The Ultimate Guide to Palm-Oil Free Shampoo

Even if you live on dry shampoo, like I do, the fact is that at least a handful of times a month you still have to wash or clarify your hair. If you’re looking for palm-oil free shampoo at the grocery store, then unfortunately you are out of luck. Even if a commercial shampoo doesn’t contain whole palm oil, it more than likely contains at least one palm-oil derived ingredient* like SLS or glycerin. So, even though the list ahead may seem small, the 24 palm-oil free products that it encapsulates are actually pretty mighty.

👀  *Some ingredients to look for  👀
ascorbyl palmitate, caprylic/capric glycerides, cetyl alcohol, decyl glucoside, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, ethylhexylglycerin, glycerin, glycol distearate, isopropyl palmitate, laureth, retinyl palmitate, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, & more.

We’ll also discuss two popular at-home shampoo recipes you can try. But first: 

U.S. & Canada

Urban Oreganics | $10 for 6 oz | This head-to-toe cleansing bar is pH balanced to gently cleanse hair, body, and face and is great for all skin types. It comes in Simply Coconut scent. Vegan. 

Scratch Goods | $9 | A Chicago-made shampoo bar that is free of sulfates, parabens, preservatives and fragrance. This bar boasts decreased oil production over time, as well as, great scalp health due to tea tree oil. Their soap base is made from saponified olive, coconut, and caster oil — great for soft hair! Contains beeswax.

The Fanciful Fox | $10 for 8 oz | Sulfate-free liquid shampoos formulated for all hair types! They also stock a coconut bar soap. Conditioners available. Vegan. 

Sudsatorium | $14.71 for 8.4 oz | This Canadian brand has thirteen different shampoos, all catering to different hair types and needs. Available in four different sizes (including travel), each organic and fair-trade variety features star ingredients that will make you do a double take. The “Jumbo Gumbo” pictured above contains okra, balsamic vinegar, as well as, green grapes. Ships worldwide. Conditioners also available. All Vegan. 

Plant Makeup |  $22-24 for 8 oz | Available in two scents, an Original and Beach Rose, these gentle liquid shampoos are meant for normal to oily hair types. Personally, I would only recommend it for thin, straight hair. Possibly the best thing about this formula — which is plant-based and gmo-free — is that many ingredients are locally gathered in Massachusetts!  Conditioner also available. All vegan. 

Meow Meow Tweet | $12 for 4.5 oz | Our favorite New York apothecary makes two shampoo bars — Rosemary Avocado and Lavender Coconut — that can be used on the body (and for your canine friends, too). It boasts a rich lather and contains jojoba oils for a deep condition. All vegan.

Unearth Malee | $10 for 4-4.5 oz | This openly palm-oil free shop offers four unique shampoo bars, catering to different hair types and needs. If we could choose one, we might go for the White Orchid Ginseng bar, which strengthens, helps prevent hair loss, and stimulates growth. 

U.K. & Europe

Pure Chimp | $7.99 for 2.82 oz | This shampoo bar has a yummy banana smell with hints of creamy vanilla all in just 5 ingredients. 5% of their profits go to the charity, Save the Chimps.

Then, there are two DIY methods people seem to love:

No ‘Poo | You can always ‘wash’ your hair with a baking soda rinse (1 tbsp baking soda to 1 cup water) and occasionally ‘condition’ it with a diluted ACV rinse. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this process, all hinging on specific hair types. Some people really do swear by it though. If you’d like to try this, I would give your hair a full month to adjust and then decide if this is a solution for you.

Castille & Coconut  | I’ve also seen some variation of this recipe floating around social media for ages - equal parts coconut milk and liquid Castille soap plus some essential oils for scent, etc. I used to wash my hair with pure Castille back in the day and it didn’t mesh well with my coarse hair texture, so I would recommend adding the coconut milk. I also have to caution, however, that most "Castille" soaps contain palm-oil in some form, unless they are 100% Castille made from olive oil. So, please remember to keep e-mailing companies about palm-oil and palm-oil derived ingredients like glycerin!

Twenty-six options for healthy palm-oil free locks. Which will you try? ▲

Cover gif by Sofia Hydman via GIPHY. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be notified every time one of our palm-oil free guides gets updated with new products! 

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