How Do I Choose the Best Biodegradable Shampoo?

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  • Written By: Kristeen Moore
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2019
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The best biodegradable shampoo is composed of ingredients that purportedly do not harm the environment after use, and they are also marketed as being safer for the hair. In order to ensure that a particular shampoo is truly biodegradable, you will first need to read ingredient labels carefully. Another determining factor is your hair type because biodegradable shampoo comes in different forms for basic cleansing, as well as for thickening and moisturizing purposes. This type of shampoo is widely available in organic outlets and salons, but some of the best versions can also be found in drugstores at cheaper prices.

Products are considered to be biodegradable if they do not contain phosphates and other chemicals that can harm the environment. When you wash your hair, some of the water can end up in area soil and waterways, and the chemicals in a regular shampoo can be harmful. Biodegradable shampoo is praised for being environmentally-friendly, but it is also considered by some people to be healthier for your skin and hair because such products are generally made from natural elements.


Most biodegradable products are labeled as such, but you will also want to look at ingredient lists carefully when choosing the best shampoo. A true biodegradable shampoo does not contain phosphates, so you should avoid a brand that lists these ingredients on their packages. Aside from water, one of the most common ingredients used in biodegradable shampoo is sodium lauryl sulfate, which acts as a cleansing agent. Sodium sulfate is another common ingredient in thickening shampoos, and it is often derived from minerals.

Once you have identified a reputable brand of biodegradable shampoo, your ultimate choice of cleanser also depends on your hair type. These types of shampoos come in different versions, from moisturizing formulas to thickening types for thinning hair. If your hair is not particularly dry or fine, then you might be able to use a basic biodegradable cleansing gel. For the best results, you will also want to use a biodegradable conditioner to accompany your shampoo.

There is a common misconception that biodegradable shampoo is always more expensive because of its ingredients. The fact is that this type of shampoo is widely available in drugstores, just as much as it is in salons and specialty beauty outlets. All of these stores carry shampoos in a wide range of prices, so you should focus more on the ingredient labels rather than the cost of the product.


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What makes a shampoo/shower gel ingredient biodegradable? How would you define that word in the context of personal care products?

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