The average person shampoos their hair at least twice a week, which means you could be repeatedly exposed to chemicals such as phthalates. Choosing a phthalate-free shampoo that is non-toxic is therefore super important if you’d like to stay away from these nasty chemicals.
Unfortunately, shampoos are often filled with synthetic fragrances, DMDM hydantoin, sulfates, and other chemicals that can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs. Some of these chemicals have been linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.
But there is hope! There are many brands of shampoos on the market that offer a healthier alternative.
What are Phthalates?
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics like vinyl more flexible, durable and less brittle. They also make plastics clear and colourless.
It is found in many products such as plastic toys, detergents, cosmetics, medical devices, insecticides, paints and even food packaging. The most common types of phthalates are diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).
Phthalates can also be found in products like shampoo, soap, nail polish, perfumes, colognes, cosmetics, hair colourants and lotions. The main concern is that they may disrupt the endocrine system by mimicking hormones and can cause health issues such as obesity, cancer, asthma and other allergies.
The European Union has banned the use of certain types of phthalates and in the US some phthalates are banned for use in children’s toys, but not personal care products. This article will discuss phthalate-free shampoos options for a wide range of hair types and concerns.
This post contains affiliate links.
Here is our list of Phthalate Free Shampoo
Puracy Natural Shampoo
Phthalate-free, Cruelty-free, Sulfate-free, Recyclable packaging
Puracy makes a range of toxin-free personal care products.
They use coco glycinate a surfactant made from coconut which permits water, oil and dirt to mix so that your hair can get clean. The coco glycinate creates a creamy lather that ultimately leads to less dryness.
It has a bunch of botanical ingredients that help to detangle without adding silicones while improving the feel of your skin and giving your hair a nice silky and smooth finish.
We love that they offer a refill option to reduce plastic packaging. It’s a great product and a toxin-free favourite.
UNEARTH YOURSELF Balancing Clay Hair Cleanser
Phthalate-free, Cruelty-free, Sulfate-free, Recyclable packaging
This is an interesting waterless cleanser by Shaz & Kiks, made with natural minerals. The brand was founded by two sisters who wanted to take plant ingredients and family rituals and create a unique product that takes care of the hair ecosystem.
It works for all hair types, is a gentle daily shampoo that lathers well and smells like sage, vetiver and sandalwood.
The Indian Fuller’s Earth clay helps to absorb excess oils while keeping your natural oils intact. This natural clay is rich in minerals, calcium, iron and magnesium which helps to detangle and strengthen the hair. Combine that with antioxidant-filled ingredients such as blueberry seeds and you have a nourishing shampoo for great soft hair.
Captain Blankenship Sea Shine Shampoo
Phthalate-free, Cruelty-free, Sulfate-free, Recyclable packaging
Captain Blankenship is a gentle shampoo that cleanses and leaves your hair manageable, it’s suitable for all hair types including fine, curly and colour-treated hair.
We love that this is a refreshing shampoo that is gentle enough for daily use. The shampoo lathers really well, gives hydration and shine, with the help of aloe vera. You’ll also find a dense nutrient blend of sea kelp, spirulina, organic bladderwrack, other minerals and amino acids. The shampoo smells of fresh citrus, organic lemongrass and lime essential oils.
Captain Blankenship was founded by Hudson Valley Based Jana Blankenship. They make a line of hair and other grooming products from pressed organic plant oils, flowers, seaweed, sea salt and deliciously smelling essential oils. You won’t find any nasty preservatives, sulfates and fragrances in their products and they use recyclable and reusable packaging. Rest at ease when you buy any of Jana’s products as she is determined to create safe, healthy and toxin-free products.
Innersense Organic Beauty Hydrating Cream Hairbath
Phthalate-free, Cruelty-free, Sulfate-free, Paraben-free, Non-toxic, Recycled and refillable packaging options
Innersence Hydrating Cream bath is a cream shampoo as the name says that hydrates your hair. It’s is suitable for all hair types but works especially well for dry, coarse and damaged hair.
We love how this product boosts hydration, nourishing the hair follicles from the inside out. They use sage and tamanu oil to help balance your hair’s natural oils while softening and smoothing the hair cuticle. It’s a lightweight formula that is silicone-free, and it does leave your hair with a bit of extra bounce, without leaving any residue.
Innersense Organic Beauty was founded by Greg and Joane Starkman, two pioneers in their field. Greg and Joane work with a team of professionals, who are passionate about health, hair, beauty and of course the planet. Their ingredients are certified organic, and their strive to create sustainable and safe personal care products.
All their products are cruelty-free. If you’re looking for professional quality hair products then look no further. You’ll also be glad to know that Innersence Organic Beauty is a B-Corp certified organisation and they partner with 1% for the planet along with several other charitable organisations.
Phthalate-free, Vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, palm oil-free, plastic-free packaging
Ethique is a trusty zero waste shampoo brand, it’s a favourite amongst shampoo bar fans, but if you live in a hard water area it might not be for you.
Ethique products are concentrated and if you’ve not used a bar shampoo before will take time to get used to. But if you’re unsure which one to get you can always go for the sample pack to see which one works for you.
The company was founded in Christchurch New Zealand in 2012 and started as a kitchen operation. Today it’s one of the most popular shampoo bar brands and is available across the world.
True Botanicals Nourishing Shampoo
Phthalate-free, Cruelty-Free, Natural, Plastic free packaging
True Botanicals is an antioxidant-packed shampoo without the nasty toxins. Its hypoallergenic formulate provides hydration and cleans without being harsh. It smells great, citrusy and fresh with hints of floral.
