From L'Oréal Paris to Beauty Works & beyond, find the best sulphate-free shampoo for your hair type

Everyone’s on the hunt for healthy, hydrated locks, no matter their hair type. From conditioners to serums, locking in moisture is an essential step in your haircare routine. But did you know your shampoo can also affect your hair health?

Choosing a shampoo that’s right for you and your hair is vital when maintaining those luscious locks. Most of us look for formulas with natural, nourishing ingredients that smooth and strengthen hair, but it’s also important to check what’s not in your shampoo.

Sulphate-free shampoo offers the perfect gentle cleanse. You can protect your hair whether it's dry or damaged, you want to maintain your brand-new vivid colour or you're caring for sensitive skin. Looking to get started? We've round up our top ten sulphate-free saviours so you can get shopping.

What are sulphates?

There are two different types of sulphates commonly used in shampoos – sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES). They work well to sweep away dirt, oil and product build-up in the hair by creating a luxurious lather that washes hair straight down the plug hole.

Sulphates have been a key ingredient in most shampoos for years, but recently we've seen a growing number of 'natural' alternatives hitting the shelves, and plenty of experts advising us to skip the sulphates in order to achieve healthier, stronger and shinier hair.

Sulphates strip away dirt and oils from your hair, giving it that squeaky-clean feeling, but in doing so they also wash away the natural moisture and oils your hair needs to stay healthy. For coloured hair, sulphates can cause the dye to fade away quicker, and hair extensions may be damaged by sulphates too.

Shampoos formulated with sulphates can be extremely drying for some hair types – particularly wavy, curly or coily hair – meaning no moisture… and no curl pattern! Sulphates can even cause irritation for those with sensitive skin.

What is sulphate-free shampoo?

Sulphate-free shampoo doesn’t contain sulphates and instead offers a gentler cleanse by emulsifying or breaking down the dirt and oil in your hair. This helps to preserve the hair’s natural oils, maintaining hydration for ultimate hair health and quenched curls.

While sulphate-free shampoos are known for many benefits (reduced frizz, irritation-free skin, softer hair and healthy curls), they also tend to lather less than regular shampoos. However, formulas have come a long way over the last couple of years and plenty of the ones included in this round-up lather just as well – if not better – than regular shampoos.

If you’re looking to ditch sulphates from your haircare routine, there are so many options out there. Each comes with its own set of benefits – while some tackle frizz or preserve coloured hair, others are made to smooth, strengthen or add volume. Many brands, some renowned in the beauty world and others newer on the market, have tapped into the need for sulphate-free shampoo, including L’Oréal Paris, Function of Beauty and many more.

What are the benefits of sulphate-free shampoo?

When used in regular, everyday shampoo, sulphates leave you with a deliciously foamy lather, which can make a product effective at thoroughly cleaning the hair. So, if you’re a fan of hair styling products like hairspray, hair gel and dry shampoo, then incorporating a sulphate could actually be beneficial for removing product build-up on your scalp.

That said, if you're finding that your hair feels a tad dry – or that your hair colour isn't lasting for very long – then you might want to consider switching to one of the best sulphate-free shampoos.

If you’re having problems with your regular shampoo, switching to a sulphate-free shampoo can come with a whole host of benefits, helping to strengthen, hydrate and boost your bounce.

10 of the best sulphate-free shampoos available at Boots

Whether you’re looking for quenched curls, hydrated hair or just a gentle cleanse, we have the best sulphate-free shampoos for you to try. Here are our top ten picks for all hair types.

Shop our range for more sulphate-free shampoos.

Try: L'Oréal Paris Elvive Bond Repair Shampoo

• Size: 200ml

• Up to 92% less breakage*

• Up to 90% more shine*

• Up to 82% stronger hair*

•  Suitable for all types of damaged hair

Say farewell frizz when you step up your routine with the NEW L’Oréal Paris Elvive Bond Repair Shampoo. Powered by citric acid complex, rebuild hair bonds from the inside out to restore your tresses to their former glory. Our recommendation? Refresh your routine with the whole Bond Repair range.

