Zero-waste shampoo and conditioner bars are taking over, and we’re loving it!
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.
- 1 How to Find Zero-waste Hair Care Brands
- 2 How to Make Your Own Eco-friendly Shampoo
- 3 7 Best Zero-Waste Shampoo and Conditioner Brands
- 3.1 1. Ethique
- 3.2 2. Dr. Bronner’s
- 3.3 3. Friendly Soap
- 3.4 4. Crystal Cole
- 3.5 5. BamboEarth
- 3.6 6. Whiff Botanicals
- 3.7 7. Aspen Kay Naturals
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 Resources
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. 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 Amazon by entering “zero waste shampoo” in the search bar.
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
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.
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.
- 2 soap nuts
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 glass jar
- Essential oils (optional)
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.
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!
7 Best Zero-Waste Shampoo and Conditioner Brands
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 packaging is 100% plastic-free and 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 Frizz Wrangler
Those with frizzy hair know how quickly it can become dry and heat damaged from the use of hot irons, curling tongs and hairdryers. This zero-waste shampoo bar does a fantastic job of smoothing it out with a deliciously fragrant mix of coconut oil and cocoa butter.
Price: $15.99 / 3.88 oz
Amazon Customer Rating: 4.5/5 out of 2, 083 ratings
2. Dr. Bronner’s
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
3. Friendly Soap
Friendly Soap products are packaged in really simple recycled packaging, and are made with natural ingredients such as plant-based 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.
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
4. Crystal Cole
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.
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.
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
6. 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
7. Aspen Kay Naturals
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.
This zero-waste shampoo bar contains only organic herbs and is designed to help rejuvenate dry and damaged hair and stimulate 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
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 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 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.
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/