The Best Natural Shampoos and Conditioners
It’s 2023 and we have no time for nasty chemicals, whether it be in what we eat, breathe or put on our bodies. Our skin is the body’s largest organ and more people (and companies!) are losing the desire to rub harmful chemicals through our hair and into our scalp. Just as with eating a healthy diet to nourish our bodies, our hair needs to be nourished. And, to be fair, natural shampoos and conditioners have come a long way in providing the market with great alternatives to top traditional products.
But, how do you go about finding the best natural shampoos and conditioners? We’ve gone ahead and done the hard work for you, tailoring a list of the best available products on the market.
Best natural shampoos
1. Blu Atlas Shampoo
The gentle formulation of this shampoo is great for all hair types and really does go above and beyond for natural hair care. Including saw palmetto and vegan biotin for stronger-feeling hair, enriched with jojoba protein for nourishment, and aloe vera for soothing dry or irritated scalps. Blu Atlas shampoo is designed to leave hair feeling nourished, invigorated, and strong. This clean shampoo contains naturally-derived coconut surfactants to effectively cleanse away dirt and oil without harmful sulfates.
Blu Atlas products are made vegan using natural ingredients originating from plants, fruits, and minerals. When it comes to providing clean and cruelty-free care for your hair, Blu Atlas tops the market in both quality and result so is a deserved winner in our list of the best natural shampoos.
2. Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
This clean green shampoo is refreshing and gentle on the scalp, while still cleansing hair very effectively. The Acure shampoo contains all vegan ingredients. It has an argan oil base, which makes the product rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and healthy proteins. These work to nourish and calm the hair shafts while lemongrass cleanses hair and offers a refreshing scent. The formula perfectly removes buildup, boosts shine, and replenishes moisture.
3. Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Shampoo
Tailored particularly for dry or tangled hair, Design Essentials Almond and Avocado shampoo is designed to gently cleanse hair without stripping strands of their protective oil. Making light work of knots and tangles, the formulation works beautifully to cleanse and nourish, leaving hair smooth and shiny.
Design Essentials have formulated their Almond and Avocado shampoo to be free of parabens, paraffin, petrolatum, mineral oil, and sulfates. This has left them with plenty of room to pack in the good stuff! Sweet almond oil nourishes hair leaving it beautifully soft, while avocado oil strengthens tresses to lock in moisture and protect from damage.
Follow up with Natural Almond & Avocado Conditioner to immerse your hair with rich botanicals, leaving it hard to resist running your fingers through your tresses all day long.
4. Ethique Bar Minimum Unscented Solid Shampoo Bar
The Ethique Bar Minimum Shampoo Bar is part of their large selection of completely natural shampoo bars. The sulfate-free formula lathers well to cleanse hair, while betaine (sourced from sugar beets) helps to calm irritated or dry scalps. The use of cocoa butter and glycerin leaves hair with a luscious sheen.
Free from nasty chemicals, the real beauty of Ethique’s shampoo bars is in their ability to replace up to three liquid shampoo bottles – with each bar lasting an average of 80 washes! Ethique shampoo bars come in home compostable packaging, supporting their ideology of being sustainably produced with ethically sourced, plant-based ingredients. Ethique truly goes above and beyond for both our bodies and our environment.
5. WOW Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
Apple cider vinegar has been well known for some time for its cleansing and rejuvenating properties. WOW Skin Science has combined the power of raw Himalayan apple cider vinegar with sweet almond oil, argan oil, and nettle leaf extract to make a real power combo. The oils provide strength, protection, and shine to our hair shafts while the nettle is packed with anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants to soothe the scalp.
The plant-powered formulation works magic to detox hair and scalp from buildup and dandruff, balance our scalp’s natural pH, and stimulate hair follicle production for fuller and more luscious locks. All while being free of nasty parabens, sulfates, silicones, and mineral oils.
6. SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Shampoo
Designed to bring your curls to life, SheaMoisture has designed a lush shampoo for all you curly girls out there. Their Curl and Shine shampoo foams to a creamy lather, making light work of thick waves and coils. The clean preservative-free formulation effectively rehydrates dry, brittle, and frizzy hair to give your curls and coils a whole new lease on life!
SheaMoisture Curl and Shine is formulated from certified organic shea butter and coconut oil which work in harmony to lock in moisture and smooth strays. With added hibiscus extract, silk proteins, and neem oil, this shampoo improves hair elasticity and resilience, reducing the occurrence of future split ends and damage.
SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Shampoo is a one-stop shampoo to tame frizz and quench your curls. Stride out from the shower with a spring in your step and a bounce to your new luminous locks.
7. Sukin Natural Balance Shampoo
Sukin’s Natural Balance Shampoo is naturally formulated to work hand in hand with your hair. Combining nourishing burdock, nettle, and horsetail extracts to energize and cleanse the scalp of buildup and toxins.
