We've all been conditioned to believe that alcohol is a detrimental ingredient in our beauty products—and, for the most part, that's true. Though, there are some natural and otherwise nontoxic ingredients that have alcohol in the name. Case in point: cetearyl alcohol. This type of alcohol is an emollient, emulsifier, and thickener made to add a creaminess to formulas and stop the oil and water from separating. (For example, coconut oil falls under this umbrella.)
But that doesn't mean all the alcohols in your products fall into this category. Shampoos, for example, can contain damaging alcohols that may strip your hair of its necessary nutrients and, ultimately, cause more harm than good. These alcohols commonly include ethanol or ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol, and benzyl alcohol. The good news? Natural hair products without alcohol are becoming the norm. To help you steer clear of these bad alcohols before they wreak havoc on your hair, we've rounded up a list of our favorite alcohol-free shampoos.
Keep reading for the best alcohol-free shampoos you can find.
Sheamoisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Shampoo
For an alcohol free shampoo and conditioner combo, go for this one from Sheamoisture. This natural cleanser is derived from manuka honey and yogurt to cleanse gently, wafting rave-worthy scents. It uses mafura oil meant to promote healing and soften as well as shea butter to revive dry, brittle strands.
Ogx Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo
Use this blend of coconut milk, coconut oil, and whipped egg white protein to add strength, elasticity, hydration, and balance to your hair. It smells incredible to boot.
Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Sulfate-Free Shampoo
This shampoo from Carol's Daughter includes no silicones, parabens, mineral oil, artificial colors, or petroleum—and certainly none of the bad alcohols. It cleanses and restores your natural moisture without adding weight to your hair, courtesy of a mix of aloe leaf juice, sweet clovers, and rose extract.
A favorite of our editorial director, Faith, this gentle cleanser is chock-full of sweet almond nut oil, pink grapefruit, and neroli—all the while omitting lauryl sulfate, glycols, petrochemicals, artificial fragrance, animal derivatives, and synthetic colors.
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo uses oils (rather than alcohols) to properly (and gently) clean your hair. Olive oil is meant to penetrate the follicle, meadow-foam seed oil helps moisturize, and sweet almond oil wraps the surface to deliver a super-soft, healthy wash each time.
Playa Every Day Shampoo
This everyday shampoo works to remove impurities while preserving your hair's natural oils. The coconut water hydrates, sugar beet extract is meant to stimulate the root to promote volume, and there's no alcohol in the formula.
Not Your Mother's Curl Talk Curl Care Shampoo
This alcohol-free shampoo is made with a unique mix of rice, keratin amino acids, and enzymes—and without sulfates or silicones—to hydrate and nourish hair from roots to ends with every rinse. While all hair types can benefit from its natural wonder, it's especially great for dry and curly tresses.