11 Best Zero-Waste Shampoo Brands & How to Create Yours

Zero-Waste Shampoo Bars on a Wooden Soap Dish with Greenery in the Background

Zero-waste shampoo and conditioner bars are taking over, and we’re loving it! Because the Zero-waste shampoo is not like the traditional liquid shampoo.

If you’re just starting your zero-waste journey and are looking for the right products, it can be a little daunting to navigate the hundreds of products out there.

Don’t let this stop you.

We’re going to help you discover a whole new world of zero-waste shampoo bars from the brands you know and love, to the hidden gems and emerging brands.

Whether you need a soothing shampoo to tame those curls, suffer from dry and damaged hair, or you’re just looking for a light everyday shampoo, our list has something to suit your needs.

PLUS: We’re going show you how to create your very own eco-friendly shampoo – so stick around and keep reading.

How to Find Zero-waste Hair Care Brands

Okay, so this is our advice on finding and choosing the right zero-waste hair care brands.

With so many products entering the market on a daily basis, it’s important to be able to distinguish the real deal from mass-market ‘greenwashing’ or fake products.

Firstly, establish your own personal criteria. This is really a very personal decision so don’t be pressured to tick as many boxes as possible. Rather focus on small steps and choices that suit your needs. This can make a difference when you decide upon vegetarian instead of vegan products and so on.

Secondly, when it comes to zero-waste shampoo and conditioners, look for products that not only contain plastic-free packaging, but those that use locally-sourced, natural and eco-friendly packaging, as this also reduces waste in the manufacturing process.

Lastly, read the ingredients and reviews. Google ingredients you don’t know and make the decision based on your personal choices, this is especially important if you’re looking for eco-friendly, non-toxic products for babies and children. Reviews are equally important because this is where consumers will tell you if a product really works or not.

Too much info? Skip straight ahead and search directly on EcoSwap or Amazon by entering “zero waste shampoo” in the search bar or try our favorite (tried, tested and effective) zero waste shampoo bars:

The Best Zero Waste Shampoo and Conditioner Bars and Liquids:

Let’s get to the fun part before we explore those amazing brands and learn how to make our own shampoo:

How to Make Your Own Eco-friendly Shampoo

How To Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Shampoo

You can make eco-friendly shampoo in a number of ways. Some recipes call for a soap base that you can purchase online, or soap flakes, but we really like this simple and natural recipe using soap nuts which you can decant into a recycled shampoo bottle.

Image credit: Monfocus on Pixabay.com

Soap NUTS?

Yes, you read that correctly. These little gems are not really nuts, in fact, they are the husks of dried soap berries. These husks contain Saponin which gives natural soaps the ability to lather and clean.

Soap nuts are simply used by adding a bit of hot water and shaking them up in a container to get some soapy water to use for laundry or hair and body washes.

Here’s a great beginner’s kit if you’d like to order some soap nuts to try this recipe.

This is an adaptation of a recipe on Cosmopolitan.

Ingredients:

  • 2 soap nuts
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 glass jar
  • Essential oils (optional)

Instructions:

Place 2 two dried soap nuts into a jar with 1 cup of warm water. Shake it and let it stand for about 30 minutes. Once the soap nuts are soft, crush or blend them. This will become the base of your shampoo.

To make your shampoo: dilute a tablespoon of your soap nut liquid in 1 cup of water. Add a little of your favourite essential oils or a little coconut oil if you have very dry hair. Keep it in a recycled shampoo bottle in the fridge and use it within a month.

YouTube video
Video via We.Are.Wellness

Look, not all of us are in a place where we can be making our own soaps and shampoos, so if you’re ready to discover our favourite zero-waste shampoo brands, let’s get to the list!

11 Best Zero-Waste Shampoo and Conditioner Brands

1. Ethique

Zero-Waste Shampoo Bars by Ethique

Ethique was founded in New Zealand in 2012 and has since grown into a sought-after brand for eco-conscious consumers around the world. Their shampoo bottles have 100% plastic-free packaging and is made from compostable materials sourced from a sustainable forest in New Zealand.

They’ve even taken this a step further than most personal care brands and made bamboo in-shower containers that last for ages to protect your zero-waste shampoo and conditioner bars. Just one bar of Ethique zero-waste shampoo eliminates the use of up to 3 bottles of liquid shampoo!

“By our calculations, we’ve saved over 6 million plastic bottles from winding up in a landfill to date. By 2025, we aim to hit 50 million.” Ethique.com

Must Try: The Ethique Heali Kiwi Shampoo Bar

If you’ve ever experienced sensitivity or dryness on your scalp from abrasive shampoos, then this shampoo bar from Ethique is the perfect antidote! Using a combination of ayurvedic oils and gentle oatmeal, the Heali Kiwi bar soothes your scalp, while leaving your hair nourished and vibrant.

