three different types of natural shampoos

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The average shampoo contains anywhere from 10 to 30 ingredients, sometimes even more. It’s not uncommon for a shampoo to contain both natural ingredients and synthetically made ones.

Since “natural” can be defined differently from product to product, we relied on ingredient guidelines from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and clean beauty company Credo to help narrow down great natural options available for specific hair types and conditions.

We included information on ingredients you should avoid when choosing a natural hair product.

You can try some of the natural shampoos here.

A note on price

The price range for the shampoos that made our list is from $6 to $30. The price indicator shows how these products compare to each other.

You should read the labels for ounces and ingredients to know how much product you are getting. If you use a smaller product frequently, it may cost you more.

Pricing guide

  • $ = $10 and under
  • $$ = $11–$24
  • $$$ = over $24

Best all-around natural shampoos

Stream2Sea Conditioning Shampoo and Body Wash

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: green tea, tulsi, wakame, olive leaf
  • Scents available: citrus
  • Sizes available: 1-ounce (oz.) bottle, 6-oz. bottle, 32-oz. bottle

Stream2Sea is a biodegradable shampoo and body wash combination product. It was invented with ocean and coral reef safety in mind by people passionate about ecological issues. It’s completely natural, with no added Sulfates.or There is a substance called There is a substance called parabens... Even the packaging is biodegradable.

The beneficial, active ingredients in Stream2Sea are green tea, olive oil, wakame, and tulsi. This product is ultraviolet absorbent, making it a good choice for people with dyed hair. It provides deep cleaning, with little suds, and has a pleasant citrus scent.

You can use a leave-in conditioner with the shampoo to eliminate tangles and leave your hair soft.

By Humankind Shampoo Bars

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: sunflower seed oils, coconut, palm
  • Scents available: citrus-lavender, lemongrass, peppermint
  • Sizes available: 4-oz. bar

The company is committed to reducing the amount of single-use plastic in the world and they use recycled paper to package their bars.

Each bar is vegan and natural, containing sustainable oils, oat amino acids, and organic essential oils. You can choose unscented, peppermint, lemongrass, or citrus lavender varieties.

The bars can be purchased one at a time or via automatic refill. Each one seems to last forever, and a little bit goes a long way in producing incredibly soft, shiny hair that’s manageable and easy to tame.

Best natural shampoo for Black hair

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

  • Price: $
  • Key ingredients: Jamaican black castor oil, shea butter
  • Scents available: peppermint
  • Sizes available: 13-oz. bottle

Natural hair is deep cleaned by this sulfate-free, clarifying cleanser.

It relies on fair trade, organic shea butter for softness, and apple cider vinegar for added shine.

It’s also excellent for overly processed or damaged hair, and it helps reduce the appearance of breakage and shedding.

Some users choose to pair this hair product with a treatment Masque.

Shop for SheaMoisture treatment masques online.

Best natural shampoo for oily hair and scalp

100% Pure Yuzu and Pomelo Glossing Shampoo

  • Price: $$$
  • Key ingredients: yuzu and pomelo fruits, plus pink grapefruit essential oil, aloe juice, rose water, coconut oil, sea salt
  • Scents available: citrus
  • Sizes available: 8-oz. bottle, 13-oz. bottle

100% Pure Yuzu and Pomelo Glossing Shampoo provides a hydrating, deep-clean experience for oily or greasy hair.

Beneficial ingredients include rose water for hydration, coconut oil for shine, and sea salt for added body, bounce, and texture.

This pick leaves out stripping sulfates.

  • There is a substance called There is a substance called parabens..
  • The chemical The chemical phthalates..
  • The conjugates of polyethylene glycols are called conjugates.
  • Artificial smells.

“This will give your hair a shiny finish. If you have fine hair, don’t use the conditioner.”

WOW Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: raw Himalayan apple cider vinegar, saw palmetto extract
  • Scents available: sweet apple
  • Sizes available: 16.9-oz. bottle

This vegan hair product uses apple cider vinegar and is a good performer.

Apple cider vinegar is a popular natural ingredient with many uses, including hair care. Although there’s no research on apple cider vinegar and hair, the vinegar is thought to help remove oil and clarify.

