Switching to organic beauty products is good for you and good for the environment… but is it as easy as simply picking up the first product that has “organic” on the label? Of course not, and that’s especially true when it comes to shampoo. After all, there is an infinite number of hair types and textures, not to mention different hair care routines and style preferences, all of which are affected by the shampoo you use. Being organic isn’t enough—you want the best organic shampoo for your needs!
On top of that, just saying “organic” on the label really doesn’t tell you, the consumer, all that much about a shampoo. Some shampoos may be composed entirely of organic or natural ingredients, but that’s not the majority, and depending on what exactly your needs are, it might not even be a priority. However, the last thing you want is to be misled about whether or not a particular shampoo is organic and natural in the ways that count.
Nor does “organic” or “natural” even necessarily mean that the ingredient in question is safe, non-irritating, or good for you, while some synthetic ingredients may still be environmentally friendly and safe. It’s a minefield!
But that’s why we’ve made this guide—to help you navigate it! We’ll introduce you to some of our top favorites, but more importantly, we’ll help you learn how to determine which is the best organic shampoo for your needs: the ingredients to look for, the pitfalls to avoid, and much more!
Our Top 8 Best Organic Shampoo Options
If you want to shortcut your way through the buying process and take a look at our personal favorites, we’ve compiled this list of organic shampoos that are truly exceptional.
Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo
If your number one priority is finding a shampoo for sensitive scalps or hair that requires extra gentleness, this is a fantastic choice. Completely non-toxic and composed of certified organic ingredients, including soothing coconut oil and olive oil, aloe, and rosemary, this is a safe choice for hair and skin that absolutely demand pampering.
· None of the usual chemical culprits found in non-organic shampoos: parabens, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, dyes, etc. No propylene glycol or derivatives, and no sulfates!
· Ultra-gentle. Not only will it not exacerbate most scalp conditions, but it may also even help them go away!
· No noticeable build-up
· While it’s not toxic, so it’s “baby-safe,” it’s also not tear-free.
· Extremely gentle for your scalp, but some reports of over-drying thin and fragile hair
We love this one for those with sensitive skin! Be sure to use it sparingly when you first try it out, in case you’re one of the unlucky few that experience the drying effect.
Yarok Feed Your Volume Shampoo
Cruelty-free, vegan, and enriched with a whole slew of organic and natural ingredients, Yarok’s Feed Your Volume shampoo is a great choice for those who are conscious of both the environment and their limper-than-preferable locks. As an added bonus, the company donates 3% of profits to the Pachamama Alliance, which helps to protect over 10 million acres of the Amazon!
· It does not contain alcohol, parabens, sulfates, gluten, or other unnatural chemicals.
· 100% vegan
· Contains purified water vitalized with volcanic minerals
· Concentrated, so you get a lot of bang for your buck
· Really delivers on the promised volume!
· Gentle enough to use daily
· Be careful not to use too much! It is concentrated, and using too much can dry out your hair.
· A little vague on which ingredients are organic—it’s not listed in the ingredients, so if you’re looking for a shampoo that is entirely or majority composed of organic ingredients, this isn’t the one for you.
· The (natural, no artificial fragrance) scent is a bit polarizing. Some people love it, some people… don’t.
If you are looking for an organic shampoo with some real volumizing oomph, we can’t recommend this one enough! It does exactly what it says it’s going to do; it’s rich, thick, and nourishing. Just make sure you don’t overdo it. Click here for reviews, pricing, and more.
Ethique Frizz Wrangler Solid Shampoo Bar
If you’ve never used a solid shampoo bar, give this one a try, especially if you’re trying to tame flyaways! This frizz-fighting bar is equal to three bottles of shampoo and cuts down on plastic waste significantly. It contains coconut oil and cocoa butter (and no palm oil!), is made 100% sustainably, and is vegan. It’s fantastic to travel with, too, if you happen to be on the road a lot.
· Vegan and cruelty-free
· Light, fresh coconut scent
· Plastic-free, produced in a sustainable manner
· Tames frizz and is great for even the curliest curls
· Lathers up beautifully
· Contains sulfates
· It is very vague about the organic ingredients—some promotional material claims it is organic, others do not, and it’s not listed in the ingredient list. This is less of an issue for us since it’s sustainably produced, but you’ll have to make your own call!