Price: $15.00 / 3.88 oz

Ethique Customer Review Score: 4.6/5

Where to Buy: Ethique

Bonus: Ethique Guardian Conditioner Bar for Dry, Damaged or Frizzy Hair
Those with frizzy hair know how quickly it can become dry and heat damaged from the use of flat irons, curling tongs and hair dryers. This zero-waste conditioner bar does a fantastic job of smoothing, nourishing and restoring with a deliciously fragrant mix of coconut oil and cocoa butter.

2. Butter Me Up Organics

Zero waste shampoo - utter Me Up Organics Shampoo Bar

Butter Me Up Organics is a small zero-waste and cruelty-free brand from Livermore, California. They make home, bath, body, baby, and face care products, using all-natural ingredients, most of which are organic and fair trade.

They make all their products in-house, and they carefully source ingredients from responsible suppliers, many of which are local to their facility.  

Butter Me Up Organics’s zero-waste organic Shampoo bars are deeply nourishing and made with organic, plant-based ingredients. They’re scented with essential oils and contain no synthetic fragrances, sulfates, phthalates, or parabens.  

Must Try: Butter Me Up Organics Peppermint Organic Shampoo Bar

All their products are cruelty-free and zero-waste. They only use sustainable packaging, like kraft paper bags, glass jars, and tins.

Butter Me Up Organics is committed to zero-waste practices, and they reduce waste in all aspects of their business. Their products are packaged in eco-friendly packaging, which is completely plastic-free, such as kraft paper, glass, and tin.

All their shipping materials are 100% recycled, recyclable, and completely plastic-free.   

Price: $14.95

Etsy Customer Ratings: 5/5 from 126 ratings

Where to Buy: Butter Me Up Organics

3. No Ordinary 

No Ordinary - Balance Zero-Waste Shampoo and Conditioner

No Ordinary is a UK based brand all-natural haircare and skincare products developed by Gavin Taylor, a hairstylist who struggled with skin reactions and allergies from the conventional products in most salons.

He started making his own products with all-natural ingredients saw a remarkable difference. He went on to create his line of hair conditioners, shampoos and treatments that he sells and uses in his salon!

All No Ordinary products are made with high-quality, sustainably and ethically sourced natural ingredients. They are free of all SLS, SLES, parabens, silicones, PEGs, synthetic fragrance and colors, no animal extracts, and are completely cruelty-free.

Must Try:  Balance Argan Oil, Lavender & Mandarin Shampoo & Balance Willow Bark, Lavender & Mandarin Conditioner

No Ordinary’s Balance Shampoo is made with Argan Oil, Lavender and Mandarin and the Balance Conditioner is made with Willow Bark, Lavender and Mandarin.

These blends of gently cleaning and nourishing oils are chosen for unique properties and result in clean, shiny hair and a healthy scalp.

They are designed to encourage a natural balance of skin and hair oils, suitable for the whole family and will reduce dry skin/dandruff while encouraging hair growth.

Both the shampoo and conditioner come in durable, recyclable, containers that are designed to be reused. You can also return them to be reused and they will give you a 20% discount on your next purchase!

Price: £8.50 (100ml) – £18.00 (250ml each) for the shampoo or conditioner

No Ordinary Customer Rating: 5/5 out of 1 rating

Where to Buy: No Ordinary: Balance Shampoo & Balance Conditioner (delivery: UK only)

4. Amor Luminis 

Amor Luminis - Oceane Zero-Waste Shampoo and Talia Conditioner Bars

Amor Luminis is an eco-conscious Australian brand of luxury plastic-free hair care bars, made with all-natural ingredients that are ethically and sustainably sourced.

Amor Luminis take pride in creating honest products that really work. They use only clean, toxin-free formulas for their products, which are lovingly made and packaged in compostable paper packaging, printed with vegetable inks.

Ethics and sustainability are central to their philosophy. In addition to their own practices, they donate 1% of every purchase to regreening the planet.  

Must Try: Océane Solid Shampoo & Talia Solid Conditioner

The Amor Luminis Océane Solid Shampoo is made with babies and sensitive skin in mind, using only the gentlest naturally derived ingredients. It is fortified with Oat Protein & Panthenol to improve structure, moisturize and detangle hair. It is a non-drying formula that leaves no residue (suitable for dreadlocks) and contains no silicone.

