8 sulphate-free shampoos that actually work
They clean, they nourish and we love them! We review our faves
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / November 25 2018
Ah sulphates, they do divide many. Some find them irritating while others believe that without them, your shampoo just doesn’t work as well. If you don’t know where you personally stand on the matter, check out our guide to what sulphates are, why they’re in your shampoo and whether you should be using or avoiding them.
When it comes to going down the non-sulphate route, there are generally two top reasons that will help you decide to go sulphate-free: you have an allergy to sulphates that causes skin irritation, or you find they’re too good at their job (cleaning) and leave your hair extra dry and stripped of its natural oils.
If you want to explore the world of sulphate-free shampoos to see if they can improve your locks and scalp, we’re here to help you get started. This is a list of the best sulphate-free shampoo options, as voted by our Beauty Crew team and SUPERcrew members.
#8 / Organic Care Heat Protect Shampoo
For any heat-styling addicts who need an extra level of protection, this organic sulphate-free shampoo fits the bill. Its plant-derived formula protects against heat damage while oat peptide extract helps achieve a smooth and sleek finish. For curly hair that’s prone to frizz, give this a go.
The review: “My favourite is Organic Care, this Australian haircare and bodycare brand is fabulous. The shampoos smell great, are gentle, chemical-free, yet work absolutely beautifully on my hair. I cannot recommend them highly enough.” Sarrah, SUPERcrew member
Cost: $6 (available at Coles and Woolworths)
#7 / Bhave Bombshell Blonde Shampoo
If you’re on the hunt for a shampoo without sulphates that also looks after your blonde hair colour (think toning and damage repairing), then add this one to cart. Bio-active keratin in the formula helps nurse severely damaged hair back to health by strengthening and restoring elasticity, while certified organic argan oil intensely nourishes and certified organic aloe vera rebalances the pH in your scalp and hair.
The review: “I recommend any line in the Bhave range. My hair has a good hair day every time I use these!” Jovanka, SUPERcrew member
#6 / Eleven Australia Hydrate My Hair Moisture Shampoo
If your hair is normal to dry, put your strands in the capable hands of this sulphate-free shampoo. The gentle formula is enriched with hydrolysed wheat protein, avocado oil and wheat starch to hydrate and strengthen, while an anti-fade complex protects your colour.
The review: “Eleven Hydrate My Hair Shampoo is lovely. My hair is colour-treated, naturally curly and on the dry side and this shampoo doesn’t feel like it strips my hair.” Pru, SUPERcrew member
#5 / OGX Bamboo Radiant Brunette Shampoo
Picking just one of OGX’s shampoos (the entire range is sulphate-free) was a tough decision - really, you should let your hair’s top needs lead the way. This one is specifically for bottled brunettes who want to bring life back to their colour - bamboo extract and almond oil in the formula leave strands looking luminous. Plus, this formula contains UVA and UVB broad-spectrum protection to shield your strands from the damaging effects of the sun.
The review: “My latest hair obsession is the OGX Bamboo Radiant Brunette Shampoo. It’s sulphate-free and if you’re a brunette like me, you NEED this in your life. I don’t know the exact science behind how this hair-sorcery works but it illuminates brunette tones and leaves your hair looking all shimmery and salon-fresh. After washing my hair with this last week and using the matching conditioner, someone asked me whether I’d just had my colour done – no joke. I love this stuff so much that after I discovered it, I specifically called one of my brunette-haired best friends to tell her to go buy some.” Isobel Larkin, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Assistant
#4 / Marc Anthony True Professional Regenerating 12 Second Miracle Shampoo
Boost your hair’s volume, thickness and hydration levels with this sulphate and paraben-free shampoo. There’s biotin to strengthen and thicken, and antioxidants to replenish nutrients and prevent future breakage so your hair is more voluminous and shiny. It’s free from SLS and phthalates as well.
The review: “This is fantastic for adding some volume and hydration to hair as well as a great clean and shine. I have thin, fine hair and this doesn't weigh my hair down or build up product - it leaves my hair feeling light and bouncy!” Milan, SUPERcrew member
#3 / Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
Sulphate-free and hydrating, this one’s for dry and damaged hair types - especially those who colour their hair. The repairing formula strengthens the bonds in hair and eliminates frizz and fly-aways so your hair goes back to being healthy and well, normal.
The review: “Because I’m someone who colours their hair blonde, uses heat tools on the regular and loads my strands with styling products, I need a shampoo that will thoroughly cleanse and nourish my hair. I’ve tried a plethora of different brands in the past and my favourite is definitely Olaplex’s No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo. The sulphate and paraben-free formula works to re-link broken bonds to protect and repair damaged hair, split ends and frizz, while leaving strands super shiny and easy to manage.” Kate Niven, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Writer
#2 / Aveda Invati Advanced Exfoliating Shampoo
There is literally a sulphate-free shampoo for everyone: this one helps repair thinning and damaged hair. It gently exfoliates and cleans the scalp to remove product build-up (yep, like a clarifying shampoo) that can clog the pores and impede hair growth. It also nourishes, detangles and protects against breakage. It comes in a men’s formula, too.
The review: “I hate how pricey this one is but it is so worth it! The only shampoo that makes a positive and noticeable difference to my hair, leaving it fuller-looking, softer and so shiny.” Mandy, SUPERcrew member
#1 / 3”More Inches Moisturising Shampoo
It’s not just sulphates you won’t find in this shampoo: this hypoallergenic formula is free from alcohol, silicone, parabens, colours and phthalates, too. Don’t worry, you won’t miss any of them. Your dry and/or coloured hair will be left deeply hydrated, smooth and beautifully soft. What more could you want?!
The review: “I love UK celebrity stylist Michael Van Clarke’s 3”More Inches Moisturising Shampoo. Designed especially for damaged, dry and chemically-treated hair, this hydrating cleanser will help boost the condition of strands while encouraging growth. If you want longer, stronger hair, this is your go-to.” Sally Hunwick, marie claire’s Beauty Director
Have you heard of pre-shampoo treatments? Here’s why you need to give one a go.
Do you use a sulphate-free shampoo? Why? And what do you use? Share with us in the comments section below.
Main image credit: Getty
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.