The Best Vegan-Friendly
Shampoos & Conditioners
For Your Hair Type (Gentle Ingredients)

Everyone loves having healthy, shiny, clean hair - but so many shampoos & conditioners contain harsh chemicals that do more damage to your luscious locks...

...not to mention many of the household brands rely heavily on animal testing.

Oh, and those chemical-laden products get washed down the drain and released into the environment.


Thankfully, many companies who care about providing shampoos with gentle ingredients that actually work also care about protecting the environment and animals.

So there is hope after all :)

No matter what type of hair you have, we guarantee we have a few options for the best cruelty-free shampoo and conditioner that will leave your hair soft, shiny, manageable, and clean.

Our Top Picks for the Best Cruelty-Free Shampoos and Conditioners

To make your life a little easier, here is a summary of our top picks (scroll down for the full breakdown on why we love each product):

The Best Vegan Shampoos and Conditioners Breakdown

For Dry Hair/Scalp

Dry hair can be prone to breaking and frizzing - and if you have a dry scalp the itching and flaking are embarrassing and annoying.

You want a shampoo that will still clean your hair and scalp plus add much-needed moisture.

Top Choice: Maple Holistics Silk18 Shampoo

Maple Holistics Silk18 Shampoo

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  • Free of harsh chemicals.
  • Has a subtle vanilla scent (awesome if you enjoy the scent of vanilla like myself).
  • May help to tame frizz and flyaways.
  • Moisturizes without weighing the hair down.
  • There is a lot less lather than commercial products but still enough to do the job.
  • May make hair softer and healthier.
  • Can help ease a dry and itchy scalp.
  • Doesn’t leave a buildup.
  • Safe for color-treated hair.


  • The formulation may have changed from the original and may not work for everyone.

Best used in conjunction with the conditioner.

For Oily Hair

Oily hair can be a nightmare.

Not only does your hair constantly look dirty despite regular washing, but that oil can transfer to your surrounding skin and cause breakouts.

The problem with most conventional shampoos is that they completely strip the hair and scalp of moisture (you still want to have some moisture, after all).

Overdrying can also lead to oily hair as the oil glands in the scalp go into overdrive trying to compensate for all the dryness. It’s entirely possible to have oily hair and flaky scalp because of this.

What you need is a shampoo that doesn’t strip the natural moisture of your hair but still cleans your hair, removes excess oil, and improves the health of your scalp so that it becomes balanced.

Pro Tip: Don’t apply conditioner near the roots of your hair or on your scalp. If you need to condition your hair, apply conditioner only to your ends and mid-lengths.

Winner: Maple Holistics Degrease
Moisture Control Shampoo

Maple Holistics Degrease Moisture Control Shampoo

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  • Free from sulfates and other harmful chemicals.
  • Still has a good lather (after the second time you lather up).
  • Safe for color treated hair.
  • May help with volume.
  • May extend the time between washes.
  • Has a soothing effect on the scalp.
  • Smells like oregano and lemon.
  • Helps improve overall scalp health.
  • Comes in 8 oz and 16 oz bottles.


  • Some may find that this shampoo is a little too drying.
  • It’s best to lather twice.
  • If you don’t like herbal scents this may not be for you.

For Dandruff

shampooing scalp

As if the itching and inflammation aren’t enough, if you have dark hair the flakes can make you very self-conscious. Some people with dandruff even avoid wearing dark clothing because of it.

Using the correct kind of shampoo can help keep dandruff under control and even get rid of it.

What you need is a shampoo that will soothe the scalp, lower inflammation, and remove excess oils while keeping the scalp adequately hydrated.

In the case where the cause of the dandruff is Malassezia (a type of yeast that everyone has but some people are more sensitive to), the shampoo needs to keep it under control or kill it.

It’s also best to avoid products with any ingredients that you have sensitivities to.

Top Pick: Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo
for Dandruff and Hair Loss

Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo for Dandruff and Hair Loss

Click For Full Ingredient List


  • No sulfate or any other harsh ingredients.
  • Still makes a fairly good lather.
  • Works quite quickly.
  • May be especially helpful for oily hair types.
  • May be helpful for other conditions such as psoriasis or dermatitis.
  • Helps to relieve an itchy scalp.
  • Can help to make hair look and feel healthier.
  • Smells like sage.
  • A little goes a long way.
  • Comes in 8 oz and 16 oz.


  • Some may find this shampoo a bit too drying.
  • If you don’t like herbal scents, this shampoo may not be for you.
  • The shampoo can be quite thick.

For Curly Hair

Curly hair is usually unruly, frizzy, and tends to be coarse and dry.

Products that add moisture to your locks without weighing them down and help to smooth your tangles out are the best option.

Products that help for damaged hair are also great since wavy hair that needs to constantly be tamed is subjected to a lot of abuse.

Best Option: Shea Moisture Jamaican Black
Castor Oil Shampoo

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo

Click For Full Ingredient List


  • No harsh ingredients.
  • May help to soften and smooth hair.
  • Can make hair shiny.
  • Safe for color treated hair.
  • Works well on other hair types too.
  • Can help to strengthen hair.
  • May help to detangle hair.
  • Great scent if you enjoy sweet, vanilla/candy type scents.
  • You can get the set with the conditioner too.
  • Comes in 16 oz.