The Talia Solid Conditioner is a deeply nourishing formula, made with meadowfoam seed oil for hydration, Murumuru Butter to nourish and seal, and Calendula Extract to soothe and calm your scalp. It is suitable for all hair types, including damaged hair and dry scalp/dandruff-prone hair.

Both the shampoo and the conditioner contain no SLS, SLES, parabens, or phthalates. They come in fully compostable cardboard packaging, printed with vegetable inks.

Price: $20.00 (60g bar) for the shampoo and $24.00 (60g bar) for the conditioner

Amor Luminis Customer Ratings: 5/5 out of 1 rating

Where to Buy: Amor Luminis: Océane Solid Shampoo & Talia Solid Conditioner Bar (delivery: international)

5. Plaine Products

Zero Waste Shampoo - Plaine Products - Citrus Lavender Vegan Shampoo

Plaine Products make a lovely range of vegan and cruelty-free, zero-waste hair care products, body washes and natural hand sanitizers. 

They do not use any ingredients that are deemed unsafe by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and use only safe, biodegradable, non-toxic ingredients.

Their liquid shampoo is color-safe and sulfate-free, silicone-free, and palm oil-free.  They have three different options to choose from: Unscented, Rosemary, Vanilla and Mint, or Lavender Citrus.

Must Try: Rosemary, Mint and Vanilla Zero Waste Shampoo

Plaine Products are completely zero-waste. They offer a refill service and all their products are packaged in reusable aluminum bottles, with a reusable plastic pump.

When your shampoo bottles are empty, you keep the pump to use in your refill and send the empty container back to them in the box it came in!

Plaine Products is certified B Corp, vegan, cruelty-free, carbon-neutral, and members of 1 for the Planet.

Price: $30 for 16oz ($27 on subscription)

Plaine Products Customer Ratings: 5/5 from 110 ratings

Where to Buy: Amazon

6. Dr. Bronner’s 


Zero waste shampoo - Dr Bronners castile soap Bar

Dr. Bronner’s is one of the best-selling natural brands in the U.S. and their range of gentle castile soap bars are a hit, because you can use it for both face and body!

Using a multi-use soap like this also reduces your amount of personal care products so instead of separate body washes and shampoos, you get it all in one bar. Their packaging is made from 100% biodegradable and recycled material. Their products are also fair-trade, certified vegan and made with organic oils.

Must Try: Dr. Bronner’s All-One Hemp Citrus Castile Bar Soap (6-pack)

This delightful citrus-y scented soap bar will leave your hair smelling fresh and feeling as light as a feather while turning your shower into an invigorating aromatherapy session. Although it contains palm oil, it is certified organic and fair trade so you can use it guilt-free.

Price: $7.66 / 5 oz each, $28.74 pack of 6

Amazon Customer Rating: 4.7/5 out of 264 ratings

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Video via Insider

7. Friendly Soap

Zero waste shampoo - Friendly Soap Shampoo Bar

Friendly Soap products are packaged in really simple recycled packaging, and are made with natural ingredients such as plant-based natural oils, nut butters, essential oils and herbs. Their shampoo bars are free of parabens and foaming agents like Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), so you can rest assured that they will be gentle on your hair and skin.

We also love how affordable their shampoo and conditioner bars are, making it a really accessible product for anyone who wants to reduce their waste.

Must Try: Friendly Shampoo Bar – Lavender & Geranium

You wont even need a conditioner to soften your hair after a wash with this shampoo bar. The castor oil acts as a natural hair conditioner while geranium oil acts as a relaxing aromatherapy treatment to help sooth your scalp and bring a sense of calm to your day.

Price: $4 / 3.35 oz

Amazon Customer Rating: 3.7/5 out of 261 ratings

8. Crystal Cole

Zero-waste shampoo - Cole Solid Shampoo Bar

Crystal Cole is based in England and originally started off making her own scented candles and as news travelled about her amazing candles and thoughtful scent choices, her brand soon began to develop.

Now offering personal care items such as bath bombs, shampoo bars, eco-friendly toothbrushes and much more, Crystal Cole is an emerging natural living brand.

Crystal Cole’s zero-waste shampoo bars are hand crafted, vegan, cruelty-free and paraben and SLS free.

Must Try: Luxury Lime Basil & Mandarin Solid Shampoo Bar

You can smell the influence of Crystal’s travels to Asia in these wonderfully scented bars. It’s suitable for all hair types and lasts ages (up to 80 washes). It’s currently selling like hotcakes so they’re available on pre-order from her site, or via Amazon.

Price: $15,00 / 3.52 oz

Amazon Customer Rating: 5/5 out of 3 ratings (this product listing is new)

Shopping around for other zero-waste products? Try our guide to the best zero-waste products on the market right now.

