Give your hair a hug with a sulphate-free shampoo, the gentle cleanser that revives scalp and locs whilst boosting moisture. Here are the top-performing formulas
Many of us like to try out a new colour treatment, the must-have volumizing hair spray, or our favourite gel that helps tame our frizzy hair. However, there comes a time when we need to get rid of all that product buildup and press the gentle reset button with our hair.
This is when sulphate-free shampoos come in very handy. They provide a high-quality, gentle cleanse to your hair scalp and strands and help lock in moisture without using harsh surfactants such as sulphates, the cleansing agents commonly found in many regular and clarifying shampoos.
Whilst shampoos containing sulphates as cleansing agents are very safe and work wonders to remove dirt, and impurities from your hair, they can be drying, cause frizziness and scalp irritation.
If you have a sensitive scalp or your hair is prone to dryness, consider adding a sulphate-free shampoo into your hair care routine. They are much gentler on the skin and help preserve healthy oils in your hair strands.
To help you find the best sulphate-free shampoo for your hair, I’ve curated a list of some of the most in-demand high-performing formulas to help sweep away your hair and scalp impurities and boost your locs’ hydration and moisture level. Keep reading to discover more.
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21 Best Sulphate-Free Shampoos to Rescue your Hair
1. OUAI Haircare Detox Shampoo
Best for all hair types
The multitasking sulphate-free clarifying shampoo contains powerful natural cleansing ingredient apple cider vinegar and soothing tamarind seed extract to calm oily and itchy scalps. It helps bring radiance back to your hair and retain moisture.
2. BREAD BEAUTY SUPPLY Hair Wash: Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser
Best conditioning wash for curly hair
The vegan and cruelty-free formula is in-between a co-wash and a baby hair cleanser. Enriched with deeply nourishing avocado, coconut, and argan oils, the sensitive scalp-friendly cleanser helps purify and soften your hair strands. Aloe vera juice helps boost hydration whilst lavender, lemon, and tea tree oils soothe any scalp irritation.
3. Love Beauty and Planet Vegan Biotin & Sun Kissed Mandarin Shampoo
Best for volumizing hair
© Love Beauty and Planet
Enjoy summer time citrus scents with this sulphate-free shampoo packed with vegan biotin. The gentle paraben-free, silicone-free blend gently removes dirt from your scalp and tresses. The 93% naturally-derived formula hydrates, strengthens, and adds shine to your hair.
4. AMELIORATE Shampoo and Conditioner Duo
Best for flaky, itchy and dry scalp
The sulphate-free clarifying treatment with its mild pH balance deeply nourishes and clears away debris from your scalp and locs. A combination of Xylitol, prebiotics, and lactitol removes flakiness, soothes and revives your irritated and dehydrated scalp.
5. Design Essentials Almond Avocado Shampoo
Best for hair detangling
© Design Essentials
The paraben, paraffin, and petrolatum free hair cleanser helps rapidly detangle and wash your hair with minimal breakage, leaving you with fresh and deeply nourished hair strands.
The lightweight sulphate-free shampoo softens the cuticle to allow the formula to excavate scalp impurities and add much needed moisture to your scalp.
6. Miriam Quevedo Extreme Special Hair Loss Shampoo
Best for weak and thinning hair
© Miriam Quevedo
The high-performing sulphate-free shampoo helps restore, strengthen, and volumize weak and thinning hair. The caviar based formula is enriched with nourishing coconut oil, panthenol to help make your hair look shinier and fuller, and keratin to tame your curly and frizzy hair.
Vitamins A and C together with omega essential fatty acids and peptides deliver protection against free radicals and boost scalp repair and hydration.
7. SEEN Shampoo
Best for unscented/fragrance free
The gentle sulphate-free shampoo works wonders to unclog scalp pores and draw impurities from your hair strands. The non-irritating, anti-frizz, anti-breakage treatment contains glycerin to add moisture to your hair and antimicrobial agent sodium benzoate to combat any bacteria, fungi, mould, and other bugs accumulated on your scalp.
8. ILES FORMULA Haute Performance Shampoo
Best for coarse hair or hair extensions
© ILES FORMULA
Designed for thick, coarse hair or for people with hair extensions, this sulphate-free shampoo is rich in high-quality antioxidants that help to smooth hair, tame frizz, and reveal bouncy locks.
Vitamin B5 helps to make your hair easier to detangle with very minimal breakage. The silicone-free and paraben-free formula helps even hair porosity and is colour safe.
9. Beauty Pie Super Healthy Hair Moisturizing Shampoo
Best for dry and damaged hair
© BEAUTY PIE
The vegan and sulphate-free shampoo contains lustreplex to minimise your hair frizz, and colour-boosting amino acids to preserve your hair colour during regular wash days.
The gentle cleanser lifts impurities from your hair and scalp, whilst delivering much needed hydration, shine and strength to damaged hair.
10. RevitaLash Thickening Shampoo
Best for hair thickening
Bring frizzy, thinning, damaged hair back to life with this antioxidants packed sulphate-free shampoo. Loquat leaf infused in the formula helps with thinning hair, whilst flax protein protects your hair strands against breakage.
Willow bark gently exfoliates the scalp. The amino acids in the formula help fortify and volumize your hair, leaving it stronger and healthier looking.
