8 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos For Oily Hair – 2024, As Per A Cosmetologist

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

Reviewed by Lindsay Loo, Cosmetologist Lindsay Loo Lindsay LooCosmetologist insta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 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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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 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 can be too harsh and strip away the natural oils that protect and moisturize your hair follicles, resulting in dry, rough, and frizzy hair, and prone to breakage. They can also (though it may sound unbelievable) contribute to dandruff and acne!

This is why sulfate-free shampoos are on the rise as compared to a regular shampoo. Read on to know more about the 8 best sulfate-free shampoos for oily hair that can eliminate excess oil and mineral buildup from the scalp but not strip it dry. Some of the shampoos are not tested on animals and are vegan too.

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.

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

Top 8 Best Sulfate Free Shampoo For Oily Hair In 2024

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

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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, provides the required scalp care, and cleanses without stripping off 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.

Hair Type: Oily | Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 2 x 8.1 inches | Weight: 1 Pounds

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Refreshing result
  • Revitalizing shampoo
  • Non-stripping shampoo
  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Moisturizing and regenerating
  • Volumizing formula
  • Reduces frizz
  • Removes impurities

Cons

  • It may not be best suited for damaged or color-treated hair.

protip_icon 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.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 3,150 reviews, this product has become a fan favorite among users.

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

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4.5

This moisturizing shampoo is an all-rounder when it comes to hair care. Ideal for all hair types, this dermatologist-recommended shampoo assists in renewing the health of your hair. This Aveeno sulfate-free shampoo conditions hair and leaves it bouncy and full of life after each wash. Instead of sulfates, this scientifically proven formula uses naturally derived cleansers to get rid of impurities without over-stripping the natural oils, giving you clean hair. Infused with seaweed extract, this affordable shampoo formula is rich in vitamins, proteins, and minerals. Take a look at this video detailing a tester’s experience of using the product.

Hair Type: All,Color Treated,Chemically Treated | Product Dimensions: 1.94 x 1.94 x 8.6 inches | Weight: 13.07 Ounces

Pros

  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Adds volume
  • Purifying formula
  • 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.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 2,562 reviews and is a top choice all around the world.

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

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4.2
Honeydew Lemon Sage Cleansing Shampoo Image: Honeydewproducts

This tea-tree and rosemary-infused formula is specially made for our oily-haired folks. It gets rid of excess oil, helps with hair and scalp detox, 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 gentle shampoo also fights signs of dandruff and strengthens your natural hair.

Hair Type: Oily, Color Treated, Curly, Normal, Damaged | Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.7 x 7.25 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Pros

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

Cons

  • It may take a long time to show results.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has gained over 620 positive reviews on Amazon, making it an all-time best-seller.

Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo
Best For Oily Scalp
Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo
Best For All Hair Types
Lemon Sage Oily Hair Shampoo
Best Anti-Dandruff
Hair Type Oily All,Color Treated,Chemically Treated Oily, Color Treated, Curly, Normal, Damaged
Dimensions 2.4 x 2 x 8.1 inches 1.94 x 1.94 x 8.6 inches 7 x 1.7 x 7.25 inches
Weight 1 Pounds 13.07 Ounces 8 Ounces
Rating
Reviews3,1502,562620
Price$21.95$11.98$12.95

4. Best Vegan:Tree To Tub Soapberry For Hair

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4.1
Tree To Tub Peppermint Shampoo for Oily Hair & Sensitive Scalp - Gentle Clarifying Shampoo for Build Up, Sulfate Free Anti Residue Hair Shampoo for Women & Men w/Organic Argan Oil, Natural Aloe Vera 8.5 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Tree To Tub

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. This cruelty-free clean shampoo is also suitable for greasy hair after a keratin treatment. You may check more about this creamy shampoo in this video detailing a reviewer’s experience of using it.

Hair Type: All, Oily, Color Treated, Normal, Damaged | Product Dimensions: 2.28 x 2.28 x 6.01 inches | Weight: 9 Ounces

Pros

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

Cons

  • It may not help control extreme dandruff.

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

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4.1

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. This daily shampoo is packed with nourishing ingredients like cedar bar, sage, and nettle that help cleanse the hair and scalp, control sebum production, and maintain the natural pH balance of the scalp. It is free of harsh chemicals and common allergens such as soy, gluten, and nuts.

Hair Type: All, Oily, Dry, Damaged | Product Dimensions: 3.25 x 1.75 x 7.25 inches | Weight: 12 Ounces

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • pH balanced formula
  • BPA-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Suitable for teens

Cons

  • It may not be suitable for all hair types.

Our Tester's Experience

"This shampoo is great for those dealing with oily hair. It extends the freshness between washes. It also maintains hair color and softness as it does not include any harsh chemicals. It also tackles grease well."


6. Best Color-Safe:Saragan Activated Charcoal Shampoo

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4.4

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 to textured hair. The charcoal has proven efficacy in getting 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. This budget friendly shampoo is ideal for all hair types, including straight, wavy, and curly hair, and helps in bringing damaged hair back to life.

Hair Type: Oily, Color Treated, Curly, Damaged, Straight | Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.67 x 3.14 x 3.03 inches | Weight: 1 Pounds

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Provides deep cleansing
  • 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.

protip_icon Quick Tip
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.

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

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4.1
Nature’s Craft Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo Image: Bio Sense

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. This cleansing shampoo 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.

Hair Type: Curly,Oily,Wavy,Dry,Color Treated,Thin,Fine | Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.2 x 1.85 x 1.69 inches | Weight: 9.7 Ounces

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.

protip_icon 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.

8. Best Lightweight Formula:Privé Amp Up Shampoo

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4.3

In this beautiful bottle comes a sulfate-free formula that will make your hair look as good as the bottle. This shampoo offers overall fullness and incredible shine control 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 thinner and finer 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.

Hair Type: Oily, Dry, Fine, Normal, Straight | Product Dimensions: 2.38 x 2.38 x 6.13 inches | Weight: 5.6 Ounces

Pros

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

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

Our Tester's Experience

"This shampoos has been godsend for my oily hair. It cleanses well and balances the moisture without weighing my hair down. It leaves my hair healthy and adds volume."


*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.

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 sensitive scalp or 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. Choose a dermatologist-approved shampoo and look for the words including “hypoallergenic”, “dermatologist-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.

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

The Bottom Line

Finally, this concludes our list of the 8 best sulfate-free shampoos of 2024. 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! Always read reviews to pick a suitable product! Lindsay Loo, a cosmetologist, says, “The transition from sulfates to sulfate-free shampoo can be painful. Be patient with the process. Allow 30 days for your hair to adjust to your new sulfate-free routine.” 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. The Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo is a cruelty-free option that stimulates hair growth, while the Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo is ideal for color-treated hair. But if you are looking for a gluten and nut-free option that helps maintain your scalp pH, try the TBH Kids Shampoo For Oily Hair. 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. You may also use a dry shampoo to add volume and texture in between washes.

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.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article, Medha Deb, 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.

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Lindsay Loo

Lindsay LooCosmetologist

Lindsay Loo is a cosmetologist who has spent 10 years behind the chair in a storied salon in Chelsea. She is a certified Wella Master Color Expert and also has experience backstage at New York Fashion Week. She has a private studio and loves to make her clients feel amazing and welcomed.read full bio

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