How To Choose The Best Natural Shampoo
What is the secret to having great, healthy hair? Well, a good routine with the right products is certainly a good place to start. How you wash your hair and what products you use are basically the foundation of your routine.
While you might have multiple drugstore shampoos and conditioners in your shower, it’s time to reconsider what you’re putting in your hair. Let’s face it—you wouldn’t be reading this best natural shampoo list if those products were truly working for you, anyways.
In this list, we’ll not only tell you which brands are best, but we’ll also inform you as to why you should make the switch from synthetic formulations to natural ones. Whether you have straight, curly, textured, or wavy hair, your locks are going to thank you with radiant shine once you cut out chemicals.
After all, natural shampoos use combinations of plant extracts, essential oils, and other natural ingredients to clean hair. On the other hand, unnatural companies tend to use harsh, synthetic chemicals. Using a cleaner formula is not only beneficial for your hair, but for your body altogether, as you’re no longer absorbing the chemicals found in regular shampoos.
So natural shampoo sounds like it may be the way to go, right? But, before jumping into this list of the best natural shampoo brands, this article will first weigh some pros and cons of making the switch, including:
- Free of harsh chemicals and toxins
- High-quality ingredients and product formulations
- Smoother, softer, and stronger hair
- Exceptional fragrances
- Majority of people are happy they made the switch
- Often more costly
- Less frizz-resistant
12 Best Natural Shampoo Brands
Natural shampoos can help your hair grow faster, become stronger, and may even cause less damage when applying heat to hair from curling or straightening irons. They can also ensure that any hair dye and color lasts longer. Seriously!
Alternatively, cleaner formulations might even result in you having to wash your hair less. So without further adieu, here are the 12 top natural shampoo brands.
No list of the best natural shampoo brands can be complete without mentioning Acure. According to its website, the company’s team is filled with self-proclaimed “skin & hair wellness enthusiasts who believe in the power of purity to uplift the way you feel.”
Kristy Guerra founded Acure in 2010 after her grandmother’s decade-long battle with cancer. At the time, there was increasing evidence coming out on how chemical ingredients in cosmetics could lead to future health concerns. With her company, Guerra wanted to change that and make a difference.
Acure uses only high-quality ingredients in its products—meaning that there are no parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, paraffin, or mineral oil. The brand is also 100% vegan, meaning there are no animal products or byproducts used in its formulations.
The company even has an extensive collection of natural shampoo for different hair types, like the Wave and Curl Color Wellness Shampoo and the Ultra Hydrating Shampoo. Both products are made from natural materials like argan oil and sunflower seed extract.
Most of the company’s shampoo comes either in an 8 oz tube ($10-$12), or an eco-friendly bar ($9) for less packaging waste. Regardless, your Acure shampoo is guaranteed to be natural, highly moisturizing, and smell amazing.
Though customer responses are quite limited, the brand’s shampoos average 4/5 stars on its site. But, even if you are unsatisfied with your products, the company accepts returns from within the last year!
2. Avalon Organics
Year after year, Avalon is always one of the biggest names in the hair care game. The company’s natural line, Avalon Organics, is especially high-quality. As a whole, this brand is “founded on the deep-rooted belief that all beauty comes from the Earth,” according to its website.
Founded by CEO Bonnie Conte, Avalon Organics is vegan and cruelty-free. It uses only pure ingredients from trusted sources. In fact, even the company’s packaging is made from post-consumer materials in an attempt to reduce its ecological footprint and become more sustainable.
Avalon Organics has several natural shampoos for sale, all of which are named after their key ingredient. Whether it be the Nourishing Lavender or Strengthening Peppermint natural shampoos, there is something for everyone.
Formulated using various essential oils and natural vitamins, each shampoo is available in 11 oz and 32 oz sizes. You can find Avalon Organics’s 11 oz bottles on Amazon for roughly $9. Most varieties score quite highly, earning 4.2/5 stars or higher from more than 4k shoppers.
All products are also organic, non-GMO, and EWG verified (meaning they don’t include ingredients flagged by international organizations as being harmful). You’re guaranteed a product that is high-quality, safe, effective, and conscious of the greater good.
Amika is an inclusive haircare brand that is not designed with a single type of consumer in mind. In fact, the company’s motto is “a friend to hair, hair stylist, her, him, them, and you.” So regardless of age, gender, ethnic background, or sexual orientation, its team strives to ensure you feel included and discover a product that works for you.
