11 Best Sulfate- And Silicone-Free Shampoos

These sulfate- and silicone-free shampoos are a must-have to promote hair health and shine.

By Shiboli ChakrabortiShiboli Chakraborti, Certified Skin Care Coach  • 
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Sulfate and silicone-free shampoo is quite sought after these days by most people as both of these ingredients can have long-term effects on your hair. While sulfate is generally used as a foaming agent and silicone helps reduce frizziness, it can make your hair dull, lifeless, and dandruff-ridden in the long run. Read this article to know which are the best sulfate and silicone shampoos you can purchase.

Top Picks
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Best Overall: Nexxus New York Salon Care Color Assure Shampoo
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Best For Curly Hair: Garnier Fructis Curl Nourish Fortifying Shampoo
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Best Nourishing Formula: Pureology Hydrate Sheer Nourishing Shampoo
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Best For Dull Hair: Maui Moisture Shine + Awapuhi Shampoo
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Best Cruelty-Free: Soapbox Coconut Oil Shampoo
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Best Vegan Formula: Love Beauty and Planet Delightful Detox Shampoo
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Best Environment-Friendly: BIOLAGE Color Last Shampoo
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Best For Sun Protection: Ingreendients Daily Shampoo
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Best For Quick Cleaning: Carol's Daughter Wash Day Delight Water-to-Foam Shampoo
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Best No Build-Up Formula: Color Wow Color Security Shampoo
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11 Best Sulfate- And Silicone-Free Shampoos

1. Best Overall: Nexxus New York Salon Care Color Assure Shampoo

4.3

The Color Assure Shampoo by Nexxus New York Salon Care is specifically designed for color-treated hair. It preserves hair color even after 40 washes. This gentle shampoo restores the missing nutrients in your hair that could have been lost during the color treatment. This shampoo is curated with a Protein Fusion blend that contains quinoa and elastin proteins. These proteins bring your dull hair to life. Check out this video on YouTube to know more about the benefits of the Nexxus New York Salon Care Color Assure Shampoo.

Key Ingredients: Sweet almond oil, hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed wheat proteins, coconut oil, hydrolyzed elastin, and citric acid

Pros

  • Nourishes hair
  • Enhances hair color
  • Gentle action
  • Softens hair
  • Boosts hair shine
  • Reduces hair breakage
  • Fruity scent

Cons

  • May cause greasiness
Quick Tip
Use Nexxus Color Assure Conditioner and Nexxus Color Assure Glossing Tonic after shampooing your hair to seal the shine.
Price at the time of publication: $25.49

2. Best For Curly Hair: Garnier Fructis Curl Nourish Fortifying Shampoo

The Curl Nourish Fortifying Shampoo by Garnier Fructis gives your hair 3 times more nourishment. It contains active fruit proteins like vitamin B6, vitamin B3, citrus protein, strengthening conditioners, and fruit + plant extracts. These ingredients boost hair strength and overall health.

The gentle hair cleanser works without stripping off the natural scalp oils and moisture. It creates sufficient foam for a mild yet proper cleanse. This shampoo is induced with macadamia oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil that keep your hair conditioned and hydrated. With regular use, this nourishing shampoo will leave your curls well defined, frizz-free, and smoother. This shampoo can be used by both men and women alike and is specifically formulated for curly hair. The product is free of parabens, sulfates, and silicones.

Key Ingredients: Jojoba oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil, lemon proteins, lemon peel extract, apple fruit extract, niacinamide, camellia leaf extract, and glycerin

Pros

  •  Paraben-free
  •  Gentle action
  •  Reduces frizz
  •  Mild fragrance
  •  Moisturizes hair

Cons

  •  May irritate scalp
Quick Tip
Follow up with Curl Nourish conditioner and leave-in treatment for the best results.
Price at the time of publication: $22.42

3. Best Nourishing Formula: Pureology Hydrate Sheer Nourishing Shampoo

4.5
Best Nourishing Formula: Pureology Hydrate Sheer Nourishing Shampoo Image: Biolage

This Hydrate Sheer Nourishing Shampoo from Pureology is one of the best shampoos free of sulfate and silicones. This lightweight shampoo works best on dry, fine, and color-treated hair and provides nourishment and suppleness. Natural ingredients such as jojoba oil, sage, and green tree give you a healthy scalp. The blend of lavender, patchouli, and bergamot is sure to make your hair soft and hydrated and give you a spa-like finish.

