8 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos For Oily Hair In 2022

Save your hair from the drying properties of sulfate and try these innovative shampoos instead.

By Vaishnavi KothuriVaishnavi Kothuri, Certified Skin Care Coach  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

A sulfate-free shampoo for oily hair may seem utopian or even downright ineffective, but it exists and it works. Yes, sulfates are known widely as a prominent ingredient in hair care products, especially those that work as cleansers, like shampoos. And they are extremely effective in removing oil and build-up of hair product remnants from the scalp and the hair, which is exactly what people with oily hair need, right? But, there’s a catch! Sulfates are so harsh that they strip away even the natural oils that protect and moisturize your hair follicles, leaving them dry, rough, frizzy, and prone to breakage. They also (though it may sound unbelievable) contribute to dandruff and acne!

This is why sulfate-free shampoos are on the rise. Read on to know more about the 8 best sulfate-free shampoos for oily hair that can cleanse it from excess oil and build-up but not strip it dry.

Products
Check Price
Best For Oily Scalp:Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo
Price on Amazon
Best For All Hair Types:Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo
Price on Amazon
Best Anti-Dandruff:Lemon Sage Oily Hair Shampoo
Price on Amazon
Best Vegan:Tree To Tub Soapberry For Hair
Price on Amazon
Best pH-Balanced:TBH Kids Shampoo For Oily Hair
Price on Amazon
Best Color-Safe:Saragan Activated Charcoal Shampoo
Price on Amazon
Best Nourishing:Nature’s Craft Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
Price on Amazon
Best Lightweight Formula:Privé Amp Up Shampoo
Price on Amazon

However, often they do it too well, and that’s where the problem comes in. Sulfates tend to strip the hair’s natural oils, leaving them rough, dry and brittle, and more damage-prone. Sulfates can also contribute to dandruff and hairline acne. Keeping this (and the increasing demand) in mind, we have prepared this list of the 8 best sulfate-free shampoos for oily hair.

Top 8 Best Sulfate Free Shampoo For Oily Hair In 2022

1. Best For Oily Scalp:Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo

4.3
Oily Hair Shampoo for Greasy Hair Image: Maple Holistics

On the top of our list is this Maple Holistics clarifying shampoo that rebalances oily hair and scalp without stripping it off its natural moisture. It contains essential oils to promote circulation and growth of thick hair. It revitalizes oily roots with a blend of lemon, cypress, rosemary, and basil oil. This shampoo refreshes your hair by removing dulling impurities, giving you volume and radiance — a dream come true for every oily-haired person.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Non-stripping shampoo
  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Moisturizing and regenerating
  • Adds volume and reduces frizz

Cons

  • It may not be best suited for colored hair.
Remember
If you’ve been using sulfate-containing shampoo for a long time, switching to a sulfate-free shampoo can be difficult. This is due to the fact that your scalp requires time to adjust to a new formula.
Price at the time of publication: $21.95

2. Best For All Hair Types:Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo

4.5

This moisturizing shampoo is an all-rounder when it comes to hair care. Ideal for all hair types, this shampoo assists in renewing the health of your hair. This Aveeno sulfate-free shampoo leaves your hair bouncy and full of life after each wash. Instead of sulfates, this formula uses naturally derived cleansers to get rid of impurities without over stripping the natural oils of your hair. Infused with seaweed extract, this shampoo formula is rich in vitamins, proteins, and minerals. Take a look at this video to know more about the product.

Pros

  • Adds volume
  • Ideal for oily hair
  • Gentle on color-treated hair
  • Gentle and natural cleansing formula
  • Makes hair more manageable for styling

Cons

  • The scent may be too strong for some.
Price at the time of publication: $11.98

3. Best Anti-Dandruff:Lemon Sage Oily Hair Shampoo

This tea-tree and rosemary-infused formula is specially made for our oily-haired folks. It gets rid of the excess oil on your hair and scalp and reduces sebum secretion to balance your hair’s natural oiliness. It deeply cleans your pores to make your hair look thicker and adds more volume. The natural ingredients in this formula, namely tea-tree oil, sage, argan oil, and rosemary, collectively soothe an itchy scalp. The shampoo also fights signs of dandruff and strengthens hair strands.

