Best Sulfate Free Color Safe Shampoo

By | August 6, 2022










We independently research, examination, review, and recommend the all-time products—learn more than near our process. If yous purchase something through our links, we may earn a committee.

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong


You’ve probably come across the term “sulfate-free” when shopping for shampoos over the past several years. Sulfates—which are normally listed as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) on an ingredient list—are foaming agents. This is what gives hair washes that lathering effect.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Playa Every 24-hour interval Shampoo is our all-time overall pick. This shampoo is suitable for all pilus types with ingredients that restore hydration and feature fresh, natural scents. Additionally, OGX Nourishing Kokosnoot Milk Shampoo is a budget-friendly option that moisturizes using coconut surfactants.

Merely while a expert lather is undeniably luxurious, foam isn’t necessary for cleaning your pilus. So what’south the harm, and so? Sulfates tin can irritate some people’s peel and eyes, and for some, it’s most protecting brittle or chemically processed pilus.

“Sulfate-gratis shampoos are recommended when you want to disrupt the surface of the pilus as little equally possible,” says hairstylist Kat Savano. She explains that SLS and SLES contain salt, which can impact keratin treatments and potentially create friction that leads to frizz.
“Most other sulfates come from found sources and are fine to take in a production.”

According to hair adept Cataanda James, “Sulfate-free shampoo offers a gentler cleanse, ridding the scalp and hair of any droppings and product buildup without stripping its natural oils.”

Read on for the best sulfate-free shampoos out there today.

Courtesy of Verishop


What We Like

  • Doesn’t strip hair

  • Restores hydration

  • Decent lather

  • Suitable for all hair types

What Nosotros Don’t Similar

  • Pricey

Who else recommends it?
Town & Country, Marie Claire, and Attraction all picked Playa Every Day Shampoo.

Our number i selection is Playa’s Every Day Shampoo. Suitable for all pilus types, it calls on the humectant glycerin, kokosnoot-derived surfactants, and kukui seed oil⁶ to gently cleanse your scalp and hair without stripping their natural oils.

A trivial of the dearest-like formula goes a long way. And if you’re craving a bit more lather, just add some extra h2o and gently massage it into your hair to create a luxurious foam. The scent of this sulfate-free shampoo is also incredible—recollect fresh and floral with notes of sandalwood and musk.

Central Ingredients:
Glycerin, coconut water, kukui seed oil |
Smell:
Floral, sandalwood, musk |
Size:
eight.5 oz. or sixteen.9 oz. |
Cruelty-Free:
Yep |
Byrdie Make clean:
Aye

OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo

Courtesy of Amazon


What Nosotros Like

  • Restores hydration

  • Supports healthy growth

What Nosotros Don’t Similar

  • Contains methylisothiazolinone

Some of the all-time SLS-free pilus washes are super affordable. Case in betoken: OGX. This drugstore gem cleanses with moisturizing kokosnoot surfactants, while egg powder gives your pilus the poly peptide information technology needs to grow long and strong.

Key Ingredients:
Coconut milk, coconut oil, egg pulverization |
Aroma:
Fresh, sweetness |
Size:
13 oz. |
Cruelty-Free:
No |
Byrdie Clean:
No

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Shampoo

Courtesy of Ulta


What We Like

  • Upkeep-friendly

  • Restores hydration

  • Decent lather

What We Don’t Like

  • Contains polyethylene glycols (PEGs

L’Oréal was amongst the first drugstore brands to launch a sulfate-free haircare line. This shampoo promises to clarify your scalp with natural surfactants and restore moisture, all while offering an impressive lather sans sulfates.

Key Ingredients:
Natural surfactants, botanicals |
Olfactory property:
Rosemary |
Size:
8.5 oz. |
Cruelty-Gratuitous:
No |
Byrdie Make clean:
No

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo

Ulta


What We Like

  • Pump bottle

  • Strengthening

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey

  • Not vegan-friendly

If you lot can spring the steeper price, we highly recommend Alterna. This top-shelf shampoo calls on caviar extract to ameliorate elasticity and prevent UV damage, while rice protein and soy amino acids strengthen each strand.

