Ditch the plastic bottle. If you use a shampoo from a big brand and it comes in a plastic bottle, chances are it also is made with synthetic chemicals that can be potentially harmful to your health and the environment. 

Enter the shampoo bar. An eco-friendly and plastic-free alternative to your old bottle of shampoo. Now that more and more people are starting to make the switch to eco-friendly shampoo, there are many choices out there. 

So, what are the best eco-friendly shampoo bars?

1. Ethique Shampoo Bars 

Give up the bottle. The people at Ethique have started a movement to get rid of your old plastic shampoo bottle and make the turn to a more eco-friendly shampoo bar alternative. Their shampoo bars are suitable for all hair types from normal to dry to oily or frizzy hair. All ingredients are derived from plants and essential oils and feature light and delicious scents such as kiwi, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and even ginger with sweet orange. These bars are vegan, palm oil-free, cruelty-free, and most importantly affordable.

The Ethique Pinkalicious Shampoo Bar (link to read reviews on Amazon) easily fits into the palm of your hand is equivalent to 3 bottles (350ml) of liquid shampoo.  So by using a shampoo bar, you are preventing 3 plastic bottles from being produced and then tossed into waste. Now that’s a benefit to you, and better for the planet. 

2. J.R. Liggett’s Old Fashioned Shampoo Bars

Think about what we used to wash our hair before we had liquid shampoo in a bottle. Natural ingredients from the earth were the norm. That’s just what J.R. Liggetts has done here by creating vegan shampoo bars with completely all-natural ingredients, free from any preservatives, artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances, and of course no animal products. 

J.R. Liggett’s Old Fashioned Shampoo Bars (link to read reviews on Amazon) feature refreshing yet natural scents such as coconut and argan oil, jojoba and peppermint, and tea tree and hemp oil. They are 100% biodegradable so no worrying about causing harm to the environment when you wash your hair and send it down the drain. A wonderful choice for those looking to try out an eco-friendly shampoo bar for the first time. 

3. Sweet and Sassy Shampoo Bars

It’s especially comforting to know that the shampoo I’m using won’t strip my hair of its natural oils with synthetic ingredients like SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate). SLS which is a sulfate common in many soaps and shampoos which can cause skin and eye irritation. 

Fortunately, Sweet and Sassy Shampoo Bars (link to read reviews on Amazon) are chemical and perfume-free but still manage to maintain a wonderfully natural sweet scent. Using tangerine, orange, and vanilla combined with essential oils, these bars will leave your hair with a sweet scent after washing. An ideal shampoo for young children as there are no toxic chemicals that will cause any burning sensation if it gets into their eyes. Made in the USA, each bar lasts up to 80 washes and certainly make a great gift for family and friends. 

4. The Yellow Bird All-Natural Shampoo Bar

Oils are great for your hair health as they protect and help with growth. The problem is, that some synthetic chemicals in conventional shampoos can actually strip your hair of these much needed protective and nourishing oils. The Yellow Bird All-Natural Shampoo Bar (link to read reviews on Amazon) is the ideal shampoo bar for those with sensitive scalps or those struggling with dandruff. It’s made from all-natural ingredients including kaolin clay and sea salt along with argan and jojoba oils, which are both derived from plants and known for their natural moisturizing properties. 

All ingredients are sulfate, silicone, paraben, and of course cruelty-free. This is a great choice with scents for both men and women and an ideal shampoo bar for traveling as it comes with a convenient recyclable storage box. 

5. Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve All-Natural Shampoo Bar

It’s nice for once to be able to look at an ingredients label and understand all of the contents! No harsh chemicals that seem like a foreign language, only familiar oils you’ve actually heard of. Coconut milk for soothing a dry scalp, avocado oil to hydrate and restore damaged ends, and sweet almond oil for conditioning and softening hair. Sounds much better, doesn’t it?

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Shampoo Bars (link to read reviews on Amazon) are OEFFA organic certified, non-GMO, cruelty, sulfate, and preservative-free. All of their shampoo bars are made in small batches and uniquely hand-cut. All ingredients, even the palm oil, are sustainably sourced. These shampoo bars may be slightly smaller than others but they carry a guarantee from a trusted and reliable eco-friendly brand. 

6. Bossman 4-in-1 Bar Soap

Now here’s a multi-purpose bar that works for the hair, beard, and body while even moisturizing enough to be used as a shaving lubricant. Made from all-natural ingredients including coconut oil, shea butter, palm oil, safflower oil, plantain leaf powder, and cocoa powder, this 4-in-1 black bar soap definitely looks intimidating enough to get the job done.  

The Bossman 4-in-1 Bar Soap (link to read reviews on Amazon) does not contain any harsh foaming agents and will not dry out the skin. Geared towards male customers, the scent is much distinct and masculine with unique notes of lavender, geranium, vanilla, rosemary, and patchouli. A great option for men who want an all-natural multipurpose bar body soap, shampoo, and shaving solution while traveling. 

7. Beauty and the Bees Real Beer Shampoo Bar

A shampoo with beer? You read it right. Made in Tasmania from natural leatherwood honey along with plant and essential oils this exotic shampoo bar will leave your hair with a natural gloss and shine. Don’t worry, your hair won’t smell like beer but instead a natural ginger and cinnamon scent. Beer has long been used as a natural ingredient in shampoo, as the alcohol acts as a shine and cleansing agent. 

The Beauty and the Bees Real Beer Shampoo Bar (link to read reviews on Amazon) is plastic-free and does not contain any synthetic chemicals that can strip your hair of its natural oils. Organic olive, coconut, and castor oils combine with leatherwood beeswax and of course, beer, make up this exotic yet functional concoction. Beauty and the Bees also make shampoo bars with other abnormal ingredients including eggs, bamboo, charcoal, yogurt, and apple cider vinegar. Definitely a fun and eco-friendly way to try something new for your hair health and the environment. 

How to Use a Shampoo Bar

Now that you’ve got an eco-friendly shampoo bar, there’s only one thing left to do: use it to clean your hair! Now depending on your hair washing preferences, there are a couple of ways  to do this:

  1. Wet the shampoo bar in between your hands and then apply it to your hair and scalp. 
  2. Rub the shampoo bar directly on your hair and scalp. 

I personally prefer the second method as I feel I can get more shampoo into my hair. Since your shampoo bar is made from natural and non-synthetic ingredients, it won’t contain SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate). This means it won’t foam or lather as much as you may be used to with your old shampoo. More foam doesn’t necessarily mean cleaner hair too. So try your best to rub as much of the shampoo into your hair as possible.

To prolong the life of your shampoo bar, let it dry out each use. You can also store it in a soap saver container that allows the water to drain out. The Ethique In-Shower Storage Container (link to read reviews on Amazon) is a convenient eco-friendly option as it’s made entirely compostable made from bamboo and cornstarch. 

Why You Should Ditch the Bottle

Here are a few reasons why you should ditch your current bottle of shampoo and make the switch to an eco-friendly shampoo bar:

  • Significantly reduce your plastic use and waste. 
  • Prevent harsh chemicals from entering the environment.
  • Free your hair and health from synthetic chemicals which can be potentially hazardous.
  • Enjoy naturally scented shampoo and hair, free from overpowering synthetic fragrances. 
  • Save some cash. Most shampoo bars are equal to up to 3 bottles (350ml) of shampoo. 
  • Support a good cause. Many eco-friendly brands are committed to the sustainable production of their products through organic farming, responsible ingredient sourcing, and limited compostable packaging.