The Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos

by Kweli I. Wright

ShampooWe’re all trying to be so good and green when it comes to what we put in and around our bodies these days. From chemicals in our fruits and veggies to cleaning products and even makeup that can cause us harm, it’s hard to keep up with it all. We use hair products daily, but did you know that the sulfates (sodium laureth sulfate, which give that lush lather in shampoos…and household cleaners) are not only harmful to our health but also damage your hair?

Time to look at the woman in the mirror and make that change to sulfate-free shampoos. They don’t lather like those with the chemicals, but your hair will still be clean, soft, and these shampoos promote healthy hair growth. Here are some of the best. (Note: Most of these shampoos have accompanying sulfate-free conditioners)

  • Sasha

    Thanks for the list but come on Clutch, why not have all the shampoos listed on a single page? Anywho has anyone tried any of these ‘poos and care to share their review?

  • Clutch

    Honestly, because pageviews and traffic keep us up and open. We are a small business and we do have some tactics we have to implement in order for us to stay afloat. We do not break up articles/post a lot like other sites – but we will be doing a few of these type of post regularly.

    Also, we just added the pagebreaks on top of the photos – this makes it so only the picture moves and not the site. See “1-11 >” The numbers at the bottom will make the page refresh but not when you click from the top. Hope this helps :)



  • Sasha

    Which I have definitely noticed and appreciate so that’s why I was surprised to see it broken up into 10 different pages on this site. I’m on a computer so it wasn’t too much of a nag to scroll through everything but if I was on my iPhone I likely wouldn’t have bothered. Thanks for your response and this article, I’ve been looking for a good sulfate free shampoo so I was happy to see this!

  • Sharon

    Go CLUTCH!!! I do not want you to close down anytime soon so if 1 to 3 out of the 15+ post you do per day have a pagebreak or gallery that is totally fine. I understand simply clicking helps keep you alive! I like how you are not going over board with it like other sites.

  • Clutch

    No problem Sasha! We don’t like that we have to do it. But, it really helps us pay the bills and keep our content on point. We promise not to go crazy with them :)



  • MommieDearest


    I use Loreal and Organix shampoos regularly and they work great for me. Right now I am rotating between Loreal EverPure Moisture Shampoo, Loreal EverCreme Intense Nourishing Shampoo and Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo. Renpure and Aveeno also make sulfate-free shampoos in the $6 – $8 price range. I’ve had success with them as well. I’m too cheap to pay double-digits for shampoo, so basically I get whatever sulfate-free brand is on sale at the time or whichever one I have a coupon for.

    Another tip: Look for products aimed at color-treated hair. They usually have extra moisturizing properties.

  • Barbara

    Shuga Shampoo and Conditioner sold at Visible Changes is the best sulfate free product. I love it and my hair is has never been more healthy!

  • Crys F&WM

    i’ve tried the Moroccan Argan oil on my dreadlocks. It doesn’t lather very well. Smells great though. The conditioner and the oil leave my locks nice and soft.

  • Sasha

    Thanks @Mommie! My hair is grossly sensitive to protein, (too little leaves my hair limp but too much and my hair is stiff as a board and snaps like a twig) so I tried using the Shea Moisture line, the Curl Enhancing in the orange bottle however it leaves too much build-up in my hair. I’ve heard really good things about Organix Coconut and Renpure so when I get finished with the Shea Moisture I’ll give those a try. I would just throw away the bottle but it cost me $9.

  • L Rose

    To add to the list Trader Joe’s sells a sulfate free tea tree shampoo and its only $4.

  • tiff

    I think the lack of sulfate prevents shampoos from lathering.

  • tiff

    Could the readers get the info, or a summary of it, supporting why the author chose these particular shampoos? …or what differentiates a #1 shampoo from a #2,3, etc.?

  • silkynaps

    Surprised I didn’t see anything from Shea Moisture on the list. The creamy poos from that line are the best. They cleanse, condition and detangle my hair. I can actually use them without a follow-up conditioner…although, I rarely do.

