Eight Incredible Sulfate Free Shampoos

Sulfates. Silicones. Parabens. I’m sure we’ve all seen the shampoo bottles proudly declaring that they contain no such things. But what are they? And why are should you avoid them?

Sulfates themselves are basically detergents, and they're what causes the foaming lather in soaps and shampoos. Sulfates are very effective in shampoos, but for color treated, damaged, or dry hair they can be too effective. Our curly girls especially should seek to avoid these ingredients, but their damaging effects can span all hair types. Sulfates can be overly drying and can strip protein from hair. 


Look for products that are marked as sulfate free but also be sure to check the back of the shampoo bottle, as some brands simply mark themselves as sulfate free without following through on the promise. 

  • Keywords to look out for with regard to sulfates include:
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate 
  • Sodium Myreth Sulfate 
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Ethyl PEG-15 Cocamine Sulfate 
  • Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate 
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate 
  • Alkylbenzene Sulfonate
  • Ammonium Laureth (Lauryl Sulfate) 
  • Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate 


Silicones create a barrier on the strand of hair that makes it hard for moisture to penetrate, which can be very damaging

Check the back of the conditioner bottle and look out for silicones that go by names like:

  • Cyclomethicone
  • Dimethicone 
  • Methicone 
  • Amodimethicone 
  • Dimethiconol
  • Cyclomethicone 
  • Cyclopentasiloxane 
  • Phenyl trimethicone
  • Dimethicone copolymer


Some parabens have been suggested to be linked to breast cancer, though it has not been proven, it's better to be safe than sorry.  

Keywords to look out for with regard to parabens:

  • Butylparaben,
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Alkyl parahydroxybenzoates


This is a lot of scary information, but there are some brands out there that are trying to provide healthier options. Here are eight brands to look out for that don't contain sulfates, silicones, or parabens. 

1. Moptop

(Photo Courtesy of moptophair.com)  

What's great about Moptop is the range that they offer. All hair types will be able to find products that suit them here. 


2. Not Your Mother's

(Photo Courtesy of nymbrands.com) 

Not your Mothers is an affordable and effective choice for haircare and they offer a wide range of products. 


3. Pacifica

(Photo Courtesy of pacificabeauty.com)

Pacifica has a large range of affordable products and their hair care line passes all the right tests. 


4. Mila Rose Hair Care

(Photo Courtesy of milarose.store) 

Mila Rose is a newer brand that offers a spectrum of high-quality affordable hair products, that should suit all hair types. 


5. Briogeo

(Photo Courtesy of briogeohair.com) 

Briogeo has a wide range of products that cater to a spectrum of hair needs but can be a bit more expensive than some of our other picks. 


6. Mielle Organics

(Photo Courtesy of mielleorganics.com) 

Mielle is an affordable brand that caters specifically to curly hair.  


7. Sheamoisture

(Photo Courtesy of sheamoisture.com) 

Sheamoisture is a reliable, affordable, curly hair brand that has been around for a while and knows exactly what they're doing. 


8. DevaCurl

(Photo Courtesy of devacurl.com) 

Devacurl is a brand that caters specifically to curly hair and can bit a bit more expensive, but you get what you pay for. 


It’s important to be informed about what is in the products we use every day. Do your own research, understand what's in your products, and read the back of those shampoo bottles, people.