How to Shop for All Natural Shampoo, According to Your Hair Type

Here’s the thing: The word “natural” isn’t properly regulated in the United States, so if you’re looking for a truly “all natural” shampoo, your best bet is to check out the ingredients label. That, we understand from experience, can be a time-consuming endeavor, so we’re going to help streamline your shopping with this simple guide to start. These ten picks suit a variety of hair types and are without many of the chemicals and detergents (like sulfates and parabens) that you’re probably looking to avoid if you’re making the switch to a more natural lifestyle.

Oh, and a simple tip for washing your hair in general: Make sure that your hair is really wet—we’re talking completely saturated—before you lather up and apply the shampoo to the back of your head first. Be sure to rinse and repeat. We promise this tiny tweak will make a big difference in how clean your hair feels afterward.

Ready to shop shampoos? Our picks ahead:

1. Best Co-wash: Hairstory New Wash

We’ve been using this co-wash (that’s conditioning wash, btw) for several years now. It all started when we bleached our hair to oblivion, and it was bone dry and brittle as a result. This 3-in-1 (it works as a shampoo, conditioner and treatment) was the only thing that kept our fluffy hair more manageable. Since then, we’ve gone back to our roots, but the co-wash has remained a staple in our shower. It helps that one pouch of this stuff lasts for months—and fun fact—i’s also a go-to for our favorite grooming expert, Jonathan Van Ness.

2. Best For Flaky Scalps: Jason Dandruff Relief Shampoo

Formulated with a potent duo of sulfur and salicylic acid, this clarifying shampoo soothes itchy scalps, while clearing up any surface flakes. Add to that rosemary oil, which helps to rebalance your skin, and olive and jojoba oils to condition the lengths, and we never want to be without it.

3. Best For Color-treated Hair: Reverie Nude Shampoo

Created by master hairdresser, Garrett Markenson, this luxe shampoo delivers the perfect combo of cleansing and conditioning your strands (while also being cruelty-free). With zero color-stripping sulfates and instead packed with color-preserving amino acids, it’s the bottle we reach for whenever we want to keep our hair bright and vibrant. The neroli-tinged scent is especially delightful.

4. Best For Fine Hair: Mild By Nature Thickening Shampoo

Don’t let lank locks get you down. This thickening shampoo clears away any oil or product buildup that’s sitting on your scalp, while beefing up each skimpy strand with biotin, quinoa and flax proteins. The herbaceous scent (courtesy of rosemary mint) is as uplifting to the senses as the shampoo itself is to your roots.

all natural shampoo gloss moderne clean luxury shampoo

5. Best Splurge: Gloss Moderne Clean Luxury Shampoo

Fans of fancier shampoos (like Oribe or Kerastase) will like the decadence of this coconut oil infused alternative. Free of sulfates and full of botanical extracts, it boosts shine and locks in moisture so your hair feels smooth and strong. The chic minimalist packaging elevates any shower.

6. Best For Traveling: Susteau Moondust Hair Wash

This water-activated powder shampoo is truly magical. Sprinkle and massage into wet strands to get the silkiest lather. Thanks to its milk surfactants (which are derived from coconut oil) it thoroughly cleanses your hair of excess dirt and oils. Plus, you can easily toss the portable bottle into any bag (and when you finish the bottle altogether, you can toss it in the recycling bin as the bottle, cap and even the label are all 100% recyclable).

7. Best For The Family: Ursa Major Go Easy Daily Shampoo

Here’s a no-fuss shampoo that’s free of sulfates or parabens, but still delivers a satisfying lather. With every use, our strands feel softer and easier-to-manage. Plus, the earthy pine scent is pleasing to all.

8. Best For Curly Hair: Rahua Hydration Shampoo

Frizz is public enemy number one for curly hair and the biggest cause of frizz is a lack of moisture. That’s why it’s important to keep moisture top of mind for each step of your haircare routine—starting with shampoo. This hydrating formula uses ethically-sourced Amazonian oils like Rahua, Sacha Inchi and Morete to nourish and smooth strands while you lather.

9. Best For Normal Hair: Josh Rosebrook Balance Shampoo

To be clear, by “normal hair” we mean hair that isn’t overly oily, dry or delicate from bleach or heat styling. Sound like you? Here’s a sustainably-sourced formula that will leave your scalp and strands feeling light and clean and not in the least bit weighed down. The scent is fresh and not too cloying and the pump applicator make it a breeze to use (which is good because we use it daily).

10. Best For Dry Hair: Innersense Hydrating Hair Bath

First of all, doesn’t “hydrating cream hair bath” sound better than just “shampoo?” Better yet, the name is actually a pretty accurate descriptor of what this feels like on your strands. With a rich texture that lathers beautifully and a clean, fragrant scent that’s owed entirely to essential oils (and no synthetic ingredients), this gentle cleanser gets rid of any grease or product build up without stripping your strands dry.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...