9 Best Gluten-Free Shampoos and Conditioners

Products to Consider and Products to Avoid

Switching to a gluten-free shampoo and other hair care products is not strictly necessary since you're using these products on your hair as opposed to eating them.

But if you ever get shampoo foam in your mouth or touch your hair and put your fingers in your mouth, you risk getting glutened unless all your hair care products are gluten-free. Some people with eczema also find their skin feels better if they avoid gluten ingredients in their personal care products.

Buying only gluten-free shampoo and other hair care products could save you from accidental exposure, depending on how sensitive you are to trace gluten. 

While some may dismiss the risk of gluten in personal care products, a study from Japan reported that over 1,900 people had an allergy to hydrolyzed wheat protein soap, a condition diagnosed as wheat-dependent exercise-induced asthma.

Whether gluten-free shampoos or conditioners are better or worse for your hair is really a matter of personal experience and choice. But if even the tiniest trace of gluten causes you problems, then, without doubt, give the products a try.

Best Gluten-Free Hair Products

Fortunately, there's a nice mix of brands that now make gluten-free hair care products, including some budget brands and some more expensive lines. The following brands of hair care products offer gluten-free shampoos and conditioners:

  • Acure. Acure's entire hair care line is gluten-free, including five shampoos and even a dry shampoo (plus the accompanying conditioners). Acure is also sulfate-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free and vegan. If you can't find it locally, it's available online at Amazon.
  • Avalon Organics. This all-natural line of hair care products offers one shampoo that's certified gluten-free: its Gluten-Free Cucumber Shampoo. Avalon Organics also offers Gluten-Free Cucumber Conditioner to pair with the shampoo. The hair care line is vegan and cruelty-free. It's readily available online if your stores don't carry it.
  • Desert Essence. The company makes six shampoos that are labeled gluten-free: Green Apple and Ginger, Fragrance-Free, Red Raspberry, Lemon Tea Tree, Italian Red Grape, and Coconut. It also makes conditioners to pair with each of those. The products are vegetarian, and Desert Essence doesn't test on animals.
  • Dove. Dove, which makes tons of personal care products, is a Unilever brand, which means it will clearly disclose any gluten-containing ingredients. Many of Dove's shampoos and conditioners are gluten-free. They're also reasonably priced and available everywhere.
  • Jason. Not everything Jason sells is gluten-free, but the brand's Gluten-Free Daily Shampoo and Gluten-Free Daily Conditioner meet the standard (as do the other seven products in the brand's certified gluten-free line). Look for the bright green labels. The gluten-free line is available on Amazon if your local store doesn't carry it. Jason's products aren't tested on animals.
  • Kirkland Signature. This Costco brand includes a Professional Salon Formula Moisture Shampoo, and it's labeled gluten-free and vegan.
  • Paul Mitchell. Several of this brand's shampoo and conditioner products are considered gluten-free, including Forever Blonde shampoo (but not conditioner), Spring-Loaded Frizz-Fighting Shampoo and Conditioner, and Baby Don't Cry Shampoo. To check a specific Paul Mitchell product, you need to visit the brand's website and look in the details section for that product. Paul Mitchell is also cruelty-free.
  • Pravana. All of Pravana's Nevo hair care products are labeled gluten-free (the line uses hydrolyzed quinoa and soy protein). They're also vegan. Look for Pravana at hair care salons (including Ulta stores).
  • Suave. Like Dove, Suave is a Unilever brand, so any gluten-containing ingredients would be disclosed in the ingredients list, but most or all are gluten-free. Suave is available everywhere and offers some kid-friendly shampoo/conditioner/body wash combinations.

Products to Avoid

If you see one or more of the following terms in the ingredients list, it means the shampoo or other hair care product contains ingredients made from wheat, barley or rye. This includes ingredients that indicate oats since many of us need to avoid them as well.

  • Triticum vulgare (wheat)
  • Hordeum vulgare (barley)
  • Secale cereale (rye)
  • Avena sativa (oats)
  • Wheat germ oil
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Stearyl dimonium hydroxypropyl (hydrolyzed wheat protein)
  • Laurdimonium hydroxypropyl (hydrolyzed wheat protein)
  • Colloidal oatmeal
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (may contain wheat)
  • Dextrin palmitate (starch, possibly gluten-based)
  • Vitamin E (frequently derived from wheat)
  • Malt extract (usually barley)
  • Beta glucan (frequently derived from wheat)
  • Vegetable protein (may contain wheat, barley, rye and/or oats)

The absence of these ingredients doesn't mean that a product is gluten-free. There are numerous cosmetic chemicals derived from wheat, barley, rye or oats, some of which are hidden behind such catch-all labels as "fragrance."

A Word From Verywell

If your product is not on the list and you want to know if it's safe, call the manufacturer to ask if it's gluten-free.

If in doubt, take no chances and only buy product certified gluten-free. While many manufacturers do not submit their products for certification, the consumer demand for certified gluten-free personal care products is rising.

Certifying bodies in North America include the Celiac Sprue Association, Gluten Intolerance Group, and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

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