Sukin rethinks the traditional use of sulfates, silicone, and harsh fragrances which strip the hair, leaving it tired and irritated. Their Natural Balance shampoo replaces these with quality baobab oil, natural extracts, and essential oils to feed hair and leave it replenished. Massage to a gentle lather to leave a beautiful fresh scent of mandarin, tangerine, vanilla, and lavender.
8. Rahua Classic Shampoo
Rahua goes above and beyond with their range, using organic plant-derived ingredients for a luxurious hair care experience. The brand is named after Rahua oil, used for centuries by Amazonian women for its impressive ability to strengthen weak and damaged hair.
The Rahua Classic shampoo is a great option for all hair types, including color-treated hair. It is rich in antioxidants to promote healthy hair growth and protection while palo santo oil leaves hair with a sophisticated woodsy scent. Rahua oil has also been shown to push color pigments deeper into the hair shaft for extended color retention, keeping colored hair shiny and vibrant.
Sourcing ingredients from the Amazon rainforest, Rahua is passionate about creating lavish hair care products whilst working in a symbiotic way with nature. Their simple and clean products are uniquely inspired by the natural beauty of plants and preserving centuries-old Rahua tradition.
9. Reverie Shampoo
With its clean and simple packaging reflecting Reverie’s approach to effective natural hair care, this sulfate-free formulation delivers nothing short of a lavish experience. With biodegradable sugarcane and coconut, the shampoo lathers easily, to effectively coat hair from root to tip. Reverie Shampoo is designed to deeply cleanse, without stripping hair or leaving it dry. Enriched with amino acids and sweet almond oil to nourish each strand and leave hair smooth and glossy.
Reverie has a great ‘plastic negative’ initiative where, for every bottle of shampoo sold, the company funds the recovery of twice as much ocean-bound plastic waste, an added extra to help the environment.
10. Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
Designed for dull hair or greasy scalps needing a loving spruce up, Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon shampoo is designed to reduce dandruff and cleanse hair of grime and buildup. The organic extracts are carefully formulated to leave strands bright and shiny. The fresh Clarifying Lemon shampoo is enhanced with aloe and vitamin E to soothe and brighten your hair and scalp.
Avalon Organics doesn’t just stop at organic, vegan, non-GMO ingredients either. The company is Environmental Working Group (EWG) verified. This means they have complete transparency in their ingredients and meet the strictest criteria in avoiding any known harmful chemicals.
11. Eva NYC Lift Off Volume Shampoo
Eva NYC Lift Off Volume Shampoo is designed for thin and flat hair in need of an instant boost! The moisturizing formula is free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates to thicken hair and leave it naturally voluminous. When used alongside the Lift Off conditioner and mist counterparts, the Eva NYC Lift Off shampoo can hoist fine hair to three times the volume!
The Eva NYC Lift Off conditioner is formulated using powerful Linden Bud extract, sourced from trees in Turkey. Linden Bud is naturally rich in plant-derived flavonoids and amino acids to nourish hair and create a protective barrier for holding volume. Australian-sourced wild berries are packed with antioxidants and added to the ingredient list to protect against oxidative damage.
Eva NYC is certified cruelty-free, vegan, and GMO-free. We also love the consideration Eva NYC has put into post-consumer waste. Their 100% recyclable aluminum packaging means no-fuss recycling that can be repeated over and over again.
Best natural conditioners
1. Blu Atlas Conditioner
This Blu Atlas conditioner is as close as conditioners come to a hair makeover in a bottle and because of this, deserves its spot at the top of our list. Going above and beyond to naturally revitalize hair, Blu Atlas Conditioner works on all hair types. It has been carefully formulated to restore moisture and leave hair nourished without weighing it down.
Free of synthetic dyes and preservatives, the Blu Atlas Conditioner uses premium vegan ingredients to target dry damaged hair shafts and untamed locks. With nourishing argan oil, avocado oil, and barley protein; regular use acts to fight dullness and relieve dry scalps whilst leaving hair silky. Added white tea extract is packed with all the good “anti’s” – including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-aging, and antimicrobial properties.
For best results, use after Blu Atlas shampoo. Rub conditioner thoroughly through the entire length of your hair and leave to sit for at least one minute before rinsing. Blu Atlas Conditioner can be used daily as needed when you’re in need of some extra TLC. When it comes to selecting a natural conditioner, why not let every day be a good hair day?
2. Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender Conditioner
Nourish dry dull hair and leave it touchably soft with Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender Conditioner. With Avalon’s Environmental Working Group verification, you can rest assured of its quality and transparency of ingredients. Key ingredients for the Nourishing Lavender conditioner include lavender essential oil, quinoa protein, aloe, babassu oil, and vitamin E. These work in harmony to nourish each strand and leave hair smelling fresh without the need for synthetic colors or fragrances. The clean vegan formula is made without phthalates or animal testing so you can lather and massage away, knowing you’ve made a conscientious purchase.
