Paraben free shampoos

What are parabens?

They are a group of chemicals that are used as preservatives in personal care products. They stop mould and bacterial growth and were introduced as an alternative to formaldehye.

What’s the problem with parabens?

They might be harmful. So far there isn’t definitive proof or links to cancer or other diseases, but they are still under review by various countries’ government agencies. They can be considered as a group of chemicals ‘of concern’. Because of this, many people are choosing to avoid them.

How to avoid them

It can be hard to find paraben free shampoo using an ingredient list. While the most commonly used parabens are listed as “paraben” as they contain the word in their name— for example butylparaben, propylparaben and methylparaben —they can also appear as Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates which is harder to remember. Also some of the alternatives to parabens (and this goes for sulphates and phthalates too) aren’t great either.

So we thought we’d put together a list of brands that use reliably safe and gentle ingredients. They also make products which are effective, in the case of their shampoos, this means they leave you with clean hair which is manageable and shiny. Products that add body to fine hair and silkiness to frizz prone hair. We’ve covered every budget, from the cheaper options which can be found in drugstores, to the really luxurious products.

Our list of recommended shampoo brands

Avalon Organics £7.61

A great drugstore range at competitive prices. No need to compromise your expenditure for ingredients! The volumizing shampoo is great for fine hair, building body and adding a lovely natural rosemary scent.

John Masters Organics £17.00

20 years of experience has gone into the John Masters range, and it shows! A really polished range of haircare. We particularly like the lavender rosemary variant.

Acure Organics £14.99

Always appears in lists of best performing natural haircare ranges! A well priced range, with the gentlest ingredients.

Burts’ Bees £15.54

Burts’ Bees started with pure beeswax products lipbalm and candles, but not has developed other products, aimed at both children and adults. All made from safe and natural ingredients and scented with natural products. We love the mango shampoo!

Aubrey organics £14.24

An established range of shampoos to meet every need. Winner of Best of Beauty Award for the GPB shampoo, but we also love the Rosemary shampoo.

Earth Mama Angel Baby £35.00

Not just for babies! This is a very gentle range, suitable for adult hair too. A very high scorer  on the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, Earth Mama Angel Baby Shampoo scores a rare and impressive 1/10 for risk.

Babo botanicals £14.95

Another range that is highly rated by bloggers and beauty insiders, also recommended on ‘Goop’. A full range of shampoos for all hair types and family members.


EWG – The Environmental Working Group with a list of the safest of the safe products.

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics – information on products, plus chemicals of concern to watch out for in different types of products

Gimme the Good Stuff A pick of the safest products, plus detailed product guides.

Goop blog

Marie Claire best shampoos

Instyle best natural drugstore products

Scientific American – paper on whether people should be concerned about parabens in beauty products

Stylecaster Great article on parabens and sulfates

Chatelaine recommended paraben free shampoos and conditioners