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What is the BEST eco-friendly shampoo & conditioner?
This answer depends on a few factors – your hair type, budget, and where you live.
Below, you can find a list of some of the best natural shampoos and conditioners, primarily vegan, palm oil-free, and plastic-free.
They are divided by location – the US, Canada, The UK, and Europe; however, many options below are available worldwide.
Now, let’s begin!
21 Best Eco-Friendly Shampoo Bars:
The US & Canada:
Eco Roots shampoo & conditioner bars are handmade in the US and are palm-oil-free, silicone-free, phthalate-free, and paraben. In addition, they are made with a couple of natural ingredients.
Each bar lasts around 50+ washes, and both the shampoo and conditioner bars are unisex and work great for all hair types. The shampoo bar provides deep moisturizing while strengthening your hair.
I haven’t tried their bars, but from reading the reviews, I can see that people love that they lather very well, and the smell is fantastic.
Lastly, Eco Roots is 1% For The Planet Member, donating 1% of their sales to sustainable initiatives and organizations like Ocean Conservancy. So far, they’ve donated $10,776.
Ethique is a 100% plastic-free and climate-positive company that offers palm oil-free & vegan shampoo bars & conditioners. Ethique is a Certified B Corporation,
They have sampler packs and provide all of their products in sample sizes so you don’t have to commit to a full bar right away, and find the perfect one for you.
Unfortunately, when I wanted to buy it they didn’t deliver it to Europe. However, I would love to try Ethique in the future.
Plaine Products sell refillable liquid shampoo in aluminum bottles. The amount is 16 oz (473 ml), and it lasts about 2-3 months. They also have small Travel-sized bottles (2.5 oz), which are ideal if you want to try a sample first and see if it works for you.
They have three options, which are suitable for all hair types:
- Unscented – For sensitive skin
- Rosemary Mint Vanilla – Clarifying & balancing the scalp
- Citrus Lavander – For hydration
As a 1% For the Planet member, we donated over $25,000 in 2020 to Louisiana Bucket Brigade and Lonely Whale.
Lush are very strict about their manufacturing. They invent every product, source every raw material carefully, and then make the bars by hand in their local factories worldwide.
The shampoo bars lather and clean well, there is no residue, and each bar lasts a long time. If you order online, their packing contains eco peanuts that dissolve in water and recyclable packing tape.
Since 2013, Lush donated £65 Million to various organizations and charities. They have five main Charity streams, which you can see here.
I’ve tried various shampoo bars from Lush, including Soak and float, Jason and the argan oil, Montalbano. While their bars are more expensive than other options locally, I notice that Lush shampoo bars work much better on my hair.
Other cheaper bars leave residue, cause me itchy scalp, and last for a shorter period.
Humankind shampoo bars are suitable for all hair types and are cold-processed. This soap-making process helps retain more glycerin, which helps moderate pH, making the bars ideal for sensitive skin.
It is 100% safe for colored or treated hair. Each bar has a five-week curing period, which allows excess water to evaporate, creates a highly concentrated formula, and helps the bar hold its shape over time.
In their FAQ, you can see each ingredient they use and why. Additionally, Humankind offset 100% of their carbon footprint (including your order) by investing in forest preservation projects.
HiBAR offers sets, samples, and various shampoo bars, including:
- Maintain bars for straight or oily hair
- Moisturize bars for thick, dry, or textured hair
- Volumize bars for thin, fine, or lifeless hair
- Soothe bars for itchy flaky scalp
- Fragrance-free bars for sensitive skin
HiBAR is 100% safe for colored or treated hair, and one single bar can last for over six months & 80 washes!
Maintain Bars and Soothe Bars contain a trace amount of honey; the rest are 100% vegan. The shampoo bars are really foamy, and they don’t leave weird residue behind.
Viori’s bars are handcrafted with the same Longsheng Rice, natural ingredients, and beauty rituals used by the Red Yao for centuries.
