If you have a love-hate relationship with your curls, well, you’re not alone! You may love your curly locks because they make you so unique and you’re proud of them. But at the same time, you’re probably part of the 94% of women with curls who reported frizz as their No1 hair concern! Simply take some time to understand these special strands and become your own curls expert. To help you in this journey, we created this on-hand arsenal of the best vegan curly hair products available.

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When people think about hair types, they probably think binary in terms like straight or curly. And that’s it. The reality is obviously more complex. The curly type is a rich family that gathers 9 different types of strand. It goes from loose waves to curls so densely coiled they almost look like foam. And to make things even more complicated, each individual strand fiber has its own curl pattern and texture. That’s why you want to test several quality cruelty-free and vegan curly hair care solutions designed for your type of hair before finding the right ones.

Hair Types Overview

When we are talking about hair type in general, there are 12 different kinds of hairs in 4 main families. Let’s see what they are:

  • Straight Hair (Type 1 – Sub-Types: 1a, 1b, 1c)
  • Wavy Hair (Type 2 – Sub-Types: 2a, 2b, 2c)
  • Curly Hair (Type3 – Sub-Types: 3a, 3b, 3c)
  • Kinky / Coily Hair (Type 4 – Sub-Types: 4a, 4b, 4c)

Curly hair as a wide family of strands range from 2a to 4c. We’ll see that each curly types and sub-types are different. But they share one common unfortunate property. Because of their “spiral” shape, curly hair can’t retain natural hair oils as effectively as straight strands. That explains why curls tend to be always thirsty, prone to dryness and eventually breakage or shrinkage. In response to that, moisture is the key. Your curls want hair products that can supply the amount of moisture they need to shine.

Cruelty-Free and Vegan Curly Hair Products

Harsh chemicals like sulfates tend to strip the hair of its natural oils. Certain oils can weigh down and cause damage to your strand. Realize that you have beautiful but special and fragile hair. Try to avoid chemicals and embrace sulfate-free, lightweight solutions specifically designed for your curls.

Now, let’s review each curl type, their specificities and the best vegan curly hair products crafted for each one of them.

For Wavy Hair – Type 2

wavy hair - type 2 - 2a subtype, 2b subtype, 2c subtype
Asian Woman with Wavy Hair (Type 2)

Neither straight nor really curly, wavy hair stands in the middle of the road. Recognizable by its characteristic S-shaped pattern, this type of hair has a semi-oval follicle that gives the hair strand its wave.

Wavy Sub-types

Just like other types of curls, wavy hair is divided into 3 sub-types, which represents different wave characteristics:

  • 2a – The finest subtype of wavy hair (but definitely thicker than straight hair), 2a type has a loose and soft bend
  • 2b – Characterized by straighter roots with more defined s-shape curls showing below forehead, 2b curls are usually medium-thick
  • 2c – This curl type is coarse and thick, with well-defined and more-dense waves showing from the root, mixed in with ringlets

Vegan Curly Hair Products for Wavy Hair

Wavy hair is prone to dryness and frizz. Your goal is to add volume without losing that wavy style. That’s why you want to choose light vegan and cruelty-free hair moisturizer that won’t weigh down your beautiful waves.

As part of your hair routine, wash your wavy hair with a sulfate-free, rich-in-nutrient shampoo and then apply a conditioner. To help lock in moisture, apply a deep conditioner every 2 weeks. If you feel like you’re using over-the-top heat to dry your hair, deep condition more often (once a week). You can also apply a leave-in conditioner for more protection. For more defined waves, use an anti-frizz defining gel or mousse.
Feel free to test different vegan curly hair products before finding the perfect combination for you.

wavy - type 2

Cassette Curl Shampoo + Superseed Oil Complex

R + Co
  • Flax seed and Chia seed extracts (Superseed Oil Complex) to add moisture and shine, without leaving hair greasy and heavy.
  • Aloe leaf extract delivers ultimate conditioning benefits
  • Rice Protein locks in moisture and helps prevent breakage
  • No sulfates, parabens, petrolatum or mineral oils
  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 8.5 fl oz / 241 mL
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wavy - type 2

Curls & Waves Vegan Conditioner

Sun Bum
  • Formulated to deliver intense moisture and shine, while accentuating the natural beauty of wavy hair
  • Kukui Nut Oil and Monoi Coconut Oil protect your hair from damaging UV rays
  • Sulfate and paraben Free
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 10 fl oz / 300 mL
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wavy - type 2

