Do you have a sensitive scalp or do you want to take special care of your hair? We tested sulfate and silicone-free shampoos to see how good they were.
Full, shiny, and well-groomed hair: who doesn't want that? But especially if we wash our hair frequently, it can become dry and even break off. An itchy and flaky scalp can also be a sign that something is out of whack.
Reason: In addition to controversial ingredients such as silicones and parabens, many shampoos also contain so-called sulfates. We took a closer look at what sulfates actually are, why they can be harmful, and what alternatives are available.
For our shampoo without sulfates test 2021, we tested several products to find out how good they are and which product does best.
For many, an important purchase criterion for shampoo and shower gel: it has to foam nicely! Sulphates are mostly responsible for foam formation in cosmetics. These are salts of sulfur that are also used in cleaning agents or medicine.
This already gives an initial indication of how aggressive their cleaning effect is. Because the active ingredient, which is supposed to help with cleaning the stove top, can also be found in shampoos, shower gels, or creams.
Sulphates are now increasingly criticized and their use in cosmetics is controversial. As I said, this is mainly due to their aggressive cleaning effect.
The advantage of sulfates: As aggressive as the cleaning is, the result is ultimately good because it is clean. In addition, sulfates ensure strong foam formation. They can easily remove dirt and grease, but this can be a problem in cosmetics.
Sulfates in shampoos have the advantage that they clean the hair very thoroughly and free it from oil. This not only makes your hair particularly clean, it also removes the healthy and important fats from the scalp, which form a protective film.
Result: the scalp can dry out and become flaky and itchy. Sulfates can cause problems, especially for people with dry, colored hair or sensitive skin. Be it through extremely dried out hair, skin problems, or even allergies. Shampoos with sulfate are also rather unsuitable for people with curly hair.
Quite apart from that: As soon as you rinse out the foam, the sulfates also get into the wastewater and are harmful to the environment there.
Yes, luckily there are now many sulfate-free shampoos available. As an alternative, sugar surfactants, coconut surfactants, or detergent amino acids are often used. Both cleanse just as well as sulfates but are significantly milder on skin and hair. The only disadvantage: cosmetics with plant-based surfactants foam less. But this is just a matter of getting used to because they do not clean any worse.
A large part of the certified natural cosmetics, for example, uses gentle detergent surfactants and dispenses with aggressive sulfates, silicones, and parabens. But here, too, it is worth taking a look at the label with the ingredients, because most natural cosmetics only use mild sulfate alternatives such as Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS). These are gentler, but also contain a certain amount of sodium lauryl sulfate. If you want it to be particularly gentle, you should therefore rely on surfactants such as coco glucoside.
Sulphates hide behind many different names. Using the following lists, we will show you how you can tell whether your shampoo contains sulfates or whether it is based on mild detergent surfactants.
Less irritating surfactants:
Beer & organic honey volume shampoo from Logona Naturkosmetik
The volume shampoo from Logona is supposed to help with particularly mild cleaning substances as well as beer and organic honey that fine hair is strengthened and not weighed down. It contains natural ingredients, is sulfate-free, silicone-free, and free of parabens.
For our shampoos without sulfate test 2021, we tried the product from Logona Naturkosmetik for several months. It is a bit thin, but still easy to apply to the hair. The sulfate-free shampoo lathers well and has a pleasant herbal scent.
After washing, the hair can be combed well after using conditioner and looks shiny and well-groomed. In fact, they also feel more grippy and have more volume. After prolonged use, however, the shampoo led to itching and dandruff in sensitive scalps. Since it contains a lot of alcohol as a preservative and it has a drying effect, we cannot recommend the shampoo to people with sensitive scalps.
Yuzu & Pomelo Glossing Shampoo from 100% Pure Natural Cosmetics
The 100% Pure shampoo is vegan, free from sulfates, parabens, silicones and contains no artificial fragrances or preservatives. Thanks to its natural ingredients, it should clean the hair particularly gently.
As part of our 2021 shampoo without sulfate test, we tried the 100% natural cosmetics product for several weeks. The special thing about the sulfate-free shampoo from 100% Pure: In contrast to many other products, it is made on the basis of aloe vera instead of water. It also provides additional moisture.
However, this also has an effect on the consistency, which is gel-like and a little thin. It can still be distributed well in the hair and also foams well at the beginning. Over time, the foaming effect diminishes somewhat, so that you need a lot of the product, especially with longer hair. The scent is deliciously fruity and smells of citrus fruits.
In combination with a conditioner, the hair can be combed very well after washing. When dry, the hair has shine and is soft and well-groomed. Haircare is particularly recommended for a dry scalp, as the aloe vera provides additional moisture when washing. We are thrilled and can recommend the shampoo to everyone.
Natural shampoo Volume Boost from myRapunzel
The myRapunzel shampoo is supposed to provide moisture and shine. It does not contain sulfates, silicones, or parabens and is vegan. Due to the natural ingredients and sulfate-free recipe, it should be particularly gentle on the hair and scalp.
For our shampoos without sulfate test 2021, we have used Rapunzel's natural shampoo several times. The consistency is pleasant, neither too runny nor too tough, so it can be easily distributed in the hair. The sulfate-free shampoo can be lathered very well and is quite economical. What also stands out positively: The delicious, fruity fragrance that is somewhat reminiscent of orange.
After washing it out, the hair feels a little strange. They look "squeaky clean" and cannot be combed as well even with conditioner. After drying, however, they appear soft and well-groomed and have a nice shine. The tolerance is also top: no itchy or flaky scalp. All in all, we can recommend the shampoo without sulfates from myRapunzel.
Sulphate-free shampoo from Cantu
In addition to our sulfate-free shampoos test 2021, we looked around for the most popular sulfate-free hair care products on Amazon. The front runner: Cantu's cream shampoo with shea butter. It is said to be particularly suitable for curls and chemically treated hair.
The hair care product has an average rating of 4.5 / 5 stars and over 3800 reviews.
We hope you find the right shampoo for you!