The shampoo and conditioner bars are made with ethically sourced vegan ingredients that are natural and completely free of substances or chemicals harmful to you or the planet.
One bar will last between 30-60 washes, and it is the equivalent of (2) 10 oz liquid bottles of shampoo.
Super Zero’s shampoo bars are made with plant-based, safe ingredients. One of the Super Zero bars equals two or three 8.4 oz (248 ml) bottled shampoo. Their bars are suitable for color-treated hair, too.
They also have trial sizes, which will allow you to try various shampoo bars for less money, to find the perfect one for you. Super Zero is a member of 1% For The Planet.
Their shampoo bars are palm oil-free, but they use palm-based ingredients in some of their other products.
The Earthling Co’s shampoo bars are suitable for ALL hair types. The bars lather very well and gently remove any buildup, leaving your hair nice and smooth.
Their shampoo bars come in 6 scents, plus one unscented; for optimal results, it is best to pair the shampoo bar with their highly moisturizing, smoothing conditioner bar.
The Earthling Co shampoo bar lasts 50-75 washes or between 2-6 months, and the bars are gentle on color-treated and bleached hair.
The Earthling Co is also a member of 1% For The Planet, and they ship carbon neutral.
Their bars remove buildup, excess oil and provide a deep clean without stripping or drying hair.
My Kitsch has three shampoo bars and three conditioner bars with natural fragrances derived from plants.
One of their shampoo bars contains rice water protein which repairs damaged follicles and ends, making hair smooth & soft while preventing split ends and encouraging hair growth.
- One bar is estimated to last 100 washes. To get 15% OFF your purchase, you can use the code MERILIN15.
Based in: the US
Shipping: the US
Ideal for: All hair types
Vegan: Most of it, yes
Packaging: Paper, glass bottle, aluminum bottle, or reusable plastic bottle/pouch
Price: From $5.90
The Good Fill has both liquid and solid shampoo bars. For the refills, you can receive various toiletries, including shampoo and conditioner.
The liquid shampoo and conditioner have various options – you can either get a glass bottle, aluminum bottle, or refill (plastic) pouch.
The great thing about The Good Fill is that while they (sometimes) send toiletries in plastic pouches, once you are done with the product, you can return the pouch so that The Good Fill can sanitize and reuse them.
The refill pouches are BPA-free and made with 93% less plastic than a plastic bottle.
Jack 59 has 11 unique shampoo bars, and each bar provides 80+ washes if appropriately stored, and their conditioner bars – +100 washes.
They also offer a Trial Pack, and each sample will do 15 to 20 washes.
Jack59 sulfate-free shampoo bars are pH balanced between 4.5-5.5, and all of their bars are safe for color-treated hair.
Longwknd shampoo bars are made from clean, vegan ingredients and specially formulated to match various hair types. One bar replaces up to 3 plastic shampoo bottles.
If you are unsure which one is the best for you, you can take their free hair quiz to get an instant personalized recommendation.
Longwknd is trying to positively impact the planet by being a member of various environmental organizations such as 1% For The Planet, Save The Waves, Surfrider Foundation, Me To We, etc.
Unwrapped Life has 12 shampoo bars for different types of hair. From frizzy, weak and oily, to normal, curly, and balancing.
Their unique blends can help you with almost anything and can improve the overall health of your hair. A single bar offers 50 – 75 washes, and all of them are color-safe.
Unwrapped Life’s current goal is to prevent over 20 million plastic bottles from ending up in our oceans and waterways by 2025. To date, they’ve prevented over 1.5 million plastic bottles from having ever been manufactured.
The UK & Europe:
Beauty Kubes are plastic-free, vegan-friendly, palm oil-free, sulfate-free, and silicone-free small shampoo cubes. A box contains 27 cubes, and one box equals 27 washes. So if you wash your hair twice a week, a box will last 3 months.
Each Kube is creating enough lather for mid to long-length hair. Their small cube sizes are perfect for trying if they will work well for your hair, as well as for traveling. They can also be helpful for guests or other situations where you don’t want to share a whole large bar.