11. VIRTUE Smooth Shampoo
Best for damaged scalp
The star ingredient in this daily shampoo treatment is Alpha Keratin 60ku® protein. The high-performing ingredient works on unruly hair by binding directly to damaged scalp areas to repair them and reveal stronger, shinier and healthier hair. Powerful Indian herb Gotu Kola promotes hair smoothness, lustre, and strength.
12. Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino Avocado Hydrating Shampoo
Best for curly hair
The creamy, sulphate-free shampoo expertly combines rice amino acids to smooth down and tame frizz with deeply nourishing avocado extracts. Shea butter deeply hydrates and locks in moisture.
Tomato fruit ferment extract supports curl formation, giving definition to your curls, waves, and coils. Vitamin E protects your hair against environmental aggressors.
13. Pattern Beauty Hydration Shampoo
Best for improved hair texture
Moisture-rich aloe vera leaf juice, honey, and coconut oil coat turn this gentle sulphate-free shampoo into a highly moisturizing cleanser.
It carefully lifts away dirt and excess oils from your scalp whilst helping you to retain moisture to promote softer, healthier and stronger hair. This shampoo particularly works well for fine, thick, curly and damaged hair.
14. dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Soothing Shampoo
Best for scalp detox
Purify your hair and scalp with this apple cider vinegar containing shampoo. It gently removes product buildup from your locs whilst soothing dry, itchy, flaky, and irritated scalps, courtesy of aloe leaf juice and lavender extract.
Ginger root extract promotes healthy scalp circulation and natural hair growth by stimulating hair follicles. The sulphate-free shampoo can be used as a daily treatment or as and when needed.
15. Nuori Shield Shampoo
Best for dull and brittle hair
Kiss goodbye to dull and brittle hair with this sulphate-free shampoo. The wheat protein-polysaccharide complex in the formula deeply penetrates your hair cuticle to help regulate moisture levels, leaving you with smooth locs.
Radish root fruit enzymes and pomegranate gently remove build-up and flakiness. Anti-inflammatory natural betaine and oat kernel soothe the scalp.
16. Fekkai Brilliant Gloss Shampoo Moisturizing Hi-Shine
Best for high shine
Turn heads with radiant looking hair, courtesy of this gloss-enhancing sulphate-free shampoo. Organic cold-pressed French olive oil revives flat, dry, and frizzy strands with extra moisture and shine.
Prickly pear extracts help fortify your hair moisture barrier. The plant-based vegan formula is free from gluten, silicones, parabens, and phthalates.
17. First Aid Beauty Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with 1% Pyrithione Zinc
Best for anti-dandruff
© FIRST AID BEAUTY
The FDA-approved sulphate-free formula helps you bid adieu to flakes and scabs, calms scalp inflammation, leaving you with healthy and smooth hair strands. Zinc Pyrithione (ZPT) antifungal and antibacterial properties help in the treatment of seborrhoeic dermatitis and dandruff.
Citrus peel and fruit extracts promote gentle exfoliation and add freshness to your hair. The blend of lavender, calendula, and chamomile flower extracts soothes irritated scalp.
18. Bouclème Unisex Hydrating Hair Cleanser
Best for genderless hair care
Nourish your fine hair and lose waves with this genderless sulphate-free shampoo that is gentle enough for the everyday use.
A blend of sea salt for improved circulation, deeply moisturising mongongo, virgin coconut, camelia and sea buckthorn oils, help fortify your hair and protect it from environmental aggressors.
19. René Furterer Tonucia Replumping Shampoo
Best for ageing scalp and hair
© René Furterer
Fight the signs of scalp and hair ageing such as dehydration, brittleness, and hair thinning with this gentle sulphate-free shampoo.
Tamarind seed extract, a plant-based hyaluronic acid boosts hydration, whilst B-vitamins and orange essential oils help volumize and add vitality to your hair strands. The biodegradable shampoo is silicone and parabens free and colour-safe.
20. Typology RACINES-10012
Best for cuticles repair
Typology’s lightweight sulphate-free shampoo enriched with biolipid complex from soybeans soften the cuticles and minimise split ends to reveal a smoother and shinier hair.
Omega-9 rich camellia oil helps restore hair fibre thanks to the oil’s essential fatty acids. Squalene, a natural ingredient derived from olives, helps protect hair strands from dehydration and pollutants.
21. Faith in Nature Lavender & Geranium Shampoo
Best for vegan hair care
© FIRST IN NATURE
Enjoy the soothing properties of lavender and geranium to restore your scalp and hair strength from vegan superstar brand Faith in Nature.
The cruelty-free and Vegan Society approved shampoo is SLS and paraben-free, and it is formulated with sea salt to promote gentle scalp exfoliation and circulation. The formula is suitable for all hair types.
Do Sulphate-Free Shampoos Work Well for all Hair Types?
Sulphate-free shampoos can be helpful to retain the nourishing healthy oils on your scalp and hair strands, delivering better hair protection.
Consider adding this type of shampoo if you have naturally dry, curly, coloured or thin hair, because they are helpful in retaining moisture your hair and scalp desperately need to remain strong and healthy.
On the other hand, if you have oily or thick hair, a shampoo containing sulphates as surfactants may be more helpful for you in light of their deep cleansing properties.
Remember to use sulphates rich shampoos sparingly. This is because some sulphates can cause hair dryness and breakage by stripping nourishing oils from your scalp and hair.
In a nutshell, getting the right shampoo treatment for your hair requires a bit of trial and error, until you find the right products that work for your hair based on your specific circumstances and hair type.