8 Best Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoos Of 2023

Let your hair loose confidently with the nourishing hair care essentials at hand.

Reviewed by Yvey ValcinYvey Valcin, Hairstylist
By Shiboli ChakrabortiShiboli Chakraborti, Certified Skin Care Coach  • 
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Does your hair become greasy just after a few hours of hair wash? Some scalps produce more secretive oils than others. When that natural oil is mixed with product buildup or other environmental gunks, it can make the hair lose its lushness. A clarifying shampoo once a week is ideal because more than that can lead to severe dryness. If your hair feels greasy, then it’s time for you to switch to the best sulfate-free clarifying shampoo. This shampoo will deeply cleanse your scalp and remove product buildup, making it feel oil-free, non-sticky, and fresh. If you use hair styling products on a regular basis or spend a lot of time outdoors in the pollution, this shampoo will also remove product buildup and gunk, leaving your hair feeling light and healthy.

Listed below are the 8 best sulfate-free clarifying shampoos available online. Scroll down and make your pick.

Top Picks

8 Best Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoos Of 2023

Best Long-Lasting Effect:Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo

4.1
Degrease Shampoo for Oily Hair Care - Clarifying Shampoo for Oily Hair and Oily Scalp Care - Deep Cleansing Shampoo for Greasy Hair and Scalp Cleanser for Build Up with Essential Oils for Hair Image: Maple Holistics

The Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo deeply cleans and clarifies your scalp. It reduces scalp build-up and reinstates the scalp pH balance. This all-natural formula uses the right mix of essential oils to clean the hair follicles.

It comes with the goodness of jojoba oil that checks excess sebum production and keeps the pores clean. Rosemary, cypress, and lemon essential oils have antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that rejuvenate the hair strands and fight scalp infections.

Lemon and basil oil help purify your hair and scalp. They also help reduce dandruff.

The shampoo’s unique degreasing formula can do away with dirt, oils, and greasiness. The peach, jojoba, and kernel moisturize your hair and keep it soft. It is free of sulfates, parabens, and silicones. It also is cruelty-free. This video takes you through this product’s details.


Pros
  • Long-lasting effect
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Color-safe
  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Unpleasant fragrance

Why It’s Worth Buying: It has gained over 9,193 positive reviews on Amazon, making it an all-time best-seller.
Price at the time of publication: $11.95

Best For Color-Treated Hair:GIOVANNI 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo

4.4
GIOVANNI 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo Image: Giovannicosmetics

The GIOVANNI 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo has the proprietary mix of the right nutrients, vitamins, and proteins that add to your hair vitality and strength. The perfect balance of the ingredients will infuse moisture into your hair. The shampoo is also color-safe.

The clarifying shampoo protects over-processed, environmentally- stressed, over-worked, and color-treated hair. It restores hair shine and color while maintaining the perfect pH balance.

This detergent-free shampoo has the goodness of moisturizing rosemary, hydrating aloe vera, and other plant extracts that seal moisture, smooth frizz, and improve hair manageability. The product is safe for daily use and is gentle on your hair. It is free of parabens and sulfates. It also is vegan and cruelty-free.


Pros
  • Softens hair
  • Reduces frizz
  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Color-safe
  • No synthetic dyes
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons

  • May weigh down thick hair

Price at the time of publication: $23.73

Best Cruelty-Free:ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

The ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo suits all hair types. It is packed with powerful organic extracts of calendula, pomegranate, lemongrass, and argan oil. This clarifying shampoo eliminates dirt and excess oil from the scalp. Its natural ingredients ensure your hair is not left dry. This sulfate-free formula works wonders on oily scalps and leaves your hair light and soft. It does not weigh your hair down. For a more detailed review of this product, here’s a video.

The product is free of sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, and formaldehyde. It also is vegan and cruelty-free.


Pros
  • Leaves hair soft
  • Suits all hair types
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Paraffin-free
  • Petroleum-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons

None

protip_icon Quick Tip
Follow up with the ACURE Curiously Clarifying conditioner if you want healthier and shinier tresses.

Why It’s Worth Buying: The product has received 2,649 positive Amazon reviews from its users, stating its numerous benefits.
Price at the time of publication: $6.99


Best Hydrating:Puriya Scalp Clarifying Shampoo

The Puriya Scalp Clarifying Shampoo comes with a proprietary herbal mix of arnica, tea tree oil, rosemary, and sage that eliminates excess scalp build-up. It also reduces dandruff and keeps your scalp feeling non-flaky, hydrated, and healthy.

The clarifying and all-natural formula leaves your scalp revitalized. It protects it from itching and infection and restores its moisture.

The product works fine on wavy, curly, fine, damaged, and straight hair. It is free of sulfates, parabens, sodium chloride, and artificial fragrances. It also is safe for color-treated hair.


