8 Sulfate and Paraben free Shampoo Brands

Regular shampoos that you can buy in the supermarket or drugstore are using a variety of chemical additives to achieve the cleaning and care effect. Many of the ingredients, however, are problematic for the human body and for the environment.

Two commonly used chemicals that you find in most conventional shampoos are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and parabens. In this article we put together a list of sls- and paraben-free shampoos.
Maple Holistics Sulfate and Paraben-free shampoo

Sulfates in shampoos

Sulfates are a foaming ingredient found in many cosmetic and cleaning products; look at the ingredient list on your shampoo or toothpaste and you will likely see SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), or ammonium laureth sulfate (ALS).

And because they’re invariably among the first few ingredients, you can tell that they are present in high quantities. Sulfates are used to break up dirt and grease, which is why they are so popular. However, that popularity comes at a price. SLS can make your hair dry and cause skin irritation, and in fact is used for that purpose when testing healing skin products. It’s also not friendly to the environment, as it’s corrosive, pollutes water, and is a pesticide. Not the kind of ingredient you want on your skin!

Fortunately for anyone wishing to avoid SLS and other sulfates, it’s becoming much easier to find sulfate-free shampoos, especially if you look at natural brands. These may replace sulfates with ingredients such as sodium cocosulfate. Sulfate-free shampoos can take some getting used to as they won’t foam as well as your regular brand, so be sure to rinse out the shampoo thoroughly.

What is the function of parabens in Shampoos

Parabens are used primarily as a preservative. They are used in all sorts of water-containing toileteries such as body wash, shower gel, liquid soap, body lotion, and shampoos and conditioners. Their main function ist to make sure that no bacteria contained in the water can develop.

Depending on national legislation there are already strict limits established for some parabens. In some countries including Denmark parabens are completely banned for the use in cosmetics because their effects on the hormonal balance of the human body. They have been even linked to the development breast cancer.

The natural cosmetics manufacturers use essential oils instead of parabens for the preservation of their recipes. In addition, for example, sorbic acid prevents the formation of germs, bacteria and fungi.

Sulfate and Paraben free Shampoo Brands

SLS and Paraben Free Shampoo Brands


Jason manufacture their skincare and haircare products themselves in California, and are a Certified Organic Processor. This means that they have complete control over their products, which are all vegetarian and packaged in biodegradable packaging. The company offers a number of SLS- and paraben-free shampoos and conditioners.


Majestic Pure also produces sulphate-free shampoos and a conditioner. Some are also paraben-free. The products are made using botanical ingredients that are kind to skin and are not tested on animals.

Fundamental Earth

If you’re looking for an American-made SLS-free shampoo, Fundamental Earth is a proud American brand. They offer two shampoos and two conditioners, all of which are free from SLS and SLES. What’s more, the products do not contain parabens or phthalates, and are not tested on animals. Instead, you’ll find organic ingredients.

Pura D’Or

Argan oil is the latest thing in haircare, for its moisturising and anti-aging properties. PURA D’OR use this and other oils to make pure, effective products that deal with typical hair problems like thin hair or flaky scalp. All products are cruelty-free -a common factor with natural brands, and also avoid the use of sulfates, parabens or gluten (people with a gluten problem need to avoid any exposure).

Kiss My Face

Kiss My Face got into the natural market long before many of today’s new brands were even thought of. Ethical and environmental responsibility is a big part of their philosophy. All their shampoos are sulfate and parabenfree, including their kids’ shampoo, and you can also buy conditioner and styling products.


ArtNaturals strives to produce natural, organic, cruelty-free products at affordable prices, as natural products tend to be a lot more expensive than the drugstore alternatives, although quality is always worth paying for. Their argan oil shampoos deal with typical hair dilemmas such as hair loss and dandruff.

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees is a long-established brand famous for its lip balms, but also produces chemical-free shampoos in delicious scents like mango or pomegranate.

Maple Holistic

Maple Holistics backs up its products with a 100% money-back guarantee. Their cruelty-free, sulfate- and paraben free products include shampoo and conditioner. In fact, all products are cruelty-, paraben and sulfate-free.

So if you find that your skin is easily irritated by your shampoo or conditioner, check the ingredients – it’s likely that SLS another sulfate or Parabens are there at the top of the list. Sulfates may create that wonderful foam that makes us feel our soap or shampoo is working, but it’s not always kind to your skin.

In fact, they could be actually harming our skin, as well as the environment. But with more and more brands recognising the impact of chemicals, it’s becoming easier all the time to locate a shampoo that avoids the use of these harsh ingredients, which are even used in car shampoos and other cleaning products. Do you really want them on your delicate skin?

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