The Best Natural Conditioner (20+ Conditioners Rated on Ingredients)

best natural conditioner
7 min reading time

Over the past two weeks, we audited 20+ of the most popular clean and organic hair conditioners on the market to see if their ingredients are as conscious as they claim.

Modern hair conditioner has been around for about 120 years. Over time, manufacturers have figured out a variety of chemical compounds they can add to the products to make them function better.

Some of these ingredients aren’t exactly great for the hair, though. Much like shampoo, conditioner is a product many people use several times per week. Because the scalp is a sensitive area, slathering chemicals on it regularly raises a few alarms.

On top of that, conventional conditioners are just bad for the hair, period.
These days, there’s no need to use a chemical-filled conditioner. Many brands out there offer natural and safer alternatives, filled with nourishing and natural oils, as opposed to synthetic chemicals that do more damage over time.

Today, we’ll be looking at 15+ conditioners that claim to be safe, clean, and conscious to see just how accurate these claims really are.

Today we’ll be looking at:

  • Why choose a natural conditioner?
  • The ingredients to be aware of in conventional conditioner.
  • Ratings for 20+ of the most popular clean conditioner brands.
  • A quick rundown of our recommended products.

Why You Should Consider a Natural Conditioner

Silicone is a common ingredient in many drugstore shampoos—a petroleum-derived chemical put into conditioner to make the hair feel soft after being coated in it. Over time, this silicone builds up, making the hair worse than before.

Silicone seals the hair and follicle, making it impervious to water. As a result, your hair might end up feeling overly dry and brittle. Or, the body might secrete excess sebum (oil) to combat the dryness, making the hair appear greasy.

Mainstream conditioner products also include fragrances, unsafe preservatives, and other ingredients that you should avoid. In the next section, we’ll dive deeper into the ingredients you should be aware of.

Ingredients To Know About in Conditioners

There are a few important ingredients to know about when researching conditioners. They include the following:


Many conventional conditioners use silicone to make the hair feel sleek and soft. Silicone coats the hair and is derived from petrochemicals. 

Silicones are occlusive, meaning they seal off the hair and follicle, keeping water from absorbing. Silicones tend to build up in the hair unless removed with a sulfate-rich shampoo, so it’s essential to switch to both a clean condition and shampoo at the same time.

This build-up of silicone in the hair can cause it to dry out over time. In turn, the body can have one of two responses: either producing more oil and making it more greasy or getting dry and brittle.

Ultimately, silicone in shampoo or conditioner makes the hair look and feel better in the short term, but in the long term can cause more harm than good.


Most conditioners are loaded with chemical fragrance because we love how it leaves our hair smelling fruity or flowery. This isn’t a good thing—these fragrances are made from a laundry list of unknown chemicals that can have unknown health effects.

A pair of laws in the USA protect the the exact ingredient makeup of fragrances. These laws are the reason why when you look at an ingredient label, you’ll almost always see “fragrance” or “parfum” — there’s a long list of chemicals hidden under that sneaky label.

Conscious conditioner brands might use essential oils or other naturally-derived fragrance ingredients, which are a better alternative. However, some people have sensitivities to these ingredients, so if you’re someone with sensitive skin, this is something you should know.


Conditioners sometimes contain a group of chemical preservatives called parabens. This controversial ingredient has come under scrutiny for its possible link to endocrine disruption and breast cancer. For this reason, you almost certainly won’t find parabens in the ingredient list of conscious conditioner brands.

Preservatives are a necessary part of beauty and personal care products. Preservation is critical with any product that contains water, aloe, or essential oils because there is a risk of mold and bacterial growth. This growth can sometimes be invisible to the naked eye.

Look for safer alternatives to parabens like phenoxyethanol and sodium benzoate.

Sulfates (SLS and SLES)

Sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are used in shampoos, conditioners, detergents, and soaps for their ability to generate the thick lather you associate with cleaning.

SLS and SLES aren’t as common in conditioners as in shampoos, but they can still be found.

The jury is out on exactly how dangerous these sulfates might be, but since it’s easy to find conditioners without them, they’re easy to avoid.

SLS and SLES are harsh on the hair, causing it to dry out over time.

They’re also potentially irritating to the skin and eyes and linked to other more severe health effects like cancer. SLS is also dangerous to aquatic life, and since it all goes down the drain into the water supply, this is not a good thing.

