Beauty Hair

Our Top 10 Natural & Organic Shampoos


By Arwa Lodhi

While we often worry about what goes in our cosmetics and skincare, we neglect to check the ingredients of a product we all use every day: shampoo. And unfortunately, almost all commercial shampoos contain ingredients that can harm your health.

The main such ingredient is sodium laurel sulphate (SLS).

With sodium laurel sulphate, dioxins are created – and they are some of the most potentially dangerous carcinogens in the world–in fact, Agent Orange, the chemical spray used by America to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam, was made of that.

SLS is commonly used, nonetheless, because it’s cheap and has the ability to foam up when mixed with a bit of salt. Unfortunately, many consumers have the perception that lots of foam=cleaner hair, but this is not the case: the foam itself doesn’t help clean your hair much. But SLS does get rid of grease, which is why it is used for cleaning engines and in garage and kitchen floor cleaning products.

If you’ve ever wondered why shampoo labels always warn against getting the product in your eyes, it’s not because it stings–we all know that–it’s because SLS is highly irritating to all mucous membranes and the upper respiratory tract; yet avoiding inhaling droplets of it is difficult in a hot shower.  It’s also damaging to hair follicles themselves.

It may sound silly, but have you noticed that homeless people are rarely bald? It may be because they don’t often use shampoo: SLS also corrodes hair follicles and impairs their ability to grow hair. One study showed that if you use pure SLS on your scalp it will cause hair to fall out! Some trichologists (hair specialists) believe that increasing use of SLS and the salt that is added to it to make it foam is leading more women to lose their hair (or to have it thin out) than ever before.

There are however other more profound health hazards associated with SLS. Scientists have studied the effects of SLS extensively, and their studies reveal compelling and alarming evidence indicating that it should be avoided. Among the findings is that SLS is rapidly taken up by eye tissue and retained; this is even more so for children. SLS is absorbed through skin contact, not just through the eyes, and has been documented to enter and maintain residual levels in the brain, liver, heart, and lungs. It can damage the immune system and cause severe inflammation of the skin, but scariest of all, the damage is accumulative, and once your immune system is damaged, it takes long time for it to recover. This can lead to a form of suppression of your body that allows you to become more vulnerable to viruses or bacteria.

Unfortunately, it’s not only shampoos we have to watch out for. SLS is in a lot of other personal care products as well, including toothpaste, hand and body soaps, bubble baths, facial cleansers, shaving gel. But don’t worry–we’ll be discovering healthier product alternatives for you over the coming weeks. In the meantime, bin the SLS-laden shampoos in your bathroom and replace them with one of the fantastic SLS-free shampoos, all of which contain at least some organic ingredients, and which we’ve tried and tested ourselves, below.

Please note: Eluxe was not paid for any of these endorsements!

1. Dr Organic Shampoos

Dr Organics uses a combination of bioactive, organic and natural ingredients, such as Argan oil, Manuka Honey and Aloe Vera to get your hair clean and soft, but be warned: it also contains some synthetic surfactants like cocamidopropyl betaine, which some may find irritating but which has been given a low hazard rating (4) by the Environmental Working Group. Still, Dr Organic shampoo cleanses and foams up well, and the presence of humectants like Argan oil leave hair soft and tangle free. The shampoos also have a  lovely scent based on different natural ingredients such as mandarin peel oil, geranium oil, patchouli and cinnamon. Our favourite is the Manuka Honey, which really does smell like you just fell into a honey pot!



2. Odylique

This certified organic shampoo shampoo is made of 70% organic ingredients, with coco glucoside as its main cleanser. It has a very subtle, light scent, as it is perfumed with just a touch of chamomile and rosemary extracts, so if you’re looking for a product to perfume your hair, this may not be right for you. The product creates a gentle lather with a clean finish, and best of all, doesn’t strip hair of colour or natural sheen.



3. Stop the Water While Using Me!

This tangy grapefruit and rosemary scented shampoo has a label (and a name!) that reminds you to turn the water off whilst you’re massaging the product in. A little dollop goes a long way, rinses out easily, and leaves no stripped feeling. The main ingredient here is a coconut based one: coco glucoside, plus wheat proteins. There is a ‘parfum’ on the ingredients list, which is a bit worrying as this word can potentially refer to any kind of chemical, but as the brand claims there are no artificial ingredients, we assume it’s a naturally based citrus scent.




