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Best Rated Sulfate-Free Shampoos And Conditioners For Color-Treated Hair

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You have gotten your hair colored by your hairstylist but after just a few washes, you feel like your hair color is fading away too quickly. That’s because color-treated hair requires special care to maintain its vibrancy and health. But not just any regular shampoo will do! By using only the best rated sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners for color-treated hair, you are ensuring the longevity of your hair’s color as well as its integrity.

You no longer have to feel like your regular shampoo is stripping away your hair’s shine along with its color! In this post, I will explain all you need to know about sulfate-free products and which are the best -rated, according to your’s truly! So, stay with me here as we begin first by explaining what sulfates really are.

What Are Sulfates & Their Effect On Color Treated Hair

Sulfates, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), are essentially cleansing agents commonly found in many hair care products, including shampoos. They create that satisfying lather we associate with cleansing our hair– They effectively strip away dirt, oil, and product buildup from the hair and scalp, leaving you with that squeaky-clean feeling. While this might sound ideal for maintaining hair cleanliness, sulfates come with a massive downside, especially for those with color-treated hair.

The issue arises when sulfates prove to be too efficient at their job. Along with dirt and excess oil, sulfates also strip away the natural oils and pigments that keep color-treated hair looking vibrant. This can result in premature fading and dullness, diminishing the overall allure of your hair color. Additionally, sulfates may contribute to dryness and irritation, particularly for individuals with sensitive scalps or certain hair conditions.

Close up of female teen's face with colored hair with frustrated expression
Photo by ASphotofamily from ASphotostudio

Now, nobody wants any of that, right? So, what’s the solution? This is where sulfate-free products come to the rescue!

Benefits of Using Sulfate-Free Products

So now that you know what sulfates are and their potential pitfalls, let’s talk a bit about why sulfate-free products are the way to go for maintaining the beauty of color-treated hair. Using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners offers several benefits for color-treated hair so you can say goodbye to faded colors, dryness, and hard water issues.  

1. Retains Hair Color

Imagine stepping out of the salon with a stunning new hair color, only for it to fade faster than you anticipated. This heartbreaking scenario is all too common when sulfates come into play. Fortunately, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners are here to rescue your hair color from premature dullness. By gently cleansing without stripping away natural oils and pigments, these products help maintain the brilliance of your color-treated locks, ensuring your hair remains a vibrant expression of your personality.

2. Prevents Dryness 

Woman with color treated hair wearing denim jacket looking over shoulder with wavy hair
Photo by Elton Botelho from Pexels

Dry, brittle hair can be a source of frustration and discomfort, especially for those with color-treated locks. Sulfate-free products offer a gentle yet effective solution to combat dryness, leaving your hair feeling soft, smooth, and hydrated. By steering clear of harsh sulfates that can strip away essential moisture, these products help retain the natural oils that keep your hair nourished and resilient. Say goodbye to parched strands and hello to a mane that exudes vitality and radiance.

3. Prevents Hard Water Damage

Hard water, characterized by high mineral content, can wreak havoc on your hair, leaving it looking lackluster and feeling weighed down. When combined with sulfates, hard water can exacerbate the negative effects, leading to increased dryness and dullness. Sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners act as a shield against this double whammy, offering a gentle cleansing experience that preserves your hair’s natural beauty. By minimizing exposure to harsh chemicals and minerals, these products help safeguard your locks against the damaging effects of hard water, ensuring they remain soft, silky, and resilient.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Sulfate-Free Shampoos and Conditioners

Whether you’re seeking to preserve your hair color, combat dryness, or simply elevate your hair care routine, selecting the perfect sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner is the first step towards achieving healthy, shiny hair that radiates with beauty. However, navigating this world of sulfate-free hair products can feel overwhelming due to the myriad of options available. Here are a few essential factors to keep in mind to ensure you find the best sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner duo tailored to your hair’s specific needs.  

