It is estimated that most commonly used, every day shampoos have a sulfate content as high as 10 to 25 percent. In fact, sulfates such as SLS, or sodium lauryl sulfate, are ingredients you’ll find on the label of most over the counter shampoos. But what are they and why are they so damaging to your hair? Well, We’ll start by explaining just what sulfates are and do. Sulfates are the detergents derived from petroleum, and are included in a variety of products, from industrial strength cleaners to hand soap. It is the inclusion of sulfate ingredients which give cleaning products and shampoos their rich, creamy lathers. The more common sulfates include:
- Sodium laureth sulfate
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- TEA lauryl sulfate
- Ammonium laureth sulfate
- Ammonium lauryl sulfate
- DEA lauryl sulfate
- Sodium olefin sulfonate
However, sulfates have an unpleasant downside: They strip the natural oils from each strand of your hair, and are responsible for the painful burning of your eyes and sensitive areas of your skin and scalp. Not only that, they also contribute to excessive drying of the hair follicle, which works against positive hair growth, health and shine. As a result, people are now searching for the best organic shampoo for their hair, not only to avoid the burning eyes and scalp, but to ensure that their hair stays hydrated by keeping it’s natural oils.
Our Favorite 5 Best Organic Shampoo Brands
While there is no immediate evidence that sulfates in shampoo cause immediate harm, there exists plenty of research which cite the possibility of toxin build up in the human body. In various research studies, its been found that sulfates may be connected to scalp and overall skin irritation, cancer and contribute to possible organ toxicity. In fact, SLES has been found to contain 1,4-dioxane, a cancer causing substance. Other reasons to pass on sulfates are the damage they cause the environment, as they are especially toxic to many forms of aquatic life. Finally, if you’re searching for cruelty free products, then pass on the sulfates. As sulfates are petroleum based, products containing sulfates will most certainly have been tested on animals.
Double up on the power of restorative and hydrating protection with ArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set. Moroccan Argan Oil has been known for decades for its miraculous ability to nourish, strengthen, and promote hair growth. Packed with vitamins and rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, and all natural, organic argan oil. Together, these ingredients work to penetrate each and every strand of hair, to add that extra bit of moisturizing protection which helps you beat back the damage caused by the effects of the elements, and hot air styling. Argan oil also works to add softness, shine while it prevents split ends and breakage. When used regularly, this famous duo, of shampoo and conditioner, is loaded with B complex and E vitamins, and even can help with the flaky, itchy skin caused by dandruff. Fine for color-treated hair, it also unclogs hair follicles, and is paraben, sulfate and cruelty free. Give your hair and scalp the care and attention it deserves, with ArtNaturals Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner set, today.
- Argan oil infused with botanicals
- Strengthens, nourishes, hydrates and promotes hair growth
- Packed with essential fatty acids, B complex and vitamin E
- Sulfate, paraben and cruelty free
- Some users state that it may dull color-treated hair
If you have normal, dry, damaged or curly hair, and are searching for a shampoo that will leave your locks bouncy, soft, lustrous and easy to manage, then Acure Organics Natural Shampoo and Conditioner Set deserves a second look. This sulfate, paraben, protein, and cruelty free shampoo works to nourish and hydrate hair that has been damaged by the elements, blow drying or simply naturally dry. Acure is a family owned business that strives to create hair care products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable, containing only the highest grade natural ingredients. The inclusion of organic argan extract, Omega 3, 6 and 7 fatty acids, CoEnzymeQ10, organic pumpkin seed oil and sea buckthorn oil work to seal in moisture once your hair has been hydrated. Other notable extracts include: rosehips, pomegranate, calendula flower, chamomile, and acai. You’ll find that it works through your hair quite easily, and the lovely, delicate scent of almond is quite pleasant and refreshing. The conditioner will leave your hair hydrated and silky without weighing it down or give it a greasy feel. Simply apply a small bit to your hair, as a little of this powerful, all natural, vegan product goes a long way.
