What shampoo/conditioner should I get for 2b curly hair?
August 29, 2018 1:58 PM   Subscribe

I have 2b wavy/curly hair that tangles and frizzes a lot, and I need suggestions for shampoo & conditioner, under $10/bottle each.

(I'm not interested in other types of products right now).

I know some folks swear by Deva products but they're too rich for my blood.

I'm familiar with the 'plop' hair drying method, which I'm going to start following.

My hair is quite thick, and in particular needs a lot of conditioner.

I would like to eliminate frizzing and tangles in particular; shininess would be nice. I dream of being able to braid my hair and not have to worry about it eating itself.

I am in the U.S. and have access to Target, WalMart, drugstores, Ulta, as well as the Internet.
posted by Archipelago to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I have similar hair to you (2b, tangles/frizzes) but it's thinner. Anyway, I love Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine. It was recommended by one of those curly hair websites like 10 years ago and I've been using it since. It was one of the first of the regular mainstream/cheap/drugstore brands to not have the stuff that's bad for curly/wavy hair.

BTW, I only use the conditioner. I pretty much haven't used shampoo since I was a teenager, as I don't think drier hair needs it in addition to conditioner, and it tends to make my hair frizzier/drier. Not sure if Sleek and Shine would have that effect.
posted by lunasol at 2:07 PM on August 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

I know you said you aren't interested in other types of products, but I think what you want your conditioner to do is to be a styling cream, and your conditioner isn't a styling cream. I tried to make that work from like age 12 to age 30 and it really doesn't. Even a cheap curl cream in a relatively small quantity and minimal styling after that point does more towards this goal than expensive conditioner, because you aren't washing it right back out again. (Conditioner itself if not rinsed out is too heavy.) The most recent cheap one I used regularly was the Garnier Fructis--my $30/bottle stuff is better than that but honestly not *that* much better.
posted by Sequence at 2:10 PM on August 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have similar hair. My favorite shampoo & conditioner are the "Kirkland Signature Moisture" ones from Costco, which were about $14 for a large bottle the last time I got them.

I no longer have access to Costco & have been using "Aussie Mega Moist" shampoo & conditioner, which are about $6/bottle.
posted by belladonna at 2:24 PM on August 29, 2018

frizz ease sells for about $7 at target.
posted by brujita at 2:26 PM on August 29, 2018

I really like Tresemme's Perfectly Undone for my thick wavy/curly hair. It's usually on sale at Target.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 2:26 PM on August 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have your hair type.

"Tangles and frizzes" is because you're doing something other than locking the ringlets at the bottom -- probably brushing. Follow this method before investing in anything new, just to see if you can avoid the frizz completely. The good news is that for Step 5/6: Goop, you can actually use a wee bit of conditioner. (Or olive oil. Or coconut oil. Or a drugstore product. Or conditioner.)
posted by DarlingBri at 2:27 PM on August 29, 2018 [4 favorites]

I really liked L'Oreal's EverSleek line and would recommend that in a heartbeat, but apparently they've discontinued it and replaced it with EverSleek PLUS KERATIN.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:32 PM on August 29, 2018

I like the Aussie Mega Moist shampoo or Dove daily for my hair. I actually use their 3 minute treatment conditioner as a normal conditioner. Don't skimp on conditioner in the shower, be generous. I don't rinse it thoroughly and do a technique called "Squish to condish" when rinsing but still leave some in my hair.

