Best Sulfate Free Shampoos For Relaxed Hair 2024

Best Sulfate Free Shampoos For Relaxed Hair 2024

Here are some of the top shampoos for relaxed hair including gentle sulfate-free shampoos and clarifying shampoos from popular brands like OGX, Elasta Qp and more!

Relaxed hair does take away the stress of dealing with knots and twists, and gives you a sleek and smooth look. But, relaxed hair also needs to be taken care of with the right shampoo to ensure that you don’t end up with dryness and split ends.

Also, relaxed hair requires the right amount of hydration and nutrition, while also getting rid of unwanted oil and dirt, giving you the dreamy locks you desire. Read on for the reviews of the best shampoos for relaxed hair:

How to pick the best shampoo for relaxed Hair

Before looking at the best shampoo for relaxed hair, let’s look at what to look for in a such a shampoo. Check it out:


Most regular shampoos are packed with sulfates. While this is generally bad for your hair (Asian or not), sulfates become a bigger problem with color-treated hair.

The most common sulfates are Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. These are surfactants that cleanse your hair and leave them squeaky clean.

We still love Videri Peppermint Shampoo with no sulfate the best

How I tested the other top shampoos for relaxed hair?

I have curly type 4 hair that I often use relaxers on to keep it silky smooth. So I tested these shampoos on my own hair and then rated them on a scale of 1-5 depending on certain parameters that I've listed below:

  • Damage Repair - Relaxing is technically a chemical treatment, so it's going to cause some damage at least. That's why I looked for damage repair shampoos containing keratin and biotin.
  • Gentleness - I also checked if the shampoos are gentle and sulfate-free.
  • Moisturization - Relaxing and other chemical treatments can leave hair dry so I noted if the shampoo was adequately moisturizing.

Top shampoos for relaxed hair 2024

Shampoos For Relaxed Hair Best For Top Ingredients
Pantene Moisturizing Shampoo Shampoo For Everyday Use Moisture Silk Complex
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo Relaxed Hair With Dandruff Tea Tree Oil
Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo Oily Hair and Scalp Glycerin, Citric Acid
BOTANIC HEARTH Argan Oil Shampoo Frizzy Relaxed Hair Argan Oil
Re:Line Biotin Shampoo Fine Relaxed Hair Biotin
Bellisso Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo Dry, Dehydrated Hair Argan Oil
OGX Anti-Breakage shampoo Best OGX Shampoo For Relaxed Hair Keratin, Argan Oil
PURA D'OR Hair Thinning Therapy Biotin Shampoo  Thinning Hair Biotin

#1- Pantene Moisturizing Shampoo

When it comes to shampoos for relaxed hair, don’t be afraid to try out some of the regular drugstore brands like Pantene. 

I really liked this shampoo as it was so very moisturizing yet clarifying at the same time. And it was very decently priced too.

So this Moisture Renewal Shampoo by Pantene contains Protein and vitamin B5 to build back the strength of the hair and nourish it.

 When I used it, I found it very effective at removing scalp buildup and soothing itchy scalp. This was probably as it contains panthenol which is a great anti-inflammatory agent.

Also I like how it adds volume to my hair after washing. My relaxed hair can get too limp sometimes and this was a good product for me.

However, I have to say that it contains both sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate. These are both surfactants that can get too harsh.

So I wouldn't suggest this shampoo for people with colored hair. Or if your hair is too dry in the first place.


  • Moisturizes hair and clarifies scalp at the same time.
  • Contains panthenol that soothes itchy scalp


  • Contains SLS and SLES which are very drying and can strip hair color

My Ratings:

  • Damage Repair - 4.5/5
  • Gentleness - 3.5/5
  • Moisturization - 4/5


Moisturize your hair and comb it and then wash it off with a good conditioner for relaxed hair. 

#2- Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo

I think relaxed hair needs a shampoo that gets rid of all the residual grime in the scalp, and protects it from dandruff and other infections. 

