Home » Gluten Free Shampoo: How to Choose One (Plus the Best Affordable Options)

Gluten Free Shampoo: How to Choose One (Plus the Best Affordable Options)

gluten free shampoo how to choose one

In order to choose a gluten free shampoo or other hair product, then you need to know how to read the labels. There are many ingredients that you may not know contain gluten.

Educating ourselves on ingredients is the best protection from gluten and gluten poisoning.

Did you know the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require gluten-free labeling on products, but that it is up to brands to label a product “gluten-free” if they choose to?

Well in certain cases it would be clear-cut if the shampoo was labeled “gluten-free”, but unfortunately it is often not.

This is when due diligence could be life-changing, even if it were only the choice of which shampoo you should use.

How the FDA defines “gluten free”: As one of the criteria for using the claim “gluten-free,” FDA set a limit of less than 20 ppm (parts per million) for the unavoidable presence of gluten in foods that carry this label. That is the lowest level that can be consistently detected in foods using valid scientific analytical tools (and the amount of gluten that is safe for people with celiac disease).


What is Gluten?

Gluten is a name for proteins found in wheat, rye, barley (a.k.a. The Big 3), and triticale, which is a combination of wheat and rye. It gives foods their structure by maintaining shape and holding everything together, like glue.

Gluten, in any form, is off-limits for those who suffer from celiac disease.

Even for people with gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance, the consumption of gluten can be extremely unpleasant.

“The Big 3” Gluten Sources to Steer Clear Of:

  1. Wheat: this is found in most foods like bread, pasta, cereals, baked goods, sauces/gravys, even salad dressings.
  2. Barley: this is found in brewer’s yeast, soups, beer, food coloring, and malt (milkshakes, malt extract, malt vinegar, malt syrup, malt flavoring and more.
  3. Rye: this is found in cereal, rye beer, and rye bread like pumpernickel.

Triticale is a grain that is similar to wheat, but grown in the same conditons rye is grown in. It is also found in breads, pasta, and cereals.

Oats which are gluten free, must be labeled otherwise one can assume that the oats may be produced in a facility alongside wheat. This causes cross-contamination and therefore causing your oats to contain gluten.

Stay Away From This One Ingredient For Better Skin:

How To Look Better Without Makeup: Stop Eating This

Does Shampoo and Other Hair Products Contain Gluten?

Yes, many shampoos, conditioners, and hair styling products contain gluten or wheat protein.

This is a common ingredient for several reasons:

  • gives a better structure, or glue-like feel to shampoos and hair waxes or gels;
  • is often added to products to replace proteins that are lost from the hair due to chemical damage;
  • gives hair fullness and shine;
  • adds a glossy finish to the outer hair cuticle.

Do Celiacs Need Gluten Free Shampoo and Other Gluten Free Hair Products?

Yes, celiacs should use gluten free hair products in order to avoid accidental ingestion (even a trace amount) or adverse reactions due to open sores and abrasions due to dermatitis herpetiformis (skin rash related to celiac disease) on the skin or scalp.

And many experts agree that you should err on the side of caution when deciding if gluten free hair products are a necessity.

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.

1Teshima R. Food allergen in cosmetics. Yakugaku Zasshi. 2014;134(1):33-8. doi:10.1248/yakushi.13-00209-2


Shampoo, conditioner, or even a styling product can be a gluten hazard if it is ingested, comes in contact with an open cut (even if it’s tiny), or if some form of cross-contamination occurs.

A lot of people (including myself) get ready in the morning, often multitasking and in a hurry.

This could be a typical morning:

You put on your clothes and proceed to the bathroom where…

you apply a leave-in conditioner to your damp hair, and then…

quickly run into the kitchen and drink the last of your coffee before…

you grab a muffin, take a bite, and sprint out the front door.

Now, it is very possible that you my have ingested gluten (and it’s not from the muffin)!

Because between styling your hair, drinking, and eating, you did not wash your hands.

And depending on how sensitive you are to gluten, even trace amounts, you could become ill as a result of a common and often overlooked scenario.

You could become severely ill and not know why.

