Sulfates? 9 Best Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoos 2021 {Damaging}

What do you do when your hair becomes dull, lifeless and difficult to manage? Well, it may be time to grab a clarifying shampoo and rinse away all the buildup that has accumulated from styling products, chlorine, and any pollutants your hair has collected over time. Along with these problematic issues, your regular clarifying shampoo can also strip away the natural oils and leave your hair dry and brittle, and even wash away the color you’ve added to your hair. So, how do you solve the buildup problem while still maintaining moisture and color? Here’s the solution: Find the best sulfate free clarifying shampoo in 2021 for your hair type. These clarifying shampoos will remove the impurities without stripping your hair of its moisture and leave your color fresh and vibrant.

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What Are Sulfates?

NaturOli-Extreme-Soap-Nut-ShampooSulfates are cleansing agents, also called surfactants, used in clarifying shampoos to remove the buildup in your hair. They do this by attracting the dirt, oils, and water on your scalp and hair and washes them away when you rinse the shampoo down the drain. They also create a huge amount of lather, which many people seem to think is necessary for a clarifying shampoo although lather is really more for show than for actually cleaning.

Without using surfactants, a clarifying shampoo would not be an effective cleanser. Due to the harsh nature of sulfates, which actually wash away the natural oils your hair needs to protect it from dryness and breakage, many people are looking for sulfate free clarifying shampoos especially for a more natural way to clean their hair and maintain its health.

Benefits of Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoos

Sulfates are great cleansers and will rid your hair of all the junk it has collected, but they will also strip away the natural oils your hair has produced and leave it feeling dry and prone to breakage. Sulfates can also irritate the skin and burn if you get it in your eyes. Thankfully, sulfates are not the only cleansing agents available for shampoo companies to use in their products. Sulfate free clarifying shampoos are made from natural products including essential oils and plant-based ingredients and are less harsh and irritating for your hair and skin. The sulfate free clarifying shampoos are also color safe, so you won’t be washing your expensive color treatments down the drain every time you wash your hair.

The most valuable benefit of using a clarifying shampoo that is free of sulfates is that your hair will suffer less damage from the harsher cleansing agents. All shampoos will strip away the oils along with the dirt and pollutants but sulfates will leave your hair dry, brittle, and in need of some type of moisturizing conditioner. Sulfate free clarifying shampoos will not irritate the skin and will leave your hair soft and manageable. Most sulfate free clarifying shampoos are frequently free of other chemicals and synthetic fragrances in favor of natural products and scents.

Best Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo Qualities

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing ShampooThe most obvious thing to look for is the front label. Most clarifying shampoos that are sulfate free say so right on the front of the bottle, so it is hard to miss. Even if there is no giant “Sulfate Free” label below the product’s name, it is still quite easy to check whether your shampoo contains them. Simply look in the list of ingredients. If you see Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALS), put the bottle down and move on to the next one. The best clarifying shampoos that have no sulfates in their ingredients list are all natural clarifying shampoos because they contain no harsh chemicals or fragrances either and will be the safest on your hair and scalp.

Availability of Clarifying Shampoos Without Sulfates

Like other shampoos, a clarifying sulfate free shampoo comes in a wide variety of types and brands. There are clarifying shampoos designed to be used for various hair types, including curly, straight, or natural. There are also shampoos for oily hair, moisturizing brands for dry and damaged hair, and a few to help deal with dandruff or thinning. Because there are no stripping sulfates in these products, almost all of these sulfate free clarifying shampoos can be used on color-treated hair. Though some still contain a few cleansers that are synthetic instead of natural as well as fragrances and a few other normal shampoo chemicals, there are also organic, vegan, and all natural sulfate free clarifying shampoos – many of which have not been tested on animals.

How to use a Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo

Rapunzel Hair Growth Clarifying ShampooYou use a sulfate free clarifying shampoo as you would any other clarifying shampoo. They are meant to be used only once or twice a week to rid your hair of product buildup and environmental pollutants that have collected over time. Sulfate free clarifying shampoos are less harsh on your hair even if you are prone to dryness. It is still better to use them less often so your hair doesn’t suffer further damage or find a clarifying shampoo that contains moisturizers or can repair the damage already sustained. Many clarifying shampoos come with clarifying conditioner pairs to add the soft silkiness you want in your hair. Any conditioner can be used with a sulfate free clarifying shampoo for those that require that extra bit of moisture.

Best Clarifying Shampoos on the Market in 2021

Best Budget Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo: Acure Lemongrass & Argan Stem Cell Clarifying Shampoo

Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo - Lemongrass, 8 fl. oz. (Packaging May Vary)

Not only is Acure’s Clarifying shampoo sulfate free, it is also parabensiliconephthalategluten, and synthetic fragrance-free. It has a completely vegan formula, is not tested on animals, is color safe, and is biodegradable. It is not only great for your hair and wallet, but also for the planet. Acure uses Organic Argan Oil and stem cells with the addition of CoQ10 to strengthen your hair and follicles to keep them firmly attached where they belong. The organic Avocado Oil not only keeps your hair moisturized, it also contains Vitamin B12. The Lemongrass in the name is the perfect clarifier, washing away the impurities and leaving your hair supple and clean. This shampoo is great for all hair types and has a matching conditioner available.

