12 Best Zero Waste Shampoo’s And Conditioner Bars For Your Hair (2022)

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THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS; PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Did you know that most shampoo bottles contain 70 to 80% water? If you just fell out of your chair, then we can both continue reading on the floor. Yep, water is the main ingredient to help dilute the detergent and make it easier to spread. If you look at the back of your bottle, it’ll say aqua that is just tap water added to the ingredients.

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You can think of a shampoo bar as a concentrated version of commercial shampoo in a bottle. Just like the Tru Earth detergent strips or the Earth Breeze ones are concentrated versions of washing detergent, without the plastic waste.

Read the Earth Breeze Detergent Sheets Review

Additionally, it will outlast your bottled shampoo by two to three times.  A 1.9oz shampoo bar can last up to 80 – 100 washes, which equals three 250ml bottles.

But it also depends on your usage. Mine usually lasts for about two to three months, and I wash my hair daily.

If that is not reason enough to ditch the plastic bottle and swap over to zero waste shampoos, then maybe the fact that yearly 1164 football fields of bottles are going to landfill.

They cause many other problems, from taking 1000’s years to degrade and releasing harmful chemicals into the groundwater, or bottles ending up in our oceans and nature, where they can do further harm.

Plastic breaking into microplastic, which is ingested by marine life and ourselves. You see, there are plenty of benefits to moving away from conventional shampoo in plastic bottles.

But what about the transition period Mr. Zerowasteman?

Good question, I am glad you asked. And drumroll, please…

Yes, there is going to be a transition period. If you have been washing your hair with chemical-laden shampoos for the last 20-30 years (I am not very good at math), it will naturally take some time for your hair to adjust to natural shampoo bars without any harsh chemicals.

You might notice your hair feeling a bit yuck after the first wash, even greasy or oily hair. That is because you have been slapping on chemicals on your poor scalp and it takes some time for the natural oils to come back to their healthy performance. Don’t sweat it just yet, it might take you 3-4 washes until your hair has adapted, and trust me, you will never want to go back after that.

If you feel like there is no real transitioning period then that might actually be due to the shampoo bar still containing too many chemicals. But this article will give you a good idea of which zero waste shampoo brands are right for you.

You might want to try an apple cider vinegar rinse.

Sometimes the shampoo bar can leave a bit of residue in your hair making it feel waxy or oily. You can use conditioner bars or make your own apple cider vinegar rinse.

  • 1/2 T to 4T of apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • 8 ounces of water
  • dry hair likes less ACV and oily hair likes more
  • additionally add some herbs or essential oils to make it smell nice

Benefits of ACV

  • Balancing, it has a natural PH
  • Antimicrobial, really good for itchy scalps or dandruff.
  • Clarifying;  it also helps exfoliate dead skin cells and wash away buildup from hard water and hair products like dry shampoo.

Best Zero Waste Shampoo Bar Options

The options have exploded, and there are so many different “greenwashing” companies, which is why it’s a bit difficult sometimes for the average user to pick the right ones.

When I say greenwashing, I mean that sometimes these companies market it as a green product. By writing terms like eco-friendly or biodegradable, which sadly in most cases is just a marketing strategy. But how can you see through the BS?

You can learn more about greenwashing in this little video I made

However, often traditional shampoos still use unsustainable palm oil, SLS and sulfates, sodium Laureth, sulfate SLS parabens, artificial fragrances, and silicon. 

And yes you guessed it right, if they get washed down the drain, they’re bad for the environment as well.

So that means you are getting safer, healthier, and more natural ingredients when you use a zero-waste shampoo.

But what does zero waste shampoo mean?

Zero waste shampoo bars are concentrated versions of shampoo bottles without the need for single use plastic packaging.

High-quality shampoo bars do not contain palm oil, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), parabens, artificial fragrances, and silicone. Zero waste shampoo is plastic-free and easy to use.

Pro’s and Cons of Shampoo Bars

Benefits of using shampoo bars:

  • They are small and compact
  • They are easy to travel with
  • They last longer
  • They have non-toxic options
  • They dont use plastic packaging
  • You can get bars that do both hair and body

Cons of using shampoo bars:

  • If stored wet they may melt away quickly
  • Still contain some chemicals
  • Take a transitioning period

Avoid these ingredients:

The problem with SLS it is designed to leave your hair feel silky smooth and clean; however, it is a surfactant soap that can dry out your hair and cause psoriasis or dandruff for some people. This means you would have to use a conditioner as well. Personally, I have sensitive skin, and I prefer not to put too many chemicals on my skin. 

Which one is the best Zero waste shampoo?

This obviously is different for everyone, since some of us have oily hair or frizzy hair but these are the products that we personally like and feel confident to share with you. Let us know of any positive or negative experiences so we can further update this article and together achieve a zero-waste lifestyle.

1. HiBar

BEST OVERALL
HiBar zero waste shampoo
Image by HiBar

HiBar Shampoo and Conditioner

Paraben-Free

Phthalate Free

Sulfate-Free

Silicone Free

Palm Oil Free

Vegan

10% Off With Code ZEROWASTEMAN

Tip: Try the HiBar Moisturize for dry hair

4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon

Salon quality ingredients, except no water, no plastic but zero waste. The HiBar comes out as our top winner for feel, look and ingredients.

