A sulfate (also known as a sodium sulfate) is defined as a salt or ester of sulfuric acid. To put it simply, sulfates clean. You can find them in lots of household products, from clothing detergents to dishwashing liquid – and even in your shampoo. But sulfates aren’t great for your hair and for that you probably want to go and enjoy sulfate free shampoos and conditioners. Read on to find out the best sulfate free shampoo for your hair.
In shampoo, sulfates help break down the oil, dirt and buildup left behind by hair products. Sulfates are detergents used to make the shampoo lather. They’re are inexpensive to use in shampoos, which explains why more than 90% of shampoos contain them. However, some sulfates can be harsh on your hair. And even with all their cleaning power, sulfates are not a must-have ingredient for all hair care.
I’m sure you’ve been hearing a lot about sulfates lately. I know I talk about them a lot! Sulfates are everywhere. They aren’t even necessary – they are just for foam and lather. You can get your hair clean without them – here’s a homemade sulfate free shampoo recipe to try!
“They’re high foaming, which means that you don’t have to use very much,” says Michelle Sparrock, executive vice-president of Canadian beauty brand Live Clean.
Sulfates may also go by the names sodium lauryl sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate on the ingredients label of products.
I know I’ve been talking about sulfates a lot and badmouthing them. They aren’t as bad as once thought and actually can help your hair feel squeaky clean. They also produce such a sudsy lather that people tend to think it’s the only way to shampoo ones hair.
Basically, if your hair is normally greasy and requires daily washing, it probably doesn’t matter if your current shampoo contains sulfates because you tend to need a harsher shampoo to dry it out. But most people need shampoos that are not so harsh and drying and sulfates do just that – take out even more moisture from your already dry tresses, making it dull and limp. Sulfates also cause more damage to color- or chemically-treated hair as it zaps moisture. Also the case if you have sensitive skin, sulfates can cause skin irritation and redness by removing natural oils.
For that reason, people with eczema or sensitive skin may not be able to tolerate them, says the American Academy of Dermatology.
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo for Normal Hair
Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo
Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo helps effectively remove impurities and refreshes and rebalances hair for healthy manageability. For all hair types, this shampoo is infused with balancing Active Naturals Seaweed Extract, which is rich in vitamins, proteins, and minerals to help rebalance hair’s natural moisture. Naturally derived cleansers and sulfate-free technology help lift away impurities without over-stripping, leaving hair shiny, healthier looking, and full of life. Aveeno Pure Renewal shampoo is safe for color-treated hair.
This shampoo will renew your hair to its naturally healthy, most balanced state with each wash. Infused with the power of balancing ACTIVE NATURALS®Seaweed Extract and naturally derived cleansers, this formula with sulfate-free NATRASURF™ technology works to lift away impurities without overstripping, helping to rebalance hair’s optimal moisture levels, leaving it shiny, healthier looking, and full of life. Safe for color-treated hair.
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo for Fine Hair
L’Oreal Paris EverStrong Thickening Shampoo Rosemary
Gently removes build up of excess oils, environmental pollutants and product build up for a clean, healthy scalp and thicker, stronger looking hair.
Formulated with L’Oreal’s patented Amino Acid Complex, which helps weak, thinning hair to look thicker while caring for the scalp for hair that needs extra strength and volume
EverStrong Thickening Shampoo with rosemary leaf fortifies fragile, thin hair to promote thicker-looking locks. The system injects strength into hair from the 1st wash, making it 15X stronger*. Our formulas are especially gentle on fine hair. There are no harsh sulfates, salts or surfactants that can strip, dull and damage hair. Experience a purely sensorial lush, luxurious lather and a fresh aromatic fragrance that blooms. Ever, our original 100% sulfate-free haircare. Pure respect for your hair.
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo for Dry Hair
Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo
This multitasking shampoo is infused with six different feather-light oils for complete hair transformation. It has been shown to make hair softer, smoother, silkier, and less tangled as it tames frizz and protects against breakage from heat and UV radiation.
