We hear quite a lot about sulfate being a prominent ingredient in our hair care products, but do we know what it is? Sulfate is a cleaning and lathering agent in your shampoo. It acts on your hair and scalp to remove oil and product build-up. The concern that arises from using sulfate in your shampoos (and even conditioners!) is that it may leave your hair dry. Sulfates are effective cleansers, they do their job, and they do it well.
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.
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Top 8 Best Sulfate Free Shampoo For Oily Hair In 2021
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.
- Non-stripping shampoo
- Contains natural ingredients
- Moisturizing and regenerating
- Adds volume and reduces frizz
- It may not be best suited for colored hair.
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.
- Adds volume
- Ideal for oily hair
- Gentle on color-treated hair
- Gentle and natural cleansing formula
- Makes hair more manageable for styling
- The scent may be too strong for some.
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.
- Fortifies hair
- Gentle on color-treated hair
- Promotes cell growth
- Soothes an itchy scalp
- It may take a long time to show results.
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.
- Dermatologist recommended
- Free from toxins, gluten, and fragrance
- It may not help control extreme dandruff.
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.
- Balances pH levels
- Suitable for teens
- It may not be suitable for all hair types.
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.
- Ideal for all hair types
- Color-safe shampoo for oily hair
- Enriched with natural oils
- Some users may find the scent to be too strong.
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.
- Ideal for all hair types
- Vegan shampoo for oily hair
- Energizes the scalp and nourishes hair
- Some may find it slightly greasy.
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.
- Weightless formula
- Ideal for thin and fine hair
- Aids in color pigment protection
- Contains vital proteins and antioxidants
- Slightly expensive
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
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.
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”.
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 2021. 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.
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.