Pros
  • Softens hair
  • Reduces dandruff
  • Safe for all hair types
  • Color-safe
  • Manges frizz
  • Paraben-free
  • Sodium chloride-free
  • No artificial fragrances

Cons

None

Why It’s Worth Buying: Almost 3,266 happy users have mentioned the value and quality of this product.
Price at the time of publication: $24.29


Best For Thin Hair:Honeydew Lemon Sage Cleansing Shampoo

Bid adieu to greasy hair and scalp with the Honeydew Lemon Sage Cleansing Shampoo. This formula is best suited for thin oily hair and caters to washing away excess oil, impurities, and greasiness. It is infused with highly potent and effective ingredients such as lemon essential oil, rosemary essential oil, and tea tree essential oil.

This potent oil blend leaves your scalp feeling squeaky clean with no excess oil and build-up while your hair feels soft and smooth. This sulfate-free clarifying shampoo is packed with essential oils and ensures that it does not dry your hair or strip natural oils. It also contains argan oil and jojoba oil that promotes hydration to nourish your scalp and hair.


Pros
  • Boosts volume
  • Naturally-derived ingredients
  • Improves hair texture
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Ideal for thin strands

Cons

  • Does not lather much
Why It’s Worth Buying: The product has more than 620 reviews claiming its efficacy.
Price at the time of publication: $12.95


Best Frizz Control:Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

4.5
Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo Image: Moroccanoil

The Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo nourishes, rejuvenates, and revitalizes your limp, dull hair. It washes of all build-up from hard water, chlorine, dirt, mineral deposits, oil, and other contaminants.

The shampoo is infused with avocado oil, argan oil, jojoba extracts, chamomile, and lavender. The lavender, jojoba, and chamomile deeply nourish your hair and leave it feeling light.

Both avocado and argan oil are rich in oleic and linoleic acids that protect your lifeless hair and seal hair moisture. This moisturizing clarifying shampoo comes with a Moroccan signature fragrance with an exotic mix of floral extracts that revitalize and uplift your mood. The natural formula is amber-colored and color-safe.

If you have dry and thinning hair, this clarifying shampoo is your best bet. It contains the goodness of castor oil, keratin, and silk amino acids that make your hair frizz-free, healthy, and glossy. The product is free of parabens, sulfates, and phosphates.


Pros
  • Softens hairs
  • Maintains scalp pH balance
  • Phosphate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Color-safe

Cons

  • Expensive

protip_icon Quick Tip
Apply conditioner and hair serum after shampooing for a healthy scalp and hair.

Why It’s Worth Buying: It has received over 2,066 rave reviews on Amazon, proving it is a mass favorite.
Price at the time of publication: $75.0


Best For Shiny Hair:Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo

4.4
Best For Shiny Hair: Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo Image: Giovanni Cosmetics


The Giovanni’s Invigorating Shampoo improves blood circulation on the scalp for revitalized, revived hair.  It reduces dryness and scalp cracking, making it a wonderful option for controlling dandruff. This long-lasting shampoo contains aloe vera, lavender, sage, and essential oils. It boosts shine while reawakening hair follicles and soothing the scalp. This shampoo effectively removes buildup without fading hair color and is suitable for all hair types.


Pros
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan
  • Color Safe
  • Long-lasting
  • Promotes hair growth

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $15

Best Silicone-Free:Love Beauty and Planet Clarifying Sulfate-Free 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 Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo comes with the goodness of bamboo charcoal that detoxifies hair and scalp. It has the goodness of natural coconut oil that restores hair moisture and leaves every strand flowing free and strong. It contains ethically sourced bergamot essential oil that offers a zesty, rejuvenating fragrance. It is a vegan formula and is safe for all hair types. It also is free of parabens, silicones, sulfates, phthalates, and dyes. It is cruelty-free as well.


Pros
  • Vegan
  • Suits all hair types
  • Color-safe
  • Silicone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Dye-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons

None

protip_icon Pro Tip
Follow up with a charcoal conditioner or sulfate-free scrub for better scalp detoxification.

Price at the time of publication: $14.99

Clarifying shampoo is usually filled with harsh and drying chemicals like sulfate, but there are several shampoos in the market which are sulfate-free and get the job done. In order to get the best results, it is best to choose the right one that has effective ingredients and is perfect for your hair type. Here are few features to consider before choosing a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo:

How To Choose The Best Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo

1. Ingredients

Apart from clarifying ingredients mentioned in the infographic, look for shampoos that are rich in nutrients, vitamin C, natural extracts, and minerals to improve your scalp and hair health. Choose shampoos with almond extracts, jojoba oil, almond oil, lavender, coconut oil, carotene, keratin, proteins, and essential oils that keep your hair looking healthy and flawless. Avoid formulas with EDTA and tetrasodium EDTA as these chelating agents may cause irritation in sensitive skin and scalp.

