11 Best Shampoos Without DMDM Hydantoin (2024), As Per A Hairstylist

Try on these shampoos that are specially designed to avoid the toxic preservative.

Reviewed by Jill Turnbull, Hairstylist Jill Turnbull Jill TurnbullHairstylist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Krati Darak MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 3 years
Edited by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 4 years
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process.

Once you know what DMDM hydantoin does, you will probably look into the brands of shampoos without DMDM hydantoin in its ingredients. In times where social media has become the sole source of whether or not a particular product is suitable for our health, it is essential to do thorough research on every product before relying on it blindly. Coming to what DMDM hydantoin is, it is a preservative that is added to cosmetic products like lotions, shampoo, blushes, conditioners, and even eye shadow. It increases the product’s shelf life, and the anti-microbial properties make sure there is no fungal growth in it. It also releases a small amount of formaldehyde that may trigger skin allergies, hair loss, and skin irritation. Those who have a history of sensitive skin and eczema should avoid products with preservatives of all kinds. Here is a list of the 11 best shampoos to go for, which are free from DMDM hydantoin.

Top Picks
Best Color-Safe:BIOLAGE ColorLast Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair
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Best Sulfate-free:OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo
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Best Anti-Thinning:PURA d’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo
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Best Soap-Free:Ethique Mintasy Solid Shampoo For Normal To Dry Hair
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Best Moisturizing:Redken 5th Avenue NYC All Soft Moisturizing Shampoo
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Best For Oily Scalp:Vanicream Free & Clear Shampoo For Sensitive Skin
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Best Gentle:ACURE Coconut & Argan Shampoo Bar
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Best For Wavy And Curly Hair:Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore + Bamboo Fibers Shampoo
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Best Cruelty-Free:Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary Shampoo
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Best For Fighting Dandruff:Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo
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What Is DMDM Hydantoin?

Scientifically known as dimethyl imidazolidinedione, DMDM Hydantoin is similar in function and concern to formaldehyde donors like imidazolidinyl/diazolidinyl urea. It is a formaldehyde releasing antimicrobial agent that is mostly found in hair products and other cosmetic products to increase shelf-life. DMDM is known to cause certain eye, skin, or even in extreme cases irritating the lungs. Some studies show that it may be carcinogenic in large doses.

Is DMDM Hydantoin Bad For Hair?

DMDM hydantoin while being a good agent at preserving a product’s longevity is also a formaldehyde-releaser element that may cause hair fall, dry scalp, and weakened hair follicles.

11 Best Shampoos Without DMDM Hydantoin For Strong And Healthy Hair

1. Best Color-Safe: BIOLAGE ColorLast Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair

Color-treated hair needs intense care since hair dyes tend to dry out the natural oils from the hair. Thus, using shampoos that contain DMDM hydantoin could lead to damaged hair, making them more porous. Biolage’s ColorLast Shampoo is vegan and formulated without parabens. It helps to tone and protect hair while being an effective DMDM hydantoin-free shampoo. The shampoo helps in nourishing the hair with healthy properties like low pH and orchid extracts to restore moisture while making up for lost luster. The color-protecting properties of this shampoo offer restorative care and help in preventing any fading of color up to 9 weeks. If you need further convincing, check this YouTuber’s review out and know about the tester’s experience of using the product.

Hair Type: Color Treated | Product Dimensions: 3.15 x 3.15 x 9.76 inches | Weight: 2.2 Pounds


  • Paraben-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Maintains vibrancy of hair color up to 9 weeks
  • Infused with orchid extracts
  • Gentle, non-stripping low pH shampoo


  • Contains sulfate

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 29,051 reviews and is a top choice all around the world.

2. Best Sulfate-free: OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo

Dust, humidity, and constant changes in weather conditions can cause your hair to react adversely, ultimately resulting in dry, weakened, frizzy, fine, oily, or thin hair. To beat this, we recommend using the OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo that is infused with organic and nourishing ingredients like Australian tea tree oils and milk proteins with added benefits of peppermint to help in strengthening and moisturizing your hair while preventing day-to-day bacterial formation like dandruff on your scalp. Regular usage of this anti-frizz and anti-dandruff shampoo might also help in diminishing visible split-ends and providing you a lustrous shine. Check out the review of this hydrating shampoo along with the reviewer’s experience of using it on YouTube to know why it is one of the best out there.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 4 x 5 x 6 inches | Weight: 13 Ounces


  • Infused with Australian tea tree oils
  • Peppermint helps in promoting hair growth
  • Sulfate-free shampoo
  • Suitable for all hair and scalp types


  • Some may find the scent overpowering

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received 11,402 reviews on Amazon and is a popular choice among shoppers.