This is why it is important to have a closer look at product ingredients.

What Ingredients in Shampoo Contain Gluten?

wheat protein ingredient gluten free shampoo

1. Ingredients with the words wheat, gluten or triticum (Latin for wheat) in the name including:

  • AMP-isostearoyl hydrolzyed wheat protein
  • hydrolyzed wheat protein (HWP)
  • hydrolyzed wheat gluten
  • triticum lipids
  • triticum vulgare
  • wheat bran extract
  • wheat germ extract
  • wheat germ glyceride

2. Ingredients with the words barley, malt or hordeum vulgare (Latin for barley) in the name such as:

  • barley extract
  • hordeum vulgare extract
  • malt extract

3. Ingredients with rye or secale cereal (Latin for rye) in the name.

4. These ingredients that are derived from oats or avena sativa (Latin for oats) may be cross-contaminated with gluten:

  • sodium lauroyl oat amino acid
  • avena sativa extract

Other Ingredients to Look Out For:

Wheat germ oil

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)

Beta-glucan (frequently derived from wheat)

Vegetable protein (may contain wheat, barley, rye, and/or oats)

What Ingredients Should Replace Gluten in a Gluten Free Shampoo?

When looking for a gluten free shampoo, instead of hydrolyzed wheat protein and other gluten ingredients, look for:

  • zinchair tissue growth and repair
  • biotinstimulates keratin production in hair and can increase the rate of follicle growth
  • keratinby smoothing down the cells resulting in hair that looks full and glossy
  • niacinimproves blood circulation, brings oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicle
  • caffeinehelp stimulate hair growth and stop hair loss

These ingredients aid in healthy hair growth, add moisture, and promote shiny hair like the wheat ingredients.

If You Are Unsure About Ingredients, Check Them Here:


What Are The Best Inexpensive Gluten Free Shampoo Conditioners?

You are about to get a handy list of the best inexpensive gluten free shampoo and conditioners that will make your search easier!

Are you looking for gluten free shampoo and conditioner but don’t want to break the bank?

There are many hair products available at the local chain stores that you may not have known were gluten free!

This will be of some relief to many people who have recently discovered that they have to make some changes in their diet and personal care routine.

Just because you need a gluten free shampoo or other hair product doesn’t mean you have to go to a salon or a special website and pay a lot of money.

In fact, many brands that you may already know of manufacture gluten free hair products (again, most companies do not advertise this information)!

(This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.)

Here Are The Best Cheap Gluten Free Shampoo and Conditioners (Top Rated By Site)

I have created a convenient guide below for the best inexpensive gluten free shampoo and conditioner available at 3 affordable retailers. These products are available for purchase at both brick-and-mortar and online shops.


The products below are only a guide, listed only by star ratings at the respective retailers.

I included various brands with only the highest ratings for the sake of variety.

I have also not included buyer reviews of said brands in order to preserve the objectivity of this post.

You can check each store’s website for the individual rating volume and product reviews.


gluten free shampoo how to choose target

Gluten Free Shampoo and Conditioner Brands Sold Include: Baby Bum, Cantu, Deep Steep, Derma-E, DR.Teal’s, Earth Supplied, Every Man Jack, Fairy Tales, Hask, Herbal Essences, IGK, Kristin Ess, L’Oreal Paris, Maui Moisture, Not Your Mother’s, Original Sprout, Palmer’s, Pura d’or, Purezero, Renpure, SGX NYC, SheaMoisture, SoCozy, The Seaweed Bath Co., Thicker Fuller Hair, Vanicream

