my hair always feels clean although the consistency of the mud is different from traditional cleansers you gotta figure out a way to get to the scalp with it…but on my second go round I felt much better about the results and it rinses away clean with all of the dirt and build up leaving non stripped hair that is beautifully moisturized and soft 🙂 ) ps. I am considering this my rooftop 🙂

  • Tai says:

    I have stopped using conditioner.

    I pre-poo with coconut oil on my hair and some castor/teatree oil on my scalp and sleep with plastic cap on the night before I'm gonna "wash".

    Then I use either terressentials mud wash (it's bentonite clay, aloe vera juice, and some other essential oils) and/or an acv rinse. My hair is clean, detangles easily (I always keep it protected/stretched so It's pre-detangled anyways) and I don't need a commercial conditioner. Just a bit of shea butter afterwards and go. Also! I always wash/style my hair in flat twist sections.

    Might this be helpful to you?

  • adelh says:

    i use wen – which is a cleansing conditioner. pricey – yes, but it leaves my hair extremely soft and shiny, so it is worth it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Shampoo bars or all natural shea/cocoa butter soap are great at keeping your hair moisturized while you cleanse. I left my bar at home when I left for school and I'm struggling without it. Me, my scalp and my hair loved that thing!!!

  • mangomadness says:

    I love Shea Moisture's Moisture Retention Shampoo.

    With that said, used rinse-out conditioner after my weekly shampoos (while using Shea Moisture or another shampoo) in months. My super coily hair is fine with a moisturizing leave-in condiitioner applied to freshly washed hair. I'm glad because it saves me money on conditioner and is better for the enviroment.

  • Anonymous says:

    How about stepping away from the commercial cleansers for a bit and trying herbs or clays to wash your hair? Start off with a half a teaspoon and focus on your scalp, you really don't need much of either clay or powdered herb to get your scalp and hair clean. I usually rub a little coconut oil in my hair first, then rub in an herb powder. If I was using rhassoul clay, I'd wet it first in the shower, rub it in, then wash it out after washing everything else.


  • Unknown says:

    I use SM Moisture Retention Shampoo and its the best shampoo for my 4b hair. My hair has to be washed or the product build up will do more harm that good…there is nothing like a clean scalp. I use a shampoo just for my scalp called VIA…I get it at a BSS.

  • Anonymous says:

    Does she say "free range eggs" at the end of the video?

  • Millennial Mocha Moms says:

    Saw This In The Middle Of Lecture. Curly Whirly Is Actually A Very Good Shampoo And Being Two Months In To My BC And TWA Afro Stage I've Been Playing Around With Many Products And This One Def Hits The Nail On The Head. It's 25.00 Which Is Pricey But You Literally Only Need A Dime Size for TWA And Just A Little More For Longer Hair (unless you want coconut shavings dropping throughout the day LOL) and it cleanses as well as softens the hair for easier styling. Promise, I swear by and recommend to all of my new and old natural hair friends!!!!!

  • Marcia says:

    I was a no poo chick for a long time but now I realize my hair needs shampoo. I LOVE Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle and recently when I was out of town and desperately needed a shampoo (no TJ around) I bought some Aussie Moist Shampoo (it has some form of Sulfate too) and I am in LOVE. It is truly moisturizing. No stripping, hair feels great after.

  • ggrox says:

    Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Bentonite clay mixed with aloe vera juice has replaced traditional shampoos for me!

  • Rhonda C says:

    I agree…Elucense three years running!

  • Anonymous says:

    Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap works well for me

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes, Shea Moisture's Moisture Retention Shampoo is great and I am able to detangle my hair without using conditioner.

    Even better is pure African Black Soap… the Ghananian kind. I order mine from and get the kind with shea butter added to it. I have no idea how African black soap cleanses with only shea butter, cocoa pods and coconut oil as the ingredients but somehow my hair is clean yet extremely moisturized.

    Try it.

  • Erin says:

    I too use Shea Moisture as well and i love it. It works wonders on mine and my daughters hair. The smell can be kid of strong but not over powering. When i went in for my last trim my hair gal was extactic about how healthy our hair was.

  • Miss C.D. says:

    I haven't tried Elucence or Shea Moisture's Moisture Retention Shampoo (although they're on my to buy list) – but I agree with CurlyNikki – Kera Care Cleansing Cream does it for me!!

