The 12 Best Clean Haircare Brands04/22/2021
A few years ago, anyone curious about switching to a clean haircare routine quickly discovered that finding efficacious products that don't contain controversial ingredients found in conventional formulas were hard to come by.
Compared to other categories, haircare was trailing behind, with fewer options than in skincare and makeup. Fast forward a few years later, and thanks to a number of innovative brands using plant-based ingredients and natural oils, finding a sulfate and paraben-free shampoo and conditioner that's also vegan and cruelty-free is as simple as opening your Sephora or Ulta Beauty apps, or making a trip to the nearest Target store.
From treatments to styling products and everything in-between, we've rounded up 12 of our favorite clean beauty brands, along with what products to try from their lines.
When Nancy Twine couldn't find clean haircare products that perform, she made them. Now, her brand Briogeo is one of the most popular haircare brands at Sephora and Ulta. The treatment and styling products work across all hair types and textures, and contain plant-based active ingredients and are free of sulfates, parabens, and silicones. One of Briogeo's best sellers is the Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask, a weekly treatment that nourishes and strengthens hair to correct and prevent damage.
To shop: $36; sephora.com
All of Rahua's products center around rahua oil, an organic, plant-derived ingredient found in the Amazonian rainforest. Rahua works with tribes from the region to safely and ethically harvest the oil for its products. The hero product, a multipurpose oil that boosts shine, helps repair split ends, and reduces frizz, is a good intro to the brand.
To shop: $42; amazon.com
Love Beauty And Planet
This Unilever brand's mission is to provide clean, efficious, plant-based haircare, home, and body care products at accessible price points. Here, Love Beauty And Planet recently launched a refillable version of their best-selling Murumuru Butter & Rose Shampoo in a refillable aluminum bottle (the matching conditioner is available too).
To shop: $10; target.com
Innersence is all about hydrating and protecting your hair with its formulas certified organic plant-based ingredients. The products are beloved by all hair types, and curly hair types especially love its deeply nourishing formulas. That includes the Credo best-selling Hydrating Conditioner, an emollient-rich hydrator packed with monoi oil and aloe.
To shop: $30; credobeauty.com
This clean beauty brand specifically caters to the needs of textured hair, getting its name from the name given to women born on Mondays in some parts of West Africa. It's also certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and uses recyclable packaging. The Baomint Protect + Shine Oil Blend is made with over 15 organic and natural oils that work together to invigorate and balance the scalp, plus boost shine.
To shop: $20; sephora.com
For anyone looking to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their beauty routines, bar shampoo is an easy place to start. Like bar soap for your body, these solid cleansers come in a paper box that can typically be recycled in your blue bin. Bar None is one brand that creates effective, less-waste shampoos, including this hydrating bar.
To shop: $12; bar-none-.co
Davines is one brand that's always kept sustainability in mind. Aside from vegan, plant-based formulas that deliver results, the brand is certified B Corp and has a partnership with 1% for the Planet. Oi All In One Milk, one of the brand's many cult-favorite products, is a multitasking, milky spray that softens, detangles, and reduces frizz.
To shop: $35; amazon.com
Dianna Cohen started Crown Affair to provide high-quality tools and products everyone can use in their daily haircare rituals. After launching with a brush collection made from 100% plant-based acetate and natural beachwood, Cohen took Crown Affair into the shower with treatment products natural and plant-based oils, and most recently, a dry shampoo powder. In lieu of an aerosol can, this cleanser is applied with a brush, making easier to get the right amount of product onto your roots and exactly where you want it.
To shop: $36; crownaffair.com
Instead of investing a ton of money in new plastic packaging, Priyanka Chopra Jonas used landfill and ocean waste to create the recyclable packaging for her haircare line, Anomaly, sold at Target. As for the actual formulas, they're vegan, cruetly-free, and powered by plant-based ingredients. The Clarifying Shampoo is one stand out from the line because it effectively cleanses product buildup and oil from hair without leaving it stripped and dry like similar products on the market.
To shop: $6; target.com
This brand is all about leaving your hair with that same effortless wavy texture you get from an afternoon at the beach — minus bringing a ton of sand home with you. The products also smell warm and sunny, too. Playa's New Day Mist is designed to be used in-between wash days to rehydrate, get creases and dents out of hair, and set your style like a hairspray.
To shop: $24; sephora.com
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At this point, Drunk Elephant needs no introduction. After becoming the fastest-growing skincare brand and a record-breaking sale to Shiseido, Drunk Elephant has expanded into body care products and a haircare collection in collaboration with Jennifer Aniston's go-to hairstylist Chris McMillan. The T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub is charged with a blend of AHA/BHA acids for gentle exfoliation. These chemical exfoliants break down and dissolve product buildup that's weighing hair down and throwing the scalp off balance. Marula and mongongo oils replenish moisture and boost shine.
To shop: $36; sephora.com
In lieu of shampoo and conditioner, Hairstory's New Wash effectively cleanses and nourishes hair in a single step with its sulfate-free, synthetic fragrance-free, blend of essential oils and plant-based cleansers. Not only does the brand want to cut down on your shower time, it also wants to help you eliminate some of the waste your routine builds up. These pouches are refills that go in the brand's aluminum bottle or whatever bottle you have at home. In addition to New Wash, the brand also makes styling products that come in aerosol-free bottles.
To shop: $40; hairstory.com
From makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space.
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