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10 Best Protein-free Shampoos to Prevent Breakage

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best protein free shampoos

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Nothing in this world is good if used excessively, no matter how healthy the ingredients may be. As you know, proteins can strengthen the hair, making it more resistant to breakage and damage. As a result, if you have too much protein in your hair, it will feel overly strong and lack flexibility – this leads to locks that aren’t bouncy or vibrant and even hair loss in some cases. As it’s a big no-no in any hair care agenda, we scoured for the best protein-free shampoos around the hair care aisle and tested them with all to pick out the ideal ones just for you. 

While many shampoos contain “good” proteins which claim to be nourishing agents, they frequently have the unintended consequence of robbing the hair shaft of everything good – be it color or natural oils. So, to solve this little hiccup, we found protein-free shampoos that have been made with cleansers that won’t induce protein overload. These cleansers are essentially detergents that assist to build suds and foam to wash the hair and scalp. 

Scan our handy list to get a grasp of the most promising haircare recommendations!

Our top picks

Best Clarifying Shampoo for Protein Overload

Best Dermatologist Recommended Shampoo

Best Protein-free Shampoo for Protein Sensitive Hair

Best Protein-free Shampoo for Fine Hair

Best Protein-free Shampoo for Caucasian Hair

Best Protein-free Shampoo for Curly Hair

Best Protein-free Shampoo for African American Hair

10 Best Protein-free Shampoos for All Hair Types

Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Clean shampoo promises to add moisture and soften natural low-porosity hair. With a gentle formulation, it is best for natural hair strands that range from 3A to 4C, which tend to dry up due to normal shampoos stripping away moisture and oils. We found this product to contain a number of natural emollients like coconut oil, shea butter, and extra virgin olive oil. It helps tresses to become incredibly clean, silky, moisturized, and easy to comb. All in all, this super sudsy shampoo works wonders on even permed and chemically treated hair cleaning out any residue in one super wash!

Pros

  • Doesn’t strip away any natural oils
  • Has a pleasant coconut scent
  • Creates an excellent lather
  • Ideal for extremely curly hair
  • Cost-effective pricing

Cons

  • It won’t detangle the strands

  • 2

    Best Clarifying Shampoo for Protein Overload

    OUIDAD Water Works Clarifying Shampoo

    OUIDAD Water Works Clarifying Shampoo

  • The Water Works Clarifying Shampoo is made with a rich composition of panthenol, lemon, grapefruit, and orange flower extracts – this shampoo targets, breaks down, and eliminates residue build-up without washing away the necessary moisture to “reboot” the curl pattern for a fresh start. After testing the shampoo, our expert found it fit for removing dulling build-up, chlorine, and hard water deposits that settle into the scalp and strands, causing them to be brittle and dry. Moreover, the shampoo holds a sweet and refreshingly citrus-induced scent that is sure to tantalize the noses of everyone around you!

    Pros

    • Curl-friendly
    • Creates a medium lather
    • Has a fresh scent
    • Doesn’t burn the eyes
    • Easy to dispense and store

  • 3

    Best Dermatologist Recommended Shampoo

    Vanicream Shampoo for Sensitive Skin

    Vanicream Shampoo for Sensitive Skin

  • Vanicream is best known for its exceptional skin care products. One of them is this highly clinical yet simple shampoo that gives the best results with consistent use. After trying the rich formula on our scalps, we found that it clears out product buildup, scalp-stinging dandruff, and flakes, which tend to drag and weigh down the hair strands. The shampoo is free of dyes, fragrances, masking fragrances, lanolin, protein, parabens, and formaldehyde releasers as well as sulfates, gluten, and betaine – the majority of which our beauty team had not yet learned to avoid.

    Pros

    • Ideal for sensitive scalps
    • Has a creamy texture
    • Dermatologist approved
    • Boosts hair volume
    • Very cost-effective
    • Gives shiny hair

    Cons

    • It has a sticky consistency

  • 4

    Best Protein-free Shampoo for Protein Sensitive Hair

    AS I AM CURL CLARITY SHAMPOO

    AS I AM CURL CLARITY SHAMPOO

  • Here’s another prospect for sensitive scalps – the As I Am offers a mild no protein shampoo that washes the hair and scalp without removing any natural moisture. It is a tri-vitalizing shampoo, which contains three tonics of coconut, amla, and tangerine, gently removing impurities and product build-up. Additionally, the trials and tests with this rich shampoo showed that it also treats dry scalp, dull hair and enhances manageability for beautiful, healthy-looking locks. One can surely expect hair that is clean, tranquil, and easy to style after using this healthy and build-up clarifying shampoo!