Key Ingredients:
Glycerin, caviar extract, rice poly peptide, soy amino acid |
Scent:
Fresh |
Size:
8.5 oz. or 16.five oz. |
Cruelty-Complimentary:
No |
Byrdie Clean:
No

NatureLab Tokyo Volume Shampoo

 Courtesy of Ulta


What We Similar

  • Adds body

  • Strengthening

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don’t Like

  • Contains artificial colors

If information technology’s volume that you’re subsequently, this chemistry lab-inspired container has your name on it. In addition to adding trunk and strengthening with plant-based proteins, it contains stem cells to forestall shedding and encourage healthy hair growth.

Key Ingredients:
Rice poly peptide, soy poly peptide, stalk cells |
Scent:
Japanese cherry blossom |
Size:
11.v oz. |
Cruelty-Free:
Aye |
Byrdie Clean:
Yes

Rucker Roots Smoothing Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Belk


What We Like

  • Natural formula

  • Prevents breakage

  • Leaves hair shiny

What Nosotros Don’t Like

  • May be too heavy for fine hair

Split ends got yous down? This natural cleanser is filled with nourishing plant oils like avocado and olive to polish brittle hair, forestall breakage, and restore shine.

Key Ingredients:
Plant extracts, constitute oils |
Scent:
Herbal |
Size:
eight oz. |
Cruelty-Gratis:
Yeah |
Byrdie Make clean:
Yes

Leonor Greyl Crème Aux Fleurs Cream Shampoo

Nordstrom


What Nosotros Like

  • Restores hydration

  • Strengthening

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey

“Crème Aux Fleurs is a soothing cream cleanser for the almost dehydrated hair and scalps,” Savano tells Byrdie. While seaweed and garlic might seem like odd ingredients for shampoo, they’ve been shown to provide strengthening benefits and help with hair growth.

Key Ingredients:
Cocamide MEA, seaweed extract, garlic |
Scent:
Fresh, herbal |
Size:
6.7 oz. |
Cruelty-Free:
Yeah |
Byrdie Clean:
No

Curls Dynasty Cocoa Mint Moisture Rich Shampoo

 Courtesy of Target


What We Like

  • Restores hydration

  • Natural formula

  • Contains organic ingredients

What We Don’t Like

  • May be likewise heavy for fine pilus

This sulfate-free shampoo was formulated specifically with curly, coily, and kinky hair in mind. It contains a agglomeration of natural butters and plant oils to moisturize and add together boisterous luster.

Key Ingredients:
Aloe, fruit extracts, constitute oils |
Scent:
Minty, sweet |
Size:
8 oz. |
Cruelty-Complimentary:
Yes |
Byrdie Clean:
Yes

Miss Jessie's Harm Me Knot Gentle Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Walmart


What We Like

  • Gentle formula

  • Restores hydration

  • Helps prevent dandruff

What Nosotros Don’t Like

  • Contains PEGs

This super gentle, supremely moisturizing shampoo detangles naturally textured hair. Not only that, but coconut-derived surfactants gently cleanse while beloved helps keep dandruff at bay.

Key Ingredients:
Cocamide, dearest, argan oil, vitamin B5 |
Odour:
Citrus |
Size:
8.v oz. |
Cruelty-Free:
Aye |
Byrdie Clean:
No

MoroccanOil Extra Volume Shampoo

Courtesy of Amazon


What We Like

  • Lightweight

  • Adds torso

  • Smells amazing

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey

  • Contains PEGs

This lightweight, sulfate-free formula is clutch for the fine hair camp. It earned a 5 out of 5 score from our abode tester, who loved the long-lasting volumizing issue and divine amber-musk scent.

