Our Top 10 Natural & Organic Shampoos

Organic Shampoos

Want your hair to be healthier? Try using natural & organic shampoos! We’ve found some of the very best for all hair types

By Diane Small

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 of the most readily available commercial products are not natural or organic shampoos. They may even contain animal ingredients like keratin, or chemicals that can harm your health.

And the main such ingredient? That would be sodium laureth sulphate (SLS).

With the use of sodium laureth sulphate, dioxins are created – and these are some of the most potentially dangerous carcinogens in the world. In fact, here’s a shocker: Agent Orange, the chemical spray used by the United States 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 car engines and kitchen floor cleaning products.

Common but nasty: the dangers of SLS

If you’ve ever wondered why shampoo labels always warn against getting the product in your eyes, it’s not because it stings. I mean, we all know that! Rather, it’s because SLS is highly irritating to all mucous membranes and the upper respiratory tract. It’s not difficult to avoid getting shampoo in your eyes. But avoiding inhaling SLS droplets in a hot shower is more difficult.

And that’s not the only issue you should be aware of. SLS is also damaging to hair follicles themselves.

Yep, that’s right. SLS corrodes hair follicles and actually impairs our ability to grow hair.

One study showed that if you use pure SLS on your scalp it will actually cause hair to fall out! No wonder 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.

Profound health hazards

There are, however, other more profound health hazards associated with SLS. Scientists have researched the effects of SLS extensively. Their studies reveal compelling and alarming evidence indicating that it should be avoided at all costs.

Among the findings is that SLS is rapidly taken up by eye tissue and retained. This is even more the case 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.

SLS can damage the immune system and cause severe inflammation of the skin. But maybe scariest of all, the damage is accumulative. And once your immune system is damaged, it takes long time for it to recover. You can also become more vulnerable to viruses or bacteria.

Unfortunately, it’s not only non-natural or organic shampoos we have to watch out for. SLS is in a lot of other personal care products as well. These include everything from toothpastes, hand and body soaps and bubble baths to facial cleansers and shaving gels. Luckily, the best organic shampoos will never have SLS!

Other harmful chemicals in shampoo

It’s not just SLS we need to worry about, unfortunately. Most commercial shampoos contain myriad other harmful chemicals. These can include:

  • Parabens. These preservatives have been associated with cancers.
  • Fragrance. This is often considered a ‘trade secret’ and can thus contain whatever harmful chemicals manufacturers want. And they don’t even need to list them!
  • 1.4 Dioxane. This one is complicated, so let’s go into depth on that below.

Watch out for 1.4 Dioxane!

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, 1.4-dioxane is generated through a process called ethoxylation, in which ethylene oxide, a known breast carcinogen, is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh. This process creates 1.4-dioxane.

For example, sodium laurel sulfate, a chemical that is harsh on the skin, is often converted to the less-harsh chemical sodium laureth sulfate (the “eth” denotes ethoxylation). The conversion process can lead to contamination of this ingredient with 1.4-dioxane.

Other common ingredients that may be contaminated by it include PEG compounds and chemicals that end with “xynol,” “ceteareth” and “oleth.” Most commonly, 1,4-dioxane is found in products that create suds, like shampoo, liquid soap and bubble bath.

The Environmental Working Group’s analysis suggests that:

  • 97 percent of hair relaxers
  • 57 percent of baby soaps
  • 22 percent of all cosmetic products

may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. Yipes!

But don’t worry – there’s no need to subject yourself to the harms of these chemicals! Just bin the toxic shampoos in your bathroom and replace them with one of the best of these all natural or organic shampoos below. We’ve tried and tested all of them ourselves!

Which one will work best for you?

The 10 Best Natural & Organic Shampoos

1. Aveda Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo

Want super soft hair that smells terrific, too? Try anything by Aveda! Their Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo is divine. It’s infused with a bunch of beneficial ingredients, including cherry blossoms and sweet almond oil to effectively eliminates impurities, whilst delivering plant-based moisturising and reparative properties to leave hair feeling surprisingly silky.

In fact, the brand is so well known for their deliciously scented hair care products, they’ve actually dubbed the aroma “pure-fume™”. The one used in their Cherry Almond Shampoo is derived from 38 flower and plant essences, and is so gorgeous, we’re sure it will get you compliments wherever you go!

