20 Best Clean Shampoos in 2023


The clean beauty industry has grown in recent years, and now in 2023, you’re spoiled for choice of products that are safer for your skin and body. But, if you’re just beginning your cleaner lifestyle journey, knowing what to look for and what products to swap out can be overwhelming. Shampoo is a product you’ll likely be using weekly, if not daily, so if you’re unsure where to begin your path to cleaner living, swapping to a clean shampoo is a perfect starting point. 

What Is A Clean Shampoo?

In the beauty and cosmetics industry, the term ‘clean’ is used to refer to products that do not include ingredients that a brand believes are questionable or unsafe. These are often ingredients such as sulfates, which are known to be drying and damaging to the skin and hair, parabens, which may impact hormones, and phthalates, which may cause damage to organs and disrupt hormones. 

So, a clean shampoo is generally one made without any of the above ingredients, or any other ingredients a brand believes could be harmful to your skin, hair, or body. 

How Can A Clean Shampoo Be Beneficial?

Beauty and cosmetics products are not as strictly regulated in the US as they are in other countries, which means some questionable or unsafe ingredients often make it into products we put on and in our bodies every day. The skin is our largest organ, and it’s porous, meaning it can absorb particles from the environment and the products we use on our bodies. Choosing products from brands that are committed to using clean ingredients means you’ll be creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself. 

Additionally, the definition of clean has expanded in recent years to refer to products that are made by brands that use clean ingredients and prioritize reducing environmental impacts through utilizing ethically-sourced ingredients and sustainable practices. By choosing clean products, you’re creating a lifestyle that is not only healthier for yourself, but healthier for the planet too. 

Whether you need help to kickstart your journey to cleaner living, or increase your clean product supply, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best clean shampoos currently on the market, so you can find the best clean shampoo for you, meaning you can see yourself well on your way to a cleaner 2023.

1. Blu Atlas Shampoo


First up on our list of the best clean shampoos is Blu Atlas. We love Blu Atlas for their science-backed ingredients that are vegan, cruelty-free, and 96-100% naturally derived. Blu Atlas knows that you don’t have to fill a shampoo with a laundry list of ingredients for a product to be effective, and with a medical advisory board to back them up, you can be sure this shampoo is safe for you. 

Healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp, and with Blu Atlas shampoo, your hair will be nourished and strengthened from root to tip. Vegan biotin helps strengthen the hair and assists it in retaining moisture. Aloe barbadensis leaf extract contains antioxidants and soothing anti-inflammatory properties, providing nourishment to the scalp and calming any irritation and itchiness. Jojoba protein works to nourish and repair damaged and distressed strands, with saw palmetto extract helping promote hair growth by inhibiting DHT, a molecule that can cause hair loss. 

This shampoo also contains three gentle cleansers, including cocamidopropyl betaine, derived from coconuts, which works to give you that rich lather you’re used to in a shampoo, without stripping oils from the hair or drying out your scalp. 

2. Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Shampoo


Hair damaged and dry? As the name of this shampoo suggests, don’t despair! Briogeo’s super moisture shampoo will deeply cleanse and hydrate your hair with its 95% naturally-derived formula that’s vegan, cruelty-free, and made using the ‘Briogeo Blocklist,’ a specially-curated list the brand uses to ensure its formulas are free from potentially harmful ingredients, like harsh sulfates, silicones, and parabens. An added bonus is that Briogeo’s product bottles, tubes, jars, and caps are 100% recyclable.

This shampoo boasts nourishing ingredients like algae extract, panthenol, and biotin to repair, rehydrate, and protect any dry locks. Algae extract provides the scalp and hair with antioxidants, nourishing the hair from root to tip, panthenol helps lock moisture into the hair, while biotin helps enhance the body of the hair shaft, for full, tamed tresses. For its cleansing lather, this shampoo utilizes sodium cocoyl isethionate, a mild surfactant derived from coconut fatty acids, that gently cleanses the hair and removes excess oil and build-up on the scalp. 

