The Best Natural Shampoos

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Organic and natural shampoos aren't just for purists anymore. Drugstore chains, supermarkets and big-box retailers are apt to have almost as many natural shampoo choices as the health food store. If you want to make sure your shampoo's lather and pleasing scent come from plants instead of petroleum, read the label. Some shampoos labeled "natural" still contain a surprising amount of chemicals, but there are some that don't.

Aveda Shampure Shampoo

Shampure Shampoo by Aveda was recognized by "Allure" magazine as one of the 2009 Beauty Seal Award Winners. Aveda Shampure Shampoo features the company's trademarked Morikue protein, made from Brazil nuts sourced from the Amazon rainforest. Shampure also contains 25 pure flower- and plant-based essences, including grapefruit seed extract, borage seed oil, avocado oil and lavender extract. Aveda claims to have never engaged in animal testing. This shampoo is gentle enough to be used daily.

Desert Essence Organics Coconut Shampoo

Desert Essence Organics Coconut Shampoo was included in the "10 under $10 feature in "Family Circle" magazine. The shampoo is especially good for helping overprocessed, dry hair become shinier and more manageable. In addition to the coconut that gives it its tropical fragrance, Desert Essence Organics Coconut Shampoo contains herbal extracts of rosemary, yarrow, burdock and fennel.

John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo

Safe for color-treated hair, John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo is based on pure coconut soap with added herbal infusions of periwinkle, sage leaves, chamomile flowers and, of course, lavender and rosemary. John Masters was the recipient of the Product of the Year award from the UK Soil Association, an organization that promotes planet-friendly food and farming. Happily absent from this product is sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient that the website Cosmetics Cop calls a potentially potent skin irritant.

Aveeno Active Naturals Nourish and Moisturize Shampoo

Aveeno Nourish and Moisturize Shampoo is from the company's Active Naturals line. Aveeno has been widely known for its skin care products since 1945. Much of Aveeno's fame has been based on its use of colloidal oatmeal, a powder made of ultrafine milled oats. This product not only contains oat protein, but also wheat protein and wheat germ oil. According to "Cosmetics" magazine, the choice of those ingredients was based on scientific research that suggested wheat germ oil plus wheat protein helps add moisture and nourishment to hair.