As a company, True Botanicals source vegan ingredients without toxins or fillers. Their products are concentrated plant actives, created to make a difference to your hair while being kind to you and the planet.
The bottle is fully recyclable and formulated without surfactants. It contains aloe leaf extract and meadowfoam seed oil. You’ll find that it helps to control oil and works well for people with a sensitive scalp.
Plaine Products Eco-Friendly Shampoo
Phthalate-free, Vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, sustainable palm-oil, plastic-free packaging, biodegradable, non-GMO ingredients
Plaine Products offer a toxin-free shampoo in conditioner wrapped up in a fully recyclable and low waste bottle. This is a phthalate-free shampoo that is also cruelty, sulfate and paraben-free.
The company was started by two sisters who are passionate about clean hair products. Plaine is suitable for all hair types as well as those with sensitive skin.
On top of being a non-toxic shampoo, Plaine also offers refillable bottles that can be returned and reused for free, so you are doing your bit for reducing waste as well. The pump mechanism is also reusable.
As this is a more gentle and toxin-free shampoo you’ll notice that it foams less than a standard drugstore shampoo, but it still leaves your hair shiny and soft, so no need to worry there. This shampoo is really good for people with long hair as it makes combing out tangles super easy.
Meow Meow Tweet Shampoo Powder
Phthalate-free, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Paraben-Free, Toxin-free, Plastic-free packaging
Meow Meow Tweet is a USA based brand with clean, ethical values. We love the packaging of this product it looks cheeky and playful. This particular shampoo comes in powder form, which is becoming more popular amongst those of us who are working to reduce plastic waste. If you think about it, when buying liquid shampoo you’re paying for a lot of water within the product, with this powder you’re only buying the undiluted good stuff. So it is highly concentrated and will last up to 4 times as long as a liquid shampoo.
The shampoo is water-activated and goes from powder to lovely lather in your palm. It’s a 100% plant-based, toxin-free formula made with aloe and marshmallows, which gives it a sweet floral smell. You’ll find this shampoo is similar to a lotion-based shampoo once it’s been water activated.
We love the smell of this product, and it has real cleaning power too.
Moisturize HiBAR Shampoo
Phthalate-free, Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Cruelty-Free, Vegan, Plastic Free packaging
HiBAR products are made in the USA, are eco-friendly and come in plastic-free packaging. It’s a great everyday bar, inspired by nature and pebbles. The ergonomics of this bar makes it super easy to hold in theory, but in practice, it is not always foolproof as it takes a bit of practice and getting used to.
If you’d like to try your hand at using a zero waste shampoo bar then this is a great choice, even for coloured hair. It is completely toxin-free, so you won’t find any sulfates, paraben, silicone, phthalates, palm oil or animal products in this bar.
It’s simple to use, just lather, rinse and repeat. Finish with a HiBAR conditioner bar for best results.
Phthalate-free, Paraben-free, Cruelty-free, Recyclable packaging
Alba Botanica makes plant-based phthalate-free shampoo without any nasty ingredients such as sulfates. Their shampoos are 100% botanical and vegetarian and they use recycled packaging wherever possible.
It’s a moisturising shampoo that leaves your hair nice and soft. As a bonus, it smells like summer with a hint of coconut. It’s like a vacation for your hair.
The brand is owned by Hain Celestial Group, headquartered in Lake Success, NY. They make organic and natural products including
The Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ: HAIN), headquartered in Lake Success, NY, is a leading organic and natural products company with operations in North America, Europe and India. They also make Avalon Organics.
PURA D’OR A Thin2Thick Shampoo
Phthalate-free, Sulfate-free, Paraben-free, Silicone-free, Cruelty-free, Recyclable packaging
Pura D’Or makes sustainable and eco-friendly products in Southern California. They use renewable energy and recyclable packaging.
This shampoo contains apple cider vinegar, which helps to clarify, balance and restores your hair. Apple cider vinegar is a favourite amongst the no-poo followers as it helps to balance and soften hair. It’s a good moisturising shampoo that is said to encourage hair growth.
The bottle contains 15 active ingredients without any artificial additives. This shampoo comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, if you’re not happy with your purchase then you can get your money back.
Botanic Hearth Tea Tree Shampoo
Phthalate-free, Sulfate-free, Paraben-free, Cruelty-free
Botanic Hearth Tea Tree Oil is made in the USA with 100% pure tea tree oil, aloe vera, peppermint and lavender oils. It’s a phthalate-free shampoo that is gentle enough for everyday use.
It’s a clarifying shampoo which means you don’t have to worry about build-up. You’ll experience a tingling sensation from the tea tree oil that is super refreshing. We’d recommend using both the shampoo and conditioner for best results.
Closing Thoughts on Phthalate-free Shampoo
There are many toxins in supermarkets and mainstream salon shampoos that are a cause for concern, phthalates aren’t the only problem hiding in the ingredients list. Also look out for shampoos without sulfates, silicones, parabens, diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), synthetic fragrances and colourants, and triclosan. These ingredients can disrupt hormone function or even be carcinogenic.
As research into ingredients and formulations evolve we’ll be able to identify harmful ingredients more accurately, but this is an ongoing effort and the problem won’t be solved in a day. That’s why we always recommend buying from brands that are determined to formulate their products without any toxic ingredients.
Keep an eye out as some seemingly planet-friendly and non-toxic shampoos still contain various forms of sulfates, used to create intense lather in many shampoos. For example, Love Beauty and Planet contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate, an ingredient that can contain dioxin a well known carcinogenic. Avalon Organics also use a type of sulfate to create lather within their products.