    It makes my hair feel like butter!! Its so moisturizing and melts away tangles…

    I do follow up with a conditioner – although I've been thinking about using it as an all in one…

  • najmaj says:

    Hands down, my staple is Shea Moisture's Moisture Retention Shampoo! Best out there. Uber moisturizing and I love the scent, many people are not a fan of the scent, but I absolutely LOVE it. Only $9.99 and can be purchased at Walgreens or Target 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm on board with Ashley Jane….Elucence moisturizing shampoo is the BUSINESS. And the good thing is that a "little" goes a long way! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    The closest moisturizing shampoo that comes close to the OLD Creme of Nature shampoo is
    Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo. It leaves your hair so soft, moisturized and clean that you'll question wether you even need a conditioner. Unfortunately it does contain DMDM Hydantoin, so if you're looking for an all natural preservative-free shampoo this one is not for you. (For me it's the lesser of two evils)
    Here are the ingredients:
    Water (Aqua), Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Cocamide MEA, Polyquaternium-10, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Biotin (Vitamin H), Linoleic Acid (Vitamin F), Persia Gratissima (Avocado) Oil [contains Vitamins B2, D, A, E, K, and Potassium], Citric Acid, Ethylene Glycol Distearate, Parfum (Fragrance), DMDM Hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl Urea, CI 19140 (FD&C Yellow 5)

    I've also used SheaMoisture's Moisture Retention Shampoo. I like it but does not leave my hair as soft as the Elasta QP Shampoo.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ashley Jane, I too LOVE Elucene Moisture Benefits Shampoo. I don't even need to condition afterwards. And my hair stays soft for days later.

  • Anonymous says:

    I too anon 1:14 have tried the SM Moisture Retention Shampoo. It doesn't leave my 4A hair feeling stripped at all.

  • Anonymous says:

    My search was over once I tried SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Rentention Shampoo. Nice ingredients, it's all natural and hair feels really soft, very moisturized and manageable after rinsing. I still follow with a conditioner even though my hair doesn't feel like it needs it.

  • es says:

    Hi Have you tried either of these Mizani shampoos: True Textures Cleansing Cream
    Conditioning Curl Wash,
    True Textures Curl Balance
    Moisturizing Sulfate-Free Shampoo? I use them both on my clients and on my own locs and i like the fact that it leaves the hair soft after a shampoo.

  • Ashley Jane says:

    Elucence moisturizing shampoo is my favorite.

  • Mickey says:

    *raises hand* I tried Curly Wurly. I too fell in love with the ingredients and fragrance. But. Um… yeah. I wouldn't buy it again. It has little coconut bits which is a great testament to how natural it is, but those little bits insisted on getting real comfortable in my curls when I tried to rinse… resulting in little white specks. So I needed to add conditioner afterward to help them "slip" out. No bueno. And at $24 a pop… ppshht. Not worth it (in my opinion).

  • Anonymous says:

    Shea Moisture's Raw Shea Moisture. Not completely moisturizing, but definitely one of the most moisturizing poos on the market.

  • Carla says:

    I haven't found a shampoo yet, but I am considering using Curl Junkie Cleansing Conditioner because I've heard so many good things about it.

  • Emmanuella says:

    Moisturising shampoos are a myth, but gentle shampoos that won't dry out your hair do exist. Yes, Aubrey Organics is INCREDIBLY drying. My hair feels soft after use.

  • s.perry722 says:

    I swear this sounds JUST like me when wash day rolls around and I'm not that excited about it! But as of the last 6 months, the only shampoo that has EVER made me feel like I could almost skip the conditioner is Shea Moisture's Moisture Retention shampoo. Like you though, I've had my share of shampoos that dry my hair drier than a haystack, so I hurry and put on my conditioner despite the softness that I feel after the wash with Shea Moisture. Something deep down in my soul tells me that it isn't JUST the shampoo wrecking havoc on my coils…I think it's hard water, too! I could be wrong but who knows???

  • Anonymous says:

    Maybe you should try a different method of shampooing….may I suggest a few…(1) only shampoo your scalp and as you rinse the light traces of shampoo with rinse the small traces of dirt and oil from your strands (2) wash your scalp while it's in loose braids to avoid excessive tangling plus it's much easier to wash your scalp and rinse hair this way (3) prepoo with conditioner alone or with a mixture of oils, butters, and moisturizers (aloe, glycerin)….


  • Chelonthia says:

    i totally agreed with you Kurly, til i received a sample of Fekkai's shea butter shampoo. It actually made my hair feel like butter. the conditioner was eh, but the shampoo was *DREAMY*

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