Best Natural & Organic Shampoos: Reviews & Guide (2018 Update)

Updated a year ago

Once upon a time, every shampoo was organic. Manmade chemicals hadn’t been invented yet. Many of us want to return to using natural products to protect our well-being. Fortunately, there are a lot of quality organic shampoos sold online.

The best organic shampoos in this review are good for treating many hair problems like oiliness, dandruff, and dryness. You can wash your hair without sulfates, parabens, and preservatives and it will look shiny and feel soft.

Let’s review some of the best organic shampoos on the market to see which ones are best for you.

The best organic shampoos

We’ll begin by reviewing gentle organic shampoos that you can use every day on almost any kind of hair type.

Daily use shampoos for most hair types for both men and women

While some of us may choose to let our hair go two or three days between washings, others prefer a daily scalp scrubbing. In that case, a mild shampoo is ideal.

AHNESTI - Organic Puriti Uplifting Shampoo

Anhesti’s Puriti Uplifting Shampoo is made to clean normal, fine, and color-treated hair without making it too dry or flyaway. Its water-based formula doesn’t include parabens, sulfates, or products derived from animals. It’s not tested on animals, either.

Instead of chemicals that are harmful, Puriti includes biodegradable ingredients that contribute to healthier hair. Here are some of the active components:

  • Rice extract to add moisture
  • Rice starch to add volume
  • Rosemary to clear up dandruff and stimulate hair growth
  • Grapefruit to cut down on oiliness
  • Rosehip seed to smooth the hair cuticle
  • Burdock root to nourish the scalp and eliminate dandruff and dryness
  • Calendula for shine

Users have said they love the scent of Puriti. It lathers up well and rinses off easy. Some fans of this shampoo don’t wash their hair every day, but they have noticed that their hair stays looking good anyway, even up to three days between washes.

Organic Everyday Shampoo by Nurture My Body - 100% Organic - SLS Free - For All Hair Types - Color Safe (Scented)

Nurture My Body’s Organic Everyday Shampoo is another gentle formulation for daily use. It does not contain parabens, petroleum-derived products, or sodium lauryl sulfate. Its rating from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is zero because this shampoo has no toxic ingredients. Even the plastic bottle is BPA-free and recyclable.

There are eighteen certified organic ingredients in the Everyday Shampoo, including purified water, seaweed extract and chickweed for hair growth, coltsfoot for shine and elasticity, as well as other herbs to soothe your scalp.

Nurture Your Body offers a 100% money-back guarantee if you don’t love their Everyday Shampoo.

Shampoos for dry, damaged, and color-treated hair

Don’t pour more chemicals on dry, damaged hair. Try these organic shampoos to heal your locks and bring them back to life. These are especially nice for bringing back the natural curls and taming the frizz.

Moroccan Oil Shampoo-Sulfate Free- Moisturizing Moroccan Argan Oil for Dry & Damaged Hair by Tru Moroccan

Tru Moroccan is capitalizing on the growing popularity of Argan Oil in skin and hair care products, and for good reason. Argan oil is fantastic for adding moisture to dry hair, smoothing frizz, and healing damaged cuticles.

Besides including Argan oil, the Moroccan Oil Shampoo has no sulfates or parabens, and it’s not tested on animals. It contains other powerhouse ingredients like aloe, vegetable glycerine, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Willow Bark Extract, Chamomile, Red Clover, and Elder Flower.

With this formula, it’s gentle enough for daily washing. Tru Moroccan recommends using their conditioner as well for maximum results.

DermOrganic Sulfate-Free Daily Conditioning Shampoo, 33.8 fl. oz

DermOrganic’s Daily Conditioning Shampoo also contains Moroccan Argan Oil as a primary component to moisturize dry and frizzy hair and make it smooth and shiny. As they explain, Argan oil contains omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, and Vitamin E to protect hair against the drying effects of sun, wind, and heat. Argan oil makes hair smooth and shiny.

For those in a hurry, this shampoo is also a conditioner. It’s an all-in-one product that can be used as often as twice a day. It might be an ideal solution for people who shower frequently because of work, going to the pool, or the beach.

Besides Argan oil, the DermOrganic Daily Conditioning Shampoo contains Panthenol (Vitamin B5), grape seed extract, rice amino acids, and sunflower oil. It can be used in conjunction with DermOrganic’s conditioner and hair masque for even better results.

Hair Color Rescue, Best Shampoo and Conditioner Set for Chemically Damaged Hair, Concentrated Treatment for Dry, Frizzy, Brittle Hair by Sweet Spot Naturals

Sweet Spot Naturals is color-safe. You can wash daily with this shampoo without fading out your hair dye. This formula contains no parabens, sulfates, fragrances, alcohols, or artificial colors. Without sulfates, you won’t see as much lather, but that won’t stop this shampoo from washing your hair to a healthy shine.

This shampoo and conditioner set is based around certain natural ingredients known for their healing abilities. It contains aloe vera, Manuka honey, coconut oil extract, and Australian Cehami. Sweet Spot Naturals recommends using the conditioner after shampooing. Let it set for up to three minutes, or leave it in for the rest of the day.