Price: Around $17.50 per bottle

Organic? No

Vegan? Yes

10 Best Natural & Organic Shampoos

 

2. Juice Beauty Green Apple Shampoo

Good news! Juice Beauty’s hair care products are all made without petrochemical-derived ingredients. But it gets even better than that! They’re concentrated, so they last. You’ll never see water on the ingredient list! Instead, their chemists concentrate  antioxidant rich organic botanical juices, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. They’re all designed to revitalise your hair and boost its shine.

The brand is fully committed to using only certified organic ingredients, and they guarantee over 70% certified organic content of their shampoos and conditioners.

Price: Around $15.00 per bottle

Organic? Yes

Vegan? Yes

10 Best Natural & Organic Shampoos

 

3. Rahua Classics

Rich with organic and 100% natural ingredients, Rahua oil from the Amazon fortifies weak, damaged strands while nourishing and regenerating the scalp and hair follicles, allowing for hair to grow longer and stronger. South American Palo Santo offers delicate fragrance, providing a soothing aromatherapy experience while shampooing.

Here, it’s coconut that effectively removes oil, dirt and bacteria without stripping necessary nutrients. 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.

Price: Around $28.00 a bottle

Organic? Yes

Vegan? Yes

10 Best Natural & Organic Shampoos

4. 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. British brand Green People make a range of shampoos with various ingredients, and their products have no SLS or no foaming agents at all.

We found a little of this lavender scented product went a long way,  and Kate has said that this shampoo has changed her hair for the best – and that she uses it as a shower gel, too!

Price: Around $15.00 per tube

Organic? Yes

Vegan? Yes

10 Best Natural & Organic Shampoos

5. Dr Alkaitis Herbal Shampoo

This one’s for the luxury lovers! The herbal, SLS free formula leaves your hair surprisingly soft and bouncy after use. In fact, many people, including me, feel a conditioner isn’t even necessary!  No wonder it’s become something of a cult favourite and a best seller, despite the lofty price.

Price: Around $52.00 per bottle

Organic? Yes

Vegan? Yes

10 Best Natural & Organic Shampoos

6. 100% Pure Fruit Shampoos

Striving for stronger, healthier locks? Regular use of 100% Pure’s natural shampoos will help you achieve that. And they have many to choose from! They come in many gorgeous scents, including tangy yuzu and pomelo, herbal burdock and neem, and rich sea kelp and mint.

But their wonderfully scented virgin coconut and honey variety is probably our favourite! It’s a rich coconut foam that contains loads of hydrating, gently cleansing coconut and sweet honey, which promotes scalp health.

This sulfate-free shampoo is safe and gentle enough for colour treated hair, too.

Price: $24-$38 per bottle

Organic? No

Vegan? No (contains honey)

100% Pure shampoo

7. Pureology Hydrate Shampoo

Coloured hair needs special care, as the folks as Pureology know well! For that reason, they’ve formulated this deeply hydrating shampoo with an organic formula that’s designed especially to keep dyed hair soft, lustrous, and full of shine.

Instead of harmful SLS, the brand uses ZeroSulfate, a mild cleansing system that won’t strip hair of its colour. Derived from all-natural ingredients, including coconut, corn and sugar, it delivers a rich lather and helps optimise colour. In fact, this brand is one of the best brands of organic shampoos for those of us with dyed hair.

And did I mention they offer a shampoo that’s naturally fragranced with pink grapefruit, rose, and cedar? It smells DIVINE!

Price: Around $27.00 a bottle

Organic? No

Vegan? Yes

Pureology Hydrate

8. Leonor Greyl Paris Balancing Shampoo

Treat yourself to some incredibly luxurious natural shampoo! Leonor Greyl Paris was one of the first hair care brands to create their shampoos from plant-based, all natural ingredients.

Its cult formulas are free from harmful ingredients like coal tar, silicone, parabens and sodium laureth sulfate. They have been developed to address a variety of hair and scalp concerns, drawing on the expertise fostered at its research institute in Paris.

The brand offers all kinds of natural shampoos for all kinds of hair, from oily and thick to fine and dry. In each bottle, you’ll find ingredients like oat extracts and exotic floral oils. The latter make this brand’s products smell simply heavenly! Our favourite? The jasmine scented formula!

Price: Around $47 per bottle

Organic? No

Vegan? Yes

leonor greyl

 

9. Innersense Dry Shampoo

There are plenty of reasons for using a dry shampoo. Maybe you have no time to wash and blow dry; maybe you’re camping or travelling to a place where water is scarce. Or, perhaps you’re trying to preserve an awesome hairstyle. Or maybe you just want the volume that a dry shampoo offers (it really can give hair a boost, right from the roots). In any case, nobody does luxurious dry shampoos better than Innersense.

