The quest for the best SLS free shampoo continues!

Having been impressed with Avalon products in the past, it’s time to try the Lemon Shampoo. My hair tends towards greasy and I adore citrus scents, so I was excited when it arrived. I tend to be ruled by my extremely sensitive scalp, which will generally only tolerate my regular shampoo (Aubrey Organics GPB Shampoo Rosemary) so we’ll see how it gets on with this.

Avalon Lemon Shampoo

First impressions

The bottle is attractive, traditionally styled to look like a glass bottle, while being made of recycled plastic. The lid is the type that you press down on, rather than the flip top, which suits me. I always find that with flip top they don’t work with wet hands and I end up either having to leave them open = spilling them, or using my teeth and getting a mouthful of shampoo. Although at least this one might not have tasted too bad!

The ingredients

Avalon organics describe their haircare as:
‘NSF/ANSI 305 certified, no GMOs, no parabens, no phthalates, vegan, biodegradable, no harsh sulfates, no synthetic fragrances or colors.’
On the EWG Skin Deep database the shampoo scores 3/10 on the toxicity scale, which is a low score. I’m very comfortable with a three.
A little more about ‘no harsh sulfates’. The shampoo doesn’t contain sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). Instead it uses Sodium Coco Sulfate – so an alternative sulfate. I’m always a little sceptical about other sulfates as some are about as unpleasant as SLS, so I did some further investigation of Sodium Coco Sulfate. It appears to be a compound made of bigger molecules, which are therefore less able to penetrate the skin. It’s therefore meant to be less irritating. This is backed up by a lower EWG score than SLS. We’ll see how my scalp likes it.

Using the shampoo

The product runs out of the bottle ok, looking slightly runny, but I’m able to get the right amount into my hand. It’s a clear yellow. I have to admit I have a bit of a thing for a clear shampoo. Something about it just says ‘pure’ to me. So at this point I’m very happy. The smell is also lovely. Natural lemon and nothing else. Not too overpowering, just right.

Avalon lemon shampoo

It feels great as I’m using it, it feels thicker and more substantial than it looks. Really pleasant. It foams a little, as I’d expect from a shampoo without SLS (sodium laureth sulfate). I have let my hair get pretty greasy, but don’t find I need to use an excessive amount on it. I get a squeaky clean feel from it, which I don’t have a particular need for, but I know some people like. And, obviously, I’m still enjoying the smell! To make a true test, I use my regular conditioner, so that I’m only testing one element at once.

After effects

As I’m drying my hair I’m concerned that it maybe feels a little tangly, but when I’m done it feels and looks good. It’s about as good as my regular favourite Aubrey Organics (link). That is, it’s shiny, with a normal amount of body. I don’t require mega volume, but I also don’t want the limp and stuck to my head look. My scalp is so far happy after its brush with this product. Pardon the pun.

Hair dried after using Avalon Organics Shampoo

Smell – after getting many noses to sniff my hair, the conclusion is that there may be a very faint lemon small, but it’s hard to tell. I imagine if I’d used the lemon conditioner too, then it would have picked up more of the scent. I also tried the shampoo on my daughter, and her hair does have more of a citrus aroma. She owns up that she forgot to use conditioner, so this may be why!
Update: Two days later my hair still looks clean, which is normal for me. I’ll update in a day or two as to how long the shampoo lasted and then after longer use to see if the effects remain the same.


This is a really great all-rounder. At around $8 it’s a pretty cheap organic shampoo, lovely to use and leaves my hair exactly how I like. Great, low irritation, organic ingredients and recycled packaging. I’d rate this product really highly and suggest it’s one of the best natural shampoos you can find.
Next I’m going to try the conditioner!

Avalon Organics Shampoo, Clarifying Lemon (2 pack)

Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying Conditioner, 11 -Ounce Bottle (Pack of 2)