2021 Winners The Best Eco Haircare Products Eco Beauty Awards
2021 hair winners
2021 eco beauty awards

The Best Eco Haircare Products

Keep scrolling for Byrdie's 2021 Eco Award winners.

After the year we've had, beauty has only become more paramount in our lives. It's the rituals and sensorial experiences that eased our anxious minds and helped us feel cared for amidst enormous adversity. Beauty is so much more than products—in fact, for many of us, it's been a lifeline during a time when we've had very little control over anything else. Vivian Diller, Ph.D, explains, "Like rhythmic breathing during meditation, morning beauty routines induce a feeling of calmness and control." With that, we've also had more time at home to dig into formulas—and better understand what works for us (and what may work against the planet). And thus, our fifth annual Eco Beauty Award winners were tested and chosen. You can read all about our process here, as well as learn a little more about the history of "clean" beauty. Ready? Let's get to the products.

For haircare, identity, culture, and nuance is so tightly wrapped up in the category. Our hair types and textures have so much to do with who we are and the lives we've lived. That's why it's important to us to find brands and formulas that not only work (keep curls defined, hair hydrated, roots lifted, scalps soothed), but offer clean ingredients and sustainable practices that go far beyond one product's lifecycle. Below, find our 2021 Eco Beauty Award winners in the haircare category.

01 of 13

Best Hydrating Shampoo

maui moisture lightweight + hydration shampoo
Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Shampoo $9
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Highlights

  • Hydrates find hair without weighing it down
  • Ingredients include aloe vera, coconut and hibiscus waters, and passion fruit
  • 100% of plastic packing will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025
  1. Vegan

"I discovered this shampoo on #showertok, the subsection of TikTok dedicated to making your daily shower feel special. Users raved about its ability to hydrate thin hair without immediately weighing it down—a feat I didn’t believe possible until I tried it myself. It’s infused with pure aloe vera and coconut water, rather than deionized water like many others, and the brand has pledged 100% of their plastic packing will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025."
- Karli Bendlin, senior email editor

02 of 13

Best Volumizing Shampoo

Love Beauty & Planet Black Tea Kombucha & Red Ginger Shampoo
Love Beauty & Planet Black Tea Kombucha & Red Ginger Shampoo $7
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Highlights

  • Clarifying, sulfate-free formula
  • 93% naturally-derived, dye-free, and formulated without phthalates
  • Infused with black tea kombucha and red ginger
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Vegan
  3. Cruelty-Free
  4. Sustainable packaging

"Drugstore shampoos have a history of synthetic ingredients and wasteful packaging, but Love Beauty & Planet's goal is to help reduce their carbon footprint by packaging their products in recycled bottles and sourcing ethical essential oils and extracts to invigorate your strands and your senses (without sulfates, to boot)."
- Lindsey Metrus, editorial project director

03 of 13

Best Co-Wash-Meets-Cleanser

bread hair wash
Bread Beauty Supply Hair Wash Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser $20
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Highlights

  • Light, milky, sulfate-free shampoo that throughly cleanses textured hair
  • A blend of argan oil, aloe vera juice, and lemon tea tree oil
  • For curl types 3a–4c
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Vegan
  3. Black-Owned
  4. Sustainable Packaging

Learn more: Black-Owned Haircare Brand Bread Wants to Make "Anti-Frizz" a Thing of the Past

"Bread’s Hair Wash Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser is a sulfate-free, vegan shampoo that throughly cleanses textured hair. It's made with a blend of argan oil, aloe vera juice, and lemon tea tree oil to hydrate and smooth your hair, while also helping to soothe a dry scalp. Not only is it effective, but it looks stunning sitting in my shower—it's housed in a beautifully designed and sustainable pouch."
- Olivia Hancock, associate editor

04 of 13

Best Volumizing Conditioner

Susteau Moondust Hair Conditioner
Susteau Moondust Hair Conditioner $29
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Highlights

  • The formula is completely water-free
  • Made with over 95% ocean-bound, recycled plastic and 100% recyclable
  • Scented with ylang ylang, geranium, black currant, and clove
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Vegan
  3. Cruelty-Free
  4. Sustainable Packaging