So I tried out this Paul Mitchell Tea Tree shampoo and let me tell you, it was an excellent choice for cleansing the scalp.

The first time I used it I loved it gave my scalp a refreshing, tingling feeling. 

I had lots of product buildup so it helped get rid of it and added volume to my hair. So yay me!

Also I loved the formula as tea tree has anti-fungal properties that keep away dandruff, balance the oil production in the scalp and keep acne and rashes at bay. 

If you struggle with itchiness, this shampoo will offer you great relief. I also liked that it is is free of toxins and parabens, and very safe on your skin. 

And yes before you ask, it does contain sulfates. So that was indeed a bummer!

Also I feel like the natural tea tree fragrance should have been enough. The added patchouli-scented fragrance is... well it's good but all that perfume isn't good for your hair.


  • Clarifying shampoo helps remove product buildup
  • Tea tree oil helps control dandruff and scalp inflammation
  • Lovely patchouli fragrance


  • Contains sulfates that will strip hiar color and moisture
  • Contains artificial fragrance that is drying on hair

My Ratings:

  • Damage Repair - 4/5
  • Gentleness - 3.5/5
  • Moisturization - 3.5/5


Since this shampoo is enriched with tea tree oil, you can leave it on for a while and then wash it off. 

#3- Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo

A clarifying shampoo is a good option for cleaning relaxed hair. While many clarifying shampoos might be a bit drying, I found that the Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo is very gentle.

What I like about this shampoo is that it can be used on any type of hair and it effectively cleanses the scalp, getting rid of residue built over the years.

 On using I found it makes my hair visibly shinier, more lustrous and silkier. I also loved how there's no artificial colourants or dyes, this is safe on your scalp.

But yes, this shampoo does contain sulfates (it's a clarifying shampoo after all!) but it's stil gentler than the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree shampoo.

So I suggest using this shampoo probably once a week, along with your regular shampoo to maintain a squeaky clean scalp that will help the other hair products work better. 

Oh and if you've got low porosity hair naturally or due to a lot of buildup, this shampoo is absolutely perfect for you. It helps remove builup from cuticles and opens them up and also contains water and glycerin as a base which will help hydrate hair.


  • Good for low porosity hair as it's clarifyign and it's got emollients
  • Help remove product buildup from scalp and hair
  • Contains only SLES and not as harsh as other sulfate-based shampoos


  • Contain sulfates so it's not for colored hair or dry scalps

My Ratings:

  • Damage Repair - 4.5/5
  • Gentleness - 3.5/5
  • Moisturization - 4/5

#4- BOTANIC HEARTH Argan Oil Shampoo

nourishing shampoo for relaxed hair

Argan oil is quickly becoming the “go-to” ingredient in many hair and skincare products, and for good reason. 

Argan oil is full of fatty acids that moisturise the hair while the vitamin E in it acts as an anti-ageing element to slow down the ageing process. 

Botanic Hearth Argan Oil shampoo above and beyond just the argan oil and contains plenty of other ingredients like coconut oil, camellia seed oil and castor oil that intensely moisturise your hair, makes it softer and shinier.

 These oils also renew the shine, glossiness and put the life back into your hair. 

#5- Re:Line Biotin Shampoo for relaxed hair 

biotin shampoo for relaxed hair

There is nothing Biotin can’t do when it comes to helping revive dry and damaged hair. Relaxed hair, when not cared for properly can sometimes end up dry, lose its shine and with split ends. 

You might also have the problem of dandruff in your scalp. Biotin shampoo handles all of this with its added provitamin B5 and rich botanicals. 

These not only efficiently get rid of dandruff and relieve you from an itchy scalp, but also protect the hair from more damage, strengthen the hair and reduce hair loss due to breakage.

 Biotin also stimulates the follicles and encourages the growth of hair. 


Use this on alternatively and leave it on for about 10 minutes. 

