Today we have numerous options to make better choices - choices that are healthier and better for us, our Earth, and the animals we share this Earth with. The power is in your hands and you are voting with your money every time you make a purchase for the kind of world you wish to create and live in. If we can reduce toxic chemicals in our bodies, chemcial pollution and environmental degradation, and cruelty to animals by making such a simple choice as switching our personal care products to ones that are natural and vegan, the choice to be made seems obvious. The bonus is that today such products have become more affordable in many ways are on par with conventional personal care products that contain dangerous ingredients and do not adhere to protecting the animals or the environment.
As part of this article, I will share with you 5 brands that provide shampoos, in addition to many other personal care products, that are natural and vegan. I have not received any incentives from any of these companies to mention them and, in fact, have never been in touch with any of them. I chose these 5 solely out of my own discretion because I have had the most experience with them over the years and they are amongst the most easily available and affordable brands in the natural & vegan personal care category in North America (Canada & US).
1. Giovanni Shampoo
Giovanni Cosmetics is a family company that offers several lines of personal care and skin care products. Their Eco Chic Hair Care line includes 5 shampoos that are all vegan, cruelty-free, and infused with natural botanicals without any harmful sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, propylene glycol, phthalates, or artificial dyes. At the start of my journey into natural personal care, over 10 years ago, I had the chance to buy and try two of the five varieties of Giovanni shampoos. These were Giovanni’s Tea Tree Triple Treat and Giovanni’s Root 66 Max Volume shampoo.
- The Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo is classified as an invigorating shampoo and has a very herbal and minty scent. It does not lather much so it won’t be ideal if someone has long hair or a lot of hair, and it was not ideal for my long and thin hair. It causes the scalp to tingle a bit when washing with it and provides a cooling feeling on the skin thanks to the mint and tea tree oil that it contains.
- The Root 66 Max Volume shampoo is a volume-boosting shampoo and it had a pleasant, sweet, and fruity scent. It lathered well and left my fine and long hair feeling good and not tangled.
Although the formulations will have changed somewhat since the time I tried them, both of these shampoos provided a good overall experience. The ingredients were good but far from perfect, and I see, as per the Giovanni official website, that they have gotten even better since. Giovanni shampoos are widely available across Canada and the United States in physical and online stores and are in the $10 per bottle price range.
2. Avalon Organics Shampoo
Avalon Organics is a company that was founded in 1989. They have a large collection of personal care and skin care products that contain the NSF/ANSI 305 certification, which is an American National Standard for personal care products that contain organic ingredients. They are also an EWG-verified brand, which means that their products do not include any chemicals of concern. They are also certified by the Leaping Bunny Program which ensures that their products are cruelty-free.
Their hair care line includes about 10 different varieties of plant-based shampoos. Many years ago I decided to try one of these, which was the Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying Shampoo. At that time, I didn’t realize that clarifying shampoos were not ideal for my hair given that I do not use any hair products and have fine and limp hair. This variety left my hair too dry and tangly, and I also found the scent of it too strong for my liking. Then, a couple of years ago, I decided to try another variety from this company, which was the Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender Shampoo. I had a great experience with this shampoo as its scent was pleasant, it lathered and worked really well on my hair, and left my hair in a great state.
In terms of ingredients, like Giovanni above, they are very good as far as natural shampoos go but not perfect by any means. Avalon Organics provides a great option though to transition away from conventional shampoos that are full of synthetic and harmful ingredients. The shampoos are widely available across Canada and the United States in physical and online stores and are about $10 or less per bottle.
3. Jason Shampoo
JĀSÖN has been a leader in the natural personal care category since 1959. Today, they provide numerous personal care products for women, men, and children in their skin, hair, and oral care collections. Their mission is to give consumers the choice to purchase natural products with health benefits, as well as benefits that include sustainability of agriculture and respect for the environment for future generations to come. The company’s mission is to strive to find the most effective natural ingredients for its formulas, sourcing only the highest quality ingredients, avoiding using animal by-products, synthetic colors or fragrances, or harmful chemicals. Their products are also certified by the Leaping Bunny Program ensuring that they are cruelty-free, and all their products are vegan, aside from one - a pain therapy cream that includes beeswax.
