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The 4 Best Organic Shampoos For Color-Treated Hair

In the United States, shopping for a legitimately organic shampoo is so much harder than it should be. Because there's no real industry standard for what constitutes a "natural" or "organic" beauty product, many brands slap those terms on their labels even if the formula only contains one organic or plant-based ingredient. Unfortunately, that means if you're searching for the best organic shampoos for color-treated hair, your options are going to be severely limited. In fact, there's only one USDA certified-organic shampoo that's made specifically for dyed on the entire market.

If you're only interested in buying a shampoo that’s been approved by the National Organic Program (NOP) within the US Department of Agriculture, the sole option is Intelligent Nutrients PureServe Color Saving Shampoo, as it boasts a rare USDA organic certification. But there are also other types of organic certifications, too, namely, the NSF/ANSI 305, which demands a product must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients, but doesn't meet the same NOP standards (though, for what its worth, the NOP's standards were created with food products in mind, which limits their applicability to beauty products). There's also the OASIS standard, which is similar to the NSF/ANSI 305, but varies slightly. Then, you have international certifications, like Ecocert and Cosmebio (France), the Soil Association (UK), BDIH (Germany), ICEA (Italy), and COSMOS, which was formed by all five of the aforementioned European associations. California has its own organic program, too (the CDFA), as well as an organic farmers association (CCOF).

Another important thing to note when it comes to shopping for organic shampoos for dyed hair is that avoiding sulfates is crucial. This doesn’t relate to a product’s organic-ness, but sulfates are a major no-no for color-treated hair since they're known to further exacerbate dryness and can even cause hair color to fade. That means that, even when taking foreign countries’ organic certifications into consideration, your options become even more limited, as many organic formulas — even those that claim to be for dyed hair — still contain sulfates.

With all of that in mind, I've rounded up a handful of the most trustworthy organic shampoos for dyed hair on the market, below.

1. The Absolute Best Organic Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair

The crème de la crème of organic shampoos is this vegan, color-preserving formula from USDA certified-organic brand Intelligent Nutrients. It's formulated specifically with color-treated hair in mind, so it won't strip hair of color or its natural oils. People with any color hair can use this safely, but it'll be especially beneficial for blondes, redheads, and even those with bright, fun colors, as it helps boost shine and reduce brassiness. Also, its unique Color Shield technology protects hair against damage from UV rays, chlorine, and pollution, so this is also a great pick for frequent swimmers or beachgoers.

Certifications: USDA organic, COSMOS organic, ICEA organic, The Soil Association organic, Leaping Bunny cruelty-free, Green-E

Made without: gluten, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, petroleum, synthetic fragrance

2. Best Budget Pick

This pick from Avalon Organics meets the NSF/ANSI 305 organic standards and is also verified by the Environmental Working Group (which you can read more about here) but, in short, that means it's totally non-toxic and meets the strictest, safest manufacturing standards. This nourishing shampoo will help repair and soften hair that's become damaged from hair dye or other chemical processes, thanks to a formula that's rich in plant-based proteins, vitamins, and other botanicals. The lovely lavender scent makes it a soothing pick not just for your scalp and hair, but also for your mind. Another vegan pick, Avalon Organics' packaging is also biodegradable, so it's not just friendly to animals, but to the environment, too.

Certifications: NSF/ANSI 305 organic, EWG verified, Leaping Bunny cruelty-free

Made without: sulfate, GMOs, parabens, preservatives, phthalates, synthetic colors, synthetic fragrance

3. Best For Shine

From natural and sustainable German brand Sante comes this nourishing shampoo that smells like freshly picked roses, thanks to the addition of organic rose blossom essence in the formula. Silk proteins and glycerin keep hair smooth, silky, and hydrated, resulting in an easy-to-brush mane that's shiny, to boot. This makes it a great choice for hair that's become dry or brittle, whether from chemical treatments, hair dye, or environmental aggressors. The brand takes great pride in using only the most environmentally-friendly packaging and production practices, and though they're not Leaping Bunny-certified (because they're not an American brand), they are certified cruelty-free from the European Commission. All of these factors helped them gain their NATRUE certification, which basically means they're friendly to animals, people, and the planet.

Certifications: COSMOS organic, BDIH organic, NATRUE-Certified

Made without: sulfates, paraffins, parabens, silicones, microplastics, mineral oils, synthetic fragrance

4. Best For Blondes

Rahua is a sustainable brand that uses only wild-grown ingredients sourced from the Amazon rainforest. They purchase their ingredients from local tribes to promote fair-trade practices and use only the finest, plant-derived ingredients, which is what makes this shampoo for color-treated hair so unique. Usually, purple shampoos (which are favored by folks with bleached hair because of their ability to minimize brassiness and yellow undertones) are full of chemicals, but not this one. And in fact, this particular formula will restore hair colors of all shades, since it won't actually turn your hair purple, like many other synthetic formulas can. So brunettes and redheads, go ahead and get in on the purple shampoo fun.

Rahua's products aren't actually certified-organic, but as a brand representative states, "Rahua ingredients are truly as organic as can be, [but] because our ingredients are grown wild in the undisturbed virgin Amazon rainforest, it's not possible to gain certification from the organizations that provide certification. Our ingredients are not farmed, they are grown wild. And these organizations would not have the ability and access to enter deep into the rainforests where we obtain our ingredients." That makes their products not only good for the environment, but for the local people, too — which is just as important as being certified by any major organization, in my book.

Made without: sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, silicones

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