The best natural shampoo and conditioner’s post is here! I have all the details on all my favorite natural shampoos and conditioners in clean beauty. I’ve tried a lot of shampoos and conditioners in my day since going green and I’m here to share the best of the best!
If you’re new here I want to emphasize a couple points. There is a reason I advocate for clean products for SO many reasons but one of them is the total body burden. Many product and ingredients have an accumulative affect on the body. Basically, the more you use them, the more they add up in your body. My goal is to arm you with healthier options that you can feel good about using daily so you’re not taxing your body. After all, it’s the thing you do daily that adds up over time, not the product you use once in a while.
Since we know shampoo is one of those daily products, I think it’s imperative that we have a look at what shampoo we’re using. Do the ingredients create a healthy environment for our bodies? What does the research say about the ingredients? We know from studies that as we reduce certain ingredients in our products, then you see them less and less in our bodies(source).
The scalp is 4 times more absorbent than other parts of our body, it’s important what we use when it comes to shampoo and conditioner. A study even showed how massaging a certain oil with a medicine into the scalp was absorbed almost the same as an oral dose(Source)! Definitely showing the power of the scalp to absorb ingredients.
Before we dive into the best natural shampoo and conditioners, let’s take a look at the ingredients you don’t want to be lurking in your shampoo bottle.
What’s In Your Shampoo?
Have you ever thought about what’s in your conventional shampoo and conditioner? Let’s just say there are some heavy hitters when it comes to ingredients you’re going to want to avoid putting near your scalp! Allow me to explain.
Some Ingredients To Avoid In Your Shampoo and Conditioner: If you see a few of these you can know that there are probably other ingredients in it you shouldn’t be using too.
- Methylchloroisothiazolinone- This is used as a preservative. It can have a harmful affect of the lungs(Source), cause allergies(Source) and is a possible neurotoxin(Source).
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate(SLS)- This is a surfactant and helps to create the suds that we come to love in shampoos. The main concern with it is that it’s been shown to be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, which has been classified as a carcinogen(Source). 1,4 dioxane is left behind because of the process of ethoxylation. Some companies have started to strip the sodium laureth sulfate from the shampoos but it’s hard to tell which have. You could definitely call them and ask, but make sure you have some documentation to back up their claims. The more people are asking for transparency the more change will happen. SLS can also be a skin irritant to many people as well. Especially if you suffer from eczema, rosacea, or sensitive skin in general. Instead of SLS, companies will use decyl glucoside. This is a type of sugar and doesn’t contain any 1,4 dioxane. It’s also a lot less harsh, so great for sensitive skin types.
- Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate- Similar to sodium laureth sulfate in that it is also a surfactant. It also can contain 1,4 dioxane and be irritating to the skin. ALS can also form nitrosamines when mixed with other ingredients. This nitrosamines has been found to cause cancer(Source). This can also occur when SLS is present too.
- Fragrance- Can cause phototoxic reactions and can be photoallergic. Skin irritants, reproductive damage and has been known as a neurotoxin(Source).
- Methylisothiazolinone- Used as a preservative. An allergen, causing skin burns, allergic reactions(Source).
- Behentrimonium Chloride- Used as an emulsifier, conditioning agent, defrizzer, and preservative. Skin and eye irritant, can cause nerve damage, cancer risk and highly flammable(Source).
- Polysorbate 20- By itself polysorbate 20 is not harmful, however when it’s used in cosmetics it’s treated with ethylene oxide which then ethoxylates it and can contaminate it with 1,4 dioxane- a known carcinogen(Source). There have also been studies on polysorbate 20 showing reproductive issues and developmental issues(Source).
- DMDM Hydantoin- It is used as an anti-microbial agent in products. It releases formaldehyde a known carcinogen(Source). Since most people know to avoid formaldehyde companies list their ingredients with dmdm hydantoin instead. It can cause skin reactions, from burning to skin rashes, overall sensitivity. Also cancer. It can also cause irritation to the nose, eyes and throat.
- Propylene Glycol-PEG’s of any kind- Has been found to be contaminated with 1, 4 dioxane, which is cancer causing. Can cause acne, skin irritant. They have a penetrating affect to the formula. This creates even more of a problem as other harmful ingredients are able to penetrate further into the skin(Source).
- Cocamide Mea- A fatty acid made from coconut oil mixed with diethanalomine. It creates a creamy formula and foaming agent. It can cause allergic reactions in some and be a skin irritant. It can also form nitrosamines when mixed with other ingredients. This nitrosamines has been found to cause cancer(Source).