Pros

  • Fortifies hair
  • Anti-dandruff
  • Gentle on color-treated hair
  • Promotes cell growth
  • Plant-based
  • Soothes an itchy scalp

Cons

  • It may take a long time to show results.
Price at the time of publication: $12.95

4. Best Vegan:Tree To Tub Soapberry For Hair

This Tree To Tub product uses nature’s lather machine, the wild soapberry, for a lather filled hair-washing experience, ensuring that a little product goes a long way in achieving desired results. Enriched with peppermint, this product ensures that your hair maintains its natural pH level of 5.5. It also contains creamy coconut cleansers, organic Moroccan argan oil, aloe vera, and so on! Make a list of all the healthy things your grandmother asked you to put in your hair – and this shampoo probably has it all. It is also suitable for greasy hair after a keratin treatment. You may check more about this productin this video.

Pros

  • Anti-irritant
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Dermatologist recommended
  • Free from toxins, gluten, and fragrance

Cons

  • It may not help control extreme dandruff.
Price at the time of publication: $35.98

5. Best pH-Balanced:TBH Kids Shampoo For Oily Hair

If kids were in charge of their shopping, they’d buy this product just because of its packaging. No joke! This TBH (which is short for, To Be Honest) product has a gentle formula that cleanses and nourishes your hair with one pump of the dispenser. Using natural ingredients like cedar bar, sage, and nettle, this shampoo cleanses the hair and scalp, controls sebum production, and maintains the natural pH balance of the scalp. It is free of harsh chemicals and common allergens such as soy, gluten, and nuts.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Balances pH levels
  • BPA-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Suitable for teens

Cons

  • It may not be suitable for all hair types.
Price at the time of publication: $10.95

6. Best Color-Safe:Saragan Activated Charcoal Shampoo

If you haven’t been living under a rock, we are confident that you have heard all the rave about activated charcoal. This unique formula combines premium natural oils such as argan, avocado, jojoba, almond, and coconut oils with activated charcoal allowing it to deep cleanse your hair while giving it a smoothening effect. The charcoal gets rid of unwanted oils, chemicals, product build-up, and polluting toxins. The Moroccan oil, botanical keratin, and other natural ingredients in the shampoo soften and strengthen your hair. It is ideal for all hair types and helps in bringing damaged hair back to life.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Ideal for all hair types
  • Color-safe shampoo for oily hair
  • Enriched with natural oils

Cons

  • Some users may find the scent to be too strong.
StyleCraze Says
Using a scalp massager or a shampoo brush can help you get the most out of your shampoo. It not only deep cleans your hair but also relaxes your scalp, promoting hair growth.
Price at the time of publication: $22.99

7. Best Nourishing:Nature’s Craft Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

This apple cider vinegar shampoo helps balance your hair’s pH levels to encourage an ideal and healthy environment for hair growth, volume, softness, and luster. It contains jojoba extracts that moisturize the hair thoroughly. It is vitamin E rich and helps in hydrating and strengthening your precious mane. The patchouli oil in this formula not only boosts your mood but also promotes follicle and overall scalp health. This shampoo is safe for color-treated hair allowing everyone to enjoy its benefits.

Pros

  • Ideal for all hair types
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan shampoo for oily hair
  • Paraben-free
  • Energizes the scalp and nourishes hair

Cons

  • Some may find it slightly greasy.
Did You Know?
Even oily hair needs nourishment. If the scalp does not receive it, it will eventually produce excess sebum, making your hair even greasier.
Price at the time of publication: $12.77

8. Best Lightweight Formula:Privé Amp Up Shampoo

In this beautiful bottle comes a sulfate-free formula that will make your hair look as good as the bottle. This shampoo offers an overall fullness and incredible shine without the oiliness you are desperate to get rid of. Infused with the goodness of guava, passion fruit, and pea extracts, this weightless formula is specially made for fine and thin hair to allow it to regain its body, moisture, shine, and brightness without weighing it down. It also contains a mixture of vital proteins and antioxidants.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Weightless formula
  • Ideal for thin and fine hair
  • Aids in color pigment protection
  • Contains vital proteins and antioxidants

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
Price at the time of publication: $21.0

This brings us to the end of our list of the best 8 sulfate-free shampoos for oily hair. You know all the best products out there now, but the big question still remains — how to choose the right sulfate-free shampoo for your oily hair? This buying guide is here to help you with exactly that. While selecting a sulfate-free shampoo from our list, keep the following things in mind.

