15 Sulfate-Free Shampoos


Photo Credit: Natural Hair Rules

Sulfate-free shampoos have become increasingly popular within the last couple of years. I’m a fan but I wanted to answer a couple questions about these type of shampoos as well as list 15 of the most popular on the market today.

Is sulfate-free better for your hair?

After I transitioned from chemically straightened hair to my naturally curly hair, I quickly saw my hair rebelling against my traditional shampoo. Regardless of how much conditioner, oil, or product I slathered on, it was no help. It was dry, frizzy and almost unmanageable. And split ends … let’s not even go there!

Stylists like Lorraine Massey and Anthony Dickey point to sulfate shampoo as the culprit. They have challenged consumers for years to opt for “low ‘poo” (low sulfate) or sulfate-free shampoos. These sulfates are usually listed as sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laurel sulfate and abbreviated as SLS.

What’s the deal with SLS?

It can’t be that bad if it’s been in our shampoo for decades. While it’s not a carcinogen despite unfounded rumors, it is a common detergent found in tons of household items including laundry detergent, dish soap, toothpaste and the list goes on. If you don’t believe me, just read your labels. (I did.)

For this reason alone I would opt for sulfate-free shampoo. I don’t want to wash my hair, skin, or baby with the same detergent that cleans my clothes and dishes.

Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a New York-based dermatologist, says,” While the benefits seem unclear, my philosophy with sulfate-free shampoo has been, “Hey, it can’t hurt. Right?”

I have used sulfate-free shampoo, body soap, and baby wash exclusively. I have noticed less flare-ups of eczema and dry scalp in myself. Both my son and I have less occurrences of dry skin. My hair and body feel softer. I have also noticed less frizzy hair days. My hair seems to respond better to my hair products after each shampoo.

So if you’re thinking of going sulfate-free, here’s a list of 15 sulfate-free shampoos to consider.

  • 15 Sulfate-Free Shampoos 1 of 16

    15 of the most popular on the market today. 

  • Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo 2 of 16

    Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo is Infused with the power of balancing ACTIVE NATURALS® Seaweed Extract and naturally derived cleansers, this formula with sulfate-free 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.

     www.aveeno.com, $7.49

  • Bee Mine Moisturizing Shampoo 3 of 16

    Bee Mine Botanical Moisturizing Shampoo is loaded with botanical extracts to gently cleanse hair, remove residue and moisturize while enhancing natural shine.  Leaves hair touchably soft & smooth.  This formulation will nourish the scalp and strengthen the hair without stripping or weighing it down.  Cleanse, hydrate and quench your thirsty dry hair with our botanical moisturizing shampoo., www.beemineproducts.com, $12.97

  • Curls Curlicious Cleansing Cream 4 of 16

    Curls Curlicious Cleansing Cream is not a shampoo at all but a cleansing cream.  That means little or no subs. Its extremely gentle. Many of Curls products are made with certified organic ingredients.

    www.curls.biz, $15.00

  • Eden BodyWorks Jojoboa Monoi Moisturizing Shampoo 5 of 16

    Eden BodyWorks JojOba Monoi Moisturizing Shampoo is made from the purest botanical ingredients to naturally cleanse impurities and nourish your hair without the use of harsh detergents. Formulated to remove dirt and oil build-up, while replenishing the hair and scalp's natural moisture balance. www.edenbodyworks.com, $8.99

  • L’Oreal EverStrong Sulfate-Free Fortify System™ 6 of 16

    L'Oreal EverStrong Sulfate-Free Fortify Systemâ„¢ contains L'Oréal's patented Amino Acid Complex, which helps weak, thinning hair to look thicker while caring for the scalp.

    www.lorealparisusa.com, $6.99

  • Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo 7 of 16

    Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo was early on the sulfate-free scene before others jumped on the bandwagon.  It was one of the first that I tried.  I still use this brand today. 

    www.giovannicosmetics.com, $7.95

  • Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream 8 of 16

    Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream is a moisturizing no subs shampoo by previously mentioned, Anthony Dickey.  It was created to treat your hair with the same philosophy as skin care. If you have dry skin, chances are you wouldn't use a harsh detergent to wash your face. Traditional shampoos contain sulfates (found in detergents) that deplete the hair and scalp of moisture.  

    Read more at www.hairrules.com, $12

  • Audrey Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo 9 of 16

    Audrey Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo has restorative herbal emollients that help you achieve ultra-softness and manageability while rehydrate hair fiber to overcome dryness and brittleness and leave hair irresistibly fragrant and silky-soft.

    www.aubrey-organics.com, $10.48

  • Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo 10 of 16

    Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo that won't weigh your hair down.  Jessicurl Shampoo is perfect for any type of hair.

     www.jessicurl.com, $16.95

  • Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo 11 of 16

    Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo is a sulfate-free chealating shampoo. Cheleating is a fancy way of saying it removes hard water minerals.  This shampoo is also great for removing chlorine from dips in the pool this summer.

    www.kinky-curly.com, $12

  • Living Proof Full Shampoo 12 of 16

    Living Proof Full Shampoo is a sulfate-free daily shampoo formulated specifically to care for flat, lifeless hair. It thoroughly cleanses hair of dirt, oil and product residue in a way that's gentle.

    www.livingproof.com, $24

  • Organix Norishing Coconut Milk Shampoo 13 of 16

    Organix Norishing Coconut Milk Shampoo

    According to Organix Hair all of their collections are sulfate-free.  I chose to feature Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo because it nourishes and strengths hair. 


    www.organixhair.com, $6

  • Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo 14 of 16

    Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo is actually pretty late to the sulfate-free party.  This particular line is fairly new and only carried at limited salon locations. 

    www.paulmitchell.com, $21

  • Sheamoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo 15 of 16

    Sheamoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo is a shea butter based sulfate-free shampoo made with certified organic ingredients.  I have reviewed many of Sheamoisture products and not come across one I didn't like yet. 

    www.walgreens.com, $9.99

  • Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo 16 of 16

    Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo

    Aveda does not label this shampoo as a sulfate-free product but in reviewing the full ingredient list there are no SDS or SLS listed.  

    www.aveda.com, $24

If you have tried and loved any of these, please comment below.

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