Best Organic, Natural and Eco-Friendly Shampoos for All Hair Types


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We brought you the goods on great green hair conditioners. Naturally, now we’re following up with the best eco-friendly, natural, organic shampoos! (Or should it be the other way around?)

But first, why do we want to go organic and nontoxic with our shampoos? One reason: it’s called sodium lauryl sulfate.

This chemical is what makes regular shampoos suds up. Among other things, it can lead to skin damage, permanent eye damage in children and even liver toxicity.

The news is not much better for sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). On the up side, SLS cannot be metabolized by the liver. But that just mean the other bad things about it hang out that much longer in your body.  And don’t forget, it is also used to degrease engines.

There are alternatives. Some natural shampoos use disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, which can be considered the lesser of two evils. (Skin Deep rates it only a moderate health hazard.)

Better than that, there is decyl glucoside.  This is a mild sudsing agent certified for its eco-clean production. And some natural shampoos don’t use any sudsing ingredients at all – though this means they don’t foam up very well and if you’re accustomed to the foaming action of most shampoos, it can take some getting used to.

Confused? Not to worry. We went through quite a few natural and organic shampoos to sort out the best picks for your different hair types. And we point out the good and the bad.  So get ready to get lathered up!

And Our Top Pick Is”¦

Tasmanian Lavender Shampoo from Sea Chi Organics

Out of all the shampoos I sampled, this combined the best of everything. It had a fantastic scent that can best be described as “spicy lavender.”  It really foamed up in the shower and didn’t leave any build up. Best of all, if left my hair feeling silky and light.

Its ingredients read like a breakfast menu: seaweed extract, nettles, marshmallow root, comfrey root, calendula blossoms, oat straw, kombucha tea and more. It does not contain any solvents or sodium lauryl or sodium laureth sulfates. Bravo on the organic suds! And finally, it is great for all hair types.

Best for Normal Hair

Lavender Rosemary Shampoo from John Masters Organics

This is another great product from John Masters Organics. It was a bit thick and heavy going on, so it is probably not best for every day use.

It is free of sodium lauryl sulfate, using decyl glucoside to get sudsy. It contains 13 other certified-organic ingredients and is cruelty-free.

Pampering Carrot Juice Shampoo from Yes to Carrots

This fun product has a fresh, light floral smell.  It lathered well, rinsed well and left my hair feeling light.

This paraben-free shampoo is blended with organic carrot, sweet potato and pumpkin, which act as potent antioxidants to cleanse and moisturize the hair. It also contains Dead Sea Mud (seriously), melon, orange and honey. However, it does contain some sodium laureth sulfate, so be warned.

Best for Dry Hair…

Teatree Mint Shampoo from Organix

Out of all the samples I tried, this is the best bang for your buck. It retails for about $6 and has a delicious mint smell that lingers. It left my hair feeling soft and clean, and there’s a good suds factor.

It has organic Australian tea tree oils, moisturizing milk proteins and micro-infused peppermint oils for hydration and balance. It is sulfate free, but does contain disodium laureth sulfosuccinate.

Burt’s Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit & Sugar Beet Shampoo

This smells exactly as you would imagine – sugary and grapefruity. It is pH-balanced, and sodium laury/laureth sulfate-, paraben- and phthalate-free. And it contains decyl glucoisde.

I found it rather hard to work through my hair and had to follow with conditioner. But it did leave my hair feeling clean and refreshed.

Best Clarifying Shampoos…

Why do we want an occasional rinse with a clarifying shampoo?  Well, to remove chlorine and mineral buildup. Use them once a week and you will notice a difference in your hair. Just be sure to follow with a great conditioner, as overuse can strip your hair of all the good oils.

Hair Detoxifier from Aveda

By far, this is the best product for the task at hand. It has a clean, camphor smell that perks you up. It is almost magical how clean and silky your hair will feel after use. (And trust me, it has to be magical to get me to use the term magical.)

It contains certified organic aloe and no synthetic reducing agents. And it suds with disodium laureth sulfosuccinate. Like all Aveda products, it is cruelty-free and contains 80% post-consumer packaging.

Clarifying Shampoo from Alba Botanica

This has a pleasant fruity scent that didn’t disappoint. My only complaint is that it is a bit thick, so leave some time to lather it out of your hair.

Alba Botanica’s shampoo is made with eucalyptus, which has antiseptic and cooling qualities. It is free of sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, artificial colors and of course there is no animal testing. It also contains 100% vegetarian ingredients.

Best Volumizing Shampoos…

Volumizing Shampoo from Nurture My Body

This product lathers sufficiently and left my hair feeling full and clean. It contains oat extract and honey to help strengthen the hair.

Nuture My Body’s product does not contain sodium laurel sulfate or any harsh detergents. It is supposed to be fragrance-free, but it smells more like light vitamins. Not bad, just not exactly fragrance-free. (Though it is free of the “fragrance” that is often used in non-organic brands which is nothing more than parabens.)

Big Body Shampoo from Kiss My Face

This product has a complex, fruity scent. Another great value, it is made with certified organic ingredients like floral water of rosemary, chamomile, lemon balm and more.

It contains no animal ingredients, sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial colors, or unnecessary chemicals.

Image: Meg Yarsh

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DISCUSSION

21 thoughts on “Best Organic, Natural and Eco-Friendly Shampoos for All Hair Types

  1. I have been trying to make the switch to natural products, and I finally do not have to sacrifice health for style with the Shielo Volume Shampoo! I have fine hair and am an everyday washer (I have to be…); this shampoo leaves my hair healthy and full. I would recommend always using the Shielo Volume Conditioner as well, at least on the ends. Great product and the best natural shampoo I’ve found yet.