The company has been making these products natural and clean since “before it was a thing,” according to its website. Founded by Vita Raykhman, now the company’s creative director, Amika has gained international acclaim since its launch in 2007. It has even been endorsed by supermodel Winnie Harlow. I mean, who doesn’t want to have luscious, shiny hair like her?
All of the company’s products are highly effective and clean, made without sulfates, parabens, aluminum, and other harmful ingredients. They are also vegan, cruelty-free, and use 100% recyclable packaging made from 90% post-consumer plastics.
So whether it be the Normacore Signature Shampoo or the Reset Clarifying Shampoo, Amika’s products won’t wear on your conscience. Ranging in size from 2-34 oz, you’ll find most bottles cost $9-$70.
With thousands of testimonials on each formulation, most score 4.9/5 stars. If the company’s wide selection of shampoos is tough to choose from, it offers a hair quiz to provide custom recommendations. And, if you don’t like the one you pick, return it within 30 days.
4. John Masters Organics
Another must-include in any list of the best natural shampoos is John Masters Organics. With a focus on natural ingredients and high-quality formulations, this company believes that “when you look and feel your very best, your beauty speaks for itself.”
Founded in 1994 by leading New York hairstylist John Masters, this company has since built an incredible legacy synonymous with effective luxury. According to the brand’s website, Masters’s “personal passion for healthy, holistic living became a professional calling, drawing John away from… New York salons to pursue a better, gentler way to care for hair.”
Masters opened the first “clean air” salon in Soho. This was a revolutionary practice, as here he used no damaging colorants, no chemical treatments, or even hairspray. Since then, he and his company have developed a wide array of natural hair care products for at-home use.
With products for dry, damaged, fine, and normal hair types, there is a product ready to address any hair concern. Items like the Shampoo for Normal Hair with Lavender Rosemary became especially popular for its revitalizing abilities and ability to balance oiliness. On MakeupAlley, it scores 3.4/5 stars from over 100 ratings, which is pretty typical of the brand’s line.
Though these products are certainly more expensive than your typical drug store purchase, ranging from $68-$82 for 34 oz bottles, there is no denying the quality. If you don’t like your products, the company has a 30-day return policy for a full refund.
Innersense is a brand that wants you to fall in love with your hair all over again. According to its website, it “continues to push the boundaries of new product development by utilizing organic chemistry to raise the bar on clean, luxurious formulas.”
Founded in 2005 by husband and wife duo Greg and Joanne Starkman, Innersense recognizes the need for clean, natural, and effective hair care products in the market. The brand continues to create luxurious product formulations to inspire healthy choices both in the salon and at home.
The company has a select few shampoos, or what they call ‘hairbaths’ available for sale. Be it the Pure Harmony Hairbath or the Color Awakening Hairbath, all of their products are made from natural ingredients like shea butter, honey, and natural oils.
If you’re unsure what products will best suit your hair type, the company also has a quiz to recommend products. Averaging 4.4/5 stars from hundreds of shoppers across all formulations, all shampoos cost $9-$70 for 2-34 oz bottles (refills are less!).
Innersense can be found in beauty stores and salons around the world. The company’s website also ships internationally and will happily accept returns bought from its e-commerce site. No best natural shampoos list would be complete without mentioning this high-quality, well-formulated brand.
6. 100% Pure
Just as the name suggests, all of this company’s products are 100% Pure. According to its website, this socially conscious brand is dedicated to “producing the purest, healthiest products and educating everyone on why being 100% PURE™ is so important.”
The company was founded by Susie Wang, James Wang, and Ric Kostick. Together, they share a dedication to natural ingredients and vegan, cruelty-free formulations. The brand promises that all of its products adhere to strict purity standards and are naturally pigmented with fruit, vegetables, tea, and cocoa.
100% Pure sells several natural shampoos on its website, all with various formulations and purposes. Some, like the Kelp and Mint Volumizing Shampoo, are available in 8 oz and 13 oz bottles and help to invigorate and add bounce to hair.
Others, like the Repair Shampoo, are only available in a 13.5 oz size but are designed to restore the health of damaged hair using essential vitamins and nutrients. Depending on the bottle sizes, most formulations sell for $22-$34.
Regardless, this list of the best natural shampoos guarantees there will be one to suit your unique hair type. Your hair is going to thank you for making the switch to this pure company.
Some hair care brands, like EVOLVh, have practically founded the natural shampoo offerings that are now on the market. Since 2009, this company has “delivered biology-driven, science-based, high-performance products using natural and organic ingredients” that leave customers with healthier hair, no matter their type, according to its website.