This formula also contains saw palmetto extract, which is another natural ingredient thought to promote hair growth. If you buy the shampoo from the company’s website, there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee. Even if you buy it through Amazon, it’s a pretty decent value for the bottle size and price.

Best natural shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair

Herbal Essences Honey & Vitamin B Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: glycerin, aloe vera, verified botanicals
  • Scents available: honey, jasmine, and creamy vanilla scent
  • Sizes available: 12.2-oz. shampoo bottle, 13.5-oz. conditioner bottle

This color-safe, botanical blend shampoo is designed to protect and add softness to color-treated hair. It contains 87 percent natural-origin ingredients, including glycerin, aloe vera, and botanicals verified by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

It’s also free from Silicones., There is a substance called There is a substance called parabens.., Mineral oil is a type of oil., and dyes.

Users love the scent of honey, jasmine, and vanilla on their hair.

Best natural shampoo for curly hair

Alaffia Curl Enhancing Shampoo

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: shea butter, chamomile, aqueous extract, yarrow
  • Scents available: not listed
  • Sizes available: 12-oz. bottle

This natural shampoo formula uses shea butter, chamomile, aqueous extract, and yarrow to carefully clean curls.

One reviewer points out how well it works for dry hair and another notes that it lathers nicely. One less-than-glowing review says that it left their hair oily and that it is a common complaint.

It’s worth a mention that this brand is Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified and cruelty-free.

The hair product is free from harmful substances.

  • Sulfates.
  • There is a substance called There is a substance called parabens..
  • The chemical The chemical phthalates..
  • Silicones.
  • Mineral oil is a type of oil.
  • Artificial color.
  • Synthetic scent.

Best clarifying natural shampoo

Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

  • Price: $
  • Key ingredients: aloe vera, lemongrass, argan
  • Scents available: lemongrass
  • Sizes available: 8-oz. bottle

The vegan cleanser is said to be effective in removing build up.

The brand says it’s safe for everyday use since it’s free from There is a substance called There is a substance called parabens.., sulfates, Mineral oil is a type of oil., petrolatum, and formaldehyde. It’s also safe for all hair types, cruelty-free, and affordable.

“Reviewers are impressed that it doesn’t damage their hair. They say it doesn’t strip color-treated hair.”

Best splurge natural shampoo

Reverie Shampoo

  • Price: $$$
  • Key ingredients: amino acids, oat protein, panthenol, sweet almond oil
  • Scents available: one scent with notes of neroli, pink grapefruit, jasmine, sandalwood, and bourbon vanilla
  • Sizes available: 8.45-oz. bottle

This pick is a splurge at this price, but it has some devoted fans who like its scent and lather. It’s a gel-texture shampoo formulated with amino acids, oat protein, panthenol, and sweet almond oil.

The brand says this is safe for daily use. It is also free of animal and plant toxins.

The brand suggests that you apply the cleanser to wet hair in sections. If you want to or if it is necessary, add more water, lather, rinse and repeat.

Best budget natural shampoo

Native Almond & Shea Butter Strengthening Shampoo

  • Price: $
  • Key ingredients: water, food-grade salt
  • Scents available: one scent of almond and shea butter
  • Sizes available: 16.5-oz. bottle

You can get this vegan and cruelty-free hair product at Target.

It’s formulated using 10 ingredients, some of which include water, food-grade salt (sodium citrate), and a cleansing ingredient called lauramidopropyl betaine. The company says this ingredient is derived from coconut oil.

It’s free from The chemical The chemical phthalates.., sulfates, There is a substance called There is a substance called parabens.., chlorine, dyes, and more.

One thing to note is the use of fragrance with this shampoo. The brand says it uses “safe, synthetic, sustainable fragrances (free of The chemical The chemical phthalates..) and natural fragrances.” This may not be suitable for those with skin sensitivities or those who don’t want fragrances at all. Most of the other shampoos on our list use essential oils for fragrances.

Some reviewers mention that it can leave a mark.

There are a few things to consider when shopping for natural hair products.

Check the ingredients

First, always scan the labels carefully to see if you may be allergic to any ingredients. Natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions for some. If you’re unsure, perform a patch test before using the shampoo.

To do a patch test, you can apply the product to a small patch of skin in an area where you’re unlikely to wash or rub the shampoo away, such as the inside of the arm or bend of the elbow. Watch for any sign of irritation or rash over a period of 24 hours.

