The 7 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos & Conditioners (2024)


Your Official Guide To The Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos & Conditioners On The Market

by Adeline Duff

The 7 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos & Conditioners (1)


Most often found in beauty products like shampoos, body washes, and facial cleansers, sulfates are surfactants used to produce that rich, foamy lather we've all come to associate with a proper cleanse. While not actually dangerous, they can cause irritation if you have a skin sensitivity or allergy to sulfates — and they can also strip hair of moisture, dissolve keratin-based hair treatments, and fade color. I stopped using shampoos with sulfates several years ago — so if you're interested in deciphering between the best sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, you've come to the right place.

There are three main types of sulfates typically found in shampoo: sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), and sodium coco sulfate (SCS), the latter being a lesser-known sulfate that brands often sneak in to their products, while cleverly touting the formula as being SLS-/SLES-free. So when shopping for a sulfate-free beauty product, you need to make sure it's not just listed as being SLS-/SLES-free, but entirely sulfate-free.

If you're interested in transitioning to a gentler beauty routine, one of the first places to start is by eliminating products that contain sulfates. Even if you don't have dry or chemically treated her, there are so many amazing sulfate-free formulas on the market that why shouldn’t you consider trying one?

Below, you'll find seven of the best sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners on the market — so let your quest for longer-lasting color and silkier hair commence.


The Overall Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo & Conditioner

With its deeply nourishing formula, delicious scent, and affordable price tag, this bundle from L'Oreal Paris gets my vote for the overall best sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner on the market. I have wavy, frizzy hair that's over-processed from constant heat styling and bleaching, and I recently switched over to this line. To my surprise, this drugstore formula is just as effective, if not more so, than the prestige shampoos and conditioners I used before. I find my frizz has been reduced drastically, my air-dried waves look less messy, and my hair feels healthy and soft. Basically, I've been having the best hair days of my life. To top it off, it smells really delicious and is vegan, to boot.


Runner Up: A Sulfate-Free Shampoo & Conditioner That Also Gently Clarifies

Though technically formulated with curly hair in mind, anyone can enjoy the benefits of this duo from Shea Moisture. Made with Jamaican black castor oil, as well as the brand's hero ingredient, shea butter, it smooths and softens, prevents and reverses damage, and even promotes healthy hair growth. But that's not all: thanks to the apple cider vinegar and peppermint in the formula, it eliminates product and oil buildup, leaving you less susceptible to dandruff and hair fall-out. Each bottle contains a huge amount of product — 16 ounces for the shampoo and 13 for the conditioner — so they'll last you ages.

What I really love about Shea Moisture is that they believe in fair-trade supply chain practices, give back to local, female-owned businesses, and use only the highest-quality, all-natural ingredients. They're PETA-certified cruelty-free, too making it a brand you can feel good about supporting.


Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo For Blonde Hair

It's rare to find a purple shampoo for blondes that doesn't have sulfates in it. Enter Oribe's Bright Blonde Shampoo, made with only the finest and most sophisticated botanical ingredients. Ideal for those with white, silver, and platinum blonde hair, this sulfate-free formula reduces brassy and yellow tones in just one wash. It also deeply nourishes, prevents future environmental damage, and preserves hair color for longer by protecting it from the drying and fading effects of the sun. The result? Smoother, softer, shinier hair; repaired split ends; and a bright silver sheen that will allow you to last longer between salon visits. Bonus points for being vegan and cruelty-free.


Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo For A Healthy Scalp

Scalp health had a major moment in 2018, which means I, naturally, became obsessed with scalp health. And this is one of the more fun-to-use scalp products out there. Made with charcoal, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil, this exfoliating shampoo eliminates product buildup and removes dead, flaky skin to deeply cleanse our oft-neglected scalps. The formula also contains biotin to thicken hair and promote healthy growth, as well as coconut oil to restore moisture. If you have a tight, dry, or itchy scalp, massaging your head with this scrub feels amazing (pro tip: pair it with this in-shower scalp massager for an even more soothing effect). Briogeo is an awesome natural brand and all of their products, including this one, are vegan, cruelty-free, and all natural.


Best USDA Certified-Organic Sulfate-Free Shampoo

It is ridiculously hard to find a truly organic shampoo — especially one that's sulfate-free and safe to use on dyed or chemically-treated hair. Intelligent Nutrients PureServe Color Saving Shampoo is quite literally the only USDA certified-organic shampoo for colored-treated hair on the market — so if organic-ness is important to you, this is the stuff to splurge on. Though pricey, you do get a whopping 15-ounces of product — the biggest bottle on this list. Made with plant-based ingredients, it gently cleanses and keeps your color looking fresher, longer. It also locks in moisture, increases shine, and helps prevent damage from environmental aggressors — all while being completely non-toxic, Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free, and certified-organic from COSMOS, the Soil Association, and ICEA (in addition to the USDA).