    Pros

    • Climate-pledge friendly
    • Free from parabens and sulfates
    • Ergonomic bottle design
    • Fragrance-free
    • Gets rid of buildup

    Cons

    • It may not be very moisturizing

  • 5

    Best All-natural Shampoo

    ALAFFIA EVERYDAY SHEA SHAMPOO

    ALAFFIA EVERYDAY SHEA SHAMPOO

  • To provide deep cleaning and moisturizing properties, Alaffia’s aromatic and peaceful lavender shampoo is handcrafted with virgin coconut oil, unrefined shea butter, and lavender oil. As many reviewers and our beauty tests suggest, the shampoo is perfect for everyday use as it contains no harsh chemicals and comprises gentle ingredients that retain the natural moisture of the hair. At the end of the hair wash, you are promised a soothing floral scent that gives a delightful spa-like shower experience and frizz-free strands.

    Pros

    • Clean formula
    • Has a pleasant scent
    • Cruelty-free
    • Free from irritants and sulfates
    • Creates a rich lather

  • 6

    Best Protein-free Shampoo for Fine Hair

    Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo

    Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo

  • Whether you have fine hair that gets weighed down quickly or thick strands that are filled with protein buildup, you’ll enjoy this cleanser by Jessicurl for its gentle yet efficient cleansing abilities. Infused with the goodness of panthenol (a.k.a vitamin B5), the shampoo creates a mild, creamy lather that leaves the hair clean, soft, and shiny. It boasts a clean formula that after testing on dry and thin hair left them with luscious and thicker tresses with just a week’s worth of consistent use. Reviewers laud the shampoo’s minimalistic formula and packaging that the brand offers and recommend it to individuals with straight and low-porosity hair!

    Pros

    • Has a creamy texture
    • Ideal for fine hair
    • Vegan formula
    • Fragrance-free
    • Budget-friendly pricing

  • 7

    Best Protein-free Shampoo for Caucasian Hair

    tgin MOISTURE RICH SULFATE FREE SHAMPOO

    tgin MOISTURE RICH SULFATE FREE SHAMPOO

  • Observing your lifeless, limp hair might make you feel helpless at times. Luckily, Thank God It’s Natural offers a hard-to-pass solution. This shampoo does not contain harsh detergents that strip the hair of its natural oils, but it’s well moisturized in each rich lathered hair wash. The one-of-a-kind solution contains aloe vera that gently cleanses your hair without stripping it of its natural oils, as well as pro-vitamin B5 to minimize hair breakage and enhance moisture retention. After testing the product, we found it also helps smoothen the rough hair cuticle surface and keeps all hair types manageable. 

    Pros

    • Ideal for low-porosity hair
    • Affordable pricing
    • Rich lather
    • Cruelty-free
    • Good to store and dispense
    • Contains natural ingredients

    Cons

    • Might not smell that good

  • 8

    Best Protein-free Shampoo for Curly Hair

    Kinky Curly COME CLEAN NATURAL MOISTURIZING SHAMPOO

    Kinky Curly COME CLEAN NATURAL MOISTURIZING SHAMPOO

  • With a focus on orange and coconut oil, you can relax knowing that your hair is receiving the best care. Mandarin orange, marigold flower, white willow bark, and sea kelp are among the four organic extracts found in this product, which protect scalp and hair proteins from free radical damage, thereby improving scalp health. We found the main ingredient phytic acid claims to remove harsh scalp buildups. Addedly, the brand gets brownie points from our end as it uses green and biodegradable ingredients for a skin-friendly cleansing experience. Lastly, created with curly-haired folks in mind, this effective and gentle shampoo is just perfect for them.

    Pros

    • Ideal for delicate scalps
    • Detangles the strands
    • Suitable for 3a-4c hair types
    • Clean formula
    • Suitable for color-treated hair

    Cons

    • Comes in a small quantity

  • 9

    Best for Daily Use

    Uncle Funky’s Daughter Rich & Funky Moisturizing Cleanser

    Uncle Funky's Daughter Rich & Funky Moisturizing Cleanser

  • Filled with toe-tingling and scalp-soothing ingredients, the Rich & Funky shampoo is perfect for dry and brittle hair that is in need of hydration. It possesses allantoin (found in comfrey), which promotes hair development and equal parts of willow bark extract that promote cell development and have strong astringent properties. Lastly, what ties it together is the anti-inflammatory qualities of calendula which prevents tissue degradation and leaves the hair nourished and manageable. Based on firsthand experience, the protein-free shampoo forms a foamy lather that delivers loads of moisture to dry, parched hair, making it one of the best protein-free products on this list!

