Is Raw Sugar a good shampoo?

Raw Sugar natural shampoo has become a popular hair care choice in recent years. With its promise of using nourishing plants and minerals to cleanse hair gently, many people wonder if it can really deliver the healthy, beautiful hair we seek. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using Raw Sugar shampoo to help you decide if it’s right for your hair.

What is Raw Sugar Shampoo?

Raw Sugar shampoos are sulfate-free, paraben-free, and made with natural ingredients like coconut oil, mango butter, avocado oil, and vitamins. They aim to hydrate and nourish hair while gently cleansing away dirt, oil, and product buildup. The brand offers shampoos for all hair types, including formulas for color-treated, dry, and damaged hair.

Some of the key ingredients in Raw Sugar shampoos include:

  • Coconut Oil – hydrates and protects hair
  • Avocado Oil – moisturizes and softens hair
  • Mango Butter – nourishes, softens, and boosts shine
  • Murumuru Butter – moisturizes and smoothes hair
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – balances pH, clarifies, and adds shine

By using plant oils and butters instead of harsh sulfates, Raw Sugar aims to create a gentle, nourishing cleanser for all hair types. Their products are also vegan and cruelty-free.

The Pros of Using Raw Sugar Shampoo

There are several advantages that Raw Sugar shampoo can offer your hair:

Gentle Cleansing

Raw Sugar shampoos are free of sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. These harsh detergents can strip hair of its natural oils and cause damage over time. Raw Sugar uses gentler cleansers like decyl glucoside to wash away dirt and oil without stripping your hair.

Moisturizing Natural Ingredients

The natural oils and butters in Raw Sugar shampoos help nourish hair and provide much-needed moisture. Ingredients like mango butter, avocado oil, murumuru butter, and coconut oil penetrate the hair shaft to deeply hydrate hair and protect it from damage.

Safe for Color-Treated Hair

Raw Sugar’s sulfate-free formulas are ideal for color-treated hair. Sulfates can cause color fade by stripping color molecules from the hair shaft. By avoiding sulfates, Raw Sugar helps keep dyed and highlighted hair vibrant for longer.

pH Balancing

Some Raw Sugar shampoos contain apple cider vinegar, which helps balance the pH level of your scalp and hair. This can help optimize the condition of your hair and reduce problems like dryness and brittleness.

Cruelty-Free and Vegan

All Raw Sugar products are Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free and vegan. So you can feel good about choosing their natural, ethically made products.

Affordable Pricing

Considering their high-quality natural ingredients, Raw Sugar shampoos are very competitively priced. An 11oz bottle typically costs between $8-$12 depending on the formula, making it accessible for most budgets.

The Cons of Using Raw Sugar Shampoo

While Raw Sugar shampoo offers some hair-healthy benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks to be aware of too:

May Cause Buildup on Some Hair Types

The nourishing oils and butters that make Raw Sugar shampoo so hydrating can be a double-edged sword. These ingredients may start to build up on the hair shaft after several washes, leaving hair looking greasy or limp.

This is most likely to affect people with finer hair textures. Those with thick, coarse hair probably won’t notice any weighing down from the shampoo formulas.

Limited Lathering

If you love a rich, foamy lather when you wash your hair, you may be disappointed with sulfate-free shampoos like Raw Sugar. The gentler cleansers produce a lighter lather compared to harsher detergents.

While less lather doesn’t mean the shampoo isn’t working, some people don’t feel their hair is fully cleansed without that thick foam.

May Not Cleanse Enough for Some Hair Types

Raw Sugar shampoos may be too gentle to thoroughly cleanse very oily or product-heavy hair. People who use lots of heavy styling products may find their hair falls flat or feels weighed down after washing with a Raw Sugar shampoo.

Those with very oily scalps may also find that their roots get greasy again too quickly, indicating the shampoo isn’t cleansing oil thoroughly enough.

Not ideal for Damaged or Over-Processed Hair

While the nourishing formulas help strengthen and hydrate hair, Raw Sugar shampoos may not provide enough cleansing power for hair that’s been extensively damaged from over-processing. Hair that’s been overly bleached or chemically relaxed may need occasional clarifying washes the Raw Sugar formulas don’t provide.


