Do you have curly hair, and find that typical shampoos just aren’t cutting it? If so, you’re in for a treat. We’ve finally completed our list of the 29 best sulfate-free shampoos for curly hair! Those of us with curly hair know firsthand how difficult it can be to tame the mane. It becomes even harder when you’re limited to products that are free of sulfates, but fortunately for you, we’re here to simplify things.
To help you make the perfect pick and take your hair game to the next level, we’re going to review the 29 best shampoos for curly hair that are entirely free of sulfates, as well as other nasty ingredients you don’t want in your hair. You’re even going to learn how we came up with this list so you don’t have to worry about bias.
Before we share the rest of our list with you, we want to cover some basic information on sulfates to help you understand the problem they pose to your curly hair.
What Are Sulfates?
Sulfates are a type of surfactant commonly used in traditional shampoos. Surfactants are the ingredients that help your products foam, which is essential for creating a good lather and effectively cleaning your hair. But that’s not all – surfactants also help create greater shampoo efficiency, covering more of your head with less product. Sulfates are commonly disguised under a few different names. Look for the following on the list of ingredients.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Sodium laureth sulfate
- Ammonium laureth sulfate
These ingredients have been used for decades with no real fuss from users, so why are people suddenly looking to avoid sulfate-based products? Keep reading to learn more about the problems sulfates create for your hair – and curly hair in particular.
Why Are Sulfate-Free Shampoos Best for Curly Hair?
Make no mistake, sulfates are effective at cleaning your hair. In fact, that’s part of the problem. They’re too effective! As a result, you end up scrubbing away important natural oils that are essential to keeping your hair healthy and hydrated. Furthermore, these sulfates can dry out your scalp. This leads to irritation, thinning hair and, sometimes, dandruff.
Some studies seem to link sulfates to more serious health concerns, such as cancer. However, further research is necessary to determine if there is any validity to these claims. Nevertheless, there is no doubt about it – you should try to avoid sulfates, especially if you’re sensitive to harsh ingredients. The last thing you want is to use a shampoo that leaves your hair drier and more irritated. The good news is that there are tons of amazing products that use natural, gentler surfactants.
What Other Ingredients Should I Steer Clear Of for Curly Hair?
The tricky part about shopping for hair-care products like shampoo, conditioner and styling creams is the overwhelming amount of harmful, harsh ingredients you’ll come across. Along with sulfates, here are a few other ingredients you should avoid:
- Artificial fragrances and dyes
You can rest assured, however, that all the products we’re going to share with you in the list below are free of not just sulfates, but all the nasty stuff you want to avoid.
The 29 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Curly Hair Reviewed
After careful consideration and in-depth review, we’re confident we’ve built a list of the 29 best sulfate-free shampoos for curly hair currently on the market. There are some remarkable products here, but they’re not in any particular order…except, of course, for our No. 1 recommendation, Blu Atlas.
There is no doubt in our minds that Blu Atlas All Natural Shampoo is the No. 1 choice for curly-haired men and women seeking a sulfate-free shampoo. Not only will you achieve an effortless, natural clean, but you’ll strengthen your hair and prevent excess oil build-up at the same time.
As the name suggests, the formulation is all-natural, free of not just sulfates, but other sketchy ingredients that can irritate or dry out your hair. The shampoo consists of powerful plant-based ingredients like jojoba protein, aloe vera and sodium methyl cocoyl taurate. This third ingredient replaces the need for sulfates. It’s a safe, natural and mild surfactant derived from coconut. This product comes with a money-back guarantee, so you can shop in confidence. You won’t regret replacing your current shampoo with this one.
2. ROYAL LOCKS Clean Curls Shampoo
Rated specifically for curly hair, this sulfate-free, low-lather cleanser by Royal Locks is an excellent runner-up to our No. 1 pick. As well as cleaning your hair, it will help balance pH without stripping the natural oils. This keeps those gorgeous, bouncy curls intact. On top of being sulfate-free, this formula is also free of parabens and features a 100% cruelty-free label. It is safe for color-treated or permed hair and creates the foundation for healthy hair with the ultimate moisturization and hydration. You even get a free sample of their Pro Curl Cream Gel with every purchase!
3. Bellisso Argan Oil Shampoo
This Bellisso Argan Oil Shampoo can be hard to come by, but it boasts the Amazon’s Choice badge for shampoo and conditioner products, so snap it up if you spot it. This deep-cleansing shampoo uses argan oil, which has all sorts of nourishing and hydrating properties. It’s rated specifically for curly hair, but you can use it on normal and oily hair, too. It’s formulated to help damaged hair regain its natural shine. It’s also safe for color-treated and keratin-treated hair. The ingredients label is free from not just sulfates but also parabens, gluten and other harmful compounds.