The shampoo and conditioner have a soft fruity scent from orange peel oil. The orange peel oil also contributes to the silky soft shine you should experience starting from the first use. If you aren’t satisfied with these products, Sweet Spot Naturals offers a full refund.

Shampoos to treat and eliminate dandruff

Dandruff can affect anyone, no matter how often or infrequently they shampoo their hair. It can be caused by several different factors. If you’re struggling to get rid of those unsightly little white flakes, take a look at these shampoos made to control and eliminate dandruff.

Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo for Anti Dandruff with Jojoba, Argan, and Organic Tea Tree Oil – Natural, Sulfate Free Treatment for Women and Men

Since dandruff can be caused by several factors, Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo fights dandruff with the power of Argan, Tea Tree, and Jojoba oils. These oils moisturize the scalp and hair. Tea tree cleans out dead cells. Sage helps unclog hair follicles and works as an anti-inflammatory to calm skin. Rosemary stimulates the skin for better blood circulation.

The Sage Shampoo has no phthalates, parabens, or sulfates. Its delicious fragrance comes from herbal ingredients, not artificial ones. Besides treating dandruff, this shampoo uses Spikenard to help keep hair from losing its natural color and falling out. It also controls frizz with botanical keratin.

Art Naturals Dandruff Shampoo - 16 oz Coal Tar w/ Argan Oil - Scalp18 Therapeutic Treatment

Art Naturals Scalp18 Dandruff Shampoo combines the power of Argan Oil with Coal Tar. While that may not sound like a very attractive thing to put on your hair, coal tar is a traditional treatment for dandruff.

Coal tar, used topically on the skin, is a keratolytic drug that slows down the growth of cells. It’s also a keratoplastic drug that helps get rid of the top layer of dead skin cells. This is helpful to control the itching and flaking of dandruff, as well as psoriasis and dermatitis. For best results, massage the shampoo into hair and let it sit up to five minutes before rinsing.

Besides the coal tar, Scalp18 has Argan, Jojoba, Rosemary, Basil, and lemon oil to moisturize hair and make it shine. The shampoo’s formula does not include parabens, and it’s certified vegan and cruelty-free.

Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo - Natural Essential Oil Anti-Dandruff Shampoo For Dry Itchy & Flaky Scalp - Anti-fungal & Anti-Bacterial - Sulfate Free Hydrating Cleanser - Prevent Head Lice & Thinning Hair

If coal tar doesn’t appeal, or if you’re sensitive to it, try this soothing Tea Tree Shampoo from Maple Holistics. It’s designed to remove old dead skin cells, cause new hair growth, and make hair shiny and soft.

One of the aspects of this shampoo that we liked was the detailed description Maple Holistics provides to explain the ingredients and their functions. For example, you’ve already learned that Argan oil is great for moisturizing hair and scalp, as is Jojoba.

Tea tree oil helps remove dead skin and provides a pleasant tingly feeling as it stimulates circulation. Rosemary has a similar effect, and it also helps control oiliness. Lavender is a powerful antiseptic with healing properties.

Of course, Maple Holistics left out sulfates and parabens as well as harsh detergents. Their shampoo is mild enough to use every day.

Shampoos to control oiliness

Some of us suffer from oily hair instead of dryness. If you’re tired of showering twice a day just to look less greasy, check out this formula below.

Maple Holistics Shampoo for Oily Hair & Oily Scalp - Natural Dandruff Treatment for Women & Men

Here’s another formula from Maple Holistics. This one helps get rid of excess oil on scalp and hair. It contains Jojoba oil as its primary ingredient.

While the word “oil” as in Jojoba oil sounds like it would only add more grease to your hair, it actually does the opposite. Jojoba oil is a natural plant extract that’s very close to human sebum or skin oil. Putting Jojoba oil on your scalp and hair makes your body think it has already produced enough oil already so it doesn’t make as much. It hydrates without making hair greasier.

Besides Jojoba oil, this shampoo contains help for dandruff sufferers. It has Rosemary, Cypress, Lemon, and Basil extracts to improve circulation, shrink pores, and clean out oil. It does not contain sulfates or parabens.

Shampoos for fine or thinning hair to stimulate new hair growth

Aging, illness, and genetics can all play a role in hair loss. If you would like to stimulate new hair growth, it’s worth looking into shampoos with Argan oil like this one below.

PURA D'OR Anti-Hair Loss Premium Organic Argan Oil Shampoo (Gold Label), 16 Fluid Ounce

We already covered other products with Argan oil, but this shampoo goes a step further. Besides Argan oil, it also contains PURA D’OR’s DHT blocker formula. DHT is a hormone that causes hair loss. This shampoo works to limit DHT so hair doesn't thin and fall out as fast.

PURA D’OR recommends at least three months of daily use to see the best results from their shampoo. It’s safe for use on all hair types, as well as dyed and tinted hair. It does not contain sulfates or parabens. Apply and let it sit for two minutes for maximum absorption into follicles.

Other active ingredients include a plant-based natural preservative as well as coconut derivatives, tea tree oil, elderberry, willow bark extract, black cumin seed oil, nettle leaf extract, green tea, and sage oil.