#6- Bellisso Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo

shampoo for relaxed african american hair

Sulphate is one of the ingredients in regular shampoos that can dry out the hair. It can also strip the hair off of its keratin coating. Try the Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo by Bellisso for some wholesome nutrition and protection for your relaxed hair. 

This shampoo contains moroccon argan oil to infuse your hair with moisture, and strengthens it with silk protein. 

It also contains Vitamin E and collagen, two ingredients that are responsible for the elasticity, strength and youth of your hair. 

These ingredients safe guard your hair from environmental damage and help it stay soft and gorgeous. 

#7- OGX Anti-Breakage shampoo

ogx shampoo for relaxed hair

One of the most recommended and popular shampoos for chemically treated hair is OGX. Though there are plenty of shampoos in the range by OGX, our pick for relaxed hair is the Keratin oil infused Anti-breakage shampoo. 

No brownie points for guessing that “Keratin Oil” stands for Keratin and Argan oil, the two popular ingredients you should be using to strengthen your skin while also moisturising it. 

The keratin also smoothens the hair, removing frizz and helps the relaxed treatment of the hair. 

Hair feels more elastic and resilient, and you see a lesser amount of hair left back in your hairbrush. 

#8- PURA D'OR Hair Thinning Therapy Biotin Shampoo 

elasta qp shampoo for relaxed hair

As important as it is to ensure that your nutritional intake of food is right, it is also equally important to ensure that your hair is receiving the nutrition it requires topically. Pure D’or hair thinning shampoo gives your hair the biotin it requires to build strength, stop hair fall and stimulate hair growth. 

It also contains aloe vera to cool the scalp, reduce inflammation and redness while also moisturising it without making it too greasy. 

As a result, you notice in a few washes that your hair feels thicker, shinier, softer and well hydrated. Even if you start with split ends, the aloe takes care of it. 


Massage your hair with this shampoo for about two minutes and then wash it off. 

#9- Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo

best chelating shampoo for relaxed hair

Moroccanoil is another popular brand widely recommended for gentle cleansing and protection of the hair and scalp. 

Choose the clarifying shampoo for a super clean scalp to rid it off all the build up grime and gunk gathered in it. 

This amazing shampoo almost immediately makes your hair feel free and weightless, with a healthy gloss to it.

 It is free of parabens, colourants, and phosphates, so you can safely use this once a week. It is also a sulphate free shampoo, so your hair does not feel too dry after you use this. 

#10- Carol's Daughter, Coco Creme shampoo

best detangling shampoo for relaxed hair

If your relaxed hair is feeling dryer and dryer day by day, you have your solution in the form of the Coco Creme shampoo by Carol’s Daughter. 

A beautiful blend of coconut oil and mango butter, you will be welcoming the tropical island of Hawaii into your shower. 

Coconut oil not only moisturises but also has the unique properties of stimulating cell regeneration. 

This means that your hair and scalp can heal, inflammations are reduced and you can enjoy softer and silkier hair. 

Mango butter, along with the murumuru butter, hydrates the hair and infuses it with its fatty acids. 

#11- Nairobi Normalizing Shampoo

best chelating shampoo for relaxed hair

Nairobi Normalizing Shampoo is a mix of clarifying shampoo and balancing shampoo. It helps balance the alkalinity of the scalp and restores its natural pH levels, while also removing impurities and dirt.

 The clarifying aspect of the shampoo relieves the scalp of build up and mineral deposits from previous shampoos and hair treatment products. 

These could dry your hair and leave it flat and lifeless if not removed from time to time. This brand may not be as popular as the other professional or drug store brands but it is worth a try as it delivers the desired results. 

#12- MIZANI Thermasmooth Anti-Frizz Shampoo 

best hydrating shampoo for relaxed hair

Mizani Thermasmooth Anti-Frizz Shampoo is one of the most efficient shampoos you can use for relaxed hair as its formula gets rid of the frizz and helps tame even the wildest of tresses. 

It contains coconut oil that soothes the scalp, intensely moisturises it, helps it heal from bruises and inflammations, and encourages blood circulation. 