3. R + Co Bleu Essential shampoo


All hair types can benefit from R + Co Bleu’s vegan and cruelty-free formula which is designed to cleanse and strengthen the hair while hydrating and adding shine. Like all of R + Co Bleu’s products, this shampoo is free from any nasties, such as sulfates, parabens, and phosphates. The brand also focuses on sustainable practices, like making their product tubes from sugar cane that absorbs C02 from the atmosphere, and is 100% recyclable.

This shampoo formula contains numerous essential ingredients that target different areas of your scalp and hair, such as red marine algae extract, which provides antioxidants to nourish the scalp and hair shaft while adding shine. Caffeine extract helps stimulate the scalp follicles to promote thicker, fuller locks, and coconut and babassu oils assist with removing build-up in the scalp while helping to nourish and protect ends from drying out. Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, a sulfate-free cleanser, provides a rich lather to deeply cleanse scalp build-up. 

4. Monday Gentle Shampoo


We’re all in need of a little TLC, and Monday’s gentle shampoo formula is designed to bring that TLC to your scalp and your hair. Monday’s products are cruelty-free, free of harsh sulfates and parabens, and focus on naturally-derived ingredients. Monday’s bottles are also 100% recyclable with their writing printed directly on the bottle, reducing the waste produced from plastic labels. 

Coconut oil helps to nourish the hair and add shine to the hair shaft, while shea butter helps soften the hair and calm an irritated or inflamed scalp with its nourishing and anti-inflammatory properties. The primary lathering component of this gentle formula is cocamidopropyl betaine, a compound derived from coconuts that foams well, but is very mild and well-tolerated by most skin types, and is often used in products for babies and infants, making this shampoo a great choice for anyone with sensitive skin. 

5. Prose Custom Shampoo


If you’re looking for a unique formulation specifically designed for your hair requirements, then Prose’s custom shampoo may be the one for you. Prose knows that everyone’s hair is a little different, so they create customized shampoo for their clients from the results of an online questionnaire. This means you simply plug in your answers to their hair quiz questions and receive a curated list of ingredients that prose turns into a shampoo just for you. Prose also commits to using naturally derived, ethically sourced ingredients, free from sulfates, phthalates, and parabens. 

The particular ingredients that are in your Prose shampoo will depend on your specific hair requirements. But, some examples of the ingredients you may find in your formulation include fermented rice water, which helps replenish the proteins in the hair shaft and reduce hair fall, peppermint extract to help remove bacteria and clear the scalp of oil build-up, and argan oil, high in antioxidants and vitamin E to nourish the scalp and hair and add shine. Prose also uses gentle surfactants to cleanse and lather, like sodium methyl oleoyl taurate, derived from coconut and palm kernel oil. 

6. Paula’s Choice All Over Hair & Body shampoo


This shampoo is helpfully gentle enough to cleanse your scalp, hair, and entire body. Paula’s Choice creates hair and skincare products that are supported by scientific research to ensure safety and efficacy as well as being cruelty-free, and free from a range of questionable or potentially irritating ingredients, including sulfates, phthalates, and harsh fragrances. They also ensure their packaging is recyclable to help reduce their carbon footprint. 

This shampoo is soap and fragrance-free, making it great for most hair types, including those with sensitive scalps, color-treated hair, and dry skin. Hydrolyzed soy protein acts as a humectant, which means it helps lock in moisture to the hair, while panthenol also helps add moisture and protect cuticles, leading to smoother strands. Cocamidopropyl betaine creates a gentle lather to cleanse the scalp and body while avoiding irritation. 

7. Aveda Botanical Repair Shampoo


Aveda commits to using naturally-derived ingredients wherever it possibly can, and when it needs something synthetic, they make sure it’s safe and gentle for you and the planet. Their botanical repair shampoo will see your hair smoothed, strengthened, and naturally fragranced with ylang-ylang and rose. The shampoo is also created using wind power and contained in a 100% post-consumer-recycled bottle and cap. 

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate and Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, derived from coconuts, are the lathering components of this shampoo, and they work together to gently clean and refresh the scalp, reducing sebum and product build-up. Avocado oil helps moisturize and soothe drying, damaged scalps, leading to healthier-looking hair, and Inca nut seed oil helps nourish the scalp and hair with its vitamin E and antioxidant properties. 

8. Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Everyday Shampoo


Paul Mitchell’s everyday shampoo is great for all hair types. It gently cleanses while adding shine and bounce to hair, with its sulfate-free, vegan, and cruelty-free formula also being free from parabens and phthalates. This shampoo is part of Paul Mitchell’s clean beauty line, which sees it packaged in 100% recyclable material made from sugarcane. 

Argan oil, with its vitamin E content and antioxidant properties, will help moisturize and nourish the scalp to assist in maintaining scalp health, while also smoothing frizz and adding shine. Aloe vera also helps moisturize and soothe the scalp while assisting with gentle cleaning and providing smoothness to the hair shaft. Sodium olefin sulfonate will lather and foam for ultimate spreadability while being gentle on the hair and scalp. 

9. JVN Undamage Strengthening Shampoo


Queer Eye’s Johnathan Van ness has designed his haircare range to cater to all hair requirements with sulfate-free, clean, cruelty-free, and vegan formulas. JVN’s Undamage shampoo is great for all hair types but can be especially beneficial for those with color-treated hair or hair with some damage and dryness. JVN also works on sustainable practices, utilizing aluminum bottles for infinite recyclability, and all plastic used in product packing is post-consumer-recycled plastic, meaning the plastic has already been used and is on to its second life. 

Hemissqualine, a lightweight oil JVN produces from sustainable sugarcane, works to smooth, strengthen, and reduce damage by sealing moisture into the hair without weighing it down and causing build-up. Jojoba esters, created from jojoba oil, help repair cuticle damage for healthy hair growth. To assist in preventing further hair damage, this formula contains sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, derived from coconut, to gently clean and remove sebum and build-up without stripping oils out of the hair or causing scalp irritation. 

10. Viori Terrace Garden Shampoo Bar


Viori has removed the need for plastic packaging by creating shampoo bars that look a little like soap, but you won’t find any harsh soaps or detergents in these bars. They are sulfate-free, vegan and cruelty-free,  as well as being free of parabens and phthalates. The terrace garden shampoo bar is great for all hair types but can be particularly beneficial for those with dry strands. Viori bars are made using sustainable and ethical practices, and the key moisturizing ingredient, Longshen rice protein, is sourced from Longshen. Viori partners with the Red Yao people of Longshen to ensure they are paid fair wages, with 5% of Viori’s profits going to Red Yao communities.

This shampoo bar uses sodium cocoyl isethionate to gently cleanse the scalp and hair without causing dryness. Longshen rice water helps balance the ph of the scalp, reducing irritation and flaking, and also helps reduce friction in the hair shaft, ridding locks of any pesky tangles. Hydrolyzed rice protein helps lock in moisture to the hair shaft, adding volume and shine, and shea butter provides some extra soothing and moisturization to dry hair and scalps.

11. Odele Ultra Sensitive Shampoo


Odele manufactures its products with the use of wind power for energy and is committed to creating clean hair care products with a focus on ethical practices and sustainable packaging. 5% of Odele’s profits go to underserved communities, and their shampoos are vegan, cruelty-free, and free from parabens and phthalates. Their ultra-sensitive shampoo is great for anyone prone to eczema or to very sensitive skin. 

Oat extract is gentle and nourishing on the scalp, helping create healthy cuticles for hair growth and strength. Hydrolyzed rice protein helps moisturize the scalp and lock moisture into the hair for smooth strands and increased manageability. The cleaning agent in this formula, sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate, is derived from coconuts, and is biodegradable and very mild, preventing this shampoo from causing any scalp irritation or dryness to the hair. 

12. Ursa Major Go Easy Shampoo


Go easy on the scalp and hair with this shampoo that provides a thorough clean without stripping the hair of its natural protective oils. This shampoo is packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of synthetic fragrances, sulfates, parabens, and phthalates. 

Coconut-derived surfactants, like sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, work to lather and gently clean and refresh the scalp. Hydrolyzed soy protein helps lock moisture in the hair and helps condition the scalp to reduce flaking. Licorice root extract also helps hold moisture in the hair, while nourishing and soothing the scalp. Macadamia nut oil also helps prevent moisture loss from the skin, assisting the scalp with healthy hair growth. 

