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If you’re hair conscious, you’ve probably found yourself scouring the aisles of your favorite beauty stores for the best sulfate-free shampoos. Over the last couple of years, it seems like there has been an all-out war against sulfates and shampoos containing them. But what are sulfates, and should you be using a sulfate-free shampoo? Let’s break it down.
What are sulfates?
Simply put, sulfates are the detergents found in your shampoos that clean your hair and produce those beloved suds with every wash. Most commonly found in hair care products as sodium lauryl sulfate, triethanolamine lauryl sulfate, and ammonium lauryl sulfate, they have been used to clean hair for decades thanks to their powerful cleansing efficiency. So, what’s all the hubbub about sulfates?
Sulfate-Free Shampoo Benefits
While sulfates are effective cleansers, for most people, they can be too effective. Yes, they cleanse your hair, but sulfates also tend to strip the hair of necessary essential oils and keratin, a big no-no for those with curly hair and natural hair. Sulfates can also lead to dry, itchy scalps and, in the worst cases, hair loss. Because thinning hair and dry skin are a natural part of the aging process, this is all the more reason why women over 50 should opt for a sulfate-free shampoo. Made with gentler cleansers and more natural, hydrating ingredients, forgoing the foam in favor of a sulfate-free option may just be the best thing you do for your hair as you mature.
Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Women Over 50
Whether your hair is dry or oily, curly or flat, all hair types could benefit from a good sulfate-free shampoo. Unsure where to start? Keep scrolling for the 16 best sulfate-free shampoos for women over 50 that’ll cleanse your hair without stripping it in the process.
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Best Sulfate Free Shampoo For Women Over 50
1. Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Women
For the finest sulfate-free hair care around, there's one product that's at the top of many women's lists and that's Carol's Daughter Monoi Sulfate-free Shampoo. Gentle enough for even the most damaged, distressed, and brittle hair, this shampoo is infused with strand-strengthening monoi oil and detangling hibiscus extract. Fortifying and made only with "good for you" ingredients, this shampoo is safe for all hair types thanks to its sulfate, petrolatum, mineral oil, and artificial color-free formula. With an almost five-star rating, it's clear this shampoo walks the walk, with one buyer raving, "My hair is fine and thin. Always has been. This shampoo is a delight. Leaves my hair looking fuller. I love it. A tiny bit goes a long way so it will last a long time. Believe me, I have, with high hopes, purchased many shampoos and wound up flushing them down the toilet in disgust. This one is a keeper."
Where to buy: $19, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Thickening Shampoo For Women Over 50
2. Best Thickening Sulfate-Free Thickening for Women
Due in part to the natural aging process, thinning hair is something that we'll all face at one point or another. However, with a good thickening shampoo in your arsenal, you can nip hair loss right in the bud. For the ultimate sulfate-free thickening shampoo, pick up a bottle of Good Lab's Thickening & Blooming Shampoo. Crafted with only the finest, all-natural ingredients, this shampoo tackles DHT (also known as the hair-loss hormone) with natural DHT blockers like nettle leaf, pumpkin seed oil, biotin, and saw palmetto berry. Complete with a combination of circulation-boosting peptides and hydrating ingredients like argan oil and vitamin E, this is a hard shampoo to beat.
Where to buy: $25, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Argan Oil Shampoo For Women Over 50
3. Best Sulfate-Free Argan Oil Shampoo for Women
Speaking of argan oil, for those seeking a shampoo with a rich base in a beloved emollient, try Maple Holistic's Argan Oil Shampoo. While argan oil is at the heart of this shampoo, this suds-free cleanser uses a total blend of six of the most effective oils for optimal hair and scalp health, including jojoba, avocado, and peach kernel oils. Free of any unnecessary additives, this vitamin-rich shampoo is one of the quickest ways to strengthen and hydrate your hair.
