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7 Drugstore Shampoos and Conditioners that are Silicone and Sulfate Free

• May 10, 2014

There are now a plethora of hair product lines aimed at naturals but they are mostly online or in select stores.  In the future, it will be super easy to get probably any product. However, there are still many of us who do rely on drugstore products either for convenience or simply because they do actually work well.

Most naturals are picky about their products and top of this list is silicone and sulfate free products. Therefore, this list should help you:

1. Trader Joe — Nourish Spa Line — Silicone Free and Sulfate Free

The Nourish Spa Shampoo and Conditioner are the only set that I have found that are both silicone free and sulfate free. However the shampoo does contain olefin sulfonate as its lead cleanser and this surfactant is known to be just as irritating as  the sulfate of dread — SLS. Additionally, the old trick of listing herbal extracts in water first before active ingredients is used to make the product seem more organic or natural to consumers. Both the shampoo and conditioner are quite cheap which means that trying the products and assessing for yourself whether they are good or not is pretty easy.

2. Tresemme — Naturals Line — Silicone Free

Tresemme Naturals is marketed as a low sulfate and silicone free line. The hair shampoos do contain both ALS and ALES which is a combination that can reduce irritation but still cleanse well. Therefore, if you are looking for a complete no sulfate shampoo, do pass on this one. The hair conditioners on the other hand have no sulfates or silicones.

3. Garnier Fructis — Pure Clean — Silicone Free/Paraben Free

In addition to being silicone free, parabens are not use as preservatives across the Garnier Fructis Pure Clean range. The hair conditioners are sulfate free but the shampoos in the line do have SLS and SLES as active cleansers. Athough that combination is known to be less irritating than pure SLS, the product is not labelled as nor is, sulfate free.

4. L’Oreal — Eversleek, Everpure and Everstrong Line — Sulfate Free

The Eversleek, Everpure and Everstrong hair conditioners are all sulfate free and in addition are also silicone free. The hair shampoos do, however, contain silicones such as dimethicone and amodimethicone so L’oreal does not proclaim the whole range as silicone free. Per ounce they are generally more expensive than the previously listed lines but they are still not super expensive by any stretch of the imagination.

5. Suave — Naturals Line — Silicone Free

Suave Naturals conditioners are sulfate and silicone free, however the shampoos while being silicone free, do have sulfates with the ALS/ALES combination of cleansers similar to Tresemme Naturals. Once more, if you want a sulfate free shampoo, do not select one from this line.

6. Alberto VO5 Conditioners - Silicone Free

VO5 conditioners in general do not appear to have silicones (checked variants include strawberries and cream, champagne kiss, kiwi lime squeeze, mint tea and blackberry sage tea). The shampoos do use SLS as an active cleanser and are therefore not sulfate free although they are silicone free.

7. Herbal Essences — Smooth and Shine

Herbal Essences is marketing these products as silicone-free shampoo and sulfate-free conditioner. I am not convinced by the marketing strategy at all because I could easily turn that bottle around and see that the hair shampoo has sulfates (which some naturals want reduced or eliminated in shampoo) and the hair conditioner has silicones (which, again, some naturals want reduced or eliminated in conditioner). In truth, you should avoid the shampoo if you want sulfate free cleansing  and avoid the hair conditioner too if you want silicone free conditioning. This is no slight on the quality of the products and I am well-known for my obsession in general with herbal essences despite all the silicones, sulfates and unnatural blue hues. I do however think the marketing people failed immensely as there is really no major reformulation; but somehow trying to convince the consumer with labeling that it is a different product.

What are some of your favorite silicone/sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners?

