The Best Shampoo For Relaxed Hair – Our Top 10 Picks

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What’s The Best Shampoo For Relaxed Hair?

To keep relaxed hair looking healthy, smooth and shiny, you’ll need a shampoo that’s carefully formulated for the job, and take our word for it, there are many.

We’ve taken a look at the best the market has to offer and whittled it down to ten great picks.  If you choose on of the products that follow, you won’t be disappointing

We’ve also covered everything you need to know from what to do before you relax your hair, to what expect afterwards.

The 3 Best Shampoos For Relaxed Hair Right Now

For a full review of the top ten products on the market read on.  For those in a rush, here are three of the best options right now:

Preview
Amazing Value
Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate- Free Shampoo- Almond & Avocado Collection, 8 Fl Oz
Highly Recommended
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner | Set of 2 | 13 fl. Oz. each
Our Top Pick
ArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set - (2 x 16 Fl Oz / 473ml) - Sulfate Free - Volumizing & Moisturizing - Gentle on Curly & Color Treated Hair - Infused with Keratin
Product
Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate- Free Shampoo- Almond & Avocado Collection, 8 Fl Oz
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner | Set of 2 | 13 fl. Oz. each
ArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set - (2 x 16 Fl Oz / 473ml) - Sulfate Free - Volumizing & Moisturizing - Gentle on Curly & Color Treated Hair - Infused with Keratin
Rating
Price
$14.98
$20.89
$24.95
-
Amazing Value
Preview
Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate- Free Shampoo- Almond & Avocado Collection, 8 Fl Oz
Product
Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate- Free Shampoo- Almond & Avocado Collection, 8 Fl Oz
Rating
Price
$14.98
-
Highly Recommended
Preview
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner | Set of 2 | 13 fl. Oz. each
Product
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner | Set of 2 | 13 fl. Oz. each
Rating
Price
$20.89
Our Top Pick
Preview
ArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set - (2 x 16 Fl Oz / 473ml) - Sulfate Free - Volumizing & Moisturizing - Gentle on Curly & Color Treated Hair - Infused with Keratin
Product
ArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set - (2 x 16 Fl Oz / 473ml) - Sulfate Free - Volumizing & Moisturizing - Gentle on Curly & Color Treated Hair - Infused with Keratin
Rating
Price
$24.95

The Top 10 Best Shampoos For Relaxed Hair

Let’s get straight into reviewing the most popular shampoos for relaxed hair where we weigh up the pros and cons of each:

1. ArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

best shampoo for relaxed hairArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set is perfect for relaxed hair as argan oil is well known for its restorative properties.

It also helps protect your hair from damage due to exposure to sunlight and heat styling, something your relaxed tresses sorely need.

Despite these special properties, it’s suited to all hair types and both men and women will find this product the perfect fit.

Relaxed hair requires constant moisturizing and the minerals in this formula help keep your scalp hydrated without any residue, making it an excellent choice.

Things we like about this product:

  • It’s a sulphate-free formula
  • It hydrates and moisturizes the scalp well
  • It leaves hair soft, silky and shiny
  • The conditioner is light and non-greasy
  • It has a refreshing scent
  • It eliminates frizz

Things we don’t like:

  • It’s a little on the pricey side
  • The consistency is slightly thin

Overall, the ArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set is a great buy  that works really well on relaxed hair by keeping it moisturized, shiny and healthy-looking. It’s our number one pick and the product of choice for thousands of happy users.

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2. Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate- Free Shampoo

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

design essentials detangling shampooDesign Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing and Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo contains almond and avocado which makes it ideal for daily use.

The almond nourishes your hair and adds shine to it while the avocado works as a strengthening agent to makeshair healthy from the shaft right down to the root.

This shampoo’s best feature is arguably its detangling properties.

Its gentle, detangling formula can save you half an hour in front of the mirror and doesn’t strip your hair of its natural oils.

It works great on all hair types regardless of gender, age and lifestyle, with its all-natural, paraben, mineral oil and sulfate-free formula that cleanses your hair gently by removing dirt and build up.

Those with natural hair will find it particularly nourishing.