  2. I am sorry to see some of the brands chosen for this list:Jason, Burt’s Bees,Aveda, and Yes to Carrots are examples of companies NOT dedicated to making truly safe products. Burt’s Bees, owned by Clorox, adds synthetic fragrance to many of their products; Avedas, owned by Estee Lauder, may make some safe option but as a company, Estee Lauder is a huge contributer to our toxin problem. I would have loved to see Ava Anderson Non-Toxic on the list– a great company with fantastic products.

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  5. Dell Roberson,

    Your post concerns me and I’m wondering if you have any suggestions? :(

  6. There are some chemical free, non toxic hair products out there that are new. My stylist just got them in. They use African black soap in place of Sulfates. They have several shampoo’s & Conditioner & styling products. Ive used the Kept Voluminous, which I LOVE! It smells like Orange Creamsicle :) I have also used the hairspray & Styling cream….these are now my absolute favorite hair products. Their website is http://www.ilovekept.com

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  8. Huh? ” “Though it is free of the “fragrance” that is often used in non-organic brands which is nothing more than parabens”. Parabens and fragrance are two entirely different things. How am I supposed to take any info in this article seriously with such a glaring piece of misinformation?

  9. Ok I am glad to see an effort put forth but seriously I have not found any shampoo that is organic or natural yet that does not have some sort of side effect from transdermally being absorbed into the body and it does as you wash it out and it runs right down your spine. I am very kinethetical aware of what goes on in my body and can tell you to the inst degree of what anything does. As far as the shampoos listed with comfrey root and tea tree oil aviod them like the plague they are very toxic for long term use and will cause respiratory problems as well as many other , google it you’ll see. As far any containing any kind of cirtrus I would avoid those as well as you well see that over a period within a week your bones will start to pop and creak more, internally its fine but from external to internal not ok , you might think it sounds crazy but if you pay attention you will see what I am talking about.

  10. I would like to see more option since there are many types of hairs and hair problems.

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed this review. I found the information quite refreshing as well as useful. I have also read the feedback below. I am quite concerned about the 1-4 Dioxane being included in some of these organic products. All in all, food for thought.

  12. I am surprised that you chose SEA CHI ORGANICS , ALBA and KISS MY FACE as organic or green. All these and more brands touting themselves to be “Organic” are found to be loaded with 1,4-Dioxane. Which really makes you wonder.

    The best one can say is that at least there are groups/companies looking into stuff like this.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/022846.html

    Natural Consumer Products Found Contaminated with Cancer-Causing 1,4-Dioxane.

    ” A cancer-causing compound called 1,4-dioxane has been found in some of the most commonly used petroleum-based cosmetics by a study commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association, including products from Kiss My Face, Nutribiotic, Jason, Ecover, Citrus Magic, 365, Alba, Lifetree, Giovanni, Seventh Generation, Method, Earth Friendly Products, Sea-Chi Organics and many other brands . 1,4-dioxane (often just called dioxane) is a clear, colorless, organic compound that’s a liquid at room temperature and is a known human carcinogen”

    “Companies whose products were found to be free of 1,4-Dioxane include Dr. Bronner’s, Aubrey Organics, Burt’s Bees, Desert Essence, Dr. Hauschka, EO, TerrEssential, Zia Fresh, Avalon Organics and other companies.

    Some companies had products in both categories, meaning some of their products were found to be contaminated with 1,4-Dioxane while other products from the same company were found to be free of 1,4-Dioxane. These companies included Alba, Jason, Kiss my Face, Method, Nature’s Gate, Origins, Shikai and others”

  13. To the dandruff question: try Urban Hillbilly Organics shampoo for color treated hair. It contains essential oil of Clary sage, which is very effective in treating dandruff. There are no sulphates or any artificial foaming agents for that matter.

  14. I love peppermint so I had to give the Made from Earth organic “Tea Tree Shampoo” and “Peppermint Conditioner” a try. I’ve used Castille soaps before and never really loved the distinct smell they have.

    Anyway, the Peppermint Condition er and the Tea Tree Shampoo (from Made from Earth)are amazing and I LOVE the way it smells. And it really is true that you get a bit of tingle from the mint.

    I only use sulfate-free washes because they don’t make me dry and itchy. Sulfate-free washes are pretty hard to find so do yourself a favor and buy this wash!

  15. Hmm. I’ve actually found that the Yes to Carrots shampoo is quite drying for my hair. It feels like it’s stripped everything off, but not left anything good behind. I suppose I should try one of the ‘dry hair’ shampoos!

  16. I have fine, thin hair and consequently have tried several volumizing shampoos. I find that the Made from Earth “Tea + Protein Shampoo” does truly add volume to my hair, as well as making styling control a bit easier.

    And it does have a wonderful scent! I could stand in the shower all day washing my hair with this shampoo! :) I will continue to buy this product over and over again because I’ve seen it make my hair thicker…its prob the protein making the hair strands stronger.

    Plus it chemical free, so there is no harm in using it. Recommended if you are interested in adding more colume to your hair.

  17. EcoColors is has a new shampoo and conditioner, the conditioner is fantastic. The shampoo cleans the hair very well especially after using ecocolors hair color. The ingredients are great also.

  18. Unfortunately the hair detoxifier from Aveeda says that it is no longer available =(

    One of my all time favorite shampoos is the Aveeda rosemary min variety – I have rather fine hair down to my lower back, and the extra strengthening that rosemary provides is nice!

  19. John Masters Organics Reconstructing shampoo and conditioner is one of the best organic hair treatment products in the market.

    Burt’s Bees Hair care is range also great but the John Masters Brand feels more luxurious

  20. What about organic shampoos/conditioners for colored hair or oily hair?

  21. Do you have any suggestions for eco friendly/organic dandruff shampoo?

 

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