The Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos
These formulas won't strip your hair.
We've all been there: We find a shampoo that removes the grease, smells nice, and, perhaps most importantly, fits into our budgets and commit to it—sometimes for years on end. But when you focus your attention on the immediate results (or scent) of a product, you might forget to scan the ingredient list, which is a real oversight. Some of your hair wash's most impactful ingredients can impact scalp health, hair follicles, texture, moisture levels, oil production, and the overall appearance of your hair.
While some ingredients (like hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, avocado oil, and charcoal) can enhance your hair health, others (like sulfates, parabens, and phthalates) do anything but. First, however, let's focus on sulfates. They most commonly appear as sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate and are known for their deep cleaning properties; in fact, many believe that sulfates do a lot of good when it comes to ridding build-up from hair. But the fact of the matter is that these additives often clean too well, which in turn strips away color and moisture from your hair, and can slow or suppress growth.
If you've been using a shampoo with sulfates for years and feel that your hair isn't at its best, now's the time to make a change. To help you do just that, we rounded up 10 sulfate-free shampoos that get the job done. Whether you have straight, curly, frizzy, or color-treated hair (or any type in between), there's a solution shampoo for you in the slides ahead.
Sol de Janeiro
This creamy shampoo comes with the brand's coveted scent (it smells like vacation!). Better yet, it repairs and smooths with plant-based keratin, hydrates and fights frizz with the vitamin E-rich Brazil nut selenium, and conditions and revitalizes with buriti oil.
Shop Now: Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Joia Strengthening + Smoothing Shampoo, $25, sephora.com.
SEEN takes a unique approach to hair care: While their products are beneficial for your scalp, they were formulated with your skin in mind. The shampoo was designed by dermatologists to work for all skin types; best of all, it won't clog your pores (which means no more back breakouts caused by aggravating cleansers!).
It's also made without sulfates, silicones, phthalates, parabens, dyes, pore-clogging oils, and formaldehyde—and isn't tested on animals.
Shop Now: SEEN Shampoo, $29, anthropologie.com.
Love Beauty & Planet
This clean, cruelty-free, vegan formula is not only made without sulfates but sans phthalates, dyes, and parabens, too. Thanks to its ultra-clean formula, it won't strip moisture or color, and instead helps hair look its absolute best. Here's another bonus: The bottle is made from 100 percent recycled plastic, making it an eco-friendly shower staple.
Shop Now: Love Beauty & Planet Hemp Seed Oil & Nana Leaf Sulfate-Free Shampoo, $7, target.com.
While all color-treated hair requires special maintenance, going blonder requires even more. That's why this best-selling shampoo, formulated especially for blondes, is such a must. It's made without parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, and petrolatum, and is designed to eliminate all brassy tones.
Shop Now: R+Co Sunset BLVD Blonde Shampoo, $29, dermstore.com.
This moisturizing shampoo deeply hydrates dry, brittle hair while infusing it with antioxidants, B vitamins, and a delicious rosy scent. Plus, it's formulated with color-treated hair in mind, so it won't wreak havoc on your highlights or single process.
Shop Now: Pantene Blends Moisture Boost With Rosewater Shampoo, $7, target.com.
If you want better hair, start at your scalp. This anti-dandruff shampoo will put you on the right path: Made with salicylic acid, bilberry fruit, sugarcane, and pea sprout extracts (and without parabens, sulfates, or sodium chloride), this nourishing shampoo helps soothe dry, itchy, irritated scalps while protecting against free radical damage, breakage, and dryness.
Shop Now: Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, $46, dermstore.com.
This gentle, non-stripping shampoo is designed to help maintain your hair's pH balance and strengthen it from roots to ends. It's made with plant-derived cleansers, keratin amino acids, and cysteine amino acids—and without sulfates, parabens, or phthalates. The result is smooth, silky hair that looks as good as it feels.
Shop Now: AQUIS Prime Rebalancing Hair Wash, $26, dermstore.com.
If keeping your color bright, glossy, and shiny as can be is a priority, this five-star sulfate-free shampoo belongs in your shower. The cult-favorite formula won't clog pores, dull color, dehydrate ends, or strip moisture. The reason? There's not a sulfate or silicone in sight.
Shop Now: Color Wow Color Security Shampoo, $23, dermstore.com.
On days when you simply don't have the time or energy to fully rinse, shampoo, and blow dry your hair, reach for a bottle of this sulfate-free dry shampoo. The spray is great for fine and oily hair types.
Shop Now: Waterl<ss No Residue Dry Shampoo, $8, target.com.