This is one of the best natural shampoo options out there for curly girls (and guys!). And, if you’re getting serious about reducing your disposable plastic use, you really can’t find a better option, in our honest opinion. The only packaging is an unwaxed, unbleached compostable (or recyclable) cardboard sleeve, so you’ll be cutting down on your plastic use in a big way.
John Masters Organics Shampoo with Lavender and Rosemary
This pH balanced, gentle shampoo is enriched with certified organic lavender extract and certified organic rosemary extract for a soothing, nourishing blend. And that’s not all; it also contains 13 other certified organic ingredients and a boost of soy protein for strong, shiny hair. It’s also free of sodium lauryl sulfate and safe to use on heat damaged and color-treated hair!
· We LOVE how many of the ingredients are organic and clearly marked as such in the ingredient list
· There’s a whole line of complementary products, including conditioner and detangler
· Great for thin and thinning hair
· Moisturizes hair and scalp naturally
· Lovely natural scent
· We’re unsure if it’s vegan/cruelty-free (the company doesn’t claim it is)
· This is a bit subjective, but it doesn’t really lather—we prefer a sudsy shampoo, and if you do too, this one may leave you feeling a little unsatisfied with your wash
Probably one of the best brands on the market for documenting whether or not its ingredients are organic, and furthermore, only advertising as organic those that are certified organic. We do wish we had more information on whether or not the ingredients are vegan—nothing jumps out, but we just can’t be sure. Click here to read real reviews of the shampoo over on Amazon.
Dr. Alkaitis Organic Herbal Shampoo
This shampoo is just packed with natural goodness: oat buds, coltsfoot, horsetail herb, comfrey, boxwood, chamomile, nettle, and vitamin E, blended with coconut oil and aloe vera. Oh, and it lathers like no tomorrow! This shampoo has won awards, and it’s easy to see why after even one use.
· This is a seriously luxurious organic shampoo, and it shows
· Incredible ingredient blend makes it suitable for most hair types
· Vitamin E to nourish your hair
· Food grade ingredients so you can trust that it’s free of contaminants’
· Love that lather!
· Smells great
· We actually struggled to find a downside on this one, except for the price tag. While we aren’t judging products in this guide solely on price (and we urge you not to!), this is a luxury item, and it’s priced as such. Perhaps a good idea to find a salon that uses it or request a sample before springing for a bottle.
If you didn’t think that all-natural/organic products could be top-shelf luxury, think again. This organic shampoo is in a class of its own.
LuxeOrganix Moroccan Oil Shampoo
Free of sodium chloride, sulfates, salts, and parabens, this Moroccan oil-enriched shampoo is designed for frizzy, dry, and/or curly hair in mind. It’s safe for dyed and keratin-treated hair—not only will it not damage your hair, but it’ll protect your treatment.
· Vegan and cruelty-free
· Made in the USA, so you know that the ingredients list is trustworthy
· No harmful sulfates, parabens, etc.
· Super nourishing and perfect for “curly girl” routines
· Moroccan oil is well known for its hair strengthening benefits—it’s great for thinning hair
· This isn’t so much a criticism of the shampoo but a general warning that some people have a skin sensitivity to Moroccan oil; while it works great for some, it can cause itchy scalp in others.
If you’re a Moroccan oil junkie and you’re looking for an organic alternative, look no further! You’ve found the perfect choice right here.
Desert Essence Organics Fragrance-Free Shampoo
Those of us that are allergic to or simply sensitive to fragrance additives face extra challenges when shopping for beauty products. Considering the industry’s focus on scents, that’s no big surprise, but it can be a literal headache when you can’t tolerate them. Well, banish that migraine and strengthen your hair at the same time with this fantastically nourishing, completely fragrance-free organic shampoo!
· Enriched with natural, organic oils and extracts for stronger, healthier-looking hair
· Jojoba oil leaves your hair feeling soft and luxurious
· Green tea leaves hair glossy and bouncy
· No SLS, parabens, glycol, or petroleum ingredients
· Certified Organic by the NSF Standard
· Needs to be used sparingly on colored or treated hair—can be a bit on the harsh side
This is, hands-down, the best fragrance-free shampoo we’ve ever used, and the fact that it’s vegan and organic is the icing on the cake!