Where to buy: $10.95, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Drugstore Shampoo For Women Over 50
4. Best Sulfate-Free Drugstore Shampoo for Women
For an option you can pick up on your next drugstore excursion, look no further than Aveeno's Active Naturals Pure Renewal Sulfate-Free Shampoo. One of the newer shampoos on this list, it's quickly developed a devoted fan base thanks to its affordability and effectiveness. With an emphasis on cleansing without stripping, this shampoo uses a patented Active Naturals seaweed extract to simultaneously cleanse and hydrate hair. Buyer Amanda called this shampoo her "new favorite" saying, "I purchased this shampoo because I wanted something sulfate free with a subtle fragrance (which is surprisingly hard to find!). I have been using this shampoo for a little over a week and I am very pleased. It smells great and leaves my hair feeling soft and hydrated without being weighed down or greasy. I blow dry my hair almost everyday and I feel like this shampoo does a great job of keeping my hair hydrated regardless of the heat styling tools I am using."
Where to buy: $11.34, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Moisturizing Shampoo For Dry Hair Women Over 50
5. Best Moisturizing Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Dry Hair
One of the most common hair concerns for women over 50 is dry hair. As we mature, our skin naturally produces less oil which, over time, can lead to dry hair, making a good sulfate-free hydrating shampoo a must-have product. One of our favorites is the Macadamia Natural Oil Moisturizing Rinse. Using a blend of macadamia and argan oils, this shampoo delivers omega-3, omega-5, omega-7, and omega-9 to the hair, providing it with the deep, penetrating nourishment it needs — without any ingredients it doesn't.
Where to buy: $12.99, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo For Oily Hair Women Over 50
6. Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Oily Hair
Oily hair got you feeling down? Pick up a bottle of Honeydew's Shampoo for Oily Hair. Made with a concentrated blend of essential oils like lavender, evening primrose, and rosemary, this shampoo gets down to the root cause of oily hair — the roots! Excessive oil production is a sign of severely dry hair, so this shampoo works hard to penetrate the scalp, soothing and nourishing the hair and follicle for a more balanced scalp. And with an added boost of hydrating argan oil, jojoba oil, and botanical keratin, softer, healthier hair awaits you.
Where to buy: $16.10, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Volumizing Shampoo For Women Over 50
7. Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Flat, Fine Hair
For a little more oomph to your hair, Living Proof's Full Shampoo is the shampoo you've been looking for. Ideal for naturally fine, flat hair types, this gentle sulfate-free cleanser penetrates deep to the root for one of the most thorough cleans around. Thanks to its patented Healthy Hair Molecule, not only does this shampoo deep clean, it also creates a protective barrier around hair follicles, repelling dirt and debris for cleaner, fuller hair longer than your regular shampoo.
Where to buy: $21.98, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo For Frizzy Hair Women Over 50
8. Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Frizzy Hair
For the ultimate sulfate-free frizz-fighter, look no further than R+Co's Television Perfect Hair Shampoo. If you covet the smooth locks of those actresses who grace the small screen, this shampoo is the one for you. Made to strengthen, soften, and smooth hair, this shampoo uses juniper berry extract to balance and moisturize the scalp, glycerin to lock in moisture, and babassu seed oil to deep condition for camera-ready hair no matter where your day may find you.
Where to buy: $30, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo For Curly Hair Women Over 50
9. Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Curly Hair
Because sulfate-free shampoos are especially beneficial to curlier hair types, there are many sulfate-free shampoos for curly hair on the market today. One that we particualrly love is Briogeo's Curl Charisma™ Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Shampoo. This three-in-one formula has three main purposes: curl definition, moisture retention, and ridding all curl types of pesky flyaways. Deep-cleansing and frizz-fighting, this shampoo is great at removing dirt and buildup without stripping curls of their much-needed natural oils.
