Whether you're trying to use more environmentally-friendly grooming products or you suspect that your regular shampoo is irritating your skin, the best paraben-free shampoos can help you clean up your beauty routine and give you peace of mind.
Interestingly, while many people try to avoid parabens, the reason why is a little less clear. So, before getting into the product selection below, it's worth taking a closer look at the commonly used ingredient.
What Exactly Are Parabens?
Parabens are a kind of preservative that helps prolong the shelf-life of beauty products and have actually been used for decades. They've been categorized as endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, but the precise impact on human health isn't fully known. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) still considers them safe, but the European Union banned them in 2012. What's more, parabens have also been found at accumulating levels in marine life, so for the eco-conscious, there's even more reason to forgo products containing them.
What To Look For In Paraben-Free Shampoos
While some shampoos will advertise themselves as being simply paraben-free, the vast majority of "natural shampoos" will also tout being free of other harsh chemicals, like sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), phthalates, and more. Other hair cleansers will also boast being gluten-free and cruelty-free, so it's up to you decide how natural you want to go (and how much you want to pay for it!). Beyond that, it's really a matter of selecting a paraben-free shampoo that's going to be best suited to your hair type, whether it's thick and curly, fine and thin, or color-damaged.
All of the options below are highly rated on Amazon and some even come with hundreds of positive reviews.
1. The Best Overall
For soft, smooth, naturally healthy hair, you can't go wrong with R+Co's Television Perfect Hair Shampoo. Not only is this vegan shampoo paraben-free, it's also free of sulfates, petrolatum, and mineral oil — and is cruelty-free and gluten-free too. Formulated with juniper berry extract to balance out oil and babassu seed oil to moisturize from root to tip, the gentle shampoo leaves hair feeling clean but not stripped down. Plus, reviewers were quick to note that a little goes a long way, so while the bottle itself is a little pricey, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Fans says: "This really might be the key to perfect hair days! Smells amazing, leaves hair fluffy, thick and not weighed down."
2. The Best On A Budget
When it comes to natural shampoos, The Seaweed Bath Co. Balancing Shampoo is hard to beat. For starters, it smells amazing thanks to the eucalyptus and peppermint, and leaves the scalp feeling pleasantly tingly. The nutrient-rich formula is made with sustainably harvested Bladderwrack Seaweed from Maine that contains more than 65 vitamins and minerals, plus moisturizing aloe, argan oil, vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5. What's more, the vegan shampoo contains no dyes, parabens, SLS, fragrances, or gluten, and is cruelty-free too. Designed for normal to oily hair types, this nourishing, shine-boosting cleanser is also great for color-treated hair.
Fans say: "It seems that so many of the natural products contain waxes, and end up coating the hair after a few uses. Over time, my scalp develops dandruff and feels itchy...as if the shampoo isn't really cleaning. This shampoo and conditioner, on the other hand, makes my hair feel CLEAN, silky, and voluminous, and relieves my scalp of that dirty, itchy feeling!! I am thrilled."
3. The Best For Fine Hair
Backed by more than 1,400 customer reviews, this Biotin Shampoo has amassed something of a cult following for its ability to add volume and texture. In addition to being paraben-free, it's also sulfate-free, silicone-free, and cruelty-free, and is made with 96 percent natural ingredients. It's crafted with an exclusive blend of biotin, zinc, tea tree oil, provitamin b5, keratin, jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive oil, evening primrose oil, and argan oil to nourish and repair your strands. The antioxidant-rich formula is designed to add body, all while reducing hair loss and limpness.
Fans say: "This shampoo is amazing for fine thin hair as I have. It gives me way more body and styles easier. It's too soon to tell if it is growing any new hair yet but I love the way it makes my hair style now."
4. The Best For Color-Treated Hair
Whether you have color-treated locks or simply need to give your brittle hair a boost, BIOLAGE Colorlast Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair is a solid choice. The gentle, paraben-free shampoo helps maintain color depth, tone, and vibrancy. Plus, its nourishing formula is designed to keep hair hydrated, as well as protected from environmental damage.
Fans say: "Have highlighted hair and this shampoo really helps. As most are aware... getting hair done is not cheap. I need to protect my investment by buying THIS QUALITY product. This is it!!!! And hair is so soft, shiny and it’s because of this product. Was out of the shampoo and conditioner for about 2 weeks. I could tell the difference. Hair went sideways fast! And this is the BEST SMELLING shampoo to boot."
5. The Best For Curly Hair
Born in Brooklyn and formulated with coconut oil, coconut milk, mango butter, murumuru butter, Carol's Daughter Coco Creme Curl Quenching Shampoo leaves curly or coarse hair feeling luxuriously soft and silky. The moisture-rich formula is free of parabens, silicones, mineral oil, petrolatum, and artificial colors — and smells amazing too.
Fans say: "Works great on my curly hair! Very little frizz and very soft curls. Moisturizing but doesnt leave hair feeling greasy..and I air dry."
6. The Best Paraben-Free Dry Shampoo
If you're looking for a powerhouse dry shampoo that's free of parabens, look no further than Acure's Organics Dry Shampoo Powder. The grime-busting, impurity-absorbing formula is certified organic, vegan and cruelty-free. Plus, it contains no sulfates, pthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, or silicone. And the rosemary and peppermint smell is downright intoxicating.
Fans say: "I've been searching for a natural dry shampoo that is NOT an aerosol. All the aerosol ones out there contain alcohol, which dries out my scalp, and leads to flaking. I have long, thick, dark brown hair - and this white powder still works amazingly without leaving a white residue."
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