17 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos For Every Hair Type

by Ramona Sinha
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Love coloring your hair or styling it with hot tools? Invest in products that do not strip moisture from your hair. This is where sulfate-free shampoos come in.

Sulfates are surfactants that remove dirt and oil from the hair. However, they may irritate sensitive and rosacea-prone skin. They can also strip the color and make your hair dry and frizzy. If you are considering making the switch but do not know which one is the best for your hair, scroll down and check out our list of 17 best sulfate-free shampoos.

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Bold Uniq Purple Shampoo
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Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Shampoo
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Pureology Serious Colour Care Hydrate Shampoo
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Free & Clear Shampoo
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L'Oreal Paris EverPure Volume Shampoo
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Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo
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PUREnature Argan Oil Deep Hydra Nourishing Shampoo
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Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Luscious Moisture Shampoo
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Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo
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Bingo Hair Care Argan Oil Shampoo
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17 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos Of 2020 – Reviews

1. Bold Uniq Purple Shampoo

The BOLD UNIQ Purple Shampoo is a blonding shampoo that enhances the natural blonde hair color and gives a silver-ash tone to light hair. It minimizes brassy discoloration in naturally blonde hair and counterbalances the yellow shades.

This shampoo contains Pro-Vitamin B5 that softens the hair and makes it shiny. Its no-foam formula also contains UV filters to prevent color fading. The shampoo comes in recyclable packaging and is safe for naturally blonde and color-treated hair.

How To Apply: Use directly on wet hair and leave it on for at least five minutes before washing it off. Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner. Increase the leave-on time with each wash to a maximum limit of 10-15 minutes for ash-gray or silver hair. 

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Reduces breakage and split ends
  • Tames frizz
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Recyclable packaging 

Cons

  • Makes hair dry
  • May cause hair fall

2. Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Shampoo

The Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Shampoo is curated artistically with special ingredients selected from the tropical island of Maui.  It contains a blend of coconut water, aloe vera juice, macadamia oil, and shea butter to revitalize and moisturize dehydrated hair and is gentle enough for daily use. The shampoo makes the hair light and soft, adds shine to it, and is perfect for coily, curly, color-treated, and coarse hair. 

How To Apply: Use this shampoo as a hair mask. Apply and keep it on for 10-15 minutes before washing off. 

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone free
  • Gluten-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Synthetic dye-free
  • Vegan 

Cons

  • May cause allergic reactions 

3. Pureology Serious Colour Care Hydrate Shampoo

Pureology’s Serious Colour Care Hydrate Shampoo is for color-treated hair. It cleanses each strand with a rich lather without causing dryness. The advanced hydrating Micro-Emulsion Technology re-energizes dry hair and accentuates the color.

This shampoo contains conditioning ingredients like sage, jojoba, and green tea extracts. It also contains wheat, oat, and soy proteins to repair damaged hair and strengthen it. The unique Anti Fade Complex protects color-treated hair, and its delightful signature fragrance combining bergamot, ylang-ylang, and patchouli gives you sensorial pleasure. 

How To Apply: Massage a quarter-sized amount onto wet hair and create lather. Rinse it with normal water.   

Pros

  • 100% vegan formula
  • Color-safe
  • Hydrates the hair
  • Pleasant fragrance 

Cons

  • Contain PEG and phenoxyethanol

4. Free & Clear Shampoo

The Free & Clear Shampoo is suitable for sensitive skin and is devoid of any chemical irritants. This pH-balanced shampoo gently cleanses dry and damaged hair while locking in moisture, protecting the hair cuticles, and preventing breakage. It is approved by dermatologists and helps reduce dandruff.

This hypoallergenic shampoo is protein-free and non-alkaline and is suitable for all types of hair. It can be used daily and may help prevent hair fall with regular use. 

How To Apply: Massage the shampoo onto wet hair and rinse with water.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Dye-free
  • No lanolin or other derivatives
  • PABA-free
  • Betaine-free
  • Gluten-free
  • No masking fragrances

Cons

None

5. L’Oreal Paris EverPure Volume Shampoo

The L’Oreal Paris Ever Pure Volume Shampoo cleanses, volumizes, and revives flat and thin hair. It is infused with lotus flower extract that rejuvenates dull, limp hair and adds shine without drying. The gentle formula is perfect for colored hair. The invigorating perfume instantly refreshes your senses and keeps your hair smelling great all day long. 

How To Apply: Massage it onto wet hair and rinse thoroughly with water.

