As an ingredient in shampoos and body washes, sulfate can cut through dirt and oil quickly. However, it can leave hair too dry and frizzy. This is why many beauty bloggers, hair stylists, and others recommend sulfate-free shampoos.
We reviewed dozens of sulfate-free shampoos to identify the best options out there. We considered what other ingredients the formula contained and what people wrote in reviews after they used it, as well as scent. Most importantly, we evaluated each of the sulfate-free shampoo formulas on value. Nobody wants to overpay for the same formula of shampoo if there aren’t added benefits.
Our top pick, Maple Holistics Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner Set, is specially formulated to improve your hair over time while providing instant relief from itching and flaky scalp. It hydrates hair to give it a youthful shine and texture. Plus, it promotes hair growth for thicker and stronger hair.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Sulfate-Free Shampoos
|Best Overall||Maple Holistics Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner Set||4.5|
|Runner Up||ArtNaturals Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo||4.3|
|Best Budget Buy||ACURE Curiously Clarifying Lemongrass Shampoo||4.2|
|Best Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo||LuxeOrganix Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo||4.3|
|Best Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo||Maple Holistics Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo||4.5|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Maple Holistics Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner Set
This Maple Holistics Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner Set is our top pick for sulfate-free shampoos. This set comes with a shampoo and conditioner that work together to clean and repair your hair. With consistent use and proper care, this set gives you the ability to keep the hair that you have and grow new hair. This will give you a thicker and healthier look.
One of the best features of the set is that it is formulated for sensitive skin. All of the ingredients are hypoallergenic and it is fragrance-free. That means that there is nothing in it to irritate your skin. Great care has been taking to remove other harmful additives including sulfate, parabens, silicon, and any harsh chemicals.
The ingredients in the Maple Holistics Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner Set are all-natural and known for being effective at improving hair growth. It starts with an argan oil base and has phytokeratin and silk proteins that strengthen hair strands. These keep your hair from breaking while new, stronger hairs grow in.
Maple Holistics Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner Set Key Features:
- Stops itch and dandruff
- Revitalizes damaged hair
- Includes silk proteins
- Sulfate-free, paraben-free, and hypoallergenic
Our Runner Up Pick: ArtNaturals Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo
The ArtNaturals Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo is our runner up pick. When it comes to cosmetic and health products, there are many social initiatives to improve their impact on the planet. ArtNaturals Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo covers many of those initiatives being paraben-free, sulfate-free, ethically sourced, cruelty-free, phthalates-free, and certified vegan. It is good for your hair, your overall health, and the planet, all at once.
People choose ArtNaturals Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo because of its all-natural ingredients. It has argan oil for a no-residue texture so that your hair comes out feeling clean and smooth. It also protects your hair by hydrating it so that it is not brittle and easily damaged. Over time, it strengthens your hair by repairing the damage.
People also choose the shampoo because it works on any type of hair. Most shampoos are designed specifically for a single type of hair, but this one can be used on any hair, including treated hair. It won’t reverse color treatments, and it prevents the buildup of hair products that can damage your hair.
ArtNaturals Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo Key Features:
- All-natural ingredients
- Made for all hair types
- Reduces hair loss
- Certified vegan
Best Budget Pick: ACURE Curiously Clarifying Lemongrass Shampoo
The ACURE Curiously Clarifying Lemongrass Shampoo is our Best Budget Pick for a sulfate-free shampoo. In many cases, you would have to spend a lot of money to find a product that is effective, healthy, and safe. At just $7, ACURE Curiously Clarifying Lemongrass Shampoo gives you all of those benefits while still being easily affordable.
This shampoo is certified vegan, as well as cruelty and gluten-free. It is a healthier alternative to many other shampoos and can be a part of a total health makeover. Plus, this shampoo is formulated to be paraben, silicone, sodium chloride, and phthalate-free. You get a lot of health benefits out of just one product!
If you color your hair, this shampoo is a good option, as it is color-safe. It won’t strip the color from your hair and is still effective at repairing hair damage. It is also healthier for the planet since it is 100% biodegradable. Without a fragrance, it comes out seamlessly for a cleaner, healthier finish.
ACURE Curiously Clarifying Lemongrass Shampoo Key Features:
- Lemongrass and argan oil-based
- Vegan and gluten-free
Best Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo Pick: LuxeOrganix Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo
The LuxeOrganix Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo is our Best Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo Pick. Argan oil is well-known for having healing properties for hair. Much of the world’s argan oil comes from Morocco, which has a long history of making it. This shampoo uses a pure form of argan oil to provide a moisturizing and smooth finish to your hair. That way, it is protected from things like the sun and heat so that it can heal.
LuxeOrganix Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo is formulated to be safe for colored and keratin-treated hair. Most shampoos use harsher cleaning methods that could strip the coloring and keratin out of your hair. However, this shampoo provides a gentle, yet effective method of removing toxins and buildup from your hair that won’t mess up your treatments.