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Best Natural Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo: NaturOli Extreme Soap Nut Shampoo

NaturOli, Extreme Hair, Soap Nut Shampoo, Normal to Oily Hair, 16 oz (474 ml)

NaturOli Extreme Soap Nut deeply cleanses your hair, leaving it healthy, hydrated, and free of dulling buildup. This unique Ayurvedic formula is completely organic, using all natural ingredients and botanicals. It is free of sulfates, parabens, GMO, artificial dyes and fragrances, and any other harmful chemicals that may cause damage and dryness to your hair and scalp. It has not been tested on animals and is perfect for those wishing to keep their hair healthy and beautiful while protecting the planet and all the life it contains. NaturOli’s Organic Extreme products are the best natural clarifying shampoos available.

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Best Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo for Thinning Hair: Hair Dance Clarifying Growth Shampoo

Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Growth Shampoo for Thinning Hair and Sensitive Scalp. Gentle to Itchy, Dry Scalp - Natural, Herbal, pH Balanced, No Sulfates or Parabens. Peppermint Scent 8 oz.
Those with thinning hair need safe ingredients to not only help maintain the hair they have but to also improve their growth. This shampoo from Hair Dance does just that. It contains a blend of natural ingredients that help stimulate the follicles so your hair can grow thicker and longer. This will also add the volume you’ve been craving. This clarifying shampoo also gets rid of that nasty buildup, plus it has anti-inflammatory ingredients to reduce dryness and itching. Best of all, as well as being sulfate-free, this shampoo also leaves out the parabens, silicones, and synthetic fragrances for an all-around great product.

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Best Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo for Dry Hair: Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo

Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Shampoo -- 8.5 fl oz

Whether the dryness in your hair comes from over-processing, coloring, or just from working too hard, this Giovanni shampoo can help. It contains a variety of botanical extracts that hydrate your hair, reducing frizz at the same time. Along with this moisture comes the manageability you may have been lacking without it. Plus, it gets rid of all that buildup that may have been weighing down those strands and dulling the shine. This pH balanced shampoo is even safe for color-treated hair, so it won’t strip away your new shade while it cleans out the excess junk.

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Best Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo for Oily Hair: Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo

Lemon Clarifying Shampoo 11 Ounces

With all vegetarian ingredients, 70% of which are certified organic content, Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon shampoo is perfect for deeply cleansing your oily hair without causing any damage. Lemon, Aloe, Chamomile, and other natural ingredients wash away those excess oils and dulling residue, leaving your hair soft and manageable without weighing it down with heavy moisturizers or stripping away any highlights or color treatments. Avalon Organics uses no animal testing and is completely cruelty-free.

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Best Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo for Curly Hair: Kinky Curly Come Clean Clarifying Shampoo

Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo Sulfate Free 8 oz

Kinky Curly is the best natural clarifying shampoo for those dealing with troublesome curls. This shampoo uses a blend of Mandarin Orange extract and Sea Kelp, which rids your hair of the oily buildup sustained from everyday styling as well as the dust and minerals your hair picks up throughout the day. It will also help to moisturize your hair, ridding you of the dryness and split ends your curly hair suffers from. And best of all, it has a luscious fruity scent that comes from its natural fragrances.

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Best Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo for Natural Hair: Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo - 13 oz.

For those with natural hair, dryness seems to come with the territory. And along with dry hair comes a dry scalp, which can lead to itching, dandruff, or worse issues such as eczema and psoriasis. Shea Moisture’s Deep Cleansing shampoo relieves you of all of these hair and scalp issues and removes the buildup of styling products and other pollutants. This sulfate-free product uses natural ingredients, including Plantain Extract, Tea Tree Oil, and Willow Bark Extract to gently cleanse your hair and leave it smooth, supple, and restored to its natural beauty.

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Best Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: Ion Color Defense Clarifying Shampoo

Ion Color Defense Clarifying Shampoo

Specially formulated to keep your color in your hair where it belongs, Ion Color Defense is sulfate and paraben free with a completely vegan formula. This gentle clarifying shampoo is still powerful enough to work deep into the residue and buildup on your scalp and hair, restoring it to its healthiest and most gorgeous state and making your color shine. Though it doesn’t lather as much as you would expect from a shampoo, don’t assume you need a to use more to create that bubbly head of hair. A little goes a long way to achieve the soft, manageable, colored hair you have always wanted.

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Best Overall Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo: Sofn' Free Gro Healthy Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo Sulfate-Free Detox for Natural Hair | Hair Shampoo | Fragrance-Free | Removes Buildup | 12oz - Single

This clarifying shampoo by Sofn’ Free Gro Healthy is gentle on your hair and scalp while it washes away the heavy styling product buildup and impurities from hard water, chlorine, or any other environmental damage. Not only is it free of sulfates, but it also contains no petrolatum, colorants, mineral oil or other harmful chemicals that could damage your hair. Though it will strip away the extra oils and grime, it will leave your hair’s natural moisture intact. Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo is color safe, has a subtle, fresh, lemony scent, and leaves you with a soft head of beautiful, healthy hair.

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Best Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo Final Thoughts

There is a lot of information about sulfates out there, much of it frightening to read, and it is hard to know what the truth is about the safety of sulfates. They do not cause cancer as some would believe, but they are a synthetic product used as much for their impressive lather as for their cleansing abilities. There are so many natural cleansers out there that it is not necessary to assault your hair with harsh ingredients that can cause further dryness and damage  Now that you have read this Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo article, you have all the information you need to decide for yourself whether sulfate free is the best choice for you.

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