Beauty Kubes is a member of One Tribe Global, and so far, they’ve protected 26,750 trees.
Friendly Soap has four shampoo bars and two conditioner bars. The small yet fantastic collection they have is everything you need for simple and effective hair care. Plus, their products are super affordable.
Their shampoo bar works well, and it creates a lot of lather. However, it is essential to mention that they are NOT suitable if the water is hard where you live (with a high mineral content, usually calcium and magnesium).
The Friendly Soap Conditioner bar is made with a unique blend of cocoa butter and castor oil to give you excellent and frizz-free results with every wash.
The pH of the shampoo bars is 8-9, and the conditioner bars are around 7, so a bit higher than most of the other options on the list. Additionally, the bars are not formulated for colored hair.
Gruum has a range of shampoo bars, suitable for almost any hair type. Their bars are affordable, and one 50g bar will last up to 50 washes.
Their products are dermatologically tested, and suitable for sensitive, dry, or oily skin.
Some of the products they use for their bars may contain ingredients that contain palm oil. Furthermore, their Revitalising (Cocoa) shampoo bars are NOT vegan friendly.
18. Funky Soap Shop
Based in: the UK
Shipping: the UK | Worldwide
Ideal for: Dry/damaged, oily, normal, scalp problems, color-enhancing, sensitive hair
Vegan: Vegan options available
Price: From £3.20
Funky Soap shampoos are all 100% natural and handmade in small batches. They have many different shampoo bars for different needs and types of hair and plenty of vegan options.
In some of their bars, they use Certified Sustainable palm oil. The topic of palm oil is very controversial, so currently, for me, it is best to avoid all palm oil.
Faith In Nature has four shampoo bars and four conditioner bars, affordable, natural, and cruelty-free. They are ideal for most types of hair, and especially if you have very dry hair.
Faith In Nature is a partner with Treesisters, so for every order, they plant a tree. While they are vegan and cruelty-free, they also mention a trace amount of palm in some of their products.
Zero Waste Path offers a couple of fantastic natural shampoo bars, which clean the hair without stripping the natural oils. The bars work exceptionally well due to the simple, pure ingredients and will make your hair softer and healthier.
While they don’t have conditioners, they offer a 2in1 combination, which works as shampoo and conditioner at the same time.
The 2in1 solid shampoos contain Hydrolysed Quinoa Protein, which increases combability and softness but also helps improve color retention. Additionally, the pH is ~5.5, so they work well in areas with hard water, too.
All of their bars are 100% vegan-friendly, natural, handmade, zero waste, and palm-oil-free.
21. Soap nuts (Soapberries)
Based in: Worldwide
Ideal for: Any hair type
Packaging: Loose, in a cotton bag or paper box
Price: From £3.95 or $11
The shells of the soap nut contain Saponin, which is a natural cleaning agent. When the nutshells absorb water, the Saponin is released, which creates a soaping effect, and it is ideal for washing hair.
Soap nuts add shine to your hair and make it smooth. They are also a good option for scalp infections since the soapnuts are antimicrobial.
The easiest way to use soap nuts to wash your hair is – blend 10-15 soap nuts with a bit of vinegar and water. Then, strain and use instead of shampoo. Know that it will not lather, but it will clean the hair.
You can get soap nuts here:
- Soap nuts from Earth Hero (the US)
- Plastic-free soap nuts from Greenwill Organic (Amazon, the US)
- Soap nuts from Wearth London (the UK)
Best eco-friendly conditioners (quick list):
- Eco Roots – For various types of hair. The US & International shipping.
- Ethique – For various types of hair. Ships in the US, New Zealand, Australia.
- Plaine Products – Aluminum bottle. Ships in the US & Canada.
- Lush – All hair types. Worldwide.
- Human Kind – All hair types. A bar or in an aluminum bottle. Ships in the US.
- HiBAR – For moisturizing, volumizing, maintaining, or soothing your hair. Ships in the US.