Organic Shampoo Bars

Have you ever washed your hair with a bar instead of liquid form a bottle? Some folks prefer their shampoo in solid form. After all, it’s a lot easier to transport. It’s also easier on the environment because not only are the ingredients biodegradable, the paper wrapper is too.

J.R. Liggett's Old Fashioned Shampoo Bar 3.5 Ounces (Variety 3 Pack)

J.R. Liggett’s Old-Fashioned Shampoo Bar is not an antiquated hair care method by any means. With this variety pack you can give all three flavors a try.

Of course, all three varieties are free of chemicals like sulfates and parabens. They are 100% Vegan and also biodegradable. This is the perfect shampoo for people who love to camp outdoors.

The three options include Coconut and Argan oil, Tea Tree and Hemp oil, and Jojoba and Peppermint. Users have commented that while their hair feels different when wet, when it dries it feels silky and soft. Some users don’t even bother with conditioner.

Keep your bar in a dry place when it’s not in use and it will last you longer. One bar of JR Liggetts Old Fashioned Shampoo may last you as long or even longer than a bottle of liquid shampoo.

Powerful ingredients in organic shampoos

Now that you’ve seen the best organic shampoos, here’s where you can learn about what makes them powerful against hair loss, dandruff, excess oil, and dryness.

  • Argan oil—promotes hair growth, moisturizes
  • Aloe Vera—hydrates, heals, and soothes
  • Coconut Oil—hydrates and adds shine, can fight infection
  • Tea tree oil—gets rid of dead skin cells, stimulates healthy growth, antiseptic
  • Rosemary—cleans out dead skin from scalp, stimulates circulation
  • Jojoba Oil—imitates a body’s own natural oil to slow excess production and cut grease
  • Lavender—antiseptic, antifungal, heals and calms skin
  • Keratin—smooths rough cuticles of hair shafts
  • Panthenol or Vitamin B5—helps bind moisture to hair, make it look and feel thicker

Harmful Ingredients in regular shampoos

Sulfates, also known as detergents

Why do organic shampoo manufacturers avoid sulfates in their products? Research has linked sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS or SLES) to cataracts in adults and poor eye development in children. It may also irritate oil glands and dry out the scalp. It’s known by a few other names like these below:

  • Ammonium lauryl sulfate
  • Derivatives of lauryl alcohol
  • Myreth sulfate
  • Propylene glycol, a main ingredient of antifreeze in cars
  • Olefin sulfonate, also known as kerosene

Sulfates can create a nice lather when you wash your hair, but you don’t need lots of suds to clean your scalp or hair thoroughly.

Parabens

What are parabens and why do organic shampoo companies avoid them? Parabens act like estrogen in the body. A high concentration could cause breast cancer and problems with reproduction. Some places in the world ban these chemicals outright, especially in cosmetics and products used by children. Avoid methylparaben and propylparaben, for example.

Alcohol

Certain kinds of alcohol will dry out hair. Avoid shampoos with regular alcohols except these fatty alcohols listed in the ingredients. Fatty alcohols include cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, or lauryl alcohol.

Synthetic perfumes and colors

Organic shampoos smell good because of natural herbs. Avoid chemical formulations that could dry out your skin and hair. These ingredients often have a FD&C or D&C number instead of a name.

Formaldehyde

Ick, remember those bottled frogs floating in formaldehyde in biology class? You’re alive, not dead, and you certainly don’t need this preservative on your hair. It can actually make you lose more hair.

Side effects of using organic shampoos

Here are some things you may notice as you change to using organic shampoos. Please note that organic doesn’t mean it’s like baby shampoo. If you get organic shampoo in your eyes, it will still burn like any other shampoo would.

You may find that you don’t have much lather without chemical surfactants, especially if you have hard water, but that your hair feels cleaner anyway.

You may find that you look forward to washing your hair. This is good since organic shampoos often have an expiration date. They don’t rely on preservatives to stay fresh.

Although you’ll probably pass through a transitional phase of a few days to a couple of weeks, you’ll notice a difference. At first, you may wonder if the new shampoo is doing the job because you may get more tangles, dryness, or even oiliness as your hair and scalp heal. Then you’ll start to see positive results like shine, bounce, and softness. Your hair may feel and look thicker and any dry flakes should clear up.

Ways to help your hair transition from chemical to organic shampoos

Experts with experience using organic shampoos recommend a few things to help your hair transition and thrive.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar rinses can help clean out chemicals and dead skin and restore shine
  • Apply an organic conditioner to the tips each time you shampoo, or at least once a week
  • A leave-in hair conditioner or masque can also help accelerate healing
  • Try massaging argan oil into your scalp if you are suffering from thinning hair
  • Or massage jojoba oil into your hair and scalp if you have excess oil
  • Get a hair cut to remove split ends and dead hair
  • Use a brush or comb appropriate for your kind of hair
  • Avoid dyeing and tinting for a couple of weeks as you adjust to the new shampoo

Soon you’ll be the one recommending organic shampoos to your friends and family.