Best Cruelty-Free & Vegan Shampoo: Our Top 5 Picks

Every day, your hair is exposed to countless pollutants, and after a while it can really take its toll on the health of your hair. You might think that this is not a problem, because you wash your hair regularly. But, it just might be that the shampoo you are using isn’t really getting rid of the toxins that are in your hair. Not only that, but it may even be that your shampoo is loaded with even more chemicals, which aren’t as good for your hair as shampoo manufacturers like to let on.

Can you pronounce all or at least most of the ingredients in your shampoo? If not, it might be time to take a look at some of the best natural alternatives that are going to promote better hair health. In this article we are going to explore some of our favorite and what we think are the best vegan shampoos available, which are made with natural ingredients. These shampoos will help to get rid of the toxins that pollution, and your regular shampoo and conditioner, are leaving behind, leaving you with hair that looks and feels great.

Quick Review Chart



Our Rating



Cove Castile Soap


1 liter






16 fl. oz.


Fragrance Free

desert essence

Desert Essence Organics


8 fl. oz. (2 pack)


Lemon Tea Tree

*Clicking on parts of the chart above takes you to product pages on

What’s Wrong with Your Shampoo?

There are a lot of ingredients in shampoo that you wouldn’t put inside your body, so why would you put them on your body at all, even your hair? One of the main ingredients in most traditional shampoos is sodium lauryl sulfate. There are also polymers, which are basically a form of plastic that coats your hair. This is the “protection” that these shampoos offer. After a while, these chemicals are going to leech into your blood stream, and it could lead to some serious health problems.

But, you can detox your hair to get rid of the chemicals, which can include, but are not limited to -

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Myreth Sulfate
  • Propylene Glycol (antifreeze)
  • Lauryl Alcohol
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Olefin Sulfonate (unscented kerosene)

All you need to do is switch to a vegan shampoo, and you won’t be putting all of these chemicals on your hair, and ultimately, in your body. It can take a week or two for your hair to adjust to this new type of shampoo. Don’t be alarmed if your hair is unusually greasy. This is normal, because the polymers and other chemicals will be going away. After a week or two of using vegan shampoos, your hair will produce a balanced amount of natural oils so it won’t be too greasy or too dry. The end results are really worth dealing with greasy hair for a couple of weeks.

Benefits of Using Vegan Shampoo

Obviously, the biggest benefit of using vegan shampoo is that you are going to be using a shampoo that is made with natural ingredients rather than chemicals. Organic hair care products are much gentler on your hair, and they work to infuse the skin cells and hair follicles with the nutrients needed to make your hair strong and healthy. Vegan shampoos are made with all-natural herbal extracts, essential oils, natural oils, vitamins, and minerals.

Some of the most common ingredients in these shampoos include -

  • Aloe Vera
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Shea Butter

A huge benefit of using vegan products is that they are cruelty-free. If you don’t like using products that have been tested on animals, vegan is definitely the way to go. Not only are they not tested on animals, they also do not contain any animal ingredients. The five we compiled in this article are five of the best cruelty-free options out here.

Aside from being cruelty-free, some other benefits include -

Dandruff Treatments

If you have dandruff, there are many vegan shampoos that are designed to treat the problem naturally.

Hair Growth 

You will find many vegan shampoo formulations that promote new and healthy hair growth.

Improved Circulation

Ingredients such as tea tree oil will help to improve the circulation on your scalp, which will in turn promote healthier hair.

One of the great things about vegan shampoos is that they can also easily be used as body washes. They are gentle, making them great for sensitive skin. Many of these products are so gentle that they can even be used on babies’ soft, sensitive skin. You will be using healthy products that are not only good for you, but also good for the environment.

Now that you know about some of the benefits of using vegan and cruelty-free shampoos, let’s take a look at some of our favorites.

​Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo for Anti Dandruff

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Sage Shampoo for Anti Dandruff is one of the best-selling products from Maple Holistics. This shampoo is great for anyone who has dandruff. It will help to eliminate the problem, leaving your hair looking healthy and free of embarrassing flakes. It will also relieve the itching that goes along with dandruff caused by dry skin. This shampoo is gentle and hypoallergenic, and it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals that are known to do more harm than good over time, including sulfates and parabens.

A lot of people worry that vegan shampoos are going to fade color treated hair. This shampoo is perfectly safe to use on color treated hair, and your color is not going to dull or fade after using this product. It contains no sulfates, and it is cruelty-free, so you never have to worry about whether or not it has been tested on animals or contains animal ingredients.


Dandruff is caused by dry skin, as well as other skin problems, such as dermatitis. Most of the regular shampoos on the market use chemicals to combat the problem, which can actually end up making it worse. This shampoo goes to work at the root of the problem, literally. It can help to fight dermatitis get rid of your dandruff once and for all, safely.

Other benefits include -


One of the main ingredients is obviously sage, and it can help to ease the symptoms of dermatitis. It has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antiseptic properties that will treat the problem and eliminate dandruff.