Things we like about this product:

  • It reduces hair breakage and greatly reduces tangles
  • It’s a sulfate-free formula that’s great for daily use
  • It makes hair soft and shiny
  • It moisturizes better than most conditioners
  • It tames down frizz

Things we don’t like:

  • The scent could be a bit more attractive
  • That’s about it!

Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate- Free Shampoo works great on all hair types and is well-suited to relaxed and/or colored air due to its hydrating properties. And its advanced detangling properties are a big bonus.  Highly recommended.

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3. SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

shea moisture manuka honey shampooSheaMoisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Shampoo and conditioner is ideal for relaxed and other chemically-treated hair as honey is one of the very best natural moisturizers there is.

Honey is also a great antioxidant and can cleanse your scalp wonderfully well without the need for sulfate.

Mafura oil on the other hand, is great for deep masking your hair.

The Shea Butter can help your scalp restore its natural oils and keep your hair nourished, something relaxed hair really needs.

It also contains African fig which, like honey, o is very rich in antioxidants to help protect damaged hair from external factors such as heat and pollution.

Fans love this shampoo because even without the conditioner, it keeps frizz at bay and leaves hair looking well moisturized.

Things we like about this product:

  • It leaves hair looking bouncy and silky
  • It eliminates frizz
  • It smells great
  • It moisturizes dry and damaged hair very well
  • It doesn’t cause any residue build up

Things we don’t like:

  • The conditioner is a little heavy if used generously

Overall, SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner while not the best fit for oily hair, is a wise choice for relaxed hair. It gives relaxed hair much-needed bounce and retains its moisture and silkiness.  A real fan’s favorite.

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4. Pantene Truly Relaxed Intense Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner Set

Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

pantene truly relaxed shampoo and conditionerPantene Truly Relaxed Intense Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner is specially designed to minimize and control split ends.

It also helps prevent tangling and hence, makes your hair easier to manage.

It’ll be the perfect pick for you if you have chemically-relaxed or natural African-American hair

This blend contains coconut oil and jojoba seed oil.

Coconut oil keeps hair moisturized and aids hair growth effectively while jojoba seed oil strengthens your hair from the roots.

Despite the inclusion of coconut oil it’s formulated carefully to avoid making your tresses greasy or weighing them down.

Things we like about this product:

  • It gives hair a healthy, silky shine
  • It works great on African-American hair types
  • Its very lightweight
  • It relaxes tangles effectively
  • It prevents split ends and leaves hair feeling soft

Things we don’t like:

  • It’s a little expensive
  • It contains sulfate

Overall, Pantene Truly Relaxed Intense Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner will make your hair silky and shiny which makes it a great product for relaxed hair. It does however contain sulfate which could be harmful to your hair in the long run. For short term use it’s an excellent choice though.

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5. Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

cantu sulfate-free cleansing cream shampooOne of the main problems you can face with shampooing long hair is breakage and that is exactly what the Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo is designed to reduce.

Made with a shea butter base that’s free of any sulfate, parabens, silicones or mineral oil, this shampoo is sure to foam into a thick, rich lather that’ll effortlessly wash away any dirt and build up on your scalp.

This shampoo has a pleasantly mild, floral scent that’s not overwhelming.

It’s well-suited to both relaxed and color-treated hair and works great on frizz-prone hair too.

Things we like about this product:

  • It minimizes frizz
  • It moisturizes well
  • It’s sulfate and paraben free
  • It has a pleasant, subtle scent
  • It foams well and cleanses the scalp gently
  • It is reasonably-priced

Things we don’t like:

  • It tends to cause a little tangling after it dries
  • The lid on the bottle is quite fragile

Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo is a product that will do a pretty good job for your hair at a great price, without causing any damage. It leaves your hair nourished and moisturized but can cause tangles.  The pros definitely outweigh the cons.

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6. Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Care Set for Dry/Dull & Brittle Hair (Shampoo & Conditioner)

Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

carols daughter black vanilla hair care setCarol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Care range is carefully designed to add as much moisture as possible to your hair with the help of unusual as well as popular ingredients such as sweet clover extract, aloe leaf juice and shea butter.

This shampoo-conditioner gift set is sulfate-free and is sure to give your relaxed hair a great nourishing boost.

It works well on relaxed as well as color-treated hair by enriching your hair with natural moisture despite being a lightweight formula.