Best Sulfate-Free Conditioner For Dry, Damaged Hair

In my opinion, conditioners pale in comparison to hair masks. Especially if your hair is dry or damaged, nix your go-to conditioner for a much more repairing treatment like this one from NatureLab. Tokyo. It's made with botanical ingredients like argan oil, green tea, bamboo stem cells, cypress, and my personal favorite, prickly pear oil. In addition to repairing, smoothing, and deeply conditioning damaged hair, it also encourages healthy growth, minimizes frizz, and protects hair from damage from the sun, free radicals, and other environmental aggressors. Leave it on for the brand's recommended time of three to five minutes or do like me and let it soak under a shower cap for a few hours.


Best Sulfate-Free Conditioner For Fine Hair

Another awesome deep-conditioning treatment is MOROCCANOIL's Weightless Hydrating Mask. It'll work wonders on all hair types, but this specific 'weightless' formula makes it easy for those with fine hair to get it on the masking goodness, as it wont leave hair feeling heavy or greasy (they also have an equally-as-amazing version that would be better suited for thicker, coarser textures). Like all of the brand's products, it's loaded with their hero ingredient, argan oil, which smooths, softens, and increases shine. Though it does contain one ingredient that might throw you off — behentrimonium methosulfate — it's important to know that this isn't actually one of those nasty sulfates like SLS, SLES, or SCS. In fact, it's naturally-derived and one of the most effective known ingredients out there for conditioning and detangling — so go ahead and use this mask without worry.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.

The 7 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos & Conditioners (2024)


The 7 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos & Conditioners? ›

Switching to a sulphate free shampoo is not only better for the hair's health but improving its condition can lead to further benefits. It may reduce the excessive use of products that are meant to target sulphate created issues.

Which sulfate-free shampoo is the best? ›

  • Ten Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos: ...
  • Wella Professionals Elements Sulfate Free Renewing Shampoo.
  • TRESemme Pro Protect Sulphate-Free Shampoo.
  • OGX Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco Hydrating Growth Hair Shampoo.
  • L'Oreal Paris EverStrong Sulfate Free Thickening Shampoo.
May 20, 2023

What is the best sulphate-free shampoo for aging hair? ›

Our Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Damaged Hair
  • Quick View. ...
  • Kérastase. Discipline Bain Fluidealiste Sulfate Free Shampoo. ...
  • Kérastase. Curl Manifesto Bain Hydratation Douceur Shampoo for Curly Hair. ...
  • Pureology. Hydrate Shampoo. ...
  • Quick View. Pureology. ...
  • Pureology. Pure Volume Shampoo. ...
  • Pureology. Nanoworks Gold Shampoo. ...
  • Quick View. Matrix.

Which shampoo and conditioner is sulphate-free? ›

Best Sulphate Free Shampoo
  • Sulphate Free Shampoo For Dry Hair: Sebamed Anti-Dry Revitalizing Shampoo Ph5. ...
  • Sulfate Free Shampoo For Chemically Straightened Hair: Rene Furterer Absolue Keratine Renewal Shampoo. ...
  • Sulphate Free Shampoo For Curly Hair: Mamaearth Argan & Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo For Frizz Free & Strong Hair.

Is sulfate-free shampoo really better for your hair? ›

Switching to a sulphate free shampoo is not only better for the hair's health but improving its condition can lead to further benefits. It may reduce the excessive use of products that are meant to target sulphate created issues.

Is sulfate-free shampoo better than sulfate shampoo? ›

Key takeaways: Sulfates are chemicals found in shampoos that help to clean the hair and scalp. Sulfates are recognized as safe, and there is no clear evidence linking sulfates to cancer. If you have a sensitive scalp, however, a sulfate-free shampoo may be beneficial.

What is the best shampoo for senior hair? ›

We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
  1. sephora. Olaplex No.
  2. sephora. Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo. ...
  3. sephora. Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo. ...
  4. ulta. Living Proof Restore Shampoo. ...
  5. sephora. ...
  6. ...
  7. bluemercury. ...
  8. ulta. ...
Jun 16, 2023

What shampoo is good for over 50? ›

Best Sulfate-Free: ArtNaturals Argan Oil Shampoo

The Argan Oil Shampoo from ArtNaturals contains organic and natural ingredients that repair damaged hair and protect it against the damaging effects of excess styling and heat treatments. Argan oil is the key ingredient in this nourishing formula.

Is it okay to use sulfate-free shampoo everyday? ›

While prolonged and daily use of sulfate shampoos can make the hair rough and brittle, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner can be used every day without damaging your hair.

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

You get to hold onto essential natural hair oils

As effective as they are in ridding your hair of dirt, sulfates can also strip your hair of essential natural oils. One of the benefits of using a sulfate-free shampoo is that your strands won't lose their natural, healthy shine.

Is sulfate shampoo bad for your hair? ›

Sulfates help a shampoo to strip oil and dirt away from the hair. However, the hair needs to retain a bit of its natural moisture and oils to stay healthy. Sulfates may strip away too much moisture, leaving the hair dry and unhealthy. They may also make the scalp dry and prone to irritation.

Which shampoo is best without chemicals? ›

Best chemical-free shampoos in India
Sr. No.ProductPrice
1Just Herbs Castor and Black Onion Seed Sulfate Free Shampoo₹318
2Herbal Essences Paraben Free Shampoo₹428
3Dove Hair Therapy Breakage Repair Sulphate-Free Shampoo₹328
4Jiva Almond Shampoo₹450
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