13. Ethique Bar Minimum Shampoo Bar


Ethique is another brand that has ditched the plastic packaging in favor of a solid bar form, and they are all about reducing impacts on the environment and using sustainable, biodegradable, ethically-sourced ingredients. Ethique’s product ingredients are selected according to four criteria to ensure they are clean and safe. So, like all of their products, the ingredients in this shampoo bar are free of health risks associated with their use, sustainably-produced and biodegradable, cruelty-free and plant-based, and free from palm oil and palm oil derivatives. 

This bar provides a very gentle, fragrance-free wash for those with sensitive skin or who may find certain scented products to be overwhelming. Sodium cocoyl isethionate provides a gentle but ample lather without leaving any waxy residue. Babassu oil helps soothe the scalp and contains fatty acids which provide a light, protective coating on the hair to nourish and protect strands without weighing the hair down. Cocoa butter and glycerine work together to draw in moisture from the air and lock it in the hair, for clean, shiny locks. 

14. Together Beauty Love Lather Shampoo


For those who have hair that requires frequent washing, Together Beauty’s Love Lather shampoo may just do the trick. Gentle enough for everyday use, this shampoo will gently cleanse your scalp and hair while providing hydration to help prevent drying, even with frequent use. All of Together Beauty’s products are cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and phthalate-free, and this particular shampoo is also vegan and contains ingredients that are 98% of natural origin. 

Hydrolyzed quinoa works to penetrate the hair shaft and increase the hair’s ability to hold moisture, reducing brittle strands, and leading to smoothness and shine. Hydrolyzed baobab protein helps to nourish the scalp and reduce itchiness, while also providing the hair with protection from head damage and helping retain moisture in the hair. Gentle cleansers derived from coconuts include sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate and sodium cocoyl isethionate, which work to cleanse and remove build-up without drying out the scalp and hair. 

15. Pureology Pure Volume Shampoo


For fine hair that needs a little lift, Pureology volume shampoo will clarify the scalp and hair to increase volume and movement in the hair without weighing it down. This formula is vegan, not tested on animals, free of harsh sulfates and parabens, contained in a bottle made of 95% post-consumer recycled plastic, and, according to the brand, will provide you with at least 75 washes.

The volume action of this shampoo comes from hydrolyzed wheat proteins which assist the hair in retaining moisture, creating hydrated, fuller strands that are smooth and bouncy. Eucalyptus leaf extract helps soothe the scalp and stimulate hair follicles, assisting in promoting hair growth. To clarify the scalp and remove build-up, the shampoo contains multiple cleansers that are all sulfate-free and gentle, for example, cocamidopropyl betaine and disodium laureth sulfosuccinate. Multiple cleansers mean your hair will be deeply cleansed, but the mildness of these cleansers means they won’t irritate the scalp or strip the hair of its natural oils. 

16. Abba Color Protection Shampoo


Hair that has been colored or chemically treated will love this shampoo that cleanses the scalp while also protecting color and nourishing the hair. All of Abba’s haircare products are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and free of synthetic additives. 

All of Abba’s products contain their signature ProQuinoa Complex, a combination of hydrolyzed quinoa, barley, and soy, providing proteins that are lost during chemical treatments, helping to strengthen hair, add moisture, and increase body and control. Sage leaf extract helps to protect and revitalize hair and bring out its color and shine, while coconut oil nourishes the hair strands and provides a protective coat to prevent dryness. Another product that utilizes sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate to cleanse and remove build-up, this shampoo will see your hair fresh and clean, and your scalp free of dryness and irritation. 

17. Inna Organic Lemon-Scented Tea Tree Shampoo


Inna Organic is committed to creating certified-organic skincare products that are safe and effective for everyone. This lemon-scented tea tree shampoo has been formulated especially for those with oily scalps and hair. Inna organics formulates their products according to traditional knowledge and medicines from cultures around the globe. All their products are vegan and cruelty-free, free of parabens, and what’s more, they pledge 1% of profits to help support children’s education in disadvantaged communities. 