1. Ingredients To Look For

As you look through the shelves (or online, for that matter) for sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, it’s crucial to pay attention to the ingredients list. Look for nourishing ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, argan oil, and aloe vera, known for their moisturizing and conditioning properties. These natural treasures not only cleanse your hair gently but also provide essential nutrients to keep it looking and feeling its best.

Additionally, opt for products free from harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances, prioritizing formulas that nurture your hair without compromising its health.

Find out how toxic ingredients in shampoos are bad for hair and can cause hair loss.

2. Hair Type Compatibility

Just as each individual is unique, so too are their hair care needs. Whether you have fine, straight hair or thick, curly hair, it’s essential to choose sulfate-free products that cater to your specific hair type.

For those with fine hair, lightweight formulas that won’t weigh down strands are ideal, while individuals with thick or curly hair may benefit from richer, more moisturizing formulas to combat dryness and frizz. Consider your hair’s texture, thickness, and specific concerns when selecting sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners to ensure optimal results.

If you are still confused, read my post on how to find the best shampoo for your hair type.

3. Budget-Friendly Options

Searching for a sulfate-free hair care product doesn’t have to break the bank. While some premium brands may come with a hefty price tag, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available that deliver exceptional results without draining your wallet.

Keep an eye out for sulfate-free products that offer great value for money, providing high-quality ingredients and effective performance at an affordable price point. By prioritizing products that align with your budget, you are well on your sulfate-free hair care journey with confidence, knowing you’re investing in products that deliver results without compromise.

Top 5 Best Rated Sulfate-Free Shampoos and Conditioners

Speaking of investing in effective sulfate-free products, it is now time to see what these are! I have curated a list of top 5 best-rated sulfate free shampoos that you can choose from to get started on your journey to fab-colored-hair. But hey, what’s a great shampoo without an equally fantastic conditioner? This is precisely why I have included both!

These gems below are not only free of sulfates, but they are made from eco-friendly, organic ingredients that are not just gentle on your hair but also keep it nourished and looking its absolute best! I have personally tried, tested, and loved each of these products on the list and am hoping you would too!

So, let’s get started, shall we?

1. Kerotin Freshening Shampoo & Conditioner Duo

Shampoo and Conditioner bottle on green background
Photo by Kerotin

236 ml  (8 fl. oz.)

$43.35 USD  $51   10% OFF

  • smells great!
  • leaves hair feeling full
  • promotes hair growth
  • one size only
  • pricier
  • shedding hair
  • sensitive scalps
  • extending washes

What You Get: 1 Freshening Shampoo 236 ml | 1 Freshening Conditioner 236 ml

Kerotin Freshening Duo is a dual treatment shampoo & conditioner line that is formulated with hair strengthening ingredients like keratin and biotin to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. Kerotin products also contain growth-inducing oils such as rosemary & peppermint oil to unclog and nourish follicles with essential nutrients. 


After using Kerotin’s Freshening Duo, I was blown away with how healthy my hair felt, looked, and smelled! I would highly recommend upgrading to the complete line that comes with the Freshening Mask as that product is just magic for your hair- trust me! A lot of reviewers, including me, will vouch that it leaves hair tangle-free, silky, and oh-so-soft! I just wish the company would come up with other sizes (i.e bigger or even travel-sizes)! 

2. Calia Purifying Beginner Bundle

3 bottles of Calia Natural Products
Photo by Calia Natural

240 ml  (8  fl. oz.)

$31 CAD   $36    $5 OFF

  • mildly scented
  • cruelty-free
  • multiple sizes
  • doesn’t lather as much
  • international shipping delays
  • normal/ oily hair
  • sensitive scalps

What You Get:  1 Purifying Shampoo 240 ml | 1 Purifying Conditioner 240 ml | 1 Purifying Leave-in Conditioner 240 ml

If you are looking to strengthen your hair naturally, get started with Calia’s Purifying formulas made with organic ingredients like spanish rosemary and clary sage. Whether your hair is normal or oily, Calia’s Purifying Shampoo and Conditioner will leave your hair feeling clean and nourished! Calia’s Leave-in Conditioner comes in a spray bottle, making styling your hair easier than before!