3. Alba Botanica Mega Moisture Coconut Milk Conditioner
This rich conditioner is perfect for dry thirsty tresses in need of deep and full-force hydration. Without drying sulfates, toxic parabens, or phthalates, the Alba Botanica Mega Moisture conditioner leaves hair velvety soft and protected against the damage of heat styling and daily damage.
Coconut milk is known for being high in fatty acids and proteins, essential for keeping hair shafts soft and bouncy. Alba Botanica Mega Moisture conditioner is pH balanced and contains aloe vera for added moisture-locking ability. The formula has been shown by users to maintain hydration for 24 hours and, when used in conjunction with their Mega Moisture shampoo, is designed to create healthier hair with each wash.
4. Soapbox Argan Oil Control and Soften Conditioner
This luxurious Moroccan Argan oil conditioner is designed to deeply penetrate hair from root to tip, taming frizz and providing deep nourishment. Soapbox has kept well away from sulfates, including SLS and SLES, to protect hair from the stripping effect that these chemicals can have. This makes the conditioner a great choice for color-treated hair, which is extra sensitive to drying chemicals. Soapbox’s Argan Oil Control and Soften Conditioner is also free from parabens, phthalates, silicones, and petrochemicals. Each ingredient is vegan and certified cruelty-free.
Just when we feel it can’t get any better, Soapbox has included a custom five-vitamin mix blend directed toward optimal hair health. When fully rinsed from hair, this Argan Oil Control and Soften Conditioner leaves hair light and bouncy with no heavy residue.
5. Andalou Naturals Sunflower and Citrus Conditioner
Get your hair radiating from within with Andalou Naturals Sunflower and Citrus conditioner. The conditioner is designed free of silicone and sulfates to be color-safe and work to brighten hair, leaving you with brilliant shiny locks.
Packed full of vitamin E rich sunflower extract, this conditioner smoothes damage to reduce dryness, frizz, and split ends. Meanwhile, fruit stem cell science and citrus extract work to enhance the brightness and shine of hair. Who wouldn’t want to support strong silky hair whilst improving its longevity and resilience?
6. Rooted Beauty Strengthen and Smooth Conditioner
Formulated for frizzy hair prone to split ends, Rooted Beauty’s Strengthen and Smooth conditioner is designed to tame the wildest of manes. Leaving hair smooth and untangled, you’ll want to leave it down, or even throw it back and forth!
Formulated with Rooted Beauty’s own R7 complex, built up of seven ingredients high in antioxidants, the conditioner is designed to deeply replenish hair, leaving it soft, shiny, and free of damage.
As an added bonus, we love that Rooted Beauty has taken the initiative to have their packaging made of 82% post-consumer recycled materials!
7. Innersense Organic Beauty Color Radiance Daily Conditioner
Designed to revitalize colored and chemically treated hair, the Innersense Beauty Color Radiance conditioner will optimize color treatments, lock in their vibrancy, and enhance their endurance. The carefully selected natural ingredients will also work to reduce damage traditionally associated with over-processed hair.
Key ingredients include rice bran oil, avocado oil, and shea butter to smooth hair, build elasticity, and control frizz. Rice proteins encourage the strength and vigor of hair shafts. Pumpkin seed oil– high in Omega 6 Fatty Acids and Vitamins E, A & K– is included to enhance longevity and vibrancy of hair color, as well as to stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss. Designed for medium-textured hair, this lightweight conditioner leaves hair free of build-up and is great as a daily treatment.
8. Ethique The Guardian Nourishing Solid Conditioner Bar
Ethique’s top-selling conditioner bar is designed as the ultimate natural protector against frizz and dryness. Designed for dry to balanced hair types, The Guardian bar contains a base of fair trade cocoa butter to smooth frizz into manageable locks without leaving any waxy residue. The sweet zesty lime scent creates a fresh and fruity shower experience.
What’s more, as well as a conditioner, the bar can also be used as a shaving bar, talk about multi-purpose! We love that one bar lasts up to 120 washes, making it both cost and space efficient. Ethique’s conditioner bars are carbon neutral, with each bar replacing five 350ml plastic bottles and 5050ml of water. As if their production and compostable packaging weren’t enough towards helping the environment, Ethique also plants one tree for each order placed.
9. Sukin Deep Cleanse Conditioner
Sukin’s Deep Cleanse Conditioner is designed to quench dry hair whilst still being lightweight and not leaving hair weighed down after use. Packed with wheat protein, avocado oil, and sustainably sourced algae, it will leave your hair flowing like silk. This product is enriched with Australian Lemon Myrtle and vitamin E to condition hair and protect against day-to-day wear and environmental damage.
