The Best Sulphate-Free Shampoos To Suit Your Every Need

Lock in moisture and colour, without the damage.

By ELLE + Herbal Essences
Getting that luxuriously foamy feel when washing our hair makes us feel extra clean.
But sometimes, the lathering agents—called sulphates—in our products can actually cause our hair more harm than good.
That's because the chemicals are super-effective cleansers, stripping away dirt, oil and excess styling products from our hair. And while perfectly fine to use, some hair types may benefit from a gentler, sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner when it comes to their daily routine.
Useful for retaining moisture and disrupting the surface of your strands as little as possible, going sulphate-free is best for those with chemically or colour-treated hair to extend the life of that salon-fresh finish, or those with dry, damaged or frizz-prone hair for an extra hit of nourishment.
Products free from sulphates can help lock in moisture and colour, while minimising irritation for sensitive scalps. Here, we round up our picks of the best sulphate-free shampoos to suit your hair's needs, whatever they may be.

The Best Sulphate-Free Shampoo For Extra Nourishment

Herbal Essences Sulphate-Free Potent Aloe & Avocado Oil Shampoo, $20 from Chemist Warehouse
Designed to gently cleanse and intensely nourish hair, Herbal Essences Sulphate-Free Potent Aloe & Avocado Oil Shampoo contains six times more† Pure Aloe as well as real avocado oil for gentle, creamy formula.
The range (which also features an ultra-nourishing conditioner) combines real botanicals—endorsed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew—healthy antioxidants and intoxicating fragrances to leave hair looking, feeling and smelling amazing. Perfect for use on coloured hair and one of the best shampoos for damaged hair, naturally derived Aloe Vera from Mexico is rich in vitamins, polysaccharides and essential moisture, and works to help protect hair from damage, while avocado oil moisturises and protects hair, while soothing the scalp for 1.5 times more nourishment§.

The Best Sulphate-Free Shampoo For Colour-Treated Hair

Color Wow Color Security Shampoo, $53, from Sephora
For a "dream clean", this sulphate-free shampoo has been crafted to keep hair colour bright and glossy, taking strands back to their soft, shiny and manageable best. With the sulphate-free status leaving hair without a residue post-clean, it's also suitable for use by those with hair extensions, leaving them looking fresh and healthy.

The Best Sulphate-Free Shampoo For Damaged Hair

JVN Undamage Strengthening Shampoo, $32, from Sephora
From Queer Eye's iconic Jonathan Van Ness, this reparative sulphate-free shampoo cleanses, conditions and fortifies damaged, delicate and over-processed hair. Squalane and Hemi-squaline help lock in moisture and shine, while improving hair health and strength immediately and over time.

The Best Sulphate-Free Shampoo For Curly Hair

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Shampoo, $42, from Mecca
Fortified with rice amino acids, this sulphate-free shampoo seals the hair cuticle and locks out frizz-causing humidity, making it perfect for those with curly hair. Tomato fruit ferment enhances moisture retention for uniform curl formation, as ultra-hydrating shea butter and avocado oil soften curls without weighing them down.

The Best Sulphate-Free Shampoo For Fine Hair

Ouai Fine Hair Shampoo, $46, from Sephora
This thickening, sulphate-free shampoo promises to leave fine hair stronger, cleaner and full of life, thanks to a combination of strengthening keratin, biotin and nourishing chia seed oil. Plus, the colour-safe shampoo leaves hair with an outspoken fragrance, with notes of Italian lemon, Turkish rose, jasmine sambac, iris, lily and white musk.

The Best Sulphate-Free Shampoo For Added Volume

Philip B. Weightless Volumizing Shampoo, $54, from Mecca
The ultimate deep-clean, this shampoo is formulated with technically advanced micellar molecules that break down dirt and debris without stripping hair of essential moisture. Hair is gently and naturally lifted at the roots, with fine strands plumped with weightless botanical moisture for extra body and added lushness.

The Best Sulphate-Free Shampoo For Extra Shine

Oribe Shampoo for Brilliance & Shine, $72, from Mecca
The ultimate in illumination, this shampoo leaves hair luxuriously moisturised with a high-shine finish. Oribe's signature complex (watermelon, lychee and edelweiss flower) defends hair from oxidative stress while protecting from the drying, damaging and colour-depleting effects of the elements, while sweet almond protein and sunflower seed extract nourish and enhance the optimal level of shine.
Brought to you by Herbal Essences.
† Than the base Bio:Renew range
§ when both shampoo and conditioner are used together