Our Favorite Sulfate-Free Shampoos of 2020
At the top of the list of our favorite sulfate-free shampoos is the haircare brand, Pureology. For fine, dry color-treated hair, use Pureology Hydrate Sheer Sulfate-Free Shampoo; for medium to thick, dry color-treated hair, use Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Sulfate-Free Shampoo; and if you have significantly damaged hair from frequent coloring or bleaching, use Pureology Strength Cure Sulfate-Free Shampoo. Pureology offers several other sulfate-free shampoos, but these three are the best.
We have put together a list of what we believe are the top 10 hair care brands that offer sulfate-free shampoo options, as well as in-depth information on the ingredients and benefits of the number one sulfate-free shampoo brand, Pureology.
If you want to learn more about the other top brands of sulfate-free shampoos, click one of the links in the list below.
Getting Into Sulfate-Free Shampooing
Although shampoos with sulfate are not always bad and are actually beneficial for a few hair types, they are harmful to most.
Sometimes it is vital that you avoid the impulse to over-scrub your hair and use too much shampoo because it can damage it severely. It may feel nice and squeaky clean at first, but if you are too rough on your scalp, all that would happen is your scalp, and hair follicles would be stripped of their natural oils.
Natural oils are what protect your hair and help it grow long and healthy without breaking; they are so important! Especially if you are trying to regrow your hair, you don’t want to work against the growth by drying it out to a crisp.
One of the best actions you can take to keep your hair replenished every day and on the road to incredible growth is to use a sulfate-free shampoo.
There are so many great shampoo brands that offer a sulfate-free option, but we are here to guide you towards the best ones; not all sulfate-free shampoos actually get the job done and keep your hair shiny.
Top 10 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo Brands
- Pureology (Amazon links and information below!)
- Living Proof – Living Proof Restore Shampoo
- Briogeo – Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo
- Olaplex – Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
- amika – amika The Kure Repair Shampoo
- Kerastase – Kerastase Discipline Bain Fluidealiste Shampoo
- Moroccanoil – Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo
- Virtue Labs – Virtue Full Shampoo
- Ogx – Ogx Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo
- L’Oréal Paris – L’Oréal Paris EverPure Volume Shampoo
Our Favorite Sulfate-Free Shampoos
So that we can give you a more in-depth description of some of the best sulfate-free shampoos, we are going to focus on just a few of them. It’s always important to get the most information you can on a hair product because a great hair product will make your hair shiny and healthy. And after all, healthy hair is happy hair!
The sulfate-free shampoo brands you see above are generally listed by customer ratings, but most of them come to a tie as the best sulfate-free shampoo. And, everyone’s hair is different, so the number one brand, Pureology, might work wonders for one person, but it might not give you the same results with your hair.
Speaking of the brand, Pureology, that is who we will be talking about today!
Pureology Hydrate Sheer Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Best for: Fine, dry color-treated hair
Top 10 ingredients:
Water, sodium cocoyl isethionate, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, glycol distearate, glycereth-26, decyl glucoside, sodium.
Other notable ingredients:
Fragrance, propylene glycol, hydrolyzed wheat protein, sunflower seed extract, magnesium nitrate, soybean oil, eucalyptus extract, isopropyl alcohol, melanin, sodium hydroxide, citric acid.
Benefits of this shampoo
Pureology is one of the very best hair care brands, and not just for their sulfate-free shampoos.
Not only is this shampoo sulfate-free, but it is also silicone-free and vegan, as are most Pureology shampoos and conditioners.
This particular shampoo, which is called ‘Hydrate Sheer,’ is the best option if you have hair that is thinner or finer than most people. ‘Hydrate’ is in the name because hydration is key to keeping fragile hair look more alive and voluptuous, not flat.
Even though it doesn’t have sulfate, which thoroughly gets rid of oils (remember: that’s not always a good thing), this shampoo still does a great job of getting rid of nasty buildup, just without the damaging and color-fading effects of sulfate.
Online, you can choose between three sizes, the smallest being a travel-size. The most common size to buy is the in-between size, which is 8.5 Fl oz. The third and largest size is 33.8 Fl oz. (1 Liter).
Use a small, quarter-sized amount, massage generously, and rinse.
Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Best for: Medium to thick, dry, color-treated hair
Top 10 ingredients:
Water, cetearyl alcohol, amodimethicone, behentrimonium chloride, cetyl esters, isopropyl alcohol, mentha arvensis leaf oil, fragrance, trideceth-6, methylparaben, soybean oil.
Other notable ingredients:
Shea butter, menthol, jojoba butter, sage leaf extract, rosemary leaf extract, sunflower seed extract, wheat amino acids, peppermint leaf extract, melanin.
About this shampoo
Between the three Pureology sulfate-free shampoos you will see here today, this is the most common and popular for average thickness hair and color-treated hair. It helps tremendously with color vibrancy and color retention.
It also feels very refreshing in the shower since it has peppermint leaf extract and menthol in it, which also helps to stimulate your scalp. When certain ingredients in your shampoo ‘stimulate’ your scalp, they increase the blood flow to your hair follicles and it helps with every aspect of keeping your hair healthy.
