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5 Best Natural Shampoos: Mother Earth Living Editors’ Picks

6/5/2012 1:31:00 PM

Tags: Editors Pick, Shampoo, Natural Shampoo, Organic Shampoo, Product Review, John Masters Organics, Hugo Naturals, Shea Moisture, Yes To Cucumbers, Jonathan Product

Conventional personal-care products are rife with chemicals, many of which are linked to major health concerns. Synthetic preservatives and fragrances act as hormone disruptors and are linked to possible birth defects, infertility and even breast and liver cancers. Foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate can produce cancerous byproducts that are toxic to the kidneys and respiratory system. And many shampoos also contain silicone, a cheap moisturizing agent derived from petroleum that coats hair instead of penetrating its core, eventually leaving your locks dull and lifeless.

Your body—and beauty—deserve better. Next time you need to restock on shampoo, skip the chemical-laden conventional options and opt for one of these natural shampoos. Crafted with natural and often organic ingredients, these shampoos are free of potentially hazardous chemicals like parabens, SLS, sulfates and more. Many of them can also be found at your local supermarket—meaning you won’t have to go out of your way to buy them!


John Masters Organics Bare Unscented ShampooJohn Masters Organics Bare Unscented Shampoo

If you’re looking for a basic natural shampoo, John Master’s Organics Bare Unscented Shampoo is the way to go. With a fragrance-free formula suitable for all hair types, this shampoo offers mass appeal. Crafted with 14 certified-organic ingredients such as jojoba oil, evening primrose, white tea and chamomile, John Master’s Organics Bare Unscented Shampoo provides a thorough rinse that will leave hair clean, moisturized and shiny. It also has a good consistency—not too runny, not too thick—making it easy to work through your hair without wasting any product.

Cost: $14.50 for an 8-ounce bottle


Hugo Naturals Tea Tree and Lavender Balancing ShampooHugo Naturals Tea Tree & Lavender Balancing Shampoo

 For a scalp that requires extra attention to prevent flakiness, bypass traditional dandruff shampoos—which contain potentially harmful ingredients such as salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione and even tar—and try Hugo Naturals Tea Tree & Lavender Balancing Shampoo. Lavender soothes an irritated scalp, tea tree oil cleanses and restores balance, and quinoa protein adds body and shine. This shampoo’s consistency is a bit on the runny side, so you’ll feel like you’re using lots of product to get your hair clean—but a glance at the bottle after your shower will tell you that you’re probably not using any more than you would with any other product.

EWG rating: 1 

Cost: $10 for a 12-ounce bottle


Shea Moisture Organic Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Control ShampooShea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Control Shampoo

Curly hair has its own set of needs. To keep your locks defined and distinctly un-frizzy, moisturize with a rich shampoo like Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Control Shampoo. Made with coconut oil and shea butter for extra moisture, this shampoo is free of harsh ingredients like sulfates and parabens. In addition to added hydration, the coconut oil imparts a divine, tropical scent to this product, making it a pleasure to use every time.

Cost: $10 for a 12-ounce bottle


Yes to Cucumbers Color Care ShampooYes to Cucumbers Color Care Shampoo

Color-treated hair needs extra care to preserve color and, in some cases, rebuild damaged or fragile locks. Yes to Cucumbers Color Care Shampoo offers a gentle formula, free of SLS, parabens and petroleum, that cleanses and hydrates with help from jojoba, olive and sweet almond oils and extracts of aloe vera, green tea and organic cucumbers. Gentle enough to use for all hair types, this easy lathering shampoo will quickly become a go-to product for your shower.

EWG rating: 1 

Cost: $9 for a 16.9-ounce bottle


Jonathan Green Rootine Nourishing ShampooJonathan Green Rootine Nourishing Shampoo

For dry or damaged hair, Jonathan Product’s Green Rootine Nourishing Shampoo offers a rich, moisturizing formula that can help restore hair—although it’s also perfectly suitable for any hair type. Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and petrochemicals, this shampoo is crafted with coconut, jojoba, olive, avocado and orange oils to moisturize and revitalize hair. Its consistency is a little thicker than normal shampoos, but not so much that you can’t work it thoroughly through your hair for a clean, natural rinse. Its refreshing mint scent is also a great pick-me-up for the morning!

EWG rating: 0 

Cost: $20 for an 8.4-ounce bottle

Susan Melgren is the Web Editor of Mother Earth Living. Find her on .

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Post a comment below.


4/10/2014 5:59:16 PM
Hello Susan! I tend to agree with you that many shampoos contain silicone which is a cheap moisturizing agent obtained from petroleum that coats our hair instead of penetrating its core. This can actually leave our hair dull and dry. I believe that if we really want to have a strong and healthy hair, better use organic shampoos. I am actually using organic shampoo for almost 3 years now and I am really satisfied with the result. For a list of organic shampoos, kindly check this link

12/31/2012 8:27:21 PM
I use Shadow Lake Pure Castile soap for my hair, face and even to bathe my cat. It contains organic essential oil (for scent) and is not 'over-the-moon' expensive. I buy it at

11/28/2012 7:16:41 PM
The Yes to Cucumber is reasonably priced - otherwise I agree with you, except where you think big corps will do what we want...

Ruth Duckless
10/19/2012 12:57:40 PM
Has this publication ever evaluated products from Melaleuca? I haven't been able to find ratings for them anywhere.

Eep _
10/16/2012 11:21:53 PM
Ridiculous how expensive natural products are! Surely it's easier to just mass-contact the big corps and tell them to start making natural products or else they will be boycotted!

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