4. Girl+Hair CLEANS+ Moisturizing Shampoo
This product is backed by science and formulated by dermatologists, so you can rest assured you’re getting safe, proven ingredients. It cleanses deeply without stripping essential oils, leaving your curls healthy and bouncy. This also helps reduce the time it takes to detangle your curls. It’s built specifically to treat and prevent dry, itchy scalps with the help of shea butter, tea tree oil and neem oil. Along with being free of sulfates, it omits the use of parabens, phthalates, alcohol, coloring and animal-based ingredients. This makes it a great choice for anyone with curly hair.
5. Jane Carter Solution Hydrating Invigorating Shampoo
This hydrating, invigorating shampoo by Jane Carter is another great choice for those with curly hair who are seeking a sulfate-free formula. It gently removes any impurities and buildup from both the hair and scalp – all without drying or stripping your hair’s natural oils.
It revives tired, stressed-out hair and increases both the strength and manageability of your curls, which is something any curly-haired man or woman will appreciate. It’s formulated with pure plant extracts and essential oils to ensure proper moisture balance and leave your hair looking and feeling hydrated and healthy.
6. Many Ethnicities Invigorating Shampoo
Many Ethnicities Invigorating Shampoo is one of the most natural, effective formulations we’ve come across. It uses soy protein to help strengthen your hair and protect it from aggressors you face in your daily life.
This brand also incorporates natural oils into its formula to help with softness and moisturization. You’ll enjoy ingredients like algae extract, and argan and avocado oils. This sulfate-free, paraben-free and color-safe shampoo is unlike anything else we’ve seen. You’ll get the most bang for your buck with this product, as you need to use a very little amount compared to other shampoos.
7. Sashapure Healing Shampoo
Voted the best shampoo in 2019 by Naturally Curly, Sashapure Healing Shampoo is yet another excellent contender for the curly-haired folks out there who are trying to avoid sulfates. It’s also free from other harsh chemicals. It features an ingredients label consisting of hand-picked, certified organic, wildcrafted ingredients to restore both your hair’s strength and elasticity. These work to cleanse your hair gently while detangling, repairing and moisturizing your hair. The end result is a stunning, healthy shine and smoother, more resilient hair.
8. AG Curl Revive Hydrating Shampoo
The folks at AG say that curl confidence starts in the shower with the shampoo you use. For the ultimate feeling of confidence, stick with their Curl Revive Sulfate-Free Hydrating Shampoo. It’s enriched with super-hydrating ingredients like coconut oil, sunflower oil and moisturizing pea peptides.
These are combined with the powerful effects of AG’s exclusive curl-creating complex (C3). This shampoo is sure to leave your hair healthier than before, cleansing gently while maintaining moisture, and eliminating frizz while reinvigorating your curls. It’s sulfate-free, silicone-free, and made especially for wavy and curly hair.
9. Creme of Nature Sulfate-Free Moisture and Shine Shampoo
One of the healthiest, most natural-looking ingredient labels we’ve seen is that of Creme of Nature Sulfate-Free Moisture & Shine Shampoo. It contains no sulfates, petroleum, mineral oil or drying alcohol. Instead, it uses the power of certified natural argan oil direct from Morocco. This sulfate-free formula works wonders to nourish, hydrate and cleanse your hair, while adding an exotic shine that will catch the eye of every passerby. It also aids in detangling, something any curly head will appreciate.
10. Mixed Chicks Sulfate-Free Shampoo
This is perhaps the most budget-friendly pick on our list of the 29 best sulfate-free shampoos for curly hair. However, though it’s inexpensive, the ingredients are all natural and effective. It cleanses all types of hair well, and is suitable for not just curly, but also wavy and straight hair. It doesn’t strip away moisture or oils and works well on chemically or color-treated hair. Ingredients like aloe and natural oils work wonders to restore strength and moisture. It’s free of parabens, phthalates and animal-derived ingredients.
11. Garnier Fructis Curl Nourish Fortifying Shampoo
Garnier Fructis is one of the best-known hair-care brands on the market. Their Curl Nourish Fortifying Shampoo is a great choice for those with curly hair who are looking for a natural cleanser. It provides up to 48 hours of defined, frizz-resistant curls.
But the real reason we love this shampoo is that it’s cruelty-free, sulfate-free and paraben-free. Instead, it uses natural ingredients like coconut oil, elasto-protein and other conditioning, strengthening ingredients your hair is going to love. Unlock the ultimate shine and bounce for your curls with regular use of this shampoo in tandem with the rest of the Garnier Fructis system.
