The Best Clean, Natural & Non-Toxic Shampoo

Want healthy, nourished hair without the harsh chemicals? Switch to clean, natural, non-toxic shampoo for a safe yet effective way to wash your hair. We’ve done lots of testing and found the best clean & natural shampoo brands, including the best ones for your whole family.

natural glass shampoo bottle

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I’ve always associated the luxurious lather of my sulfate-laden shampoo with clean hair. I was a little hesitant to test sulfate-free shampoo brands. I pictured myself trying to work some watery shampoo formula through my strands and ending up with greasy, stringy, lifeless hair – and I was so wrong!

Although free of sulfates, most of the clean shampoo brands I tested had an impressive amount of lather (swapping out sulfates for ingredients like naturally derived surfactants sourced from coconuts). And I loved testing all of the new-to-me scents.

This guide features 10 brands of clean and natural shampoo at many different price points, so there’s something for everyone! Most brands have an array of shampoo and conditioner formulations for all types of hair, so even if you don’t have my hair type, most of the brands I’ve selected have options for most or all hair types.

If you’re looking for kid-friendly bath products, head to my post on non-toxic bath products for kids. The post includes shampoo for babies through the older kids, plus non-toxic bubble bath, body wash and more. All of the shampoo brands below work for most children. Beyond bath products, non-toxic leave-in conditioner and detangler is a must!

Why Use Clean, Natural, Non-Toxic Shampoo?

Your scalp is pretty absorbent…about 4 times more absorbent than the skin on your forearm (1)! A study on hair follicles found that caffeine applied as a solution to the scalp was detected in the bloodstream 5 minutes after application (2). So, anything that you apply to your scalp has the ability to get in your body.

Sulfates (sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth ether sulfate (SLES)),  give drugstore shampoo plenty of foamy lather, yet they’re irritating to the scalp. They do a great job of removing dirt and oil from your hair, but in the process, they strip hair of the natural oils that are essential for moisturizing both your hair and scalp.

If you color your hair, sulfates in shampoo strip the color from your strands. Sulfate-free shampoo is recommended by top stylists to protect color.

Silicones in hair care products may trick you into thinking your hair is silky and full of volume. The truth is that silicones clog hair follicles and coat each strand of hair, inhibiting your hair from getting needed moisture.

Clean, natural and organic hair care products (free of sulfates and silicones) are the best way to keep your hair and scalp healthy. Your hair won’t be stripped of the protective oils necessary to moisturize, nourish and repair.

A few other ingredients to avoid in shampoo and hair care products:

  • Parabens– Parabens are a type of preservative used to prevent the growth of bacteria and prolong the shelf life of lip balm, deodorant, lotion, and other beauty and personal care products. The most commonly used are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben and butylparaben. Based on a study conducted at the University of California Berkeley, researchers found that parabens were able to stimulate breast cancer cell growth, even at concentrations 100 times lower than the natural growth factor heregulin. These findings suggest that paraben exposure doesn’t have to be high to lead to cancer growth (3).
  • Phthalates- Phthalates are used to increase the flexibility and transparency in plastics. They’re also found in personal care products, and they enhance product absorption, help products stick to your skin and keep fragrance smelling fresh. Researchers speculate that phthalates mimic hormones, interrupting hormone production (4). A 2018 review found that current human exposure to phthalates may have effects on the male reproductive system (5).
  • Polyethylene glycol– Polyethylene glycol is used to make personal care products thicker and better able to transport moisture to the skin. The manufacturing process and introduce impurities and by-products, such as ethylene oxides and 1,4-dioxane, which are known carcinogenic materials (6).
  • Synthetic fragrance- Synthetic Fragrance may contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, allergens, respiratory irritants and neurotoxic chemicals (7). Synthetic musks like galaxolide and tonalide, are linked to hormone disruption (8). Fragrance formulations also contain phthalates, which are hormone disruptors.

Shampoo in hair

From budget-friendly to salon-worthy, you’ll find the perfect non-toxic shampoo for the whole family listed below.

*Cost was calculated at the time this article was published, and is subject to change. 


Carina Organics

100% Pure


Cost: $10-$84
My Take: I tried the Clarity unscented shampoo & conditioner and it worked really well – it’s slightly pricier than some of the other brands that I tried, but I love that Innersense offers an unscented shampoo and conditioner that is salon quality.
From the Innersense website: Innersense Organic Beauty continues to push the boundaries of new product development by utilizing organic chemistry to raise the bar on clean, luxurious formulas with professional performance to care for your hair, health and planet. Clean chemistry, radical transparency and a commitment to the environment are their promises to you.
Free from: parabens, silicones, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or questionable ingredients.
Shop: Innersense Color Awakening Hairbath & Innersense Color Radiance Daily Conditioner, Innersense Pure Harmony Hairbath & Innersense Pure Inspiration Conditioner; Innersense Hydrating Cream Hairbath & Innersense Hydrating Cream Conditioner, Innersense Clarity Hairbath Shampoo & Innersense Clarity Conditioner  

