Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Damaged Hair

Damaged hair with split ends


  • How Shampooing Can Damage Your Hair
  • How to Minimize Damage due to Shampooing
  • Keratin Shampoos for Damaged Hair
  • Sulfate-Free Shampoo Brands for Damaged Hair

How Shampooing Can Damage Your Hair

The most common causes of hair damage include chemical processing, thermal styling, mechanical manipulation, sun exposure, and harsh shampoos. Excessive shampooing can damage the keratin in the outer layer of your hair, leading to dry, porous, and frizzy hair. Also, harsh sulfate-containing shampoos can strip the natural oils from your hair. Studies have shown that just one shampooing process can remove about 50% of the total lipid content in the hair.

Hair shampoos with improper pH levels can damage your hair too: A pH level over 5.5 opens the cuticle and increases friction between hair fibers, causing hair tangling, frizz, and breakage, and possibly scalp irritation. A pH level of less than 3.67 may cause hair to become hard and rough. Unfortunately, the pH value is not always listed on the label.

How to Minimize Damage due to Shampooing

  1. Try to refrain from shampooing your hair every day, which can dry out your scalp and hair.
  2. Avoid shampoo formulas that use harsh sulfate-based detergents, such as sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate as they can strip the hair of its natural oils. You want mild cleansing agents to avoid stripping the protective layer of oils and prevent scalp irritation.
  3. Only use pH balanced shampoos (4.5-5.5) to keep the cuticle closed and prevent your hair’s natural moisture from escaping.
  4. Gently massage shampoo into your scalp with soft, circular movements using the pads of your fingertips to avoid tangling your hair with aggressive shampooing.
  5. Rinse hair thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo from your hair and avoid product buildup.
  6. Use conditioner to improve the ease of combing and to make your hair soft and silky. A good rinse-out conditioner will reduce damage to the outer layer of the hair from harsh shampoos and replenish some of the oils that have been stripped by shampooing.
  7. Avoid rinsing your hair with hot water because this can strips hair of its natural oils and speed up color fading.

Keratin Enriched Shampoos for Damaged Hair

Hair shampoos infused with hydrolyzed keratin (amino acids) help replenish the lost protein in your hair, improving its structure and appearance. Keratin-enriched shampoos can make weak, lifeless, and over-processed hair stronger, softer, and shinier. 

The following is a list of sulfate-free shampoos enriched with keratin, formulated to repair damaged hair and temporarily straighten it. With continuous use, your hair also may become fuller and more manageable. 

Suggested Shampoos for Damaged Hair:

1) Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo

This sulfate-free formula provides deep cleansing without over-stripping your hair and scalp. It also infuses dry and brittle hair with moisture without weighing it down. This hair shampoo helps reduce color fading and keeps chemically treated hair feeling soft, nourished, and shiny.

The formula uses KeraTriplex, an exclusive blend of isolated proteins that repairs and strengthens brittle and damaged hair. The Awapuhi extract helps maintain optimal moisture levels and enhances shine and manageability. A refreshing ginger aroma lingers throughout the day.

This shampoo is gentle enough for everyday use and is especially suitable for damaged and overprocessed hair that tends to break easily. 

2) Mill Creek Botanicals Keratin Shampoo

This is a modestly-priced, natural, keratin-infused hair shampoo. The formula is free of sulfates, parabens, salt, gluten, and synthetic fragrances.

This shampoo helps to renew the inner strength of the hair and improve its elasticity. It smooths and protects damaged strands, leaving your hair healthier, softer, and easier to style.

The ingredients that help repair damaged hair include hydrolyzed keratin, argan oil, and nutrient-rich botanical extracts.

3) Moisturizing Shampoo for Dry Damaged Hair by Maple Holistics

This intense hydrating shampoo helps to revitalize dry, damaged hair and restore a smooth and silky look. The formula uses a blend of fruit oils and botanical extracts to nourish and moisturize your scalp, tame frizzy hair, and boost volume and luster.


Sesame, sunflower, and jojoba oils moisturize and revitalize your scalp and remove flakes and dandruff to stimulate hair follicles and support hair growth.

Keratin, avocado, and peach kernel help to repair your hair from the inside and prevent breakage and split ends.

4) Briogeo – Don’t Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo

This natural shampoo with a refreshing citrus scent offers gentle cleansing and intense hydration. The formula is free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, DEA, and gluten.

Ingredients that help bring your hair back to life:

  1. Lightweight rosehip oil helps balance hair hydration and tame frizz.
  2. Biotin works to improve the structure of weak strands from the inside.
  3. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein optimizes moisture level, lubricates hair fibers, and strengthens the cuticle.
  4. The ingredient list also includes moisture-boosting panthenol, nourishing algae extracts, and shea butter with potent moisture-retention capability.

This shampoo is especially suitable for individuals with dry, damaged hair, and is safe for use on colored, relaxed, and keratin-treated hair. The absence of silicones makes it suitable for lifting fine and lifeless hair. It also helps moisturize and soothe dry scalps.

5) Logona Repair Shampoo for Dry and Damaged Hair

This 100% natural shampoo helps repair dry and damaged hair, making it manageable, soft, and shiny. It contains the following ingredients that put the life back into damaged hair:

  1. Vegetable-based surfactants provide gentle cleansing, making this shampoo suitable for daily use.
  2. Hydrolyzed silk increases moisture retention, improves elasticity, and adds luster and manageability to your hair.
  3. Ginkgo extract helps improve blood circulation and enhances follicle activity, lowering the risk of losing your hair.
  4. Calendula extract helps fight dandruff, avoid dry scalp, and stimulates healthy hair growth.
Medical Disclaimer

1 thought on “Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Damaged Hair”

  1. I started buying Maple Holistics tea tree shampoo and it helped me out a lot, I only use sulfate-free shampoo now.

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