This Organic Dry Shampoo will naturally help balance oil production and soothe the scalp. It’s suitable for all hair types to refresh and volumise.

You can pop the conveniently sized compact in your purse for emergency freshen-ups, too. It’s definitely one of the easiest and best best organic shampoos to use on the go!

Price: Around $25

Organic? Yes

Vegan? No (contains honey)

Innersense Dry Shampoo

 

10. Reverie Shampoo

Sometimes, the best things are the simplest. And this organic shampoo fits the bill!

Reverie’s gentle organic shampoo lathers up a storm thanks to its mild, biodegradable ingredients – namely coconut and sugar cane products.

It’s perfect for any hair type, and is gentle on the scalp and hair shaft. In fact, you can even use this on colour treated hair with no problems! We also love its minimalist, recycled plastic bottle.

Price: $38

Organic? Yes

Vegan? Yes

reverie hair wash

 

Second image: Beauty Press

Diane Small
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64 thoughts on “Our Top 10 Natural & Organic Shampoos”

  1. Yes, I know I am a guy, and why am I reading an article on organic shampoos and your picks and reviews of each one? because I have been told that these products, organic and whatnot are beneficial to our health and of course our hair.

  2. I have baby fine hair that doesn’t grow. If I use a shampoo for more than a month it dries my hair. I do have frizzy hair occasionally especially during winter. What would you recommend that will give me bounce and volume.

  3. I am so thankful for your insight. I have found that most sites I have went on, gather there info from online shopping reviews that can be a bit misleading. However, yours is just an honest unbiased list, that is based on your own research and I thank you for this. I have long fine highlighted hair. Even though I have fine hair, I have lots of it. My hair can be a bit on the oily side but I can go at least a day without cleansing. I used to use shampoo for oily hair or colonizing. However, I discovered that it was stripping my oils away, which caused more oil, and even pimples on my scalp. So now I stick to repair/balancing/PH shampoos. My hair thankfully is now balanced, strong, and no more itchy clogged pores. I used Odylique first, which the tea tree helped calm my scalp. Then once my hair seemed more balanced I tried Rahua volume. Both excellent shampoos. However, the tea tree smell of Odylique was hard for me to accept, but if you can deal with the smell, it’s a fantastic shampoo, especially if you ran into an itchy pimply scalp like mine. Rahua is fantastic! A true spa like feeling. I’m thinking about switching to there new color shampoo. Looking forward to trying more of your recommended products.

  4. Good list of products, but they all still come in plastic bottles. Any useful alternatives? I heard of a new one that comes in aluminium bottles back can’t find it mentioned online anywhere.

  5. Thanks so much for this article. I’ve decided to go organic with my shampoo too. Anyone can recommend the best shampoo and conditioner or mask for oily thin hair with damaged dry ends?
    Thanks so much

  6. Hi,

    Can anyone help by recommending a safe hair spray and/or hair mousse brand?
    I have been reading your articles on hair color safety and good shampoos with great interest.
    Your extensive research with these articles is much appreciated! Just keep up the good work!

    With thanks,
    Laura Simoes
    July 14, 2017

  7. Keep mirrors from steaming up for weeks or even months by using this method: rub a little shampoo on the mirror and polish off without rinsing. It needs a bit of effort to polish away the smears but it’s worth it because the results last a long time.

  8. Are there any Sulafate frees that are lightly scented and or no scents . I need help. Been using a Sulfate Shampoo for baby’s. Lady quit making it. I prefer very very light scents. Nothing strong. Help anyone please!

  9. I’ve heard that switching from traditional to organic shampoo can help your hair a lot. I’ve never used any organic shampoo, but I’m really curious about trying one. Thanks to your list, I have a wide range to choose from! :)

    1. Hi Evelyn

      Personally, I think any shampoo without SLS will be better for dry hair. At the moment, I’m using Rahua and it seems to be working – it’s very gentle, and I don’t get any flyaway hair like I usually do in winter (my hair is quite fine and dry). Hope that helps? x

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. :)

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

    1. 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 :)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Machette98:

    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!

  19. 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!

    1. 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. :)

    2. 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 treetotub.com 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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 http://facenaturals.com

    1. 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

  22. 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.

    1. 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!

  23. 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.

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