Organic Hair Growth Products: Do They Work?

Kristin Hall

Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 10/13/2021

Each year it seems that there are more organic and natural products across all industries, including hair. 

Organic products may be appealing for various reasons, including their ingredients and the lesser environmental impact, but do they really help grow your hair? Are any of them backed by science? Or should you leave them on the shelf? 

Let’s have a look.

What are Organic Hair Growth Products? 

Organic hair growth products are products that are made with organic and natural ingredients. This typically means they are free from artificial fertilizers, pesticides or other modifications. 

To be a certified organic product, you must meet certain standards of ingredients. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean it is 100 percent organic ingredients (some will state-specific percentages). 

Also, know that some may advertise as organic but not be organic-certified. If the product is organic-certified, you should see a little emblem saying it is. 

Potential Benefits of Organic Hair Products 

Chemical-Free

Among the hair care community, some people have a no-no list when it comes to chemicals within hair products. 

These chemicals are said to strip your hair of nutrients, cause itchy scalps or be worse for dry scalps, among many other alleged issues. 

Although the research isn’t intensive on the actuality of these claims, you may want to be aware of the chemicals and decide for yourself. 

All in all, the effects will vary from individual to individual and depend on your hair health, among other things. 

The chemical list many try to avoid is: 

Sulfates 

Many shampoos contain some kind of sulfate, which is used as a cleanser and foaming mechanism in shampoo. However, because it is used to strip dirt from hair and scalp, it can leave hair feeling dry. 

Common sulfates in shampoos include

  • Sodium lauryl sulfates

  • Ammonium lauryl sulfate

  • Sodium myreth sulfate

Although there is some talk of sulfates as being carcinogenic, this has been found to be false by the scientific community. 

So if you already tend to have a dry head or hair, looking for a sulfate-free product may be something you want to try. 

Silicon 

The common complaint of silicon is that it can cause too much moisture and produce stringy, greasy hair. 

Silicon is put in shampoos to work as a moisturizer and can effectively do that by keeping water from evaporating. 

Yet, often, you’ll hear hair experts complain of the non-soluble silicons, or silicons that aren’t easily washed out of hair. These include: 

  • dimethicone 

  • cetyl dimethicone

  • aminosilicones

  • siloxysilicates 

  • anionic silicones

It’s thought that because they are non-soluble, these ingredients may cause a build-up of moisture in your hair shaft, making hair greasy. 

Anti-Freeze 

Another common ingredient found in hair products is antifreeze, also known as propylene glycol typically added for moisture.

However, if you are worried about your scalp health, be mindful that allergic reactions to propylene glycol do happen. 

Help with Healthy Scalp 

Some chemicals can be irritant to scalp conditions, such as eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis. Creating an environment that is better for those conditions can help with overall hair growth. 

The short version? Think healthy scalp = equals healthy hair. 

Environmental Impact 

Many organic products do not test on animals and may have more sustainable packaging or production. 

If you are concerned about the environmental impact of your hair products, consider looking for certified organic products. 

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Do Organic Hair Growth Products Work? 

Popular organic hair growth products range from shampoos to conditioners, serums and gummies. But do any of them really work? 

We’ve broken down these common organic growth hair products and let you know what you can expect. 

Organic Shampoo 

Organic shampoos are typically shampoos that contain organic ingredients that are chemical free and contain nutrients or antioxidants. 

Although there is no research that points directly to organic shampoo (as every product ranges in its exact ingredients) and hair growth, some studies point to zinc helping with hair loss. 

A good idea may be to look at the ingredient list so you can determine whether it’s what you want. 

Organic Conditioner 

Organic conditioners are typically conditioners or deep conditioners that contain organic ingredients, which includes different types of oils such as; argan oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, moroccan oil or castor oil. 

Yet, similar to organic shampoo, there has not been extensive research on whether or not organic conditioner is better for hair growth vs. regular conditioner. 

However, looking at specific ingredients could help. For example, coconut oil and sunflower oil have been shown to help damaged hair, which could help with hair growth. 

Organic Serums and Oils 

In addition to the oils found in conditioners, another choice is using the oil or a serum itself. Serums and oils are popular for their moisturizing effect. 

Another oil that has limited but promising research on hair growth is rosemary oil. In one study, rosemary oil was found to be effective at improving hair growth when measured up against minoxidil 2%.

However, it’s worth noting that the study was limited in that there were only 100 total participants and no control group, and that much more research is needed before any definitive conclusions about the efficacy of rosemary oil can be drawn.

Vitamins 

Most hair vitamins you see on the market are actually organic! These vitamins are biotin, vitamin A among many more. 

Getting the proper vitamins is definitely important for hair growth and keeping a healthy head of hair. But do vitamin pills themselves work? 

The proper amount of Vitamin A (700 mcg per day for women) may help with hair growth and shine. 

However, be careful, as too much vitamin A can actually potentially cause hair loss!

While biotin has been closely linked to hair growth, studies have shown that hair loss issues are sometimes related to biotin deficiencies — which are admittedly rare.  

Check out our full guide to vitamins for hair loss for a more in-depth look into which vitamins and minerals may be helping our hurting your chance at a full head of hair. 

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Other Non-Organic Hair Growth Options 

If you are looking for more research-backed options to grow your hair, you may want to check out non-organic medication such as:

To learn more about these medications, check out our Guide to Female Pattern Baldness

The choice to go organic will ultimately depend on what you decide is best for your hair type and lifestyle. 

Some organic ingredients have interesting initial studies, which may be enough to try them for yourself. 

While some specific organic ingredients like biotin may help with hair growth, it really all depends on several things — what kind of hair loss you’re suffering from, the specific product you’re using, etc. 

So, does organic work? Well, it depends! 

9 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

  1. Cline, A., Uwakwe, L. N., & McMichael, A. J. (2018). No sulfates, no parabens, and the “no-poo” method: a new patient perspective on common shampoo ingredients. Cutis, 101(1), 22-6. Retrieved from: https://cdn.mdedge.com/files/s3fs-public/Document/January-2018/CT101001022.PDF
  2. Harvard Medical School. (2019, May 29).Moisturizers: do they work? Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/moisturizers-do-they-work
  3. Dias, M. F. R. G. (2015). Hair cosmetics: an overview. International journal of trichology, 7(1), 2. Retrieved from: https://www.ijtrichology.com/article.asp?issn=0974-7753;year=2015;volume=7;issue=1;spage=2;epage=15;aulast=Gavazzoni
  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 1030, Propylene glycol. Retrieved September 19, 2021 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Propylene-glycol.
  5. Trüeb, R. M., Henry, J. P., Davis, M. G., & Schwartz, J. R. (2018). Scalp Condition Impacts Hair Growth and Retention via Oxidative Stress. International journal of trichology, 10(6), 262–270. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijt.ijt_57_18
  6. Rele AS, Mohile RB. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;54(2):175-92. PMID: 12715094.
  7. Panahi Y, Taghizadeh M, Marzony ET, Sahebkar A. Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial. Skinmed. 2015 Jan-Feb;13(1):15-21. PMID: 25842469.
  8. US Department of Health. Vitamin A. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/
  9. Trüeb R. M. (2016). Serum Biotin Levels in Women Complaining of Hair Loss. International journal of trichology, 8(2), 73–77. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-7753.188040

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

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