Pros

  • Hydrating formula
  • Suitable for color-treated hair
  • Climate-friendly product
  • Pleasant smell

Cons

  • None
Pro Tip
Rinse your hair with cold water as the last step to seal the cuticles and prevent moisture loss.
Price at the time of publication: $70

4. Best For Dull Hair: Maui Moisture Shine + Awapuhi Shampoo

4.4

The Moisture Shine + Awapuhi Shampoo by Maui is a lightweight shampoo that hydrates and nourishes dull hair. It is specially formulated with a 100% aloe vera base and pure coconut water. The tropical flower extracts in the shampoo create a luxurious shower experience. The ginger flower extracts and awapuhi in this hair cleanser moisturize your dry hair and promote a healthy glow.

This product suits sensitive scalp. It gently cleanses and detangles your hair, leaving it frizz-free. Its fragrance has notes of guava blossom, ginger, and grapefruit. It can be used by both men and women alike and is suitable for all hair types. It is free of parabens, sulfates, silicones, mineral oil, gluten, sulfated surfactants, and synthetic dyes.

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera leaf juice, coconut oil, coconut water, gardenia taitensis extract, zingiber, zerumbet extract, glycerin, and citric acid

Pros

  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Synthetic dye-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Lightweight
  • Moisturizing formula
  • Reduces frizz
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Boosts hair shine
  • Color-safe

Cons

  • May cause irritation
Pro Tip
Gently massage the shampoo onto the scalp using your fingertips.
Price at the time of publication: $6.99

5. Best Cruelty-Free: Soapbox Coconut Oil Shampoo

4.5
Best Cruelty-Free: Soapbox Coconut Oil Shampoo Image: Soap Box

The Soapbox Coconut Oil Shampoo is a moisturizing shampoo with the goodness of coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, and vitamin E that leaves your hair feeling soft and hydrated. The shampoo is a gentle and clean vegan formula suitable for almost every hair type including color-treated hair. The fresh scent and moisturizing power of the coconut repair dry and damaged hair and keep your hair smelling fresh and clean all day long.

Pros

  • Environment friendly
  • Clean ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Color-safe
  • No build-up

Cons

  • Can make hair feel sticky
Price at the time of publication: $19.99

6. Best Vegan Formula: Love Beauty and Planet Delightful Detox Shampoo

4.3
Love Beauty And Planet Delightful Detox Daily Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo Cleansed Hair Care Charcoal and Bergamot Silicone-free, Paraben-free, Vegan Shampoo 32.3 oz Image: Love Beauty And Planet

The Love Beauty and Planet Delightful Detox Shampoo is formulated with the goodness of charcoal and bergamot that help to remove impurities and excess oil from the scalp and hair. It purifies the clogged pores to enable healthy hair growth. The natural coconut oil infused in the shampoo helps to lock moisture and strengthens the hair strands for nourished and frizz-free hair.

Key Ingredients: Bamboo charcoal and coconut oil

Pros

  •  Plant-based cleansers
  •  Cruelty-free
  •  Vegan
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Phthalate-free
  •  Dyes-free
  •  Color-safe

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $14.99

7. Best Environment-Friendly: BIOLAGE Color Last Shampoo

4.7
Best Environment-Friendly: BIOLAGE Color Last Shampoo Image: Pureology

The BIOLAGE Color Last Shampoo is a nourishing shampoo that cleanses your hair and scalp thoroughly and promotes healthy hair. It even works to make your hair color vibrant. It helps retain the color for up to 9 weeks or 20 washes with its low-pH formula for toning your hair color. The formula also moisturizes your hair and makes it soft, smooth, and silky. It adds volume to your strands and makes them appear fuller.

Pros

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Environment-friendly
  • Low-pH formula
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Suitable for colored hair

Cons

  • Might not lather well
Price at the time of publication: $37

8. Best For Sun Protection: Ingreendients Daily Shampoo

4.3
Ingreendients Daily Shampoo Image: Ingreendients

The Ingreendients Daily Shampoo comprises plant-based ingredients including apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and bio-derived soap. Apple cider vinegar removes product buildup and restores your hair and scalp’s natural pH balance. Tea tree oil in the formula effectively improves your hair and scalp’s health while bio-derived soap, which is curated from microorganisms, gently cleanses your tresses. The plant-derived extracts preserve natural oils present in your hair and remove daily impurities. It also protects your hair from sun exposure and harmful UV rays.