Polyethylene Glycols (PEG)

These ingredients are petroleum-derived thickening agents. The issue with PEG ingredients is that they may contain measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane through contamination, depending on the manufacturing process.

These two contaminants are dangerous to human health, and consumers can’t know if the products they use every day contain these chemicals.

For this reason, we never recommend products that have PEG compounds.

Our Methodology

We researched the internet, online stores, and social media for the most popular clean and natural conditioners.

Each ingredient in every product was researched and analyzed for safety based on available public research. Where possible, we include sources for all information.

Products are ranked from best to worst with an internal score based on the ingredient rankings.

Below is our list of natural conditioner ratings. They’re rated on this scale:

Best ???? – These products are the best of the best. They contain great ingredients, are non-toxic and are often the best choice for our environment.

Good – These products are typically quite good, but don’t go above and beyond like our best choices.

Iffy – These products are typically okay, but have some issues that make us unable to give them a “Good” rating. Often times they contain ingredients or materials that are questionable.

Bad – These products typically have toxic ingredients or issues that make them dangerous or unsuitable to use. These products should typically be avoided.


These conditioners are the best of the best in the world of natural and organic shampoos. They’re free of harsh chemicals, contain organic ingredients, and any of them are a great choice.

Avalon Organics

Thickening Biotin B-Complex Conditioner
Price: $11 ($0.79 per oz)

Avalon Organics offers an affordable and clean hair conditioner full of organic and natural ingredients. Organic aloe, coconut oil, water and fatty alcohols make up the base of this natural conditioner.

For all of these reasons, we give it our top rating.


Potential irritants: 7*


Juice Cleanse Supergreens & Adaptogens Conditioner
Price: $9.99 ($1.25 per oz)

This conditioner from Acure strikes the perfect balance of natural and safe ingredients with an affordable price point. With a pleasant scent, great price, and clean ingredients, we give this conditioner our top rating.


Potential irritants: 11*


These conditioners didn’t quote reach a “best” rating, but are still a safe choice and contain good, natural and safe ingredients.


UltraShine Moisture Conditioner
Price: $28 ($3.29 per oz)

This conditioner from EVOLVh has a long list of organic and clean ingredients. None stand out as ingredients of concern, and for this reason, it deserves a good rating.


Potential irritants: 1*

Shea Moisture

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Conditioner
Price: $11.99 ($0.92 per oz)

With a base of organic shea butter, coconut oil and fatty alcohols, this is a natural conditioner with a clean list of ingredients. It also is one of the least expensive conditioners we looked at, making it a good budget purchase.


Potential irritants: 4*


Conditioner Bar
Price: $17 ($8.02 per oz)

This solid and waste-free conditioner bar gets a good rating for its clean list of ingredients and eco-friendly packaging. Solid hair care products can be somewhat of a challenge for new users and might not be for everyone, but it’s worth giving this one a try.


Potential irritants: 5*


Natural Balance Conditioner
Price: $9.99 ($0.59 per oz)

This conditioner from Sukin has a clean and simple list of ingredients and is scented with essential oils. It also comes in at an affordable pricing, making it a brand we can recommend.


Potential irritants: 7*

Andalou Naturals

Argan Oil & Shea Moisture Rich Conditioner
Price: $9.99 ($0.87 per oz)

Organic aloe makes up the main ingredient of this coinditioner, which also contains organic sunflower oil, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and other natural ingredients. With no ingredients of concern and a great price, we can recommend this conditioner.


Potential irritants: 5*

Captain Blankenship

Sea Shine Conditioner
Price: $28 ($2.8 per oz)

Like the shampoo we audited from Captain Blankenship, their conditioner is also full of clean and safe ingredients. Organic aloe and coconut oil make up the base of this conditioner, making it a a product we can recommend.


Potential irritants: 3*

Desert Essence

Italian Red Grape Conditioner
Price: $8.99 ($1.12 per oz)

The only problem we have with this conditioner is that the brand doesn’t disclose what the ingredients are in their fragrance. Other than that, the ingredients are clean and the price is affordable. For this reason, we give it a good rating.


