29 Safest Brands of Shampoo and Conditioner

Top 29 Safest Shampoo and Conditioner Brands

It’s important to choose safe shampoo and conditioner brands because most contain highly toxic chemicals. Here are 30 brands who are doing it right!
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Top 29 Safe Shampoo and Conditioner Brands

 

Shampoo and conditioner have come a long way in the past couple decades, but that's not necessarily a good thing…in fact, there seems to be more and more new, untested ingredients added to our hair care products every day. For this project alone, we investigated over 400 ingredients and 80 brands, filtering them through assorted criteria to create three tiers of recommendations.

Our research involved the accumulation of many different sources that weigh in on the safety of various ingredients including Chemical of the Day, PubMed, International Fragrance Association (IFRA), Science Lab, and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) among others. It's really a matter of examining labeled ingredients for potential hazards, and then choosing products with well-known ingredients that have been studied and certified whenever possible.

Why You Need Safe Shampoo and Conditioner

The vast majority of hair care products contain highly toxic chemicals including synthetic fragrance, sodium lauryl sulfate, retinyl palmitate, methylisothiazolinone, parabens, and phthalates along with a host of moderately hazardous ingredients, so it's a true task to find safer options. But we love a challenge!

For this project, we chose ready-made products for non-DIYers, or those of us who just don't have the time (like me!) to make our own shampoo and conditioner. But for you super crafters, we found this great recipe to make your own homemade shampoo with castile soap. Someday we'll get to it 🙂

Also super interesting is the poo-free option. This is when you don't use any shampoo at all, letting your hair go through the natural process of recovery and on to the stage where you don't actually need shampoo. We've heard it really works! Let us know if you try it.

NOTE: We researched a selection of products from each of the manufacturers listed below to provide our recommendations. This means we did not conduct a thorough study of every product made by those brands, so be sure to do your homework and read the label before purchasing.

Top Picks

These are our absolute favorites. Our research shows these shampoo and conditioner brands contain no hazardous ingredients.

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Next Best

The following list consists of our second place choices. These brands may contain up to two ingredients of mild concern including potassium sorbate, dimethicone and behentrimonium chloride.

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Still Great

Third place, but still great. These brands of shampoo and conditioner may contain up to three ingredients of concern, although they appear at the bottom of the ingredients list which usually means there's a pretty small amount present in the product. The ingredients we found include behentrimonium chloride, potassium sorbate and tocopheryl acetate. None of them are especially harmful, but are worth noting.

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What's your favorite non-toxic shampoo brand?

29 Safest Brands of Shampoo and Conditioner

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74 comments
    1. We have conflicting information about 100% Pure, so we’ve elected to leave them off the list until we can learn more. ~The Soft Landing Sisters

    1. Alba Botanica didn’t make the list because their shampoos and conditioners contain a handful of questionable ingredients. Not the worst option, just not good enough for our purposes. ~The Soft Landing Sisters

  1. Did you look at Deep Steep shampoo and conditioner?? it is one of the few that claims to be color safe (better than most but still not like it was pre-chemical free!)

    1. The Deep Steep brand uses a couple of questionable ingredients: potassium sorbate and “aroma.” Potassium sorbate isn’t overly alarming, but aroma is often a synonym to the umbrella term “fragrance” which is something we avoid at all times.

      As defined by EWG, “The word “fragrance” or “parfum” [or “aroma”] on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.”

      More research is definitely necessary to determine the safety of any Deep Steep products that contain aroma, however, there appears to be several Deep Steep hair care products that don’t contain an aroma ingredient, and those would be safe to use. ~The Soft Landing Sisters

    1. Hi Lisa, A quick look at Pure Luxe ingredients doesn’t reveal too much to worry about, so we’d put them in our “Still Great” category because they do use potassium sorbate and tocopherol. Great find! ~The Soft Landing Sisters

    1. Hi Alisa, We’d love to weigh in on Pure and Gentle, but there are no ingredients lists on their website that we can find. ~The Soft Landing Sisters

    1. Thanks, Cristen! We can’t find ingredients lists on the Zija website which always raises a red flag, so we won’t be able to add them to our recommendations at this time. ~The Soft Landing Sisters

    1. Hi Steph, Lush Cosmetics did not make our list because some of their shampoo products contain fragrance and parabens. ~The Soft Landing Sisters

    1. Hi Niki, Renpure isn’t on our list because their products contain many ingredients we can’t recommend including fragrance and diazolidinyl urea. ~The Soft Landing Sisters

    1. Hi Erin, Each brand has various formulations and many have scent-free versions. You can follow the links provided to see their full lines, or do a quick internet search to find the information you’re looking for. ~The Soft Landing Sisters

    1. Hi Ellen, a quick perusal of their ingredients revealed several questionable ingredients including cocamidopropyl betaine, polyquaternium-70 and potassium sorbate, so we can’t recommend Seaweed Bath Co products at this time. ~The Soft Landing Sisters

  2. I wouldn’t have California Baby up too when it has sodium benzoate which is molecularly close to Benzene, a known carcinogen.

    Also, I would check out O’Hair.

    1. Thanks for your input, Megan. We’ve determined that sodium benzoate is safe enough to be an ingredient in our recommendations. ~The Soft Landing Sisters

  3. I love that you thoroughly researched this and have responded to readers’ suggestions! My favorite is PUREhaven Essentials!

  4. Do you have recommendations for conditioning the hair. Also what are your feelings on Color Shampoo/condition example Aveda Blue Malva.

    1. Hi Tessa, Our list includes conditioners of the same brands. We didn’t include Aveda because their products contain a handful of ingredients we can’t recommend using. ~The Soft Landing Sisters

  5. I love Alaffia brand shampoos and conditioners. I started using them a few years ago and noticed a drastic change in the health of my hair. It became so soft and happy. I have a lot of coarse curly hair that had always felt like a curse but I was using the wrong shampoo and conditioner. I’ve recently started using the Shea Moisture brand and like it as well. I’m considering giving the no ‘poo a try though. 🙂

  6. Hi,
    Have you checked into Babyganics? I have gotten this product before in the past and I like to use the butt cream, sunscreen, and bug spray for my child because they don’t come off as harmful with the ingredients. Let me know what you think or can find out. Thank you.

  7. Hi! I had used TRESemme products for quite some time now and recently found out that there is a recall…. I have been experiencing hair loss, scalp redness and irritation. I had to seek medical attention a few weeks ago. What shampoo and conditioner would you recommend that I use now to hopefully get my long thick hair back???

  8. I cannot see the Barnard you list in the article??? I can read your article but the paragraphs that list brands is “in code”?

  9. Disappointed I cannot see this list. As another reader mentioned, it appears to be displaying the code rather than the actual list.

  10. Hair products like shampoo and conditioner are applied directly to your head. It has long been up for question whether the ingredients in cosmetics can penetrate the skin and therefore enter the bloodstream. While some sources are certain that this occurs, more research is ultimately needed.

  11. Look for volumizing shampoos that can boost your strands without weighing hair down. Thick Hair: Hydrating or moisturizing shampoos are great for adding moisture, shine, and smoothness to thick hair that lacks moisture.

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