Juice Organics Repairing Shampoo
Coconut, vitamin B5, and plant proteins are blended with organic argan oil for an absurdly nourishing soothing shampoo that’s perfect for normal or treatment-damaged hair. It also contains organic aloe and borage botanicals.
· Wonderful for damaged hair
· No petrochemical-derived ingredients
· An incredible combination of ingredients for stronger hair
· Leaves hair with a healthy shimmer
· Organic ingredients are plentiful and marked as such
· Certified cruelty-free by both PETA and Leaping Bunny
· Made in the USA
· Doesn’t lather well
· A little heavy for fine/limp hair—you may want to do an ACV rinse if it leaves your hair flat
This is our favorite “all-around” option—plenty of documentation with regards to animal testing and organic ingredients, so you know that what you’re getting is the real deal and not just some marketing ploy. That said, if your hair tends to be fine and limp, then you might want to look at some other products from the Juice Organix line (and they have plenty!).
Choosing the Right Organic Shampoo For You
While all of the above choices are great, and we’ve put a lot of work into choosing them, the simple fact of the matter is that finding the right shampoo for you—organic or otherwise—is often a process of trial and error. Your hair is as unique as you are, and which shampoo you prefer will depend on many different factors, from your style preferences to your weekly routine to your favorite conditioner. We can’t promise that you’ll be able to choose the perfect shampoo the first time using our buying guide, but we can definitely help you narrow it down.
Know Your Hair
The first, and most important step, to choosing an organic shampoo that you’ll be happy with is knowing your own hair. “Of course I know my own hair,” you’re thinking. “I’ve had it my whole life!” but do you really?
What we mean is that you should make a list of your hair’s attributes, and when you’re shopping for a new organic shampoo, you should research specifically whether or not it’s suitable for hair with your hair’s characteristics. For example: is your hair smooth or textured? Curly or straight? Thick, or fine? Oily, or dry? Damaged, or not? Heat styled? Dyed?
You get the idea.
But How Do I Find Out if a Shampoo Meets All of Those Requirements?
After all, it might list one or two of these things on the bottle… but it’s probably not going to address all of them. That’s where your secret weapon comes into play: reading reviews. A lot of sites will even let you search reviews for keywords, so if an organic shampoo, for example, suggests that it’s great for dry, damaged hair, but it doesn’t say anything about curly hair—search the reviews for the word curly! Find out how it’s performed for other real customers.
Now, you might still not find out everything you’re curious about through reviews, but you will find out a lot more than you would have if you’d just depended on reading the label as it sat on the shelf.
Trial and Error is Expensive—Can I Afford All That with Organic Shampoos?
It can be pricey, and let’s be frank. High-quality organic shampoos are going to (usually) cost a bit more than your typical drug store purchase. We have a couple of recommendations that can help you reduce your overhead cost while finding the best organic shampoo for your hair:
· Don’t skimp on the research. Sometimes, taking just an additional five or ten minutes to skim reviews can really help you avoid a misstep.
· Find out if the company does samples. If you find a product that looks good, check out the company’s official website! Many organic/natural brands are very eager to provide customers with free or low-cost samples, because they want to show that their shampoo is, in fact, just as good as salon brands that are filled with unpronounceable ingredients. Some brick and mortar stores that focus on organic/natural beauty products also carry lots of samples.
· Enlist a friend or a group of friends! You can each get a full-sized bottle and then trade samples so that you can all find the best organic shampoo, even if it’s not the same one for all of you.
Finally, price isn’t everything. While it is true, to an extent, that you get what you pay for, finding the right shampoo isn’t about finding the cheapest organic shampoo or the most expensive. The one that’s right for you could be right in the middle price-wise, or at either end of the spectrum, so making assumptions based on the price isn’t going to get you too far.
If there’s anything you’ve gathered from our guide, we hope it’s that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” best organic shampoo out there. That said, there are certain brands that outperform others, and we’ve showcased our very favorites. We’re confident that you’ll find yours on this list, but even if you don’t, you know what to look for. Whether you have luscious curls or sleek straight hair, you don’t have to expose the environment or your body to harmful chemicals and ingredients. You can treat yourself to a true beauty experience ethically—just do your research!