Cardinal Ingredients:
Glycerin, argan oil, cocamide |
Scent:
Amber, musk, floral |
Size:
8.v oz. |
Cruelty-Free:
Yes |
Byrdie Make clean:
No

Amika Vault Color-Lock Shampoo

Sephora


What We Like

  • Smoothing

  • Enhances vibrancy

  • Prevents fading

What We Don’t Like

  • Contains PEGs

“If your hair is color-treated, a sulfate-free shampoo is recommended in your wash day routine to aid preserve your color,” says James. We like Amika Vault, which is formulated to heighten vibrancy, prevent fading, and deliver all-around healthier hair.

Cardinal Ingredients:
Glycerin, amino acids, sea buckthorn |
Odour:
Sweet, citrus |
Size:
x oz. |
Cruelty-Free:
Yeah |
Byrdie Clean:
No

Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

What We Like

  • Award-winning formula

  • Repairs cleaved bonds

  • Strengthening

What Nosotros Don’t Like

  • Pricey

  • Contains PEGs

Damaged hair? Olaplex won’t let you downward. Our tester said information technology saved her bleached, brittle hair, helped prevent breakage, and made her pilus feel stronger and healthier.

Cardinal Ingredients:
Glycerin, vitamin B5, bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate |
Scent:
Fresh |
Size:
8.five oz. |
Cruelty-Costless:
Yeah |
Byrdie Clean:
No

The Mane Choice H2Oh! Hydration Therapy Deep Cleansing Shampoo

Walmart


What We Like

  • Budget-friendly

  • Strengthening

  • Pump bottle

What We Don’t Like

  • Contains fragrance

“This shampoo is sulfate-gratis and provides a deep yet gentle cleanse to remove excess oil, dirt, and pollution,” says James. This strengthening formula contains a alloy of detoxifying backdrop, she adds. This includes reddish and brown seaweed and kelp extract “to enhance hair’s natural shine and meliorate manageability.”

Key Ingredients:
Biotin, sea minerals, glycerin |
Scent:
Fresh, herbal |
Size:
viii oz. |
Cruelty-Free:
Yeah |
Byrdie Clean:
No

Aveeno Scalp Soothing Oat Milk Blend Shampoo

Courtesy of Amazon


What We Like

  • Upkeep-friendly

  • Gentle formula

  • Soothes irritation

What Nosotros Don’t Like

  • Contains PEGs

If you’ve got a particularly sensitive scalp, Aveeno is your best bet. This shampoo leans on colloidal oatmeal to soothe irritation while gently cleansing without whatever sulfates.

Key Ingredients:
Colloidal oatmeal |
Olfactory property:
Sweet |
Size:
12 oz. |
Cruelty-Free:
No |
Byrdie Clean:
No

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Wash Shampoo

Circumduct


What We Similar

  • Nourishing

  • Restores hydration

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey

Prefer the convenience of a pump bottle? The states too. But that’due south not all this shampoo has going for it. Gisou’s Love Infused Hair Wash promises to nourish brittle pilus, polish flyaways, add shine, and gently cleanse without stripping your hair.

Key Ingredients:
Mirsalehi honey, argan oil, vitamin B5 |
Scent:
Sweet, floral |
Size:
11.1 oz. |
Cruelty-Free:
Yes |
Byrdie Clean:
No


Final Verdict

The all-time sulfate-gratuitous formula overall is the Playa Every Mean solar day Shampoo, a natural pilus wash that gently yet effectively cleanses, lathers well, and smells amazing. If you lot’re on a budget, you lot tin can’t go wrong with the OGX Nourishing + Kokosnoot Milk Shampoo, and if yous want the peak-shelf stuff, it might be worth splurging on the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Wet Shampoo.

Run across the Expert

  • Kat Savano is a hairstylist at Crown Hair Salon in Petaluma, California. She is also an educator for Leonor Greyl.
  • Cataanda James is a dazzler expert specializing in multiracial haircare. She is also a Make Educator for The Mane Choice.


What to Look for in a Sulfate-Free Shampoo


Free of all Sulfates

Make sure that it is totally sulfate-complimentary. Some formulas will be complimentary of common ones like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), but yous also want to make sure that there aren’t any others in the mix.


