The 5 Best Natural Shampoos

By C Mandler

With all the attention being paid to the skin care ingredients we put on our faces, isn't it time we become just as conscious about what we put on our heads? If you're interested in committing to a beauty routine that's "healthier" and less toxic, investing in one of the best natural shampoos is a good place to start.

One shampoo ingredient to be on the lookout for is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a foaming agent found in many household products like soaps, industrial cleansers, and toothpaste. While many reports linking SLS to various types of cancer are relatively unsubstantiated, it's been proven that SLS, even in low concentrations (anything under 2 percent is considered "safe" for human use) can be super irritating to skin and eyes. Continued usage of SLS has lead to increased residual levels in internal organs and has also been linked to overall bodily hormone imbalances.

Additionally, when looking for natural products, it's important to remember that "natural" doesn't actually mean anything. Cosmetics, skin care, and hair care companies are under no obligation to fulfill criteria in order to list a product as "natural," which is why it's ultra-important to make sure you're an ingredients-savvy shopper who knows which companies are implementing their own specific regulatory standards that ensure the quality of their particular products.

Below, you'll find a list of natural shampoos from reputable brands that are honest in their ingredient lists, create safe products that are beneficial for your hair, and ACTUALLY make natural shampoos, unlike some other brands on the market. Read on to find out which natural shampoo is best for your specific hair type.

1. The All-Around Best Natural Shampoo

I love French Pharmacy everything, and when it comes to hair care, Klorane is my absolute go-to. This shampoo — while marketed for folks with "aging" hair — is a catch-all for any and all hair maladies. Because animal testing is banned in the EU, you can rest easy knowing anything you buy from Klorane is cruelty-free, and this formula is also sans SLS, parabens, and silicones of all kinds. While this shampoo contains the ingredient sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), which is easily confused with its irritating counterpart, the process by which SLES is made leaves a far gentler finished product that's totally safe for use in beauty products. The addition of olive fruit extract smoothes and shines your hair by acting as a humectant, helping it to retain natural moisture instead of drying out your locks further. Whether your hair type is oily, fine, thick, or dry, this shampoo is an all-around great option for you.

2. The Best Natural Clarifying Shampoo

Acure Organics makes some of my favorite natural skin care products on the market. From their Blue Tansy to their Marula Oil, they never disappoint, and I can safely say that they've conquered hair care with luxury-level ingredients at budget-friendly prices. This clarifying shampoo is vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and also free of parabens, sulfates, silicones, and synthetic fragrances. This is nearly as natural as it gets and is made for folks who have may have product build up that's causing hair damage and/or scalp discomfort. It's also gentle enough that, even though it's a clarifying shampoo, it's safe for everyday use on all types of hair, and not only does it rid your hair of toxins, but it also infuses moisture and shine with the inclusion of ultra-nourishing argan oil.

3. The Best Natural Shampoo For Thick And/Or Curly Hair

I will never be able to rave about Shea Moisture enough. Their brand is built on a sustainable, community-based ethos that employs women in Ghana to source their hero ingredient, shea butter, which they include in all their products. Combine shea with hibiscus, coconut oil, and aloe, and you have a product that's perfect for thick, coarse, or curly hair in need of a little extra oomph. This shampoo is both cleansing and moisturizing, ridding your scalp of product build-up while simultaneously injecting moisture back into dry or damaged strands. And here's a pro-tip: even though this shampoo is marketed towards wavier hair types, the ingredients are such miracles that they're perfect for damaged tresses of all textures, and if you've got thinner or finer hair, this product will nourish and clean without stimulating oil production or grease.

4. The Best Natural Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair

This shampoo from Andalou Naturals is specifically formulated for folks with color-treated hair, meaning daily use won't dull your color or wash out your dye before its time. The literal first ingredient in this product is aloe leaf juice, too, so if you had any doubts about whether or not this product can effectively inject moisture into dyed hair, the answer is a resounding yes. Additionally, it's completely free of all kinds of sulfates and is made with my personal hero ingredient, rosehip oil, which I religiously slather all over my face every night no matter how tired I am — obviously I need to start dumping it on my damaged, silver-toned head now, too! And as if that wasn't enough, Andalou is also a cruelty-free brand that uses-sustainably sourced ingredients and is Non-GMO Project verified to boot.

5. The Best Natural Shampoo For Sensitive Scalps

While Baebody may not be a well-known drugstore or health food store brand like some of the other options on this list, this sensitive scalp shampoo's 4.9-star average rating speaks for itself. This formula is one hundred percent sulfate-free and contains natural ingredients like jojoba oil, avocado oil, keratin, and coconut oil, all of which are proven to strengthen damaged hair. Additionally, tea tree helps clarify the scalp gently, soothing dandruff and itchiness for folks with all hair types — curly or straight, virgin or color-treated. This product is also bottled in the U.S. and is cruelty-free, so you purchase this baby knowing no animals were harmed in the making of your new and improved 'do.

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