Calia’s products are very dear to me as they were the first brand I tried when I ditched the world of sulfates! I absolutely love the shampoo as it leaves my hair feeling clean and not overly stripped. It took a bit getting used to as the shampoo doesn’t lather as much. The conditioner is also great because it doesn’t weigh my hair down like other conditioners! 

Other users also share my views! For example, Francesca Castillo, a reviewer on the website, was so impressed with the effect Calia’s products had on her curly hair that she “wasn’t expecting [her] hair to have so much body, shine, and definition”! Aside from the positive reviews, users have also raved about the company’s excellent customer service!

3. Viori Foundation Bundle (Shampoo & Conditioner Bars)

shampoo and conditioner bars on display against black background
Photo by Viori

90 g  (3.17 oz)

$39 USD  $46    15% OFF

  • equal to three 10 oz bottled shampoo
  • multiple scents
  • free US/CAN shipping
  • none I can think of!
  • all hair types
  • zero-waste living
  • travel

What You Get: 1 Shampoo Bar 90 g | 1 Conditioner Bar 72 g | 2 Bamboo Bar Holders

Once you try Viori’s all-natural shampoo bars, you won’t go back to anything else- trust me! What makes these shampoo bars stand out from the rest is that they are handcrafted with the same Longsheng rice, natural ingredients, and beauty rituals used by the Red Yao tribe for centuries! The brand gives back 5% of their profits back to the people of Red Yao to protect their future! 


Personally, I can’t get enough of how amazing this bundle makes my hair feel! It has improved and repaired my damaged hair and restored it’s natural shine and vitality! I no longer have to worry about faded color with this shampoo bar! 

With over 90K+ glowing reviews, Viori Shampoo & Conditioner Bars are an absolute favorite of many with color-treated hair and the like. The website has countless women showcasing their personal hair transformations from brittle, dry hair to smooth, silky, healthy hair! This is one bundle you just cannot miss!

4. Hair Mayraki Ultra-Repairing & Weightless Moisture Shampoo

Hair Mayraki Sulfate free shampoo bottle with box side by side against white background
Photo by Hair Mayraki

330 ml  (11.16 fl. oz.)

$29.00 USD

  • 8 free samples
  • value for money
  • may or may not need conditioner
  • conditioner not included
  • scent may be overpowering
  • dry, frizzy hair
  • gentle cleansing
  • weightless body

What You Get: 1  Ultra-Repairing Shampoo 330 ml 

Mayraki Ultra Repairing Shampoo is the perfect solution for you if you have dry, frizzy, color-treated hair and are looking to restore your hair’s natural moisture without the harmful sulfates. It is packed with natural ingredients like Ginkgo biloba, aloe, and other nutrient-rich leaf extracts that leave your hair nourished and hydrated! You get a big bottle for the price you pay and you don’t even need a conditioner afterwards!


Verified reviewers on the website have raved about how soft and healthy their hair feels after using Mayraki Ultra Repairing Shampoo. “My hair is the healthiest it has ever been,” says Debra Bates-Lamborn from Kansas, USA. 

5. Just Nutritive Color Care Duo

One bottle of shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair side by side.
Photo by Just Nutritive

473 ml  (16 fl. oz.)

$59.98 USD 

  • 3 free samples
  • lightweight formulas
  • only one size available
  • pricier
  • color-treated hair
  • tangle-free hair

What You Get: 1 Color Care Shampoo 473 ml | 1 Color Care  Conditioner  473 ml

This Duo is truly a gold mine when it comes to preserving color vibrancy for color-treated hair so you can extend the time between salon visits! Compared to popular sulfate-free shampoos that don’t lather as much, a little goes a long way with the Color Care Shampoo! The shampoo seals in color, providing nutrient-rich ingredients that repair hair, while the lightweight conditioner restores hydration and improves manageability. 


