5 Shampoos that are Paraben/SLS Free

I have been a little obsessive lately about my Shampoo. My regulars may know that I have a sensitive scalp so I avoid any Shampoo with SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sufate) and Parabens. It’s actually not easy AT ALL to find truly Paraben free stuff on the high street. A quick whip around in Boots didn’t reveal much, apart from Naked shampoo, which I loved for a week then hated because it started to make my itch.

So after many bottles of the stuff here is a preliminary list of 5 shampoos that I recommend, that omit SLS and Parabens, and that work well.*

*SLS free shampoo tends to be a little harder to lather – I don’t have an issue with this but zero lather does make it a tad difficult. It can also make hair knottier – some of the shampoos I have tried leave me looking like Worzel Gummidge.

I have been trying new shampoos, one after the other so have left out the ones which fulfill the above critera but also don’t leave me looking like a scarecrow.

1. Tara Smith

Tara Smith Hair Care product range.jpg

I reviewed the range here – and an excellent range it is too.

Huge plus: The price. Probably the most affordable range of SLS/Paraben free shampoos and conditioners you will find and you can buy it from Tesco!

2. Aveda

Aveda - official site - shop shampoo.jpg

I have tried a few of their shampoos; clove, scalp therapy, be curly – all are lovely but quite expensive. Nevertheless, you can’t beat them for a bit of luxury.

3. Organic Care Systems

The Range from Herb UK.jpg

Review is here – it totally surpassed my expectations. A little hard to get hold of as the brand isn’t mainstream yet but it is a gorgeous range.

4. Optima Australian Tea Tree * full review coming up

Optima Australian Tea Tree Anti Dandruff Shampoo - ExpressChemist.co.uk - Buy Online.jpg

There are quite a few Australian Tea Tree type companies – I found this Shampoo once in Holland and Barretts (a UK health food store chain). For less than £5 this rather tingly, refreshing shampoo does a great job and is nasty chemical free.

5. Dead Sea Natural Mineral Shampoo *full review coming up


Excuse the naff packaging, and you have an excellent, deep cleansing shampoo here with a gorgeous, detergent free ingredients list. Impressively, it contains just a mix of olive, palm and coconut oils (and of course minerals from the Dead Sea). This one really cleanses and feels gentle too – costs around £7. You can buy this at Boots.

That’s my Top 5 SLS/Paraben free shampoo & conditioner ranges for now.

Be aware that just because a shampoo says its organic or natural doesn’t mean that it is – believe me, I have been duped. Always check the ingredients list! If SLS is there, it is generally near the top of the list. (If you want to know what is so awful about SLS (have you been listening to me?!) then go here.)

If anyone wants to add to this list of haircare, please do!

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  1. Judith says

    I’ve been searching for chemical free (sls, parabens) shampoos and conditioners that re balance hair to its natural ph, since most hair products have left me with a dry scalp. I decided to try and find some on the local high street. Boots offered “naked” a range which claims its 97% chemical free, it however did not claim to regulate to natural ph so decided to look on the web. This website popped up. I have since looked for the Organic care systems range online but can’t find a retailer to purchase from. Please could you recommend a suitable one as would love to get my hands on this range.

    Much thanks and appreciation

    Judith, west midlands

    • Jen says

      Have you tried; 30mls of apple cider vinegar in a jug of cool water as a final rinse ? That balances ph and smoothes the hair leaving it shiny. Any smell goes as your hair drys. Theres plenty to read about it on line too, apple cider vinegar is even better cloudy containing ‘mother’ from most good health food shops !

  2. cookie monster says

    TiGi do a “Love, Peace, Planet” range that is totally Sulfate & Paraben free, and good for the environment. They do shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, hair spray, hair paste. Ooh – and they smell yummy. The leave in conditioner is cherry almond scented & smells like a cherry bakewell (YUM!)
    online – the huge salon size bottles are excellent value too

  3. cookie monster says

    …..sorry, forgot to mention, there’s a trick to washing with sulfate free shampoos (not much lather). If you use a small amount then do a quick rinse, then do a second wash you get the lather your used to.
    And amazon is always the best place to start searching for these (where I got mine) and cheaper than the salon prices

  4. Nat says

    I’m not sure about SLS, but I found a Trevor Sorbie shampoo in TK Maxx for about 4 pounds that’s Paraben free, I dunno if they have them in all TKs though, but I suppose it’s worth a try :)

  5. Van34 says

    I stopped using Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (and many related derivatives of it) quite a few years ago when I did a lot of research and interviews concerning a common eye problem that many women over the age of 30 seemed to be having. It was getting so prevalent that I knew that I had to find a common denominator to see if I might help them.

