The 10 Best Plastic Free Conditioners for Every Hair Type

The average UK household uses 216 hair care bottles a year. Even if you dropped that number to 50, you’re looking at 4,000 bottles if you live to 80. Just your house. Yikes.

Luckily switching your haircare isn’t tough as there are tons of options out there for every hair type- including colour-treated hair.

Making the switch to plastic-free conditioner (and plastic-free shampoo) you not only are reducing your single-use plastic usage, you will be getting better ingredients.

The companies that care enough about packaging also tend to care about using plant-based, natural ingredients that aren’t tested on animals. Many companies even donate a portion of their sales to charity.

And chances are you are also supporting a small business. Go you.

Some links may be affiliate links in which I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Brand | Trawden Soap Kitchen

Features | These lovely products are handmade in the UK using vegan ingredients and are cruelty free.

The conditioner comes in glass jars and is available in two different sizes.

Brand | Conscious Skincare

Features | Conscious Skincare products are handmade in Wales and are vegan and leaping bunny certified.

All of their products are in aluminium, glass, and occasionally recyclable plastic bottles, but all of their shipping packaging is plastic-free and recyclable.

This conditioner, however, is in a plastic free bottle and is safe to use for coloured hair. It works well for curly hair, too.

Brand | Beauty Kitchen

Features | Beauty Kitchen is a Certified B corporation that not only uses sustainable, cruelty-free, vegan ingredients, they also are creating a closed loop system for their packaging.

All of their products with the ‘Return, Refill, Repeat’ stamp can be sent back to them, so they can be washed out and reused in the next batch of products. Even though the bottle is aluminium and completely recycleable, this eliminates the recycling process and goes straight to reusing.

Did I mention they donate 2% of their sales to charity?

Brand | Moo Hair

Features | Moo Hair is a family run company in Scotland that makes salon quality products without destroying the planet.

They use natural, vegan friendly ingredients and pack them in a glass bottle with an aluminium lid (though you can add a plastic pump dispenser if you need one).

Brand | Funky Soap

Features | Funky Soap London is handmade in small batches using natural, vegan ingredients.

The conditioner comes in recyclable kraft containers and a refillable option in an aluminium bottle.

You can also grab conditioner bars that come in regular and travel size which are also great for your gym kit.

Brand | Juliet Rose

Features | All the products are handmade using ingredients sourced from green companies that don’t test on animals. All of her products meet EU regulation 1223/2009 as well.

The bars are packed in recyclable, biodegradable paper envelopes making a nice zero waste addition to your hair care routine.

The conditioner bars come in various formulations for dry hair, curly hair, oily hair, etc. in a variety of beautiful, natural scents.

Brand | Fulfilled

Features | Fulfilled is a UK company doing its bit to reduce waste. Aside from their bottles being made from aluminium, they also offer a refill scheme where you get a refill pouch that’s plastic, but send it back (for free in the UK) to Fulfilled so they can recycle it. No waste. Yay.

They use natural, vegan friendly ingredients and it comes in a 500ml bottle that should last you between 3-6 months.

Brand | Foamie

Features | Foamie has created a pH balanced conditioner bar that has a handy integrated string so you can hang your bar to dry when you are finished. They also have travel packs for storage in case you don’t have space for hanging.

The ingredients are vegan and cruelty-free and will last around 90 washes.

Brand | Rowdy Kind

Features | These bars were made with kids in mind; fun colours and scents…and they float!

No nasties in this bar as all of the ingredients are vegan and cruelty free with no animal testing.

Rowdy Kind is a newer, small company with a big heart. After launching at the beginning of the pandemic, they donated the profits of their first run to the Surrey Care Trust to support their local families. Definitely a business with their hearts in the right place.

Brand | Care Bare

Features | Care Bare is handmade in Suffolk by a hairdresser wanting to create better hair products for her and her clients. She uses fast absorbing, yet moisturising oils in this bar including broccoli oil.

As they were formulated by a stylist with 20 years salon experience, the bars are safe for colour-treated hair, too.

How to Use

When using a conditioner bar you can either create a lather in your hands and work through your hair or apply the bar directly starting at the ends and working your way up. You don’t need a lot so comb the conditioner through using your fingers or a wooden come. Leave the conditioner in your hair up to 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly.

If you live in a hardwater area you may want to follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse if you find a lot of build up being left behind. Less is more with shampoo and conditioner bars so start by using less.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

If you live in a hard water area, you may find a build up of residue after using a bar. Using an apple cider vinegar or ACV rinse can help remove the build- up and leave your hair shiny and soft.

One part of ACV to 3 parts water is a good starting point.

Putting it in a spray bottle is the easiest application, leave it 3-5 minutes and rinse. Then condition as normal.

