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07th Aug 2022

I ditched plastic bottles for shampoo bars – and here are the 5 best ones to buy

Trine Jensen-Burke

shampoo bars

It took me a while to get around to it, but now I am never looking back.

Shampoo bars are such an easy way to save money and reduce plastic waste – and our environmental footprint – all in one.

Easy to use, compact, perfect for travel – shampoo bars may look like a regular bar of soap, but are packed with ingredients which nourish the hair and scalp rather than drying them out.

Ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, clarifying fruit oils like orange oil, and herbal extracts such as lavender work together to gently cleanse hair and scalp without stripping the natural oils from your lengths.

To use, just rub the bar between your hands and then work the lather through your hair – just like you would with liquid shampoo from a bottle, before rinsing well. If you use conditioner, there are more and more of these available in bar form too, so just add if needed.

I have been trying a few different shampoo bars for the past couple of months, and here are five I really can recommend:

1. Lush Honey I Washed My Hair Shampoo Bar

The smell of this will be enough to convince you to ditch plastic bottle shampoo forever.

This beautifully moisturising, fairly traded honey shampoo bar suits every hair type, and will leave you with soft, shiny and beautifully smelling hair.

From €12

2. Palm Free Irish Soap Co Shampoo Bar

A gorgeous thyme-scented shampoo bar that is mild enough for everyday use, yet long lasting and hard enough to cope with the rigours of travel.

I love that it contains a really high percentage of fair-trade, organic shea butter, with the addition of panthenol and zinc oxide, meaning it not only help keeps your hair soft and strong, but is also perfect for those with more sensitive scalps.


3. Ethique Oaty Delicious Shampoo Bar For Little Ones 

I use this shampoo bar for my kids, and love how it doubles as a body wash as well. It contains soothing oat, moisturising coconut oil and is scented with real lavender, meaning it is perfect before bedtime.

For my daughter, whose hair tends to get really tangled up, this shampoo bar has been a game changer, and even better? This bar prevents three plastic bottles from being made and disposed of and saves 2.7 litres of water.


4. Beauty Kubes Shampoo for Oily Hair

For those with oily hair and scalp, these shampoo cubes are amazing.

Safflower oil and nettle powder help balance out the skin, and the biodegradable cleansing agents are Ecocert-approved, sulphate-free, synthetic fragrance-free and synthetic preservative-free.

The size of these means they are super for travelling, and right now, they are on sale for just €6!


5. Eco Warrior Deeply Nourishing Shampoo Bar

Love this bar – it has become a staple in my bathroom – and lasts for ages!

Condition, cleanse and moisturise your hair all in one, and the blend of pure orange and ginger essential oils will both stimulate your scalp and promote healthy hair.


10 benefits of using a shampoo bar

Why use a solid shampoo bar instead of bottled shampoo? Here are our top 10 reasons.

  1. They’re kind to the environment

Brits throw away around 520 million plastic shampoo bottles every year. Many of these won’t be recycled, meaning tons of plastic are being added to landfills every year just to keep our hair clean.

Shampoo bars come with plastic-free, minimalist packaging – usually recyclable cardboard – which makes shampoo bars a greener choice.

  1. They save water

It takes a lot of water to produce one bottle of shampoo. Think about it – shampoo itself is made up mostly of water and water is also used in the production of plastic). So, by switching to bars, you’re helping save water.

  1. Fewer synthetic chemicals

Organic shampoo bars are developed using only natural ingredients and don’t usually contain synthetic chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and aluminium salts.

This is great news for anyone trying to reduce the use of potentially harmful ingredients in their personal care.

  1. Last longer

One small bar is equivalent to three regular-sized bottles of shampoo. This means you don’t have to stock up on shampoo as frequently.

  1. You save money

Having to buy less shampoo obviously leads to big savings! With one bar lasting up to 80 washes, you might only need to buy one or two bars each year (depending on how often you wash your hair).

  1. You can travel with them

During your next trip, plan to pack a shampoo bar. They’re light, spill-proof, and you don’t need to worry about hand luggage liquid restrictions.

  1. They save space

Your bathroom shelf is probably home to a fair amount of clutter. Unlike bulky bottles, a shampoo bar takes up next to no room on your shelf or shower organiser.

  1. A little goes a long way

You don’t have to worry about being wasteful with shampoo bars – as you just use the lather to wash your hair, it’s hard to use too much the way we do with liquid shampoo.

  1. They smell amazing

Shampoo bars contain concentrated plant butters, essential oils and herbal extracts which unsurprisingly smell wonderful – unlike the chemical scent of some liquid shampoos.

  1. They won’t spill

We’ve all experienced a bottle of shampoo with a loose cap which tips and spills over our bathtub/ cabinet/ overnight bag. No chance of that with a shampoo bar!