The 9 Best Sulfate Free Shampoos And Conditioners For Fine Hair

Ashley Batz / Bustle

Sulfates have been taking a lot of flak from the beauty world lately, and with good reason. Using products that contain sulfates on fine or fragile hair can have damaging effects, so thinner hair textures can really benefit from sticking to the best sulfate free shampoos and conditioners for fine hair. "Sulfates" are more than just another buzzword, and these harsh, sulfur-based detergents show up in the ingredient lists of a lot of shampoos, body washes, and face cleansers — just about anything you wash yourself with, really.

When it comes to identifying them on your shampoo bottle, it's important to know that they come in many forms — the most common being Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). The reason they were added to many shampoos in the first place is that they produce a rich, foamy lather and help you to get that "squeaky clean" feeling that people now associate with great hygiene.

But, the problem with sulfates is that, in addition to removing dirt and excess oil, they can also strip your hair of its natural oils, anti-microbial peptides, proteins, bacterial flora, and vital moisture. This can lead to frizz, follicle stress, static, and, in some cases, extreme scalp irritation. For fine hair, this means tons of breakage and a lot of damage.

That being said, there are now quite a few awesome sulfate free shampoos and conditioners made specifically for fine hair. These nine will make your hair soft and clean without putting unnecessary stress on your scalp and follicles.

1. This Strengthening Duo To Reinforce Fine Hair


L'Oreal Paris EverStrong Thickening Shampoo + Conditioner, $18, Amazon

This shampoos and conditioner set from L'Oreal Paris features an amino acid complex which helps to strengthen hair, minimizing future to damage. The shampoo won't strip your hair, and the conditioner won't weigh it down either — which means more volume and body.

2. This Caffeinated Shampoo For Thinning Hair

Biotin+ Caffeinated Shampoo, $27, Amazon

If your hair is thinning, reviewers say that this Biotin+ Caffeinated Shampoo works wonders. It stimulates the scalp with biotin and caffeine while strengthening strands with argan oil and nettle extract. The ingredient list is short and sweet, comprised of seven pronounceable ingredients — none of which are sulfates.

3. This Sulfate-Free Set With Tons Of Glowing Reviews


Art Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner, $25, Amazon

Argan oil is an incredible moisturizer for thin hair, because it's considered a "dry oil" — which means it absorbs quickly and doesn't make your hair feel greasy. It's also loaded with nutrients for damaged hair. The Art Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner set cleanses hair gently and effectively, without stripping color or protective oils, and adds body and shine. "My hair is fine and very thin," says one reviewer. "It does not weigh it down."

4. This Light Conditioner That Contains Seaweed Extract


Aveeno Pure Renewal Conditioner (Pack of 2), $12, Amazon

Aveeno is a brand known for incorporating gentle botanical ingredients into their formulas, and their Pure Renewal Conditioner does just that. It's formulated with seaweed extract which helps to rebalance hair's natural moisture levels. And, it's gentle enough to use on color treated hair without making your color fade sooner.

5. This Weightless Shampoo That Helps Pump Up The Volume


Winsome & Wisdom BigWig Volumizing Shampoo, $17, Amazon

The Winsome & Wisdom BigWig Volumizing Shampoo uses vitamins, fatty acids, and botanical extracts to help build weightless volume and body. It cleanses the scalp without sulfates, and has a pleasant, light smell — like chamomile tea.

6. This Activated Charcoal Option That Helps With Everything From Excess Oil To Dandruff


Apotheke Charcoal Shampoo, $24, Amazon

This Apotheke Sulfate Free Charcoal Shampoo is made with actual activated charcoal powder, which is an extremely absorbent ingredient that works especially well for thin, oily hair. That being said, it's also got essential oils and nut butters that keep the scalp healthy and hydrated, so it works well for flakes, as well. "This feels great and smells great!" says one reviewer. "Seems to be helping with the dandruff problem, too."

7. This Set With Lightweight Essential Oils To Cleanse And Nourish At The Same Time


Sulfate Free Shampoo And Tea Tree Oil Conditioner Set, $20, Amazon

Made with sage and tea tree, this Maple Holistics Shampoo Conditioner Set is free of sulfates, but loaded with nourishment. It's good for any type of hair, because it uses lightweight essential oils to cleanse and hydrate the scalp, and it's formulated with amino acids, keratin, and vitamin b5 to help prevent further damage to your hair. "I have had scalp dermatitis since I can remember," says one reviewer. "This shampoo is now a permanent member of my shampoo routine. It does not strip or dry out my hair. The scent is clean and fresh."

8. A Volumizing Conditioner For Thin/Fine Hair That's EWG-Verified


Attitude Natural Conditioner, $15, Amazon

This natural conditioner from Attitude is formulated specifically for thin hair. The formula includes soy protein, cranberry extracts, and moringa seed extract to build body and fullness while controlling frizz with tons of hydration. It's also super effective at cleansing oily scalps without sacrificing hair's overall look and feel. One reviewer writes, "Worked well for my thin hair and didn't make it greasy," while another agrees: "Beautiful shine and hair actually feels thicker. Not heavy!!! Hair bounces."

9. This Hydrating Set That's Also Free Of Parabens, Phthalates, & Sodium Chloride


Luxe Organix Rejuvenating Argan Oil Shampoo And Conditioner, $34, Amazon

Another great option that uses argan oil to nourish, the Luxe Organix Rejuvenating Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner set is free of parabens, phthalates, and sodium chloride. The lightweight formulas make strands soft and manageable, without weighing them down. "I searched for a shampoo & conditioner with no mineral oil or glycerin, wax, alcohols, sulfates, parabens, or phthalates and this is the only one I could find that checks all those boxes," says one reviewer.

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