If you’re struggling with incredibly dry, unmanageable coarse hair, you may want to give this product a try and it’s sure to leave your hair feeling silky and smooth.

The hydrating conditioner, unlike most conditioners, is very light and suitable for daily use.

The combination of the shampoo and conditioner, you’ll find, leaves your hair a lot softer and with fewer knots than it had before.

Things we like about this product:

  • The shampoo has a rich, thick consistency which means a little shampoo goes a long way here
  • It makes hair less brittle and moisturizes well
  • It helps reduce dandruff and flaking
  • It has a delicious vanilla scent
  • It makes hair extremely soft

Things we don’t like:

  • The packaging could be better
  • It does tend to make oily hair greasy and slightly heavy

Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Care a great buy for those with relaxed hair as it moisturizes dry and damaged hair wonderfully well. The packaging could be better though, the lid has a tendency to open every now and again, but overall it’s recommended.

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7. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Combination Pack – Strengthen, Grow & Restore – (Shampoo, Conditioner & Leave-In Conditioner)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

shea moisture jamaican black castor oil combination packShea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Combination Pack is the perfect hair care package for relaxed hair – enriched with castor oil, it promotes excellent hair growth.

It also contains apple cider vinegar to help balance the pH level on your scalp and give you soft, silky hair.

Apart from castor oil, these products also include peppermint that stimulates hair growth from the follicles while invigorating hair and curing you of your split ends.

This formula contains omegas which help heal damaged, chemically-treated hair and allow it to regain some of its lost shine and nourishment.

Even though this shampoo is designed keeping curly hair in mind, it works just as well on relaxed hair.

It helps minimize tangles as well.

Things we like about this product:

  • It combats frizz effectively
  • It doesn’t weigh down hair or make it appear greasy
  • The leave-in conditioner makes it easy to comb through tangles
  • It doesn’t leave behind any residue
  • It aids hair growth
  • It has a great scent

Things we don’t like:

  • The shampoo has a slight watery consistency

Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Combination Pack is a great buy in terms of how much it aids hair growth and how well the leave-in conditioner moisturizes your strands. Despite being thick, the conditioner doesn’t leave behind any residue or weigh your hair down and it smells great too.

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8. OGX Extra Strength Damage Remedy + Coconut Miracle Oil Shampoo

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

ogx extra strength coconut miracle oil shampooOGX Extra Strength Damage Remedy Coconut Miracle Oil Shampoo is carefully designed with damaged, dry and frizzy hair in mind.

Exotic is the only way to describe this shampoo with its natural ingredients such as coconut oil and vanilla extract.

These ingredients not only help make your hair softer and stronger, but smell great too!

Fans love that this brand focuses on making hair look as natural and healthy as possible by making it appear fuller, shinier and frizz-free.

This enriching formula also helps keep your stray hairs at bay and improves hair elasticity.

No more yanking your hair out while taking out a hair tie! It also helps protect chemically-treated hair from any further damage due to external elements.

Things we like about this product:

  • It’s paraben and sulfate-free
  • It smells great
  • It gives almost instant results in making hair shiny and silky
  • It contains coconut oil which is a great natural moisturizer
  • The consistency is nice and thick so a little shampoo goes a long way

Things we don’t like:

  • The strong perfume scent blended with coconut scent doesn’t appeal to everyone
  • It does tend to make your hair a little greasy if you use it everyday

OGX Extra Strength Damage Remedy Coconut Miracle Oil Shampoo is a great natural formula enriched with coconut oil and vanilla extract. The fact that it’s sulfate-free means it’s suitable for regular use and it’ll effectively protect your hair from further damage.

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9.WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo & Hair Conditioner Set

Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

wow apple cider vinegar shampooWOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Hair Conditioner Set contains virgin coconut oil and avocado oil along with apple cider vinegar to revitalize, nourish and strengthen relaxed hair.

As we’ll see later, a lot of chemicals go into relaxing hair and maintaining relaxed hair.

These chemicals tend to cause build up which in turn attracts dirt to the scalp. Apple cider vinegar helps detoxify and purify the scalp by clearing out this dirt and build up from the first wash itself.

This rich formula is suited to both men and women and slows down hair fall, especially for those already experiencing patches of baldness.