Sukin is serious about bringing vegan and cruelty-free products to the market. Made in Australia with all natural ingredients, the brand offsets carbon emissions so we can get lathering, massaging, and rinsing without worry.
10. Sheamoisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner
SheaMoisture’s highly-rated Intensive Hydration Conditioner is designed with dry dull hair in mind. It has been crafted to deeply nourish hair naturally low in porosity, or as a deep conditioner for dry normal hair.
All forces have been united with a powerhouse of good moisturizers including a base of fair trade shea butter, baobab, mafura, and coconut oils. The addition of African rock fig which is extremely high in antioxidants takes hydration to the next level and protects hair from unavoidable damage. The result is a formula that fully satisfies your thirsty curls and leaves even the thickest of locks detangled and ready to style. Moisture is locked within the hair shaft to enhance shine and optimize nutrient uptake.
Not only are SheaMoisture products free from all nasties, but they are also cruelty-free, ethically and sustainably produced, and family founded. The company stands by its humble beginnings through its dedication to providing back to the community through education and investments.
11. Aveda Invati Advanced Thickening Conditioner
Aveda has created Invati Advanced to naturally strengthen from root to tip, protecting against hair breakage and loss. When integrated daily into your hair care regime, the Invati Advanced conditioner is designed to effectively boost volume and minimize future damage in as little as 12 weeks!
Aveda has utilized organic amla fruit – a superfood high in vitamins and antioxidants – for its ability to thicken hair and protect from oxidative damage. Combined with plant-derived amino acids, the Invati Advanced conditioner is packed with building blocks to naturally reinforce hair’s normal structure. The formula is designed to be lightweight, reducing hair loss and preventing damage; leaving hair buoyant, soft, and resilient.
Aveda is cruelty-free and uses wind and solar powered energy sources to run its manufacturing facility. Using responsibly recycled packaging and naturally-derived vegan ingredients, the company stands by its mission of sustainable production.
Frequently asked questions
What makes a shampoo or conditioner natural?
While there’s no industry standard to agree on a definition for what constitutes a natural shampoo or conditioner product, there are generally agreed “free-from’s”. These typically include being free-from sulfates, phthalates, and parabens. Natural products are also generally deprived of plant-based naturally-derived ingredients and many focus on organic or higher-quality ingredients.
What are parabens and phthalates?
Parabens can be identified as ingredients starting with methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, or butylparaben. They are added as preservatives into skin and hair care products to chemically protect against bacteria and other microorganisms.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals found in many consumer products (not to mention some foods or food containers). It is believed almost all Americans will have phthalate byproducts in their urine– a scary thought!
They have conventionally been added to keep plastics soft, strong, and pliable. Health effects vary widely between the individual chemicals, with some being very serious. With so many potential sources of exposure, it is best to avoid phthalates whenever and wherever possible.
Phthalates can be identified on labels as an acronym, such as DHEP or DiBP. Otherwise, look for products advertised as “phthalate-free”.
How effective are natural shampoos and conditioners?
In the past, natural hair care products have had a bad reputation for not lathering to a nice foam against our scalp or cleansing the hair as deeply as traditional hair care products. But, with increased consumer demand and research they have come a long way!
Why should I look at switching to natural hair care products?
Sulfates, used in traditional products, are what provide foaming and act as the cleansing agent. However, these can be too strong and often strip the hair of its natural protective oils, leaving the scalp dry and irritated. Parabens and phthalates are chemicals used in a huge variety of products whose unwanted side effects are being discovered more and more as their use has become standard practice in traditional products.
Not only are natural haircare products better for us and our health, but companies also more commonly show initiative for environmental care through their products which is a win for us, and for the planet.
What are the key features to look for in natural hair products?
When in the market for the best natural shampoos and conditioners it is always best to keep in mind your own hair type and requirements. Just as with traditional products, there are many different natural brands and formulations available for straight hair, curly hair, dry hair, greasy hair, wavy hair, color-treated hair… and the list goes on!
As well as being free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and silicones, make sure to look for cruelty-free products when possible. These are vegan, often have a lower carbon footprint, and have not been tested on animals.
What’s the deal with vegan and cruelty-free products?
Cruelty-free products are products not tested on animals. Animal testing has been traditionally used for research and development before products come into the market. This is now becoming illegal in many parts of the world and, with development and science, there are now many alternatives for testing the safety of a product before its use on humans.
As more awareness develops around vegan food, vegan consumer products are also becoming more and more popular on our shelves. As an extension of cruelty-free products, vegan certification approves no animal testing as well as no use of animal-derived ingredients.
What makes vegan products important?
Vegan shampoos and conditioners are often associated with a lower impact on the environment due to being plant-derived and carrying a lower carbon footprint. They also show a brand’s awareness of the impact their products can make in a wider perspective and allow us to make more conscientious decisions.