Founder Boris Oak, son of an immigrant hair salon owner, has been in the hair business for as long as he can remember. Early on, he saw the need for clean and effective products and has since paved the way with his high-quality, advanced, vegan formulations.
There are several of these natural shampoos available for sale on the company’s website and in salons across the world. Best-selling products like the Ultrashine Moisture Shampoo have always been a brand staple, known for their ability to make hair shiny, stronger, and healthier after just a few washes.
Most EVOLVh products are sold in 8 oz, 2 oz, and 1 liter packages. You’ll find them for $8-$87.
The company also offers online hair consultations, where the dedicated EVOLVh customer service team can happily assist you in selecting products. If you want to return your goods, the brand also has a 30-day money-back guarantee—though I can’t imagine why you’d need it; this legacy brand is easily one of the best natural shampoo retailers.
Built on the idea of “truly personal care,” Prose is against products that are designed for the masses. After all, you’re unlike anyone else, so why should your hair products be generically formulated? So, this company designs personalized products based on your specific needs and wants to “give everyone their best individual results.”
This company was founded in Paris, France, but operates in Brooklyn, NY. There, it creates new products and bottles individualized items. This brand continually combines natural ingredients in innovative ways, improving the health, shine, and durability of a wide variety of hair types.
To get your own personalized product, Prose offers consultations with its clientele. This way, its team can determine what natural ingredients will be best used in your shampoo. At the end, you’ll receive an 8.5 oz bottle ($25) of product with your name printed on the label. After all, the best natural shampoo is undoubtedly going to be one that was designed specifically for you.
9. Madison Reed
Named after the company’s founder, Madison Reed is best known for its high-quality, natural hair color. You may not have even been aware that this brand also sells natural shampoos and conditioners. The brand promises that all of its products are made without the use of Smart 8, ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates, gluten, SLS, and titanium dioxide.
All of Madison Reed’s products are vegan, cruelty-free, and in line with strict European Union safety standards. Instead of harsh chemicals, these products often feature natural ingredients like keratin, argan oil, and ginseng root extract,
Since Madison Reed’s specialty is hair color, there is not a wide selection of natural shampoos on its website. But, the quality is undeniable, and why it is included in this list of the best natural shampoos.
The Color Protecting Shampoo will ensure the vibrance of your dye job is maintained without the use of harmful ingredients. The product is 8 oz ($24) and provides UV protection to protect fading and lock-in color.
10. True Botanicals
True Botanicals, though mostly focused on skincare products, also creates and sells high-quality natural shampoo. The company’s motto shows its dedication to the craft: “Liberate your glow with wildly clean ingredients that work.” And work, they do—even celebrities like Olivia Wilde have endorsed this brand.
Clean and sustainable, True Botanicals products feature ethically sourced vegan ingredients. It creates cosmetics using nourishing vitamins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also promises to never use toxic chemicals, sensitizing preservatives, or ingredients that your skin can’t absorb.
Even within its shampoo, the Nourishing Shampoo, the formulation will protect your skin from breakouts and will fight against premature signs of aging. Available in 8 oz ($34) packaging, this item is hypoallergenic and packed with antioxidants to clean hair without stripping it of existing nutrients.
This shampoo has been formulated for all hair types and leaves a fresh, citrus and floral scent. Plus, the company offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so should you not love the product, you can always return it without hassle.
When New York-based hairstylist Fabian Lliguin visited the Amazon Rainforest, he knew he’d never be the same. Inspired by local Indigenous groups with stunning, strong, shiny natural hair, Lliguin created his own hair care line: Rahua.
The company was named after rahua oil, the key ingredient used by those Indigenous groups in their routines. Now, the brand uses the oil in its formulations to transform damaged hair into shiny, healthy, and strong hair. Since the company’s launch in 2008, it has worked alongside local Amazon communities to source this oil sustainably and ethically.
Rahua’s hair care products have won several awards, thus its inclusion in this list of best natural shampoos. Though there are several products for various hair types and needs, items like the Classic Shampoo continue to be a bestseller year after year.
Safe for all hair types this product is “formulated with rare, sustainably sourced ingredients, this rich, restorative shampoo leaves hair soft, silky, and luminous, and scalp soothed.” Most shampoos retail for $32-$38.
The company even offers sustainability sets for each product, meaning the formulation will come in a biodegradable package for refilling your existing bottle. So, shoppers can do good for the environment while they do good for their hair.
