Want to know the best zero waste shampoo bar for each type of hair and use? We all hope for that genie in a shampoo bottle to free us from our hair woes. Gorgeous hair is everyone’s goal, and we’ve tried out numerous shampoo brands in that quest. And whatever be the brand, most of us have only poured out shampoo from a bottle all our lives. What’s the story of this shampoo bottle? Is it the ideal solution for clean and healthy hair? (Spoiler: NO.) Let’s take a look at what solid shampoo bars are, and why they can be a great zero waste alternative. There are plastic-free shampoo alternatives, but when it comes to packaging, shampoo bars are as close to perfect as you can get. Plus, find out how to store shampoo bars to get the most out of them.
Some quick suggestions:
- Zero Waste Shampoo Bar And Conditioner For Travel
- Jr Liggett's Shampoo Bar
- Best Shampoo Bar For Color-Treated Hair
- Best Shampoo Bar For Hair Loss
- Best Bar Shampoo For Gray Hair
- Best Conditioner Bar
- The Best Shampoo Bars Overall
- Zero Waste Hair Care: Shampoo Bar?
- Types of Shampoo Bars
- Are Shampoo Bars Better for your Hair?
- Is the Shampoo Bar Right for You?
Zero Waste Shampoo Bar And Conditioner For Travel
When it comes to the best bar shampoo and conditioner for travel, several factors should be considered, including hygiene, convenience, organic ingredients, and packaging. These pass the muster:
5 // HiBar Shampoo Bar
With a history dating back to 1833, J.R. Liggett’s has remained dedicated to providing high-quality, eco-friendly hair care options. J.R. Liggett’s takes pride in using only safe and natural components. Their shampoo bars are made with a gentle formulation that includes a blend of natural oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and essential oils. These ingredients help nourish the hair and scalp while promoting overall hair health.
J.R. Liggett’s Shampoo Bars are crafted using minimal packaging, reducing waste and environmental impact. They are also free of plastic bottles, making them a sustainable choice for those seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.
J.R. Liggett’s offers a range of shampoo bars to cater to different hair types and needs. Their variety includes Original Formula, Tea Tree & Hemp Oil, Jojoba & Peppermint, and more. Each bar is carefully crafted to address specific concerns, such as dryness, dandruff, or oily scalp.
Best Shampoo Bar For Color-Treated Hair
When it comes to finding the best shampoo bar for color-treated hair, look for products that are gentle, nourishing, and specifically formulated to protect and maintain the vibrancy of your hair color. Here are a few great options:
This shampoo bar is designed for color-treated and damaged hair. It contains natural ingredients like kiwifruit oil, neem oil, and oatmeal to soothe the scalp, promote hair health, and prevent color fading.
This brand offers several variations of their shampoo bar, including one specifically formulated for color-treated hair. These bars are made with natural oils and are free of harsh chemicals, which can help preserve your hair color while providing gentle cleansing.
This shampoo bar is infused with cocoa butter and other nourishing ingredients to help moisturize color-treated hair. It has a delightful scent and works to maintain color vibrancy while leaving your hair soft and shiny.
This butter bar conditioning shampoo is an excellent companion for color-treated hair. It contains natural ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, and avocado oil to moisturize and protect your hair while preserving the color.
Lush offers a range of shampoo bars, and Seanik is a popular choice for color-treated hair. It contains seaweed, sea salt, and lemon oil to add shine, enhance volume, and maintain your hair color.
Best Shampoo Bar For Hair Loss
Hair loss can have various causes, and individual results may vary. If you’re experiencing significant hair loss, it’s advisable to consult with a dermatologist or a trichologist for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized recommendations. But if you’re just looking for the best shampoo bar for hair loss, it’s important to look for products that are specifically formulated to address the underlying causes of hair loss while promoting a healthy scalp and hair growth. Such as these:
This shampoo bar is crafted with botanical ingredients known for their hair-strengthening and stimulating properties. It contains herbs like rosemary, nettle, and horsetail, which can help nourish the scalp, improve circulation, and promote hair growth.
Neem and tea tree oil are renowned for their antibacterial and antifungal properties. This shampoo bar combines these ingredients to help maintain a clean scalp, reduce inflammation, and support a healthy environment for hair growth.
This shampoo bar combines tea tree oil and hemp oil to soothe the scalp, reduce dandruff, and promote hair growth. It is free of harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances, making it suitable for those with sensitive scalps.
