April 13, 2020 – By Heleayner Davies
For far too long, our haircare routines have been polluting our oceans and harming biodiverse marine life. Shampoo and conditioners are necessities that many of us use on a daily basis. We rely on them to enhance colour, promote shine and nourish strands when they are feeling parched. However, the truth is that they are often packaged in wasteful plastic materials that cannot be recycled; joining the 8 million tonnes of plastic that is dumped into our oceans each year.
Thankfully, many haircare brands have heard our eco-warrior prayers and have introduced zero-waste packaging alternatives. The solution? Shampoo and conditioner bars. They are plastic-free, easy to use and biodegradable (meaning there’s no need to recycle them). They also work just as well as generic shampoo and conditioners, as they are often natural and do not contain any harsh chemicals or synthetic ingredients that can cause scalp sensitivity.
So, without further ado, check out our favourite shampoo and conditioner bars for all hair types. Each one is natural, cruelty-free, vegan and plastic-free. You’ll never buy a bottle of shampoo or conditioner again.
1. Lush New Shampoo Bar
The OG masters and pioneers of shampoo bars for over 20 years, Lush offers an extensive selection of 16 shampoo bars. Each one lasts up to 80 washes, which is roughly three times more than the average 200ml shampoo bottle, meaning that every unpackaged shampoo bar that you purchase saves up to three plastic bottles from landfill.
If you’re looking to remove unwanted product build up or give your scalp a good ol’ deep-cleanse, their bestselling New Shampoo Bar is the one for you. It contains a mixture of invigorating essential oils including peppermint, cinnamon and clove that pleasantly tingle and clarify the scalp to promote hair growth. Suitable for all hair types, this bar promises to boost shine, add body and stimulate the senses. Your hair will be feeling as good as ‘New.’ You can find it here.
2. Beauty Kubes
Beauty Kubes produce an award-winning and innovative range of solid shampoos in cube form. Each packet contains 27 cubes, one for each use. To use, simply crumble one cube into the palm of your hand, adding a small amount of water to create a paste. Smooth onto the hair, working into a lather just as you would a regular shampoo.
They are available in variety of formulations for dry or oily hair and are free from sulphates and silicones. You can buy here.
3. Love Beauty and Planet Muru Muru Butter & Rose Shampoo Bar
Keep colour treated hair vibrant and moisturised with this nourishing Mur Muru Butter & Rose Shampoo Bar. Enriched with Amazonian muru muru butter that imparts hair with a healthy-looking shine, leaving it feeling soft, hydrated and protected. The juicy freshness of red berries exudes a warming, rich and intensely feminine scent.
You’ll have everyone asking what perfume you’re wearing. You can buy Love Beauty And Planet Muru Muru Butter & Rose Shampoo Bar here.
4. Ethique Frizz Wrangler Shampoo Bar
Suffer from frizz-prone, unruly curly hair? Look no further than Ethique’s Frizz Wrangler. Enriched with Samoan coconut oil, cocoa butter and lactic acid to nourish and define your curls without weighing them down, making them silky smooth and easier to style.
Since their launch in 2012, Ethique have prevented over 6 million plastic bottles from being made or disposed of in landfills. They’re conquering plastic pollution one beauty bar at a time. You can buy Ethique Frizz Wrangler Shampoo Bar here.
5. Lush Sugar Daddy-O Pressed Conditioner
Keep lighter shades bright and brass-free with Sugar Daddy-O. Sitting opposite yellow on the colour spectrum, violet leaf neutralises unwanted brassy tones, along with luscious argan, jojoba and olive oils to deeply moisturise and strengthen bleached or coloured strands.
Rose absolute and bergamot oil intertwine for a seductive, sultry fragrance. Goodbye brassiness, hello to a toned, strengthened and brighter blonde. You can buy yours here.
6. Flow Cosmetics Intensive Conditioner Bar
Flow Cosmetics are a Finnish beauty brand that celebrates the skin-loving ingredients that are plentiful in Finland. Their Intensive Conditioner Bar is a next generation, silicone-free and plant-based conditioner that contains organic coconut oil, along with highly concentrated COSMOS certified organic Finnish hemp seed oil to nourish, soften and detangle the hair whilst improving manageability.
It is the first conditioner bar in Europe that is free from a group of ingredients called ‘quats,’ which are used to detangle the hair but have been found to harm aquatic life. We’re sold. You can find yours here.
7. Friendly Soap Lavender & Geranium Conditioner Bar
This kind-to-scalp bar contains a special blend of nourishing cocoa butter and castor oil that naturally controls frizz with every wash, leaving your hair feeling smooth, hydrated and magnificently manageable. The addition of lavender and geranium essential oils soothes the senses and provides antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties to promote a healthier scalp.
Oil-balancing and purifying tea tree makes this the perfect bar for those with oily and congested scalps. You can buy it here.
8. Ethique The Guardian Conditioner Bar
If you have very dry, damaged or over-processed hair, fear not, The Guardian is here to save your tresses.
Formulated with cocoa butter, coconut oil, vitamin B5 and zesty lime oil to tame frizz and hydrate dry strands, leaving them feeling smooth, soft and revived. If that wasn’t impressive enough, this multi-purpose bar also doubles up as an excellent shaving cream or in-shower body moisturiser. The perfect travel companion. You can find it here.
We hope that this inspires you to venture into the world of haircare bars. Although they may be small, they’re oh so mighty. When making the transition from a liquid shampoo and conditioner to a bar, it may take a few weeks for your hair to get used to this new form of cleansing. All it takes is a little time and patience. If you persevere, your scalp will balance itself and you may notice that you won’t need to wash your hair as often as you did before.