Another benefit is that it conditions your hair to make it softer and smoother. By hydrating your hair, it makes it heavier and the strands stay straighter. This helps fight frizz and keeps your hair looking healthy.
LuxeOrganix Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo Key Features:
- Sodium chloride-free
- Combines best with LuxeOrganix Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner
- Fights frizz and dry hair
Best Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo Pick: Maple Holistics Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo
The Maple Holistics Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo is our Best Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo Pick. The longer you use other shampoos, the more they build up in your hair. That buildup can stop your hair from growing or damage the hair that you have. Clarifying shampoos help remove that buildup from your head and scalp so that your hair can heal.
The Maple Holistics Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo is highly effective at de-greasing hair without causing damage. The ingredients then rebalance your PH levels so that your hair has a healthy environment to grow. There are hydrating ingredients too to give your hair the moisture and protection that it needs to fight further damage.
Another reason to choose this shampoo is that it works well for keratin treatments. Keratin is the key protein that makes up the hair. Maple Holistics Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo does not damage keratin. Instead, it delivers all of the nutrients needed to replenish keratin production.
Maple Holistics Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo Key Features:
- Safe for keratin and color treatments
- Lemon essential oil
- Rebalances the PH of your scalp
- Naturally degreases hair
Who Should Buy Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Sulfate-free shampoo is ideal for people who have curly hair that is prone to frizz. A sulfate-free shampoo can help to maintain natural oils in your hair so it looks its best and remains frizz-free. While sulfates are generally regarded as safe, some people have allergies to sulfate and need to avoid products that contain it. A sulfate-free shampoo makes sense.
Choosing a sulfate-free shampoo is also a smart idea for people with damaged hair, who can wash their hair only once a week without it becoming too oily, and those who dye their hair. Sulfate-free shampoo tends to be gentler on hair than those with sulfates. This can help to clean your hair but reduce the drying effect of some shampoo formulations.
For people who are very concerned about the ingredients in their beauty products, opting for a sulfate-free shampoo can make it easier. Many sulfate-free shampoos also do not contain any parabens or other chemicals that are commonly found in beauty products. Be sure to check the specific brand you buy to see its specific formulation.
If your hair is damaged due to repeated use of a curling iron or hot hair rollers, a keratin treatment may help. If you have buildup from products like hairspray and hair gel, opt for a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo.
Important Features to Consider
An effective sulfate-free shampoo should meet several standards. Here’s what to consider when selecting a sulfate-free shampoo:
- Sets. Some sulfate-free shampoos are sold with matching conditioners. If you plan to use both products, buying the set is usually less expensive.
- Size. Sulfate-free shampoo formulas come in all sizes, so be careful to consider the price per ounce when comparing the shampoo bottles.
- Natural botanicals. Many sulfate-free shampoos use natural botanicals for fragrance and cleaning.
- Animal testing. Some brands pride themselves on not testing their products on animals.
- Fragrances. There are fragrance-free sulfate-free shampoos and formulas with fragrances. Some people who have allergies to sulfate might also have allergies to fragrances.
- Hair types. Choose a sulfate-free shampoo if the hair is prone to damage and frizz.
- Safe for color treated hair. While most sulfate-free shampoos are gentler on color treated hair, there are formulas designed to help reduce color fading.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is sulfate-free shampoo and how does it work?
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common lathering agent found in many popular shampoos. It is a lathering agent that very thoroughly removes dirt and oil from your hair and scalp. It is also used in other household cleaning products.
Sulfate-free shampoo does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate or other sulfates as a lathering agent. Instead, sulfate-free shampoos use other ingredients, such as cocobetaines from coconut oil, to clean hair. Since shampoos without sulfates won’t lather as well as those with sulfates, it is important to take the time to massage the product through your hair to get a good clean.
What is bad about sulfates in shampoos?
Unless you have an allergy to sulfate, it is generally considered a safe ingredient in beauty products. However, sulfate can be drying to hair because of its effectiveness in removing the natural oil found in your hair. This can cause your hair to break more easily and to frizz. Those prone to frizzy hair or who live in warm, humid climates, such as in Florida, may benefit from switching to a sulfate-free shampoo.
Does sulfate-free shampoo help hair growth?
Sulfate-free shampoo won’t help your hair grow directly, but many people who switch to sulfate-free shampoo experience longer, healthier, and thicker hair. This can give the impression that the sulfate in their old shampoo caused the hair to stop growing.
What is really happening is that the hair that hasn’t been exposed to sulfate is healthier and better able to retain its moisture. If conditioned properly, this healthier hair will grow faster and thicker than it would have otherwise. Not all sulfate-free shampoos are equal, so it is important to find one that can properly condition and clean your hair without sulfate.