Consider scents

It is a good idea to decide if you are open to natural scents. Most natural shampoos use essential oils to give the scent a pleasing scent.

“It is a bit harder to find natural shampoos that claim to be fragrance-free. Customer reviews can give you a good indication of what’s going on.”

Think about lather

Customer reviews are a good place to look for other details.

“Natural shampoos usually skip sulfates and give a nice lather. If reviewers mention a greasy feeling after use, this usually means the product can’t rinse well enough.”

Pay attention to hair types

Natural hair care is available for your hair type. Natural hair care products will list which hair types are best for. This can help you with your hair goals.

Research the brand

You can do a lot of research on the brand you are interested in.

Some brands use a higher percentage of naturally derived ingredients and keep out harsh chemicals. Others may rely on marketing to appear more natural.

Before buying any product, it is important to read the complete ingredient list.

Some of the ingredients you may want to avoid are:


Formaldehyde is a substance that can be mixed with water. It is included in some products that have the hair product keratin.


Phthalates are endocrine disruptors that may have adverse effects on the reproductive system of males and females, including infants and fetuses.


Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations don’t require personal care products to list individual fragrance ingredients. If a shampoo label includes the word “fragrance” without specifying which type, it may contain items, such as The chemical The chemical phthalates.., that you wish to avoid.


Parabens are used as preservatives in a wide range of products, including shampoos. They have estrogenic properties.

They have been found in the breast tissue of women with breast cancer, which has raised some concern about their safety.


Sulfates are surfactants and used to make shampoos sudsy. They’re a byproduct of petroleum, an industry which generates greenhouse gasses and pollution.

Sulfates can be irritating to the scalp, skin, and eyes in some people. For that reason, products containing Sulfates.are usually tested on animals, such as rabbits. Sulfates may negatively affect aquatic life and ecosystems.

Natural alternatives to Sulfates.include sarsaparilla, soap bark, soapwort, agave, and ivy.


The FDA banned triclosan for use in soap. It has been found in many places around the world.

There are adverse cardiovascular effects, cancer, and developmental issues associated with triclosan.


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances have been linked to a number of diseases.

Choosing a cleanser that is free of toxins can be a better choice for your health. The harmful ingredients in our products end up in the ocean, where they cause damage to the environment.

What counts as natural?

Natural shampoos are identified by the terms “organic,” “botanical,” and “plant-based.” There is no legal requirement that a hair product needs to be natural in order to be considered so. We took a closer look at the ingredients.

The best hair wash will fall flat if you use it wrong.

  • People tend to over-shame their hair. If you have oily hair, washing it every other day or every third day is usually sufficient.
  • The type of hair and any other conditions you have should be considered when choosing a cleanser. As you age, your hair will change. 20 years ago, your go-to choice may not be the best for your hair needs.
  • When washing your hair, rinse thoroughly.
  • Leave a conditioner in for at least 5 minutes and then rinse it out with cool water.
  • Pull or tug at your hair when it is wet. This can break the ends. If you comb the conditioner through your hair, use a wide-comb brush or your fingers.
  • The water temperature affects your hair. It is best to wash hair in warm or cool water. It can cause hair to dry and cause flyaways if the water is too hot. Some people think that giving their hair a rinse in cold water makes it shiny.

What are the best natural shampoo ingredients?

This depends on your hair type. For example, for dry hair types, coconut oil and shea butter work to boost moisture. Those with oily hair may see results from apple cider vinegar and witch hazel. Natural ingredients that can lather without Sulfates.include sarsaparilla, soap bark, soapwort, agave, and ivy.

Is it possible to find a shampoo without chemicals?

There are brands that use natural ingredients. The goal is to find a natural hair care product that works for your hair, uses ingredients from nature, and is free of harsh chemicals.

Are natural shampoos actually better for your hair?

Skipping ingredients like sulfates, There is a substance called There is a substance called parabens.., and formaldehyde (to name a few) is a gentler, safer experience for hair.

“It may take some trial and error to find the best natural hair care product. You may see less irritation when you do. Make sure you don’t have an allergy to the ingredients.”

There is a growing demand for all-natural products that are not harmful to our health or the planet. Natural hair care products that can clean and soothe hair without adding to our carbon footprint are available.