In time, this shampoo/conditioner combination helps make your hair softer, smoother and healthier.

It’ll also work wonders in taming your split ends and prevent hair breakage.

Things we like about this product:

  • It makes hair soft and smooth
  • It’s a lightweight formula that suits relaxed hair
  • It slows down hair fall
  • It gets rid of static hair
  • It increases hair volume and makes it easier to comb through

Things we don’t like:

  • The shampoo doesn’t spread very easily
  • It has a semi-strong synthetic fragrance
  • The conditioner tends to leave a slight, sticky residue if used generously

WOW Apple Cider Shampoo and Hair Conditioner Set has ingredients that cleanse and protect your relaxed hair from further or lasting damage. Apple cider vinegar, in particular, is a favorite ingredient in this shampoo as it cleanses the scalp better than almost anything else out there and tames split ends.

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10. Pantene, Shampoo and Sulfate Free Conditioner Kit, with Argan Oil, Pro-V Gold Series

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

pantene sulfate free conditioner kitPantene, Shampoo and Sulfate Free Conditioner Kit, with Argan Oil, Pro-V Gold Series is a sulfate-free formula that is designed to soften hair almost instantly.

It lathers really well and cleanse the scalp of all dirt and residue build up from styling products and being free of sulfate, it doesn’t cleanse your hair of natural oils.

This formula contains argan oil, one of the very best hair care ingredients in the beauty business and you’ll find your hair much softer and healthier after just a couple of washes with this shampoo/conditioner.

It also helps make your hair more flexible which in turn helps reduce breakage while washing/combing.

Things we like about this product:

  • Its sulfate and paraben free
  • It contains argan oil, a great hair care ingredient
  • Its reasonably-priced
  • The shampoo and conditioner work together well to make hair soft
  • Its easily available
  • Leaves hair moist and healthy-looking

Things we don’t like:

  • The conditioner can make oily hair appear greasy
  • The shampoo can dry out hair with regular use

Overall, Pantene Shampoo and Sulfate Free Conditioner Kit is not an amazing product but it’s not bad either. It’s priced more reasonably than other similar products in the market which makes it more accessible to a wider demographic. And of course, the Pantene brand is a name you can trust.

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So, What’s The Best Shampoo For Relaxed Hair Then?

We’re constantly updating these reviews.  These are currently our top three picks for anyone looking for the best shampoo for relaxed hair right now …

Best all round product

gold medalAfter reviewing ten products, our pick of the lot for best all round product would be the SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Combination Pack, priced at $29.99 at the time of review, and includes a shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner.

We all know that castor oil has been a favorite for generations when it comes to boosting hair growth and this combination pack incorporates it beautifully along with apple cider vinegar – a great detoxifying agent.

As elaborated in the ‘product reviews’ section, apple cider vinegar helps balance the pH level on your scalp and the addition of peppermint in this pack lends it a refreshing scent.

What we love about this product is that the combination of the shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner works together wonderfully well to leave your hair feeling softer, smoother and with continual use, longer.

You’d think with a conditioner and leave-in conditioner residue would be an issue but that’s not the case here.

This product leaves behind no residue nor does it make your hair appear greasy or thick, as is the problem with most conditioners.

The leave-in conditioner also makes it easier to comb through knots and tangles.

All in all, we think of this pack as a great investment for healthy relaxed hair.

Best budget product

silver medalOur vote for best budget product would go to the OGX Extra Strength Damage Remedy + Coconut Oil Miracle Shampoo, priced at just $6.57 at the time of review.

It’s designed especially for dry and damaged hair which makes it an ideal budget shampoo for relaxed and/or coloured hair.

We found this shampoo’s best feature to be how well it tames frizz and improves hair elasticity. More hair elasticity means less breakage and we’re on board for that any day!

It’s also paraben and sulfate free which means it ensures your chemically-treated hair doesn’t require more harmful chemicals for daily upkeep.

You’ll notice almost instant results with this shampoo as it’ll make your hair feel soft and nourished after only the first wash! We’re guessing the coconut oil is to thank for that and we’re not complaining.

The only major downside with this shampoo though, is that it does sometimes (sometimes!) tend to leave a little whitish residue on dark hair.