Their Everyday Shampoo collection includes 5 varieties and the first one that I tried many years ago was the Jason Restorative Biotin Shampoo. This shampoo is free of parabens, phthalates, and harsh sulfates and claims to restore and repair damaged hair. My experience with this shampoo was less than ideal and I was not interested in choosing it again. The lather was mild but the scent was too strong and unnatural. I hope that this has been improved since when I used it back then. In recent years, I decided to try the Jason Soothing Sea Kelp Shampoo and really enjoyed my experience with it. This shampoo does have an obvious scent but it is not overwhelming, it lathers well, it cleans the hair well, and it is very well value-priced.
In terms of ingredients, they have improved significantly since I first became acquainted with this company over 10 years ago. They have removed some risky ingredients and added more organic ingredients and natural extracts. There is still room for improvement but they definitely qualify as a good contender in the natural shampoo category. JĀSÖN shampoos are widely available across Canada and the United States in physical and online stores and are amongst the lowest-priced natural shampoos, coming in between $5 and $10 per bottle.
4. Green Beaver Shampoo
Green Beaver is a Canadian company that was founded in 2002 by husband-and-wife team Karen Clark and Alain Ménard, whose work in the pesticide and pharmaceutical industries helped shape their interest in natural goods. Today, their company has grown significantly but still remains true to its original mission, which was to offer people safe, natural, and effective products. Their shampoos are biodegradable, vegan, gluten-free, certified organic, and are not tested on animals. They include no parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, dyes, phthalates, glycol, or petroleum.
As a Canadian, I have had the opportunity to easily source and use various Green Beaver personal care products for over 10 years and have had positive experiences for the most part. Their shampoo varieties have changed over the years and today there are three varieties as follows: Volumizing Lavender, Invigorating Tea Tree, and Moisturizing Coconut. Their ingredients and formulas have also changed over the years, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. So it is always important to read the ingredients on all products that you plan to buy to determine if they are up to your standards.
Over the years, I have used the “*Volumizing Lavender Shampoo and the Rejuvenating Cranberry Shampoo*, which is no longer available. I found the Green Beaver shampoos to work very well, lather just enough, not be overly scented, and leave my hair feeling clean, smooth, and silky. After a re-formulation in 2012, they seemed to make my hair go oilier faster due to some more drying ingredients so I stopped using them and relied on other brands. However, they have improved and re-formulated again in recent years so I definitely recommend giving them a try and see how they work for you. Green Beaver shampoos are widely available across Canada in physical and online stores and have become more prominent in some US online stores too. They cost around $10 per bottle.
5. Saavy Naturals Shampoo
Saavy Naturals is a US company that was started by Hugo and Debra Saavedra who were initially behind the natural personal care line Hugo & Debra Naturals started in 2006. Today, Saavy Naturals has grown to become one of the leading skin care providers in the natural and vegan arena. Their products feature an impressive committment to being made 100% of “food grade” ingredients and being entirely cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO. As such, they do not include any parabens, phenoxyethanol, sulfates, phthalates, PEGs, propylene glycol, petroleum products, artificial colors, or synthetic fragrances. They are also made from scratch in small batches.
Saavy Naturals offers a robust line of personal care products, which include numerous body, skin, hair, and baby care products. In their shampoo collection, there are currently 4 varieties to choose from that inclue a balancing, moisturizing, revitilizing, and color protecting shampoo. Although I have not had the pleasure of using any of these shampoos, many years ago I used some of the Hugo & Debra Naturals shampoos, which are no longer available, and I had a very good experience with them. Since then, I have also used the Saavy Naturals Tahitian Vanilla Liquid Soap and really enjoyed it. They put beautiful blends together that one can really feel good about using and putting on their body.
Out of all of the above brand choices, this one I would say has the most natural products that feature the purest and safest ingredients. Unfortuantely, their shampoos are not widely available across Canada and the United States but can be found in select physical and online stores and are about $10 per bottle. So their limited availability may make this brand tough to source for some but well worth it when you can get it.
The above are just 5 examples of companies that provide responsible personal care that has your wellbeing and that of our Earth and all of its inhabitants in mind. Whichever choice you make, always be sure to read the product ingredients, as formulas often change, and educate yourself about what you are choosing to put on your body to take full accountability for your health and wellbeing.
By choosing the best for yourself, you make the right choice for you, the animals, and our Earth.