    When I became one of them, I was in absolute misery with eyes watering and burning all year long. It was awful.

    I came to the conclusion through a long extensive research and interviewing countless women that sodium lauryl sulfate (from here on will be called SLS) was most likely greatly adding to the problem. So, I decided to eilminate it completely.

    It was not easy to find alternatives, but the Shielo Hydrate Shampoo & Conditioner (www.shielo.com) was one of them that I found was the best and worth keep using.

  6. Lex says

    It’s so hard to find these products. Can you suggest any websites (that carry at least one of these products) that ship to US/Canada?

  7. says

    I just discovered Giovanni shampoos and conditioners – all SLS and paraben free and have never had hair in better condition. They’re not badly priced either.

  8. roxie says

    One n’ only-Argan Oil
    Shampoo,conditioner, and restorative mask
    Its free of sulphates,phoshates and parabens
    Sallys beauty supply has it

  9. Jessica says

    I have no clue for sure, but there is a newer product out that claims it doesn’t have all that extra-bad-gunky stuff…and its at your local Wal-Mart! It’s Loreal’s Sulfate Free system and I bought the UV Protect spray because I love reds and they fade soooo fast…
    Only down-side is it has rosemary in it and repeated use of rosemary tends to leave the skin (or scalp) sensitive to the sun!
    That being said, it is hard to tell if any beauty product is good because they list all those other chemicals (or natural products) in place of the known-bad-ones, and who knows if it’s really good for you?!?

  10. C says

    I suffer from eczema on my scalp/my scalp is extremly dry and for years wanted to try some free from sodium laureth sulphate cos i knew it wasn’t helping but unfortunatly as you said, there is next to nothing on the high street. I searched online and have been using Komenuka Bijin Natural rice bran Shampoo for a few weeks now. It was expensive but its very sensitive, it lathers a little and its very moisturizing. It also smells divine! My hair is soft and shiny and my scalp is healing : )

  11. G A Hansen says

    Has anybody tried Bodyshop’s Rainforest shampoo? That is supposed to be Paraben/SLS free.

  12. says

    i found the most wonderful prodect.it is called “wen”by chaz dean it has none of the products you mentioned.but the best part is does 5 jobs at itonce.shamooo,conditoner,deep conditoning,leave-in conditoner,and detangle rmy hair has complety changed.it holds in haircolor,its healthy,thicker,softer,more beautiful.i have really long hair and it is difficult to take care of.its cheaper in the long run 30 dollars a month for a 16oz bottle.and it does last a month because you don’t need as much as it says to use.you have to try this if you do you won’t try anything else i promise

  13. wj says

    Digging up an old topic, but nonetheless…

    Aveda’s Scalp Remedy does have SLS in it; I was sold it by the Aveda dude who promised that it wouldn’t irritate my scalp – true, it isn’t a half bad shampoo, but it does have SLS. I’m pretty sure that Shampure does as well.

    My picks for non-SLS or “gentle” shampoos:
    – Dr Organic (how I found your blog!)
    – A’kin (any variety)
    – Moogoo – my favourite
    – MOP (pricier)
    – Yes to Carrots (v good value)

    Ones you would *think* are SLS free but aren’t include TBS, Aesop, Inecto. Tricksy!

    • Row says

      Hi WJ

      I have tried the Aveda Scalp Remedy Dandruff Solution but not the Shampoo. It’s all a bit Pricey for me, £16 a bottle of shampoo is too much since I wash my hair all the time.

      I’ve also started using Organic Surge shampoo and that is SLS free and I LURVE it. About £6 each too. But yeah I am sick of these brands that look like they should be SLS free and preach about being natural and then when you check it has SLS in it.

  14. Diane Bullock says

    Hi, What about Arbonne? I think it’s amazing stuff and it smells so fresh. Have you tried it?

  15. Niassa says

    I’ve switched to MiEssence brand. They do not only organic haircare products, but bodycare and household detergents too. An Australian brand.
    My hairare products are Desert Flower Shampoo, Shine Hair Conditioner and Protect B5 Hair Repair. Rather pricey. Scent may not be very yummy, it’s very herbal but it’s understandable as the products contain no chemicals at all, just natural and organic ingredients. Here’s their official website http://skincareauthority.mionegroup.com/en/home
    Worth checking out as they have plenty of useful info on the topic.
    Another brand I know is called Green People.