This shampoo bar is infused with ingredients like lime, orange, and lemongrass to invigorate the scalp and promote healthy hair growth. It is gentle, pH-balanced, and free of sulfates and parabens.
This shampoo bar is handmade using natural ingredients and essential oils, including lavender and geranium. These ingredients help nourish the hair follicles, promote scalp health, and strengthen the hair.
Best Bar Shampoo For Gray Hair
We need to find the best bar shampoo that can help maintain the natural radiance of gray hair, while also addressing specific needs associated with graying hair. Try these excellent options:
This shampoo bar is specifically designed for gray and silver hair, and is formulated with nutrient-rich organic açai oil. It contains violet pigments that help neutralize yellow tones, keeping your gray hair bright and vibrant. It also has a nourishing blend of essential oils to promote hair health.
Formulated with purple pigment and natural ingredients, this shampoo bar helps counteract brassiness and maintain the cool tones of gray hair. It’s gentle, eco-friendly, and free of sulfates and harsh chemicals.
This shampoo bar is not purple, but it has been specifically created for mature hair. It has vitamin E-saturated wheat germ, avocado and jojoba oils, moisture packed unrefined organic cocoa butter, and is enriched with pro-vitamin B.
Best Conditioner Bar
The conditioner bar is easy to use—simply glide it over wet hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends. It quickly transforms into a creamy, nourishing conditioner upon contact with water. It rinses out easily, leaving no residue behind.
2 // Lush Avocado Co-Wash
The Best Shampoo Bars Overall
So, basically if you’re looking for a zero waste shampoo alternatives, solid bar shampoos are a good option to try. And you can choose various lovely smelling options (created with natural sources) with nourishing ingredients that will freshen your hair and soothe your mood. All while knowing that this shampoo bar can be used until it disappears, and you will not have to throw anything out into the environment.
With all that out of the way, here are 25 of the very best organic, zero waste shampoo bar brands (including cruelty-free products). Check out what they have on offer, and start your zero waste hair care journey.
Scroll further below for requirement-specific and hair type specific shampoo bars.
1 // A Wild Soap Bar / Vegan & Cruelty-free
2 // Apple Valley
3 // Auromere / Vegan & Cruelty-free
4 // Bar None / Vegan & Cruelty-free
5 // Basin / Vegan & Cruelty-free
6 // Bestowed Essentials
7 // Booda Organics / Vegan & Cruelty-free
8 // Public Goods
9 // byHumankind
10 // Chagrin Valley
11 // Christophe Robin
12 // Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Bar Soap / Vegan & Cruelty-free
13 // Ethique Shampoo Bar
14 // Friendly Soap
15 // HiBar
16 // JR Liggett’s / Vegan & Cruelty-free
17 // Love Beauty And Planet / Vegan & Cruelty-free
18 // Lush Shampoo Bars / Vegetarian & Cruelty-free
19 // Meow Meow Tweet / Vegan & Cruelty-free
20 // OBIA Naturals/ Vegan & Cruelty-free
21 // Purple Prairie Botanicals/ Vegan & Cruelty-free
22 // Royalty Soaps
23 // Simply Soaps / Vegan & Cruelty-free
24 // Très Spa / Vegan & Cruelty-free
25 // Buy on Etsy!
Zero Waste Hair Care: Shampoo Bar?
A shampoo bar is basically shampoo in solid form. So, yes, even Garnier can make solid shampoo, and while it would be zero waste, it certainly would not be toxin-free or ethical. What we will be discussing in this post are organic shampoo bars that are ethically produced. This will do the same extent of healthy cleaning that a regular shampoo can do, but with some benefits as well as drawbacks (which we’ll get to in a bit). Shampoo bars are formulated to eliminate dirt and product build-up, are suitable for all hair types, and generally the well made ones will be just as effective as a comparable liquid shampoo. Shampoo bars have quite a history, too, if you’re interested!
The process for making shampoo bars is the same as that for soap bars. The ingredients are different (and shampoo bars are often formulated to stand up to hard water). Cleansing agents used in shampoo bars in place of surfactants are baking soda, apple cider vinegar or/and tea tree oil. Various essential oils are included for their antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Natural oils are also included, such as coconut oil, jojoba oil or avocado oil, for their moisturizing action. They may also have aloe vera or Shea butter to help moisturize hair.
Bars are also formulated for different types of hair and different requirements, just like your regular shampoo brands do.