Mild Ingredients

This shampoo is made with mild, natural ingredients. It is ideal for anyone who has sensitive skin and/or sensitivities to detergents, and it is great for all hair types.

Hair Loss

If you are experiencing problems with hair loss, this shampoo just might help. It is a natural alternative to hair loss products, solidifying it as one the best natural shampoo options available. 

Repair Damaged Hair

Another great thing about this shampoo is that it contains botanical keratin, which can help to restore damaged hair and leave it sleek and shiny looking instead of frizzy.


  • Tea Tree Oil - This ingredient helps to get rid of dead cells, improves circulation, and stimulates new hair growth.
  • Gorgeous Hair - The jojoba and Argan oils help to promote healthy, shiny hair, and a smooth scalp that is free of flakes.
  • Scent - You will love the scent of this shampoo. It is a spicy scent which is pleasurable to both women and men.


  • Dandruff - Some users have reported that they have tried this shampoo to get rid of their dandruff, but it was not as effective as they had hoped.

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo

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Purelogy Hydrate Shampoo is loaded with antioxidants, and it is ideal if you are a sun worshipper, as it contains natural sunscreens. While some vegan shampoos do contain salt, this product is salt-free, as well as sulfate-free. It contains sandalwood, green tea, and organic rose botanicals, and is safe to use for all hair types. This is a gentle formula, and it is safe to use on color treated hair. In fact, it is highly recommended for color treated hair, as it doesn’t contain any of the sulfates that can strip the color out.

This shampoo is different from other vegan shampoos in another way: it has an incredible lather. But, while you do get lots of lather, it isn’t going to take forever to rinse it out. This is a very mild formulation that rinses out easily, but also protects your hair from toxins in the environment.


The biggest benefit is right in the name: Hydrate. But, here are some more - 


Not only will you enjoy healthy, strong, and shiny hair, each time you use this shampoo, you will have an awesome aromatherapy experience that will help to invigorate your senses.

Natural Ingredients

This shampoo is loaded with healthy ingredients that will make your hair look great, including botanicals of sandalwood, green tea, and rose, which are all certified organic ingredients.

Easy to Use

Using this shampoo is no different than what you are already used to. Simply wet your hair, lather, and rinse. Repeat if necessary, and follow with a quality vegan conditioner.

No Sulfates

This product is free of sulfates that can strip the color from your hair. It actually contains ZeroSulfate, which is a formula designed to preserve your color, made from coconut, sugar, and corn.


  • Natural Herb Extracts - This shampoo contains many natural herbal extracts that are known to promote good hair health, including peppermint, rosemary, and sage.
  • Improved Manageability - This product is designed to improve the manageability of your hair, protect your color, and hydrate without weighing your hair down. 
  • Scent - You will love the fresh, minty scent of this shampoo. It is not too feminine, so most men will enjoy it too.


  • New Formula - Some users feel that the manufacturing might be using a newer formula that is less potent than the previous one.

Avalon Organics Scalp Normalizing Shampoo

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Avalon Organics Tea Tree Mint Scalp Normalizing Shampoo is created to help you have a balanced scalp, as well as hair that is soft and shiny. It is loaded with organic ingredients, and there are no GMO’s, parabens, harsh sulfates, or preservatives. There are also no synthetic fragrances or colors, and it contains no phthalates. This is a cruelty-free product, and you can be sure that it has never been tested on animals. This is a natural solution that helps to treat a dry and itchy scalp. All of that makes it one of the best organic shampoos on the market. 

If you want to have soft, shiny hair, this is a product you should check out. It will leave your hair shiny and manageable, and it helps to normalize the scalp with tea tree oil, mint, eucalyptus, and chamomile. This product is NSF-ANSI 305 certified, and is completely natural.


This shampoo is loaded with natural ingredients that are going to make your hair look and feel great. These ingredients include aloe vera leaf juice, water, rosemary leaf extract, cedar wood oil, camphor bark oil, lime oil, lemon oil, and other natural extracts. In addition to being all natural, other benefits include:

Relieve Dry Scalp

This shampoo is formulated with tea tree oil and mint, which are balanced with chamomile and eucalyptus to relieve a dry, itchy scalp, cleanse, and restore natural oils to your scalp and hair.

Better Circulation

The ingredients in this shampoo can help to promote better scalp circulation, which is going to promote healthier hair growth so you have beautiful, shiny, soft hair that is easy to manage.

Organic Standards

This product is manufactured to meet strict organic standards. You can be sure that the ingredients are all-natural, that there are no animal ingredients, and that it is cruelty-free.

Environmentally Friendly

When you wash and rinse your hair, you won’t be rinsing harsh chemicals down the drain. This means that you aren’t going to be adding any chemicals and pollutants to the water.