  • Fantastico

    Other than Carol’s Daughter which ones are black owed?

  • Fantastico


  • jessib

    I used to use a sulfate free tea tree shampoo. I found Loreal Everstrong because the store I shopped at was out and have been hooked ever since. This shampoo is absolutely wonderful and I use it in conjunction with their conditioner and hair mayonaisse. My hair has no breakage and smells great. That along with my Maxi Hair hair pills have given me new life.

  • Starla

    I can’t believe my fave is not up there. Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibicus Curl & Shine Shampoo. It smell so yummy and doesn’t strip the hair all. I love that stuff.

  • Ma’at

    I like Shea Moisture as well. It’s sold at Target.

  • Joy

    I love Carol’s Daughter’s products but they are a little pricey. Also isn’t “Keratin” the lastest craze

  • Joy

    Thanks Crys. Morracan is the one I’m thinking about buying. Is it sold in a store, or only on a webstte?

  • Joy

    Clutch thanks so much for the list !! Please keep the good info coming

  • Shaybaby

    After using sulfate-free shampoos I will never turn back. I have a love-hate relationship with Carols Daughter so after some trial an error I tried L’Oreal Eversleek line & it’s worked wonders for my hair. It’s even allowing me to stretch my relaxer.

  • Cocoastuf

    Correct. Sulfate is a toxic chemical additive that causes lather and suds. Neither is necessary to clean effectively.

  • Crys F&WM

    It’s sold in stores. I know Target sells them. Harmon Beauty sells trial sizes if you want to try it out first. I’m glad I didn’t buy the full size shampoo.

  • Crys F&WM

    Just a follow up….

    I have been using it for a month and and sad to say the shampoo and conditioner irritated my scalp badly and made it very flaky. I wanted to love it but I will not be trying it again. Glad I bought trial sizes. : /

  • Yasmeen Regina Parsley

    I actually like Miss Jessie’s Creme de La Curl which runs about $16 for a bottle (anything too soapy counteracts the moisture density in my hair as it tends to run on the dry side), but I know Whole Foods has a sulfate free brand for $4 bucks–Shampoo and Conditioner. Lavender one smells nice.


    Despite this sulfate-free technology, I still think that most people do just fine using a regular shampoo containing sodium laureth sulfate/sodium lauryl sulfate. Very few people ever have any sensitivity reactions to these detergents in a shampoo (lets bear in mind that the ingredients of a shampoo will be in contact with the hair for only 30-60 seconds at most) as shampoo is designed for brief, discontinuous usage followed by thorough rinsing with clean water. Sulfates are quick and effective detergents used in most brands of shampoo, shower gel and toothpaste on the market and they clean very well with excellent lathering properties- they are also relatively cheap chemicals to manufacture and use in personal care products. They are powerful surfactants that strip and remove grease, dirt and styling product residues to leave hair fresh and deep-down clean with just a quick, 30 second lather. Non-sulfate cleansers have much less lathering ability, are not as effective at cutting through grease and grime, and these types of cleansers tend to be much more expensive to buy. I’m sticking with my sulfate shampoo!

  • Lisa West-Tomlin

    I used to use Organix Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo all the time, it’s one of the more inexpensive sulfate free shampoos. Even listed at $8 seems a little high, you can get it a target for around $5.

  • Sheena

    Does it work well? I have pretty healthy hair at it’s at waist length but I want it to grow even longer, hip to butt length. I’m looking for different products to help promote growth.

  • komariah welch

    I use L’Oreal Paris ever cream it really works on my relaxed hair

  • komariah

    You can stick with it for your reasons but…honey when your 30 and your hair starts breaking, you can’t say you weren’t warned

  • Leanne

    Nah I didn’t like organix, kinda dried out my hair so I’m guessing it had alcohol in it. I like Pro Naturals argan oil shampoo the best, amazing if you have frizzy or dry hair :)

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