The Best Shampoo Bars

Think of all the plastic shampoo bottles you toss out every year. Tally up all the money you spend running to the store to replenish your shampoo supply. Picture packing all your hair care products in travel-size containers to go with you on the road or to the gym. Now, watch all those worries fade away with an eco-friendly, cost-efficient, travel-ready product that leaves your hair luscious, healthy, and clean. You are now prepared to pick out your perfect shampoo bar. The general benefits of shampoo bars are undeniable and numerous. But because of differences in hair type, lifestyle, and other needs, there are a lot of factors among various shampoo bars to consider. We've researched the best shampoo bars out there to make it easier for you to find the one that will live in your shower caddy for months to come.

Ethique Shampoo Bar

Lather Up and Save the Planet

With a formula for every hair type, this shampoo bar will have you wishing it would never run out. Luckily for you, it will last three times as long as a bottle of liquid shampoo would.
Best Overall

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It is hard to believe that one simple bar could do the work of three shampoo bottles, but with Ethique’s shampoo bar, you can give it a try and see for yourself. Lower your carbon footprint and take care of your hair with any of the high-quality formulas specially designed for different hair types. Store the bar in a dry container in between washes to make it last even longer.

Pros:

  • Variety of natural formulas for different hair types, including one for children
  • Can last three times as long as a bottle of shampoo
  • Eliminates the need for conditioner in some cases

Cons:

  • More lightly scented than most shampoos, but that can be a benefit to people sensitive to fragrances

Acure Coconut & Argan Shampoo Bar

Moisturize to the Max

Coconut oil gives this shampoo its gentle touch.
Runner Up

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This bar from Acure is an excellent choice if your hair and body need a little bit of moisturizing. The natural ingredients like coconut and argan oils will clean your hair and leave it soft and beautiful. It works great on a variety of hair types ranging from fine to thick and curly. It’s hard to go wrong with this great combination of natural oils.

Pros:

  • Works well on a variety of hair types
  • Light, calming fragrance
  • Safe for use on the body

Cons:

  • Only comes in one scent, but it is lovely

Ethique Hair Sampler

Shampoo Your Heart Out

Try this sampler of five to figure out what shampoo bar is best for your hair.
Most Variety

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If you’re unsure how dry or oily your hair is, or if you’re shopping for a friend, this cute five-pack sampler is an ideal option. It offers you a chance to try out three different shampoos and two conditioners to see what works best before committing to a bigger bar. There’s something for everyone, whether you have an itchy scalp, frizzy hair, or something in between.

Pros:

  • Includes three shampoo and two conditioner bars
  • The unique heart-shaped bars make it cute enough to give as a gift
  • Combined, the bars are equivalent to one whole bottle of shampoo

Cons:

  • If you already know what type of shampoo you need, you may not want all five, but the extras make great gifts

IndulgeMe 4-in-1

All for One and One for All

It's shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and face wash all in one bar. Showering has never been so easy, especially on the go.
Best Combo

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Why limit the convenience of a bar to just shampoo? This bar from IndulgeMe not only cleans your hair, but conditions it as well. Plus, it’s safe for use on the body and face. Even if you prefer not to use a combination shampoo at home, it’s super convenient to have a bar like this for travel use. It even comes with a handy tin so you can drop it in your bag without worrying about it getting all over everything. That’s far more than we can say for every travel-size bottle of shampoo that has exploded over the contents of our suitcases.

Pros:

  • Cost-efficient pack of two bars that come with a travel tin
  • Both formulas are designed to strengthen, moisturize, and support hair from scalp to tip
  • Invigorating citrus fragrances

Cons:

  • The essential oils used, such as tea tree and lemon, might be irritating to people with sensitive scalps
  • Smaller in size than many other bars

J.R. Liggett’s Old-Fashioned Bar Shampoo

Let's Spell It Out for You

It's a rare treat to be able to pronounce every item on the list of ingredients.
Most All-Natural

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Everyone else seems a bit behind the times when you consider that J.R. Liggett has been making shampoo bars like this for decades. This bar comes in various fragrances and formulas, but all of them include all-natural ingredients such as rich vegetable oils and essential oils. You can set your mind at ease knowing this bar is free of synthetic oils and chemicals.

Pros:

  • One bar lasts about as long as one bottle of shampoo
  • Based on a tried-and-true recipe
  • Handmade and hand-cut, making each bar unique

Cons:

  • Some people prone to dry hair may need to follow up with conditioner

Frequently Asked Questions

Are shampoo bars cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable, or free of palm oil?

Though shampoo bars are typically more environmentally friendly due to their reduced packaging, it can’t be assumed that every bar will meet your standards. It’s important to check each bar’s ingredients and specifications to ensure that your purchase aligns with your ethics.

Do I still need to use a conditioner?

As is true with most things, the answer will be different for everybody. However, there are certainly a few reasons people are less likely to need a conditioner when using a shampoo bar. These products tend to use high-quality ingredients, including natural oils, which means they’re less likely to strip away your hair’s natural moisture the way that chemical shampoos tend to do. If you feel like shampooing without conditioner might work for you, it might be worth giving it a try.