  • Sustainable Ingredients - All of the natural ingredients in this shampoo come from sustainable sources.
  • Easy to Use - Using this shampoo is just like using any other shampoo. Simply apply to wet hair, lather, rinse, and repeat.
  • Scent - This product has a fresh, invigorating scent that is going to help wake you up, and is not too feminine.


  • Value - Some users report that they need to use a lot of this product, so it runs out quicker than some of the other vegan shampoo options. 

Desert Essence Organics Hair Care Shampoo

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Desert Essence Organics Hair Care Shampoo for oily hair helps to get rid of excess oil with lemon tea tree oil and lemon peel extract. It also contains organic maca root, which is great for strengthening and protecting your hair. It is the ideal formulation for getting rid of the excess oils, while still leaving your hair soft, shiny, and manageable. It also helps to revitalize the scalp.

Loaded with natural ingredients such as lemon, jojoba seed oil, citric acid, leptospermum petersonii oil, and more, this product is certified organic by QAI (2) Certified Organics by QCS. It only takes a small amount of this product to get your hair clean, so it is going to last for a while, giving you your money’s worth.


Using this shampoo is going to restore the shine to your hair, while not causing your hair to appear and feel greasy. The natural ingredients will help to restore the balance of natural oils in your hair, making it strong and healthy.

Other benefits include -

Great for Color Treated Hair

This product does not contain any chemical ingredients that are known to strip color treated hair. The natural ingredients can even help to protect and enhance your color.

Oil Control 

You don’t have to wash your hair every day to keep it from being oily. This formulation is a natural form of oil control, and even if you don’t wash your hair for a couple of days, it is not going to look greasy.

Great Scent

We love the natural, delicious lemon scent of this product. It is invigorating, and using this shampoo will give you an awesome aromatherapy experience that lasts throughout the day.

More Volume

If you have dull, limp hair, this shampoo can help. It works to restore volume, so your hair looks fuller and healthier.


  • Natural Ingredients - This shampoo is made with natural, sustainable ingredients that are not going to damage your hair, or the environment.
  • Shiny Hair - Because it helps to balance the natural oils, using this product will leave your hair looking shiny and feeling soft.
  • Popularity - This shampoo is an Amazon best-selling product. Its popularity shows us that a lot of people are very happy with this product, and are repeat users.


  • Dandruff Control - If you are looking for a dandruff control shampoo, this may not be the product for you.

Cove Castile Soap

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Cove Castile Soap is ideal for anyone who suffers from scent allergies, as it is completely unscented. It is made with a combination of organic Argan, hemp, and jojoba oils, and doesn’t contain any essential oils It is a mild formulation that is ideal for sensitive skin, and it is so gentle that you can even use this vegan, certified organic shampoo as a baby wash.

There are no harsh chemicals in this product. In fact, each ingredient is certified organic. There are no detergents, foaming agents, and of course, no animal ingredients. All of the ingredients are totally biodegradable plant oils. This is a company that cares about the environment, and that likes to keep its products pure and simple.


This shampoo is loaded with healthy ingredients, including oils that are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It also contains omega fatty acids, and the olive oil and vegetable glycerin work together to help repair your hair and scalp, leaving you with healthy hair that is soft and manageable. You can even use it on your skin to help improve your complexion.

Other benefits include -

No Palm Kernel Oil

This is a non-sustainable ingredient that is not used in this shampoo. The cultivation of this ingredient is playing a part in the destruction of rainforests, and this is an eco-friendly company that wants to leave behind a smaller carbon footprint.

No Detergents

Unlike other shampoos, this product contains no foaming agents or detergents. These ingredients are not only harmful to your skin and hair, they are not good for the environment either.

Great Value

This shampoo is to be diluted before use. This means that a bottle of this product is going to go a lot further than other shampoos. You can use it on its own, but it can easily be mixed with other ingredients to make other products, including products for cleaning your home.

Vegan Formulation

There are no animal fats in this product. It is totally vegan, and made with olive oil instead of fats. It is made with potassium hydroxide, which goes away once the oils are saponified into glycerin and soap.


  • Price - This is a reasonably priced product, coming in at less than $20 on Amazon. Because it can be diluted, it gives you even more bang for your buck.
  • Unscented - We love the fact that this product contains no perfumes or other scents. It is completely scent free, making it ideal for anyone who has allergies to scented products.
  • Guarantee - If you are not completely happy with this product, there is a 90-day, money-back guarantee, with no questions asked. You have nothing to lose, and only healthy, manageable hair to gain.


  • Scent - Some previous customers don’t care for this product’s scent. Some also said that it leaves a heavy soap film on their bathtubs and showers.


As you can plainly see, there are many benefits to switching from your current shampoo to one that is made out of natural, organic ingredients. You will enjoy having hair that is soft, shiny, and manageable, and you won’t be weighing it down with harsh ingredients and chemicals. Your hair will be better off for using any of these products we have talked about, and so will the environment. No matter which of these top vegan shampoos you choose, you can’t go wrong.

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