Hydrating Ingredients

Choosing a sulfate-free shampoo may help preserve your hair’due south moisture in and of itself, but it’s an added bonus if the shampoo you choice contains extra hydrating or workout ingredients.

FAQ

  • Why should you use sulfate-gratis shampoo?

    Using a sulfate-free shampoo is a good way to both help retain the natural moisture in your hair likewise as prolong the life of your pilus color, says Murray. It’s as well a expert option for those with an hands-irritated scalp, as sulfates tin cause even more than dryness and itching.

  • Tin you use sulfate-costless shampoo every day?

    Definitely, specially because these formulas are designed to retain moisture.

  • Does sulfate-costless shampoo cause buildup?

    Your pilus may feel different subsequently y’all start using a sulfate-free shampoo, it’due south not build-upwards that’due south to blame. Considering sulfate-free shampoos remove less of the natural oils, your hair will experience different, and it can have a few weeks to go used to how your pilus feels after washing, Murray explains.


How Nosotros Researched & Tested

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—similar ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their ain lives. We and so used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five (five existence the all-time; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.


Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Kingdom of the netherlands is a commerce writer specializing in beauty. She has been contributing to Byrdie since 2020, where she covers haircare, skincare, and wellness products. For this story, she interviewed a hairstylist and a multiracial haircare proficient for their production suggestions and expertise on sulfates. From the to a higher place list, Theresa has personally tried Playa, OGX, Alterna, L’Oreal, Olaplex, and NatureLab.

Byrdie takes every opportunity to apply high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

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    Environmental health insights
    vol. ix 27-32. 17. 2015, doi:10.4137/EHI.S31765

  2. Becker LC, et al. Safety assessment of glycerin as used in cosmetics.
    Int J Toxicol. 2022;38(3_suppl):6S-22S. doi:10.1177/1091581819883820

  3. The Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos to Suds Up Your Strands.
    Town & State. https://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/dazzler-products/g35422120/best-sulfate-gratis-shampoos/

  4. The 24 Best Sulfate-Gratuitous Shampoos.
    Marie Claire. https://world wide web.marieclaire.com/beauty/g3760/best-sulfate-gratuitous-shampoos/

  5. The Best Oil-Absorbing Shampoos for Greasy Hair.
    Attraction. https://www.allure.com/gallery/best-shampoo-for-oily-hair

  6. Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: an overview.
    Int J Trichology. 2015;7(1):2-15. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.153450

  7. Lee, Kyung-Eun et al. Caviar extract and its elective dha inhibits UVB-irradiated peel aging by inducing adiponectin production.
    International journal of molecular sciences
    vol. 21,ix 3383. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijms21093383

  8. Young, JT, et al. A randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled clinical study of hair regeneration using adipose-derived stem cell constituent extract in androgenetic alopecia.
    Stem Cells Translational Medicine. 2020. doi: 10.1002/sctm.nineteen-0410

  9. Nam YH, et al. Avocado oil excerpt modulates auditory hair cell role through the regulation of amino acid biosynthesis genes.Nutrients. 2022;eleven(1):113. 2022. doi:10.3390/nu11010113

  10. Hajheydari Z, et al. Combination of topical garlic gel and betamethasone valerate cream in the treatment of localized alopecia areata: a double-blind randomized controlled study.
    Indian journal of dermatology, venereology and leprology
    vol. 73,1. 2007. 29-32. doi:x.4103/0378-6323.30648

  11. Kang JI, et al. Hair-loss preventing effect of grateloupia elliptica.
    Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2012;20(ane):118-124. doi:10.4062/biomolther.2012.20.1.118

  12. Al-Waili, N S. Therapeutic and prophylactic effects of crude honey on chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.
    European periodical of medical research
    vol. six,vii. 2001. 306-8.

  13. Sobhan M, et al. The Efficacy of Colloidal Oatmeal Cream 1% as Improver Therapy in the Management of Chronic Irritant Manus Eczema: A Double-Bullheaded Study.
    Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2020; 13: 241–251. Published 2020 Mar 25. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S246021

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