The color-safe formula is free of itchiness and irritation and can be used on every hair type. The product is also useful for oily and itchy scalp, dull hair, or keratin-treated hair. It effectively reduces damage in your tresses while repairing frizz and split ends.

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, glycerin, tea tree oil, and apple cider vinegar

Pros

  • Removes product buildup
  • Restores pH balance
  • Reduces sun exposure
  • Offers UV protection
  • Repairs frizz and split-ends
  • Suitable for color-treated hair
  • Vegan formula
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Synthetic fragrance-free

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $21.95

9. Best For Quick Cleaning: Carol’s Daughter Wash Day Delight Water-to-Foam Shampoo

The Carol’s Daughter Wash Day Delight Water-to-Foam Shampoo has a gentle, foamy lather that deeply cleans your hair without stripping off the natural oils from your tresses. It is made of organically-derived ingredients like aloe vera and shea butter that soften the tresses and increase hydration. The formula helps in quick cleansing without any harsh friction between the strands. The shampoo is ideal for curly, kinky, and coily tresses. The liquified formula in the shampoo easily cleans your scalp without any tugging or pulling. It also reduces tangles and smoothes out the unruly strands. This micellar shampoo which also contains rose water reduces product buildup and removes unwanted dirt, grime, or dandruff.

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, shea butter, and rose water

Pros

  • Gentle foamy lather
  • Improves hydration
  • Quick-cleaning formula
  • Reduces tangles
  • Removes product buildup
  • Vegan formula
  • Paraben-free

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $13.9

10. Best No Build-Up Formula: Color Wow Color Security Shampoo

4.5
Best No Build-Up Formula: Color Wow Color Security Shampoo Image: Color Wow Hair

The Color Wow Color Security Shampoo is a 100% clean formula that gives you a healthy scalp and locks. Every ingredient in the shampoo rinses off easily and completely and does not cause build-up on your scalp, block hair follicles, or make your color-treated hair look dull. The shampoo comes in a cream formula that can nourish dry, coarse, and curly hair without weighing it down.

Pros

  • Clean formula
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Color-safe
  • No build-up or residue
  • Unscented

Cons

  • Might not lather well
  • Can feel greasy
Price at the time of publication: $24

11. Best Natural Formula: Hair La Vie Shampoo

If you are looking for a natural formula that will offer professional and salon-quality results, try out the Hair La Vie Shampoo. This shampoo gives you a spa-like feel in the comfort of your own home. The formula of this shampoo is enriched with 19 naturally-derived ingredients, including proteins, antioxidants, and amino acids that deeply nourish your hair.

It contains marula oil which is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids that hydrate your hair and do not leave it greasy. The saw palmetto helps in the growth of healthy hair follicle size and silk amino acids penetrate your hair to strengthen, nourish, and rebuild damaged strands by eliminating product buildup. The coconut oil in the formula provides antibacterial protection, boosts scalp circulation, strengthens strands and maintains healthy protein building blocks while leaving your hair feeling hydrated and soft. Keratin makes your hair soft, shiny, and voluminous; peppermint oil fortifies and support the hair cuticle in moisture retention from other ingredients while stimulating circulation, relaxing muscles, and promoting a sense of calm; vitamin D3 stimulates cell growth and aid in the formation of new hair follicles; vitamin E combats free radicals and support healthy hair growth; vitamin B5, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, soothes scalp irritation. With this shampoo, your hair becomes less prone to damage, breakage, and split-ends.

Key ingredients: Marula oil, Saw palmetto, Silk amino acids, Coconut oil, Keratin, Peppermint oil, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B5

Pros

  • Nourishes hair
  • Boosts shine
  • Reduces hair breakage
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Watery consistency

Different hair issues require different solutions. However, every hair care enthusiast should avoid sulfates and silicones in their shampoos to keep their tresses soft and moisturized. For your guidance, we are providing a buying guide that will help you in choosing the best sulfate- and silicone-free shampoo for your precious strands.

