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9 Sulfate-Free Shampoos Top Hairstylists Love

According to the shampoo commercials of yesteryear, the mark of a good cleanser is its lather. The more bubbles, the better — and boy was the marketing effective. Up until recently, I would only cherish the shampoos that mimicked one of those ads, lathering up until I turned my hair into a big, frothy, soapy creation. Of course, my hairstylists thought the same. Whenever I’d bring in a new product to test, they’d deem it unworthy if it didn’t bubble up enough.

We were all blissfully unaware of the fact that lather isn’t necessarily a good thing. A ton of lather is normally an indication of a product having sulfates (including lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulphate) — surfactants that can actually dry your hair and skin out.

Now, that’s not to say that sulfates are bad. “Not everyone needs to use shampoos without them,” celebrity stylist Derek Yuen tells us. “Sulfates work to dissolve oils and clean the strands. If you have very oily hair, then a regular shampoo is fine for you.” But for chemically-processed hair (including those with keratin treatments, color, perms, and relaxers), sulfates can actually reverse the results of those treatments.

Whatever shampoo you choose is up to you, but if you’re looking for a gentler option, some of Hollywood’s top pros have spilled the beans on their faves, ahead.

Best For Dry Hair

“Aveda does a moisturizing shampoo that’s kind to the hair and scalp,” celeb hairstylist Sheridan Ward says. “The products don’t just smell great… they work, and the packaging is gorgeous.”

Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo, $30, available at Aveda.

Best For Overworked Natural Hair

One too many wash and gos? Once a week, cleanse with this clay- and aloe juice-spiked shampoo for a deep clean that’s also gentle.

Carol’s Daughter Rhassoul Clay Sulfate-Free Shampoo, $10 on sale, available at Carol’s Daughter.

Best For Blonds

“This brightens the hair, eliminates brassiness, and kicks up grays to silver,” John Ruggiero, who works with Chrissy Teigen and Ashley Bell, says.

R+Co. Sunset Blvd Blonde Shampoo, $29, available at R+Co.

Best For Damaged Hair

“It’s gentle, but still feels rich and moisturizing enough for parched strands,” Derek Yuen, who works with Jessica Biel, says.

Shu Uemura Color Lustre Sulfate-Free Brilliant Glaze Shampoo, $19, available at Shu Uemura.

Best For Frizzy Flyaways

“Sulfates not only allow shampoos to form a thick lather, but they can be drying, too,” Caile Noble, who works with Sofia Carson, says. And with dryness comes breakage — and no texture wants that. This shampoo will help hair lay smooth once dry — and won’t dry out your ‘do.

Ouai Smooth Shampoo, $28, available at Ouai.

Best For Dull Hair

“It has a moisturizing lather and feels luxurious,” Ward says of this shine-inducing formula. “Plus, it hydrates the hair while it cleans and a little goes a long way.”

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo, $20.99, available at Paul Mitchell.

Best For A Budget Buy

“This is infused with naturally-derived cleansing extracts including seaweed,” Ward says. “It works best at balancing the hair’s moisture levels.”

Aveeno Active Naturals Pure Renewal Shampoo, $7.79, available at Walgreens.

Best For Coarse Curls

Ruggiero says that this formula automatically transforms the most brittle hair, leaving it soft, silky, and smooth.

Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo, $12, available at Sephora.

Best For Heat Damage

“This is my favorite!” Ryan Trygstad, who works with Kristen Stewart and Jessica Chastain, says. “It has an amazing smell of bergamot and plum. With all the styling nowadays, I tell my clients to moisturize their hair [with this] as much as possible.”

Kevin.Murphy Hydrate-Me Rinse Kakadu Plum Infused Moisture Delivery Shampoo, $32.99, available at Amazon.

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