This sulfate-free Pureology shampoo comes in three sizes – 1.7 Fl oz., 8.5 Fl oz., and 33.8 Fl oz. (equivalent to 1 Liter).
This Pureology shampoo, which is called ‘Hydrate,’ looks very similar to their other sulfate-free shampoo, ‘Hydrate Sheer’ for fine hair; you can tell them apart by noticing that this shampoo bottle is all purple, which the Hydrate Sheer shampoo is purple with a white background on part of the label.
Pureology Strength Cure Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Best for: damaged, color-treated hair
Top 10 ingredients:
Water, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, coco-betaine, glycol distearate, glycereth-26, decyl glucoside, fragrance.
Other notable ingredients:
Coconut acid, propylene glycol, benzoic acid, glycerin, olive oil, sunflower seed extract, Cl RED 4, melanin, Cl ORANGE 4.
Benefits of this shampoo
This sulfate-free shampoo works to repair hair that has been significantly damaged from color treatment or bleaching. It improves strength and softness, as well as improves the overall look of your hair.
The smell of this shampoo is wonderful with natural lavender, honey, peach, and vanilla fragrances, but what is really wonderful is the magic it does for your hair.
If you enjoy coloring your hair often and love the constant change, you have probably thought to yourself a few times, “maybe I should stop dying my hair because it is so damaging,” and you may have noticed over time that your hair has become a lot drier and coarse. This shampoo can quickly refresh your hair and undo some of the damage that has already been done. It eliminates the need for you to go to a salon for an expensive hair treatment session.
This shampoo is also vegan.
It comes in three different bottle sizes: 1.7 Fl oz., 8.5 Fl oz., and 33.8 Fl oz. (1 Liter).
Choosing the Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo
With so many hair products, it gets very confusing to most people, and even more so for those who have very little knowledge on the best ingredients to look for in a shampoo.
When you go to the store, get into the hair care aisle, and look at the options, it takes a few seconds to take in everything, just because of how many products they are available. It is even worse online because of the sheer number of choices. However, neither method of finding a sulfate-free shampoo has to be hard.
Most sulfate-free shampoos are clearly labeled as ‘Sulfate-free,’ but do not tell you ‘Hey, this brand works better than that one over there.’ Although that would be awesome if it did, that is just not reality. And so, the search begins.
A good place to start is by picking out a few brands that you know you love and whose products have always had a good effect on your hair. You should also consider trying some new brands; you never know what you are missing out on when it comes to hair products, and so many more are released all the time.
Use the list above of the top 10 best sulfate-free shampoo brands to get you started.
Browse through the product descriptions and information below that list, as it may help you narrow down a few shampoos that you think will be best for your hair.
Keep in mind that everyone’s hair is different, and each type of hair needs different nutrients and oils.
Where to Buy Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Sulfate-free shampoo is just as easy as finding regular shampoo.
You may not have noticed sulfate-free shampoo on the shelf before, but that is just because you were not looking for it. Most hair care stores, salons, and even grocery stores carry multiple brands of shampoo that are sulfate-free.
You can find them at stores like Sephora, Sally Beauty, Ulta, Beauty Brands, and many other beauty/makeup stores.
The other, and probably better option, is to buy sulfate-free shampoo online. Most of the stores just mentioned have an online store, and most places will have all of their products listed online, not just the ones that are available, like in-store.
Many sulfate-free shampoos are on Amazon, too, which can be cheaper because of the lower shipping costs. For example, a large hair care corporation may charge an upward of $15, but if you have Amazon Prime and that brand is available, shipping is usually free.
Sulfate-Free Shampoo Labeling
When you look for a sulfate-free shampoo, and the info on a brand you like is not in this article, you may have to search for more information about it online.
There are some brands you would not know that were sulfate-free unless you look it up since the label does not make it apparent – this does not take away from its effectiveness, it only makes it less convenient.
It may take time to find the best sulfate-free shampoo for you.
When you buy a sulfate-free shampoo, you should notice a significant difference immediately from before. But since there are many other ingredients in shampoos, some brands will still work better than others.
Also, pay close attention to brands that have more than one product line of sulfate-free shampoos. Especially brands that provide sulfate-free formulas for all of their products, they most likely have more than one shampoo to choose from.
As you can see from reading this, Pureology is one of your very best options when it comes to sulfate-free shampoos that work. And even if you usually have a hard time finding a good shampoo because of the texture and thickness of your hair, it won’t be a problem because Pureology has several options for a shampoo that is sulfate-free.
If Pureology does not turn out to be the best sulfate-free shampoo for you, try one of these other brands, whom all have outstanding reputations for repairing damaged color-treated hair:
- Living Proof
- Virtue Labs
- L’Oréal Paris
You can find all of these online through either Amazon, Sephora, Ulta, Beauty Brands, and many other websites that sell shampoos and conditioners.
In summary, our favorite sulfate-free shampoos are the Hydrate Sheer, Hydrate Moisturizing, and Strength Cure shampoo lines from Pureology. The next best brand would be Living Proof or Briogeo.
Briogeo especially has tons of options, and the brand’s popularity has significantly increased in 2019, so you may want to consider buying from them as well or instead of Pureology.
If you end up having any questions about any of these, we are more than happy to chat about it more. Just reach out and say hi!
Updated: January 16 2020
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