4. Rahua Classics

Rich with organic and 100% natural ingredients, Rahua oil fortifies weak, damaged strands while nourishing and regenerating the scalp and hair follicles, allowing for hair to grow longer and stronger. Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) offers delicate fragrance – providing a soothing aromatherapy experience while shampooing. Again, it’s coconut that is used to effectively remove oil, dirt and bacteria without stripping necessary nutrients, and shea butter ensures your hair doesn’t dry out. This pure, gentle formula cleanses hair with fewer suds, which means it’s not removing colour or previously applied treatments.



5. Green People Daily Aloe Shampoo

Apparently a fave of Kate Moss’s, this is a soothing natural shampoo for all hair types, but especially for those with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Green People make a range of shampoos with various ingredients, and their products have no SLS or no foaming agents at all, and are also free of drying salt. Like Stop the Water While Using Me, we found a little of this lavender scented product went a long way.


6. NATU Shampoos and Conditioners

This is one of our latest finds. Free from sulphates, parabens, silicones, resins, DEA, TEA, MEA, Phthalates, Petroleum products and synthetic fragrances, NATU has a comprehensive range of shampoos, conditioners and hair serums aimed at different hair issues. As well as the usual ‘dry’, ‘oily’ and ‘normal’, there’s one for colour treated hair; another for fine hair and one for super-thick hair too. The lather isn’t as rich as it would be with chemical shampoos, but there IS a nice lather. The scent is gently herbal and pleasant, and the conditioners are rich and creamy, leaving your hair totally tangle-free.


7. Saach Organics Hair Strengthening Shampoo

Herbs like basil and hibiscus clean and nourish the hair from the root to the tips, while added peppermint oil helps with blood circulation to the scalp, which feeds the hair shaft from deep within. Saach also uses almond oil and coconut milk in its all-natural formulations to ensure your hair doesn’t dry out or break off. This is a deeply conditioning formula that uses the power of ancient Indian Ayurvedic techniques to help revitalise dry, damaged hair.


 8. Luxsit Organics Enlight Shampoo

This luxury shampoo from Sweden comes housed in an elegant black pump bottle. Free from all harmful ingredients, Luxsit shampoos use Coco Glucoside as a base, which gives a nice, gentle lather. Peppermint and rosemary oils stimulate the scalp and lend a refreshing, long lasting scent to your mane, while natural oat and kelp extracts create shinier, healthier hair. This is a highly concentrated formula, and a little goes a long way! While we love the shampoos, we found the conditioners a bit watery, however, and we needed to apply a lot to detangle wet hair.



9. John Masters 

John Masters really is the ‘Master’ of natural hair care. His wide range of shampoos, conditioners, hair masks and styling products are fully based on natural ingredients, with many of these being from organic sources. We’ve tried and tested a good many of these, and have several favourites, including this Honey and Hibiscus Shampoo. Fortified with soy, rice & oat proteins to renew and reconstruct damaged hair, this SLS-free shampoo permeates the hair shaft with nutrients and of course, the added organic honey and hibiscus make your hair smell gently wonderful!


10. Naturigin Hairwash

Eco certified with organic aloe and lavender oil, this highly balanced, very mild formula was made for daily use. It adds a healthy shine to the hair, and was especially formulated to protect coloured treated hair – and natural hair, too, of course!


Main image: Beauty Press

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  • Reply
    Apr 18, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Hello Arwa!

    I tend to agree with you that Sodium Laurel Sulphate can really irritate our mucous membranes as well as our upper respiratory tract. This ingredient can also irritate our hair follicles. Therefore I believe that we should avoid shampoo that has this ingredient. As for me, my favorite shampoo is
    Organic Excellence Mint Shampoo. This product is really good.

  • Reply
    Aug 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I’m a big fan of Odylique. This is a fantastic product.

  • Reply
    Just One Condition: the Best Co Washing Shampoos - Eluxe Magazine
    Sep 23, 2014 at 2:28 am

    […] already mentioned the dangers of chemically loaded shampoos here in Eluxe, and have listed some of the best organic shampoos around, too. But now, […]

    • Reply
      Feb 25, 2016 at 2:25 am

      We’ve tried Odylique and honestly think so too! (and as mentioned in the article NO ONE has paid us for any endorsements, ever!)

  • Reply
    M Dandon
    Sep 24, 2014 at 5:18 am

    My personal experience with these harsh shampoo brands were pretty bad. That’s why I prefer organic brands.

