The Best Shampoo Bars for an Eco-Friendly Shower
What's the Deal with Shampoo Bars?
Bar soaps have experienced a major comeback, with plenty of new variants for both body and face that are nothing like those harsh, stripping soaps of yesteryear. But bars aren't just big in skin care. Meet shampoo bars, solid strand sudsers that are also making a splash.
The majority of these are formulated without sulfates and other intense detergents, making them a gentler alternative for those who want to cleanse their hair without stripping it.
They're also very eco-friendly; with no plastic involved and often minimal and/or completely recyclable packaging, they're a great pick for anyone looking to tweak their beauty routine to make less of an impact on the environment. Not to mention, they're ideal for travel since you never need to stress about spills...or TSA.
Sure, using a solid shampoo instead of a traditional liquid can take a little bit of getting used to. For the best results, you can use the bar to create a lather in your hands and then work that through your hair, choice if you have longer strands. Or, you can rub the bar directly onto your hair; in this case, cutting the bar into smaller pieces will help. Either way, work your way downward through small sections, rather than piling all of your hair on top of your head and rubbing vigorously (this will just create tangles). Be sure to rinse extra thoroughly, too. Shampoo bars do have the potential to leave a bit of residue, particularly if you have hard water. If this happens to you, try an apple cider vinegar rinse—combine 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar with two cups of water—a few times per week to remove any build-up.
Sold on going solid? Check out these eight best shampoo bars.
Lush Seanik Shampoo Bar
Give limp locks a major boost with this sudser. Sea salt adds big-time volume and fullness, while two different types of seaweed soften your strands to prevent tangles. It lasts up to 80 washes, and the brand also has nine different other bars to choose from, as well as solid conditioners, too.
Love Beauty and Planet Murumuru Butter & Rose Shampoo Bar
Free of parabens, sulfates, silicone, and phthalates, this vegan bar is ideal for color-treated hair, safeguarding your hue and keeping it ultra-shiny. The cardboard packaging is made from 100 percent recycled material and totally recyclable, and the scent—slightly sweet, slightly floral—is so good, we guarantee people will ask what perfume you're wearing.
Ethique Eco-Friendly Solid Shampoo Bar Frizz Wrangler
This brand has prevented over 3.3 million plastic bottles from being made and disposed of to date, thanks to their variety of solid cleansing bars for hair and skin. Ethique has several different shampoo options to choose from, but we're partial to this one.
Infused with a double-whammy of moisturizing coconut oil and coconut butter, it hydrates and keeps errant frizzies at bay, without weighing down your hair. Also nice: One bar will last as long as three bottles of shampoo.
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Rhassoul Clay Shampoo Bar
Curly girls will appreciate that this mineral-rich bar is specially made to improve body and bounce, while also keeping thick and textured hair from getting tangled. It's choice for removing build-up (credit the clay in the formula) and has a unique curved edge that makes it easy to work into your hair and scalp.
J.R. Liggett's Bar Shampoo Jojoba & Peppermint
This brand introduced bar shampoos over 30 years ago, and there's a good reason why they remain popular today. If you have scalp issues, reach for this formula. Jojoba oil both balances out oil production and soothes inflammation, while peppermint oil feels invigorating and refreshing. Bonus points for the vintage-inspired packaging.
Cristophe Robin Hydrating Shampoo Bar with Aloe Vera
If you think shampoo bars can't be super luxurious, guess again. This high-end offering works on all hair types, using a blend of aloe vera, castor oil, and coconut oil to hydrate and strengthen your hair.
Chagrin Valley Rosemary Mint Charcoal Shampoo Bar
Charcoal is a top oil-absorbing ingredient in skin care and it can do the same for hair. Here, bamboo charcoal works to remove any excess oil from your scalp, though because the base is made with moisturizing coconut and olive oils, it won't dry out your hair. It also touts rosemary essential oil, which can help control dandruff. Peppermint and eucalyptus oils round out the bunch, giving it its refreshing fragrance and feel.
Meow Meow Tweet Lavender Coconut Milk Shampoo Bar
This multi-tasker is made for your hair, but it can also be used on your body, making it perfect for anyone who wants to streamline their shower routine. A combo of coconut milk and hemp seed oil makes it nice and creamy, while the addition of lavender gives it a relaxing scent that makes it choice to use for pre-bedtime showers.