Complete All-in-One Leave-in Spray

Abba
  • Lightweight, it improves elasticity, moisturizes and strengthens hair while reducing breakage
  • Formulated with Abyssinian, coconut & watermelon seed oils
  • Sulfate-free, phthalate-free, paraben-free, and sodium-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 8 fl oz / 236 mL
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wavy - type 2

Waterfall Moisture + Shine Lotion

R + Co
  • Light, hydrating lotion for fine to medium and extra-long hair
  • Babassu Oil moisturizes dry hair from roots to ends, leaving it healthy and smooth
  • Witch Hazel balances out hydration levels and prevents frizz
  • Rosemary maintains scalp health and removes product build up
  • No sulfate, paraben, petrolatum or mineral oils
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 5 fl oz / 147 mL
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wavy - type 2

Curls & Waves Whipped Mousse

Sun Bum
  • Delivers medium hold with long-lasting, smooth, frizz-free curls for taking waves to the next level
  • Seaweed Protein, Kukui Nut Oil and Monoi Coconut Oil to shield your locks from becoming dull, for all day brilliance and shine
  • No sulfate or paraben
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 6 oz / 170 G
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For Curly Hair – Type 3

Curly hair - type 3 - 3a subtype, 3b subtype, 3c subtype
African Woman with Curly Hair (Type 3)

Type-3 curly hair has clearly defined curls. The oval follicle shape gives a type of curl ranging from tight corkscrew to larger, bouncy spiral. Type-3 is typically the kind of hair that goes from straight when the hair is being wet back to curly as it dries out.

Curly Hair Sub-Types

Just like other types of curly hair, type-3 curls can be divided into 3 sub-types:

  • 3a – This hair type has large but defined curls that could fit around your index and middle fingers together. It usually has a thick texture.
  • 3b – These kind of curls usually appear as tighter ringlets that could curl around your index finger alone. 3b-type strands can have several combination of different textures.
  • 3c – This type of hair has tight, kinky packed corkscrews, that could barely curl around a drumstick

Vegan Hair Products for Curly Hair

Subject to drying quickly and frizzing, type-3 curly hair needs love on a regular basis. Use a light vegan sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner specially designed for type-3 curls (i.e. won’t leave your strand dry).

They also require special deep love every so often! Deep conditioning each week or 2 works well for improving the moisture balance of your hair and nourishing your scalp.

Although very curly, type 3 is still pretty easy to manage and style. Use a vegan gel or mousse and apply it from root to tip to enhance your curls’ definition and get rid of frizz. And remember: nothing heavy!

curly - type 3

50:50 Balanced Shampoo

GIOVANNI
  • Formulated with rosemary, nettler, thyme, chamomile, clary and lavender oils infuse moisture while locking in color for a superior shine
  • USDA organic
  • No sulfates, parabens or dyes
  • Vegetarian, cruelty-free
  • 8.5 fl oz / 250 mL
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curly - type 3

No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner

Olaplex
  • Protects and repairs damaged hair, split ends, and frizz by re-linking broken bonds
  • No sulfates, paraben, phthalates or phosphates
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 8.5 fl oz / 250 mL
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curly - type 3

Velvet Divine Leave-In Conditioner

Saints & Sinners
  • Instantly detangles, eliminates frizz, adds shine, protects color, adds moisture, increases combability, strength & manageability
  • No parabens, phthalates, iron oxides, mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic colors, nut ingredients or palm oil
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 8.5 fl oz / 250 mL
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curly - type 3

Twister Curl Primer, Relative Paradise

R + Co
  • A lightweight primer that helps style your curls without crunch
  • Aloe leaf extract contains vitamins, amino acids and minerals that help moisturize and add shine
  • Shea butter moisturizes to help soften and seal
  • Pequi Fruit Oil helps to smooth the hair cuticle to increase smoothness, amplify shine and reduce frizz
  • No sulfates, parabens, petrolatum or mineral oils
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian, cruelty-free
  • 5 fl oz / 147 mL
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curly - type 3

Curl It Defining Crème

Onesta
  • Plant-based formula to add softness, smoothness, shine and frizz-free curl definition
  • For stronger curls, more elastic strands, resistant to damage
  • Contains papaya, avocado, and acai, a blend of minerals, amino acids, calcium, and vitamins B1 & B2
  • No sulfates, parabens, propylene glycol or synthetic dyes
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 8 fl oz / 236 mL
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For Kinky / Coily Hair – Type 4

Coily hair - type 4 - 4a subtype, 4b subtype, 4c subtype
African Woman with Coily Hair (Type 4)

Also known as “coily” or “kinky”, type-4 curls are the tiniest curliest curls! Its typical tight “zigzag” shape is formed though the flat oval shape of the follicle. Sometimes well-defined, Type 4 curls show a variety of textures, that range from fine to thick.