12. Briogeo Rosarco Reparative Shampoo
Want to restore a silky-smooth shine to your dry, brittle and lackluster hair? Briogeo Rosarco Reparative Shampoo can help make your vision a reality. This sulfate-free formula is a powerful restorative treatment. It repairs the appearance of damaged hair and restores moisture while protecting it from future breakage.
This is all made possible with safe, natural ingredients and ultra-nourishing oils. Some of the most noteworthy include argan oil, rosehip oil, coconut oil and vitamin E. Better yet, this shampoo is free of additives and animal-derived ingredients, so this is a product you can feel good about using.
13. Carol’s Daughter Rhassoul Clay Sulfate-Free Shampoo
If your hair feels as if it’s been overworked and overwashed, it will look that way, too. One simple solution is to replace your current shampoo with Carol’s Daughter Rhassoul Clay Sulfate-Free Shampoo.
This sulfate-free product purifies, gently cleanses and softens damaged hair without the use of parabens, petroleum, mineral oil or artificial colors. Instead, it uses potent ingredients like aloe juice, cactus flower and Moroccan rhassoul clay. This trifecta does wonders to bring your hair back to life while drawing out sweat and impurities – a perfect choice for busy individuals who want to look their best.
14. SheaMoisture Fruit Fusion Weightless Shampoo
As the name suggests, SheaMoisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Shampoo is a lightweight blend that instantly hydrates and soothes your hair. It also does wonders to reduce frizz and static.
It uses a proprietary fusion of dragon fruit, lychee berry and green apple extracts to nourish and energize your hair, no matter how lifeless it may seem. Imbe oil, which is rich in vitamins, controls humidity, while aloe adds a weightless, moisturized shine. This product is suitable for hair types 1A, 2A, 1B, 2B, 1C and 2C.
15. Hairfinity Gentle Cleanse Shampoo
With such a wide variety of shampoos on the market, choosing the right one can be tough. But you can simplify things by sticking with Hairfinity Gentle Cleanse Shampoo – a tried and true formulation. This product helps users achieve an 82% reduction in breakage, something many of us curly-haired types will appreciate.
It gently cleanses and refreshes your hair while stimulating collagen and keratin production. This is due to ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen, horsetail, aloe vera, marigold extract and biotin. And trust us – the natural, fresh scent of sea salt, hibiscus and essential oils is amazing.
16. Maple Holistics Pomegranate Shampoo
Maple Holistics Pomegranate Shampoo is another marvelous choice when it comes to sulfate-free shampoos. Those who use it report that it leaves your hair feeling silky smooth, without any sort of oily residue. The best part is that your tresses will smell as good as they look! The natural pomegranate fragrance is off-the-charts delicious.
This nourishing shampoo is filled with nothing but naturally derived ingredients, nutrients and antioxidants. Simply put, this shampoo works, and it’s free of the stuff you want to avoid, like parabens and sulfates. Try it out with a 100% money-back guarantee.
17. Vernon François Curl Shampoo
Do you need help with frizz control? If so, look no further than Vernon François Curl Shampoo. This excellent vegan formula is free from parabens, silicones and sulfates. It is designed specifically for curly hair needing help with controlling frizz.
The shampoo is gentle and effective, cleansing with the help of natural ingredients like shea butter, olive oil and seaweed extract. Other ingredients, like grape seed extract and echinacea extract, boost shine while controlling humidity so you don’t struggle with frizziness ever again.
18. Curly Girl Shampoo
Sorry guys – you’ll want to skip ahead to the next pick, as this one is just for the girls. If you’re looking for superior curl definition, this remarkable shampoo will help you accomplish it. This natural, safe formula isn’t all that exciting, but it does what it claims to: boost curls while removing impurities. After each wash, your curls are left in a vibrant, frizz-free state that you’ll love. The Curly Girl team recommends you use this shampoo with their conditioner for best results.
19. ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Shampoo
This is an excellent budget buy for any man or woman looking for sulfate-free, curly-hair approved shampoo. ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Shampoo is formulated to strengthen and cleanse at the same time, and is specifically made for delicate hair types. That means if your hair is fine, dull or color-treated, this is a great option.
It uses keratin amino acids and green tea antioxidants to repair and protect your hair while cleansing gently. It also soothes your scalp and is safe for daily use. With that said, the ingredients label does contain some things we don’t love, like PEGs.
20. U R Curly Soya Shampoo
The U R Curly Soya Shampoo is free from harsh chemicals and compounds like parabens, alcohol, dyes and, of course, sulfates. The shampoo is formulated with soy protein, tea tree oil, Abyssinian oil, aloe and echinacea oil. These powerhouse plant-based ingredients work their magic to effectively cleanse and nourish your scalp and hair.
