John Masters Organics – Reviews and Critical Opinion

John Masters has started his career as a hair stylist in New York and Miami. In the early 1990s, he has started experimenting with using organic products on hair, and has opened his first SoHo salon in 1994. In his salon, he develops and tests his organic line of hair products. John Masters Organics is a known skin and hair care brand, with environmental conscious. The brand uses as little synthetic products as possible, and most of the natural ingredients they use are grown organically, with as little synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally, this company also pays attention to the method of extraction of oils and active ingredients from plants, and ensures the use of methods that maintain the biological activity of their ingredients. All of the brand’s products are sulfate free. In this article we try to compare between the different shampoos in this line and share some John Masters Organics reviews based on consumer reaction to the products.

John Masters Organics hair cleaning products

The product line includes the following shampoos and hair rinses –

PictureShampooRecommended Hair typeMain propertiesAmazon Rating
Evening Primrose Shampoo Dry
  • Moisturizing (Aloe vera and natural oils)

  • Safe but mild detergents

  • Proteins and amino acids for strengthening

  • Guar gum for volumizing

  • Contains soy products

Lavender Rosemary Shampoo All hair types
  • Moisturizing (Aloe vera and natural oils)

  • Safe but mild detergents

  • Soy proteins for strengthening

  • Contains soy products

Zinc & Sage Shampoo with ConditionerItchy scalp
  • Moisturizing (Aloe vera and natural oils)

  • Safe but mild detergents

  • Zinc - antidandruff and scalp soothing

  • Wheat amino acids and papaya extract for strengthening

  • contains wheat products

Bare Unscented ShampooOily hair
  • Moisturizing (Aloe vera, panthenoal and natural oils)

  • Safe but mild detergents

  • Soy hydrolized proteins and amino acids for strengthening

  • sodium PCA (derived from amino acid proline) for hair conditioning

  • Guar gum for volumizing

  • Contains soy products

Honey & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructing ShampooDamaged
  • Moisturizing (Aloe vera, honey, panthenoal and natural oils)

  • Safe but mild detergents

  • Soy, rice and barley hydrolized proteins and amino acids for strengthening

  • Carageenan (from red algae) for hair conditioning

  • Contains soy, wheat and barley products

Spearmint & Meadowsweet Scalp Stimulating ShampooAll hair types
  • Moisturizing (Aloe vera, panthenoal and natural oils)

  • Safe but mild detergents

  • Soy hydrolized proteins for strengthening

  • Guar gum for volumizing

  • Contains soy products

New product
Herbal Cider Hair Clarifier & Color SealerColor-treated and processed hair
  • Apple cider vinegar removes scaly buildup from hair shaft and closes cuticle

  • Plant oil extracts for shiny hair and scent


All products except of the cider rinse contain moisturizing Aloe vera leaf extract as well as the hair conditioner panthenol, and the surfactants used (babassuamidopropyl betaine, decyl glucoside and sodium cocoamphodiacetate ) are mild and safe. The absence of anionic surfactants means significantly less lathering compared to your “normal” sulfate-containing shampoo. The preservatives used in all of the products (including the vinegar) are sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate. These two synthetic ingredients are significantly safer than the common parabens, Methylisothiazolinone, and Methylchloroisothiazolinone, used by many other brands, but still may cause allergic reaction in some users. With so many antiseptic natural oils in these products, I wonder if these two preservatives are really essential for extending the product shelf life. None of the products contains any synthetic fragrance ingredients, and all of the scent results from the natural plant extracts in these products. One of the main differences between the products is the scent of each of them, due to a different combination of plant extracts and oils. Soy, wheat or barley proteins, as well as some amino acids are included in some of the products for hair volumizing and strengthening. If you are avoiding gluten or soy in your cosmetics you should be aware of that.

Below is a more detailed description of each of the products.

Evening Primrose Shampoo

The Evening Primrose Shampoo is specially designed for dry or color-treated hair. This shampoo includes evening primrose extract and rich in Aloe vera leaf juice, both are excellent moisturizing ingredients. Protein and amino acid based ingredients including soy protein extract and the amino acids arginine, serine and threonine, are added in the shampoo to strengthen hair shaft. This shampoo also contains 17 herbs and natural oils. This shampoo also contains low concentration of sulfur, an anti-dandruff ingredient, which may be slightly irritating for skin, eyes or lungs.

Lavender Rosemary Shampoo

The Lavender Rosemary Shampoo is appropriate for natural hair. Ingredients of this shampoo include lavender extract, rosemary extract and soy protein. A combination of lavender and roesemary essential oils has been shown in one clinical study to improve hair growth in alopecia areata patients (Hay et al. 1998. Arch Dermatol 134: 1349). It is not clear, however, if using these oils in a diluted way in a shampoo would have the same hair growth benefits, as massaging the oil mixture directly to the scalp without washing, as done in the study.

