If you have dry and brittle hair, you should consider adding sulfate-free conditioners to your hair care routine. Sulfates are chemicals used as cleaning agents in cosmetics and hair care. They are great for creating lather and making you feel cleaner, but unfortunately, they also strip your hair of oil and moisture. Moreover, this ingredient could even irritate your scalp – a no-no for people with sensitive scalps.
In this article, we will be providing you with a list of the best sulfate-free conditioners you can buy online. We've also prepared a buying guide you can refer to when purchasing one. Don't miss out on it, as it has helpful comments and tips from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz!
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Experts featured in this article only reviewed the content of our buying guide. They had no part in the selection or ranking of products or services listed.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
There are two common types of conditioners: your regular wash-out conditioner and the leave-in conditioner. Regular conditioners usually have a heavier formulation and are applied after shampooing, then rinsed off after a minute or two.
On the other hand, leave-in conditioners, as the name suggests, are the ones that you can leave on your hair and do not need to be rinsed. They typically contain lightweight conditioning agents that will moisturize your hair for a longer period of time.
Choosing the type of conditioner should be tailored to your hair type, current hair condition, as well as lifestyle. Regular conditioners may be enough for normal or oily hair. But for dry hair types, a leave-in conditioner might be more beneficial.
While sulfate-free conditioners are usually not ideal for people with dry hair, you might also have other hair concerns that a specific conditioner can only address. Below are some of the types of sulfate-free conditioners you can choose depending on your hair type.
Dry hair, of course, needs moisture – and so does curly hair! When choosing a conditioner that’s perfect for these hair types, remember to look for ingredients that will moisturize your hair and make it look frizz-free, shiny, smooth, and voluminous.
Examples of ingredients that do the job include almond oil, sunflower oil, shea butter, and honey extracts, among others. These ingredients are also rich in nutrients that nourish your hair so that it is healthier-looking.
Leave-in conditioners or deep conditioners may be better suited for those with dry or curly hair. These can restore the hair’s moisture, strengthen it, and reduce the damage caused by chemicals and the external environment.
Frequent hair coloring and treatment cause dryness and brittleness and can often lead to hair breakage. To help restore your hair’s strength, go for conditioners with botanical oils such as avocado and coconut oil. These are good examples of ingredients that help nourish and repair dry or damaged hair, as well as provide protection against stressors.
Your hair also loses some protein when it is colored, dyed, or bleached. Look for conditioners with protein, such as keratin, collagen, and wheat protein, to help prevent this. These ingredients could help patch up the protein that serves as the hair cuticle’s building blocks and thus reduce breakage for smoother and shinier hair.
Frequent hair styling or hair treatment procedures can potentially strip the hair of its natural moisture and damage it. Thus, choosing a conditioner with moisturizing ingredients can help restore the lost moisture and prevent hair damage.
Conditioners are generally intended to help moisturize your hair, but they can sometimes feel greasy or oily once applied. If you have oily hair, it is better to opt for conditioners that have a lightweight formula.
Rose water and rose oil are the most common ingredients in lightweight conditioners. Rose water is a mild astringent which helps remove excess oil from the hair, while rose oil is good for moisturizing hair strands.
Not all conditioners were created equal. For those with oily hair, a conditioner can still be beneficial, just opt for one that has a lightweight formula.
Tip: Apply on the hair shafts only!
When looking for a sulfate-free conditioner, ensure that it really does not contain any kind of sulfate in its list of ingredients. This is because there are some products that are misleading, indicating that it is sulfate-free while their ingredient list says otherwise. Common sulfates to look out for in your conditioner are sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and ammonium lauryl sulfate.
Be a label reader! Identify what ingredients would best address your hair concerns. Sulfates aren't all that bad as it is reputed to be. But it can be irritating for some, so if you fall under that 'some', best to avoid it.
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Brazilian Keratin Therapy Defrizzant Conditioner
A Powerhouse Conditioner for Smoother, Stronger Hair
Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner
Restore Damaged Hair With This Intensely Reparative Conditioner
Leave In Conditioner
A Handy Conditioner for Heat Protection and Fighting Frizz
Salon Care Conditioner
Nature's Best for Chemically Treated Hair
Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner
Weightless Moisture for Easy Combing and Styling
Ever Pure Moisture Conditioner
Say Goodbye To Dry, Damaged Hair From Frequent Coloring
Curl Manifesto Conditioner
A Lightweight Solution for Curly Locks
Bio Renew Hydrating Coconut Milk Conditioner
Infused With Coconut Milk to Reduce Split Ends
Avocado and Tea Tree Protein-Free Leave-In Conditioner
Great for Adding Definition and Softness to Curly Hair
Detox & Hydrate Micellar Rosewater Conditioner
Detox and Hydrate With This Rosewater-Rich Conditioner
With the rich blend of natural ingredients such as coconut and avocado oil, this versatile conditioner will surely leave your hair nourished and well-hydrated. Even with its gentle formulation, you can achieve softer, shinier, and even straighter hair after using this product!
What's even more amazing is that it also has Brazilian keratin proteins that make the hair stronger. Users also love how this conditioner makes their hair smoother, more manageable, and smelling fantastic even after just one use. Aside from being sulfate-free, it also doesn't contain parabens, microbeads, and phthalates.
