Updated February 16, 2021 by Brett Dvoretz

The 10 Best Sulfate-free Shampoos

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This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in May of 2018. Sulfates are responsible for creating that thick, luxurious lather that we all love when washing our hair. But they can also increase frizziness, make dyes fade faster, and strip your hair of natural oils. If you have dry, curly, or color-treated hair, try one of these shampoos, which will clean your tresses without causing as much damage to you or the environment as regular formulations. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Verb Ghost

2. Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore

3. Pura D'Or Advanced

Editor's Notes

February 13, 2021:

We made a few changes during this update not so much because there was any real issues with some of our previous recommendations, but rather we found one that we feel will appeal to a wider range of people, and one that fills a demand that wasn't covered well enough yet. For example, we removed Living Proof Full Shampoo because it is overly pricey, and in truth, while good, it simply isn't so amazing that it warrants the cost. We also eliminated L'Oreal Paris EverPure because its scent is very strong, and that can be a turn off for some. The new additions taking the place of the removed formulas are Verb Ghost and Design Essentials Super Moisturizing. The former is great because it works well on pretty much every type of hair, so everyone in a household can share it, and it is very gentle too, so you shouldn't have any issue if you use it on a daily basis. The latter works best for those with very tight curls and we felt we didn't yet have enough options represented here for those with this kind of mane.

September 27, 2019:

Everyone's hair and scalp are different, which is why you'll find such a wide range of formulas and ingredient types on this list, although you'll notice that we prioritized natural and sustainable ones. Consumers also have myriad goals when it comes to their tresses, so we included everything from thickening shampoos (Maple Holistics Biotin, Pura D'or Advanced) and color-protecting ones (Redken Magnetics, Mixed Chicks) to solutions that can help restore hair that's been damaged from styling tools like curling wands and flat irons (OGX Renewing). Some shampoos affect people differently, so you might have to try a few before you find something you love.

Every selection on this list is free of sulfates, with many also free of parabens, silicone, salt, petroleum, and synthetic colors and fragrances. Additionally, we sought out products that come from cruelty-free companies that are environmentally responsible.

We removed our previous #10 Aveeno Pure Renewal in favor of Living Proof Full, and due to recent complaints of a changed, watered-down formula with the Baebody Volumizing, we took the opportunity to replace it with Pura D'or Advanced.

Special Honors

Oribe Shampoo for Moisture & Control Made for curly, kinky, and ultra-thick hair that's relentlessly dry, this offering from Oribe calms frizzy tresses and leaves them smooth and polished. It boasts a signature complex of watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss flower extracts to defend hair from oxidative stress and photoaging while protecting it from the drying, damaging, and color-depleting effects of the elements. oribe.com

Shu Uemura Color Lustre This shampoo from Shu Uemura lathers quickly and rinses easily. Ideal for color treated locks, it balances the scalp's natural oils and protects hair fiber. It contains musk rose oil, which is rich in nourishing fatty acids, and goji berry extract, an antioxidant-loaded ingredient that keeps color from fading. shuuemuraartofhair.com

Ouai Clean Gentle and detoxifying, Ouai Clean is infused with the company's unique Smart Technology complex that works to refresh stressed tresses. It features a blend of amino acids, keratin, and tamarind seed extract, and its fragrance has notes of Italian lemon, Turkish rose, jasmine, iris, lily, and white musk. theouai.com

4. Design Essentials Super Moisturizing

5. Maple Holistics Biotin

6. Mixed Chicks

7. Kerastase Discipline

8. OGX Renewing

9. Redken Magnetics

10. Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla


Brett Dvoretz
Last updated on February 16, 2021 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.


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