Ask any stylist what kind of shampoo they use on both themselves and their clients, and I bet they’d all say the same thing: a sulfate-free shampoo. And that’s because sulfates (the sudsy, foamy surfactants used in a ton of traditional shampoos) are actually pretty damaging on your hair. They’re not only super harsh, but they also strip away the good things in your hair, like its natural oils, moisture, and even hair dye.
So even though, yes, sulfates are great at dissolving product buildup and grime, they’re also pretty much the mortal enemy of healthy, shiny, moisturized hair. Instead, ditch your harsh formula and try one of these 17 best sulfate-free shampoos that are really, truly excellent. They’ll gently cleanse your hair (so no grease or oil) but still leave it feeling soft, moisturized, and healthy.
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Best Everyday Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Dae Daily Shampoo
I’ve been using this sulfate-free shampoo on my fine, straight hair for weeks now, and I’m truly obsessed. The plant-based formula is made with clean ingredients, like shine-boosting aloe vera and deep-cleaning hibiscus extract, and makes my hair look and smell amazing. The best part, though? The gentle formula is safe to use everyday, which is ideal if you’re a frequent washer like me.
Best Drugstore Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Honey & Vitamin B Moisture Shampoo – 12.2 fl oz
If you’re looking to add a sulfate-free shampoo to your wash rotation that won’t break the bank, def try this drugstore option from Herbal Essences. It costs just $6, but is filled with good-for-your-hair ingredients, like color-protecting antioxidants, hydrating honey, and moisturizing vitamin B5.
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Brunettes
Redken Color Extend Brownlights Blue Toning Sulfate-Free Shampoo
This sulfate-free shampoo for brunettes in infused with blue pigments (DW, they won’t stain your hands or turn your hair blue) to counteract unwanted brassiness and orange-y tones in natural and color-treated brown hair. Use it once or twice a week in place of your regular shampoo to keep your color looking fresh between salon appointments.
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Frizz and Flyaways
IGK Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Anti-Frizz Shampoo
Humidity + hot weather = the enemy of soft, frizz-free hair. Luckily, this sulfate-free shampoo contains smoothing coconut milk and hydrating hyaluronic acid to prevent your hair from turning into a ball of flyaways as soon as you step out the door this summer.
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo Scrub
Goop G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo
Shampoo scrubs are having a moment right now, but they’re not all created equal (aka some can damage the shit out of your hair). If you want to use one, make sure it’s sulfate-free (like this one from Goop) and made with gentle exfoliating ingredients (i.e. salt or sugar particles) that won’t cause breakage or irritate your scalp.
Best Nourishing Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Briogeo Banana + Coconut Nourishing Superfood Shampoo
This ultra-nourishing sulfate-free shampoo is infused with antioxidant-rich superfoods like bananas, coconuts, and acai to help moisturize, nourish, and repair your hair as you wash. Oh, and the fruity fragrance smells like a tropical vacay, which, hey, I’ll take.
Best Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Not Your Mother’s Activated Bamboo Charcoal & Purple Moonstone Shampoo
Instead of using harsh surfactants, this sulfate-free clarifying shampoo uses activated charcoal to deep-clean your greasy roots without stripping them. How? Its key ingredient charcoal, which has absorbent qualities that help get rid of buildup, dirt, and excess oils.
Best Hydrating Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo
Not only is this shampoo sulfate-free, but it’s also free of parabens and phthalates (a plus for anyone inching into the green-and-clean movement). It’s especially great for anyone who has dry, damaged hair from heat styling or color treating, since it hydrates, boosts shine, and helps prevent breakage.
Best Smoothing Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo
Special smoothing molecules in this sulfate-free shampoo make hair ridiculously soft and give it mirror-like shine (the dream, if you ask me). And don’t worry—the lightweight formula won’t weigh down fine hair, meaning it can be used on all hair types and textures.
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Blondes
Pravana The Perfect Blonde Shampoo
Whether your hair is dirty blonde or icy platinum, this sulfate-free toning shampoo should be a part of your cleansing routine. It has tiny purple pigments that help neutralize brassiness and yellow tones to keep your blonde color looking fresh and bright.
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Damaged Hair
Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
There’s a reason every stylist swears by this sulfate-free shampoo. In addition to gently cleansing your strands, it helps reverse breakage, minimize frizz, and repair split ends by mending broken protein bonds along the hair shaft.
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Curls
Vernon François Curl~ Shampoo
This sulfate-free shampoo for curly hair doesn’t just clean your coils—it deeply moisturizes them too. It’s packed with moisturizing plant oils, like baobab seed, kernel, and coconut, to coat your hair with strengthening and softening nutrients that’ll keep your curls healthy.
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Fine Hair
Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Sulfate-Free Volumizing Shampoo
Want to give your fine hair more volume and body? Get it in the shower with this sulfate-free shampoo. It contains vitamin B3 and lemongrass extracts that help amp up fine, limp hair without making it feel like a tangled mess.
Best Texturizing Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Amika Sexture Beach Look Shampoo
Score sexy, beachy texture with this sulfate-free shampoo (and absolutely zero beach time). It uses a combo of kaolin clay, rice starches, and zeolite to add volume, thickness, and grit to even the finest hair. And unlike other texturizing shampoos, it 100 percent won’t dry out your hair or make it feel like straw.
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Natural Hair
Pantene Gold Series Deep Hydrating Co-Wash
This sulfate-free co-wash is ideal for super-dry curls and/or anyone with type 4 hair. The low-lather formula gently breaks down dirt and buildup while simultaneously conditioning hair with moisturizing panthenol and argan oil.
Best Organic Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Rahua Classic Shampoo
Safe for all hair types (including color treated), this sulfate-free shampoo is made with natural and organic plant-based ingredients, like green tea, aloe, and rosemary extract to gently cleanse your hair from roots to tips.
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Dandruff
L’Oréal Paris Ever Fresh Antidandruff Shampoo
Dealing with dandruff, flakes, or itchiness? Try this sulfate-free shampoo from L’Oréal Paris. It contains 1 percent pyrithione zinc to soothe and rebalance your irritated scalp without drying out your hair.
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