How To Buy The Right Sulfate-Free Shampoo For Oily Hair

Sebum production

If your primary and only concern is oiliness, look for products that maintain the pH balance of your scalp and hair. Oiliness is caused due to excessive sebum production. Excessive sebum production can be caused due to several reasons, including the stripping of natural oils, which is why it is important to have a moisturizing hair shampoo that cleanses at the same time. Keep an eye out for ‘’sebum control” shampoos.

Allergies

Some people have severe nut or gluten allergies, and if you are one of them, select products that are nut and gluten-free. Also keep an eye out for products that are free of dairy and fragrance. Look for words “hypoallergenic”, “dermatologically-tested”, and “anti-irritant”.

Lather

Most sulfate-free shampoos will lather less than other traditional shampoos. Thankfully, our list contains products that can naturally develop lather without an issue. Lather allows you to use less product and achieve the same results. This is ideal for our long-haired readers who cannot be expected to use gallon worth of non-lather-forming shampoo during each wash.

Finally, this concludes our list of the 8 best sulfate-free shampoos of 2022. Use the buying guide to decide your requirements and make your selection! Use the product a few times to allow your hair to acclimatize to the new sulfate-free formula, and watch your hair become healthier and happier without toxins! Finding the best sulfate-free shampoo for an oily scalp may feel like hard work, but once you find that special magic potion, your hair will thank you every day. We hope that we have helped you in your quest to find the best sulfate-free shampoo for oily hair.

Infographic: A Guide To Shampoos: Ingredients To Avoid & Shampooing Tips For Oily Hair

Shampooing oily hair might be tricky! You must know the correct way to shampoo your tresses while keeping your scalp safe from unwanted scratching and scrubbing. Also, not every shampoo has ingredients suitable for your hair. This infographic will guide you about the right shampooing method and ingredients to avoid in a shampoo. Scroll down to check out!

Ingredients To Avoid & Shampooing Tips For Oily Hair [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article, Vaishnavi Kothuri, is a hair care enthusiast who actively reviews hair care products. She has carefully browsed through online reviews and considered choosing these sulfate-free shampoos for her readers with oily hair. Not only are these shampoos best in moisturizing your hair, but are also useful in adding volume and reducing frizz.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are sulfate-free shampoos good for oily hair?

A powerful cleansing sulfate-free shampoo is a healthier alternative to shampoos that contain sulfate due to the lack of toxins. However, it is important to keep two things in mind. Firstly, oily hair is more tolerant of the ripping effect of sulfate. Secondly, not all sulfate-free shampoos are free of toxins, they are merely free of one commonly found toxin.

Do sulfate-free shampoos cause hair to become greasy?

Sulfate-free shampoos that contain mild cleansing agents are bound to leave your oily hair grease. However, lucky for you, all the products listed in our list contain strong cleaners and are therefore ideal for our oily-haired readers.

Are sulfate-free shampoos good for an oily scalp?

A sulfate-free shampoo that helps maintain the pH of the scalp or does not over-moisturize or strip the hair’s natural oils is good for the scalp.

How do you use a sulfate-free shampoo to remove oil?

Instead of using sulfate, a chemical detergent cleaner, sulfate-free shampoos use natural or alternative cleansers. Commonly found and used natural cleansers are lime, tea-tree, rosemary, soapberry, and activated charcoal. Do look for a detergent-free shampoo as well.

Why does sulfate-free shampoo make my hair feel like straw?

All shampoos contain cleansers that can remove oil from your strands to some extent. The oil-stripping nature of sulfate-free shampoos is much less severe than that of sulfate-based shampoos. If you still feel your hair is dry, it could be because it’s lacking moisture naturally. Repair your hair dryness using a deep conditioner or hair mask.

Do sulfate-free shampoos cause hair loss for oily hair?

No, sulfate-free shampoos don’t cause hair loss if you have oily hair; instead, it cleans away all the oil, dirt, and grease from your hair and makes it squeaky clean.

What happens when you switch to sulfate-free shampoo?

When you switch to sulfate-free shampoo you will feel your scalp getting cleaner and smoother. However, during a transition period of 3 weeks, you may feel that your scalp is not as clean as you would expect. This is because your hair takes some time to get used to the new routine.

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