Rosemary extract also adds body and shine to dull hair. Soy protein gives strength to hair strands and prevents breakage.

Zinc & Sage Shampoo with Conditioner

The Zinc & Sage Shampoo with Conditioner is specially formulated for itchy scalp conditions caused by frequent using of drying products, dandruff, and cold weather. Zinc helps in preventing irritation while sage acts as an antibacterial astringent preventing the itchy scalp condition from spreading. The shampoo also contains papaya which strengthens hair cuticles.

Bare Unscented Shampoo

The Bare Unscented Shampoo is a mild shampoo suitable for all hair types. It’s perfect for those who avoid organic shampoos due to their smell. This shampoo contains moisturizing ingredients such as jojoba oil and evening primrose and as in all other products in this line Aloe vera extract. White tea extracts help in detoxifying the scalp while the chamomile extract used in the shampoo treats oily scalp. It is interesting to note that the surfactants (cleaning agents) used in this shampoo are slightly different than the ones used in the other ones in this line of products (these are decyl glucoside, sodium lauroamphoacetate, sodium cocoyl sulfoacetate and babassuamidopropyl betaine) but they are still mild and safe, and do not raise any concern.

This shampoo is pH balanced and gluten free. It’s very gentle on your hair and leaves your hair soft and smooth.

Honey and Hibiscus Hair Reconstructing Shampoo

The name says it all. The Honey and Hibiscus Hair Reconstructing Shampoo is designed for repairing damaged hair. With the help of rice & oat proteins, Linolenic and hyaluronic acids repair hair damages strengthening the strands with every wash. Honey and hibiscus extract help in maintaining the moisture level of the scalp and hair. In addition palm wax is a safe natural hair conditioner that coats the hair and makes it shiny.

Spearmint & Meadowsweet Scalp Stimulating Shampoo 

The Spearmint & Meadowsweet Scalp Stimulating Shampoo is a brand new product from John Masters Organics. It is a clarifying shampoo for improving scalp conditions to promote hair growth and healthy, shiny, and manageable hair. As a clarifying shampoo, this is more about what’s not in this shampoo, as the role of such a product is to remove buildup of conditioners and styling products in the hair. This shampoo does not contain many oils or conditioners that would cling to hair and block the scalp pores.

Peppermint and spearmint extracts in this shampoo are traditionally used for promoting hair growth. The meadowsweet extract is believed to prevent hair loss while eucalyptus oil works against bacteria and keeps the scalp healthy. The hair loss claims about these natural ingredients have not been substantiated scientifically. Read more about hair loss shampoo.

Herbal cider hair clarifier and color sealer

Although not a shampoo, this product utilizes another way to clean hair, and hence is included in this review. This product is an apple cider rinse that is designed to remove buildup from hair and adjust pH, and seal hair cuticle. If you have a color-treated hair, this will seal the color in the hair and maintain it for a longer time. If you have a natural hair, you still get the benefit of clarifying your hair from product buildup. This product should be used after you’ve shampooed you hair. Although you can make a similar cider vinegar rinse at home, the benefit of this product is the reduced vinegar smell, because of the addition of other herbal extracts. Do not expect, however, for the smell to be completely gone. It is still vinegar, and if you are very sensitive to the smell, a vinegar rinse may not be for you.

John Masters Organics Reviews Based on Consumer Reaction

Because consumers are the real judge of a product, it helps reading what other users have to say about a shampoo before deciding if this product is good for you. We have researched intensively on different published consumer reviews of John Masters Organics. Below is a list based on what people like and dislike in the shampoos.

What People Like

  • All the John Masters Organics shampoos are organic and safe to use.
  • They are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate free.
  • The shampoos are safe for color treated hair.
  • The shampoos are gentle on your hair and don’t leave any adverse effect.

What People Don’t Like

  • People who are sensitive towards smell have sometimes expressed dislike towards the organic smell of some of the John Masters Organics shampoos.
  • The shampoos don’t create as much lather as chemical based shampoos.
  • More amounts of the shampoos are needed in comparison to chemical based shampoos.
  • Some consumers thought that Evening Primrose Shampoos didn’t suit their hair.

 Our Review

Although John Master Organics products are not made of completely natural ingredients, they contain a very high percentage of natural and organic ingredients (the company claims to have >70% natural ingredients), and use many natural substitutes to synthetic ingredients used in other shampoos. The surfactants used to substitute sulfates are mild and safe. These are derived from natural ingredients, but undergo a chemical process that changes them, so they are not “natural”. Use of synthetic preservatives is also a concern. Over all, after extensive look at the detailed ingredient lists of these shampoos, and reading consumer reviews, we can highly recommend any of the products described in this article.



Rehana is a professional writer and researcher. She has written about health and beauty in several different websites. She is passionate about natural life style and personal development. She loves to read novels in her spare time. Her hobbies include writing, watching movies and reading about anything interesting.

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