8 Best Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoos, As Per A HairStylist – 2024

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

Reviewed by Yvey Valcin, Hairstylist Yvey Valcin Yvey ValcinHairstylist insta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Aditi Naskar MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
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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 or dry shampoo 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 with multiple positive reviews that are available online. Scroll down and make your pick.

Products
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Best Long-Lasting Effect:Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo
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Best For Color-Treated Hair:GIOVANNI 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Cruelty-Free:ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
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Best Hydrating:Puriya Scalp Clarifying Shampoo
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Best For Thin Hair:Honeydew Lemon Sage Cleansing Shampoo
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Best Frizz Control:Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo
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Best For Shiny Hair:Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo
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Best Silicone-Free:Love Beauty and Planet Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo
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8 Best Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoos Of 2024

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

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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 dandruffThis helps promote healthy hair growth.

The volumizing shampoo’s unique degreasing formula that removes dirt, oils and greasiness, and supports proper product residue removal has made it a favorite among reviewers. So, it makes the hair shinier. 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 featuring a tester’s experience 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
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With 9,193 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.

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

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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, overworked, and color-treated hair. It is best for damaged hair, dry scalp, and chemically-treated hair. Several reviewers have noticed that it restores hair shine and color from the first wash. It also maintains the perfect pH balance. Its gentle cleansing effect helps reduce excess oils and deep-seated pollutants from the hair and scalp. It works on color-treated and keratin-treated hair, improves hair elasticity, and promotes healthy hair growth.

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
  • Shine-enhancing formula

Cons

  • May weigh down thick hair

3. 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. It is suitable for coily hair, as it helps eliminate mineral build-up. Reviewers love its fragrance and are impressed by its natural ingredients that 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 featuring a tester’s experience of using the shampoo.

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.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received over 2,649 rave reviews on Amazon, proving it is a mass favorite.

Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo
Best Long-Lasting Effect
GIOVANNI 50
Best For Color-Treated Hair
ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
Best Cruelty-Free
Hair Type Oily, Color Treated, Dry, Normal Curly Normal
Dimensions 1.85 x 1.85 x 6.75 inches 7.63 x 5.12 x 2.88 inches 2 x 3 x 8 inches
Weight 8 Ounces 1.59 Pounds 8 Ounces.
Rating
Reviews9,1939582,649
Price$11.95$23.73$6.99

4. 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 is also clinically tested to be gentle on skin. It reinvigorates damaged hair while removing excess buildup.

The product works fine on wavy, curly, coily, fine, and straight hair. It is free of sulfates, parabens, sodium chloride, and artificial fragrances. This natural shampoo keeps your hair colorants safe and, hence, is considered safe for color-treated hair.

Pros

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

Cons

  • None
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 3,266 Amazon acclaimed reviews, this product is sure to find a place in everyone’s shopping bag.

5. 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. This volumizing shampoo 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 is non-staining and suits all hair colors and sensitive scalp. 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
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product is so liked by shoppers that it has gained over 620 great reviews on Amazon.

6. Best Frizz Control:Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

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4.5
Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo Image: Moroccanoil

The Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo nourishes, rejuvenates, and revitalizes your limp, dull hair. If you are an avid swimmer, this clarifying shampoo is perfect for you as it washes off 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. It is good for chemically-treated hair and nourishes each hair shaft.

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, color-safe, and conditions hair from the roots.

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 non-stripping shampoo 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.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 2,066 reviews and is a top choice all around the world.

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

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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. This effective formula 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 is gentle on your hair and scalp. It boosts shine while reawakening hair follicles and soothing the scalp. This deep cleansing 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
  • Dermatologist-recommended

Cons

  • None

8. Best Silicone-Free:Love Beauty and Planet Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo

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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. This nourishing product can work as a great hair detox and bestow you with free-flowing tresses. This lightweight formula contains ethically sourced bergamot essential oil that offers a zesty, rejuvenating fragrance along with salon-type hair. Apply on wet hair and lather. 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
  • Refreshing fragrance

Cons

  • None

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

*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

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 nourishing ingredients like 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. Also, avoid products with drying alcohol in them. Opt for shampoos with salicylic acid to cleanse dead skin cells and prevent itchy scalp. Remember to perform a patch test to check for skin sensitivity.

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. For the best results use a hair mask after using a clarifying shampoo.

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.

1. No Harsh Sulfates

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.

2. Prevent Sebum Depletion

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.

3. Safe For Color-Treated Hair

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.

4. Make Hair Less Frizzy

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.

5. Specifically Suit Curly Or Straight Hair

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

The Bottom Line

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. The Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo is perfect for those with oily hair and scalp, while the GIOVANNI 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo is ideal for frizzy and color-treated hair. For coily hair, you may try the Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo. However, look for shampoos that promote hair growth, support scalp health, 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. Clarifying shampoo removes build-up and excess oils. It also supports deep cleansing 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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Yvey Valcin

Yvey ValcinHairstylist

Yvey Valcin is a celebrated master stylist based in Seattle, WA, and was one of the highest rated stylists at the flagship Gene Juarez salon in Seattle. He is known for his superior cutting technique and has styled for top editorial and fashion events, such as New York and Paris Fashion Week. His insights have been featured in InStyle, Martha...read full bio

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