Coconut oil also stimulates cell regeneration and the growth of new hair. 

It also contains ceramides that do a good job of hydrating and softening the hair, thereby also smoothing it down. 

This conditioning shampoo cleanses completely and leaves your hair feeling and smelling great. 

#13- Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo

best neutralizing shampoo for relaxed hair

Using a shampoo meant to revive damaged hair is always a good choice for relaxed hair. These shampoos contain extra vitamins and ingredients that infuse your hair with more moisture, to replenish and revive it, compared to regular shampoos.

 The Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo is our suggestion for relaxed hair as it contains keratin protein and black rice for strengthening your hair.

 Keratin also coats the hair with a layer of shine and reduces the frizziness, apart from strengthening the strands. 

Black rice contains the all-important vitamin E to protect your hair from damage caused by environmental heat and pollution. 

#14- SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo 

best moisturizing shampoo for relaxed hair

Your hair deserves nothing less than gold, and the SheaMoisture is a good place to start. 

Moving away from the regular drug store brand image, this range of paraben-free and sulphate-free shampoos by Pantene is free of artificial dyes, and deeply moisturising as it is infused with argan oil. 

This is a co-wash, which is a combination of shampoo and conditioner that is to be used in between your weekly regular shampoos. 

Your hair turns noticeably silky and sleek, easier to detangle and a lot healthier. It is super gentle on the hair and puts life back into your locks.  

#15 - Design essentials peppermint shampoo

best clarifying shampoo for african american relaxed hair

Design essentials is a renowned brand that works wonders for all hair types.

  • This peppermint shampoo makes sure your scalp is clean while also nourishing your ethnic hair in the relaxed form.
  • The pyrithione zinc works wonders in nourishing and strengthening the strands and giving it more silk and shine.
  • The only drawback about this shampoo is that its not easily available.

How often should relaxed hair be washed?

elaxed hair cannot be washed the same number of times you wash regular hair since this goes through a brief method to appear such. So washing you hair once a week would be right to maintain your relaxed hair while cleansing and keeping your scalp clean and neat.

How to grow relaxed hair? 

Relaxed hair is harder to maintain, I’ll give you that. With all the chemicals and arrangements done on your hair strands, sometimes there is too much pressure on your hair strands and how they tend to grow. I have some hacks for you that will increase the growth rate of your relaxed hair. 
Apply coconut oil to your relaxed hair before you shampoo it. Massage it for about 5 minutes and leave it on. Like it does with normal hair, coconut oil has the ability to make the hair thick and lush and gives your hair strands more strength and thickness. 
Spread out your hair strands every now and then. Giving your hair strands space and allowing them to grow separately is an important part of maintaining and caring for your relaxed hair. You can get on it when you are sitting idle or even just before a shower. I like to do it when I have my conditioner on so that the hair strands are separated. 

How long after relaxing hair should you wash it? 

I’d say one week is a good duration for the relaxer to seep into your hair strands. Not that immediately washing your hair after getting a relaxer on is going to ruin it but I’d say you should wait for the chemicals to settle in so that it stays longer. Once the chemicals get attached to your hair strands your relaxed hair will be in better form and condition to remain like that for a long time. 

My relaxed hair is always dry. What should I do? 

Apply a moisturizer to your hair and do this process often. Deep conditioning of your relaxed hair every once in a while will also help keep your hair nourished and silky smooth.
Due to the chemicals and other aspects of the relaxing process, it can be tough to keep your hair hydrated, these simple steps will help take the pressure off of your hair. 

Relaxed hair is the hair that has been chemically processed to straighten it. The chemicals used to process the hair can do a number on the hair making it dull and prone to breakage, especially when the hair has been relaxed for a long period of time.

I hope you enjoyed this article about the best shampoos for relaxed hair. With this knowledge, we know that you can choose the right shampoo for your hair type and keep it healthy. So what are you waiting for? Purchase a shampoo for your hair type today!

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