Best Natural Shampoos of 2020
Let’s talk about hair. Our hair withstands more damage than most other parts of our body every day. With all the hairspray, heat styling and general pollutants in the air, it’s safe to say our hair puts up with a lot. So why would we treat it with harmful sulfates and harsh chemicals from our shampoo?! Some well-known shampoo brands can leave your hair feeling oddly heavy and greasy due to build up. Why is this? It’s because these shampoos can contain waxes that don’t fully rinse out of your hair to give the illusion of a soft, silky mane and the toxic chemicals can leave you with an itchy scalp. The root cause (no pun intended) of irritated hair is, more often than not, is an irritated scalp.
Your scalp is skin. Very sensitive skin that hasn’t seen the light of day since you were a baby. It gets dry just like the rest of your skin can. If you’re one of the 50% of people with dry scalp or dandruff, then you know what we’re talking about.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body consisting of three layers. The outmost layer, the epidermis, is the first line of defense against harmful pollution, viruses, and bacteria that we come in contact with daily. The epidermis is rich in cells called keratinocytes which are made from a tough protein called keratin. This is the same protein material found in hair and nails (which is why those supplements on the drugstore shelf called “Hair, Skin, and Nails” can work across all 3). These keratinocytes are what you see flaking off your epidermis and your scalp causing your favorite black shirt to develop a new pattern you did not intend to create. Over time, (about 5 weeks), these cells work their way to the surface of your skin, completing their lifecycle and making way for new generations of cells. Needless to say, keeping this layer of your skin healthy by choosing more natural shampoos is very important.
One of the most commonly used ingredients in mainstream shampoos is sulfates. Sulfates are salts formed when sulfuric acid reacts with another chemical. This chemical is what causes your shampoo to lather and get “sudsy”. They are derived from petroleum which has proved to be controversial in conversations concerning climate change, long term health side effects, and animal testing. Two of the most commonly used sulfate you’ll find in shampoos are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). SLS and SLES can irritate the eyes, skin, and lungs. When these sulfates get washed down the drain, they can continue causing damage by coming contact with marine life. This is partly why many consumers are looking to switch to a more natural, environmentally friendly alternative.
Whenever you are shopping for shampoo, it is important to read the ingredients and do your research for what might work best for you and the environment. There are many natural shampoo options that your hair, your scalp, and Nemo will thank you for. We’ve identified just a few of the many available shampoos for different needs available today:
Pura D’or Apple Cider Vinegar Think2Thick Shampoo:
Apple cider vinegar is quickly becoming an internet favorite cure-all. And hair care is no exception. This formula from Pura D’or uses this popular kitchen staple to not only treat damaged hair but also to promote hair growth by balancing pH levels of your scalp. This promotes your hair to grow faster and fuller. By cleansing your scalp, locking in moisture, and reducing dryness – this shampoo leaves your hair feeling clean and healthy. This product also boasts a healthy dose of keratin which, as mentioned earlier in this article, is the cornerstone protein for stronger hair which, in turn, will also reduce stubborn frizz. At $25.99 for a professional-grade shampoo and conditioner set, this product is one of the most affordable of its caliber. This brand is free of sulfates and other harmful additives and instead utilizes hand-selected botanical ingredients for the highest quality hair care. And in case you’re wondering, no, your hair will not smell like vinegar all day.
Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo from Maple Holistics:
Speaking of scalp health, Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo by Maple Holistics is the king of this list for scalp care. With an essential oil blend of tea tree, lavender and rosemary oils, this formula gives a slight tingle to your scalp, stimulating your hair follicles for a full-on essential oil experience.
Tea tree oil and Aloe Vera are key active ingredients in treating all forms of dandruff and strengthening hair. You may be familiar with Aloe Vera as an after-sun treatment gel, but this soothing botanical has a multitude of benefits for your skin and hair. Aloe is extremely moisturizing without being greasy, so it is a perfect natural moisturizer for your hair. At just under $10, this all-natural shampoo is a fantastic way to up your natural products game on a budget.
Ethique Shampoo Bar:
Shampoo bars are becoming the newest eco-friendly bathroom staple. Shampoo bars pack 3 times the amount of product as a conventional shampoo bottle can. By eliminating the need for three plastic bottle containers, Ethique alone has saved 5 million plastic bottles from going into our landfills. This also saves about 2.7 liters of water by avoiding the bottle. Ethique goes a step further to offer biodegradable ingredients in their shampoo bars and all of their packagings are completely compostable. This product truly leaves no trace. This kiwi formula is specifically created to target scalp health for healthier hair.