HiBAR Moisturize Shampoo & Conditioner bars are made with naturally nourishing ingredients like coconut oil and rice protein. They’re 100% color-safe and leave your hair soft and silky. 

HiBar means no soaps, sulfates, phthalates, silicones, or parabens. And absolutely no cruelty. They received the Leaping Bunny certification.

2. Ethique

BEST RATED
ethique zero waste shampoo
Image by Ethique

Ethique

Cruelty-Free

Phthalate Free

Plastic Free

Carbon Neutral Shipping

Palm Oil Free

Vegan

Tip:

Try the Heali Kiwi bar for itchy scalps.

4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon

It all started in New Zealand. The first bar was created in a student’s kitchen. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, it turned into a global company. Now you can buy ethique ( french for ethical) all around the globe.

They are cruelty-free, palm oil-free, sustainably produced and biodegradable. They have a nice natural scent and don’t leave any residue on your hair. Some shampoos use silicone for the feel, not ethique. We didn’t find any harmful ingredients in their shampoos hence why they are on top of this list.

Additionally, they have expanded their product range to reduce plastic waste further by creating more skincare and body care products, such as deodorants and lip balms just to name a few.

Bonus points for planting a tree for every order.

3. Eco Roots

BEST REVIEW
eco roots shampoo bar
Image by Eco Roots

Eco Roots

Handmade in the USA

Phthalate Free

Silicone Free

Paraben-Free

Palm Oil Free

Vegan & Cruelty-Free

Plastic-Free Shampoo & Shipping

Color-Safe

Tip:

Try Moroccan oil for colored hair.

5 out of 5 stars on EcoRoots

Ecoroots started out in Aspen Colorado, with the aim to reduce our overall plastic consumption while creating cruelty-free products and giving back to the planet. Ecoroots is not only selling shampoo and conditioner bars they are actually a full-on zero-waste store.

Handmade of coconut oil and cocoa butter-based, this zero waste shampoo bar will leave your hair soft, clean, and nourished without stripping away your natural oils or hair color. Their eco-friendly shampoo bars are unisex and work great for all hair types.

Oh and they’re 100% plastic-free & travel-friendly too!

4. Friendly Soap

BEST UK
friendly soap bars
Image by Friendly Soap

Friendly Soap

Phthalate Free

Silicone Free

Paraben Free

Palm Oil Free

Vegan & Cruelty Free

Plastic-Free Shampoo & Shipping

Color-Safe

3.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon

Like the name already says it is friendly to the earth and to your hair and skin, Founded by Rob and Geoff from the UK, they have been using the ancient cold-process method to create their soaps. This means their soap is totally biodegradable and free from by-products too, so there’s literally no waste.

The packaging is made from 100%recycled material and is also recyclable. They’re also made with only a handful of ingredients like Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Lavender and Tea Tree essential oils, water.

5. Emerson Soap

BEST ETSY
emerson soap bars
Image by Friendly Soap

Emerson Soap

Silicone Free

No Artificial Ingredients

Palm Oil Free

Cruelty-Free

Plastic-Free Shampoo & Shipping

Color-Safe

5 stars out of 5 on Etsy

Emerson soaps are being handmade in Florida in small batches hence why the soap varies in shape.

They are only made with natural ingredients and only use pure essential oils, absolutes, natural clays and botanical ingredients.

Lots of happy customers, worth a try.

6. Lush

NOT BEST RATED
lush bar
Image by Friendly Soap

Lush

Uses SLS which is classified as toxic or harmful

Has Artificial Fragrances

Palm Oil Free

Cruelty-Free

Lush is well known and a big cosmetic brand. But if you want a product that doesn’t have any added chemicals this is one to avoid. I was a bit sad when I learned that they use SLS to create foam and artificial fragrances. So if you want to use natural shampoo bars then skip this one.

7. Chagrin Valley Soap And Salve

BEST RATED
chagrin valley soap bar
Image by Friendly Soap

Chagrin Valley Soap And Salve

Silicone Free

No Artificial Ingredients (SLS, DEA)

Some Shampoos contain Palm Oil

Cruelty-Free

GMO-Free

Vegan

Tip:

Try the Neem and Tea Tree for dandruff, eczema, or psoriasis.

4.8 out of 5 stars on Chagrin Valley

Get $5 off with this link!

Chagrin Valley Soap explains that we were all using natural shampoo bars before the Industrial Revolution. Only since the introduction of liquid “detergents” is our hair being stripped from natural oils and we need to use conditioner to add the oils back to our hair.

Thankfully you are here to move away from traditional shampoo and perhaps test one of the charging valley hair care products.

Some shampoos contain sustainably farmed palm oil, which can leave a residue in your hair. They also make an apple cider vinegar rinse to get rid of any residue.

First, they add lots of herbs and botanicals to the oils, and only then the creation of their vegan shampoo bar begins. Great for frizzy hair.