How To Choose The Ideal Sulfate- And Silicone-Free Shampoo For Your Hair

Ingredients

Since the shampoos are already sulfate- and silicone-free, check the ingredients list for other harmful ingredients. Steer clear of shampoos containing parabens, phthalates, and sodium chloride. Opt for sulfate- and silicone-free shampoos that comprise nourishing ingredients like argan oil, neem, and jojoba oil that offer hydration and make your hair appear softer. Choose shampoos with phyto-caffeine that treat hair loss and improve your hair texture. You can also choose formulations with essential oils such as lavender oil, basil oil, and ginger oil that moisturize your scalp and treat frizzes.

Hair Type

If you have curly hair, go for organic and sulfate-free shampoos to keep your curls hydrated and defined. If you have straight hair, choose sulfate-free keratin-induced shampoos to tame frizzy and unmanaged hair. Thinning hair needs additional care, so use lightweight and gentle sulfate- and silicone-free shampoos. Extremely dry hair needs shampoos that can moisturize well, while oily hair needs shampoos specifically meant for deep cleansing to get rid of excess sebum and product buildup.

Skin Type

Choose silicone- and sulfate-free shampoos based on the skin type of your scalp. If you have an oily scalp but dry, frizzy hair, then go for a cleansing shampoo for your scalp and an effective conditioner for nourishment. If you have a dry scalp with dandruff, select the shampoos that improve hydration and offer moisture while combating flakiness and dandruff.

pH Level

The right pH level for the scalp and hair is 5.5, approximately. To prevent any pH imbalance of your scalp and hair, use a shampoo with a similar pH level. To maintain the health of your tresses, products with lesser pH balance are preferable. A high pH level product may weaken your cuticle and make your hair difficult to manage. It can also make your tresses appear dull and damaged.

Infographic: Points To Remember While Buying Sulfate- And Silicone-Free Shampoos

Sulfates and silicones are two of the most commonly used ingredients in shampoos and conditioners. But they might not always be good for your hair. Sulfates strip moisture from your hair and make it dry, and silicones cause buildup. However, several brands offer shampoos that do not contain sulfates and silicones.
Check out the below infographic to understand how you can determine a suitable sulfate and silicone-free shampoo for your hair.

Points To Remember While Buying Sulfate- And Silicone-Free Shampoos [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Most brands in the market are coming up with harsh chemical-free shampoos to ensure that they do not damage the scalp while cleansing it. The sulfate and silicone-free shampoos are ideal not only for sensitive scalp conditions but also for all hair types as they do their job without causing itchiness, irritation, or dandruff. The best sulfate and silicone-free shampoos on our list are gentle and provide thorough hydration to the strands. These lightweight formulas also reduce frizz and add shine to the tresses. Choose shampoos that are formulated with some natural ingredients.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Shiboli Chakraborti is a certified skin care coach with extensive knowledge in hair care. After extensive research and examining user reviews on various websites, she has compiled a list of the best sulfate and silicone-free shampoos trending nowadays, as both of these components have been shown to cause long-term hair damage. She’s also included a description of each product to assist you in selecting the ideal shampoo from various options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is silicone-free or sulfate-free shampoo better?

Yes, silicone-free and sulfate-free shampoos are better than ordinary shampoos anyday! Apart from environmental concerns, these shampoos are quick enough to remove buildup and rejuvenate dull hair.

Can you use silicones with sulfate-free shampoo?

Yes, you can use silicones and sulfate-free shampoos together, as they remove unwanted damage and revive frizzy tresses.

Is silicone free the same as sulfate-free?

No, sulfates and silicones are not similar. The shampoos that are silicone-free might necessarily be sulfate-free. However, there are many shampoos that are both silicone and sulfate-free.

How long does it take for your hair to get used to silicone-free shampoo?

It can take up to 6 to 7 weeks for your hair to make adjustments after you switch to a silicone-free shampoo. Many hair types have also adjusted to the change in 2 to 3 weeks.

Why is my hair greasy after using sulfate-free shampoo?

Your hair might feel greasy while adjusting to a sulfate-free shampoo. While this is very common, the condition could occur due to lack of strength in your tresses.

Is it okay to use sulfate-free and silicone-free shampoo everyday?

Yes, sulfate-free shampoo and silicone-free shampoo can be used everyday on your hair. However, if you have damaged tresses, it is better to speak to a hair care professional before making a routine for yourself.

What happens to your hair when you stop using silicones?

When you finally ditch silicones, your hair will feel more moisturized. The natural oils that are produced by your scalp can finally nourish your tresses and revive their health.

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