If you're going to plop your hair you'll want some sort of curl styling cream. These aren't super expensive & you don't need much. I use the Aveda brand which I love the smell of but there is less difference between them than the prices would have you think.
posted by wwax at 2:45 PM on August 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

I also like the Garnier fructis conditioner, but a modest blob of moisturizing lotion designed for natural black or mixed hair makes a big difference.
posted by tchemgrrl at 2:52 PM on August 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

Your hair's porosity matters a lot in choosing the right products; I recommend checking out a few DIY tests (the strand test, the bowl test, the spray test) to try to determine your porosity. Low-porosity hair will frizz and fall flat if it's given too much protein. What my hair needs (and all but refuses to receive) is moisture, moisture, moisture. I have low-porosity 2A/B/C (ugh) hair and I use Shea Moisture Protein-Free shampoo and conditioner.
posted by opossumnus at 3:07 PM on August 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have very curly and frizzy hair. I use Tresseme, both in the shower, then rinse, and after the shower, I put my hair up into a towel for 2 minutes, then put more Tresseme into my hair, as a pomade. I let it dry for just a few minutes (depending on the day, and how humid it is), then I put it up. Or if it's not hot out, I leave it down, and the curls stay in place, especially if I have my ends trimmed.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:52 PM on August 29, 2018

I have 2b/2c hair, moderate frizz esp when it's humid. I exclusively use Alberto VO5, moisturizing shampoos and conditioners. (I tried the clarifying ones once and it was bad.) Upside, it's only $1/bottle so if you hate it you're not out too much.
posted by basalganglia at 4:54 PM on August 29, 2018

You might like the inexpensive Cantu shampoos and conditioners.
posted by Red Desk at 12:11 AM on August 30, 2018

I have type 2b hair as well, and in terms of drugstore lines, I've had good luck with Marc Anthony's Strictly Curls shampoo and conditioner. My hair doesn't do well with protein--it gets very dry, tangled and frizzy--and unlike a LOT of shampoos and conditioners, this stuff is protein free and sulfate free.

(When you are ready to try a product, I recommend Davines Oi Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion. I can't make do with just shampoo and conditioner, personally; I have to put this serum in as well, and it takes the frizz, giving me soft, smooth waves. And even though it's a serum with oil and a supposedly water soluble silicone derivative, I don't find it weighs my hair down. I'm very lazy and I like to air dry; I also dislike the feeling of having "product" in my hair. The Davines is expensive but lasts forever. I use it daily, and the big bottle (130 mL?) has lasted me two years.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:25 AM on August 30, 2018

I have 2b hair and keep coming back to Suave Naturals conditioner as a co-wash. (The super cheap line on the bottom shelf.) It is the boringest product in the world but it does the job. I haven’t found my perfect conditioner-conditioner; SheaMoisture usually doesn’t steer me wrong, or sometimes more of the Suave.

I know it’s kinda frowned upon to use silicones on wavy/curly hair, but I find that if I limit silicones to styling products and use a very light hand, it makes a noticeable difference without gunking up my hair. Just about every serum, and most “oils” for that matter, have dimethicone or cyclopentasiloxane as the main ingredient, so you can go cheap and not worry too much about specific brand. (“Styling product” is sort of an overstatement, considering I just put a tiny bit in my hair and ignore it as usual.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:23 AM on August 30, 2018

The new hotness in curly circles is the SheaMoisture line, which are right at the edge of your affordability. My 2B kid is having the curliest hair of her life with their Low Porosity products. You’d need to do some research to see how heavy a product you need first, but Deva is the same way, so!
posted by Andrhia at 5:36 AM on August 30, 2018

How often are you washing it? Have you tried extending your between-wash times to decrease frizz? I'm in the 2b-c region myself with very dry hair and I only wash it twice weekly (used to be less but sports now happens).
posted by cobaltnine at 8:23 AM on August 30, 2018

I buy Costco's generic shampoo and conditioner in the white and purple bottles, and then spend the money I save on some Aveda "be curly" leave-in conditioner.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:14 PM on August 30, 2018

Fructis Butter Rich: shampoo, conditioner and sometimes the butter cream leave-in conditioner. When desperate, I may use the GO shine stuff (can't remember the label).
And it doesn't hurt now and then to do an oil treatment before shampooing - I generally use Avon's SkinSoSoft bath oil, as it's not heavy and doesn't take a lot, nor a lot of shampoo to get out.
posted by Enid Lareg at 6:02 PM on August 30, 2018

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