Types of Shampoo Bars
Shampoo bars have been used pretty extensively in the past around the world, but they were replaced with liquid shampoo, plastic bottles, microbeads, etc, as technology improved. Now, here we are – at a juncture where we ought to revert back to age-old (and therefore eco-friendly) practices for the benefit of not just the environment, but our health as well. Shampoo bars that are organic, cruelty-free, handmade and with minimum to no packaging are the ideal option to switch to. Further below in this post is a list of shampoo bar brands you can try out.
Why did I mention handmade bars? Many brands sell handmade shampoo bars that are very good (especially on Etsy; check them out). It’s a great indication of the extreme care taken while making the shampoo bar, and speaks to the dedication of the brand owners (plus, they are likely small businesses that we should support!). Plus, if you’re so inclined, you can also make your own with this zero waste shampoo bar recipe. There are three main types of shampoo bar:
1 / cold-processed shampoo bars
These have loads of natural plant-based oils to help condition your hair, and are typically free of sulfates and parabens. These are the bars you’ll find at your local farmer’s market.
2 / glycerin-based shampoo bars
These are more gentle and have a better pH balance, but don’t lather much at all (since they contain fewer cleansing agents).
3 / solid surfactant shampoo bars
These shampoo bar lather up well and cleanse very well, and have a good pH balance. But they contain surfactants known as sulphates (SLS and SLES are two types of commonly used sulphates that can dry your hair out with prolonged use). A good solution is to look for bars with gentle surfactants such as glucoside.
Are Shampoo Bars Better for your Hair?
Well, not necessarily; they’re about as good or bad for your hair as comparable liquid shampoos. Besides, a lot of advertisers, including those pushing shampoo bars, claim miraculous results from using their product. But we know that advertisers tend to exaggerate, and that there is no single product that works perfectly for everyone. There is a lot of trial and error involved, especially when it comes to finding a suitable product for your hair. For instance, what causes frequent hair greasiness in one person may be different to what causes it in another person, and even diet can never be discarded from the equation. All of this is to say that solid shampoo bars may be zero waste and awesome, but if they don’t work well for you, don’t feel bad about it. There are other ethical and zero waste shampoos that are just as gentle on the environment (and your scalp). But do give the shampoo bar a try; it may well turn out to be your miraculous hair solution, after all! You can then dry your hair with one of these sustainable towels for maximum care.
Is the Shampoo Bar Right for You?
In a bid to avoid harmful surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate (which are present in commercial shampoos), shampoo bars are formulated to be gentle and low lather (less or no surfactant), with a high concentration of saponified oils, all of which are a big move away from the behavior of detergent-based shampoos.
On the flip side, though, the high amounts of saponified oils can cause waxy build-up in your hair – and you may need to rinse your hair regularly with apple cider vinegar to get rid of that (the acidic nature of the ACV helps counter the alkalinity of the waxy build-up by removing the coating and allowing your hair to breathe.)
Hair with waves and curls and texture may not be happy with shampoo bars, and can get tangled up pretty easily. I have thick, curly hair, and I usually rub the bar between my hands to gather some lather (heh!) and then apply that to my hair. This helps minimise tangling, but my hair is pretty short, so I’m not sure this will work with long hair.
However, the benefits of organic shampoo bars far outweigh the costs:
1 / Shampoo bars are long lasting and convenient
Why else have shampoo bars been popular among the camping and hiking crowds for ages! You use the bar, wait for it to dry, and then it’s just an easy-to-carry and store toiletry item. No spillage at all. It’s TSA-approved as a solid! Also, each bar, depending on the size and your usage, can last you a pretty long time (longer than liquid shampoos, which, let’s admit, we use pretty liberally most of the time).
2 / They’re better for the environment
They’re zero waste, in the sense that they have no plastic packaging (and no micro plastics in the ingredients), and are biodegradable thanks to the use of safer ingredients. Many shampoo bars can be used as soap as well, so you will be saving money!
3 / Organic, natural shampoo bars are gentle yet effective
Brands such as Lush, Ethique and others use organic ingredients, and are free from harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, propylene glycol, and sodium hydroxide. Most shampoo bar brands eschew artificial fragrances that can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. They also do not use sulphates (although some shampoo bars have sodium coco sulphate). Sodium hydroxide, an extremely strong alkali that is used to make soap along with oils and fats, is an ingredient that many bar shampoos do not include.
Well made shampoo bars can be gentle on hair while still being effective. This means you can use them on kids as well, without worrying about triggering allergies or irritating their skin. Plus, they’re very easy to use.
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