sulfate free shampooSo what’s the deal with sulfate free shampoo and why should you be using it?  To answer that question, you first have to understand what sulfates are and why they are used in shampoo.  Sulfates, such as Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), are cleaning ingredients that are commonly used in commercial cleaning products, such as dish soap and laundry soap.  Oh yeah, and they’re also used in degreasers like mechanics use to clean their hands.

Sulfates are also used in many personal care products, such as shampoo, body wash, and even toothpaste.  They break the tension of the water, which helps to make the water wetter and spread out more easily.  Sulfates are used as cleaning ingredients because of their ability to clean well, plus they’re cheap.

When you use shampoo and you get that rich lather going, that’s the work of sulfates.  Is it really necessary to have all that lather to clean your hair?  No, not really.  Over time, advertising companies have conditioned us to believe that without all that lather, we won’t have clean hair.  The truth is, there are other ingredients that can be used in shampoo that are gentler and will clean just as well; they just won’t produce the big lathering bubbles we’ve been led to believe are necessary to have clean hair.  When you use a sulfate free shampoo, you will get more of a creamy lather rather than tons of bubbles.  Don’t worry, your hair will still be clean.

Why You Should Use Sulfate Free Shampoo

Sulfates are very strong cleansing agents and they can be very irritating to the skin and scalp, especially for people with sensitive skin and eczema.  They can also cause damage to exposed hair follicles, which can weaken the structure of the hair and also cause diminished hair growth.

Sulfates cause color treated hair to fade faster.  Let’s face, if you’re going to color your hair, you want the color to last as long as possible.  Not only due to the expense factor, but also because the more your color, the more you damage your hair.

Got dandruff?  Using shampoos with sulfates is only going to make it worse.  Along with be irritating, sulfates can also cause dry skin and your scalp is skin, which flakes when it gets dry.  The drier it gets, the more it flakes.

It just doesn’t make sense to use such a strong cleanser or your hair and skin when there are other ingredients that are gentler and can do the job just as well.  So why do manufacturers uses sulfates in shampoo and other personal care products? Because they’re inexpensive.  That and they produce the lather and suds we all think we need to have clean hair.

Given the strength of these cleansers and the damage they can do to your hair and scalp, maybe it’s time to switch to sulfate free shampoo.

Sulfate Free Shampoo List

We’ve compiled a sulfate free shampoo list to get you started.  The list is not an exhaustive list of all the sulfate free shampoo on the market, but there are quite a few there. 

We’ve compiled this sulfate free shampoo list to help you in your search for sulfate free shampoo. This is not an exhaustive list of all the sulfate free shampoo available on the market, but it will give you a very good start.

