If you love to change your hair color with the seasons, then you need a good sulfate free shampoo, specially if you have thin hair. Color-treated hair is vulnerable and can easily fall victim to heat damage, over-processing, and the drying effects of hard water minerals. The perfect sulfate-free shampoo can help create a barrier between you and the variety of environmental stressors that can negatively impact your hair health.
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What is Sulfate-Free Shampoo?
Sulfate-free shampoos are hair cleansers that do not contain chemically derived surfactants. Surfactants gather dirt and oil from your hair and scalp, allowing you to wash away buildup and debris with ease. Sulfate-based surfactants, like sodium lauryl sulfate, have been known to strip and dry the hair, leading to breakage and quickly fading color.
Sulfates create that rich, sudsy lather you love, and though you may enjoy the bubbles, there are risks that come with sulfates that may sway you from using them.
Dermatologists recommend anyone with sensitive skin or persistent conditions like eczema should avoid using shampoo formulas with sulfates.
Sulfates are also prone to causing frizz, which can compel you to overuse heated tools on your hair, leading to further damage and irritation.
The truth is, there are tons of plant-based surfactants that can offer you the luxurious lather you enjoy without causing irritation or creating more hair issues.
Our Top Pick of Best Sulfate Free Shampoo
Pressed on time and cannot look at all the options. Here are our top picks:
JVN Embody Daily Volumizing Shampoo
SheaMoisture Purple Rice Water Strength and Color Care Shampoo
Aveeno Blackberry Quinoa Protein Blend
What are the Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos?
Pureology Strength Care Shampoo
This is my most used shampoo. I have been using this since like I can’t remember when. I have fine hair, and I abused it for years with colored straightening treatments. This led to my hair falling and breaking in half.
All of Pureology products are made for color treated hair, so you don’t have to worry about your hair color getting damaged.
If you have blonde hair, then this might not work for you.
Bondi Boost Hair Thickening Therapy Shampoo
Bondi Boost therapy shampoo is a favorite within the beauty community, and this brand has products for every hair type.
The Thickening Therapy shampoo preserves moisture with the help of hydrophilic, anti-inflammatory hyaluronic acid.
Backed by vegan collagen, biotin, follicle-awakening ginseng, and anti-aging amaranth extract, this shampoo strengthens your hair from root to tip, replenishing even the most bleach-burdened heads of hair with ease.
Paired with the matching conditioner, you’ll notice fuller, healthier hair in just a few washes. Prepare to be downright obsessed with this shampoo and its yummy raspberry and cool mint scent!
Oribe Shampoo For Beautiful Color
Oribe beautiful hair shampoo is the definition of luxury hair care, and its notable Cote d’Azur scent full of blossoming Calabrian bergamot, white butterfly jasmine, and sandalwood isn’t the only thing that helps maintain its cult following.
Oribe is dedicated to protecting and repairing your scalp and strands, guarding your hair from harsh, oxidative stress with the power of a watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss flower restorative complex.
A Multilayered UV Protection System acts as a suit of armor, making this shampoo perfect for long summer days full of sun. Though this shampoo is on the pricier side, you’ll find it is an investment worth making. Say goodbye to premature touch-ups and hello to touchably soft, gleaming hair.
This shampoo along with its conditioner promises great result in just 2 weeks. But its on the pricey side of products, so I consider this the luxury version of the shampoos.
Shu Uemura Color Lustre Shampoo
Shu Uemura has an undeniable way of making wash day cool again. With its sleek packaging and warm, musky scent, the Color Lustre Shampoo offers salon-quality color preservation paired with the edgy glamour of Japanese hair care.
This shampoo contains Japanese Musk Rose Oil and Goji Berry Extract, which infuses the hair with much-needed antioxidants and lasting hydration.
You can use both the shampoo and conditioner even if your hair is super curly, wavy or straight, and the formula has garnered consistent rave reviews and is an essential product for those who care about scent just as much as color-enhancing formulas.
This shampoo is gentle and it will keep your hair color intact between coloring and shiny.
Kerastase Chroma Absolu Shampoo
A healthy scalp is a foundation for an eternally gorgeous head of hair. Each product you incorporate into your hair care routine should reflect this sentiment. This means steering clear of alcohol-based products and any chemical sulfates that can affect sebum production on your scalp.
Kerastase’s Chroma Absolu Shampoo targets buildup and sweeps away dirt and debris with its healing blend of amino acid, lactic acid, and tartaric acid.
This potion gently exfoliates your scalp, leaving plenty of room for the rest of your products to work their magic.
And if you have frizzy hair like me, you know it get’s worse with coloring, but with this shampoo and conditioner set, you can heal your hair and keep the color intact.
SheaMoisture Purple Rice Water Strength and Color Care Shampoo
SheaMoisture is one of the most popular brands for those with curly and coily hair, helping millions of people achieve the frizz-free, nourished curls they’ve been yearning for.
Thin, curly, color-treated hair can experience a load of damage if not cared for properly. Curly hair, with all of its twists and turns, is more susceptible to dryness than straight hair, as the natural oils from your scalp have a difficult time fully saturating the entire hair shaft.
