7 of the Best Shampoo Alternatives That Will Save Your Hair, Your Wallet and the Environment

Editor Shesaid
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When traditional shampoos just don’t wash, here are some of the best natural shampoo alternatives that aren’t just friendly on your wallet and your hair, but are also kinder for the environment. 

Clean hair has long been thought of as a cure for many ailments. Working up a headful of lather and suds is supposed to not only clean away dirt and oil and achieve rejuvenated, bouncy locks (because let’s face it, who doesn’t want products that make your hair soft and silky smooth?), but act as a sort of emotional cleanse as well—washing that man right outta your hair, for example.

But, lately, the tide’s been turning against traditional shampoos and the world is catching on to no poo shampoo. For one thing, many shampoos contain potentially harmful ingredients (like sulphates, parabens, formaldehyde, and alcohol, to name a few) that can have effects ranging from scalp irritation to dermatitis, or worse.

Related: I Was Allergic To Hair Dye And I Didn’t Know It (And You Might Be Too!)

There’s another thing — well, hundreds of millions of things, actually: The plastic shampoo bottles that are impacting our environment. Of course, you could just go without washing your hair at all and try to make the greasy look work, Or, you can reach for one of these fab no poo shampoos and shampoo alternatives.

7 Natural Shampoo Alternatives That Don’t Suck

1. Ethique Volumizing Shampoo Bar

This vegan shampoo alternative is eco-friendly, zero waste and completely plastic-free. It’s not just wonderful for the planet—it’s also bound to make your hair feel incredible. Packed into this one bar of shampoo is the equivalent of 3 bottles of shampoo, for less than $20. People are going crazy for how delicious these no poo shampoo bars smell, how easy they are to use (it’s like rubbing a bar of soap all over your head, but without the harsh, drying effect of using an actual soap bar!), and how they’ll make your locks shiny, soft and voluminous.

Shop: Ethique Volumizing Shampoo Bar

2. Moondust Hair Wash

While powdered shampoo doesn’t solve the issue of plastic waste completely, one bottle of Moondust Hair Wash is the equivalent of four bottles of liquid shampoo. It’s the world’s first powder-to-lather shampoo alternative, which creates a creamy lather that gently cleanses your hair without drying. What’s more? It’s vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and comes in recyclable packaging, so the planet will love it as much as you do. We think this is one of the best shampoo alternatives out there.

Shop: Moondust Hair Wash

3. R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste

If you’re not crazy about dry shampoo powders and sprays, this one will surprise and delight you. It goes on like a styling paste, providing texture and hold in addition to keeping your hair fresh and smelling divine. Infused with volcanic ash to naturally cleanse and balance the scalp, and coconut oil to define and thicken your hair, this natural shampoo alternative absorbs oil and adds texture all day long.

Shop: R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste

4. Chagrin Valley Organic Natural Shampoo Bar

Shampoo lather has gotten a bad rap lately — it can be a sign that your shampoo is high in sulfates. But with the Chagrin Valley Natural Shampoo Bar, you get the best of both worlds: A headful of satisfying, squishy bubbles and an ingredient list that’s clean enough to eat. Bamboo charcoal removes impurities and absorbs any excess oils, while ensuring your hair retains its natural oils. Organic coconut milk moisturises and smoothes your hair, while peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus essential oils leave your hair feeling (and smelling!) clean, shiny and refreshed.

Shop: Chagrin Valley Rosemary Mint Natural Shampoo Bar

5. dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Shampoo Powder

The person who invented dry shampoo deserves a medal—it’s a godsend for those days when you just can’t bring yourself to wash and style your hair, or when you’re in a mad rush from pilates to the office. This natural dry shampoo alternative is non-aerosol, free of nasty ingredients (see ya later, sulfates!) and comes in recyclable packaging. Just like its aerosol counterparts, this natural dry shampoo will absorb oils, refresh your style and give you a volume boost that’ll look like you just washed it.

Shop: dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Shampoo Powder

6. Deva Curl Original No-Poo Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser

What is no poo shampoo, you ask? No poo is a shampoo that’s free of SLS and SLES—the nasty ingredients that damage your hair, but are unfortunately rife in most shampoo products these days. DevaCurl is the OG no poo shampoo. Lauded for being 100% sulfate, paraben and silicone free, this cleanser may not work up a lather like a traditional shampoo, but it will leave your hair feeling squeaky clean and smelling divine. We reckon this is hands-down the best shampoo alternative for curly hair.

Shop: Deva Curl Original No-Poo Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser

7. Drybar One-Two Punch Water-Activated 2-in-1 Hair Wash

Just add water and this powdered shampoo turns into a foamy lather, designed to gently cleanse and condition your hair with naturally derived ingredients. Perfect for all hair types and textures, this natural shampoo alternative is fully no poo—it’s free of SLS and SLES, parabens and phthalates. Instead, it uses ingredients like coconut milk and strawberry seed oil to cleanse, nourish and condition your hair.

Shop: Drybar One-Two Punch Water-Activated 2-in-1 Hair Wash

How to Make Your Own No Poo Shampoo

If you’re all about washing your hair with natural ingredients, why not whip up a DIY shampoo alternative with what you’ve got in the pantry? And you can’t get more natural than a rinse with baking soda and warm water, followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse. Or try lemon juice — the citric acid in lemons is a known dandruff-defeater. Or (and here’s a crazy idea!) in between shampoo-uses, try just washing your hair with glorious, refreshing… water.

Let us know: What’s your favorite no poo shampoo alternative?