Best alternative product

bronze medalOur pick for the best alternative product would be the Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Care Gift Set that includes a shampoo and conditioner and retailed for $15.58 (at the time of review). Enriched with shea butter and sweet clover extract this shampoo/conditioner set is sure to leave your hair nourished and healthy with continual use.

The combination of the shampoo and conditioner works well together to make damaged hair less coarse and brittle and reduce dandruff too.

We found the shampoo to have a smooth, thick consistency which means a little amount of shampoo goes a long way with this product and you won’t have to shell out to replace the bottle very often.

We loved its delicious vanilla scent and while it does moisturize well, we discovered it can leave your hair a little heavy and greasy if you use the shampoo and conditioner too generously.

A dime sized amount of each should suffice. We also wish the packaging could be better as the lid is a little too fragile.

Things To Consider When Buying Shampoo For Relaxed Hair

magnifying glassIn this section we’ll dive into the major things you’ll need to consider and/or do before, during and after you’ve relaxed your hair.

Note – if you’re thinking of relaxing your hair yourself, check out our post on the best relaxer for black hair here.

Before relaxing:

Don’t Wash Your Hair

attentionDo not wash your hair or scratch your scalp for at least a week before you relax it.

All hands off! That means no lifting off the dandruff, no combing from the scalp and certainly no shampooing.

Try not to wet your hair altogether as this will lead to the chemicals burning your hair when the relaxers start working.

Remember this very, very carefully unless you want your relaxing experience to be unnecessarily painful.

Allow your hair to rest

It’s all very well if you have hair extensions or a wig on.

However, these attachments stress your hair out from the roots to the ends.

You don’t want to have this right before you go in for a chemical treatment such as hair relaxation.

Make sure you take out all extensions and weaves at least one week before your relaxation process to allow your hair time to rest and breathe to make the whole process easier.

Detangle and Comb 

hair combYou want your hair smooth and tangle-free before your relaxing session so make sure you comb or at least detangle with your fingers throughout the week.

Do make sure to use a wide tooth comb and avoid touching your scalp at all costs.

Even while combing, be gentle and don’t keep working the same section over and over again; once the knots are out, leave it alone.

Don’t tug too hard on your strands either; be patient and work through the tangles slowly.

If you exercise, make sure to avoid working out at least three days before hair relaxation to keep your hair sweat-free.

 

After relaxing:

Neutralize

After you’re done with the relaxation process, it is absolutely imperative that you purchase a neutralizing shampoo. You need a neutralizing shampoo to stop the relaxing process.

The whole relaxing process contains strong and harmful chemicals and your regular shampoo simply cannot put a stop the relaxing process.

Regular shampoo can in fact, cause major damage to your newly-relaxed hair in the form of breakage and hair fall.

If you do not neutralize your hair, the chemicals in the relaxers will continue to work on your hair eating it slowly and causing long-lasting damage.

Condition

conditioner for relaxed hairAfter shampooing and neutralizing your relaxed hair, it logically follows that you’ll have to condition it to make up for all the moisture the chemicals stripped away.

Any and every chemical process stresses out your hair and can permanently damage it if you don’t take immediate steps to soothe it.

This is exactly where conditioner comes in.

Think of it as a balm for your locks and you’ll protect your hair from further damage. In the case of conditioner think, ‘more is more’.

A sachet simply won’t suffice; buy a bottle of relaxing conditioner and your hair will thank you forever.

Go easy with the styling

pros and consUsing heat to style your hair regularly is never a good idea but even less so with relaxed hair.

Relaxed hair dries out and breaks at the slightest provocation and using curling irons, straighteners and blow dryers on a regular basis can cause significant damage to your hair that can be very difficult to reverse.

Instead, get into the habit of using alternative, no-heat methods to style your hair such as:

  • Flexi rods
  • Foam rollers
  • Wet sets
  • Buns
  • Braids
  • Plastic rollers

On the days you’re running low on time and absolutely have to use heat to style your hair, make sure you use a heat protectant to keep future breakage and frizz at bay.

Wrap hair at night

Wrapping your hair before you sleep can not only help you save time in the morning by keeping your hair from tangling, but also help your relaxed tresses maintain their texture and shape.

If you can use a satin pillowcase regularly, this can help too.