  • Abba Pure Basic Shampoo
  • Abba Pure Color Protect
  • Abba Pure Curl Shampoo
  • Abba Pure Gentle Shampoo
  • Abba Pure Moisture Shampoo
  • AG Hair Cosmetics Colour Savour Sulfate-free Shampoo
  • AG Hair Cosmetics Recoil Curl Activating Shampoo
  • Alba Botanica Cocoa Butter Dry Repair Hair Wash
  • Alba Botanica Coconut Milk Extra Enrich Hair Wash
  • Alba Botanica Daily Shampoo
  • Alba Botanica Gardenia Hydrating Hair Wash
  • Alba Botanica Honeydew Nourishing Hair Wash
  • Alba Botanica Mango Moisturizing Hair wash
  • Alba Botanica Plumeria Replenishing Hair wash
  • Alba Shampoo
  • Allafia Shampoo
  • Aloe Jojoba Shampoo
  • Alterna Clarifying Shampoo
  • Alterna Color Hold Repair Shampo
  • Alterna Color Hold Shine Shampoo
  • Alterna Color Hold Straight Shampoo
  • Alterna Scalp Therapy
  • Alterna Volume Restore Shampoo
  • Aubrey Organics BGA Protein and Strengthening Shampoo
  • Aubrey Organics Egyptian Henna Shine-Enhancing Shampoo
  • Aubrey Organics GPB Glycogen Protein Balancing Shampoo
  • Aubrey Organics Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo
  • Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo
  • Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Replenishing Shampoo
  • Aubrey Organics J.A.Y. Desert Herb Revitalizing Shampoo
  • Aubrey Organics Rosa Mosqueta Nourishing Shampo
  • Aubrey Organics White Camelia Ultra Smoothing Shampoo
  • Auromere Ayurvedic Sulfate-Free Aloe Vera-Neem Shampoo
  • Avalon Organic Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Awapuhi Mango Moisturizing Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Thickening Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Extra Moisturizing Olive and Grapeseed Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Shine Ylang Ylang Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Smoothing Grapefruit & Geranium Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Tea Tree Scalp Treatment Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Tear-Free Baby Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary Shampoo
  • Aveda Damage Remedy Restructuring Shampoo
  • Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo
  • Aveda Men’s Pureformance Shampoo
  • Aveda Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo
  • Beauty Without Cruelty Shampoo
  • Bed Head Foxy Curls Frizz-Fighting Sulfate-Free Shampoo
  • Bed Head Superstar Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Thick Massive Hair
  • Bee Mine Peppermint & Tea Tree Nourishing Shampoo
  • Blended Beauty Soy Cream Shampoo
  • Body and Bath Omega-3 Hemp Moisturizing Shampoo
  • Burt Bees Shampoo
  • Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Shampoo
  • Burt’s Bees Color Keeper Green Tea & Fennel Seed Shampoo
  • Burt’s Bees More Moisture Raspberry & Brazil Nut Shampoo
  • Burt’s Bees Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar
  • Burt’s Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit & Sugar Beet Shampoo
  • Burt’s Bees Very Volumizing Pomegranate & Soy Shampoo
  • CHI Ionic Color Protection System Sulfate Free Shampoo
  • Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Gentle Cleansing Shampoo
  • CURLS Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream – Organic Shampoo
  • CURLS Curlie Cutie Cleansing Cream – Organic Shampoo
  • CURLS Pure Curls Organic Clarifying Shampoo
  • CUSH Hydration Supreme Conditioning Shampoo
  • DermOrganic Conditioning Shampoo
  • Dessert Essence Shampoo
  • DevaCurl Low-Poo Cleanser
  • DevaCurl No-Poo Cleanser
  • Elasta QP creme conditioning shampoo
  • Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo
  • Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Shampoo
  • Giovanni Golden Wheat Shampoo
  • Giovanni Root 66 Max Volume
  • Giovanni Smooth as Silk Shampoo
  • Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo
  • Giovanni Wellness Shampoo with Chinese Botanicals
  • Hair Rules Aloe Grapefruit Purifying Shampoo
  • Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream
  • Henna Aloe Vera Shampoo
  • Herbal Choice Natural Tea Tree shampoo
  • Jane Carter Solution Hydrating Invigorating Shampoo
  • Jason Natural Biotin & Peppermint Strengthening Shampoo
  • Jason Natural Grapefruit and Aloe Smoothing Shampoo
  • Jason Natural Lavender & Rosemary Curl Defining Shampoo
  • Jason Natural Plumeria & Sea Kelp Moisturizing Shampoo
  • Jason Natural Rosewater & Chamomile Normalizing Shampoo
  • Jason Natural Tall Grass Shampoo
  • Jason Natural Tea Tree Scalp Normalizing Shampoo
  • Jason’s Kids Only™ Extra Gentle Shampoo
  • Jason’s Tea Tree Scalp Normalizing Shampoo
  • Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo
  • John Masters Shampoo
  • Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo
  • Jonathan Product Green Routine Nourishing Shampoo
  • Jonathan Product Hydrating Shampoo
  • Jonathan Product- Infinite Volume Shampoo
  • Jonathan Product- Weightless No Frizz Shampoo
  • Karen’s Body Beautiful Bodacious Beauty Bar (Shampoo Bar)
  • Karen’s Body Beautiful Cool Clarifying Shampoo
  • Karen’s Body Beautiful Ultimate Conditioning Shampoo
  • Kenra Platinum Color Care Shampoo
  • KeraCare 1st Lather Shampoo
  • KeraCare Hydrating Detangling Shampoo
  • Kinky-Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo
  • Kiss My Face Aromatherapeutic
  • Kiss My Face SaHaira (wheat amino acids)
  • Kiss My Face Shampoo
  • L’Oreal Everpure Smooth Shampoo
  • L’Oreal Everpure Volumizing Shampoo
  • L’Oreal Everstrong Hydrating Shampoo
  • L’Oreal Everstrong Reconstructing Shampoo
  • L’Oreal Hair Expertise Everstrong Sulfate-Free Fortify System Bodify Shampoo
  • Logona Shampoo
  • Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue Shampoo
  • MOP C-Curl Enhancing Shampoo
  • MOP C-System Clean Shampoo
  • MOP C-System Hydrating Shampoo
  • Nature Gate Organic Shampoo
  • Nature Gate Organic Shampoo
  • Neutragena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo
  • Nurture My Body Organic Volumizing Shampoo
  • Organix Awakening Mocho Expresso Shampoo
  • Organix Energizing Passion Fruit Guava
  • Organix Enriching Cucumber Yogurt
  • Organix Fortifying Lavender Soymilk Shampoo
  • Organix Healing Mandarin Olive Oil
  • Organix Hydrating Tea Tree Mint Shampoo
  • Organix Instant Repair Cocoa Butter Shampoo
  • Organix Moisturizing Grapefruit Mango Butter
  • Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo
  • Organix Rejuvenating Cherry Blossom Ginseng Shampoo
  • Organix Revitalizing Pomengranate Green Tea
  • Organix Smoothing Shea Butter Shampoo
  • Organix Soft and Silky Vanilla Silk Shampoo
  • Organix White Tea Grapeseed Shampoo
  • Oyin Grand Poo Bar
  • Phyto Phytojoba Gentle Regulating Milk Shampoo
  • Pureology Shampoos
  • Qhemet Biologics Egyptian Wheatgrass Cleansing Tea
  • Queen Helene Mint Julep Shampoo
  • Real Purity Shampoo
  • Scruples White Tea Sulfate Free Restorative Shampoo
  • Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo
  • Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
  • Shikai Shampoo
  • Silk Elements ColorCare Sulfate Free Shampoo
  • Silken Shampoo
  • Softsheen Breakthru Fortifying Moisturizing Shampoo
  • TIGI S-Factor Health Factor Sulfate-Free Daily Dose Shampoo Hair Shampoos
  • Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Shampoo
  • Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo
  • Ultimate Shampoo
  • Wen Hair Care

If you can’t find any of the shampoos locally, Amazon has Sulfate Free Shampoo listed for sale on their website.

Keeping Your Hair Healthy

Using a sulfate free shampoo and conditioner is only the first step in keeping your hair healthy.  Be sure to check out our other articles – Tips For Healthy Hair and Home Remedies For Dry Damaged Hair – for more advice on how to have healthy hair and keep it that way.