Potential irritants: 6*


Hydration Conditioner
Price: $38 ($4.09 per oz)

Rahua unfortunately doesn’t disclose the ingredients in their fragrance, but they do label it as natural. That issue aside, the rest of the ingredients are good, and we give it a good rating.


Potential irritants: 3*


Price: $40 ($4.73 per oz)

Reverie’s conditioner has a clean list of ingredients and the only downside is the high price—this was the most expensive conditioner we reviewed. We give it a good rating, but would recommend other products with more affordable price tags.


Potential irritants: 7*


Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Conditioner
Price: $9.99 ($1.18 per oz)

This conditioner from Giovanni has a great list of organic and natural ingredients. The brand isn’t transparent regarding the ingredient makeup of their fragrance, but they do claim it’s all-natural. All in all, this is a good conditioner based on its ingredients.


Potential irritants: 3*

Josh Rosebrook

Balance Conditioner
Price: $35 ($4.38 per oz)

This is an excellent organic conditioner based on its ingredients. Orgnaic aloe, water, organic coconut oil and several other natural oils make up the base of this product. The only downside is that this was the second most expensive conditioner we reviewed. However, it is a great product based on its ingredients.


Potential irritants: 2*


Color Radiance Daily Conditioner
Price: $30 ($3 per oz)

This conditioner is made for chemically-treated or dyed hair, and contains a clean list of ingredients. The scent is from essential oils, and has a pleasant citrus aroma.


Potential irritants: 8*

John Masters Organics

Repair Conditioner for Damaged Hair with Honey & Hibiscus
Price: $59 ($3.69 per oz)

The ingredients list of this conditioner is relatively clean and natural, with organic aloe and sunflower oil making up the base. With this conditioner, the only concern is a seemingly large number of potential irritants. However, this shouldn’t be a concern for those that don’t have sensitive skin.


Potential irritants: 13*


The conditioners that received a rating of “Iffy” either contained unknown fragrance or silicone.

Derma E

Volume & Shine Restoring Conditioner
Price: $9.99 ($1 per oz)

The main reason that we give this product an iffy rating is because it contains silicone. In conditioner, silicone coats the hair and follicle, making the hair feel softer and moisturized. However, silicone builds up in the hair over time, ultimately causing it to be more damaged and dry. At Better Goods, we do not recommend conditioners with silicone.


Potential irritants: 7*

Earth Science

Olive & Avocado Deep Conditioning Hair Masque
Price: $8.24 ($1.37 per oz)

This product contains “fragrance” and it’s unclear what the ingredient makeup of it is. We reached out to the brand to ask about their fragrance, but as of November 2021, we haven’t heard anything back.

For this reason, we must give it a rating of “iffy”.


Potential irritants: 4*

Live Clean

Coconut Milk Moisturizing Conditioner
Price: $5.18 ($0.43 per oz)

The main issue we have with this conditioner from Live Clean is the inclusion of “fragrance” on the ingredient label. It’s unclear what the makeup of this fragrance is, and for this reason, we give it a negative rating.


Potential irritants: 8*

Yes To

Tea Tree Scalp Relief Soothing Conditioner
Price: $8.99 ($0.75 per oz)

This conditioner contains fragrance, and it’s unclear whether this is a natural or synthetic. Regardless, we do not give top ratings to products that are not transparent with their fragrance ingredients.


Potential irritants: 9*


Only one conditioner we audited received a rating of “bad”. It contained several ingredients that we recommend avoiding, and therefore, we cannot recommend it.

Love Beauty and Planet

Coconut Water & Mimosa Volume and Bounty Thickening Conditioner
Price: $8.99 ($0.67 per oz)

Like the shampoo from Love Beauty and Planet that we audited, this conditioner contains several ingredients that we’d strongly suggest avoiding. There is chemical fragrance, along with methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone. For this reasons, we don’t recommend it.


Potential irritants: 3*

Conclusion: Which Natural Conditioner Should I Buy?

Two products stood out from the crowd during our audit:

  • Thickening Biotin B-Complex Conditioner from Avalon Organics ($0.79 per oz)
  • Juice Cleanse Supergreens & Adaptogens Conditioner from Acure ($1.25 per oz)

Both of these natural conditioners strike the perfect balance between clean ingredients and price, and are our recommended products. If you prefer a specific brand, any of the products rated “Good” or “Best” are a safe bet, too.

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