Shampoo RatingConditionerRating
Deep Steep Coconut Oil High Shine Shampoo 5Deep Steep Coconut Oil High Shine Conditioner 5
Derma-E Scalp Relief Shampoo5Dr Teal’s Coconut Nourish & Moisturize Conditioner5
Earth Supplied M&R Rinse Out Shampoo 5Earth Supplied M&R 20% Leave-In Conditioner5
Earth Supplied M&R Sulfate-Free Shampoo5Fairy Tales Curl Shapers Hydrating Conditioner5
IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo5Renpure Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner5
Fairy Tales Lifeguard Sun & Swim Clarifying Shampoo4.8Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Conditioner4.7
Derma-E Scalp Relief Shampoo4.7Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Moisture Boost Leave-in Conditioner4.6
Thicker Fuller Hair Strengthening Shampoo with Organic Quinoa, Baobab and Biotin4.6Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture + Coconut Milk Conditioner for Dry Hair4.5
Hask Coconut Oil Nourishing Shampoo
4.5L’Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Moisture Conditioner4.5
Herbal Essences Bio: Renew Sheer Moisture Cucumber & Green Tea Shampoo4.5Not Your Mother’s Naturals Aquatic Mint and Coastal Sea Holly Scalp Refresh Conditioner


gluten free shampoo how to choose walmart

Gluten Free Shampoo and Conditioner Brands Sold Include: Avalon Organics, California Baby, CHI, Dove, Garnier, Global Keratin, Hask, Herbal Essences, FRAGFRE, Free & Clear, Maui Moisture, Nature’s Gate, Neutrogena, Shea Moisture, Suave Professionals.

Global Keratin GK Hair Moisturizing Shampoo5FRAGFRE Hair Detangler Styling Heat Protectant Spray – Leave-in Conditioner 5
Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Dandruff Treatment Shampoo4.5Hair Food Gluten Free Quench Conditioner5
Renpure Originals Coconut Cream Nourishing Shampoo4.5CHI Luxury Conditioner5
SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Coconut Paraben Free Shampoo4.3It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner Plus Keratin4.6
Alba Botanica More Moisture Shampoo, Coconut Milk4JASON Normalizing Tea Tree Treatment Conditioner4


gluten free shampoo how to choose amazon

Gluten Free Shampoo and Conditioner Brands Sold Include: Artnaturals, Bellisso, Biolage, Derma-E, Dove, Free and Clear, Hask, Hair Food, Head and Shoulders, Hempz, Herbal Essences, Ingreendients, Jason, Loma, L’Oreal Paris, LUSETA, Love Beauty And Planet, Maximilian, Phillip Adam, Puracy, Verb, WOW

Shampoo and Conditioner (often sold in bundles)Rating
BIOLAGE Colorlast Shampoo and Conditioner5
LOMA Nourishing Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner (DUO PACK)4.7
Hair Food Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner Set, Infused with Tea Tree and Lavender Water4.6
Hempz Pure Herbal Extracts Original Herbal Shampoo & Conditioner 4.6
Verb Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner Duo4.5
Free & Clear Set, includes Shampoo and Conditioner4.5
PURA D’OR Biotin Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Shampoo & Conditioner Set4.4
WOW Red Onion Black Seed Oil Shampoo and Conditioner4.3
MAXIMILIAN All Natural Shampoo Deep Cleansing Natural Shampoo and Conditioner Set4

Read Labels, Know The Ingedients

The most important takeaway is knowing the ingredients.

For example, **Walmart.com is not as user-friendly when it comes to filtering gluten-free hair products on its site.

Some search results for gluten free shampoo included products with gluten as an ingredient.

Always double-check brands and ingredients using an ingredient checker site like the one mentioned earlier.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to gluten.

Do you use a gluten free shampoo, conditioner, and/or styling product? Which brand(s)?

Have you ever thought about using gluten free haircare?

Comment below with your questions, thoughts, and recommendations!

Try Out These Gluten Free Recipes:







  1. September 18, 2021 / 4:59 pm

    Wow, I never knew about gluten in products in shampoos and conditioners. I always thought it would be in just food! Thanks for the post. I’m going to share this on my Facebook, so my family and friends will know what’s up because you can’t be sure now and days anymore. Especially when it’s black products because many black-owned companies sold their companies, and the new companies started changing the ingredients. Smh, thanks again, hun.

    • familyandglamour
      September 18, 2021 / 5:55 pm

      Yes! I too have seen those companies changing the formulas. 😤
      Like I said before some of those products began to wreak havoc on my scalp, but since I started reading up on ingredients I noticed a complete change!

      Spread the word! 📣🤗

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