Plaine Products

Cost: $30
My Take: This shampoo & conditioner set is actually really impressive – it’s eco-friendly and does a great job at cleansing and moisturizing my hair, leaving it bouncy, shiny and soft. This is one of my favorites!
From the Plaine Products website: This Shampoo will gently cleanse your hair with a luxurious lather. The vegan ingredients restore essential nutrients, add hydration, and enhance your hair’s texture. Bonus that you can join the subscription- you’ll get new haircare in the mail and you can send back your empties!
Free From: sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicone, synthetic fragrances and toxic ingredients.
Shop: Check out all of the shampoo at Plaine Products Shampoo & Plaine Products Conditioner, or try their fragrance-free haircare: Plaine Products Unscented Shampoo & Plaine Products Unscented Conditioner


  • Cost: $24-$72
  • My Take: This shampoo left my hair feeling wonderful and looking great. It is definitely on the pricey side and has a strong scent.
  • From the Evolvh website: Similar to skincare, EVOLVh products contain vital amino and fatty acids, plus powerful botanicals that strengthen and nourish on a molecular level for shinier, healthier hair now—and in the future. They thoughtfully source every ingredient for purity, safety and environmental impact. Sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, propylene glycol-free, silicone-free, gluten-free, free of synthetic fragrance, gmo-free, cruelty-free / vegan.
  • Shop: For adding shine and moisture to your locks, try Evolvh Ultra Shine Moisture Shampoo paired with Evolvh UltraShine Moisture Conditioner. To extend your color treatment, try Evolvh Color Protecting Shampoo paired with Evolvh Color Protecting Conditioner. Find more formulas of EVOLVh hair care.

Griffin Remedy

  • Cost: $14
  • My Take: This was a great find- clean shampoo and conditioner that works at a great price!
  • From the Griffin Remedy website: Griffin Remedy hair care products are 100% natural, made from only the best ingredients, including pure, natural essential oils. Daily use of our shampoos and conditioners will leave your hair feeling healthy and clean. Free of parabens and sulfates with no harmful chemicals.
  • Shop: Griffin Remedy Shampoo and Griffin Remedy Conditioner.

Avalon Organics

Cost: $8-$22
My Take: This shampoo and conditioner works pretty well for the price (although definitely not my favorite of the bunch)- it’s budget-friendly and has a nice scent.
From the Avalon Organics website: Formulated with organic botanicals and essential oils, Avalon Organics® gentle, safe and effective plant-based shampoos and conditioners are designed to bring luminance to locks without the use of harsh preservatives or hair-stripping cleansers. EWG Verified.
Free From: Phthalates, Parabens, GMOs, ethoxylated ingredients, pesticides, SLS
Shop: Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender Shampoo & Conditioner, Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo & Conditioner, Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary Shampoo & Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary Conditioner, Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Shampoo & Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Conditioner


Christina Moss

  • Cost: $22
  • My Take: This is another really good shampoo & conditioner duo!
  • Free From: SLS, SLES, parabens, PG or PG derivatives, sulfates, dyes, synthetic fragrance or anesthetizing agents.
  • From the Christina Moss Naturals website: Christina Moss Naturals Shampoo is rich, nutritious and will clean, nourish, and feed your hair with pure and clean ingredients, including extracts and essential oils, leaving it healthy and beautiful. Excellent for ALL hair types, especially those with sensitive skin or scalp. This product is concentrated, so the 8oz bottle is equivalent to 16oz of other products. Gently lathers and rinses clean with scalp soothing ingredients, without leaving build-up, stripping, drying, or clogging your skin and pores.
  • Shop: Christina Moss Naturals Shampoo & Christina Moss Naturals Conditioner

Clean, Natural, Non-Toxic Shampoo Tips

  • If working shampoo through your wet hair feels like a chore (tons of tangles), or your hair always looks weighed down and greasy after shampooing, try applying conditioner to your hair first in the shower, then shampoo after conditioning. My younger daughter uses this “backward” method and it works every time – her hair looks beautiful!
  • If your hair looks greasy and weighed down by the afternoon, try working in some natural dry shampoo through the roots. It will give your hair volume and will take care of the greasy look. Find my favorites in my post on natural dry shampoo.


  1. Otberg, N. et al. Variations of Hair Follicle Size and Distribution in Different Body Sites. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Volume 122, Issue 1, January 2004, Pages 14-19.
  2. Liu, Z. et el. Hair follicles contribute significantly to penetration through human skin only at times soon after application as a solvent deposited solid in man. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2011 Nov; 72(5): 768–774. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2011.04022.x
  3. Pan S, Yuan C, Tagmount A, Rudel RA, Ackerman JM, Yaswen P, Vulpe CD, Leitman DC. 2016. Parabens and human epidermal growth factor receptor ligand cross-talk in breast cancer cells. Environ Health Perspect 124:563–569;
  4. Patisaul, H.B. and Adawele, H.B. Long-Term Effects of Environmental Endocrine Disruptors on Reproductive Physiology and Behavior. Front Behav Neurosci. 2009; 3: 10.
  5. Adke, E.G. et al. Phthalate exposure and male reproductive outcomes: A systematic review of the human epidemiological evidence. Environ Int. 2018 Dec;121(Pt 1):764-793.
  6. Jang, H.J. et al. Safety Evaluation of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Compounds for Cosmetic Use. Toxicol Res. 2015 Jun; 31(2): 105–136.
  7. Nudelman, J. and Engel, C. Right To Know. Exposing toxic fragrance chemicals in beauty, personal care and cleaning products. Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. Sept. 2018.
  8. Synthetic Musks. Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. A Project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners.

woman washing her hair