3. Best Anti-Thinning: PURA d’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo

Pura D'or Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo Image: Pura Dor

The Pura d’Or Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo is packed with all that nature’s got to offer. A clinically-tested formula, it helps prevent hair thinning, breakage, and increases the volume, strength, and shine of your hair. The shampoo is infused with 17 key active ingredients and organic extracts, which keeps the hair healthy and nourishes it through and through. Packed with a mix of nettle, pumpkin seed, and black cumin seed oil, the product helps in thickening your tresses. With the addition of rosemary leaf oil, argan oil, and cedarwood bark oil, the anti-thinning shampoo also helps promote volume, healthier appearance, and repairs damaged and distressed hair. The product showcases visible and clinically proven results in just 8 weeks of consistent use. In this YouTube video, you will find a detailed tester’s experience of using the product.

Item Weight :14.11 Ounces | Hair Type: Thin | Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 3 x 3 x 7.5 inches


  • Contains biotin, pumpkin seed, black cumin seed oil, nettle etc
  • Blended with premium-quality oils
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Anti-thinning and anti-breakage shampoo
  • Free from parabens, gluten, SLS, DMDM hydantoin
  • Ideal for fine, frizzy, damaged, and distressed hair


  • Some may find it slightly greasy

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 9,454 Amazon acclaimed reviews, this product is sure to find a place in everyone’s shopping bag.

BIOLAGE ColorLast Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair
Best Color-Safe
OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo
Best Sulfate-free
PURA d’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo
Best Anti-Thinning
Hair Type Color Treated All Thin
Dimensions 3.15 x 3.15 x 9.76 inches 4 x 5 x 6 inches-
Weight 2.2 Pounds 13 Ounces-
Weight--14.11 Ounces
Dimensions ‏-- ‎ 3 x 3 x 7.5 inches

4. Best Soap-Free: Ethique Mintasy Solid Shampoo For Normal To Dry Hair

Soap bars and shampoo bottles are one of the common distinctions we all witnessed growing up. However, as we strive to achieve a cleaner, less wasteful lifestyle, these minute differences are overcome with new innovations. Innovations like Ethique — a zero-plastic and zero-waste beauty brand that welcomes you to try their Mintasy shampoo bar. Using biodegradable ingredients and compostable packaging, these bars leave no traces behind. Further, they are not tested on animals. If you suffer from dry and frizzy hair, Mintasy can be your go-to damage control shampoo as it is packed with ample moisture-promoting ingredients like cocoa butter, peppermint oil, cacao butter, and a dose of samoan coconut oil that will not only offer gentle cleansing of your scalp of flakiness but also provide hydration thereby softening the hair and improving hair texture.

Hair Type: All, Damaged | Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 3 x 1.5 inches | Weight: 3.88 Ounces


  • 100% soap-free
  • Restores pH balance
  • Suitable for color-treated hair
  • Certified vegan and cruelty-free
  • Travel-friendly


  • The longevity of the bar could be unsatisfactory for some

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

Almost 14,131 happy users have mentioned the value and quality of this product.

5. Best Moisturizing: Redken 5th Avenue NYC All Soft Moisturizing Shampoo

Redken Image: Redken 5th Avenue Nyc All Soft Moisturizing Shampoo

Dry brittle hair can be difficult to manage and maintain owing to factors like unwanted frizz, lack of moisture, and an itchy scalp. Redken’s All Soft Moisturizing Shampoo formulated with argan oil aims at providing and locking the moisture in your scalp and hair from the root to the tip. It leaves you with lustrous, soft, and moistened tresses and a healthy scalp. The moisturizing shampoo is gentle on your scalp and does not irritate your crown. With this shampoo, you’ll also experience the ease of managing your previously untamed and frizz-prone type hair.

Hair Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 3.15 x 3.15 x 9.76 inches | Weight: 1 Pounds


  • Contains argan oil
  • Gentle on the scalp
  • Boosts hair moisture and reduces frizz
  • Leaves hair shiny and soft


  • Not an all sulfate-free formula

protip_icon Pro Tip
Use the All Soft Conditioner and the Argan-6 Oil from Redken after washing your hair with this gentle shampoo to regain a healthy shine and texture.


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has garnered over 11,880 positive reviews on Amazon, and the number continues to grow.

6. Best For Oily Scalp: Vanicream Free & Clear Shampoo For Sensitive Skin

Vanicream Free And Clear Shampoo Image: Vanicream

Oily scalp calls for some high maintenance as some tend to have dry brittle hair with an oily scalp or oily hair with oily scalp. This always raises the question of how one takes proper measures into keeping the scalp clean without drying out the hair and scalp completely or maintain a healthy shine without overly looking greasy. The Free & Clear shampoo promises to wash your worries away as it is clinically approved and is free from harsh ingredients like parabens, formaldehydes, gluten, lanolin, or sulfates. The shampoo is gentle and avoids any scalp irritation and helps remove dandruff, lessen itchiness, and cleans the scalp of any impurities. The clarifying shampoo also helps eradicate any form of buildup from previously used conditioners and hair styling products.

