Sulphate-free shampoos are nothing new. We’ve all spotted the “sulphate-free” label splashed across a shampoo bottle before, but what exactly does it mean and what are the benefits?
“Sulphate free shampoos are crafted with essential oils that lift grime and residue gently, whilst aiding moisture retention so your hair is softer, and your scalp is happier,” shared Belle Cannan, Co-Founder of Salon Sloane. It’s especially worth considering if you have dry hair, sensitive skin and dandruff or you want your hairdresser’s colour magic to look better for longer.
Personally, as someone who’s changed five hair colours in the past three years (from platinum blonde to bright red), I’ve been a long-standing fan of sulphate-free shampoos. Seriously, the difference in how my hair looks and feels is astounding, especially considering how dry and dull it was before I made the switch.
A recent favourite of mine is the Virtue Recovery Shampoo. I’ve been using it for the past 12 months and it’s safe to say that it’s become an irreplaceable staple in my hair routine. Thanks to its innovative Alpha Keratin technology, not only did it strengthen my hair, but it also helped stimulate hair growth, which is something that I’ve struggled with ever since I’ve bleached my hair platinum blonde. It manages to gently cleanse my hair while providing just enough nourishment that it so desperately needs.
So if you’re also considering to ditch our go-to hair cleansers for one of the best sulphate-free shampoos, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking for more information to find out whether sulphate-free formulations actually suit your hair type or even if you simply want to read up on what on earth sulphates do – we’ve got you covered. We’ve taken the time to speak to hair experts to get all the intel, so keep reading to find all the answers to your burning FAQs. Plus, we’ve also put together a full edit of the best sulphate-free shampoos for you depending on your hair type and concerns.
Skip to: What are sulphates? | Is sulphate-free shampoo good for hair? | How can I tell if my shampoo is sulphate-free? | Should I use sulphate-free shampoo on my hair extensions?
Best sulphate-free shampoos at a glance – our top picks:
- Best hydrating sulphate-free shampoo: Aussie Deeep Moisture Shampoo, WAS £4.50 NOW £3, Boots
- Best sulphate-free shampoo for tangled hair: Virtue Recovery Shampoo, £36, Cult Beauty
- Best affordable sulphate-free shampoo: OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo, WAS £6.99 NOW £3.49, Boots
- Best sulphate-free shampoo for repair: OLAPLEX No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, £28, Beauty Bay
What are sulphates?
First things first, sulphates are cleansing agents which have been used widely in hair care products for a very long time – in shampoo, we’re talking about sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate specifically. As we all become increasingly savvy about what the symbols on our skincare and hair care packaging actually mean, sulphates have been bundled into the beauty ingredients blacklist. Many experts have proclaimed that it’s sulphate-free shampoo that you should be using for stronger, healthier hair.
Is sulphate-free shampoo good for hair?
When used in regular, everyday shampoo, sulphates leave you with a deliciously foamy lather, which can make a product effective at thoroughly cleaning the hair. So, if you’re a fan of hair styling products like hairspray, hair gel and dry shampoo, then incorporating a sulphate could actually be beneficial for removing product build-up on your scalp.