Can sulfates cause hair loss?
Sulfates can cause hair loss, by making hair strands more brittle and prone to breakage. This can also cause hair to be thinner. The sulfate residue left behind after you wash out your shampoo can also dry out your scalp and lead to further hair loss.
Other Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other sulfate-free shampoos. Even though they didn’t make our 5 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo
- Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo
- Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Both Men & Women
- Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Color Treated Hair
Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo
This Bellisso Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo is designed to help you grow longer, stronger, and healthier hair. It uses argan oil as its base and contains magnesium and other nutrients to promote hair health. It contains a moisturizer to keep your hair from drying and becoming brittle. You can use this shampoo daily for fast and effective results, especially if you already have damaged or thinning hair. This shampoo is also paraben-free.
- Designed to heal and strengthen hair
- Argon oil-based formula
- Made from all natural ingredients
- Works for all types of hair
This First Botany Cosmeceuticals Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo is formulated to help you regrow and repair your hair. It is made with 100% pure argan oil, which doesn’t leave an oily buildup in your hair. Instead, it coats it with a protein and vitamin-rich coating so that your hair stays moisturized throughout the day. It works for all types of hair, but can also help to reduce curls and frizz over time by keeping your hair moisturized and soft.
- 100% pure argan oil
- Formulated for hair restoration
- No oily buildup
- Protein-rich formula
This Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo for Men and Women By Honeydew Products uses oil sourced directly from Morocco for a fresh and clean smell. It is lightly scented with natural ingredients to add an exotic scent to your hair. This product is made using cruelty-free and paraben-free ingredients in an effort to contribute to a healthier lifestyle. The manufacturing process is finished in the U.S. in GMP-certified facilities.
- Oil sourced from Morocco
- Lightly scented
The Natural Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set provides several key benefits to help you improve your hair health. It uses Moroccan argan oil to deliver nutrients and minerals to your hair. It is high in antioxidants so that it can help heal your hair. Plus, it provides UV-protection to keep hair from drying out and also works as a free-radical neutralizer to promote healthy regrowth. This set is formulated by experts in Italy where there is a long history of developing effective health and care products.
- Formulated in Italy
- Antioxidant-rich formula
- Free-radical neutralizer
The OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo is designed to quickly repair damaged hair so that you can keep it. It begins by rehydrating your dry and damaged hair. In the process, it adds silk strands to your hair, which improves its strength while letting it get softer. The result is stronger, softer, and silkier hair. Since it repairs the hair that you have, your hair looks fuller and has a brighter shine to it. Rehydrating hair also gives it a richer, deeper color that looks healthy.
- Silk-infused formula
- Makes your hair softer and stronger
- Creates a fuller look
- Rehydrates your hair
Pure Nature Lux Spa Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo helps you regrow your hair by reducing harmful content and repairing the hair that you already have. You can use it to treat split ends as well as continued hair damage from being dry. For a longer-lasting repair, this shampoo contains UV and heat protection. That way, your hair won’t dry out quickly and has time to heal. This shampoo is also free of chemicals that can dry out your hair like sodium chloride.
- Treats split ends
- UV and thermal protection
- Used by professionals
- Sodium chloride-free
Shiny Leaf Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo helps your hair recover from chemical treatments. Use chemicals in your hair can dry it and damage it over time, especially bleaching and coloring treatments. This shampoo repairs that damage without messing up your hair color. It also coats your hair in a thin layer of oil so that it is hydrated and protected. Plus, it adds natural shine and scent to your hair making it look and feel healthier.
- Makes hair easier to style
- Adds shine to your hair
- Repairs chemical damage
- Works with color-treated hair
Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo
The Activated Charcoal Keratin Infused Sulfate & Paraben Free Clarifying Shampoo contains ingredients that can undue severe hair damage and prepare your hair for healthier growth. It contains activated charcoal, which is known for absorbing toxins and harmful chemicals. You can use it to cleanse your hair thoroughly of other chemicals and toxins that have built up over time to let your hair start fresh. This shampoo also hydrates your hair and provides nutrients to repair the damage. Plus, it coats your hair in a protective layer so that it can prevent damage over time.
- Paraben-free formula
- Contains six all natural oils
- Contains activated carbon powder
- Formulated to clean and detoxify your hair and scalp
The Moisturizing & Clarifying – Sulfate-Free Shampoo by Christina Moss Naturals is used to promote hair health. It is gentle enough to be used on babies but effective enough to repair years of damage. It even helps heal your scalp over time. This shampoo is made using natural and cruelty-free ingredients. That way, you can use it while still having a positive impact on the environment.