    Pros

    • Sulfate-free
    • Good quantity
    • Makes the hair soft
    • Clean formula
    • Has a rich lather

    Cons

    • The packaging can be better

  • 10

    Best Protein-free Shampoo for African American Hair

    Alikay Naturals MOISTURIZING BLACK SOAP Shampoo

    Alikay Naturals MOISTURIZING BLACK SOAP Shampoo

  • Give your hair a fresh start for the day and clear out the messy protein overload in your strands with this Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo. It is a clarifying hair cleanser from Alikay Naturals that is produced with raw black soap, which is known to cure damaged hair from the inside out. Moreover, the tropical-scented protein-free shampoo protects and moisturizes with cocoa seed powder, plantain skins, and tea tree oil. We consider this shampoo ideal for usage after removing a protective style and eliminating all the build-up nestled into your dull strands!

    Pros

    • Ideal for cleansing buildup
    • Fragrance-free
    • Has an amazing packaging
    • Easy to dispense
    • Promotes strong hair
    • Gives moisturized hair

    Cons

    • Might weigh down the hair a bit

    Now that we have discussed our top picks, we have also researched and taken a few notes on how you can also choose the best protein-free shampoo for yourself.

    Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Protein-free Shampoo

    Swipe down for factors to consider when purchasing your perfect protein-free shampoo.

    • Key Ingredients to Keep Close: Hydration and moisture are essential for flourishing and healthy hair, which may prevent aging by supplying natural nutrients to your strands. For this reason, we recommend shampoos with natural oils like argan, olive, avocado, and almond that nourish and strengthen your hair subtly. Additionally, go through the ingredient list for tea tree extracts/oil, lemon extracts, and willow bark extracts that are known to manage excess oiliness and sebum while also preventing inflammation and irritation on an oily scalp and hair. It’s also good to opt for cost-effective drugstore protein-free hair products that are great to maintain protein buildups and keep your hair healthy. 
    • Ingredients to Avoid: Though the list may run long, we recommend shunning amino acids, hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed oat flour, hydrolyzed silk, hydrolyzed silk protein, hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed collagen, quinoa protein, and rice protein. Even though these ingredients are good for the scalp, they can cause excess protein buildup which is a big no here!
    • Hair Type: Protein-free shampoos have various cleaning capabilities, so consider your scalp and hair type while selecting one. For instance, they are intended to clean your roots of excess protein, so if you have oily roots, you may require a shampoo that offers less hydration and more cleaning properties. Moreover, if you have dry hair and itchy scalp, try selecting shampoos with coconut oil and nourishing ingredients which cleanse and moisturize your roots.

    Conclusion:

    Incorporate the best protein-free shampoos in your hair care regimen to your hair from getting frizzy and breaking. We have selected a few based on their ingredients, texture, efficiency, and quality – they are recommended for all hair types. These non-protein shampoos that we’ve picked out can help you maintain a natural balance of hair nutrients and proteins, thus enhancing hair growth and improving hair health altogether. Feel free to glance through the buying guide again to select the most-suited product for your hair! 

    Author BIO

    With a keen eye for detail and a passion for hairstyling, Alvira is a certified Hair Expert who brings the latest tre More

    FAQ’s

    Why should anyone consider using protein-free shampoos?

    Ans. We recommend using a protein-free shampoo as it results in reduced frizz, breakage, and split ends while improving manageability and illuminating the luster of your hair strands.

    How do I get rid of protein buildup in my hair?

    Ans. We recommend choosing and using a protein-free shampoo from the list to strip off the excess protein buildup from your hair and scalp.

    How do I know if I have protein overload in my hair?

    Ans. In simple words, if your hair starts to feel like straw or hay even after conditioning, then it could possibly be a protein overload.

    How often should I use protein-free shampoos?

    Ans. We recommend cleansing your hair twice a week using a protein-free shampoo as it is sufficient to maintain the protein and moisture balance in your hair.

    How long does it take to see results when using protein-free shampoos?

    Ans. This depends on your hair type and how consistently you use the protein-free shampoo or conditioner on your hair. For in-depth insight, please consult a dermatologist to get a better idea of how to go about it.

    Why Trust Pinkvilla

    Alvira, the author is a budding journalist and a haircare expert. She has tried numerous products and ingredients to help you make an informed decision. It is after thorough research that she has curated this list of the best protein-free shampoos for dull hair. 

    Our product experts study the specifications of every product we suggest and try them out to bring what’s proven to be worthy of your money, time, and energy. We also have subject matter experts from various fields like Fashion, Skincare, Haircare, Home Decor, and Health & Fitness onboard to make sure our suggestions are credible and trustworthy. You can trust Select to be your faithful shopping guide for all the right reasons!

     

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