Hair Type: All | Item Weight: 12.5 ounces | Product Dimensions: 2 x 1.5 x 8.3 inches.


  • Free from dyes, formaldehyde, parabens, and sulfates
  • Does not contain lanolin, protein, or gluten
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Gloss-enhancing shampoo
  • Ideal for oily scalp
  • Gently removes and prevents flakiness and product build-up


  • Some may find that they need to use a lot of product

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received over 1,611 rave reviews on Amazon, proving it is a mass favorite.

7. Best Gentle: ACURE Coconut & Argan Shampoo Bar

Now here’s a new addition to help you KonMari your bath routine. An all-in-one shower bar from Acure, it helps lessen your worries about creating waste while providing you with just the right amount of nourishment for your hair and body. This coconut oil-based gentle shampoo bar is free from palm oil and is gentle on your hair and skin. The bar is absolutely 100% vegan and cruelty-free while containing 0% parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, petrolatum, and formaldehydes. The bar is also enriched with the goodness of sunflower seed oil, argan kernel oil, acai fruit, and goji berry fruit extracts that help smoothen coarse hair texture.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.25 x 1.7 x 4.75 inches | Weight: 2.61 Ounces.


  • Vegan
  • Contains coconut oil and argan oil in abundance
  • All-in-one soap bar for hair, body, and face
  • Not tested on animals
  • Free from parabens, sulfates, petrolatum, and formaldehydes
  • Gently cleans the hair and scalp and keeps them soft


  • May not be hypoallergenic

8. Best For Wavy And Curly Hair: Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore + Bamboo Fibers Shampoo


We love a head full of lustrous curly hair but maintaining the ringlets might need extra attention and care. This shampoo from Maui Moisture strengthens and promotes restorative care for damaged hair with the fruitfulness of castor and neem oils. The perfect shampoo is ideal for wavy or curly hair as it is infused with exotic bamboo fibres to renew and soften treated or styled hair. It is gentle and is free from silicones, parabens, mineral oils, and dyes. Opulent with aloe vera, coconut water, castor and neem oils, the shampoo helps densify and promote thicker hair.

Hair Type: Curly | Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8 x 10 x 8 inches | Weight: 0.01 Ounces


  • Made with castor oil and neem oil
  • Free from parabens, mineral oils, and dyes
  • Softens and thickens hair
  • Bamboo fires are infused to help fortify weak hair
  • Not tested on animals


  • Specially formulated for curly hair

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has received 5,927 positive Amazon reviews from its users, stating its numerous benefits.

9. Best Cruelty-Free: Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary Shampoo

Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary Shampoo Image: Avalon Organics

Silky, healthy, and voluminous hair is not much to ask for, as it is to achieve, especially with sudden weather changes that tend to degrade the health of our hair. The Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary shampoo is strictly formulated to cater to thinning and broken-down hair. Formulated with a myriad of hair care essentials like rosemary oil, quinoa protein, calendula, aloe vera, and vitamin E, this shampoo thoroughly cleanses and maintains the porosity of hair while retaining volume, Free from phthalates, SLS, and animal testing, this shampoo helps restore the pH balance of the hair while nourishing them with the wholesomeness of the natural ingredients.

Hair Type: Thin | Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 2.7 x 1.4 inches | Weight: 11.5 Ounces


  • Free from parabens, SLS, and phthalates
  • Cruelty-free
  • Balances pH levels
  • Thoroughly cleanses hair and scalp
  • Provides ample moisture


  • Some may find the consistency slightly watery

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 322 reviews claiming its efficacy.

10. Best For Fighting Dandruff: Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo


A greasy and flaky scalp is perhaps the biggest hair enemy which requires extra care and tea tree is known as the oily scalp’s best friend. With Maple Holistics’ tea tree oil shampoo, you can now wash your hair worry-free as this product contains botanical keratin, rosemary, and lavender oils without any sulfates and parabens. This natural shampoo works its way to deep-clean your scalp while boosting hydration and health without stripping away your hair’s natural oils. You can also use this shampoo for color-treated hair, bleached hair, excessively damaged hair, or a sensitive scalp. Thanks to plant-based essentials in this shampoo, your hair is going to feel extra nourished and soft to the touch with regular use. This widely-used shampoo has garnered massive positive reviews from its users who praise its formulation and endless benefits for the hair and scalp.

Hair Type: Oily, Wavy, Curly, Dry, Fine | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 7.7 inches | Weight: 1 Pounds


  • Ideal for oily and greasy scalp
  • Infused with natural oil extracts from rosemary, lavender,and argan oils
  • Helps prevent dandruff
  • Paraben and sulfate-free formula


  • May take a long time to show results

protip_icon Pro Tip
Massage the shampoo on wet hair. Let the product sit for three minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water. Apply the Maple Holistics Tea Tree Conditioner to lock shine and moisture in your tresses.