- Parabens(not as prevalent as they used to be. This includes methyl-, propyl- ethyl-,butyl)- Used as a preservative. Hormone disruptor also known as endocrine disruptor. Has been found in breast cancer tumors, may cause male infertility and early puberty(Source).
- Quaternium-15- Used in products to avoid yeast, mold and bacteria. Skin and eye irritant, can cause respiratory issues, digestive tract and nervous system(Source). It also releases formaldehyde.
Give Your Hair Some Time To Adjust To Natural Shampoos
I get e-mails all the time from readers telling me that natural shampoos don’t work for them. Now, I understand it definitely depends on the shampoo and conditioner you’re using, but it also could be a phase you’re hair is going through. Hair can go through a detox period where it actually gets oilier before it gets better when transitioning to a natural shampoo and conditioner. Mainstream products are full of such harsh ingredients that strip the hair every time you use them. Your hair gets used to feeling “clean” you think, and so when you switch to a gentler shampoo and conditioner your hair freaks out. It’s used to constantly being dried out everyday and used to overcompensating by producing more oil to nourish your hair again. Give your hair 6-8 weeks to detox. This means stop shampooing your hair everyday-yes this is not necessary and actually could cause more damage to your hair. Shampoo every other day at the most and in between days if you get oily, just use a dry shampoo. This is my favorite natural dry shampoo. You may notice your hair greasier than usual, but that is because your hair’s ph balance was out of balance from all the harsh chemicals you were putting on it everyday. Give it some time…it will get better!
I always think a good clarifying treatment is in order every now and then too. Sometimes when using natural shampoos the hair gets weighed down, no matter how great they are! This gives it a nice boost, getting rid of any residue that’s been hanging on to your strands. I do this whenever my hair is feeling drab. The recipe is easy just 1 part apple cider vinegar to 1 part water (I usually use 1/2 cup of each but you may need more if you have thick or long hair). Mix it together and pour over head concentrating on using your other hand to rub it in your hair. Let it sit on your hair for 10 minutes. Then rinse off and apply conditioner as usual. I’ve also added it to a squirt bottle and then just squirted it all over my head too.
*Also I wanted to share that I’m a former hair stylist and so this best natural shampoo and conditioners list is legit! I really took my time- over a year to create this post. I wanted it to be a comprehensive list that anyone can find something.
I wanted to offer a shampoo and conditioner for all of these categories:
- Budget Friendly
- Fragrance Free(even essential oils)
- Curly Hair
- Fine/Thin Hair
- Color Treated Hair
- Purple Shampoo
- Black Hair
I hope you can find this best natural shampoo and conditioner’s post helpful in finding your new favorite shampoo and conditioner!
Best Natural Shampoo and Conditioner’s
Natural Black Hair Routine
As I was trying out natural shampoos and conditioners I realized I had a blind spot when it came to black hair. I’ve had people ask me before what I would recommend as natural shampoos for black hair and I couldn’t. I didn’t even know what natural hair products in general to recommend for black hair. I wanted to enlist an expert. Monique from Brown Skin Green Beauty was so gracious to share her expertise with my audience on her top picks for best natural shampoo and conditioners for black hair. I learned so much from getting her expert tips on how to care for black hair.
Since losing my hair two years ago, not only has my wash day been simplified, but the products I use are lightweight, oil-based, and more plant-based instead of the heavy cream products that once served my hair needs.
The first step to my wash day is a pre-poo of coconut oil and aloe vera juice. I spritz my hair with aloe vera juice and work the coconut oil in my locks from base to end. This process helps to create a moisture barrier to keep my hair from drying out when shampooing. Next, I wash my hair with Nikki’s Naturals Black Soap Clarifying Shampoo. This liquid black soap gently clarifies without stripping my hair’s natural oil. My hair is left feeling very clean, soft, and moisturized.
To keep hair from overdrying, I wrap my wet hair in a cotton t-shirt to absorb most of the water. Once my locks feel damp, I oil my scalp with an oil mixture of Paparozier Castor Oil of Haiti, sweet almond, jojoba, peppermint, and rosemary. When styling, I spritz my hair with aloe vera juice and retwist with coconut oil to clean up my boxes and lock in moisture. At night, I wear a silky scarf to keep my hair lint-free. Every three days, I give my hair a light spritz of Al Wadi Rose Water and massage a light layer of avocado oil or coconut oil in my locs to keep them hydrated and well moisturized. On occasion, I’ll use Oyin Handmade Greg Juice for a moisture boost.
