While it comes in many different forms, shampoo is something almost everyone uses. It’s also something that’s come under fire in recent years for its frequent and common use of harsh and even potentially dangerous or toxic chemicals. Shampoo can be incredibly cheap and it may appear to do the job on the surface, but prolonged use of cheaply made shampoo can severely damage your hair, not to mention the environment.
This is why many companies and individuals have stepped up and started creating healthier, gentler, and even more effective plant-based shampoo. Ingredients still vary widely but the best natural shampoo will cleanse your hair gently without stripping away all its natural oils. Following with equally well-made conditioner will genuinely hydrate your hair rather than coat it with silicones to create false softness and shine.
Most companies that care about the wellbeing of their customers and their hair, also care about the planet. This means that many plant-based hair care lines also strive to use eco-friendly ingredients as well as eco-friendly processes and packaging. For many, plant-based reflects a dietary choice but for others, it extends into a lifestyle choice. Choosing plant-based for things like skin, body, and hair care is yet another step in the right direction to better health and environmental preservation.
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The Best Plant-Based Shampoo Brands
1. Viori Shampoo Bars
Viori Shampoo Bars challenge conventional shampoo formulas in several ways. The first and most obvious is their format – rather than a bottle, these come in bars, similar to soap. To use these, you lather them up with water like you would a bar of soap but you apply it to your hair like you would regular shampoo. It feels weird at first but it does work and it’s something that’s been slowly getting more popular.
Not only are these often natural, healthy alternatives to regular shampoo but they’re much more environmentally friendly due to the reduced packaging that’s even needed. Viori uses ingredients like rice water, cocoa butter, shea butter, and bamboo extract to craft their bars, which come in four possible scents – citrus, sweet musk, floral, and unscented. Each of these scents also has a complementary conditioner bar which is meant to be used right after washing.
They also have some regular soap bars available for purchase if you like the shampoo and conditioner and want even more!
2. Desert Essence Shampoo
Desert Essence Shampoo is made entirely with plant-based botanicals. They have a formula for every type and texture of hair, cleansing gently without drying out or damaging your strands. Their collection also includes products that are made to address specific issues or goals such as hydration, anti-breakage, replenishing, etc.
Many of their scents are fruity and delicious, from raspberries and grapes to mango and lemon. They also have a warmer ginger apple option, as well as unscented if you want nothing at all. Shampoo ingredients include things like rosemary leaf extract, witch hazel, fennel seed extract, and plenty of other nourishing things straight from nature.
Each of their shampoos also has a matching conditioner, to complement both the scent of the shampoo and its specific purpose. Conditioner ingredients include olive leaf extract, nettle leaf extract, shea butter, coconut oil, and more.
For a complete hair care routine, they also have styling products like curl cream, heat protectant, a hair mask, and more – all of which also adhere to their natural, plant-based commitment.
3. Attitude Daily Moisture Shampoo
Attitude Daily Moisture Shampoo is an amazing option for those who want or need to clean their hair every day. Everyone is different and our hair has different needs. Some scalps produce a lot of oil and more frequent cleaning is necessary. However, using harsh formulas for this can be damaging.
This wonderfully moisturizing shampoo is gentle enough to use every day if you wish. It’s formulated with natural ingredients made from plants and minerals. This includes green tea extract, watercress, moringa seed extract, and more.
The formula is hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, and recyclable. It offers a natural apple blossom scent but comes with no artificial or harmful fragrances. It’s dermatologically tested and was developed with fragrance and aroma sensitivities in mind. There is a similarly formulated conditioner that you can follow up with, made with the same types of ingredients and principles. Following with the conditioner is recommended, especially if you are washing every day.
4. Pacifica Coconut Power Shampoo
Pacifica Coconut Power Shampoo is a plant-based formula designed to keep your hair long, strong, and moisturized. It’s infused with coconut, rice, and plenty of superfruits all meant to revive dry and damaged hair.
It’s also ideal for hair that’s been damaged by frequent dying and heat, or excessive washing with a harsh or toxic shampoo. It’s made to help your hair recover and stay strong. It’s made without sulfates, parabens, phthalates, SLS, or mineral oil and comes with a gentle, warm coconut scent. It’s made in the United States using high-quality, globally-sourced ingredients. The bottle is made with recycled plastic and can be recycled again.
Other ingredients include passion fruit seed oil, acai, coconut water, vitamin B, aloe vera juice, and so much more. They do occasionally update their formulas to further improve their eco-friendliness and cleanliness, so always check the product bottle before using it to confirm the most up-to-date ingredients.
They also have a conditioner to go with the shampoo along with products like hair masks, detanglers, as well as other skincare products like cleansers and lip scrubs!
5. Billie Dry Shampoo
Billie Dry Shampoo is the perfect solution for lazy days, or for when you just don’t have time! Healthy, natural shampoo is important, but sometimes you just can’t do a full wash. This is where a good dry shampoo comes in so handy – it saves you time and helps your hair look just as amazing as it would with a fresh wash!
Most dry shampoos come as an aerosol spray, which are certainly effective however they are often quite unhealthy. Billie is a non-aerosol option that uses powder instead. It requires slightly more effort than the aerosol versions, but it is just as effective, if not more so. It soaks up oil and blends into your hair no problem, leaving it feeling fresh, soft, and clean.
It contains biotin which nourishes your strands and rice starch to soak up oil and other impurities. Baking soda traps grease and cleanses your scalp. The formula is dermatologist-approved and fully vegan and cruelty-free.
Homemade Plant-Based Hair Serum
Finding a healthy, natural, plant-based shampoo and conditioner set is important for taking care of both your hair and the planet. Washing your hair and following with conditioner is practiced by a large majority of people in whatever frequency is best for their hair. Is that the end of your hair care routine, though?
For many, it’s not! Things like leave-in conditioners, protective sprays, hair masks, and more are becoming quite popular for the added benefits and nourishment they offer your hair. Another popular product is serums. Serums offer many things from extra hydration and protection to a sleeker, shinier appearance. Most of the time, serums are a combination of oils, many of which are found in nature.
Of all the hair products out there, serums are one of the easiest ones to make yourself. The best thing about going DIY, too, is that you can tailor your serum to your hair. With enough research, you can determine the best ingredients to accomplish what you want with your hair, be it more hydration, more shine, more strength, etc. Try some of these recipes to get started:
Hair Smoothing Serum
Everyone hates frizzy hair – that’s no secret. Depending on your hair type and the climate you live in, frizz can be quite difficult to control. Many products promise a solution – but doing so may come with the price of damaging your hair, depending on the ingredients they use.
Try this homemade smoothing serum for healthy, natural results. The ingredients are simple – argan oil, vegetable glycerin, aloe vera gel, and essential oils. The recipe recommends rosemary and lavender, though you can use others if you prefer different scents!
The serum can be applied on wet or dry hair and is light enough that it won’t cause a greasy or weighed-down appearance.
Nourishing Hair Serum
If your hair is dry, damaged, brittle, or in any sort of undesirable state, it needs more nourishment. This can certainly be achieved with a good-quality conditioner, but this nourishing hair serum will take it to the next level.
The main ingredients here are jojoba oil, argan oil, rosehip seed oil, and rosemary essential oil. These offer incredible benefits to each shaft of the hair, penetrating deep and renewing lifeless locks. Lavender and helichrysum essential oils are also recommended, but you can add or remove essential oils as desired to achieve an aroma you like!