Over 500 million plastic shampoo bottles wind up in landfills every year. Many also contain PFAs (Perfluoroalkoxy alkanes), which is the same stuff in firefighting foam and Teflon. Those chemicals then enter our drinking water, causing disease. Gross, right?
That’s why the eco-movement is kicking liquid shampoo to the curb. But it can be discouraging to go zero waste when some shampoo bars leave your feeling hair dry, waxy or frizzy—a pH nightmare.
Nobody wants to walk around with unhappy hair! We’ve researched some of those concerns to help you ditch the chemicals and haircare plastic pollution for good. Below, you’ll discover the best shampoo bars for your hair type and concerns.
Top Picks: Best Shampoo Bars
1. Best Shampoo and Conditioner Bars: Ethique’s Wonderlicious Shampoo & Conditioner Bar Bundle. Zero-waste, vegan bars made with and ethical and eco-conscious mission
2. Runner Up: HiBAR Solid Shampoo and Conditioner Maintain Set.
3. Best Shampoo for Fine Hair: EcoRoots’ Zero Waste Citrus Shampoo Bars. Cruelty-free, plastic-free, zero-waste bars handmade from plant extracts.
4. Runner Up: Lush’s Seanik Shampoo Bar.
5. Best Natural Shampoo Bars: Ethique’s Eco-Friendly Sweet & Spicy Shampoo Bar. Zero-waste, vegan bars made with and ethical and eco-conscious mission.
6. Runner Up: Silver Falls Sustainability Co.’s Shampoo Bars.
7. Best Shampoo Bars for Curly Hair: Beauty and the Bees’ Moroccan Mud Shampoo Bar. Made with ingredients so safe, it’s practically gourmet.
8. Runner Up: The Afro Hair and Skin Co.’s Nurture – Gentle Cleaning Shampoo Bar.
9. Best Shampoo Bars for Oily Hair: Viori’s Citrus Yao Shampoo Bar. Safe and natural, using centuries-old traditional Longsheng rice water.
10. Runner Up: Soapbox Soaps’ Tea Tree.
10 Best Shampoo Bars for Natural Hair Cleaning
We’ve got all the great picks for you from across the web. Some can be found at larger retailers, but we’ve linked to small shops to support them, too. We’ve broken the best shampoo bars into 5 categories, and chosen a top pick, and runner-up for each one.
1. Ethique’s Wonderlicious Shampoo & Conditioner Bar Bundle
Ethique: Sustainable Natural Shampoo | Fragrance: Wonderlicious | Size: 3.88 oz. ea. | Washes: 45+ | Price:
Ethique may not manufacture their products in the US, but they just opened a US-based distribution center to avoid sending individual shipments from New Zealand to the United States.
Their climate action plan supports a green economy with fair trade and by donating 20% of annual profits to conservation, animal welfare, and nonprofit groups. Even at 100% carbon-neutral, they strive to do more. Best of all, they’re entirely vegan and cruelty-free.
Each Wonderlicious pack comes with two products: the Pinkalicious and the Wonderbar, made from coconut oil, cocoa butter, and other natural, organic ingredients, arriving in 100% compostable and zero-waste packaging.
-Hair feels great after just one use
-Sudsy soap and a creamy conditioner
-Helps balance hard water pH
-Rinsing feels like a squeegee on a window.
-Should have a more significant smell profile
-The shampoo feels like it’s stripping the hair
2. HiBAR Solid Shampoo and Conditioner Maintain Set
The best customer service pick
HiBAR: Save the world and look good doing it | Fragrance: Maintain | Size: 3.2 oz. ea. | Washes: 60+ | Price:
It’s difficult to find liquid shampoos and conditioners safe enough for color-treatments, let alone bars that help maintain color, but HiBAR’s Maintain does just that. But you can’t wash your hair every day, and if you color your hair, you know what that means.
