It's no secret that we love beauty and beauty products. We are, after all, constantly talking about the latest skin gadgets, makeup trends, and hair tools. But we're also aware of the effect those things have on the environment, which is why we're always striving to be more "green." While preserving energy, limiting consumption, and generally leading a more sustainable lifestyle is the goal, we know it's not always realistic to overhaul existing habits overnight. We also know that there are simple, sustainable swaps we can make within individual routines to bring us one step closer.
Take shampoo, for example. While the consistency with which it's used can depend on the individual (and their personal preferences and hair type, among other things), it's traditionally packaged in plastic and thus eventually tossed away (hopefully in the recycling bin) after use. A simple swap for it is a shampoo bar. Unlike liquid formulas, these are solid and generally produce less plastic waste since they don't require a plastic bottle for containment.
There are many different kinds of shampoo bars, too. There are those formulated for dry and damaged hair, color-treated hair, coarse and curly hair, and more. You just have to know which ones are which. That's where we come in. Keep scrolling to see 15 shampoo bars to consider swapping into your shower routine.
This shampoo bar was created specifically to reduce plastic waste (according to the brand, 552 million plastic shampoo bottles end up in landfills each year, and if that's not a depressing statistic, I don't know what is). It's soap-free and contains moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil, cupauçu butter, argan oil, and castor oil. Rub the bar directly on wet hair, lather it up between your fingers, and rinse. Clean, soft, and moisturized hair will be the result.
Here's a vegan-friendly shampoo bar that's formulated without parabens, synthetic fragrance, sodium lauryl sulfates, phthalates, nor anything from formaldehyde. As for the ingredients it does contain, you'll find sustainably sourced organic palm and palm kernel oils, organic olive and coconut oils, and an organic lavender essential oil blend.
Formulated specifically for coarse hair textures, this smoothing shampoo bar (from a Who What Wear hair brand favorite—Davines) provides softness and shine thanks to ingredients like sunflower seed oil and olive fruit extract. Simply wet the bar, rub it between your hands to create a lather, and massage it into your hair to cleanse, soften, and boost shine.
We couldn't skip the Momo Shampoo Bar...This one is specifically formulated for dry and dehydrated hair types (its star ingredient is yellow melon extract). Not only does it smell amazing, but it lasts an incredibly long time and keeps our hair smooth, clean, and healthy.
Yes, it's possible to shop sustainably at the drugstore. Just look for products like this—the Muru Muru Shampoo Bar from Love Beauty & Planet. It's safe for color-treated hair, so you don't have to worry about it stripping color. Plus, moisturizing ingredients like murumuru butter and rose extract keep strands healthy. That's not bad for only costing $5 a pop.
If you're looking for a mild shampoo that's chock full of good-for-hair ingredients, this is it. The sulfate-free formula includes avocado oil (which is rich in fatty acids), argan oil, and shea butter. Peppermint and tea tree oil stimulate the scalp, while aloe provides soothing hydration.
This isn't technically a shampoo bar, as it can be used on the face, hands, and body, too (it's definitely your basic do-it-all product). However, when used on the hair, it seals in moisture with ingredients like coconut, sunflower, wheat germ, and sweet almond oils.
Not all shampoo bars are heavy and super moisturizing. Some are light and clarifying, like this one from Kitsch. It removes buildup and excess oil without stripping the strands. Ingredients like tea tree and mint essential oils make each shampoo session a spa-worthy experience.
Another lightweight shampoo bar, this one uses cold-pressed mango butter to deeply hydrate each strand. of hair (mango butter is rich in nourishing fatty acids). Since it's so hydrating, and it conditions while it cleanses, the brand says it's actually a 2-in-1 hair treatment.
Even Christophe Robin is in on the shampoo bar game. His version also moonlights as a body cleanser. It's composed of aloe vera, natural glycerin, and castor oil, so it will hydrate the hair and the skin while it cleanses. Because it's a solid formula, it's free from synthetic agents, and it's made with very little water content, the brand cautions that it might take some time to become fully accustomed to it—usually only two to five washes.
The ingredients in this shampoo bar are good, but the scent is even better (it has a sweet, herbal scent that's as fresh as it is unexpected). Use it on your hair to cleanse and moisturize each strand with avocado oil, aloe vera, and rosemary, or use it on your body in lieu of body wash.
If you're looking for a non-frills shampoo bar, this is it. There are only 11 ingredients listed on the label for this solid shampoo bar, some of which include coconut butter, shea butter, and cocoa butter. The brand also offers a solid Conditioner Bar ($12) that's equally minimalistic.
This shampoo bar is made in Iceland and uses coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, lavender essential oil, and Sitka Spruce essential oil to cleanse and nourish the hair. It smells amazing—sort of woody, sort of fresh, and sort of herbal—and it's all thanks to its fragrant ingredients.
Another drugstore option, this solid shampoo bar is soap-free and safe for both color-treated and curly hair. I like that it's formulated with African dates and vitamin B5. I also like its soft citrus scent. It's uplifting and energizing (so perfect for morning washes).
This bar uses coconut oil and Rhassoul clay to absorb excess oil, lift away impurities, and enhance shine and softness. Its rounded edges make application easy. Simply section your hair, massage your scalp with the rounded edges, lather, and rinse. It's that easy.