8. Unwrappedlife

BEST RATED
unwrapped life bar
Image by Friendly Soap

Unwrapped Life

Paraben and phthalate-free

Essential oil and synthetic scenting

Palm Oil Free

Extension and color-safe

Plastic-Free Shampoo & Shipping

Vegan and Cruelty-free

Try the DAYTONA SHAMPOO BAR for oily hair.

4.8 out of 5 on Unwrapped Life

Unwrapped life is coming to you out of Canada. Formed by two female friends who saw the plastic problem as a challenge to create luxury hair products without the trash. Unwrapped life has joined forces with Plastic Bank to further combat the millions of plastic bottles ending up in our landfills. Here is how:

Plastic Bank® empowers vulnerable communities. Collectors receive a premium for the materials they collect, which helps them provide basic family necessities such as groceries, cooking fuel, school tuition, and health insurance. 

src: unwrappedlife.

9. Kitsch

BEST RATED
kitsch zero waste bar
Image by Friendly Soap

Kitsch

Silicone Free

Paraben-Free

No Artificial Fragrances

Phthalates Free

Vegan and Cruelty-Free

Palm Oil Free

Tip:

Won best hair care products on the ZOE Report.

4.3 out of 5 on Amazon

Female founded and owned, Kitsch is a beauty powerhouse built on positivity and pure hard work. Kitsch founder Cassandra Thurswell had a big dream when she moved to L.A. She wanted to create something that would mean something to people. Now you can find some of her products on the shelves of Whole Foods, Ulta and Sephora.

10. Bar None

BEST RATED
bar none zero waste shampoo
Image by Friendly Soap

Bar None

Silicone Free

No Artificial Ingredients

Palm Oil Free

Cruelty-Free & Vegan

Plastic-Free Shampoo & Shipping

Great for curls.

5 out of 5 stars on Bar None

If you are looking for an allrounder then look no further. Bar None is a shampoo and conditioner in one. The hydrating conditioner bar is packed solid with nourishing ingredients that smooth and soften your hair. Minimize frizz and add shine without compromising on texture.

Bar None also delivers shampoo and conditioners in aluminum bottles which are infinitely recyclable.

Zero waste liquid shampoo

Yep, it does exist, and Plaine Products has one of the best solutions. Not only do they create an amazing shampoo and conditioner, but you can get their products on a subscription basis so you never have to worry about buying shampoo again.

BEST RATED
plaine
Image by Plaine Products

Plaine

Reusable + Refillable

Silicone Free

Palm Oil Free

Cruelty-Free | Non GMO

Plastic-Free Shampoo & Shipping

Color Safe

Sulfate-Free

Get 10% off when you subscribe.

NON-TOXIC, VEGAN, AND CRUELTY-FREE PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS

Is probably the only shampoo on this list of best zero waste shampoos that doesn’t come in a bar format.

And you know we are totally fine with that.

Why?

The aluminum bottles are 100% recyclable and not only that but they also offer a refill program. Once you have used up your shampoo and conditioner, you send the empty bottles back and keep the pump for your next plaine product.

You can subscribe to get your shampoo before it runs out, or order when you are running low.

Clean the old bottle and put it back in the return box. Once your box is full hand it to the mailman and voila the shipping cost is covered by plaine. 

What we love about them:

Part of 1% member of the planet and certified b corp.

BEST RATED
seed phytonutrients shampoo
Image by Friendly Soap

Seed Phytonutrients

Silicone Free

No Artificial Ingredients

Palm Oil Free

Cruelty-Free Silk

Plastic-Free Shampoo & Shipping

Color-Safe

Get 10% Off with code ZEROWASTEMAN

In the end, this is just a very small selection of soaps that are out there. But I know how it feels when you are standing in the supermarket in front of the shelf trying to pick the right product out of 200 options.

My hope is that depending on where you live you find something in your country or at least nearby. Remember the carbon footprint from travel.

Even better if you go to your local zero waste store and get it there. The one near my place actually makes their own soap and they have a soap-making class, which is pretty cool if you want to do it yourself.

Rule of thumb: If you come across some soap that isn’t listed here but you just need to get soap, check and make sure that the soap does not contain any of the following:

  • sls
  • phatalates
  • silicone
  • palm oil
  • artifical fragrances

Usually the fewer ingredients the better. And obviously the packaging. If it is wrapped in plastic make a statement by not buying it and be proud of yourself. Happy shampooing.

Disclaimer:

I have not used every shampoo myself and I am not responsible for your skin. I researched the heck out of it and often use amazon reviews to help you make a clear decision. However, I would in most cases suggest buying through the company itself, since amazon often uses plastic packaging even for their zero-waste shampoo bar section.

Also if you like to change the settings on amazon to receive more eco-friendly packaging, check out this video I made.

Also if you like to look for more than just shampoo bars check out my latest article on The 18 Best Zero Waste Online Stores For Plastic Free Shopping.

Photo of author

Hendrik Kaiser

I've studied biology and lived for 3 years on an off-grid permaculture farm. I love kitesurfing and keeping my body healthy and fit. Hence, I care so much about keeping our environment clean and being as zero waste as possible. Being a zerowasteman is a superpower everyone has inside of themselves, and I want to teach you how you can unleash it.

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