Still, they skip all the bad stuff, including animal-cruelty, and exclusively use safe, natural ingredients. And by their reviews, you’ll discover a hands-on company ready to troubleshoot or offer a money-back guarantee.
-Long-lasting and sustainable
-Not recommended for thin, straight hair
Best Shampoo for Fine Hair
3. EcoRoots’ Zero Waste Citrus Shampoo Bars
EcoRootsShop: Plastic-Free and Zero Waste Shop | Fragrance: Citrus | Size: Shampoo Bars—2.25 oz. | Washes: 50+ | Price:
Domestically manufactured, EcoRoots’ citrus shampoo bars are handmade goodness inspired by sustainability and planet-friendly ambitions. Happy hair ingredients include cocoa butter, jojoba, jasmine and coconut oils, and a blend of essential oils. Plus, the sunny citrus smell wakes you up a little bit faster in the morning.
What they don’t include is most important. You won’t find any animal products, palm oil, silicone or parabens—they’re good for you and good for the environment. Plus, there’s no green-washing here. Your product arrives without plastic or excess packaging.
No matter your hair’s length or texture, you can get about 50 washes (or more) from the shampoo and even more from their conditioner. That comes out to less than a quarter per wash/bar—huge savings over comparable liquid products.
The one downside is that you’ll wish your favorite scent came as a candle, too.
-Great for curly hair, too, leaves curls bouncy.
-Great for sensitive scalps
-Hair looks healthier, not greasy, with continued use.
-Rinsing feels like a squeegee on a window.
-Should have a bigger smell profile
-The shampoo feels like it’s stripping the hair, but it’s not
4. Lush’s Seanik Shampoo Bar
Lush: Fresh ingredients sold fresh to customers | Fragrance: Seanik | Size: 1.9 oz. | Washes: 60+ | Price:
Lush product users aren’t shy about leaving rave reviews. And while they have a few best-sellers, Seanik works best for fine hair due to the salt, which is for lift and volume, Irish moss and Japanese nori seaweeds for shine, and lemon and floral oils for scent.
Consistent charitable giving makes them a pillar of philanthropy by donating to grassroots organizations. At the same time, naked packaging has reduced plastic pollution by over 22 million bottles alone.
-Leaves hair soft and light
-Solved itchy scalp problems
-Lush uses Sodium Lauryl Sulfate for lather (a synthetic but organic compound)
-Caused scalp reactions
Best Natural Shampoo Bars
5. Ethique’s Eco-Friendly Sweet & Spicy Shampoo Bar
Best Globally minded brand
Ethique: Sustainable Natural Shampoo | Fragrance: Sweet & Spicy | Size: 3.88 oz. | Washes: 45+ | Price:
You’ve read about Ethique up above, so you know caring for the health of the planet is part of the mission. Recently, they’ve even collaborated with The Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors foundation to protect and save Australia’s wildlife since the devastating 2019 wildfires.
Their top-selling product, Sweet & Spicy, is made from coconut oil, cocoa butter, sweet orange essential oil, cinnamon, and ginger. It arrives in 100% compostable and zero-waste packaging. If you still don’t know which bar to buy, head to their website for some help.
-Scalp feels healthy and normal
-Lathers better than traditional shampoo
-Lasts 1.5 – 2 months with short hair and daily use
-Doesn’t work for color-treated hair
-Leaves wavy hair looking frizzy
6. Silver Falls Sustainability Co.’s Shampoo Bars
Zero-waste mom & pop pick
Silver Falls Sustainability Company: Body Care Products that Won’t Hurt You or the Environment | Fragrance: Cedar and Sage | Size: 3.75 oz. | Washes: 60-90 | Price:
Silver Falls Sustainability Co. is a small-batch, sustainable mom & pop (and baby) team from Oregon. They create shampoo bars without using GMOs, sulfates, parabens or phthalates. They’ll woo you with recyclable and compostable packaging, but keep you going back because they make every product from superior, quality ingredients.
