I am constantly looking for new ways to be eco-friendly. I’ve switched to organic, fair-trade coffee (I wrote about it here) and conscious beauty brands (I also wrote about that), but I believe that you can always do better. The solution: shampoo bars.
Benefits of Shampoo Bars vs. Shampoo Bottles
There are quite a few benefits to bars, and most are common sense. With the exact same effect as liquid shampoo, shampoo bars are perfect for constant travelers – you don’t have to worry about the three-ounce liquids limit or bottles exploding in your luggage.
If you’re looking to be more eco-friendly, there’s no plastic to throw out when you’re done with a bottle. Segue: most shampoo bars last longer than a full bottle of shampoo, if not two. Saving the environment has never been so efficient or affordable, tbh.
In summary: shampoo bars aren’t just soap-like consistency for your hair, or something to use when you run out of your silky-smooth Aussie shampoo – they’re the best choice for hair care and the environment. Check out all our favorites below!
Best for Oily Hair: Voodoo Solid Shampoo Bar
Charcoal has blown up in the beauty industry, specifically for skin and teeth, so it was only a matter of time before it was made into a hair product. This bar uses activated charcoal, too, as well as local Australian ingredients such as Tasmanian herbs. The result: sleek hair minus the excess oil.
Best for Frizzy Hair: Ethique Eco-Friendly Shampoo
My hair is ultra thick, bleached blonde, and curly as heck. I was super skeptical about shampoo bars because frizz has always been a problem for me, but I took this frizz tamer shampoo bar on my last international trip and WOW, it worked like a dream! Which says a lot when it comes to my hair and Amsterdam’s humidity. I was surprised at how well it lathered and how easy it was to use, and I now take this with me every time I travel!
– Emily, Senior Content Writer
Best for Thick Hair: SheaMoisture Clay Bar Repairing Shampoo
This shampoo bar is loaded with nourishing ingredients that will help manage your thick hair. Full of reparative omegas and oils and gentle enough for the most sensitive skin, your scalp will be happy and your hair will be strong and hydrated – no more hiding your natural texture.
Best for Fine Hair: Pacific Spirit Shampoo Bar for Fine Hair
Don’t worry if this shampoo bar doesn’t foam up to the nth degree – I promise it’s working its magic. Ingredients such as fresh kiwi juice (for vitamins and nutrients) and green clay (to cleanse and detoxify) work together to give the appearance of thick, full hair.
Best for Colored Hair: Love Beauty and Planet Shampoo Bar
If you have colored hair, then you know the importance of washing with a shampoo that prevents color stripping. This bar has murumuru, a fat that helps hydrate and protect your hair – kind of like coconut oil, but make it ~Amazonian.~ Say goodbye to expensive color running down the drain.
Best for Damaged Hair: VERT Natural Shampoo Bar
Did that color you just dyed your hair also dry it out? With nut oils and shea butter, dry hair is no match for this conditioning, eco-friendly shampoo option. Best part: don’t even worry about added chemicals, because this shampoo bar is 100% natural.
Best for Sensitive Scalps: J.R. LIGGETT’S All-Natural Shampoo Bar
If you have a sensitive scalp, you know that some shampoos can be especially irritating. So, this shampoo bar was meant for you. It removes clogging sebum and even minimizes your need for conditioner, all while mitigating allergies for sensitive scalps.
Best for Dandruff: Dermaharmony Shampoo Bar
These bars are 2% Pyrithione Zinc. What does that mean? Yeah, I had the same question. Basically: it’s an antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal that can help with dandruff and scalp psoriasis. No more flakes for you! (Imagine that in Oprah’s voice for maximum effect.)
Best Multi-Purpose: Acure Coconut & Argan Shampoo Bar
Trying to find a multi-purpose bar that covers your hair and skin? Accure has the perfect bar for you. 100% vegan with coconut oil and argan, this will leave your skin soft and your hair hydrated without parabens, sulfates, or palm oil – aka, all the bad stuff that won’t help.
Best for Volume: HiBAR Shampoo Bar
As a hairdresser told me: “you have thin hair… you just have a lot of it.” So, when my hair isn’t frizzy, it’s obvious that it’s thin. The African dates and Vitamin B5 in this shampoo bar help plump up your locks rather than flatten them. No one will know how thin your hair actually is.
Best for Dry Hair: Foamie Shampoo Bar
If you’re worried about putting soap into your already-dry hair, you can pass on that with this shampoo bar. Featuring soothing aloe vera, your hair will be fully hydrated after the first wash. It’s also perfect for nourishing your scalp. Two in one? Sign me up.
Best for Blonde Hair: Ethique Purple Shampoo Bar
We couldn’t help but mention Ethique again, because they carry shampoo bars for every need. This purple toning bar is perfect for bleached blondes looking to say goodbye to yellow tones. Babassu and jasmine oils keep damaged hair soft, and beetroot extract protects the color and gets rid of the brass.
Best Philanthropic Shampoo Bar Brands
We always appreciate when brands go above and beyond. These are our top philanthropic shampoo bar brands:
On top of donating to causes including Black Lives Matter, Earth Force, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and WIRES, the earthling co. also donates 1% of their gross sales to 1% for the Planet. 1% for the Planet inspires businesses using the earth’s resources to give back and protect these natural resources.
Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve has been committed to environmental sustainability since they began, but they upped their efforts in 2014 following a move to a new space. For example: they switched to LED lighting, therefore lessening energy usage by 65%, and their old appliances were replaced with Energy Star certified appliances.
EcoRoots has an entire blog dedicated to the sustainability of their products, but to summarize a few key points: there is no plastic in their shipping – all of it is biodegradable; their bars are vegan and cruelty-free; and there’s no palm oil (which is a partial culprit behind rapid deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia). You can read up on the details here.
Are you jumping on the shampoo bar train? If you already have, what shampoo bars do you use? Let us know in the comments!
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