Many curlies and coilies tend to steer clear of sulfates or a specific classification of foaming agents, which are also known as surfactants. They are the main components within most shampoos (besides water) and they actually cleanse the hair. They are great at removing dirt and toxins, but they are extremely drying especially to naturals and curlies. The bottom line is they tend to be too harsh on curly, coily, and wavy hair. They strip the hair of its natural oils and can create a mass of tangles, and we all know our hair needs those oils.
Many naturals and curlies have put down the shampoo all together (like for the Curly Girl Method), but there are so many sulfate-free shampoos available that the use of shampoo does not have to be discontinued. Here are our Top 30 sulfate free shampoos for gentle cleansing!
Cleansing and hydrating hair without stripping it of natural oils is hard to do but with C3 complex, AG Hair will do just that. Stimulating hair from the exterior to deeply penetrate the interior, this lavish shampoo is here to change how you wash your hair forever.
ApHogee's protein blend repairs minor damage and imparts body, while the Green Tea Extract and their exclusive PropHytamine Complex enlivens hair and soothes the scalp.
This creamy shampoo contains a unique complex of nutrient-rich argan, rosehip, and coconut oils for superior nourishment and repair. Coconut-derived cleansers, not sulfates, cleanse the hair without stripping it of its natural oils.
"This balancing cleanser is made to gently draw out sweat and impurities, without stripping your hair’s natural moisture—so managing your daily to-do list is a breeze."-Carol's Daughter
"Clean Curls Moisturizing Shampoo gives your curls exactly what they need. Pumped up with a luxurious Brazilian blend of Shea Butter, Tea Tree, Babassu and Pumpkin Seed oils to quench the thirst of needy curls."-Curl Girl
This sulfate-free formula hydrates hair and adds Exotic Shine™, while gently cleansing without harsh moisture stripping agents.
This is the perfect cleanser for hair that is lacking strength and moisture and the combination of avocado and almond allows hair to be moisturized while cleansing and detangling knotted hair strands.
Safe for color-treated and chemically treated hair, this moisturizing shampoo also protects hair from heat and sun damage. With the perfect combination of shea butter, sea silk and hibiscus, this salon-quality shampoo will leave your curls feeling clean and soft.
This is a sulfate free, mild cleanser that restores moisture to hair. It is made without sulfates and contains no mineral oils, dyes, or parabens, and is cruelty free.
Here is a sulfate free shampoo that is enriched with argan Oil and macadamia oil to both cleanse and hydrate the hair.
This ultra-creamy, sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo can be used to quench rough, thirsty, & dry hair while gently cleansing away product buildup, excess oils and residue in a lather that won't strip hair of natural oils.
Cleanse hair in a gentle and effective way using this sulfate free shampoo, featuring a nourishing blend of honey, proteins, goji, acai, mulberry, etc,.
This gentle cleanser is a sulfate, alcohol and paraben free shampoo created with shea butter to cleanse natural hair underneath hair extensions and deliver ultimate moisture. It includes tea tree,neem oil, & a special revitalizing blend of botanical extracts that invigorate the scalp while washing away build-up.
Relax with the scent of sea salt, hibiscus, and essential oils as you gently cleanse, refresh and remove product buildup with this hydrating shampoo that won’t strip hair of it’s natural moisture.
This sulfate-free shampoo cleanses the hair and scalp while protecting and restoring the natural moisture balance.
Jane Carter's hydrating shampoo infuses moisture while cleansing your scalp. This sulfate-free shampoo uses humectants that help your hair hold more moisture with an added hint of peppermint to wake up your scalp.
This exclusive blend of mandarin orange extract will clean your hair and scalp of dulling buildup while sea kelp will help maintain proper moisture balance.
Utilizing a unique combination of hydrolyzed pea protein, proprietary and sulfate-free lactylate-blended surfactants, argan oil, avocado oil and algae extract, Many Ethnicities Invigorating Shampoo delivers all of the performance without the use of any sulfates.
Mielle Organics Babassu Conditioning Shampoo is a sulfate-free, color safe cleanser for dry and curly hair types that contains gentle botanically derived surfactants and rich moisturizing agents to soften, moisturize and strengthen the hair.
Mixed Chicks Sulfate Free Shampoo cleanses hair without stripping or removing your natural oils.
This intensely moisturizing shampoo will leave your hair soft, conditioned, and hydrated. Shea butter deeply moisturizes hair and scalp, while coconut oil protects hair from heat and chemical damage.
Rosemary & Coconut Sulfate-Free Shampoo is the ultimate shampoo experience and features lemon balm, rosemary and hops to deep clean the hair.
An optimal blend of hand‐picked, certified organic, wild‐crafted ingredients restores hair’s strength and elasticity for miraculous shine and smoother, healthier, more resilient hair.
Infused with fast-absorbing Baobab and Tea Tree Oils & enriched with certified organic shea butter to boost scalp health and deliver nourishing hydration beyond the outer cuticle layer, this sulfate free shampoo is perfect for cleansing low-porosity hair.
This rich shampoo cleanses and hydrates hair weightlessly & has certified organic shea butter and coconut water blended with a fusion of dragon rruit, lychee berry and green apple extracts to nourish and energize lifeless hair.
This unique formula is enriched with aloe vera to gently cleanse your hair without stripping your strands of their natural oils, and Pro Vitamin B5 to reduce breakage and increase moisture retention.
Fortified with 97% natural ingredients, To The Rescue Shampoo cleanses and moisturizes hair to fix damage caused by a plethora of hair styling techniques and treatments. Its silicone-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free formula revives hair without additional damage.
This gentle cleanser nourishes, replenishes moisture and provides true hydration leaving hair soft and manageable. Free of sulfates and parabens, shea butter and coconut penetrates hair to nourish & a unique blend of honey and mango provide ultimate moisture.
It works to provide clean hair and scalp without over-drying or stripping hair of its natural moisture. Avocado, Coconut, and Almond Oils add moisture and hydration to your natural texture.
Whether you wear your hair long or short, the friendly ingredients found within this weightless shampoo, will clean and moisturize your hair leaving it smooth and soft to the touch.
This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated based on reader feedback.