2. Type Of Hair

Your hair can be oily, dry, fine, thick, brittle or a combination of all these things. It is ideal to choose a specific shampoo that caters to your hair type, in order to reap maximum benefits. Here are a few common hair types and the type of shampoos to pick:

  • Dry Hair: If you have dry hair, your strands can be brittle and dull. In this case, choose a shampoo that gives you additional conditioning and moisturization properties. Look for shampoos that contain silicone or essential oils that lock in moisture by coating your strands with a protective layer.
  • Normal Hair: For normal hair, which is not too dry or oily, go for a gentle shampoo that does not contain excess additives or leave behind any residue. It is best to go for a mild, everyday shampoo which is perfect for daily use.
  • Oily Hair: If your scalp tends to get oily even after you shower, you need a specific shampoo that targets excess oil production in your scalp. Make sure to stay away from oil-based, or intense moisturizing shampoos, as it can weigh down your hair and make it greasy..

3. Additional Benefits

Other than the type of hair, take note of any scalp or hair ailments. For instance, if you have dandruff, choose a clarifying shampoo that does not dry the scalp too much and has ingredients like tea tree extracts or menthol. Active ingredients like zinc and selenium sulfide also help control dandruff. Choose a color-safe formula for color-treated hair as clarifying shampoos generally tend to strip off the hair color.

These are the top 8 sulfate-free clarifying shampoos available online. These shampoos have their own set of advantages. We will explore them in the following section.

What Are The Advantages Of Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoos?

In addition to removing scalp and hair impurities and build-up, these shampoos help in these other ways.
These shampoos do not contain harsh ingredients like sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonia laureth sulfate, or ammonia lauryl sulfate. Overuse of sulfates may cause scalp irritation, reduce natural hair oils, and fade your hair color.
Your scalp has sebum, a natural oily coating or layer. Using a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo will protect your hair from the excess loss of sebum. The shampoo will instead balance the sebum levels.
Sulfate-free shampoos generally protect colored hair and even make the color last longer. They also remove product residue and build-up without stealing the hair color.
Sulfate-free clarifying shampoos are infused with natural, essential oils that fight hair frizz. These oils protect your kinky or curly locks, giving them shine, health, and bounce.
Whether you want to curl or straighten your hair, you can do that more frequently with sulfate-free clarifying shampoos.

Infographic: Ingredients to Look For In A Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo

Our scalp is exposed to hard water, environmental pollutants, different styling products, and, of course, scalp oils and sebum. A regular shampoo is not enough to get rid of this accumulation, which is why you need a clarifying shampoo. But, not paying attention to the formulation of your clarifying shampoo can make your hair dry, dull, and lifeless.

Although sulfate and its derivatives are the primary ingredients in a clarifying shampoo, it can be too drying for the scalp and hair. Hence, formulations without sulfate have gained popularity with users. The following infographic lists ingredients you need to look for instead. Check it out!

Ingredients To Look For In A Sulfate Free Shampoo (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Your hair grows healthy only if the scalp and hair are clean. Unlike regular shampoos, sulfate-free shampoos do not lather well, but it is irritant-free and does the job effectively. Such shampoos are ideal for scalp dryness, rough hair, and frizzy hair. Also, they soften the hair and keep it hydrated. However, look for shampoos that promote hair growth and have no nasty chemicals in their formulations. Additionally, some sulfate-free shampoos can rejuvenate your hair and combat scalp infections.

Why Trust Stylecraze

The author, Shiboli Chakraborti, is a certified skin care coach and loves to write articles about hair care. She prefers using sulfate-free clarifying shampoos for her hair because these formulas prevent the hair from turning greasy. She has gone through multiple online reviews and user feedback before curating the list. The recommended products remove product buildup, making the hair feel oil-free, non-sticky, and fresh.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you really need a clarifying shampoo?

Yes. A clarifying shampoo removes build-up and excess oils. It also deep cleanses and moisturizes your scalp and hair.

Is there a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo?

Yes, you will find many sulfate-free clarifying shampoos like GIOVANNI 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo, ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo, Puriya Scalp Clarifying Shampoo, Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo, Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo, and more

Are all clarifying shampoos free of sulfates?

No, not all clarifying shampoos are free of sulfates. Some may contain sodium laureth or lauryl sulfates. Read the ingredients list thoroughly before making a purchase.

What is the difference between a purifying and a clarifying shampoo?

A purifying shampoo can be used in between the days of using a clarifying shampoo. It gently gets rid of build-up and restores the moisture balance.
A clarifying shampoo removes product build-up, residue, environmental contaminants, chlorine, minerals, and silicones. It cleanses and conditions your hair to give your curls and waves their shine and bounce.

How often should you wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo?

You can use a clarifying shampoo once or twice a week to get rid of the build-up, dirt, excess oils, and other impurities.

Why is a sulfate-free shampoo better?

A sulfate-free shampoo is better because it seals your hair’s natural oils and promotes hair health and shine. It can be especially effective for color-treated hair.


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