*instrumental test on Pre-Shampoo Treatment + Shampoo + Conditioner

Try: Umberto Giannini Thirsty Curls Hydrating Shampoo

• Size: 250ml

• Up to 72-hour hydration

• For waves, curls and coils

It’s moisture-loving. It’s frizz-banishing. It’s intensely hydrating. The Umberto Giannini triple hydration complex of hyaluronic acid, snow mushroom and black oat (yes, yes, and yes) will drench your hair with moisture from root to tip for long-lasting quenched curls. Aaaah…

Try: OGX Thick & Full + Biotin & Collagen pH Balanced Shampoo

• Size: 385ml

• Formulated with biotin and collagen

Less frizz? Check. More shine? Check. Pump up the volume with this pH balanced shampoo packed with a blend of nourishing ingredients for stronger, thicker and healthier-looking hair. Remember to follow up with the OGX Thick & Full + Biotin & Collagen Conditioner for salon-level smooth and shine.

Try: Bumble and Bumble Curl Moisturising Shampoo

• Size: 1000ml

• Non-stripping

• Colour-safe

• Suitable for all hair types

Give your locks a curl-loving cleanse with this ultra-moisturising Bumble and Bumble shampoo, filled to the brim with luxurious oils and butters (think avocado, jojoba and coconut oil meets shea and cocoa butter) for reduced frizz and a rich shine. Dreamy…


• Size: 300ml

• For fine, thinning or delicate hair

Grow, grow, grow! Science meets salon in this stunning formulation of natural caffeine, biotin and essentials oils created to stimulate hair growth. A great pick for thin, delicate or damaged hair, this innovative haircare hero will thicken and strengthen, giving you luscious locks in no time.

Try: Drunk Elephant Cocomino Glossing Shampoo

• Size: 240ml

• Colour-safe

• Silicone-free

• Dye and fragrance free

SOS – Drunk Elephant is here to save your shine. With a formula brimming with amino-acids, antioxidants and fatty-acid-rich oils, gently cleanse hair with an indulgent coconut-based lather designed to smooth and strengthen. Sounds good? Follow with Drunk Elephant Silkamino Conditioning Leave-In Milk for double the shine.

Try: Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo

• Size: 400ml

• For curls, coils and waves

Embrace your waves, curls and coils with Cantu. Packed with rich shea butter, we know you’ll love the nourished hair and scalp feeling. Promote healthy hair growth and cleanse product build-up for intense hydration. Beautiful bouncing curls? We’re in!

Try: Beauty Works Nourishing Pearl Shampoo

• Size: 250ml

• Ideal for tape-ins, pre-bonded and micro ring hair extensions

If there’s one thing Beauty Works is perfect for, it’s that pearly shine. Moisturised, full-body hair is just at your fingertips with this unique formula, infused with vitamin E, antioxidants and essential fatty acids – even with hair extensions. Our top tip? Follow with the Pearl Nourishing conditioner and mask for iconic, glossy locks!

Try: Function of Beauty Custom Wavy Hair Shampoo

• Size: 325ml

• Dermatologically tested

• Cruelty-free

• Vegan friendly*

What does your unique hair need? It’s own unique shampoo formula of course! Created with your hair goals in mind, mix-and-match your three boosters before you shake, snap and pour. Need anti-frizz? Stronger hair? A luxurious deep condition? Function of Beauty have it all and more.

Try: Lee Stafford For The Love of Curls Sulphate Free Shampoo

• Size: 250ml

• For wavy, curly and coily hair

Wash away the day, not your natural moisture, with this curl-caring shampoo that’s brimming with nutrient-rich ingredients (shea butter, cacao and castor oil!) –  start your day with curl-loving care and join the fight against frizz.

*Contains no animal derived ingredients or by-products.