Funky Soap London has ready made vinegar rinses, complete with a spray top for the glass bottle. Along with the apple cider vinegar there are herbs and essential oils to make the smell a bit more pleasant.

(Not that the homemade rinse leaves a smell anyway).

You can reap the benefits of ACV without the application by taking it orally, or a much easier to stomach, gummie. 

IMPORTANT TIP

Never use ACV neat (right out of the bottle) as the high acidity can burn your skin. Make sure to dilute it and discontinue if any irritation occurs.

What is a Co-Wash?

Co-Wash stands for Conditioner Wash and basically means you are skipping the shampoo part of your hair care routine and using your conditioner to cleanse and moisturise your hair instead.

Co Washing tends to work best for those with dry or curly hair as it leaves your hair’s natural moisture intact.

Work the conditioner on your scalp first and then work through to the ends making sure to detangle with your fingers or a wide-tooth wooden comb.

Using a water-based conditioner is best as it is lighter and won’t leave build up.

You can also grab Co Wash specific products like Lush’s Avocado Wash

This doesn’t mean you can’t still shampoo occasionally but when you do, that would be a good time to use a more concentrated conditioning bar.

If you find you have some build up over time, try a pre-shampoo mask.

Zero Waste Hair Care

However you decide to use your conditioner, rest easy knowing that there are plenty of plastic-free conditioners out there to choose from so you can do good for not only your hair but the planet, too.

Just switching your shampoo and conditioner bottles to zero waste alternatives will stop you alone from sending X plastic bottles to landfill.

The 29 Best Plastic Free Shampoos (And They’re Not Just Bars)

The UK collectively sends 520 million shampoo bottles to landfill every year. The average household uses 216 hair care bottles a year.

Not only does this one set of products fill up our landfills and worsen the planet’s plastic pollution, but the chances of the bottles being made from 100% recycled materials and then being recycled are extremely low.

Switching to a plastic free shampoo is not only easy, but the contents are usually better for your hair and gentler on your scalp as they will not contain nasty chemicals and fillers.

There are so many eco-friendly shampoos out there (and not all of them are bars); some are liquids in glass or aluminium bottles, some are tablets and powders, and there’s one that is in plastic but offers 5L refills from recyclable bottles. (Check out these 10 Plastic Free Conditioners to complete your hair washing routine).

Whatever your hair type there is an eco-friendly, plastic-free shampoo for you!

Some links may be affiliate links in which I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Plastic Free Shampoo Bars

Brand | Battle Green

Features | This zero-waste and eco-friendly shop is based in Wales. Their products are FSC and Leaping Bunny Certified.

You also have the option to order your bar wrapped in paper or in a reusable tin.

The bars come in fresh scents like Lavender and Tea Tree, Mint, and Citrus. Expect to get around 80 washes with one bar.

Brand | Friendly Soap

Features | This UK made soap is vegan and cruelty free. It has no palm oil, parabens or SLS. The packaging is a fully recyclable cardboard box. No plastic in sight.

This bar tends to do better in soft water, so if you have hard water, you may want to try an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.

Brand | Living Naturally

Features | The Coconutty Soapnut Bar uses organic ingredients and is cruelty-free with no animal testing.

The bar is suitable for all hair types and comes in a cute reusable cotton bag.

Brand | Fair Squared

Features | Fair Squared uses FairTrade certified ingredients that are vegan and not tested on animals.

The pack is for two bars and it comes with a cotton pouch to store the bars in.

Brand |J.R. Liggett’s

Features |J.R. Liggett’s is a zero waste companythat produces vegan, cruelty-free products.

The shampoo bars use simple, natural products that are suitable for all hair types and can even double as a shaving bar.

Brand | Acala

Features | Acala shampoo bars are  handmade in Wales using vegan, cruelty-free ingredients and no plam oil.

The bars are wrapped in recycled kraft paper that can be recycled or composted.

Brand | Kind2

Features | Kind2 is made in the UK using sustainably sourced, natural, vegan ingredients.

The bar is pH balanced and there’s also a matching conditioner bar to complete your hair care routine.

The cardboard packaging is recycleable from recycled materials

Plastic Free Shampoo (Not Bars)

Brand | Beauty Kubes

Features | These little cubes come in boxes of 27. If you have long hair you’ll use one cube, but if you have short hair you can get away with half.

The cubes are organic, vegan and cruelty free. The box is recyclable and the wrapping on the inside can be composted at home so no waste.

If you aren’t quite sure about these little cubes, you can grab a travel size box (which is 3 cubes) and try them out.

They have different formulas for different hair types including a 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash and a men’s version.

Brand | Beauty Kitchen

Features | Beauty Kitchen is a Certified B Corporation that is made in the UK. The ingredients are vegan and free from animal testing.

