The 6 Best Natural Shampoos

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When I first started my transition to natural hair-care products, I went through a long period of research and testing; bottle after bottle, I often felt like I was never going to have shiny, bouncy hair again. Thankfully, I have now found some shampoos that not only work well, but also provide many beneficial ingredients that have helped my hair become healthier. I hope I save you some time with this post and that you quickly find a natural shampoo that works for you.

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Here are the reasons why I switched to natural shampoos:

1. Sulfates, which are found in most conventional shampoos, can irritate your scalp. While they effectively remove dirt and oil, they are very harsh, explaining why most shampoos sting your eyes. Eczema sufferers need to be particularly careful with these ingredients, which are usually listed as Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, as they can cause skin reactions. They can also be quite drying, which is a huge downside for people who already struggle with dry scalp and hair.

2. Most conventional shampoos contain synthetic fragrances. I choose to avoid synthetic fragrances because they trigger headaches and nausea for me. However, there are additional reasons why you may want to avoid synthetic fragrances. You can read more about it in this post (click here).

3. Conventional shampoos (usually) contain parabens, which are effective preservatives that prevent bacterial growth but some studies have shown to be potentially linked to cancer.

After trying many shampoos, I came up with this list of the best ones (all free of sulfates, synthetic fragrance, and parabens):

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1. Acure Organics Shampoo (one for each different hair type)

Acure Organics offers three different shampoos for three different hair types, and they all work very well. They are the most affordable shampoos among the ones I enjoyed (under $10), and are widely available at health food stores like Whole Foods and most online health stores. The three shampoos are:

Lemongrass, for all hair types

Moroccan Argan Oil, for normal to dry/damaged/curly hair

Pure Mint, for normal to fine/limp hair

2. Rahua Voluminous Shampoo (fine/oily hair)

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo has given my fine, straight hair a more full appearance. It somehow gives it more body and keeps it bouncy and voluminous for days. The best thing about it is that while it gives a little extra volume, it does not dry my hair and actually keeps it soft thanks to the moisturizing oils in it. The main oil, Ungurahua oil, which the brand is named after, is sourced in the Amazon rainforest; it is known to have kept the hair of women from the Quechua-Shuar tribes strong and healthy for centuries. It has been my shampoo of choice for quite a while as it is specifically suited for fine hair. At $30, the price is on the high end.

3. Josh Rosebrook Deep Nourishing Shampoo (all hair types, especially for normal to dry, and curly)

Being that Josh Rosebrook is a true hair expert (and the owner of a successful salon in Beverly Hills), he was able to formulate a shampoo that is very gentle, but also very effective. It is one of the few shampoos that works for any hair type. Both my husband and I have used it and liked the results, even though we have completely different hair types — he has semi-coarse, curly hair and a dry scalp, while I have straight, fine hair with an oily scalp. It does not produce much lather at all and does not strip the hair of its natural oils, so it stays more healthy and soft. You can read more about Josh’s approach to hair care here.

4. Yarok Feed Your Volume Shampoo (fine/oily hair)

Yarok is an organic hair care line founded by a renowned hair stylist, Mordechai Alvow. The line is completely free of alcohol, parabens, and sulfates. The Feed Your Volume Shampoo is particularly good if you need a little lift at the roots of your hair.

5. Rare Elements Pure Shampoo (all hair types, best for normal to dry)

It contains a blend of very moisturizing organic oils such as black seed, watermelon seed and Marula, and provides a more generous lather compared to other natural shampoos. In fact, this is the one shampoo that I need only a very small quantity of to wash my hair. It’s recommended for all hair types, but I think it works best for thicker and normal to dry hair. It is also a color-safe shampoo.

6. John Masters Organics Bare Shampoo (normal to oily hair)

Not only is this shampoo great to cleanse scalp and hair well, but it also soothes and treats oily scalp. Although it is unscented, it has a pleasant smell due to the herbal ingredients. It is an excellent option for people who are very sensitive to scents, and at $14.50 it is also more affordable than the other shampoos listed above.

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Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is a true godsend for people whose hair tends to get dirty and oily quickly, or for anyone who needs to quickly refresh her hair but does not have time to wash it. Most conventional dry shampoos contain several questionable ingredients. The best dry shampoo that I have tried is made with safe, high-quality ingredients; it is One Love Organics Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo Powder. It contains oil-absorbing Kaolin clay sourced from Georgia, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and silica-rich bamboo extract to strengthen weak, brittle hair. It has the most beautiful clean scent and is made with only natural/organic fragrance compounds.

If you have damaged, dry hair, or you simply would like to have softer hair, make sure to read my previous post about how to get silky soft hair by clicking here.

Photo credits: Lilly Wallace

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