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JenniD
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JenniD

If you are newly natural this is a great starting points if you are looking for some sulfate and silicone free products. Good list. While you don’t HAVE to avoid these things I found that in the beginning of my journey avoiding some things then bringing them back in slowly as needed really helped me in learning my hair. I started off with good old Suave coconut and it served me well in the beginning. Its light weight making it ideal for co washing.

cepfeng
Guest
cepfeng

So.…that was a misleading title

cacey
Guest
cacey

thanks, i like jc’s articles in general but i was scratching my head on this one. reading each description and then looking back up at the title to make sure i’d read it right, only to make it to the end of the list and go “sooo.…in short, technically none of these are sulfate-free, then.” oh well. the article caught my attention, but i genuinely wanted to know if there truly are *any* sulfate-free cleansers among the drug brands. i’m inclined to say no, because i have never laid eyes on one, but all the same i wanted this article… Read more »

Alycia
Guest
Alycia

Well Shea Moisture products are sulfate/silicone free.. but they’re not your typical DRUGSTORE conditioners and shampoos, nor are they as cheap as the shampoos and conditioners on the list. But lets keep in mind that the term “drugstore” was also used in the title and we all know that cheaper conditioners and shampoos usually contain silicones/sulfates. While most of these on this list you can find for under 6, 7 dollars, Shea Moisture products are $8–12 depending on where you buy them and if they’re on sale. But I wasn’t too impressed by the list either. I’ll just stick with… Read more »

Hansy
Guest
Hansy

L’Oreal EverPure is sulfate free.

Jc
Guest

Come on now, some of you are being a little lazy here. If you read the article you will see that there are plenty of conditioners on the list that are silicone and sulfate free and there are some shampoos too that are either one or both.

Manufacturers do appeal to your laziness which is why the herbal essences new line is marketed as silicone and sulfate free but when you read between the lines, you realize it is nothing new.

Don’t be lazy about reading labels!

Uli
Guest

We shouldn’t be lazy,but that is not what your article was suppose to be about,it was to list products that do not contain these materials…Either way,when we read an article we expect information that states such;reading a article is that,reading,not pretending that we are at the drugstore reading labels.

cepfeng
Guest
cepfeng

JC I love your blog and posts because of the accurate information they give, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t insinuate that laziness was always the reason we don’t check labels. Some of us don’t have time to spend hours reading bottle in shops or like me, are visually impaired and simply cannot read the tiny print on the labels.

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

I swear by Trader Joe’s nourish spa & the tea tree conditioners. They have amazing slip & make detangling a breeze.

LBell
Guest
LBell

I heard they added a cone to the TJ Nourish Spa conditioner. I took note of that because if it was true I was thinking about trying it again. Neither Tressemme nor GF did much for me. Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut used to be my go-to cowash conditioner but I guess my hair got tired of it? The only V05 conditioner I’ve tried that hasn’t left my hair feeling overly coated is Free Me Freesia. Currently I’ve been really liking the L’Oreal Everstrong Reconstruct shampoo. As for Herbal Essences, you can have my Hello Hydration conditioner when you pry it… Read more »

Rapunzel
Guest
Rapunzel

Unfortunately, Trader joes has changed the formula for their nourish spa conditioner. It has a new label which is different from the one pictured on this blog. It has dimethicone in it now which dries out my hair overtime especially since I dont use sulfates. I was so dissapointed because it has been my staple leave in for two years. Oh well. I am now on the hunt for a new staple leave in.

Caray
Guest
Caray

I believe silicones and sulfates are two different ingredients. Cones will prevent knots and tangles in natural hair, at least it does for me.

Rapunzel
Guest
Rapunzel

Based on my personal research, non-soluble cones such as dimethicone can only be washed off completely with a sulfate shampoo. I don’t use sulfates. When you don’t remove the cone on your hair it prevents the entry of water which eventually dries out your hair.

lablooplah
Guest
lablooplah

what? is this change very recent?

Rapunzel
Guest
Rapunzel

I believe it was about 3 months ago. I found out about it at the following link first: http://www.longhaircareforum.com/showthread.php?t=721967

Shak
Guest
Shak

VO5’s Tea Therapy line is a great alternative that I use in between using Shea Moisture products. I dont feel like my hair is stripped of moisture when I use the shampoo, and I stock up on the conditioner because I have to condition before I wash my hair and the price point helps when I need to use so much conditioner in my monthly routine.

Kelsi Briana
Guest
Kelsi Briana

Sulfates are high on my list as well, but I’d really only be able to buy a product if it was also PARABEN free. Cancer runs in my family– to the point where every female has developed it– so I take no chances. I think this is a nice list for those without such big precautions to take, however, and it would especially come in handy for those with color-treated hair.

Michelle C.
Guest
Michelle C.