But not only kinks are the less manageable, but they are also delicate. And when type-4 hair grows long and looses too much moisture, strand contracts and end ups in a compacted coil, eventually leading to hair shrinkage.

Coily / Kinky Hair Sub-Types

And yes, just like other types of curly hair, type-4 curls can be split into 3 sub-types:

  • 4a – This type of hair is soft and dense in texture with tight, well-defined S-shaped curls that could fit around a pencil
  • 4b – Less defined, and usually fragile, this type has very tight and dense soft coils
  • 4c –This type of hair has such, so densely populated tight z-shaped hairs that they may look like “mousse” and are prone to shrinkage

Vegan Curly Hair Products for Coily / Kinky Hair

If your hair is coily or kinky, we know it can be “hairy” to find the right cruelty-free and vegan hair product.

Look for vegan hair solutions that will provide body and stretch to your kinkies, they need it. Coils and kinks are delicate and can quickly dry out because they don’t retain hair natural oils. That results in hair breakage when the hair is bent. These types of strand tend to be sensitive and prone to damage because of heat and poor-quality product.

The key to best taking care of your lovely kinks is by offering them a heavy moisture and maintaining it through the layering of different vegan hair products. That means you should use a gentle sulfate-free vegan shampoo specially formulated for curly hair and a moisturizing conditioner. Deep conditioning once a week is a must, especially if you use a source of heat to dry your curls. Prefer a gentle towel rather than an aggressive dryer. And once dry, don’t forget to apply hair oils or a leave-in conditioner to lock in moisture and protect them from external aggressors. Add a finishing creams to enhance definition to your curls and create your own style!

coily / kinky - type 4

Fortifying Sulfate Free Shampoo

Carol's Daughter
  • Helps target weak strands, restoring intense moisture
  • 94% less breakage, supports the strength of your hair as it gets longer
  • Formulated with castor oil, black seed oil and ginger
  • Paraben-free, no petrolatum, no mineral oils
  • Vegan, cruelty free
  • 11 fl oz / 312 mL
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coily / kinky - type 4

Healing and Moisturizing Vegan Conditioner

Pacifica
  • Coconut, rice and super fruits to revive dry hair
  • Gently restore moisture and help protect against pollution
  • No SLS, parabens, phthalates, or petrolatum
  • Vegan, cruelty free
  • 8 fl oz / 236mL
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coily / kinky - type 4

Moisture & Control Deep Treatment Masque

Oribe
  • Ultimate moisturizing masque, with coconut and almond oils, quenches thirsty curls and prevents breakage
  • Blend of Murumuru & Mango Seed Butters repairs and helps prevent damage by smoothing the cuticle to strengthen and protect hair from breakage
  • Coconut Oil penetrates the hair shaft to nourish and soften while sealing the cuticle and enhancing shine.
  • Hydrolyzed Baobab Seed Extract rich in Vitamins A, D, E and F, provides antioxidant protection from damaging free radicals
  • Without parabens, sulfates or sodium chloride
  • Vegan, cruelty free
  • 8.5 fl oz / 250 mL
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coily / kinky - type 4

Coily Banana Butter Repair + Restore Leave-in Conditioner

Umberto Giannini
  • Repair + restore leave-in conditioner with banana, shea butter, coconut oil, cupuacu butter and brazil nut oil
  • De-frizzes and adds shine to thirsty curls
  • Without silicones, parabens or mineral oils
  • 97% Natural
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan, cruelty free
  • 3.3 fl oz / 100 mL
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coily / kinky - type 4

7 Oil Blend Scalp Oil

Carol's Daughter
  • Moisturizes to help protect hair from breakage and split ends
  • Delivers 15X stronger hair in one use
  • Blended with castor oil and black cumin seed
  • No sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oils, artificial colors
  • Vegan, cruelty free
  • 4.2 fl oz / 125 mL
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Thanks for having taken the time to read this article, that truly means a lot to us.

We think you should be interested in our buying guide specially dedicated to cruelty-free and vegan shampoos for curly hair.

Amie A.

Amie A.

Creative hairstyler, writer, intersectional positivist and cruelty-free animal activist