"I was skeptical when I first heard about this “waterless” conditioner—how could I effectively rinse any conditioner formula out of my hair without water? As it turns out, the “waterless” factor doesn’t mean you need to use the product outside of the shower. In fact, the formula itself is completely water-free: It starts off as a powder, but as soon as you sprinkle some into your hands and mix it with a little H2O, it transforms into a creamy, liquid conditioner. One bottle of the Moondust conditioner is equivalent to four bottles of an 8-ounce liquid bottle, meaning the product not only conserves water by eliminating it from the formula, but also cuts back on packaging (since you won’t have to repurchase anytime soon)."
- Karli Bendlin, senior email editor

05 of 13

Best Hydrating Conditioner

garnier whole blends honey conditioner
Garnier Whole Blends Sulfate-Free Remedy Honey Shampoo $6
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Highlights

  • Nourishes and protects against breakage and heat-styling damage
  • Made with fairly-traded, sustainably-sourced honey
  • The factory used for this formula reduced water consumption by 49% since 2005
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Sustainable Packaging

"Using honey, beeswax, and floral extracts, this conditioner nourishes and protects my damaged, breakage-prone hair. The plastic in the bottle, not including the pump, is made of 100% recycled material. In fact—thanks to recycled plastic—Garnier saved 3670 tons of first-use plastic at the global level in 2019. By 2025, the brand's goal is for all their plastic packaging to be made of 100% recycled material."
- Hallie Gould, associate editorial director

06 of 13

Best Deep Conditioner

sheamoisture leave-in conditioner
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner $13
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Highlights

  • The formula nourishes, moisturizes, and supports elasticity so hair is more resistant to breakage while detangling
  • The brand partners with woman-led co-ops in Northern Ghana to source its organic shea butter
  • For curl types 3a-4c
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Gives Back

"As someone with low porosity hair, I’m constantly searching for products that give a bit of shine. This mask does just that—especially when I let it really sink in for ten minutes with a shower cap. It has all the good stuff: castor, jojoba, and coconut oils, as well as peppermint and organic, fair-trade shea butter (the brand partners with woman-led co-ops in Northern Ghana to source its eponymous shea). The product is formulated without parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, petroleum, or formaldehyde."
- Eden Stuart, associate editor

07 of 13

Best Hair Mask

briogeo deep conditioning mask
Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask $36
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Highlights

  • Formulated with rosehip, argan, and sweet almond oils, vitamin B5, and biotin
  • Excludes harsh sulfates, silicones, parabens, phthalates, DEAs, and artificial dyes
  • All Briogeo bottles are made from at least 25% post-consumer recycled plastic
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Black-Owned
  3. Sustainable Packaging

Click here for more products to your curls hydrated, according to natural hair experts.

"I've been singing this mask’s praises for some time now. It has done for me in one wash what no other mask has effectively been able to do—enhance hydration while making my hair feel softer and stronger. It’s a deep conditioning mask formulated with rosehip, argan, and sweet almond oils, along with vitamin B5 and biotin—apparently, the cocktail that all dry and damaged hair needs. My curls are in the 3c/4a range, but this mask is for all hair textures that need strength and hydration. Plus, all Briogeo bottles are made from at least 25% post-consumer recycled plastic."
- Star Donaldson, social media editor

08 of 13

Best Detangler

rahua detangler
Rahua Hydration Detangler + UV Barrier $32
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Highlights

  • Infused with morete, rahua, and sacha inchi oils to soften and smooth hair
  • Provides UV defense and photo-protection for color-treated hair
  • Rahua is beyond carbon neutral and generates oxygen surplus
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Gives Back
  3. Sustainable Packaging

"My color-treated hair always requires a detangler post-shower, and this passion fruit-scented spray does the trick and then some. It’s non-greasy, meaning it won’t weigh my thin hair down nor give it that stringy effect, and it also offers UV protection to help maintain my color and the integrity of my hair even further. Last but not least, all Rahua packaging is recyclable and sourced from self-sustained ingredients in the Amazonian rainforest."
- Lindsey Metrus, editorial project director

09 of 13

Best Leave-In Conditioner

aveda damage remedy
Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair $31
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Highlights