*Keep reading to see all the best natural shampoo and conditioners!
I tested out all of these as well as my sisters. I wanted to get an idea with different hair types. We tested the shampoos and conditioners together. Here are my top picks for best natural shampoo and conditioners.
Formula- I’ve been testing it out and have been super impressed with the overall formula. My hair feels so bouncy and clean. And the clean feeling lasts for days! I get so much volume from this shampoo and conditioner, plus it foams too!
Hair Type- Any hair type. I’ve used it and I have fine, thin hair. My sister has used it and she has thick, fine hair. I have a friend who loves it and she has coarse thick curly hair.
Scent- Smells citrusy. I really smell grapefruit to be exact.
Review- This is the shampoo I’ve been recommending for really any hair type. It just gets the job done! Especially great for someone who is used to mainstream shampoos and conditioners and wants one that is going to really get their hair clean. I can go multiple days between shampooing my hair with this shampoo. It was a no brainer for the best natural shampoo and conditioner’s post! Get it here!
Formula- It creates a gentle lather and helps to stimulate the scalp. It’s gluten free, nut free, and cruelty free.
Hair Type- I would recommend for any hair type. You might have to use a little more product if you have lots of thick hair to really get it in there but my sister with thicker hair than me loved it too.
Scent- Fragrance free! It doesn’t smell like much at all. Great for even the most sensitive scalps.
Review- I was really excited about this shampoo because it really hits all the marks for someone who may have a sensitive scalp and needs something that’s gentle. Although it is fragrance free, nut free and gluten free, it still cleans the hair so well! My hair always feels clean and it definitely adds some volume like the name suggests. This was a no brainer to add into the best natural shampoo and conditioners post. Highly recommend! Get it here.
Formula- It’s a very creamy formula overall. Best suited for those with dry, damaged or color treated hair that needs extra moisture.
Hair Type- I would recommend for any hair type that is colored or is curly. As I stated above it is very hydrating/ Great for those with curly or drier hair types.
Scent- Smells good, but not overwhelming. A fruity mango scent.
Review- This shampoo isn’t for any hair type. I will use it after I get my hair done for a couple days but after that if I continue to use it, my hair will become greasy and weighed down. I’ve had a lot of curly haired gals love it who have drier hair. Get it here!
Formula- It feels very refreshing on the scalp and hair.
Hair Type- This would be great for any hair type, even men’s hair. One of my sister’s has course thick hair and she didn’t like it, but it’s been hard to find anything for her hair! It’s not going to be as cleansing as the Evolvh but a nice in between.
Scent- The scent is reminiscent of the outdoors. More pine and fresh smelling. I love how it smells!
Review- This is such a good all around shampoo and conditioner. It really makes my hair feel clean and bouncy. Not a heavy shampoo at all. It still lathers a little too which I love. The conditioner is light, yet my hair still feels hydrated. My husband also loves this shampoo too. Get it here!
Formula- Comes in a jar! So different than any other formula I’ve used. It looks like a salt scrub you would use for the body but instead it’s actually for your hair.
Hair Type- This is great for any hair type. It really gives a great lather and works so well at giving my hair that clean feeling.
Scent- It has a fresh smell of mint, rosemary and orange.
Price- $42- pricey but you don’t need a lot!
Review- This is the one I was most surprised how much I loved. I knew it was going to be in the best natural shampoo and conditioners post.I remember seeing this shampoo and thinking there is no way that would work. Well, I was wrong! After reading so many 5 star reviews I finally got my hands on some and wow was I so impressed! It really cleans the hair so well. I love how it produces a lather too. It feels very invigorating on the scalp too. Highly recommend! Check it out here!
Formula- Comes in a tube and a little goes a long way. Suds up a little and gets my hair feeling clean.
Hair Type- This is great for any hair type. I used it and my fine, thin hair loved it and so did my sister with thick hair.
Scent- It doesn’t have a scent! It is made for the most sensitive scalps.
Price- $19.99- one of the more budget friendly picks.
Review- Love this shampoo and conditioner, knew it was going to go into the best natural shampoo and conditioner post! It gets my hair clean and doesn’t weigh it down. My sister loved it as well. Super impressed with the ingredients, no scent and lower price point compared to others too. Especially great if you don’t do scents or have a sensitive scalp. Get it here!
Formula- Comes in a pump bottle which I love. It’s a creamy formula, but does suds up.
Hair Type- This is great for any hair type. It adds a little moisture but doesn’t feel heavy.
