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Chemical Free Shampoo with no Preservatives

preservative free shampoo

Susan A. wrote seeking a simple, chemical free shampoo with no preservatives and no fragrance that washes out easily. I understand wanting such a thing. The holy grail of shampoos is one that is natural, preservative free, gentle, convenient and good for hair.

Here is a a list of shampoo options I was able to suggest to Susan A.:

Herbal Shampoo Tea

Herbal Shampoos

The most natural shampoos use herbs that have natural saponins in them. The meet the requirements of being chemical free shampoos with no preservatives.  There are a ton of different herbs that clean hair like like Soap Nuts, Soapwort, Yucca and many more.


  • Natural and they biodegrade (this does not mean they are necessarily immediately safe in water, they are safe after they degrade.)
  • Fairly gentle but don’t necessarily feel that way
  • They do clean your hair
  • Easily rinsed


  • No or very little suds.
  • Not convenient
  • Come as a powder not premixed
  • Not safe to sell in a wet pre-made form without preservatives.
  • Premade mix at home require refrigeration and will go bad fairly quickly.
  • No conditioning elements

Old Fashioned Saponified Soap Based Shampoos

Chemical Free Shampoo with no Preservatives

You can have a very natural shampoo made the old-fashioned way that saponify oils into soap using either Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) or Caustic Potash (Potassium Hydroxide). Once the chemical reaction happens between the oils and the Lye or Potash, they are no longer present – just soap and oil.



  • Well known
  • Easily handmade so you know your source
  • simply
  • no need for preservatives as the high alkaline makes them self preserving


  • High Alkaline so damaging to hair
  • In Hard Water leaves a mineral build up soap scum helped using an acidified Distilled Water (use Apple Cider Vinegar)

Synthetic Detergent Based Shampoos

Yucca Shampoo

Huge Variety of them some with sulfates some without
The simpler the recipe (just one ingredient) isn’t good in the case of shampoos. Shampoos are gentler if you mix different and a variety of synthetic detergents together. Therefore often the more complicated sounding the ingredient list might mean the better for your hair then are the “simpler” shampoos.


  • Can be PH balanced (not always)
  • Work with hard water
  • Don’t leave build up
  • Often more gentle on hair
  • Often Contain other things that help hair


  • All require preservatives. (The synthetic detergents I purchase in bulk individually probably all contain some form of preservative but the manufacturers don’t necessarily have to list it (some makers who use these products aren’t aware of this).
  • Some contain sulfates
  • Some – but not all – don’t biodegrade as easily.

Given Susan A,’s desire for a chemical free shampoo with no preservatives, fragrances or other chemicals that is gentle and washes out easily, I suggested she try my shampoo tea. It’s not as convenient but it’s the most natural solution I could come up with. Click here to see my Herbal Shampoo Tea.

I also suggested that if she has hard water, she might want to look at a making a rinse of a gallon jug of distilled water with about .5 cups to 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar and use about a cup or two after washing. Here is a resource that might be helpful.

Finally, if Susan A. needs a little conditioning but wants to keep chemicals to a minimum then I recommend trying my Conditioning Bar – which also keeps packaging to a minimum! Click here to see my HAIR CONDITIONING BAR

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