The bottle is aluminium with a rock paper label. They are also creating a closed-loop system as all of their products with the ‘Return, Refill, Repeat’ stamp can be sent back to them (for free in the UK), so they can be washed out and reused in the next batch of products.

Brand | Conscious Skincare

Features | Conscious Skincare uses organic, vegan ingredients and is Leaping Bunny certified.

The bottle is glass with an aluminium top. You can request a reusable plastic pump dispenser for the first bottle if you need one.

If using glass concerns you, you can always save your last plastic shampoo bottle and refill it with the Conscious bottle. You reuse the plastic bottle and keep it from landfill and recycle easily recycled materials-glass and aluminium- instead.

Brand | Millie and Sissy

Features | This little sachet of vegan, cruelty-free ingredients is a powder that you mix with your own bottle of water to make the shampoo. It makes 500mls worth of shampoo.

The sachet is made from paper and vegetable based lining so you can pop it in your compost bin when you are done mixing.

Brand | Ben and Anna

Features | Ben and Anna tablets come in packs of 24 in a recycleable paper sachet. 

The ingredients are vegan, palm oil-free, and they don’t test on animals

Brand | Funky Soap

Features | These little cubes are handmade in small batches in the UK using natural, vegan ingredients that aren’t tested on animals.

Each box contains 40 cubes which is good for 40 washes. There are different formulations for dry, oily, and sensitive scalps, too.

Brand | Moo Hair

Features | Moo Hair is made in Scotland using natural ingredients that are not tested on animals.

The ingredients are specifically formulated to protect your hair from UV exposure and environmental toxins, so a great choice for summer.

The bottle is glass and can be shipped with or without the plastic pump.

If you are a klutz like me, you may just want to save your last plastic bottle and refill it with Moo Hair. No need for a plastic pump and no need to worry about accidently dropping it either!

Brand | Awake Organics

Features | Awake Organics is made in the UK using ingredients that are Soil Association Certified Organic, Fair-trade, Wild-crafted, Food Grade, or Local Organic from the UK and Italy.

This tiny bottle is actually filled with powder that you tip into your hand and add water to and create a lather in your hair.

The aluminium bottle and powder form makes this especially convenient for air travel.

Brand | Nereus London

Features | Nereus shampoos are made in the UK using natural, organic ingredients that are vegan friendly.

The bottle is made from 100% aluminium and a woodpulp label that it biodegradeable.

Brand | Sop

Features | Sop is made in the UK using natural, organic ingredients that are vegan and cruelty-free.

The bottles are 100% aluminium making them easily recycleable.

They offer two sizes 250ml and a 50ml travel or sample size if you want to give it a try.

Brand | Fulfilled 

Features | Fulfilled is a big 500ml aluminium bottle of natural, vegan-friendly ingredients.

What makes this company unique is they have a refill pouch you can order and send back to Fulfilled for recycling. No waste.

Plastic Free Dry Shampoos

Brand | Sea and Clean

Features | No nasty chemicals from aerosols like isobutane, butane, and propane. Instead this lovely powder dry shampoo uses moisture (and odor absorbing) ingredients like arrowroot and koalin clay.

It comes in 3 different shades for easy blending, too.

Brand | Dirty Hippie Cosmetics

Features | Another powder dry shampoo that contains non GMO cornflour and Bamboo powder. Bamboo powder is high in silica which is often used in hair growth serums along with powdered nettle leaf.

This powder is available in three shades, though you can message for custom options. There are also refills available.

Plastic Free Dandruff Shampoos

Brand | Green People

Features | It may look like plastic, but don’t be fooled, Green People uses plant based materials for their products. Sustainably sourced sugar cane in this case that happens to be completely carbon neutral.

The company itself uses organic, vegan, and cruelty free products and this tube of shampoo shampoo should last around three months. There’s also a Men’s Dandruff Shampoo, too.

Brand | Andrea’s Organic Market

Features |Lots of lovely, organic ingredients to bring the moisture back to your scalp without leaving your hair oily.

The bars are packaged in recycled paper and sent in recycled packaging as well.

Since the bars are so popular they tend to sell out, but you can also give the dandruff serum a go. You rub it on your scalp and leave it for 20 minutes before washing as usual.

Brand | Hank’s Garden

Features | This shampoo is all organic ingredients that are vegan and cruelty-free. It comes in an aluminium bottle with a plastic pump that can be reused indefinitely when you order the refill bottle without the pump.

The shampoo can also double as a body wash and there is a complimenting conditioner that doubles as shave cream, too.

There’s even travel sizes. With refills available, too.

Brand | Fushi

Features |Fushi shampoo is full of ingredients to soothe and moisturise your scalp. The oils are all organic and all of the ingredients are vegan and cruelty-free.