- Sourced sustainably
- Sulfate, paraben, cruelty free
- No harsh chemicals
- Beautiful, light and lovely almond scent
- May make hair dry for some users
- May not work as well on fine hair
A full, fresh, and glorious mane of healthy hair – you know you want it. To experience lustrous, thicker and fuller hair, while leaving your scalp feeling refreshed and energized, it’s Avalon’s Organics Biotin B-Complex Thickening Shampoo. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, has been called “hair food”, as it stimulates growth. Perfect for those of you who were born with baby fine hair, or have thinning hair, Avalon’s unique formula serves to encourage hair growth from the follicle up, carefully hydrating and nourishing each strand. pH balanced to give you the perfect shampooing experience, it is designed to strengthen your hair, by discouraging hair loss due to breakage. As this is an EWG, or Environmental Working Group Verified hair care product, it is formulated to adhere to only the strictest ingredient standards. Made without GMO’s, this product contains all NSF certified organic ingredients, is biodegradable, and is free from parabens, sulfates, and is entirely cruelty free. For a complete Avalon experience, we recommend that you look into Avalon’s thickening Biotin B-Complex Conditioner, Nourishing Lavender Bath and Shower Gel, as well as their Lavender Hand and Body Lotion.
- Enriched with growth stimulating Biotin
- NSF Certified organic ingredients
- Sulfate, paraben and cruelty free
- pH balanced, and EWG Verified
- May leave some with a dry, itchy scalp
- Might not work as well on processed hair
Experience a truly refreshing, organic shampooing experience with John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo, for Normal Hair. This blend of organic botanicals which include sage, periwinkle, and chamomile, is formulated for normal hair, so may not perform as well if you’ve dry or oily hair. Developed from the honest, natural goodness of pure coconut soap, John Master’s has created a gentle, sulfate free shampoo which works to keep hair health, strong and resist damage from the elements, all without stripping the natural oils from your hair. As you cleanse and moisturize your hair, the lavender will help to heal and nourish your scalp while the rosemary creates soft, shiny and manageable mane. This shampoo can be used daily and on color-treated hair. How does this shampoo work so well? The answer is quite simple: white willow bark. This bark works with organic hydrolyzed rice protein to assist each strand to garner as much moisture as possible, to ensure that your hair remain hydrated. This shampoo will work through easily and rinse off cleanly, leaving no residue. If you have a buildup of styling products, it’s a good idea to lather and repeat, as you would with any OTC shampoo.
- Sulfate and harsh chemical free
- Formulated with lavender and rosemary
- Leaves both scalp and hair nourished and hydrated
- Made from 70 percent organic ingredients
- If the product ships from Japan, it may contain silicone
- May not lather up enough for some users
Leave the house feeling fabulous, refreshed and confident, with Dr. Alkaitis’s Organic Herbal Shampoo. Made for use on all hair types, this shampoo is unique in that it is handcrafted, right here in the USA, California to be exact. This cruelty and sulfate free shampoo is made entirely from plants, with all ingredients certified organic.
These ingredients include: Aloe Vera Gel, coconut cleansing base, jojoba, sage, rosemary and much more. Gentle enough for your scalp, and tough enough to remove excess styling buildup, it does all this and more via a Hair and Scalp Herbal Complex, blended with Vitamins E and B5. All of this works to help revitalize your scalp, improve circulation which in turn promotes hair growth. While there is no conditioner to pair up with this shampoo as of yet, we recommend that you use Dr. Alkaitis Treatment Oil on any dry ends you have, then rinse.
- Handcrafted in California
- Organic, plant-based ingredients
- Sulfate and cruelty free
- Hair and Scalp Herbal Complex with Vitamins E and B5
- Some may find that the fragrance is not to their liking
- May be too expensive for some
In our review of the best organic shampoos of 2018, we’ve attempted to include only the best brands, that offer you an environmentally friendly, healthy alternative to the chemical laden shampoos of the past. While it is currently inconclusive whether or not sulfates in shampoo have an immediate, negative effect on the body, the fact remains that they have been shown to contribute to dry scalp, skin irritation, and effect breathing for some. That plus the extensive research showing the harmful environmental effects of sulfates on some aquatic life, it’s a good idea, all around to pass on shampoos containing sulfates, and instead, look for the best organic shampoo just for you.