Raw Sugar shampoos offer a gentle, non-toxic way to cleanse and hydrate all hair types. The nourishing natural ingredients like coconut oil, mango butter, and avocado oil provide genuine hair-healthy benefits. However, the gentle sulfate-free formulas may not cleanse or volumize sufficiently for some hair types.

Here are some tips to get the best results from Raw Sugar shampoo:

  • Shampoo twice if you need extra cleansing power or volume at the roots.
  • Use a clarifying shampoo once a week if you notice buildup.
  • Rotate with a volumizing shampoo if your roots get too oily.
  • Use conditioner only from mid-length to ends to avoid residue on roots.
  • Consider the lightweight blends if your hair is very fine or tends to get oily.

While not right for every hair type, Raw Sugar makes an excellent choice for anyone seeking a non-toxic shampoo that intensively hydrates and nourishes hair. Follow the above tips to counteract any potential issues with weigh down or insufficient cleansing.

Focusing on high-quality natural ingredients, ethical production, and skin-healthy formulas, Raw Sugar aims to check all the boxes for the socially-conscious consumer. If you’re willing to trade thick lather for gentle, nourishing washes, Raw Sugar shampoo can be a good choice for healthier-looking hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Raw Sugar shampoo good for curly hair?

Raw Sugar shampoo can be great for curly hair when used properly. The nourishing oils hydrate and define curls. But buildup can weigh down fine curls. Clarify regularly and focus conditioner on ends to prevent too much moisture on roots.

Does Raw Sugar shampoo lather?

Raw Sugar shampoos produce a gentle, creamy lather rather than a thick, sulfated foam. The lather may not seem as robust but the shampoo still effectively cleanses the hair.

Is Raw Sugar shampoo good for color treated hair?

Yes, Raw Sugar shampoos are ideal for color treated hair. The sulfate-free formulas help seal in color and prevent fading. Extracts like rooibos also protect and intensify color.

Does Raw Sugar shampoo contain parabens?

No, Raw Sugar shampoos are paraben-free. They skip these controversial preservatives and use natural extracts to preserve the formulas instead.

Is Raw Sugar good for thinning or fine hair?

Raw Sugar shampoos can work for fine, thinning hair with some extra care. Avoid applying conditioner at roots which can make hair limp and greasy. Clarify regularly to prevent product buildup weighing hair down.

Comparing Raw Sugar Shampoo to Other Popular Natural Brands

How does Raw Sugar shampoo compare to some other popular natural hair care brands? Here’s a quick look at how some of the top options stack up:

Brand Key Features Price Range
Raw Sugar Sulfate-free; natural oils and butters; colorful packaging; affordable $8-$12 per bottle
SheaMoisture Ingredients like raw shea butter; ideal for very dry hair; certified organic ingredients $12-$15 per bottle
Desert Essence Eco-friendly packaging; vegan; uses mineral and botanical ingredients $8-$15 per bottle
Acure 100% vegan; sustainable packaging; wide range of hair textures $10-$20 per bottle

As you can see, Raw Sugar is very competitively priced and offers high quality plant-based ingredients comparable to the top natural shampoo brands. Ultimately it comes down to your individual hair needs and product preferences.

Pros and Cons of Raw Sugar Shampoo

Here is a quick overview of the main pros and cons of using Raw Sugar shampoo:


  • Sulfate-free, gentle cleansing
  • Nourishing oils and butters hydrate hair
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Balances pH levels
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Affordable pricing


  • Can cause buildup on some hair
  • Limited lathering
  • May not cleanse enough for very oily hair
  • Not ideal for damaged/overprocessed hair

The Takeaway on Raw Sugar Shampoo

Raw Sugar shampoo is a quality choice if you’re seeking a natural shampoo focused on gentle, hydrating formulas for all hair types. The nourishing ingredients like mango butter and coconut oil can strengthen and protect hair from damage. Just be aware it may not cleanse or volumize sufficiently for some oily and product-heavy styles.

Overall, Raw Sugar aims to give you a non-toxic, socially responsible product that intensively hydrates and nourishes your hair. While it has some limitations, it delivers quality ingredients at an affordable price point.

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