I will be praying for you. Cancer is a demonic spirit and I hope you are spritualy handling the situation against this generational attack the devil has been making against your family along with handling it in the physical through healthily eating and physical fitness. In Jesus name, rebuke the devil and he will flee.

tearcollector
Guest
tearcollector

Nutcase! Cáncer is a genetic mutation, and the “demonic spirits, ” that don’t exist aren’t to blame.

Caray
Guest
Caray

Creme of Natures Sulfate Free Shampoo is the best! I have tried others and they just made my hair dry.

Caray
Guest
Caray

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/photo.JPG[/img

Dananana
Guest
Dananana

I like this list, but I feel like Nature’s Gate shampoos/conditioners were missed. I could be wrong (haven’t deeply examined every variants’ label), but I’m fairly certain most are silicone/sulfate free. I do know for sure that I can get a 16 oz bottle of the hemp version for less than $8 and it leaves my hair super soft and bouncy 🙂

Dananana
Guest
Dananana

Checked. Sulfate free, pthalate free, paraben free, butylene glycol free, cruelty free and it’s vegan…all while being under $8 for 18 oz (retail, I did find it for 4.99 without shipping on Vitacost :D). It does have panthenol though, for those sensitive to that.

Kelsi Briana
Guest
Kelsi Briana

I thought of that, too! I also go for products like Alba Botanica and Kiss My Face, which can be pretty cheap (particularly when on clearance, the best time to stock up).

Dananana
Guest
Dananana

I seriously just used some clearance ($4!) Alba Botanica I picked up a few months ago as part of my prepoo/detangle session last night! My hair seems to really like it.

Curious
Guest
Curious

Is This another natural hair rule not to use these ingredients? Cause when I was relaxed I used any and everything and now that I am transitioning I use the same things. What makes natural hair more fragile than chemically treated hair I expected natural hair to be stronger and able to deal with the things I used to do when it was relaxed better

Kelsi Briana
Guest
Kelsi Briana

Relaxed hair requires different upkeep from naturally curly hair in some aspects of maintenance, like washing or detangling. Some products that work wonders on relaxed hair may lead to dryness or itching– or worse– on natural hair, so quite a lot of experimenting to find the right ways to wash and style goes on. You should use whatever you think works best for your hair, body, and lifestyle. Just be aware of a few of the most frequently used ingredients in products that can be harmful or irritating (parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, phthalates, etc.), and if nothing else that should… Read more »

Jumoké
Guest
Jumoké

The no sulphates/silicones “rule” is aimed to help naturals who practice the Curly Girl Method (such as myself). This method is used to help curly headed women manage their hair and to embrace their curly hair. You should look it up when you have the time. If using the products when you were relaxed worked for your natural hair then do you lol but general speaking- relaxed hair products and natural hair products target different things (i.e. more protein for relaxed and more moisture for natural).

silkynaps
Guest
silkynaps

I swore by Nubian Heritage and SheaMoisture hair products until I learned that Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle extracts contain PARAhydroxy BENzoic acid…which is the natural predecessor of synthetic parabens. Technically not a paraben, because parabens are synthetic, but is chemically the same thing and, likewise, has been linked to breast cancer. Not all NH and SM products contain the carcinogen, be sure to read the label. New sulfate/silicon-free products in my rotation: Shampoo: Kinky-Curly Come Clean or SheaMoisture African Black soap bar (still free of known carcinogens) Conditioner: Giovanni 2Chic Brazilian Keratin & Argan Oil Ultra-Sleek Conditioner. This was the… Read more »

Cygnet
Guest
Cygnet

Co- sign on the Giovanni 2Chic Ultra Sleek. I tried it and liked it so much that I bought another large bottle to replace the first one I was running low on. But I also picked up the large bottle of the 2Chic Ultra Moist with Avocado and Olive Oil and tried it instead of waiting to finish the other. Can you say “slip”, ladies?! Ohhh, my, WOW!!! I think this slips far and away better, and moisturizes and softens better, than the Ultra Sleek, and the Ultra Sleek is no slouch at any of these, please believe this. And… Read more »

lablooplah
Guest
lablooplah

YASS at no.1! Trader joe’s nourish spa conditioner. It’s cheap and moisturizing on my cottony type four hair!

MB
Guest
MB

It now has silicone.

