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There are so many factors to consider when choosing your everyday hair care products. These days, I try my best to be more conscious about how and where the ingredients in my products are sourced.
In addition to being health-conscious and eco-friendly, certified-organic hair products (or hair products made with organic ingredients) may be ideal for easing a wide range of hair concerns from shedding to oiliness. When I started using serums, leave-in conditioners, and shampoos with nourishing and natural ingredients, I noticed my hair felt fuller, softer, and shinier. Since hair products made with organic ingredients have fewer filler products (like sulfates and parabens) my hair will often feel cleaner and fresher for much longer.
If you’re looking to fill your shelves with organic hair care brands or want to support brands that offer organic ingredients, you might find yourself supporting more brands that are cruelty-free, focus on sustainability, and have formulas focused on high-quality ingredients that contain less artificial dyes, allergens, pesticides, and artificial ingredients.
What does it mean to be an organic hair product?
You’ll likely come across many variations of the term “organic” when browsing the haircare section for your newest holy grail product. One thing that could help make your hair care shopping easier is understanding the difference between organic hair products and hair products that contain organic ingredients.
- For a cosmetic product to be fully organic, it must contain a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. Be sure to read the product’s label carefully to see how “organic” keywords are being used on the product’s packaging.
- According to the USDA, cosmetics, body care products or personal care products can boast that they are “made with organic ingredients” if the product contains at least 70 percent organic ingredients.
Both of these categories are great options if you’re looking to become more health-conscious about the ingredients you’re styling your hair with. Plus, these types of products are more likely to focus on formulas with plant-based ingredients and omit heavy fragrances, allergens, and parabens.
What are organic hair ingredients?
As you explore organic ingredients, it’s important to note how they make your hair feel as you wash and style. Here are some common organic ingredients that may help nourish your strands from the inside out:
- Shea butter
- Coconut oil
- Grape seed oil
- Essential oils
- Seaweed extract
- Avocado oil
Our Top Picks For Hair Products with Natural, Plant-Based Ingredients
This Baomint Moisturizing Curl Defining Cream ($14) contains gentle ingredients that smooth frizz and tangled strands while helping define curls and waves. In addition to being certified organic, this soothing hair cream contains no alcohol, silicones, or parabens. This formula also contains peppermint and spearmint, and natural essential oils for a gentle and refreshing scent that won’t dry out your hair.
Seed Phytonutrients’ Balancing Shampoo Powder ($24) transforms into a hydrating foam that will cleanse your scalp with gentle ingredients like sunflower seed oil, green tea (which promotes growth), and camelina seed oil. This formula is safe for everyday use and works well on all hair types. Seed’s unique shampoo has a cruelty-free formula that is ideal for eco-friendly hair care enthusiasts.
The Playa Violet Brightening Shampoo ($28) helps neutralize ashy and brassy tones while providing a major boost in volume. This multi-tasking product is also great for removing residue that can make your hair appear dull and only needs to be used once a week to keep your hair color neutralized and refreshed. It also contains vitamin C, which can protect hair strands from free radical damage and pollutants while preventing build-up. The gentle, but hardworking formula contains organic ingredients like butterfly Pea flower, apple cider vinegar (a natural residue cleanser!), and citrus extracts.
Whenever my hair starts to feel stringy and brittle, I reach for an organic hair mask like NatureLab Tokyo’s Repair Treatment Masque ($17). Formulated with clean ingredients like bamboo extract and prickly pear oil, this deep conditioning treatment adds shine and strength from root to ends. This cruelty-free treatment is also free of parabens and allergens and is gently scented with green tea extract and argan oil.
Climaplex’s Multi Benefit Styling Spray ($10) can help keep the ends of your hair healthy as you enjoy blow-outs or 70’s inspired curls all season long. This leave-in spray can be used as a heat protectant as well as a detangler. It also helps protect color and prevent frizz, so it’s a holy grail product that’s perfect for weekend getaways. Climaplex’s range of hair products contains naturally-derived ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and amino acids.
Dae hair products are always a crowd favorite among hair enthusiasts thanks to their botanical ingredients and cruelty-free formulas produced in sustainable packaging. The Dae Hibiscus Wave Spray ($26) is formulated with desert-derived ingredients like prickly pear oil and hibiscus flower extract that are gentle enough to add shine and volume to your everyday styles. Meanwhile, moringa tea extract contains antioxidants that can help keep your hair moisturized and protect your strands from pollutants.
Bread Beauty Supply’s Mud-Mask ($34) will help cleanse and rejuvenate your scalp to help promote healthy growth and provide a clean base for the rest of your hair wash routine. This pre-shampoo treatment is formulated with natural ingredients like broccoli extract, matcha tea leaf extract, as well as clay, and quartz.
The I-N Beauty Tousled Texture Matte Paste ($34.50) will help you achieve the long-lasting hold needed for your go-to slicked-back ponytails and buns. Chock-full of plant-based ingredients, this product can also be used to style curls or waves and tame flyaways. You’ll find gentle ingredients like safflower seed oil that will help tame your locks without leaving flakes or residue.
Serums are one of the most important steps of your nightly hair ritual – so it's worth investing in one formulated with effective, natural, and soothing ingredients. Mounia’s Two Drop Hair Serum ($40) is made with organic ingredients like argan oil, fig, and prickly pear seed oil. These ingredients help smooth away flyaways, tame frizz, and add a glossy finish to your blow-outs without weighing down your locks or leaving behind heavy residue.
Pura D'Or’s Professional Grade Biotin Conditioner ($30) is packed with many certified-organic ingredients like aloe vera, apple fruit extract, pumpkin seed, and avocado oil. These nourishing ingredients help keep your strands moisturized to prevent breakage and promote growth. As an added bonus, this gentle but effective conditioner is also hypo-allergenic and free of allergens and parabens.
John Masters Organic is known for skin care and hair products formulated with nourishing and naturally-derived ingredients. The Sea Mist Spray ($24) in particular is USDA-certified organic and is packed with ingredients like lavender, sea salt, and organic aloe vera. These beach-inspired ingredients help hydrate and protect your strands while bringing out your hair’s natural waves. Antioxidant-rich ingredients (like green tea extract) help protect your hair from pollutants and environmental factors. You can also use this mist to add more volume to your hair or add texture as you style your hair for the day.
While I try not to focus too much on the stigma of labels like “harmful” when it comes to ingredients in my products, I’ve found myself becoming a bigger supporter of brands that offer products and treatments with more natural ingredients and that focus on sustainability efforts. If you have a sensitive scalp or allergies, you might also benefit from using products that contain more natural ingredients and fewer filler ingredients like heavy fragrances, silicones, or pesticides that may irritate your skin or cause flare-ups.