Soften and detangle hair while reducing frizz with this keratin-infused reparative leave-in conditioner! This product is perfect for those who color, straighten, perm, or heat-style their hair on a regular basis. People with naturally curly or wavy styles can also use this, as it is a Curly Girl Method (CGM)-approved product!
With Jamaican black castor oil and certified organic shea butter, your tresses will surely be nourished and moisturized sans all the harsh chemicals. Moreover, it contains peppermint for scalp stimulation, leaving a cooling and revitalizing sensation.
If you usually heat-style your hair, you might want to consider purchasing this product! Packaged in a handy spray-on bottle, you can bring it anywhere and use it whenever your hair needs a boost of moisture. It's perfect for those who are always on the go!
This multitasking conditioner contains panthenol and vitamin E that work on hydrating your locks, making it easier to detangle, combat frizz, and tame flyaways. Moreover, it offers protection from heat damage of up to 232°C if you apply it before ironing or blow-drying your hair.
To keep your colored hair vibrant or your chemically treated hair looking healthy, you might want to try this conditioner out. It has the moisturizing power of sunflower seed oil and optimum nourishment from avocado oil, making sure that your hair looks smooth and revitalized even after all the harsh treatments.
Aside from being free of sulfates, this one is also silicone-free. It also has jojoba-derived emollients that help prevent your hair color from fading easily. What's even more exciting is that it comes with the fragrant scent of lemon and green tea, so your hair can smell fresh and clean all day!
Containing a combination of nourishing vitamins such as vitamin E and B5 from panthenol, this 100% vegan conditioner penetrates into every hair strand and helps restore strength and moisture. Therefore, you don't have to deal with tangles and frizz whenever you comb and style your hair.
Its weightless formula also won't leave your locks feeling oily or greasy, but it creates enough volume so that your hair does not look flat. You'll also be pleased to know that it is very safe to use even for colored hair, as it will not dull or strip the color.
Enriched with rosemary flower extracts, this conditioner from L'Oreal's line of color care system products promises to quench your hair's dryness brought about by frequent coloring and treatments. Moreover, it has an Anti-Fade Complex, which hydrates and retains the hair's natural moisture while keeping its color vibrant.
This 100% natural conditioner also does not contain any harsh salts and parabens. Instead, it has UV filters that will protect your hair from environmental stressors. With this conditioner, you're sure to get two times the moisture and up to 4 weeks of hair color retention!
If you want a conditioner that's going to make your curls look fuller without weighing them down, then this product might be perfect for you! This lightweight conditioner utilizes the power of Manuka honey and glycerin, a duo that boosts your hair's moisture and restores its shine.
Although the formulation is gentle, this conditioner is packed with ceramides to repair weakened hair and improve its ability to retain moisture. With this product, you can get bouncier and more flexible curls that are free of stubborn knots and tangles!
With an infusion of real botanicals, this conditioner hydrates hair from root to tip, making it more manageable and less prone to split ends. It offers deep moisturization, thanks to its coconut milk extracts that leave hair silky and smooth without feeling heavy.
Moreover, it has a color-safe and pH-balanced formula, which makes it a great choice for those with color-treated hair. It is even certified by the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, a world-leading expert in plant science! An added bonus is that it comes with the lovely scent of white blossoms and vanilla so that you can flaunt fragrant locks all day!
This CGM-friendly conditioner will surely give justice to your beautiful curls! Enriched with avocado and tea tree, Zenutrient's leave-in conditioner will nourish curly hair and leave it moisturized, well-defined, and tangle-free.
This all-natural conditioner is also recommended if you want to protect your hair from damage and breakage. Moreover, it maximizes the use of botanical ingredients, as it is free of parabens, silicones, and sulfates. It's even safe for kids above 5 years old!
Rich in vitamins B and B3 from French Rosa Gallica extracts, this conditioner deeply hydrates hair follicles, leaving them softer, stronger, and smoother after each use. Thus, it is recommended for people who struggle with dry and dull hair and split ends.
It also has the detoxifying factor of micellar water that gently removes impurities and invisible grease from hair and scalp. It is also guaranteed to feel lightweight on the hair because it doesn't contain silicones and parabens. If you're on the lookout for a conditioner that provides both cleansing and nourishment, this one is worth a try!
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz.
Sulfates have definitely gotten a bad rep over the years! However, sulfates are cleansing components that are safe in the levels incorporated in shampoos. Indeed, sulfates can be irritating for some. It is best to avoid sulfates if you have a known reaction or sensitivity to them. If not, it should be safe to use.
Sulfates can potentially lead to hair loss if one develops an irritation from the ingredient. Remember, any form of irritation or inflammation can trigger hair loss.
Sulfates in themselves do not lead to fading of hair color. Some common things that contribute to hair color fading faster are frequent hair washing, sun exposure, and hair styling without heat protection.
Using a conditioner is an important part of your hair care routine, as it moisturizes your locks and makes them look sleek, smooth, and shiny. If you're having a hard time choosing the right conditioner for you, feel free to check these links out!
Author: Maureen Kate Basa
Editor: R. Umlas
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：OGX｜Brazilian Keratin Therapy Defrizzant Conditioner
No. 2：Shea Moisture｜Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner
No. 3：OUAI｜Leave In Conditioner
No. 4：Human Nature｜Salon Care Conditioner
No. 5：Giovanni｜Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner
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