  • The smell doesn’t last very long which you may or may not prefer.
  • Some people with thin hair find that it works well but for others, it weighed their hair down and some experienced negative reactions.
  • Needs to be rinsed out very well otherwise it leaves a film behind.
  • In some cases, the shampoo was a bit drying.

For Damaged Hair

All the heat styling we do and using products containing silicons, alcohol, peroxide, and sulfates can really do a number on our hair.

Instead of the soft, lustrous hair that we strive for, our hair can end up being frizzy and straw-like.

Along with giving your hair a bit of break when possible, switching to products with more natural ingredients and fewer chemicals is a great start to restore your locks.

The sad truth is that you can’t really reverse hair damage, but you can certainly help it look and feel healthier between washes and treatments - as well as give your new hair growth a fighting chance at looking great.

Top Option: Pure Argan Shampoo by Maple Holistics

Pure Argan Shampoo by Maple Holistics

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  • Suitable for all scalp types.
  • Safe for color-treated hair.
  • Sulfate-free but the shampoo still lathers.
  • Contains oils that moisturize the hair and nourish it.
  • Will not make oily hair oilier, but can hydrate dry hair.
  • Will not weigh down fine hair.
  • May help your strands regain softness.
  • Can help make your mop more manageable, even if it's curly.
  • Can smooth hair.
  • The scent is slightly sweet, but not overpowering.
  • Available as a set with the conditioner.
  • Comes in 8 oz and 16 oz.


  • Some batches reported to be rather watery.
  • In some cases, this shampoo didn’t help for extremely dry hair/scalp.
  • Despite being safe for color-treated hair, some found that it did affect their color.

For Fine Hair

The main concern with thin or very fine strands is that they often lack volume and can get oily very quickly.

If you struggle with oily hair, check out the shampoos recommended above for oily hair. That alone might help stop your hair from being weighed down.

If you are still struggling with needing more volume, check out these shampoos:

 Winner: Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex
Thickening Shampoo

Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Thickening Shampoo

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  • Cuts down on a lot of harsh ingredients.
  • May help with volume and shine.
  • Can help hair to look fuller.
  • May soothe the scalp.
  • Can help to control oil.
  • If you enjoy a tingling sensation, you will enjoy this shampoo.
  • May be helpful for dandruff.
  • It doesn’t lather much but still leaves hair feeling clean.
  • Herbal scent (tea tree and mint).
  • Comes in 14 oz.


  • Contains alcohol.
  • Not recommended for dry hair or scalp.
  • The smell may be a little bit strong for some.
  • Some may find this product a bit harsh if they have sensitive skin.

For Thinning Hair & Hair Loss

There are many reasons that hair loss occurs including hormones, extreme stress, certain medications, and medical conditions.

Some shampoos can help reduce hair loss and may even help stimulate hair growth.

Note: If you are experiencing severe hair loss or shedding, you may want to see your doctor to sort out the underlying issue.

If you are currently experiencing mild thinning of your precious locks, give one of these options a try:

Best Choice: Biotin Shampoo for Hair Growth

Biotin Shampoo for Hair Growth

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  • No harsh chemicals.
  • Can help to stimulate new hair growth (results can range from a few weeks to a few months).
  • Safe for color treated hair.
  • Can help to strengthen the hair.
  • Can make hair fuller and thicker.
  • Effectively cleanses the scalp.
  • May help with itchy scalp problems.
  • There is a matching conditioner available.
  • Comes in 8 oz or 16 oz.


  • The shampoo may not help everyone, depending on the underlying problem and how your body works.
  • Some people with particularly dry hair may find that this product can dry their hair more, but this is not a common case.

For Color Treated Hair

Many of the shampoos listed above are safe to use on color treated hair.

So if you are struggling with any of the above problems, selecting one of those shampoos may help.

But if you want to get a specialized option (I don't blame you!), we have selected the best cruelty-free shampoo for colored hair.

The products below are designed to nourish and hydrate your hair while protecting your color.

Winner: Pureology Hydrate Shampoo

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo

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  • Free from sulfates and parabens but still lathers well.
  • Lasts long as you only need to use a little bit for each wash.
  • Helps soften hair and make it more manageable.
  • Helpful for adding moisture to very dry hair.
  • May help to prevent hair from turning a brassy orange color between color treatments.
  • Professional quality product. There is a conditioner available too.
  • Pureology is all about protecting color treated hair and have other shampoos to provide any additional benefits that you need.


  • The formulation has changed which some may not enjoy.
  • May be a bit heavy for those with fine hair or that don’t have overly dry hair.
  • This product is quite expensive, but is the best option for long-lasting color treatments.

Always Check The Label

The best vegan and cruelty-free shampoos and conditioners, just like  cruelty-free concealers or other beauty products such as rose water toner reviewed here  at Healthlisted, will usually be natural or organic.

This is ideal for your body and hair, but they do still contain ingredients that your skin may be sensitive to.

Those that contain essential oils may not be safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. So please, always double check the ingredients and if you are expecting or have a baby, double check with your doctor first.

Also, stick with the new shampoo for a few washes before deciding whether or not it works for you as sometimes your hair and scalp need time to adjust first.

You can also apply some jojoba oil to your hair & scalp before washing your hair if you have dry scalp. And after shampooing, you may want to try styling your hair with this organic aloe vera gel.

Have you tried any of these? Which is your favorite?

Last Updated on July 20, 2020

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