The shampoo comes in a glass bottle that does have a plastic pump, but they can easily be repurposed for handsoap or used at your favourite refill shop for body wash.

Plastic Free Colour-Friendly Shampoos

Brand | Care Bare Shampoo Bars

Features |These bars are unique in the sense that they were created by a hairdresser with 20 years experience in the salon. So if she says this is good for colour-treated hair (as well as curly hair) then I am ready to try it out.

She also offers a violet shampoo bar specifically for blonde, silver and grey hair to tone down any brassy or yellow tones.

Brand | Naturtint

Features | Naturtint shampoo bars are Ecocert certified as all natural ingredients. They are also vegan products.

What I like about Naturtint is that they also make low-toxic hair dye (which I use and it covers my grey nicely) so their shampoo bars will nicely compliment their own colour products.

Plastic Free Kids Shampoos

Brand | Rowdy Kind

Features | Rowdy Kind are children-specific bars that come in fun scents and most importantly. They. Float.

This bar is specifically made to keep your little’s hair from tangling but they also have 2-in-1 bars that can be used for their hair and body. Follow up with the Man-Go with the Flo conditioner bar and you will have happy kids indeed.

Brand | Dr. Bronner’s

Features | Ok not plastic-free. However, Dr. Bronner’s Shikakai Liquid soap is gentle enough for babies, but can be used for the whole family’s face, hands, body, and hair.

If you don’t get the Shikakai-specific shampoo, Dr. Bronner’s is known for being an 18-in-one product that can clean you and your house potentially eliminating the need to buy other products.

The ingredients are certified organic and most of them are also fair-trade certified.

Many scents are available in jumbo 3.8L refills so you can save the smaller bottle for refills.

No Poo Option

If phasing out shampoo completely is something you have thought about, then Shikakai powder may be for you.

Brand | Hello to Health

Features | This powder no poo is made by a small family company in England using just three ingredients- Reetha, Amla and Shikakai powder. This blend of all three powders creates the ultimate natural hair, shampoo-less treatment. 

Available in 100g sachets if you want to try it.

How Do I Use a Shampoo Bar?

Shampoo bars can be used by making a lather in your hands and washing your hair with the lather, or by rubbing the bar directly to your hair. Make sure you rinse really well especially if you have hard water. A vinegar rinse may be necessary to remove any residue.

Is There a Transition Phase When Switching to a Natural Shampoo?

It really depends on your hair. Some people can switch with no issues and others may experience a period of detoxing where your hair adjusts to the change in chemicals. Make sure to rinse well, especially the back of your head, as hard water can react with bars and leave a residue. A weak apple cider vinegar rinse can help.

Do I need to do a vinegar rinse when using a shampoo bar? 

If you live in a hard water area, a residue can be left behind, so an apple cider vinegar rinse can help remove that residue.

Using an apple cider vinegar rinse also helps to leave your hair shiny and conditioned.

Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Mix one part Apple Cider Vinegar with 3 parts water

(I mix the rinse in a pyrex measuring cup)

You can pour the mix directly on your head or pour small amounts into your hand and work through your hair. A dark glass spray bottle would also make it easier to apply and keep it from breaking down faster.

Condition after your rinse.

 

If you don’t have the time or patience for mixing up the rinse yourself, you can grab some ready made rinses in glass bottles from Funky Soap London which also have some lovely scents to them.

You can also grab their spray bottle top for easier application.

Caring for Your Shampoo Bars

As with any soap bar, if you let your shampoo bar sit in a puddle of water it will break down and wear away quick.

Use a dedicated soap dish or tray so your soap can dry out completely.

You can also cut off a small piece of the bar and use that, so the entire bar is not getting wet every time. When you finish using the one piece you can cut off another.

The Benefits of Plastic Free Shampoos

Making the choice to use a plastic free shampoo, will save hundreds of bottles (in your lifetime) from being sent to a landfill or incinerator.

In my effort to waste less I also wash my hair less. It took a couple months, but I worked my way to washing my hair once a week. Most shampoo bars last anywhere from 55-80 washes. So for me, one bar can easily last me over a year.

You are being exposed to less toxic chemicals.

Sulfates, parabens and other chemicals proving to be toxic to humans, have no business being in our products. While many are deemed safe in small amounts, what happens when we add up all those small amounts from all of our daily products? (The average woman uses 16 products containing around 168 chemicals every day.

They probably aren’t such small amounts anymore.

The companies that care enough to not use a plastic bottle are also the companies that are likely to use natural, organic, vegan ingredients.

They also will be the companies that don’t test on animals.

Plastic free shampoos are good for you, the animals, and the planet, so this switch is really a no brainer!

Let me know which one you fall in love with in the comments below.