Scent- Love the scent! I’m a huge mint fan and this one hits the mint note hard. Leaves your hair smelling fresh and your scalp feeling invigorated.
Review- This shampoo smells amazing! I love anything mint, so this is right up my alley. It really cleans my scalp and keeps it from feeling oily. My hair doesn’t feel weighed down either. It also comes in a pump which I love! Get it here!
Formula- It gives you a slight suds but you have to use a good amount of product to get it sudsy.
Hair Type- This is great for fine to thin hair types. I’ve had people with thick coarse hair try it and they weren’t a fan unless they had shorter hair.
Scent- It doesn’t have much of a smell. Just smells clean overall.
Review- This was the first natural shampoo I used that I actually liked and worked. It performs considerably well, and it’s filled with ingredients that will make you swoon! Things like Ungurahua oil, green tea, jojoba and lavender just to name a few. This is also safe for color treated hair. You do have to use a considerable amount of product sometimes to get a decent lather- that would be the one drawback and the price is a little steep. Get it here!
Formula- Love this shampoo! It really suds up, gets your hair feeling so clean and bouncy- say goodbye to grease.
Hair Type- This is great for any hair type. I love it for my fine/thin hair, my friend who has thick hair loves it- it’s a crowd pleaser.
Scent- The scent is subtle and good. It has a mix of ylang ylang, orange and lemon.
Review- This is one of my faves when it comes to natural shampoos! It works so well at giving hair that deep clean and giving it body and lift. I wish they hadn’t changed the conditioner. The formula was so good, but now it doesn’t hydrate the hair and feels like it’s a lotion you can’t get out. Just buy the shampoo and grab a different conditioner! Get it here!
Formula- This comes in a tube and does give a suds, but I do feel like you have to use a decent amount of product to get it sudsy.
Hair Type- I would only recommend this for fine, thin hair, or hair that is a little dry. It does tend to weigh it down after several washes. I wouldn’t use any of the other Acure shampoos because they really don’t give my hair the clean feeling. My sister didn’t like it at all and she has thick, fine hair.
Scent- Smells good, has a lemongrass scent.
Price- $9.99- the cheapest natural shampoo.
Review- I wanted to include a more budget friendly option, especially if you have kids that use shampoo and they’re not as picky. This is a decent option that gets the job done. You might want to do an apple cider vinegar rinse every couple weeks just to get rid of any build up. Get it here!
Formula- This really suds up and performs well at getting your feeling very clean- almost too clean? Kind of.
Hair Type- I would for anyone who has color treated hair- specifically highlights and wants to keep them bright and not brassy. It brightened my highlighted ends and offered them a refresh overall.
Scent- Smells very sweet- like grape candy.
Price- $15.90- that’s for the smallest size which is 3.3 oz. Not very much. Then you have to pay at least $20 for shipping to the U.S. since it’s only available in Australia. So it definitely can get pricey.
Review- I love the ingredients for the Berry Blonde Shampoo but I wish it was available in the U.S. You could stock up when you purchase it to make it a little more feasible. It does tend to get the hair really clean as I mentioned above, which I love but it can almost feel stripping if you used it all the time. I think it works though because you usually don’t want to be using a purple shampoo every shampoo- more like every two weeks to a month. Get it here.
Formula- This is a creamy texture overall. It does suds up a bit.
Hair Type- I would for anyone who has color treated hair. It helps to protect color treated hair while also nourishing it.
Scent- It has more of a gardenia flower scent to it.
Price- $38- this is definitely a pricey shampoo.
Review- This natural shampoo feels like a rich velvet lather on your head. It does clean the hair well, but doesn’t feel stripping at all. I like to use this post getting my hair colored to really give it some extra nourishment. It will help to keep your hair balanced if you’re a consistent hair color gal. Get it here!
Formula- This is a great leave in conditioner and the only one I use! You spray it all over, super convenient!
Hair Type- I would recommend for anyone wanting a little extra hydration, for those who get tangles easily in their hair, or for those who prefer a leave in conditioner opposed to a wash out conditioner.
Scent- It has a light scent of jasmine, and rosemary. Not too heavy.
Review- I always have a bottle of this on hand. Great for my girl’s hair when it gets tangles in it. Easy to brush out, doesn’t feel too heavy for a leave in conditioner but lightweight. Also great for spritzing on hair before going into chlorine water to help protect your hair. Get it here!
That sums up the best natural shampoo and conditioners! Did you find one you want to try? What do you love?
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