There is a lot of controversy around chemicals in shampoos.
Clever marketing can be misleading by adding a few ingredients, “natural” or “organic” a hair care product can be easily labelled organic.
The only way you can be assured you are using what is stated on the bottle is to become your label detective.
We believe it’s essential to know the shampoo ingredients you’re washing your hair with, especially as some may cause build-up or irritation.
So whether you have curly, straight or dyed locks, were here to help you get your head around the ingredients (pun intended). So you can begin to understand the best natural shampoo to use.
Best natural shampoo ingredients
Natural shampoo is gentler and more nourishing for your hair than a commercial shampoo that may contain surfactants and harsh chemicals, especially if you are experiencing any hair and scalp issues such as an excessively oily or itchy scalp, damaged or dry hair.
Ingredients in natural shampoo have cleansing properties that won’t strip the protective layer of natural oils which protect your scalp and hair.
Fortunately, mother nature has provided us with several all-natural ingredients to cleanse, condition, and strengthen your hair; below is a list of some of the best natural shampoo ingredients that will help get the results you are looking for.
Aloe vera is commonly known for its skin healing, cooling and moisturising properties, but did you know it also makes for a great pre-poo treatment? Especially for those with frizzy, curly locks, it helps to detangle knots and kinks.
Aloe vera is extremely rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, B, C, E, minerals, fatty acids, calcium, selenium, magnesium, and zinc, to name but a few, all of which help strengthen hair follicles while keeping them soft, shiny, and manageable.
After towel drying your hair, Aloe vera can be rubbed into the ends; its highly moisturising properties means it works well as a natural, mild hair gel. It combs out quickly, leaving your hair shaft smooth, without any residue build-up, revealing shiny, luscious locks. We love it so much that we wrote about the benefits of aloe vera.
Apple cider vinegar
This is an excellent ingredient for using a natural hair rinse, helping remove shampoo build-up from your hair shaft. It is suitable for all hair types and one of the best natural ingredients for detoxifying your hair.
One of the main ingredients in shampoo is coconut oil. This remarkable oil has a natural affinity with your hair, penetrating deep down into the hair shaft, and the great thing, it won’t build up on your hair, leaving it soft and moisturised. We love this ingredient for the hair so much, we created a whole article on it, which you can read here Coconut oil.
Lecithin is the natural fatty acid found in eggs; it contains phospholipids thought to be one of the best natural shampoo ingredients for conditioning your hair, perfect for treating dry, curly locks.
Eggs also help with the emulsification process, as they bind oil and water together, making them an excellent shampoo ingredient.
For best results, mix the yolk with a bit of olive oil and warm water; this allows the yolk to penetrate your cuticle, leave for ten minutes, then rinse for a well-conditioned, glossy result.
Lemon and rosemary rinse
You can source fresh organic herbs and citrus fruits locally; they can be added to any other ingredients above to make a shampoo with natural ingredients.
These lovely herbs also make a beneficial cleansing rinse that will help restore the natural balance of oil and colour in your hair. Rosemary is an excellent herb for dark hair, and lemon helps lift blonde highlights, a subject we discuss in more detail in the article, “Natural hair colour ideas“.
This oil has valuable hair and scalp benefits. Jojoba oil and coconut oil will rival any professional hair treatment and are two of the best natural shampoo ingredients when combined.
Jojoba oil is one of the best natural shampoo ingredients you can use, so much, so it is known as the “ultimate oil for hair”. It penetrates the scalp and hair shaft, loosening the build-up of stubborn cells and residue that many commercial products build up on the hair shaft over time.
Smear the oil on your hair from root to tip, cover in a towel and leave for an hour – or better still, go on your hair as an overnight treatment. In the morning, wash out with shampoo to unveil blindingly glossy locks.
Here is a glossary of natural hair ingredients that is useful for further reading.