The Color Care Duo gets all the love it deserves from women all over the world and with all types of hair! “My curls have more body & my scalp feels good”, says Beth Robinson, a verified reviewer. Another reviewer says, she “has been using the conditioner for over 12 years” now! Personally, I love the duo especially because it smells great and makes my hair’s color last longer, without weighing it down. 

How to Properly Use Sulfate-Free Shampoos and Conditioners

The way you wash your hair can make a world of difference in maintaining its health and beauty. When using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, it’s important to approach the washing process with care and gentleness. 

Washing Technique

Start by wetting your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water to open the hair cuticles and allow for better product penetration. Next, apply a small amount of sulfate-free shampoo to your palms and gently massage it into your scalp using circular motions. Avoid vigorously scrubbing your hair, as this can lead to tangling and damage. Instead, focus on massaging the scalp to remove dirt and buildup while allowing the shampoo to cleanse your strands without stripping away essential oils.

After rinsing out the shampoo, follow up with a sulfate-free conditioner to replenish moisture and nourish your locks. Apply the conditioner evenly from mid-length to the ends of your hair, avoiding the scalp to prevent excess buildup. Allow the conditioner to sit for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly with cool water to seal the hair cuticles and lock in moisture.

Remember, less is more when it comes to sulfate-free products, so use only a small amount to avoid weighing down your hair.

Frequency of Use

Determining how often to wash your hair with sulfate-free products depends on various factors, including your hair type, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Unlike traditional shampoos that may require daily washing to combat oiliness, sulfate-free shampoos offer a gentler cleansing experience that allows you to extend the time between washes.

For color-treated hair, it’s generally recommended to wash your hair every 2-3 days to prevent stripping away the natural oils and pigments that keep your color looking fresh. However, this frequency can vary depending on your individual hair needs and lifestyle factors. If you lead an active lifestyle or have particularly oily hair, you may need to wash more frequently to keep your hair looking and feeling their best.

Ultimately, listen to your hair and adjust your washing frequency accordingly. Pay attention to how your hair responds to different washing routines and tailor your regimen to meet their unique needs. By finding the perfect balance between cleansing and nourishing, you can ensure your color-treated hair remains healthy, radiant, and full of life.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are some common FAQs you may have about choosing the best sulfate free shampoos and conditioners for your colored-treated hair.

Yes, sulfate-free products are suitable for various hair types, including fine, thick, curly, and straight hair.

Absolutely! While sulfate-free formulas may not lather as much, they still effectively cleanse the hair without stripping away natural oils, leaving it clean and nourished.

Yes, sulfate-free products help preserve hair color by maintaining the integrity of the hair shaft and preventing premature color loss.

While some sulfate-free products may be slightly more expensive, there are budget-friendly options available without compromising quality.

Say Hello To Sulfate-Free Shampoos For Your Hair

So there you have it! You now know the best rated sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners for colored-treated hair and how to choose them! They are definitely like your hair’s best friends, keeping it looking radiant and healthy. They’re also like a secret weapon against dullness and damage, helping your hair stay shiny and full of color for longer. Just like it should!

Throughout this post, I have talked about how sulfate-free hair care products can help your hair keep its color and stay hydrated. I have also discussed the best ways to use these products, so you can get the most out of them without overdoing it.

Now, it’s time to take action! Try out the sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners I’ve recommended in this article. Treat your hair to some TLC and watch it transform into the vibrant, head-turning mane you’ve always wanted. 

So what are you waiting for? Give your hair the love it deserves and say hello to a whole new level of lasting gorgeousness!

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Hair-enthusiast turned blogger helping women achieve their hair goals with natural and sustainable haircare methods.

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Sasha's Bio
hi, I'm Sasha

Covid-19 changed not just the world but my hair too. Unfortunately, for the worse.

As I struggled to try everything under the sun to tame my mane (while being in lockdown), I noticed that natural remedies were most effective!

Here I am now,  sharing my tried & tested haircare methods to help women who are in the same boat as me.

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