Wrapping helps preserve the volume and body of your hair while you sleep.

Wrapping your hair at night an also prevent excessive dryness of the hair strands and scalp.

Such a simple thing to do, wrapping, but can end up saving you hundreds of dollars in hair care.

Trim hair regularly

hair trimThe ends of your hair are of course, the oldest growth so it logically follows that they would be the most fragile and susceptible to damage.

The ends can quickly dry out and split, which in turn dries out the rest of your strands and not to mention, makes your hair look terribly neglected and unkempt.

Split ends can be easily identified on relaxed hair and hence, look worse than on most other hairstyles.

Regular trips to the salon to get a good trim can keep not only the ends but the whole of your hair looking healthy, silky and silky.

Protective hairstyles

If you haven’t kept your last salon appointment to trim your split ends, what better way to hide them than to put them up in an updo or braid?

Using these protective hairstyles however, not only hide away your dry, split ends effectively but also allow the ends of your hair to retain moisture.

Even if you don’t want to grow out your hair, having moisturized ends are still important as they keep all your hair looking healthy and moisturized.

These protective hair styles also help in preventing hair from easy breakage.

Check out the following clip for some sound advice on how to maintain relaxed hair:

 

Key Features of Relaxing shampoos

checklistBefore we get into the ideal features of a good hair relaxing shampoo, let us first take a look at the two broad standards by which hair relaxers are classified.

Getting a general idea of these standards will help you choose the perfect shampoo for your relaxed hair.

Lye Relaxers

A highly alkaline solution with a pH level in the range of 12-14 (our natural hair’s pH level ranges from 4-5), the main ingredient in lye relaxers is sodium hydroxide.

Now the question inevitably arises: are lye relaxers harmful for your hair considering the high pH levels? Not really.

Lye relaxers work fairly quickly on your hair, minimising the time it would take to burn your scalp.

By breaking hair bonds quickly, the damaging effects it could have on your hair strands too are kept in check.

Furthermore, lye-based relaxers do not leave behind any moisture-blocking agents on your hair and scalp aided of course, by a good neutralizing shampoo.

Non-lye Relaxers

Ammonium thioglycolate and calcium hydroxide qualify as non-lye relaxers.

If your hair is curly or wavy and your scalp sensitive, you may opt (or may have opted) for a non-lye relaxer.

Using a non-lye relaxer too, reduces the chances of burning your scalp or hair.

Beware of dryness though, as calcium is a drying agent.

Non-lye relaxers can also facilitate product build up on your hair and scalp so make sure to use a purifying shampoo and nourishing conditioner at least once a month to get rid of it.

Now, according to experts, these are some of the features you need to look for in a good relaxing shampoo:

Ingredients

shampoo for relaxed hair checklistIn terms of ingredients used in the shampoo, the first thing you should be looking out for is whether or not it’s sulfate-free.

No more extra foamy shampoo! Shampoos that contain organic coconut oil or hibiscus are your best bets.

Remember to opt for shampoos that claim to moisturize the hair well but be careful; do not go for shampoos that are designed for oily hair as they’ll leave your hair dry and dull.

Sulfate-free shampoos will leave your relaxed hair looking shiny, smooth and healthy.

Dandruff

Now, it’s perfectly common for relaxed hair to cause dandruff.

The chemicals used in the hair relaxing process (particularly non-lye relaxers that are calcium-based) tend to dry out the scalp and cause dandruff.

Before you make a beeline for the first anti-dandruff shampoo you see, consider buying one that also promises nourishment.

Most anti-dandruff formulas may get rid of dandruff effectively, but dry out the scalp.

Detangling

If you think knots and tangles are a problem now with your natural hair, think again; relaxed hair is infested with chemicals and hence more susceptible to knots and tangles.

Make sure to keep an eye out for detangling shampoos as these come specially designed to minimise tangles and consequentially, prevent hair fall.

 

Best Brands

star ratingFollowing are some of the brands that are considered the best in the industry and worthy of recommendation:

Design Essentials

Design Essentials is one of the leading direct distributors of hair care solutions that cater to both salons and homes.

Launched in 1990, they have been committed to addressing specific hair care needs.

In addition to manufacturing quality hair care products, they also take an active interest in providing blogs and seminars to educate their users on how to get the most out of their products.