-Only have to wash my hair twice a week now.
-Leaves hair soft and smelling great
-Leaves hair flat and greasy
-Didn’t work for hair type
Best Shampoo Bars for Curly Hair
7. Beauty and the Bees’ Moroccan Mud Shampoo Bar
The sustainable pick
Beauty and the Bees: The Original Zero Waste Bar | Fragrance: Moroccan Mud | Size: Shampoo Bars—4.23 oz. | Washes: 50+ | Price:
Continuous sustainability has defined Beauty and the Bees throughout the decades. They make all of their products with fresh, high-quality food ingredients, like Leatherwood honey and seaweed and Rhassoul and French Red clay, seaweed extract, and essential oils.
All products are developed to support healthy skin, help those with skin conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and more.
You won’t find any synthetics, petrochemicals or plastics. But you will find handmade products from organic ingredients and a passion for healing the damage done by other products, making their eco-profile sing.
-Bang for your buck
-Leaves a balanced scalp
-Leaves a weird, squeaky feeling
-Recommended to use apple cider vinegar as a rinse
8. The Afro Hair and Skin Co.’s Nurture – Gentle Cleaning Shampoo Bar
The all-natural pick
The Afro Hair and Skin Care Co: Holistic Health and Wellness for Black Women | Fragrance: Nurture | Size: 3.5 oz. | Washes: 12-25 | Price:
The Afro Hair and Skin Care Co. is a clean, green ingredient company meeting needs unique to textured hair. You’ll find natural and vegan-friendly ingredients in Nurture like shea butter, sweet almond and nettle leaf extracts, as well as lavender and lemongrass oils.
Plus, they’ve made Vogue magazine’s list for the Best Skin-Care Products for—And By—People of Color.
-Great for beards
-Leaves hair hydrated and supple
-Feels slightly stripped of moisture
Best Shampoo Bars for Oily Hair
9. Viori’s Citrus Yao Shampoo Bar
The historic traditions pick
Viori: Rice Hair Cosmetics | Fragrance: Citrus Yao | Size: 1.25” x 2.5” | Washes: 30-60 | Price:
Handcrafted in the US, tribally-based Viori products require Longsheng rice, natural fermentations, sulfate-free ingredients, coconut-derived cleansers, and conditioners from the colza plant—a bright yellow spring flower. In the same vein, Viori is also a vegan, plastic-free and ethically-sourced company.
If you’re not familiar with the Chinese Red Yao tribe by name, you’ve probably heard of the ancient Chinese tradition of only cutting your hair once in life. You’re going to want a great shampoo if it means your hair length represents longevity and fortune!
Rice naturally restores pH levels. In addition, it’s fantastic for your skin and might be the best thing for your oily hair. Alongside rice’s health benefits, Viori packed in the following beautiful ingredients: cocoa and shea butter, rice bran oil, vitamins B8 and B5, broccoli seed oil, aloe, and vitamin E!
-Dull hair turned bouncy and shiny
-Doesn’t weigh down hair
10. Soapbox Soaps’ Tea Tree
The ethical pick
Soap Box Soaps: Hair and Body Care That Matters | Fragrance: Tea Tree | Size: 3.1 oz. | Washes: 30+ | Price:
Soapbox uses natural ingredients that are good for the environment while also doing what it can to reduce its carbon footprint along the way. It’s silico-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan, and you won’t find any palm oil.
They also give back to communities here in the US by participating in donations to shelters and food pantries. In addition, internationally, they support schools, orphanages, and medical centers, including hygiene education and soap-making for small businesses.
-Itch-free, healthy scalp
-Corrected the texture of dull hair
-Wrapped in plastic
-No tingle, no scent
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Meet Your Author
Amy Wolkenhauer has been a full-time freelance writer since 2014. Her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainability complement each other.
Combined, these degrees provide her with the communication tools necessary to create tangible links between scientists, stakeholders, marketplace & policy actors with communities everywhere.