A blend of six featherlight oils helps soften, silken, tame, de-frizz, detangle, and protect against breakage– without weighing hair down.
Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Argan Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Safflower Seed Oil, Grapeseed Oil: Conditioning, softness and shine.
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo for Colored Hair
Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo, for Color Treated Hair
Born in salons and perfected by science, each Nexxus system is crafted with proteins extracted from nature’s most precious ingredients.
Want to protect the brilliance and beauty of your freshly colored hair? Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo is a salon crafted shampoo for color treated hair that nourishes while helping to protect color vibrancy. It gently cleanses and reawakens colored hair to give you vibrant hair that moves beautifully. Use this shampoo for colored hair after the Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer to protect your hair color for longer.
Enriched with White Orchid, Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo for colored hair uses its formula to replenish nutrients and helps maintain color vibrancy. Use it as Step 1 in the Nexxus Color Assure Vibrancy Retention Collection, after the Pre-Wash Primer.
Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo is a specially formulated salon shampoo for color treated hair that nourishes while helping to protect color vibrancy. It gently cleanses and reawakens colored hair to give you vibrant hair that moves with grace and fluidity. Use this shampoo for colored hair after the Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer to protect your hair color for longer.
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo for to Hydrate
Pureology Hydrate Shampoo
Dry, dehydrated hair leads to frizz, breakage, and other hair concerns. Dryness and breakage can dull and damage the vibrancy and retention of color-treated hair. It’s important to give your hair the moisture and protection it needs while still keeping your hair color as radiant as the day you left the salon.
Pureology Hydrate Shampoo gently cleanses without stripping color. Its ZeroSulfate formula, with exclusive AntiFade Complex, delivers a rich lather that infuses hair with essential hydration and color retention.
With Hydrate Shampoo’s mix of all-natural plant extracts (Rose, Sandalwood, and Green Tea) and a signature aromatherapy blend (Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Anise, and Patchouli), Hydrate Shampoo leaves your hair deeply nourished and touchably soft.
This sulfate free shampoo is so gentle and moisturizing that it can be used as a shampoo for color-treated hair and a shampoo for dry hair.
The thirst-quenching formulas of Hydrate provide superior replenishment, touchable softness and extraordinary color protection. Advanced Hydrating Micro-Emulsion Technology deeply hydrates to revitalize dry hair and enhance color radiance, while jojoba, green tea and sage condition. Multi-weight proteins of soy, oat and wheat help strengthen, rebuild and repair, and Pureology’s exclusive AntiFade Complex® protects color vibrancy, and a final touch of our signature aromatherapy blend of ylang ylang, bergamot and patchouli scents the collection.
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo for Curly Hair
Deva Concepts Devacurl No-Poo Decadence
No-Poo Decadence delivers more moisture, strength, and protection for your beautiful curls. It gently cleanses without stripping away the natural oils your curls need. The soothing formula, made with chufa milk and quinoa protein, provides maximum moisture and nourishment for your hair and scalp.
More of what you love! No-Poo Decadence delivers more moisture, strength, and protection for your beautiful curls. It gently cleanses without stripping away the natural oils your curls need. The soothing formula, made with chufa milk and quinoa protein, provides maximum moisture and nourishment for your hair and scalp.
Light florals combined with creamy milks provide a luxurious and comforting scent.
Includes ingredients like Grape Seed Oil, Quinoa, Melissa Extract, Chamomile, Rosemary.
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo for for a Flaky, Itchy Scalp
Nature’s Gate Tea Tree Calming for Irritated, Flaky Scalp
Nature’s Gate Tea Tree gently cleanses hair to help balance irritated, flaky scalp. Naturally purifying tea tree oil is combined with a unique blend of herbs and our 7 healthy hair nutrients to nourish, calm, and soothe. This comforting is ideal for everyday use, leaving hair beautifully shiny and healthy. Exclusive healthy hair blend includes panthenol, soy proteins, vegetable protein, jojoba oil, borage flower seed oil, vitamin C and vitamin E. Chamomile, hops and balm mint soothe and comfort. Rosemary and witch hazel help reduce oil build-up.