- Heals the scalp
- Works on babies too
- No toxins or chemicals
If you have extensive long-term hair damage, then you need to use a clarifying shampoo like the Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo Conditioning Treatment Hair Care. It is designed to remove deeper contaminants from your hair that build up over time. These include leftover chemicals and other toxins from previous hair treatments. That also includes chlorine, which is commonly found in water to kill harmful bacteria. You can use it once per month to maintain the cleanliness of your hair. This set comes with two bottles so it should last for a long time.
- Comes with two bottles
- Formulated to remove toxins
- Effective at treating chlorine buildup
- Use once per month
The Premium Nature Argan Oil Sulfate- Free Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner Set gives you the shampoo and conditioner that you need to improve your long-term hair health. The clarifying shampoo helps you get the toxins and other chemicals out of your hair that have built up over time. That way, your hair can recover and feel better. It will remove oily residues and return your hair to a softer, stronger texture. The conditioner also helps clean your hair and condition it for better hair health.
- Removes built-up toxins
- Fixes split ends
- Makes your hair soft again
Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Both Men & Women
Both men and women can benefit from DermaChange Organic Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner Set for Men & Women. It is full of antioxidants to promote skin and hair health. It uses natural ingredients that are cruelty-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free for an overall healthier body. Plus, they are hypoallergenic, so you don’t have to worry about allergies.
- Promotes thick and healthy hair
- Cassava Root
The Natural Riches Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo & Conditioner Set for Men & Women offers you the chance to repair and volumize your hair. The formula is designed to repair your hair with vitamins and nutrients as well as an active cleaner to remove old buildup. This set also gives you long lasting heat and UV protection so that your hair stays healthier all day.
- Volumizing formula
- Safe for colored of keratin-treated hair
- UV and heat protection
- Made in the U.S.
You can try Sage Shampoo Anti Dandruff Sulfate Free Shampoo for Men and Women if you have an ongoing problem with dandruff and itchy scalp. It moisturizes your hair and strengthens it. That way, your hair and scalp won’t flake and create dandruff. Long-term use can reduce your dandruff issues as well as stop your scalp from being itchy. Plus, the combination of essential oils can breakdown old chemical buildup and replace it with healthy nutrients.
- Anti-dandruff formula
- Provides itchy scalp relief
- Essential oils
- Improves texture and reduces frizz
The Silk18 Sulfate & Paraben Free Shampoo and Conditioner for Men & Women is designed to help you strengthen your hair and condition it for a salon-style look. It is filled with nutrient-rich ingredients to provide a healthy growth formula. It also has 12 silk amino acid proteins that strengthen and repair your existing hair while keeping it soft and moisturized.
- 18 silk amino acid proteins
- Designed to strengthen hair
- Nutrient-rich formula
- Advanced moisture formula
Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Color Treated Hair
You can try the Coconut Milk Sulfate & Paraben Free Shampoo & Conditioner if you have color treated hair. This shampoo is formulated to be easy on color materials while gently removing dirt and buildup. This formula was developed using cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, and all-natural ingredients. Plus, it is developed to hydrate and prevent frizz.
- Environmentally friendly formula
- Cruelty-free development
- Safe for color treated hair
- High in vitamin C and E
The L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Shampoo helps you improve your hair health over time and improve your color. All of the harsh salts have been removed so that it won’t dry out your hair or rinse out the color. It is free of parabens as well for better long-term health. It was created using natural botanical ingredients so that it offers a higher-quality of hair relief. It is also formulated with an anti-fade formula so that it protects your hair color and prevents the need for early retreatments.
- Anti-fade formula
- No harsh salts
- Natural botanical ingredients
The Maple Holistics Winter Blend Daily Sulfate Free Shampoo for Color Treated Hair is designed for people who live in cold places or during winter months. It is formulated with fatty acid nutrients and five mint oils to improve hydration. It protects your hair from the cold with a hydrating and protecting layer. It also has a light mint scent.
- Natural mint scent
- Made with five mint oils
- Fatty acid nutrients
- Formulated for winter and cold places
The Osensia Strengthening Thickening Biotin Shampoo, Sulfate and Paraben Free makes your hair thicker by repairing the hair that you have and supporting new hair growth. It can repair damaged hair by filling it with vitamins and nutrients as well as washing away buildup that prevents growth. Over time, your hair will be healthier and strong. Plus, it adds shine and smooths your hair for easy maintenance.
- Repairs damaged hair
- Smooths and shines
- Makes hair easier to manage
- Cucumber extract
The Tea Tree Sulfate Fre Shampoo and Conditioner for Color Treated Hair is made to soothe itchy scalp and stop dandruff. It provides a cooling sensation that gives you immediate relief. With daily use, it improves your hair and skin condition, which stops dandruff from forming. That way, you will have fuller, thicker hair over time.
- Tea tree oil
- Anti-dandruff formula
- Clarifies oily hair
- Cooling formula