  16. Angela Johnson says

    Walmart now carries a brand called “SimplyU” that is sodium and paraben free. My hair (the last six inches of it, I should say) are very damaged from bleaching and coloring about a year and a half ago. I have had difficulty finding any shampoo/conditioner that helped to call my already thick, unruly hair. This is by far the best I have found, and it is very reasonably priced. Much more-so than the two or three other SLS & paraben frees. Not sure if it will work for everyone, but it might be worth a shot! I love it. :)

  17. Cyndie says

    All- Nutrient’s entire line of shampoo’s are sulfate free paraben free contain no cocamide DEA or cocamidopropyl bentaine. Their shampoo’s and conditioner’s are amazing. My hair is full and shiny but most of all healthly.

  18. Sonia L-S says

    Hi all, I’m looking for a hairdressers that uses SLS free products and really struggling – hairdressers don’t seem to know what it is and just look at me blankly when I ask if its in the products they use! I don’t have time to trapse round all the local hairdressers to find out which are ‘clean’! Help, please! I live in Braintree, essex but work in Cambridge, so would consider going there if anyone has any bright ideas?


    • Row says

      Hi Sonia

      Hmm all they have to do is look on the back of their shampoo and look for Sodium Laurel Suflate! Can they not go and have a quick gander (can you ring around)? Perhaps somewhere like a salon who does brands like Aveda would be a good start as they have some great SLS free shampoos. Failing all that in all seriousness, I would take my own and ask them to use that. I wouldn’t end up with an itchy scalp for no reason!

  19. Wendy says

    My scalp gets easily irritated and itchy and I started using Emu Oil shampoo and conditioner from The Emu Oil Well. Its great and smells lovely. My hair does get knotty though and the conditioner doesn’t stop this but I hardly lose any hair at all now when I brush it or when washing it. This was a real worry for me when using shampoos with SLS’s in them before. I wasn’t aware (Jessica) that using Rosemary made your scalp sensitive to the sun? The Emu Oil products I use do have Rosemary in them so that may explain why my scalp gets quite hot and stingy when i’m out in the sun – I may change to one of their other products without it in. Thanks for that info.

  20. Annette Sharp says

    I loved the sound of Optima Australian Tea Tree deep cleansing shampoo but discovered that it has ammonium lauryl sulfate in it. Isn’t this very similar to sodium lauryl sulfate?? I’m going to try to avoid both to see if it makes a difference to my skin.

  21. Indi says

    Hi, I am cunrrently uing sulfate-paraben free shampoo & conditioner, but my hair has tendency to tangle a LOT, brushing and combing don’t make a difference, I also have looooots of flywayas. I was wondering if you’d have a suggestion for any combing creams or leave in conditioners, something that helps me detangling when combing my hair. Thanks!

  22. says

    Went to an Ellapure party recently whom I had never heard of. Their range is all SLS/SLES and paraben free. You can add their oils to it to make them small gorgeous if you want. Their Wonderwash is a base carrier and is brilliant for problem skin, used either as a bath/shower/handwash or eye make up remover. Slightly pricey but really worth it and do a geat range of products.

  23. Nicole says

    For those of you who are having trouble with knots, you can try using virgin coconut oil in your hair. Just use a little bit, start at the tips and work your way up, just don’t go all the way to your scalp. You can also use the coconut oil for your skin and cooking with!

  24. Mark says

    Hello! I wondered if anyone knows of an SLS free shampoo that doesn’t have any conditioning effect? I know – most people want to get rid of tangles, but I have dreadlocks so the knottier the better!! Anyone tried an SLS free that made their hair really knotty? I tried a soap based wash (Dr Bronners), it was amazing for my scalp but was super conditioning – totally killed my knots. Have tried Baking Soda before, but found it got really nastily greasy (maybe should try for longer?). My scalp (and skin) tends to get oily, and starts itching about a day after washing with regular shampoo, so I wanted to try an SLS free product.

  25. says

    MoroccanOil products are all paraban and sulphate free. They’re really popular at the moment and really have to be tried to be believed. My naturally curly, dry and tangly hair is lovely after using these products. They have a volume version and a repair version. I used the repair version. They’re made with natural Argan oil and are awesome!

  26. says

    The best botanical, 100% vegan, SLS free and paraben free is to my opinion the Arbonne Nourishing Daily Shampoo wich is formulated in Switzerland. The best thing is, I can order it online for a very good price. The results on my hair are incredible! Even my hair dresser sees a difference. I loved it so much, I became an Arbonne independent consultant. Good luck ladies!

  27. Mary says

    I personally like the Pro Naturals one, it smells amaaaaazing and it makes my hair way softer. Honestly, changing to sulfate free shampoos was the best decision I could have made for my hair, I had always read about people doing it but it took me way too long to actually try it out. Thanks for this list though, but you should really look up pro naturals shampoo!