- Viori – Four options with different scents. Ships in the US, Canada & Internationally.
- Super Zero – Great options for dry, damaged, curly, normal, oily, fine, thin, oily, blonde, white, or highlighted hair. Ships in the US & Canada.
- The Earthling Co – Seven options for all hair types. Ships in the US & Worldwide.
- My Kitsch – For weak & brittle hair, for nourishing, and for hydrating. Ships in the US & Internationally. Use MERILIN15 for 15% OFF.
- The Good Fill – Bars or liquid conditioner in glass, aluminum, or plastic pouches for all hair types. Ships in the US.
- Jack59 – For normal, processed/treated, thick, curly, dry, weak, sensitive, or for reducing breakage and hair fall. Ships in Canada, the US & Internationally.
- Longwknd – Balance – normal & dry, Soothe – fine & oily, Restore – dry, thick & curly, Unscented – for normal. Ships in Canada, the US & Internationally.
- Unwrapped Life – For frizzy, blonde, damaged/weak, dry, curly, oily, fine hair. Ships worldwide.
- Beauty Kubes – Great for sensitive scalp. Ships in the UK & Internationally.
- Friendly Soap – Two options, natural frizz control. Ships in the UK & Internationally.
- Funky Soap Shop – Options for treated/damaged, dry, normal, oily, or sensitive hair. They also have a shampoo & conditioner duo. Ships in the UK & Worldwide.
- Faith In Nature – For (very) dry, for all hair types, or normal hair. Ships in the UK and Europe.
- Zero Waste Path – 2in1 solid shampoo and conditioner for dry/curly, oily/fine, itchy, or ALL hair types. Ships in the UK & Europe.
Tips on picking shampoo & conditioner bars for you:
- Sometimes you will see mixed reviews for a product. That’s often because it depends on the hair type, and sometimes, what works for me, won’t work for you. I’ve tried various Lush bars, for example, and a couple of them have a lot of negative reviews, but for me, the bars worked perfectly, and I was happy with them.
- You may need to try several different brands and trial and error different ingredients. Everyone is different, and not every product will work well for every person. If a product doesn’t work for you, try using it for something else like washing your hands, body, or shaving cream. Or you can give it to a friend, and try a new one.
- More expensive doesn’t always equal better. However, I’ve tried a few more affordable brands, and I always ended up going back to the more pricey ones. They simply work better for my hair.
- Most of the companies have hair quiz on their website. When you take it, they can help you to discover a personalized haircare routine.
Why choose a sustainable shampoo?
Sustainable shampoos don’t use any unnecessary chemicals. They are made with various plant extracts, herbs, essential oils, and other natural ingredients, which gently clean the hair. They are better both for you and the planet.
What to look for when shopping for eco-friendly shampoo & conditioner?
When searching for eco-friendly shampoo bars and conditioners, look for products that are:
- Made with safe and sustainable ingredients and the packaging is plastic-free.
- If the company is certified by a third-party standard requiring companies to meet social sustainability and environmental performance standards, it is a plus.
- The company is a member of organizations that protect the planet.
- The company donates money to various environmental or social causes.
- The company offsets its emissions.
How to store shampoo bars to avoid them turning into mush in the shower?
Store your shampoo bar dry, away from direct water. Keeping the shampoo bar and conditioner dry off between uses is essential to keep them in good shape. It’s best to keep them on a well-draining surface that allows lots of airflow around it.
Do shampoo bars have a shelf life?
It is best if you use the shampoo or conditioner bars within 6-12 months. The more natural, organic options usually have a much shorter shelf life. If the shampoo or conditioner starts smelling differently or the consistency/color changes, it could mean that the bar is expired.
Do shampoo bars leave a residue?
Not all, but some shampoo bars can leave an odd, waxy residue. This residue is a byproduct of saponified oils, which a lot of shampoo bars contain.
To get rid of it, you can do an apple cider vinegar rinse (mix 3-4 tbsp of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water), which will remove any unwanted residue.