SheaMoisture

Established in the year 1912 in Sierra Leone, SheaMoisture is committed to manufacturing beauty products that are sustainably-produced and as far as possible, free of sulfate and parabens.

They ensure their products are only tested on members of their founding family and never on animals. T

his brand strongly believes in inclusivity and strives to make their products accessible to all.

Pantene

The world’s most popular hair care brand, Pantene has a universal appeal being both easily accessible and affordable.

Even though it originated in Switzerland, the hair care giant has a loyal base of customers from USA all the way to China today.

Their ground-breaking Pro-V formula is being constantly developed and redeveloped to come up with the best possible products since it was conceived over 70 years ago.

 Art Naturals

ArtNaturals is a unique brand that’s committed to manufacturing sustainable, cruelty-free, premium quality products that are meant to enhance beauty in all colours, shapes and sizes.

They strongly believe in making beauty accessible to all and their plant-based products are sourced globally and made from the best natural ingredients.

 

Shampoo For Relaxed Hair – FAQs

q & aQ – How do I wash my relaxed hair?

A – You can wash your relaxed tresses about twice a week with (preferably) a sulfate and paraben free shampoo.

Once you shampoo your hair, you can massage it onto your scalp and strands gently using your fingertips and not your nails. Relaxed hair is more prone to breakage so be very gentle while doing this.

Also, be sure to condition your hair every time you shampoo it to keep it moisturized.

Let the conditioner sit for 5-10 minutes, work through your tangles if you like, and rinse it off with lukewarm water.

 

Q – Is there an alternative to shampooing relaxed hair?

A – Yes! You can ‘co-wash’ your relaxed hair instead of shampooing it if you’re afraid it’ll dry out.

‘Co-washing’ is ‘conditioner-only washing’ is a gentler alternative to shampooing if you opt for a lightweight conditioner.

Unlike shampoo, conditioner does not take away any of your scalp’s natural oil and sebum and instead leaves your hair clean and refreshed.

You can choose to co-wash your hair regularly and avoid shampooing altogether. Beware though; if your hair is thin, co-washing can make it appear even thinner and limp.

 

Q – Can I blow dry relaxed hair?

A – Yes, but it’s not recommended.

You can help your relaxed hair maintain its shape simply by tying it up in a silk scarf before you sleep or smoothing it up into a loose bun.

If you want it wavy, consider using a roller set or simply braiding your hair while it’s damp and letting it air dry.

If however, you absolutely must blow dry relaxed hair, allow it to air dry partially and keep your dryer on the lowest possible heat setting about 10 inches away from your face.

 

Q – How do I keep relaxed hair moisturized?

A – Three words: hot oil massage.

Giving your hair a hot oil massage once a week is great, but twice a week is ideal.

Giving your tresses a hot oil massage not only moisturizes them, but also makes them stronger and healthier from the roots.

The oils we’d recommend for relaxed hair would be coconut oil, jojoba oil or olive oil. You can leave the oil on for about 30 minutes before rinsing off.

 

Q – Can I dye relaxed hair?

A – Yes, but it is advisable to wait at least two weeks before your permanently dye relaxed hair.

We’d recommend you opt for hair dyes that are free from any ammonia or bleach.

If your hair is extremely dry and prone to breakage though, you’d be better off avoiding permanent hair color altogether.

You can use ammonia-free, temporary hair dye immediately after relaxing and maintain it using a color-protectant hair conditioner.

For grey hair consider using root touch up sprays or wands between salon visits.

 

Best Shampoo For Relaxed Hair – Wrapping It Up

Getting your hair relaxed can be a big decision.

It comes with the commitment of constant care and  maintenance, but with the right shampoo and a few simple steps, it’s easy to maintain great results.

Hopefully our guide has helped you decide which one to go with.  In our view the best shampoo for relaxed hair is ArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Oil Shampoo.

our top pick

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It’s a great choice thanks to the restorative and protective properties in the argan oil.  It hydrates and moisturizes really well.  It’s affordable, easy to use and smells great too.

Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing and Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo is a great alternative, as is SheaMoisture’s Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Shampoo.

If you go with any of these they won’t let you down.

If you liked this article you might also be interested in our article on the best shampoo for locs here.

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