Where to buy: $24, Sephora
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo For Natural Hair Women Over 50
10. Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Natural Hair
For our natural ladies out there, sulfate-free shampoo is likely already a staple in your showers. But if you're looking for a new shampoo to try, give ORS Curls Unleashed Sulfate Free Shampoo a go. Gentle and great at detangling even the tightest coils, this shampoo is infused with rosemary and coconut, which are known for their hair growing and moisturizing properties, respectively. Dye, aluminum, and paraben-free, this is a great option to add to your natural routine today.
Where to buy: $12.99, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo For Color Treated Hair Women Over 50
11. Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair
Looking for the best color-safe sulfate-free shampoo? Beloved for millions of women, the Ongaro Organic Daily Shampoo is the easiest, suds-free way to keep your hair color bright and vibrant. Made with organic aloe vera, probiotics, plant stem cells, peptides, and vitamin E, this natural shampoo gently cleanses for shiny, thicker hair that never comes in touch with any harmful ingredients. For healthy, more manageable hair, add this shampoo to your routine today.
Where to buy: $19.95, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Purple Shampoo For Women Over 50
12. Best Sulfate-Free Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair
For those looking for a sulfate-free way to maintain their blonde locks, Pravana's The Perfect Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo is here to help. Blonde hair can be hard on the integrity of hair to begin with, so drying it out further with unnecessary sulfates is a big no-no. Utilizing a special dye to tone hair without sulfates, this shampoo carefully cleanses blonde hair, softening and brightening blonde, silver, and highlighted hair. With the added benefits of keratin, wheat, and silk amino acids, say goodbye to brittle, brassy hair and hello the perfect blonde.
Where to buy: $14.89, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Loreal Shampoo For Women Over 50
13. Best Sulfate-Free L'Oreal Shampoo for Women
One of the first brands to make a splash in the sulfate-free movement was none other than L'Oreal. A favorite of millions, the L'Oréal Paris EverCreme Sulfate Free Deep Nourish Shampoo is one of the easiest (and most affordable) ways to treat your hair to a nourishing and sulfate-free cleanse. A savior for dry hair, this shampoo uses L'Oreal's EverCreme Deep Nourish system with apricot oil to gently cleanse dry, brittle hair, adding much needed moisture for silky-soft hair that isn't weighed down.
Where to buy: $5.16, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Dandruff Shampoo For Women Over 50
14. Best Sulfate-Free Dandruff Shampoo for Women
If dandruff's your biggest hair concern, Maple Holistic's Tea Tree Oil Shampoo is here to help. Well known for its anti-bacterial properties, as well as its effectiveness in treating dandruff, tea tree oil is one of the most universally beloved essential oils out there. This shampoo treats the scalp with a healthy dose of tea tree oil, soothing itchy scalps and eliminating flakes while promoting hair growth and hydrating for an all-around healthier scalp.
Where to buy: $10.45, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo For Women Over 50
15. Best Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo for Women
For the hairspray and dry-shampoo lovers out there, a clarifying shampoo is an essential part of any healthy hair-care routine. Designed to clear the scalp of any excess buildup of products or oils, Botanic Hearth Activated Charcoal Shampoo will help you get rid of any residue you couldn't otherwise get rid of. Safe for all hair types, this shampoo cuts through dirt and build-up, restoring hair and doing away with unsightly, greasy locks. Thanks to its powerful blend of activated charcoal and nourishing oils like argan and camellia, you'll get the clean you're looking for in no time.
Where to buy: $18.50, Amazon
Best Sulfate Free Organic Shampoo For Women Over 50
16. Best Organic Sulfate-Free Shampoo & Conditioner for Women
For those looking for an organic option, you can't go wrong with Earth Vibes Organic Natural Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner Set. Super gentle and formulated with 100-percent pure argan, jojoba, and coconut oils, this set can do it all. From repairing split ends and controlling frizz to adding shine and replenishing moisture, this duo is a must-try for anyone looking for sulfate-free natural hair care.
Where to buy: $17.95, Amazon