The reason we love this shampoo is the weightless feel it has after washing out – your hair is left smooth and soft to the touch. The formula is crafted to reduce breakage and restore damaged hair to its natural state. This is a great choice if you’re struggling to reach your hair goals.
21. Honey Baby Naturals Honeychild Shampoo
It looks like your typical jar of honey, but Honey Baby Naturals Honeychild Shampoo is a powerful product worth considering for your hair-care goals. This sulfate-free shampoo was designed to gently cleanse your hair and scalp while protecting and restoring the natural moisture barrier. It will keep your hair hydrated long after your wash.
The shampoo features a unique blend, combining the powers of honey and chamomile. These two ingredients leave your scalp moisturized and free from dryness and flaking.
22. Design Essentials Natural Almond and Avocado Shampoo
Design Essentials Natural Almond and Avocado Shampoo offers a gentle, moisturizing wash with each shower you take. It uses the power of natural almond and avocado to gently detangle your curls and cleanse them without stripping away natural oil from your delicate strands.
In fact, the folks over at Design Essentials claim this shampoo can save you 30 minutes of detangling time. Each wash will leave your hair feeling hydrated and soft. This formula is free from parabens, paraffin, petrolatum, mineral oil and, of course, sulfates.
23. The Doux Sucka Free Moisturizing Shampoo
This is a no-BS shampoo that gets the job done. It provides gentle, natural cleansing and nourishing for delicate hair. This powerful formula is safe for both color and chemically treated hair. It also does wonders to help protect your hair from heat, sun damage and other environmental stressors you face every day. The formula is powered by shea butter and silk – superhero ingredients that will leave your curls feeling and look soft and luscious.
24. Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea All Natural Moisture Shampoo
This gentle, vegan and sulfate-free shampoo is another worthy consideration if you still are on the hunt for the perfect pick. Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea All Natural Moisture Shampoo is a mild cleanser that you can use daily, on just about all hair types.
It works to eliminate muck and grime from hair strands without stripping oils, making it a great choice for those needing moisturizing help. This shampoo has long been considered among the best of the best, but some users claim their formula has changed recently, so don’t buy in bulk.
25. Kinky-Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo
Kinky-Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo is the only product on this list that uses phytic acid, a natural chelating agent. Why is it included? Because it helps remove hard water minerals from your hair, such as calcium and magnesium buildup.The addition of corn also helps soften hard water.
Both of these ingredients make this shampoo a great choice for those with bad water quality that could be affecting their hair health. This shampoo features an exclusive blend of mandarin orange extract that effectively cleanses your hair without drying. What more could you ask for?
26. Obia Naturals Coconut Shea Shampoo Bar
Yes, this shampoo comes in bar form rather than the bottle you’re used to. But hear us out – not only does this unique design help eliminate plastic and preserve our earth; it also works wonders on your hair.
It leaves it soft and conditioned due to the remarkable moisturizing capabilities of shea butter and coconut oil, two of the best ingredients in any shampoo or skin-care product. This shampoo bar is sulfate-free, making it a great addition to our list. Plus, because it’s in bar form, it’s a great travel partner.
27. OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo
OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo is a perfect pick for those on a budget. Even at this low price, you don’t have to compromise on your values – this product is free of parabens, sulfates and other harmful components. Instead, it uses coconut milk, coconut oil, egg white protein and other natural ingredients to cleanse, strengthen and hydrate your scalp and hair.
With each wash, you’ll be transported to a tropical paradise with silky smooth, shining hair. With almost 10,000 verified reviews on Amazon, there is no surprise that this is currently showcasing the Amazon’s Choice badge!
28. Made Beautiful True Moisturizing Shampoo
Made Beautiful’s True Moisturizing Shampoo is free from sulfates and parabens, and incorporates natural plant-based ingredients like shea butter, coconut and mango. These work together to cleanse gently while nourishing and replenishing moisture to those curls. One of the things we love most about this shampoo is that, despite being so natural and effective, it’s still highly affordable.
29. Noughty Hair Care to the Rescue Shampoo
Sitting in the final spot on our list of the best sulfate free shampoos for curly hair is Noughty Hair Care to the Rescue Shampoo. This formulation consists of 97% natural ingredients and is free from sulfates. It’s perfect for men or women needing a serious boost of moisture, working its magic on any dry, frizzy or damaged hair.
This shampoo also helps minimize split ends and protects against future breakage. The intense hydration is caused by ingredients like sunflower seed extract and sweet almond oil. This shampoo won an award in 2019.
Final Thoughts on the 29 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Curly Hair
That concludes our list of the best sulfate-free shampoos for curly hair. No matter the current state of your hair, we think it’s safe to say your curls could use some love. The products we’ve shared with you today should be just what you need. We hope you find one that is exactly what you’re looking for.