  • Aveda has been manufacturing products using 100% wind power in their primary facility for over 10 years
  • The 98% naturally-derived formula works to detangle and repair damage instantly and over time
  • Protects hair during heat styling up to 450°
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. Sustainable Packing
  4. 2020 Winner

"I've used this leave-in conditioner for years, as it's a hydrating, protecting, and detangling powerhouse. Aveda is an OG eco hair brand and has now been manufacturing products in its primary facility using 100% wind power for over 10 years, and this product in particular is made using 62% post-consumer HDPE and up to 38% bioplastic (85%+ of the brand's skincare and hair styling PET bottles and jars contain 100% post-consumer recycled plastic)."
- Hallie Gould, associate editorial director

10 of 13

Best Hair Oil

dae prickly pear oil
Dae Prickly Pear Hair Oil $36
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Highlights

  • Dae bottles are recyclable, and you can specifically request a pump not be sent to avoid extra plastic
  • Lightweight, imparts shine, and helps smooth split ends instantly
  • Ideal for light tones and color-treated hair
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Vegan
  3. Cruelty-Free
  4. Sustainable Packaging

"A celebrity hairstylist recently told me clear oils are ideal for color-treated hair—especially light tones—in order to avoid unwanted tinting. In pursuit of the perfect oil, I tried this delicious-smelling blend, and I’m never turning back. It’s lightweight, imparts shine (not grease), and helps smooth frayed ends instantaneously. Plus, you can opt to forego the plastic pump and dispense it straight from the recyclable glass bottle. Even better yet, for each unit sold, Dae will donate the equivalent of one shower (65.1 liters of water) to charity:water, an organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to developing countries."
- Lindsey Metrus, editorial project director

11 of 13

Best Styling Cream

leonor greyl eclat naturel
Leonor Greyl Éclat Naturel Styling Cream $46
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Highlights

  • A blend of emollient shea butter and jojoba oil to lock in moisture, nourish, and style without weighing down your hair
  • Ingredients are sustainably-sourced and the packaging in recyclable
  • The brand is partnered with the Sea Cleaners (an organization engineering a vessel that collects plastic from waterways)
  1. Cruelty-Free
  2. Gives Back
  3. Sustainable Packaging

Learn more: 5 Ways You Can Boost the Health of Your Hair With Jojoba Oil

"This uber nourishing and protective French styling cream goes above and beyond to heal your hair, as it's an SLS- and cruelty-free blend of sustainably-sourced shea butter and jojoba oil. Plus, the packaging is recyclable and the brand is partnered with the Sea Cleaners (an organization engineering a vessel that collects plastic from waterways)."
- Hallie Gould, associate editorial director

12 of 13

Best Do-It-All Hair Product

davines all in one milk
Davines Oi All In One Milk $35
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Highlights

  • All of Davine's packaging is 100% carbon neutral as of 2018
  • Infuses hair with moisture without weighing it down
  • Infused with roucou oil, rich in beta carotene and ellagic acid, for moisture and growth
  1. Gives Back
  2. Sustainable Packing

Read the full product review here.

"Davines' Oi All in One Milk has pages and pages of five-star reviews for its softening, hydrating, and smoothing capabilities (the scent is also divine). All of Davine's packaging is 100% carbon neutral as of 2018—and they launched an initiative called Beauty from The Ground Up, a commitment to raise awareness and funds for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in all 50 states."
- Hallie Gould, associate editorial director

13 of 13

Best Dry Shampoo

klorane dry shampoo
Klorane Non-Aerosol Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk $20
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Highlights

  • Gentle on color, chemically-treated hair, and sensitive scalp
  • The fine, loose powder easily blends into your hair with no chalky residue
  • Fully-recyclable, non-aerosol packaging
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Vegan
  3. Sustainable Packaging

Find more of our favorite drugstore dry shampoos here.

"Another cult-favorite, Klorane's plant-based dry shampoo keeps your hair feeling clean, refreshed, and full of volume. It is the best of the best for day three (or four, or five) hair when you don't have time to wash. Made with organically-harvested oat milk, the fully-recyclable, non-aerosol formula offers an elevated experience in waterless beauty.
- Hallie Gould, associate editorial director

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