Pros

  • Replenishes moisture
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan
  • No harsh salts
  • Dye-free
  • Gluten-free 

Cons

  • Not pH-balanced 

6. Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo

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The Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo is specially developed for color-treated hair to maintain its vibrancy. It contains an exclusive PROTEIN FUSION BLEND that combines quinoa and elastin protein to nourish the hair, keep it healthy and replenished, and rebuild its natural proteins. This shampoo helps replenish the nutrients lost during the coloring process and maintain color vibrancy up to 40 washes.

How To Apply: Massage the shampoo onto wet scalp and hair and rinse thoroughly with water. 

Pros

  • Color protection
  • Silicone-free
  • Softens the hair
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons

  • May make hair oily

7. PUREnature Argan Oil Deep Hydra Nourishing Shampoo

If you have frizzy wild hair, PUREnature Argan Oil Shampoo is your savior. It contains Moroccan argan oil that deeply nourishes and hydrates your hair, prevents split ends, improves hair health, and makes it soft and silky. It also provides UV and thermal protection to prevent damage caused by UV rays and extensive heat styling. The keratin and collagen protein in the formula strengthen and rejuvenate your hair, while vitamin E makes it thicker and prevents frizz. 

How To Apply: Massage the shampoo on your scalp and hair. Rinse it off with normal water. Follow up with a conditioner.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Deeply nourishes the hair
  • Gluten-free
  • Frizz control
  • Phthalate-free
  • Recommended for all hair types 

Cons

  • May make the hair greasy

8. Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Luscious Moisture Shampoo

Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Luscious Moisture Shampoo is great for colored hair as it prevents color fading while gently cleansing and hydrating the hair. This shampoo contains aloe vera juice that makes your hair softer and manageable and sweet clover and rose extracts that impart shine. The black vanilla fragrance soothes your senses. This product is suitable for curly and kinky hair prone to damage, dryness, and frizz.

How To Apply: Massage the shampoo on wet hair and scalp. Rinse it off with warm water.

Pros

  • Petroleum-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Maintains moisture balance
  • Silicone-free
  • Artificial color-free

Cons

None 

9. Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo

The Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo is a sure bet for long-term hair treatment. It is formulated with NATRASURF Technology that contains seaweed extracts that renew hair health by restoring its natural balance and maintaining optimal moisture levels. This oil-free shampoo helps remove pollutants and chemical impurities from the strands without drying them. It is safe for colored hair and prevents premature color fading.

How To Apply: Massage the shampoo onto wet hair and scalp and rinse thoroughly. Follow up with a conditioner. 

Pros

  • Improves manageability
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Gentle
  • Pleasant fragrance 

Cons

  • Contains phenoxyethanol 

10. Bingo Hair Care Argan Oil Shampoo

 

The Bingo Hair Care Argan Oil Shampoo is formulated with Nano Technology and infused with proteins, Moroccan argan oil, fatty acids, keratin, and other nutrients. The Moroccan argan oil revitalizes the hair, improves its elasticity, and adds shine to lifeless and dull hair. It also works as a UV protector and free radical neutralizer.

This moisturizing and healing shampoo soothes dry scalp and reduces flaking to keep your hair smooth, soft, and lustrous. It is gentle enough for daily use and safe for color and chemically treated hair. 

How To Apply: Massage the shampoo onto wet hair and scalp and rinse with water. Repeat the process if needed. Follow up with argan oil conditioners for the best results. 

Pros

  • Keratin-enhanced
  • Contains UV protector
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Soft herbal fragrance

Cons

  • Not suitable for oily scalp

11. Hair Food Tea Tree & Lavender Water Purifying Shampoo

 

The Hair Food Tea Tree & Lavender Water Purifying Shampoo is best for damaged locks that need extra care. The refreshing blend of lavender and tea tree oils cleanses the scalp, leaving the hair smooth, soft, and refreshed. The refreshing fragrance of tea tree and lavender essences lifts your mood. The shampoo does not contain any harmful chemicals and is safe for color-treated hair.

How To Apply: Massage the shampoo onto wet hair and scalp and rinse it off with water. Follow up with a conditioner. 

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Dye-free
  • Color-safe 

Cons

  • May dry the hair

12. Matrix BIOLAGE 3 Butter Control System Shampoo

If your hair is unruly and unmanageable, you need Matrix BIOLAGE 3 Butter Control System Shampoo. It has a 3-Butter Control System combining capuacu, murumuru, and shea butter to revitalize, nourish, and hydrate dry hair and de-volumize out-of-control strands. The shampoo locks in essential moisture, prevents frizz, and keeps your hair smooth and healthy. 

How To Apply: Massage your hair and scalp with a moderate quantity of the shampoo and wash it off. 