Tamia
Guest
Tamia

Just bought a VO5 conditioner today for $0.80.

Ugonna Wosu
Guest
Ugonna Wosu

wow, for once an article that mentions all products I have in my nearby drugstore. Its not easy living in Montreal, lol.

AveryKinkyCurl
Guest
AveryKinkyCurl

I love L’oreal EverCurl line…it totally helped my curls bounce back after some damage I had done.

Jumoké
Guest
Jumoké

I’ll just stick with my trusty Shea Moisture products lol to make it easier on myself- I just use products that are and always have been silicone/sulphate free. Saves a lot of headache lol

Jo
Guest
Jo

A few of these are cruelty-free, as well.
I love to use the Dessert Essence Coconut conditioner. It’s more expensive, but worth it. 🙂

Shanice
Guest
Shanice

I use the ‘Live Clean’ line from my local drugstore. I was happy with their products but changed to use other shampoos with more natural ingredients. The prices were fair also. The shampoo and conditioner would come up to around $20 together.

lockstress
Guest
lockstress

I use Dr.Bronners soap in almond (yum) and pepppermint(strong and tingly) or the lemon. They’re vegan and castille is soft on my hair and cleanses. I co wash with tresemme’s conditioner and it works great. I’ll use it as a leave in as well. I like the Tresemme natural line so far.

Tabatha
Guest
Tabatha

I tried trader joe’s nourish and it really messed up my hair. It gave my hair a funky feel and it clumped when I used it. Tresemme used to work in my hair a loooong time ago, but its not compatible anymore. Actually the only one on this list that does well in my hair is Garnier Fructise, but the one in the orange bottle.

Softlocks
Guest
Softlocks

Conditioners DONT have sulfates!! Saying conditioners are sulfate free, is like saying, water is caffeine free!!

Talisa Garbo
Guest
Talisa Garbo

I guess you didn’t read the very obvious part about silicones. The sulfates referred to the SHAMPOOS while the silicone factor referred to the CONDITIONERS. A little reading goes a long way;)

flamingo0930
Guest
flamingo0930

I used to own that shampoo and conditioner. The conditioner is labeled as sulfate free and the shampoo is labeled as silicone free. I thought it was weird but I loved the scent.

Adrienne
Guest
Adrienne

Trader Joes Nourish Spa actually changed their formula a few months ago and I noticed the headquarters or address label on the back of the bottle is different. The old formula contained 2 different parabens and now the new formula contains silicones. Still feels the same on my hair as far as slip and ease of detangling.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/image-22.jpg[/img]

Sheena
Guest
Sheena

I found a brand at Walgreens called ology and it’s sulfate and silicone free conditioner and shampoo. It’s new I don’t think a lot of people have tried it out yet
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/image-14.jpg[/img]

Kaye
Guest

I’ve used their laundry soap, tissue and hand soap once. I liked the laundry soap, so I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try the shampoo & conditioner

NickyC
Guest
NickyC

The Organix line is sulfate & paraben free… You can usually find them at Walgreens or on Amazon… They have great variety as well…

Carly
Guest

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo and Conditioner, I believe they are silicone and sulfate free. If not, I still love them lol

PJ
Guest
PJ

You all might try a really great, always sulfate, paraben, and silicone-free…Andalou Naturals. NONE of their hair products have any of these ingredients. They don’t believe in them. I didn’t even realize how dried out my hair had become until I stopped coating it with plastic (cones) and then stripping it with sulfates. Wow. Now my hair is truly healthy and moisturized, not just coated to look like it is.

Barbara Cioch
Guest

I’ve looked into Andalou and I’m ready to buy! But I’ll be buying on amazon because it’s cheaper and I have prime. Thank you for sharing. I’m happy with the ingredient list.

Sarah Jones
Guest

Nice List product. Thanks for sharing.
I would also like to share one of best sulfate free shampoo (http://www.inovaprofessional.com/store/silk-keratin-smooth-protection-shampoo-27-oz.html) with silk keratin smooth protection offered by Inova PRofessional.

