15 Sulfate-Free Shampoos


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 the benefits seem unclear, but, “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 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.

Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo 1 of 15
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 over stripping, helping to rebalance hair’s optimal moisture levels, leaving it shiny, healthier looking, and full of life. Safe for color-treated hair.

Get this shampoo from, $6.49
Bee Mine Moisturizing Shampoo 2 of 15
Bee Mine Botanical Moisturizing Shampoo is loaded with botanical extracts to gently cleanse hair and removes residue and moisturize, while enhancing natural shine. It leaves hair touchably soft and 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 this botanical moisturizing shampoo.

Get this shampoo from, $12.97
Curls Curlicious Cleansing Cream 3 of 15
Curls Curlicious Cleansing Cream is not a shampoo at all but a cleansing cream. That means little or no subs. It's extremely gentle. Many of Curls products are made with certified organic ingredients.

Get this shampoo from, $15
Eden BodyWorks JojOba Monoi Moisturizing Shampoo 4 of 15
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. It's formulated to remove dirt and oil build-up, while replenishing the hair and scalp's natural moisture balance.

Get this shampoo from, $8.99
L’Oreal EverStrong Sulfate-Free Fortify System™ 5 of 15
L’Oreal EverStrong Sulfate-Free Fortify System™ contains L’Oreal's patented Amino Acid Complex, which helps weak, thinning hair to look thicker while caring for the scalp.

Get this shampoo from L'Oreal Paris, $6.99
Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo 6 of 15
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.

Get this shampoo from Amazon, $8.71
Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream 7 of 15
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 skincare. 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.

Get this shampoo from, $24
Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo 8 of 15
Audrey Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo restorative herbal emollients help you achieve ultra-softness and manageability while rehydrate hair fiber to overcome dryness and brittleness and leave hair irresistibly fragrant and silky-soft.

Get this shampoo from Amazon, $10.80
Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo 9 of 15
Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo that won't weigh your hair down. Jessicurl Shampoo is perfect for any type of hair.

Get this shampoo from, $16.95
Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo 10 of 15
Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoois a sulfate-free cheleating 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.

Get this shampoo from, $12
Living Proof Full Shampoo 11 of 15
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.

Get this shampoo from, $24
Organix Norishing Coconut Milk Shampoo 12 of 15
According to Orangix Hair all of their collections are sulfate-free. I chose to feature Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo because it nourishes and strengths hair.

Get this shampoo from Amazon, $5.79
Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo 13 of 15
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.

Get this shampoo from Amazon, $17.98
Sheamoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo 14 of 15
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.

Get this shampoo from Walgreens, $9.79
Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo 15 of 15
Aveda does not label the Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo as a sulfate-free product but in reviewing the full ingredient list there are no SDS or SLS listed.

Get this shampoo from, $28
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