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Frizz-control
  • Locks in moisture
  • Artificial color-free

Cons

  • May cause product buildup

13. Natures Craft Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

The Natures Craft Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is perfect for limp, fine, dull, and lackluster hair. It contains jojoba oil that hydrates and moisturizes the hair, patchouli oil to strengthen the hair follicles, botanical keratin to nourish and strengthen the hair strands, and raw apple cider vinegar to maintain the scalp pH.

This shampoo revitalizes your hair from root to tip, protects the hair from environmental aggressors, and improves its volume and health to keep it nourished and healthy. It is perfect for chemically and color-treated, dry, and damaged hair. 

How To Apply: Massage your scalp and hair with a moderate amount of the shampoo and rinse thoroughly.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Safe for color-treated hair

Cons

None

14. ORS Curls Unleashed Rosemary & Coconut Sulfate-Free Shampoo

The ORS Curls Unleashed Rosemary & Coconut Sulfate-Free Shampoo is a non-stripping product for curly and kinky hair. This shampoo contains lemon balm, rosemary, and coconut extracts that cleanse and nourish your hair, untangling curls and making them manageable. It hydrates and softens the coils, removing pollutant buildup in each strand, and nourishes the scalp further for healthy hair growth.

How To Apply: Massage the scalp and hair with a moderate amount of the shampoo. Wash thoroughly and finish off with a conditioner.

Pros

  • Frizz control
  • Unisex
  • Best for curly and wavy hair
  • Amazing fragrance

Cons

  • May not lather well

15. Amazon Beauty Rahua Classic Shampoo

The Amazon Beauty Rahua Classic Shampoo contains a unique blend of rare herbs from the Amazon rainforest that soothe the scalp and leave your hair silky and lustrous. It contains rainforest-grown rahua oil to fortify weak strands and extend hair color endurance.

Palo santo oil has purifying properties, while quinoa promotes scalp and hair healing. The coconut betaines to remove dirt and excess oil. The shampoo also contains organic aloe vera to renew hair vibrancy, green tea to prevent UV damage, and raspberry leaf extract to repair damaged hair. This product helps maintain scalp balance.

How To Apply: Massage an adequate amount of the shampoo onto wet hair and rinse thoroughly. Apply conditioner for best results.

Pros

  • Plant-based ingredients
  • Suits all hair types
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Does not lather

16. Briogeo Rosarco Repair Shampoo

If you are struggling with brittle and dry curls, try the Briogeo Rosarco Repair Shampoo. It is infused with a signature combination of argan, coconut, and ultra-nourishing rosehip oils that rejuvenates dry hair.

Argan oil conditions the hair, coconut oil locks in the moisture, while rosehip oil prevents free radical damage. The ingredients penetrate the hair shaft to keep it replenished and prevent any future damage. This shampoo helps control frizzy hair and makes it soft and manageable.

How To Apply: Wet your hair and apply a generous amount of this shampoo. Massage to generate lather and then wash off.  Repeat if necessary. 

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • DEA-free
  • Artificial dye-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Vegan
  • Phthalate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • 98% natural

Cons

  • Expensive

17. Botanic Hearth Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

The Botanic Hearth Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is a restorative and nourishing product for dry and unhealthy hair. This shampoo contains clarifying and detoxifying ingredients like coconut and argan oils, apple extract, and 100% pure apple cider vinegar to thoroughly cleanse and nourish the hair. It also helps strengthen and rejuvenate dry and dull hair and also removes product buildup. This shampoo is safe for colored hair and gentle enough for daily use.

How To Apply: Massage the shampoo onto wet hair and scalp. Rinse with normal water thoroughly.

Pros

  • Suits all hair types and textures
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Unisex

Cons

None

If your hair is dry, brittle, and rough, you can use any of the sulfate-free shampoos from the above list to help it retain moisture and stay healthy. These products will not let your hair lose its natural shine and softness. Go ahead and pick one today! 

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

What does a sulfate-free shampoo do for your hair?

Sulfate-free shampoos are best for low-porosity hair as they help maintain moisture levels and prevent frizz.

Does sulfate-free shampoo help hair growth?

It depends on the ingredients and formulation of the shampoo.

Do sulfates cause hair loss?

There is no evidence to prove the effect of sulfates on scalp DHT levels. However, they might cause scalp irritation, which may lead to hair fall.

How do I know if my shampoo is sulfate-free?

Check the ingredients. If the shampoo does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, it is sulfate-free. These are the two types of sulfates mainly used in shampoos.

Does sulfate fade hair color?

Yes, sulfate can fade hair color.

Are shampoo bars sulfate-free?

Check the ingredients list to confirm as not all shampoo bars are sulfate-free.

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Ramona Sinha

Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.
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