9. BamboEarth

Zero waste shampoo - BamboEarth Rose Shampoo Bar

BamboEarth has a range of eco-friendly and natural personal care products including dental products and body wash bars. They believe in keeping things eco-friendly all the way from product to packaging.

Their zero-waste shampoo and conditioner bars are cold-pressed and 100% organic, while the packaging is biodegradable, plastic and metal-free.

Must Try: BamboEarth 100% Organic Rose Shampoo Bar

This shampoo bar also has a gently conditioning effect to leave your hair feeling extra soft and smooth so you don’t need an extra product. The mild ingredients, such as rose essence and ginseng, make it easy to use on any hair type.

Price: $9.87 / 2.11 oz

Amazon Customer Rating: 4.3/5 out of 98 ratings

10. Whiff Botanicals

Zero waste shampoo - Whiff Botanicals

Whiff Botanicals is a new, up-and-coming, company based in the US. We love what they stand for when it comes to the three Rs: Reduce, Re-use and Recycle! Their products are made locally in the US, and their shampoo and conditioner bars are free from fragrances and colourants, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin.

Their packaging is plastic-free and made from recyclable material, and they make use of biodegradable material as much as possible.

Must Try: Whiff Botanicals Evergreen Shampoo Bar

This is a great zero-waste shampoo bar for guys on the go because it acts as both a shampoo and shave bar. It contains moisturizing coconut oil and cocoa butter and has a fresh earthy pine scent to make you feel like you’re showing in a forest!

Price: $10.99 / 1 oz

Amazon Customer Rating: 4.5/5 out of 250 ratings

 

“The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share” ~ Lady Bird Johnson

11. Aspen Kay Naturals

Zero waste shampoo - Aspen Kay Shampoo Bars

Aspen Kay Naturals was founded in 2012 in a small kitchen in US and has since expanded to become a highly sought-after brand in the natural and eco-friendly world.

It’s important to note that their products do contain palm oil (we like that they are upfront about this), but it is certified sustainable. They use natural coloring from the herbs and flowers in their ingredients, and their shampoos are free from SLS, Parabens, synthetic dyes and other harmful chemicals.

Must Try: Aspen Kay Naturals Rosemary & Peppermint Shampoo Bar

This zero-waste shampoo bar contains only organic ingredients and herbs and is designed to help rejuvenate dry and damaged hair and stimulate healthy hair growth. Rosemary and peppermint essential oils give it a beautifully calming scent.

Price: $13.99 / 3.2 oz

Amazon Customer Rating: 4.5/5 out of 387 ratings

Conclusion

What’s not to love about a compact, long-lasting and heavenly-smelling bar of shampoo? They are perfect for travelling, they’re plastic-free shampoos and many can be used for both hair and body so that you can also reduce your product consumption.

When it comes to purchasing zero-waste and plastic free shampoo and conditioners, it really all boils down to personal preference and what your hair needs to stay healthy.

We are all as different as our hair, so like we mentioned in the beginning of this article, don’t be pressured into finding a product that ticks all the boxes, although it’s great if you find one that does! A zero-waste lifestyle is a journey and luckily, we have a great community on Amazon where consumers take the time to leave detailed reviews for next person so we can make better choices.

 

“The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best zero waste shampoo?

Finding the best zero waste shampoo and conditioner for you can be time consuming and expensive. There are so many options that it can be overwhelming so simplify the process and check out this guide to the 7 best zero waste shampoo brands for a review of each one, the price and user reviews.

What is the best zero waste shampoo for dry and damaged hair?

We love the Ethique Frizz Wrangler for dry and damaged hair. It contains coconut oil and cocoa butter, which replenish and smooth damaged hair. For more information on Ethique and other best zero waste shampoo brands, check out this list of the 7 best zero waste shampoo bars.

What is the best multiuse zero waste soap bar?

We love Dr. Bronner's range of gentle castile soap bars. You can use them on your face, body and hair - reducing the number of products you need to buy and the amount of waste you produce! For more info check out this list of the 7 best zero waste shampoo brands.

Resources

Learn How to Make Homemade Natural Shampoo: https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-shampoo/

Zero Waste Shampoo and Conditioner For Waste-Free, Sustainable Locks: https://www.sustainablejungle.com/best-of-sustainable-beauty/zero-waste-shampoo-conditioner/

10 Best Shampoo Bars 2019: https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/best-shampoo-bars/#gref

Cruelty-free shampoo bars: https://www.peta2.com/vegan-life/cruelty-free-shampoo-bars/

9 Best Zero Waste Shampoo and Condition Options: https://www.colleenpatrickgoudreau.com/zerowasteshampoo/

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