Like many plant extracts, tea tree oil has been used in indigenous medicines for hundreds of years to help treat various ailments. It contains natural purifying compounds that help soothe the scalp and reduce build-up for a healthier scalp and healthier hair. Aloe leaf extract soothes the scalp and provides moisturization for hair that’s dry and brittle. To assist in oil removal, this shampoo contains a trio of plant-derived cleansers, such as decyl glucoside, known to be very mild and suitable for those with sensitive skin. 

18. Rahua Classic Shampoo


Designed for all hair types, this woodsy-scented shampoo will provide you with soft strands and a soothed scalp. Rahua is dedicated to sustainably-sourced ingredients that are non-toxic and safe for people and safe for the environment. This shampoo is provided to you in a concentrated formula, designed to reduce consumption without compromising on quality. The packaging is also fully recyclable to assist in reducing waste.

The key ingredient in all Rahua’s shampoos is symbiotic Rahua, which Amazonian communities have used traditionally to help nourish hair follicles and the scalp to strengthen hair and repair damage. Symbiotic means this ingredient was grown in the rainforest, harvested, and prepared using indigenous knowledge from the amazonian rainforest communities, and is purchased at a fair price. Coconut betaines will gently lather and cleanse to remove dirt and oil without drying out the hair or irritating the scalp, while organic green tea provides antioxidants to nourish the hair and scalp. 

19. Green People Quinoa & Artichoke Shampoo


Green People brings you certified organic, fair trade, cruelty-free, sustainably-sourced ingredients for all hair needs. You can take their quiz for specific hair advice, or you can reach for this gentle shampoo designed for all hair types, that will reduce frizz and give you shiny locks. Green People have made this shampoo in a concentrated formula that comes in recyclable plastic made from sustainably-grown sugarcane.

Hydrolyzed quinoa protein delivers sleek, manageable locks with its moisture-retaining properties. Chamomile oil helps to calm and soothe the scalp for healthy follicles and hair growth, and yucca extract works alongside gentle cleansing agents, such as cocamidopropyl betaine, to produce a cleansing foam that removes oil and build-up while being kind to sensitive skin. 

20. True Botanicals Nourishing Shampoo


This hypoallergenic shampoo is designed for all hair types to lather and cleanse without causing dryness while also nourishing and moisturizing the hair and scalp. True Botanicals provides clean, safe ingredients that are sustainably sourced, with most of their ingredients being sourced from regenerative farms which pull carbon from the atmosphere. They also provide donations to Grow Ahead, an organization that supports farmers in converting to regenerative practices.

Aloe leaf extract soothes the scalp while nourishing the hair and helping it to retain moisture. Meadowfoam seed oil and green tea seed oil work to promote hydration while smoothing and preventing tangling. Gentle surfactants helping to lather and cleanse include sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate and cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, derived from coconut and effective at providing a rich, foaming lather without stripping oil from the hair or irritating the scalp. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a clean shampoo be as effective at cleaning as a regular shampoo?

It’s true that most clean shampoo brands generally use cleansing agents that are more gentle than the stronger sulfate cleansers found in other shampoo brands. However, they are still effective at removing oil and build-up from the scalp and hair while also providing a good lather that spreads well. Additionally, because the cleaning agents used in clean shampoo brands are often gentle, many people find clean shampoo formulas to be great for reducing scalp irritation and helping their hair retain moisture. 

How do I know what clean shampoo is best for me?

The best clean shampoo for you will likely depend on the type of hair you have, and how much oil your scalp produces. Those with hair which tends to be dry might like to look out for a clean shampoo that contains certain proteins, like biotin or jojoba protein, which work to draw in and retain moisture in the hair. If you tend towards the oily side, it could be a good idea to choose a clean shampoo with multiple cleansing agents to ensure you’re not left with any oily residue and get a deep clean with every wash. If you have sensitive skin, the clean shampoos on this list contain cleansing agents that will clean without causing too much irritation or dryness. But for some extra care for the scalp, you might want to choose a shampoo with plant extracts such as aloe vera, to soothe the scalp and provide some extra moisturization to the skin. 

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