    However, we should also know that not all so-called organic products are really organic. Only USDA certified brands are really about 95% to 99% (maybe) organic.

    So we still need to be careful about going “organic” all the time.

    • Reply
      Sep 30, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      That’s a good point! Standards vary from country to country too. But the worst offenders are those who name their brand things like ‘Organic Essences’ or ‘Organix’ and actually contain nothing organic whatsoever….beware the greenwash!

  • Reply
    Top 10 Questions About Hair Care: Answered! - Eluxe Magazine
    Oct 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm

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    7 Natural Ways to Prevent Hair Loss - Eluxe Magazine
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    […] to worry: Eluxe has recommended some fantastic, gentle shampoos with all natural ingredients. If you can’t find those locally, head down to your local health […]

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  • Reply
    Feb 27, 2015 at 4:55 am

    I was using John Masters till I discovered the toxic ingredients they use. After much research I found Face Naturals organic shampoo and conditioners. All there products rate 0 on skin deep and they are the real deal. I had many conversations with their staff and they really care about what you put on your skin. Their website is

    • Reply
      Apr 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks Bonnie! The site looks good!

    • Reply
      Apr 25, 2015 at 5:58 am

      Hey Bonnie! I am currently using John Masters & am alarmed to hear you found toxic ingredients in their products!! What ingredients were they? I would really like to look into this further. Thanks

      • Reply
        Feb 25, 2016 at 2:29 am

        Hi Sara
        I just looked into this, sorry for the long delay! Here is a link to the hazardous ingredients: They are NOT in the shampoo listed, but are in body creams and conditioners. VERY disappointed to learn that, though the shampoos are still ok…shame not ALL their products are reliable though 🙁

  • Reply
    Jun 7, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    I have fine, wavy (2b/2c) hair with a scalp that tends to get dry. I started using the Made from Earth Peppermint Conditioner about a month ago, and my hair looks better than it’s ever looked: shiny and healthy with well-defined curls. The best part is that it’s been great for my scalp too! No flakes, dryness, or itching.

  • Reply
    Sep 5, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I’m having trouble finding a shampoo that is right for my hair. I have very thick hair, but they are fine hairs. The organic or natural shampoos I’ve used are either too oily for my scalp and don’t rinse out of my thin hairs very easily or have the opposite effect and leave my hair dry and frizzy (Avalon Organics, for example).

    I’ve been trying the poo free method where I only use baking soda once a week, the rest of the week I just rinse it, and i spread my natural oils through my hair with a brush daily. I’m finding that I can’t get all of the baking soda out of my hair, because I have so many freakin thin hairs to get it through.

    I would appreciate any helpful feedback. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Jan 5, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      You should try Renovo beauty’s basil honey lemongrass shampoo. Your hair is just like mine (baby fine, but a lot of it) so you should see good results. 🙂

    • Reply
      Jul 28, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      Hey I have the same problem. I have long straight hair and it’s really dense or thick. I started using Dr. hauschka because it’s really famous and people on the internet recommend me. It worked but sometimes it left some residue deep in my scalp. I solved it by washing more throughly my hair, but it smelled funny and the liquid is a bit granulated. I heard from a friend about and tried it out because they threw free samples for promotion and loved it. What I like about it is that it cleans and moisturizes my hair, so there is no need for conditioner. They make it with soapberries and it’s all natural, but I don’t really know the details, but you can look it up on the internet.

  • Reply
    Oct 14, 2015 at 2:44 pm


    Hi. I too have very fine but thick hair. It’s also very bleached, if you can imagine. I treat my scalp with doo gro mega thick growth oil by putting a little on my fingertips and massaging it in. If you don’t like the ingredients that are in it: it’s a blend of oils, one of which is almond oil, then you may just try straight almond oil? I don’t wash my hair every day. But I am also able to take Nature’s Gate tea tree conditioner and add extra oils like lavender and peppermint to it to stop the dry scalp. Between that and the Doo Grow oil after two weeks I have no dry scalp flakes. I do not put the Doo Gro in my hair, only on my scalp, not the rest of my hair. Use too much of it and you will regret it but it washes off easily as they are lighter oils. I’ve tried using a tiny bit of coconut oil or jojoba oil by itself and it didn’t work. Just passing on what worked for me. Hope it helps and if not that you find something that does. Wishing you luck. Itchy scalp is no fun!