11. Best For Colored HairMATRIX Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo

The Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid backs color-treated hair with sulfate-free technology to help retain the vibrant dyes. With its milky and foamy formula, this shampoo offers gentle cleansing of your hair and ensures no fading of your dyed hair, while restoring the vibrancy and shine of your hair. Now you can experience salon level hair-care treatment from the comfort of your bathroom. With a special ingredient called pearl powder, this is one of the best DMDM hydantoin-free shampoo for colored hair.

Hair Type: Color Treated | Product Dimensions: 1.95 x 1.95 x 8.16 inches | Weight: 12.2 Ounces


  • Free from sulfates
  • Ideal for colored or dyed hair
  • Contains pearl powder
  • Gentle formula


  • Contains synthetic fragrance
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Shampoos without DMDM Hydantoin are seemingly on the rise, and we suggest you stay informed about this ingredient that one could do away with in a shampoo bottle. Since this component is not a big necessity nor adds up to the betterment of your hair’s health or provide any nourishment, shampoos could certainly be manufactured without its inclusion. Now that you know the what, the why, and the why not about DMDM hydantoin, let’s find out how you can save yourself from falling into buying a shampoo with DMDM hydantoin.

How To Choose Best DMDM Hydantoin-Free Shampoo

  • Read the ingredients list

Look for the full ingredients list of a product.  Look for the keywords “1,3-dimethylol-5,5-dimethyl”. This is the most commonly used formula in shampoos when it comes to DMDM Hydantoin. Instead choose shampoo with ingredients that are mostly sourced from natural extracts or organically sourced. Nourishing ingredients like plant oils, organic tea, root extracts, olive, fruit extracts, etc are a good place to start. Additionally, look for ingredients such as sodium benzoate, sodium chloride, and sodium hydroxide for their multiple benefits to hair health.

  • Not all chemicals are bad

Check for surfactants or the kind of sulfates if used in a product. Some of the commonly substituted chemicals are: sarcosines, betaines, sultaines, disodium, decyl or lauryl glucoside, etc.

Infographic: Key Ingredients To Look For In A DMDM Hydantoin-Free Shampoo

Although DMDM hydantoin plays an important role in extending the longevity of your shampoos, it can cause severe hair fall and irritate the scalp. So, using products devoid of it is beneficial. But, that’s not all. Choosing a shampoo packed with potent ingredients is equally essential to boost hair health. Check out the infographic below to learn about these ingredients and their benefits.

Key Ingredients To Look For In A DMDM Hydantoin-Free Shampoo (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

DMDM Hydantoin works much like formaldehyde. It is a preservative added to all cosmetic products like eyeshadows, blushes, lotions, and shampoos and is used to increase the life of the product and prevent fungal growth. DMDM hydantoin contains harmful chemical substances that trigger allergies and eye and lung infections in extreme cases. When used in large doses, it is carcinogenic and, at the least, may cause hair fall, dry scalp, and weakened hair follicles. So, it is always wise to choose shampoos that are free of DMDM hydantoin to ensure healthy hair growth. The BIOLAGE ColorLast Shampoo is ideal for color-treated hair, while the PURA d’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo is great for those experiencing hair thinning. But if you desire an eco-friendly and hydrating shampoo, try the Ethique Mintasy Solid Shampoo. These shampoos are gentle on the scalp and do not cause allergies. Some formulae on our list are also vegan and cruelty-free. However, some products may take time to show desired results. So, take the clue from reviewers and read their suggestions well to find a shampoo with all the features that you desire. Additionally, invest in professional-grade formulations that cater to your hair needs well!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is DMDM hydantoin safe for the hair?

Yes. However, if you have allergic reactions towards formaldehyde, avoid using products with DMDM hydantoin, as it can damage your hair and scalp.

Do all shampoos have DMDM hydantoin?

No, but most products contain DMDM hydantoin to maintain their longevity.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article, Krati Darak, is a hair care fanatic. She is passionate about learning the key ingredients and their benefits in hair care products. She has carefully researched the products and checked user feedback on brand websites and trusted online forums to compile the list of the best shampoos without DMDM hydantoin. If you have eczema or sensitive skin, these preservative-free shampoos are ideal for you.

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Jill Turnbull

Jill TurnbullHairstylist

Jill Turnbull is an internationally acclaimed freelance hairstylist, colorist, and makeup artist with over 47 years of experience. She founded her own beauty brand and her work has been featured in editorial magazines worldwide. Jill is also a highly sought-after educator, renowned for her direct, meticulous, and modern approach to hair, makeup, and styling for fashion shoots and advertising campaigns....read full bio

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