On screen I'm Nifa Dean
Guest
On screen I'm Nifa Dean

I had an eczema flare up on my scalp and an non sls/paraben mineral shampoo worked wonders with ACV/tea tree oil rinses. But those shampoos are often too expensive. I don’t know how some people justify paying $10–15 for a shampoo. Once Shea Moisture and the rest make it the UK, it’s way out of my price range. I’m a student, not a millionaire. I found that ALS is less irritating, so I’ll definitely look in to the Tresemme Natural range. Plus it’s better value. 750ml (26 fl.oz) for £5 ($7.50).

TDKNYC
Guest

Thank you for this great site and list of silicone-free products for us that get irritated/ inflamed/ broken out skin from silicone products. I like the L’oreal Silicone-free/Sulfate Free shampoo and conditioner. It is not listed here. But it doesn’t irritate my scalp or break it out. It smells nice but the slicking action of the conditioner isn’t the best. Sometimes I have to condition twice to get the hair smooth and detangled.

Nicole L. Mack
Guest
Nicole L. Mack

Well Shea Moisture products are actually comparable to the $7.50 products you mentioned. The often have buy one get one free sales which means they actually come out even less expensive than drug store brands. Example: Tresemme Naturals shampoo & conditioner would cost $15 total while Shea Moisture’s shampoo & conditioner BOGO free would cost only $11.

On screen I'm Nifa Dean
Guest
On screen I'm Nifa Dean

That’s true in terms of actual cost. But in terms of actual value, SheaMoisture provides less product overall. Shea Moisture is about 384ml per bottle which is 768ml per set. Remember I’m in the UK. There is no deal. So I pay £24 ($36) for a 768ml SheaMoisture set. I can pay £10 ($15) for a 1.5 litre set of Tresemme. SheaMoisture is not a comparable product, it is more expensive over here. Once the US products hit the International market, the shipping costs are passed on to the customer (me). Those shipping costs, plus the smaller amount of product… Read more »

Nicole L. Mack
Guest
Nicole L. Mack

Thank you. I always love to learn. That was very interesting.

Mememememe
Guest
Mememememe

Some of these brands test on animals. If you don’t care, how would you feel if a stranger started putting an unknown, untested substance on you? It’s disgusting. The brands listed are garnier, tresemme, and loreal. Don’t buy them!

Daphne
Guest
Daphne

The medications you rely on are also tested on animals. Do you stop taking them because of that? For some people these products are all that’s available to them or within their budget. Unless you’re willing to put up your money to give people what you consider to be the most ethical alternatives, please be a little more considerate when you lecture people about these companies’ practices and you order them to not buy from them.

I LOVE ALL ANIMALS
Guest
I LOVE ALL ANIMALS

You’re assuming that he/she uses and takes meds?! Not everyone does. I am vegan and do not use a single product that is animal tested, contains by products of or consume products whose parent company is associated with a company that does including meds/antibiotics (bc i do not use meds period) etc. Even my clothes (shoes, bags you name it)is vegan. Maybe you should “be a little more considerate when you lecture people.”

CHURRO
Guest
CHURRO

AND YOU! are also assuming that comment made by (Daphne) was meant for her (Mememememe); MAYBE it was it was a GENERAL comment and not directly?? —LIKE I SAID on my previews comment THIS IS NOT the way to create awareness! NO NEED to insult the items provided on the list just because they don’t match the ones we would prefer. You can easily say “hey guys this are items that are not tested on animals” and that’s it keep it moving.

Cee
Guest
Cee

I also don’t take medications that are tested on animals. and really, all illnesses are preventable if you take care of yourself and don’t consume the “western” diet. Yes, these are all suggestions but advising consumers to buy these CRUEL products is a poor choice.

Pretty much everyone loves animals
Guest
Pretty much everyone loves animals

Not everyone has the liberty to quit taking their absolutely necessary medicine just because it’s not cruelty free. There are not always alternatives when it comes to prescription drugs. Think before you speak.

CHURRO
Guest
CHURRO

This are just suggestions! If you do not agree with any of the items listed then don’t buy them. There is no need to get anal. At least be glad someone is taking time out of their day to put this together for people that are looking for other options. YES maybe some of this brands are animal tested but you can KINDLY provide that comment if it is that you have the intention to create awareness to “educate” people on this. Not everyone may have the knowledge you have, and coming over here to correct someone and start the… Read more »

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