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8 Best Natural & Organic Shampoos + Why You Should Stop Using Store Bought

8 Best Natural & Organic Shampoos + Why You Should Stop Using Store Bought

Derived from the Hindi word ch?mpo – which means to press, knead, or soothe – the first shampoos were made from herbs and plant extracts. Natural surfactants like soapberries created a nice lather and left hair soft and shiny.

In modern times, shampoo has certainly evolved from its humble botanical origins. No longer formulated wholly from plants, many commercial shampoos are made by combining synthetic surfactants with a co-surfactant. The goal is to remove oils from hair but not strip away too much sebum from the scalp.

Specialized formulations, for dandruff, color-treated, oily, and dry hair, have created a product landscape filled with a medley of chemicals with difficult-to-pronounce names. Put under the microscope, the combination of shampoo chemicals is indeed troubling…

Read the Shampoo Ingredient List Carefully…

Our skin is incredibly absorptive, and the scalp especially so. Massaging the scalp with chemical shampoos introduces these toxins into the body, entirely unfiltered. Considering that many shampoo their hair every day, the repeated exposures of chemical ingredients can and will build up in the body over time.

While phthalates, fragrance, parabens, and formaldehyde could be lurking in your favorite shampoo, these commonplace shampoo chemicals are particularly nasty:

Sodium laureth (or lauryl) sulfate – Found in shampoo, toothpaste, and dish soaps, sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) are surfactants that strip oils from the skin. Both are known skin irritants. Of these two, SLES is most worrisome because it can be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, which is classed as a likely human carcinogen. Chronic exposure to 1,4 dioxane may result in eczema, dermatitis, and cracked skin, as well as liver and kidney damage.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) – A thickening agent added to an array of cosmetics, PEG compounds are also susceptible to contamination by 1,4 dioxane. Worse yet, it can be contaminated with ethylene oxide – and this time, it’s a known human carcinogen.

Coal-tar dyes – Another cancer-causing agent, coal-tar dyes are a byproduct of petroleum. Added to shampoo and artificial hair dyes, it is identified on the label as “FD&C” or “D&C” followed by the color name and number, or as “CI” and a five-digit number. Use of coal-tar dyes has been linked to DNA damage, bladder cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

8 Of The Best Natural Shampoos

Simply cleaning your hair shouldn’t increase your risk for cancer, and so it isn’t too surprising that some shampoo makers have returned to the ancient ways of creating hair treatments from herbs, fruits, flowers, and plant oils.

Whether you want to add more body and shine to your limp tresses, a gentle cleanser for an over-active sebaceous gland, major hydration for dry and damaged locks, or just a purer product for an all-round healthier scalp, there’s a natural shampoo out there formulated for your specific needs:

1. Majestic Pure Argan Oil Shampoo

Made to restore dry and damaged hair, Majestic Pure’s shampoo is brimming with all sorts of naturally nourishing oils: argan, jojoba, almond, avocado, coconut, and camellia seed. This unique combination of vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E, along with carotene, essential fatty acids, proteins, and antioxidants will work together to help repair and strengthen your tresses. Because it is so rich in deeply moisturizing oils, you might not need to use a conditioner!

Get it here.

2. Puracy Natural Shampoo

Every ingredient in Puracy shampoo is derived from plants or minerals, developed by a team of PhD chemists. The line-up includes coconut and olive oil cleansers and a slew of nutrients like soap bark, ivy, black walnut leaf, ginseng, vitamins E and B5, aloe vera juice, and matricaria extract. Scented in citrus and mint, Puracy shampoo also adds in a healthy dose of Himalayan sea salt. For best results, pair it with Puracy conditioner.

Get it here.

3. J?SÖN Natural Shampoo

Enriched with vitamin B7 (also known as biotin), J?SÖN natural shampoo is excellent for combatting dry and brittle locks. It is made with a robust blend of botanicals – aloe vera juice, calendula, matricaria, grapefruit, lavender, ginseng, and field horsetail – which will help to repair split ends, add thickness and body, and restore the hair’s suppleness and elasticity.

Get it here.

4. Nature’s Gate Shampoo

A wonderful alternative to those chemically-laden dandruff shampoos, Nature’s Gate treats dry and flaky scalp using wholesome natural botanicals. This shampoo blends comfrey, arnica, and balm mint (to alleviate dry and itchy scalps) with tea tree oil, goldenseal, rosemary, watercress, matricaria, nettle, hops, and soap bark to clean and nourish the hair. The mix of herbs smells amazing and has the added benefit of soothing and calming your senses along with your mane.

Get it here.

5. Acure Clarifying Shampoo

If you use a lot of product in your hair, clarifying shampoos will help to remove residual build-up and other impurities. Though some clarifiers are very strong and should only be used on a weekly or monthly basis, Acure’s organic ingredients are gentle enough for everyday use. Each bottle contains acai berry, blackberry, rosehips, pomegranate, sea buckthorn, aloe vera juice, rooibos leaf, sugar beets, calendula, matricaria, and coconut extracts. It is also fortified with the antioxidant CoQ10, argan oil, avocado oil, and pumpkin seed oil. It’s gently scented with the essential oils of lemongrass, lavender, and rosemary.

Get it here.

6. Hugo Naturals Balancing Shampoo

Joining the healing powers of tea tree oil with the calming effects of lavender, Hugo Naturals Balancing Shampoo corrects imbalances that cause the scalp to flake. It gently cleanses with coconut fatty acids and promotes healthy, shiny hair with the addition of quinoa, balsam resin, Brazil nut oil, vitamin E, honeysuckle and arnica flower extracts. Looking for more body? Try Hugo Naturals Volumizing Shampoo.

Get it here.

7. Fresh Monster Natural Kids Shampoo

Because the kiddos should have the non-toxic hair treatment too, Fresh Monster’s 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner is made with natural fruits and botanicals that cleans and softens hair all in one go. Scented in a yummy watermelon aroma, it is hypoallergenic and cruelty-free. The ingredient list spans apple, pineapple, raspberry, orange, apricot, strawberry, coconut, banana, grapefruit, melon, and lemon fruit extracts, as well as juniper, rice, sweet almond, green tea, coffee leaf, and vitamin B5.

Get it here.

8. Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo

For those days you don’t have time to hop in the shower (…or are looking for any excuse to wash less), Drop Dead Gorgeous dry shampoo might be right up your alley. A vegan and cruelty-free powder, it’s made with bamboo charcoal, rice powder, kaolin clay, and cocoa powder, all of which will help volumize, deodorize, and absorb hair grease and excess oils. If you’ve never used dry shampoo, simply apply it directly to the scalp and massage it in. It has a lovely scent too, a fusion of peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, and geranium essential oils.

Get it here.