sulfate-free hair
Sulfate-free hair products are making head lines for all the right reasons. (Instagram @hairfood)

Let’s face it, hair care ingredients labels are complicated and product formulas are complex. Sometimes it’s easier to shop for your everyday staples when you know what ingredients you want to avoid. There is a growing consumer demand for sulfate-free hair products…and for good reason. Sulfates are known agressors and can be potentially harmful to your health.

The two most common sulfates used in shampoos are sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate. These deeply cleansing chemicals have a lathering effect when they come in contact with water. Shampoos tend to include sulfates in their formulas because they are great at removing buildup, dead skin cells, oil and other impurities from hair. According to, sulfates should be avoided for anyone with rosacea, eczema, and sensitive skin as they can be irritating and exacerbate exisiting skin conditions.

sulfate-free hair
Dry, brittle hair can be caused by sulfates in hair care products. (Instagram @hairfood)

Sulfates can also wreak havoc on the health of your hair. Our luscious locks already have to contend with the middle eastern sun, desert air, and unforgiving humidity. For some, sulfates in shampoo can push our strands over the edge. Since sulfates are great at cleansing, they can take it too far and strip the hair of it’s natural oil and moisture. You’re left with hair that is dry, brittle, and dull. They can also make the scalp flaky, itchy, and irritated. If you find yourself out of brunch and scratching your head like crazy, sulfates just might be to blame.

Luckily hair care brands have jumped on the sulfate-free bandwagon and debuted products without these ingredients. Here are a few that we think are pretty amazing:

Hair Food

sulfate-free hair
In addition to being sulfate-free, Hair Food is also paraben-free, dye-free, and mineral oil-free. (Instagram @hairfood)

Hair Food (starting at Dhs50, Carrefour) only creates sulfate-free hair products. They have an extensive range of shampoos, conditioners, oils, masks, and treatments. Hair Food also sells a dry shampoo for the days when washing hair just isn’t possible (don’t worry, we’ve been there too).

Sol De Janiero

sulfate-free hair
Brazilian brand Sol De Janiero’s hair care products not only smell incredible but also are sulfate-free.

Sol De Janiero’s (starting at Dhs105, Sephora) products are bright, beautiful, and sulfate-free. This Brazilian skincare turned hair care brand packs a hydrating punch with their moisturising shampoo and conditioners.

Herbal Essences

sulfate-free shampoo
Herbal Essences have sulfate-free ranges within their brand. (Instagram @herbalessences)

Herbal Essences (starting at Dhs23, Carrefour) launched their own line of sulfate-free hair products including shampoos and conditioners. These budget-friendly products contain natural ingredients for super soft and healthy-looking hair.

Living Proof

sulfate-free hair
All products within the Living Proof brand are sulfate-free. (Instagram @livingproof)

All of Living Proof’s products are sulfate-free. Their specialised Curl Shampoo and Conditioner (starting at Dhs76, Cult Beauty) is low-lather and designed for curls, coils, and waves.


sulfate-free hair
Briogeo is a black-owned brand catering to the needs of all hair types. Their products don’t contain harsh sulfates. (Instagram @briogeo)

If natural products are your thing, then Briogeo (starting at Dhs108, Sephora) should be on your shower’s vanity. These nutrient-packed shampoos and conditioners contain vitamins and minerals to for shiny healthy hair. What they don’t include? You guessed it…sulfates.