Since your ends are more prone to dryness and breakage, your shampoo should strengthen your hair first and protect your color second. Once-forbidden purple rice water combined with sweet violet extract (commonly known to alleviate fatigue and stress) team up with organic fair trade shea butter to create a formula that heals, soothes, and nurtures color-treated curls.
The SheaMoisture Purple Rice Water Strength and Color Care Shampoo and conditioner is great for blonde fine hair and is budget friendly too.
Briogeo Superfoods Replenishing Shampoo
No matter your concern, Briogeo has a solution for your most pressing hair qualms. The Replenishing Shampoo is full of energizing matcha, antioxidant-rich apple, and collagen-boosting vitamin C.
Packed with vitamins and nutrients that battle against persistent UV rays and pollution, this shampoo is the best sulfate-free option for those who are craving a revitalizing kick in the morning.
Wash, rinse, repeat, and follow up with a glass of your favorite green juice for an extra dose of plant-based goodness.
The shampoo and conditioner are lightweight and will actually clean your hair without stripping off anything of the hair.
Fekkai Technician Color Shampoo
Fekkai hair products have been gracing the heads of your most idolized celebs, socialites, and royalty for nearly 50 years.
The Technician Color Shampoo allows you to achieve a professional wash right in your own home, preserving your balayage or fiery red ‘do with finesse.
An innovative combo of mirabelle plum seed oil, specialty rice protein, edelweiss flower extract, and pro-vitamin B5 strengthens, moisturizes, and reduces friction between hair strands, minimizing color loss for even the most frequent of washers.
Plucked fresh from the South of France, mirabelle plum possesses a wealth of essential fatty acids, which encourages healthy hair growth and hedges against fading.
With this shampoo and its conditioner, you’ll find yourself whisked away to a sultry, champagne-filled Lorraine vacation with fragrant hints of peach and red fruit.
Ouai Detox Shampoo
Ouai is for the It girls, and you’ll definitely feel like an A-list star using this powerful yet gentle Detox shampoo. Those with colored hair may cringe at the word “detox” – it implies a full and thorough cleansing, which for some may include the semi-fresh dye job they are still marveling at.
Have no fear, Ouai’s Detox Shampoo uses apple cider vinegar as an all-natural deep cleaning agent, while hydrolyzed keratin defends your hair against any impending damage.
Color-safe and heavenly scented, this shampoo works divinely for all hair types and is especially helpful for those who tend to pile on the products throughout the week.
If you suffer with dry scalp which makes your hair oily really quickly, you need to use this shampoo with its conditioner.
JVN Embody Daily Volumizing Shampoo
Is your hair in desperate need of resuscitation? JVN Embody Daily Volumizing Shampoo just proved to us that they are 100% CPR-certified (in hair care, that is.) Squalane and hemi-squalane burrow deep into the hair shaft, creating shine, volume, and infinite hydration.
Caffeine encourages rapid and healthy cell growth, making way for aloe leaf juice to imbibe a hefty amount of hydration and strength.
Dead-end hair will find new life again with this shampoo, adding body and impeccable shine to fine, color-treated hair.
Your fine hair will love this shampoo. It will add volume and will hydrate your hair.
Carol’s Daughter daily volumizing shampoo
Micellar water is a common cleansing tool in the beauty community, swiftly erasing any trace of makeup and leaving skin feeling soft and refreshed in its wake.
Carol’s Daughter daily volumizing shampoo with rose water washes away all traces of product, excess sebum, and daily debris from your scalp and hair using micellar technology and the mild astringent properties of rose water.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the way this water-to-foam shampoo lathers up, allowing you to use less product without sacrificing cleansing quality.
Aveeno Blackberry Quinoa Protein Blend Shampoo
Blackberry, quinoa, oat… sounds like ingredients for a wicked yummy salad, no? The Aveeno protein blend shampoo won’t satisfy your stomach, but it will work wonders for your hair and scalp, Aveeno is a brand that wants to lend comfort and security, providing products for people with skin sensitivities, allergies, and more.
This protein-dense shampoo reinforces your hair, protecting it from constant physical and chemical manipulation.
Those with curly or extra-dry hair will benefit from using the shampoo regularly, as it completely covers each strand with a layer of superfood protection.
The most budget friendly shampoo that actually works.
K18 Biomimetic Hairscience Shampoo
Regulating and maintaining the pH of your scalp prevents fungal infections, slow hair growth, irregular oil production, and split ends.
K18 Biomimetic Hairscience Shampoo combines beauty and technology to create this microbiome-balancing cleanser, formulated to prevent the swelling of the hair cuticle to discourage excessive stretching, breakage, and rapid depletion of color. An infusion of peptides offers anti-aging effects, keeping your hair youthful against the passage of time.
This shampoo is a holy grail product for those who are looking to revive their scalp from years of neglect or irritating product usage.
With a citrus scent the shampoo will calm your scalp and heal your split ends.