  • Reply
    angie sam
    Oct 16, 2015 at 5:33 am

    I’ve switched to all natural shampoos, because the sulphates and other chemicals have been making my scalp itchy. However all of the “organic/earth friendly” products I’ve tried left me hair either dry, unclean or a complete tangled mess. After doing some research. the Somaluxe Shampoo (Clarify & Restore) came highly recommended for being hair friendly. I had my Somaluxe products within a few days of ordering them – it shampoo rinsed clean leaving my hair soft and nourished. I followed up with the conditioner. Both Somaluxe products left my hair looking and feeling healthier. Great! Natural ingredients that really work.

  • Reply
    Oct 27, 2015 at 4:05 am

    I love reading through an article that will make
    people think. Also, many thanks for allowing for mee to comment!

  • Reply
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    Dec 6, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    One of the best Organic skin and hair care lines is Intelligent Nutrients by Horst Rechelbacher. Horst was the founder of Aveda. This line is awesome! They carry his products at hospitals for cancer patients. Being an Esthetician certified in Oncology Esthetics, I would feel comfortable recommend his products to cancer patients.

    • Reply
      Dec 6, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks for the tip Jenn! We couldn’t try ALL the organic shampoos in the world, but that one sounds great too! 🙂

      • Reply
        Dec 6, 2015 at 4:55 pm

        You’re welcome Chere! Thank you for letting me post.: )

  • Reply
    Dec 21, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    For awhile now I’ve wanted to switch to an all natural shampoo, because the sulphates and other chemicals have been making my scalp itchy. However all of the “organic/earth friendly” products I’ve tried left me hair either dry, unclean or a complete tangled mess. After doing some research The Somaluxe Clarifying Shampoo came highly recommended for being earth and hair friendly. The shampoo rinsed clean leaving my hair soft and nourished. I followed up with the Somaluxe Conditioner. Both products left my hair looking and feeling healthier. Great! Natural ingredients that really work. They really are an outstanding value.

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  • Reply
    Feb 11, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    can you pls suggest a natural and organic shampoo and conditioner for frizzy hair.

    • Reply
      Feb 11, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      I think John Masters is a great brand – it’s really hydrating and smooths the cuticles perfectly. Use their hair mask as a conditioner to kill the frizz – it is light enough to use as a conditioner, but heavy enough to kill the frizz! Hope that helps 🙂

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  • Reply
    Mar 13, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    I’m using the Instant revive collection be Minerals of Eden. it’s Free of: Sodium Chloride, SLS, Parabens, Formaldehyde and Phthalates. and Results I must say are amazing!

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  • Reply
    May 5, 2016 at 12:47 am

    I personally love Pro Naturals ! 😉

  • Reply
    Jun 1, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    I started to use Sophie la girafe baby hair and body wash after I used it for my kids, and their naturally curly hair turned into more bouncy while looking really clean and healthy (even after sweatty summer days). It also smells so nice, very mild opposite to most natural stuff I have used. After using it for three months now my scalp is doing really well and the itchiness I had every now and then is gone. My husband also tested it for sort of oily scalp with flaky dandruff. With regular usage (washing every day) the scalp is clean and his shoulders are clean after long day at work.

  • Reply
    Mary Ware
    Jun 21, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    The best shampoo and conditioner I have used are from GKhair brand. They are stellar products for dry, brittle and dull hair. They worked really very well on my dry and dull hair. Truly a game changer for me. Would definitely recommend to everyone who is suffering from dry, brittle and dull hair. And wants beautiful and healthy hair. 🙂

  • Reply
    Hair Care
    Jul 21, 2016 at 8:54 am

    I haven’t tried any of this shampoo and conditioner. I’ll look for it and see the difference it can give to my hair. For now, I’ll stick with the shampoo I”m using while using coconut oil as my deep conditioner. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply
    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Great to find this article. I am going to read these products ingredients and see which ones are the 100% natural, chemical free and meet my hair requirements. I was on no poo method but did not work that well, no results. I have Indian origin hair, so not shampooing on daily bases thus may be no shampoo method did not make difference.

    Currently for several months I have been using Indian all plant based raw material – soapnut [reetha], shikakai and amla but the hair looks frizzy, bouncy – puffy and tangled, does not give smooth and sleek look. Though going all 100% natural my hair has definitely added that sheer and shine.

    Please help if you have any suggestions.

  • Reply
    Sep 28, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Hi! I think that you should try Saach Organics

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