Finally, the last brand included in this list of the best natural shampoos is Reverie. Made in California, this company sells several diverse hair care products. Using mindfully sourced vegan ingredients, it develops high-quality, luxury products for use in salons and at home.
Founder Garret Markenson founded Reverie over a decade ago when he decided he wanted to change the status quo in the beauty industry. Through the use of 100% consumer-recycled plastics and ink-printed labels, this company is sustainable and clean. Even the company’s warehouses are zero waste, meaning nothing is thrown away.
Reverie is also dedicated to transparency within its natural formulations. The brand’s shampoo, simply called Shampoo, is made without sulfates, silicons, parabens, artificial fragrance, and other harmful ingredients, as are the other products in its lineup.
Shampoo is made from coconut and sugar cane and is completely biodegradable. It is safe for all hair types, including colored hair. It also contains several essential oils, such as bergamot, jasmine, and sandalwood. But, the key ingredients in this formula are amino acids, phospholipids, and zinc.
Though the product is currently sold out, you can find the Shampoo + Conditioner duo for $70. Each bottle is 8.1 oz.
Reasons To Use Natural Shampoo And Conditioner
If by now you’re not completely sold on switching to natural shampoo and conditioner, there are several reasons why you should. First and foremost, it is healthier. Several popular drugstore shampoos include chemicals that may not be safe for bodily use.
Though it is easy to dismiss warnings about these ingredients because shampoo is simply being applied to your hair, it’s important to remember that those suds will inevitably run off your hair and onto your body while bathing. Plus, they come into direct contact with your scalp.
Not only that, natural shampoo is better for the environment. Many cleaner brands are sustainable and use zero-waste packaging or consumer recycled plastics. They also are more likely to obtain their ingredients ethically and without abusing natural resources or laborers across the world.
Plus, natural shampoo is simply better at protecting your hair. If you spent hours in the salon achieving the perfect cut and color, you’ll want to protect it. Non-natural shampoos may damage the color with each wash, while many natural shampoos help preserve it, even protecting against UV damage from the sun.
If it’s the price of natural shampoo that you’re worried about, it’s important to remember, like most things, you get what you pay for. Though the cost of a natural shampoo is likely to be higher than a drugstore alternative, it will better protect your hair and be free of toxins, protecting your body, too.
Natural vs. Organic Shampoo: What’s The Difference?
It can be difficult to distinguish between natural and organic shampoos. While all organic shampoo is natural, not all natural shampoo is organic. This means that some natural products may even contain synthetic ingredients.
These could be ingredients grown in a lab or with the use of manufactured pesticides, chemicals, artificial fertilizers, antibiotics, growth regulators, or even genetically modified organisms.
According to Hairstory, in the US, “products ‘made with organic ingredients’ must contain 70 percent certified organic ingredients. Any remaining agricultural ingredients are not required to be organically produced but must be produced without certain methods.”
Hairstory also points out that a product can be synthetic-free or plant-based and still not be organic. This is often because of preservatives used to prolong an item’s shelf life. Regardless, this again shows the importance of reading the ingredients list for cosmetics and hair care products before making a purchase, just to be sure of what you are buying.
Things To Consider When Buying Natural Shampoos
Informed purchasing decisions are always the best purchases. After all, no one wants to be dissatisfied or upset with an item they buy. When buying natural shampoo, there are several considerations to make, including:
- Customer reviews
It is important to read the ingredient lists of any product you will be applying to your body. Not only is this vital to protect against potential allergic and adverse reactions, but it is also a way to make sure that the shampoo you are buying truly is natural. For example, ingredients like essential oils and keratin are usually beneficial and will make your hair healthier and stronger.
Price is also an important consideration to make. While it can seem more economical to buy cheaper, drugstore shampoo, you may be exposing yourself to toxins that can lead to future health problems. It’s better to make the investment in yourself now and protect your future health.
Irritants also need to be considered when making any cosmetic purchase. If you have a known allergy, you should always verify with ingredient lists that that item is not used in the formulation. It is also important to check that other irritants like sulfates and parabens are not used.
Certifications, if legitimate, can also be a way to verify a brand is high-quality. If a company or product is vegan-certified or even NSF-certified, this is a great way to make sure the item has been quality-tested and includes only natural ingredients.
Finally, reading customer reviews is a great way to learn more about the natural shampoo you are considering buying. What did other consumers think? What did they like or dislike? Most retailers will include product reviews under the listing, so be sure to check those out too before making a purchase.
Need some more help on your hair care journey? Here are a few options to consider: