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If you are trying to reduce the number of plastic bottles in your bathroom, it might be time to try a shampoo bar. Scrub a dub dub, here are 13 NATURAL CANADIAN SHAMPOO BARS THAT WORK (and how to use them)! Oh and don't forget about vegan shampoo bars, they are becoming so popular and there are so many to choose from. YAY!
Gone are the days of hippie-dippy bars that don’t work and cause your hair to be limp and dry! This new breed of natural shampoo bars is packed with plants and botanicals that will leave your hair feeling hydrated, clean, and nourished!
Like with all things here on The Eco Hub, I want to make it easy for you to choose ethical and sustainable products for your home and body, but before you can do this, you need to understand the nuances and meaning behind the terms sustainable and clean beauty.
When it comes to shampoo bars... Let's talk transition. There is one!
Your hair and you are not used to using a shampoo that does not lather like crazy when you add water. Your hair is also most likely used to Synthetic detergents and harsh chemicals (used to create lathering and foaming) and found in most conventional shampoo bottles.
I’d say the number one issue that arises when starting to use a shampoo bar is the transition period.
Not everyone goes through it, but many people often do. Your hair is used to the chemicals you’ve been using from conventional shampoos intended to strip the natural oils from your hair.
Synthetic surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate are common in liquid shampoos. SLS and other detergents strip the hair of its natural oil, which can cause several problems.
When you first make the switch to zero-waste shampoo bars, your hair might continue to produce those natural oils at the same rate as it was with your previous shampoo, but now you aren’t stripping the oils from your hair, which can cause your hair to look greasy.
Your hair naturally produces oils, and when you use bar soap because no chemicals are stripping the oil from your hair, it can appear a bit greasy for the first two weeks.
Your hair should adjust. My advice: keep an open mind, have patience, and try a few before you give up. With so many on the market you are bound to find one that works. I did. 🙂
Plastic-free shampoo bars also come with minimal packaging, helping to reduce the number of plastic bottles heading to landfills! You will save money. Research has shown that we use more shampoo in a bottle than necessary. They are amazing for travel!
The best advice I can give here is to simply do your homework. Learn as much as possible about the ingredients, talk to the makers, and READ the reviews. Finding the one that works for you might take a bit.
How to use Natural Shampoo Bars?
- Step 1 — Wet your hair. The wetter, the better
- Step 2 — I add water to the bar in my hands. It will most likely not lather the way you think it will, then I scrub the bar into my roots first and work my way down to the ends
- Step 3 — Rinse
You will find what works for you!
How to pick a zero waste shampoo bar?
Ingredients matter! Confirm that what’s in there is right for you and your hair type. While the basic need for a shampoo is to clean your hair, you may want your shampoo to protect, condition, and improve dryness. Try a few! Some will work for you better than others, just like any product.
Some misconceptions about shampoo bars are…
Shampoo bars can be made from either soap (saponified oils) or mild cleansing agents (detergents). Both clean your hair, but there are some important differences. Soap-based shampoo bars generally have a higher pH, which adds volume to hair.
Handmade soap-based shampoo bars are ‘super-fatted’, which means not all the oil is turned into soap (some of the original oils remain), which is ultra-hydrating.
Some hair types may be sensitive to the higher pH level in a soap bar or need more detangling, in which case detergent-based shampoo bars can perform better. Check the ingredients to see which type is right for you.
Shampoo bars offer better value than liquid and have less or no packaging.
The moist environment of the shower could deteriorate your shampoo bar when you’re not even using it, making those 20-50 washes far fewer, so store in a dry place!
Top picks for Natural Canadian shampoo bars
Not all shampoo bars are natural. They can still be formulated with sulfates, parabens, and phthalates. Again, check the ingredients to be sure.
Powered by a mega dose of argan oil, cocoa butter, kaolin clay, and hydrolyzed oats, all meant to help nourish your tresses, Plantish's Shampoo and Conditioner Bar Sets are perfect for people who want plant-based, plastic-free, vegan options with Ecocert ingredients and free from all the nasties. Looking at you parabens, SLS, and silicone. 😜
You've got three formulations to choose from, all handmade to suit your hair type:
All these bars have the proper pH for your hair. They are formulated to be between pH 4.8 and 5.5, at a level that protects hair from breakage (unlike high pH soap).
You will get a lot out of these little superheroes. They last between 50-75 washes depending on hair density and volume! You will see excellent results thanks to their winning formulas. My hair is getting finer and I did find these bars were super gentle on my scalp and my hair felt better.
Use Less, and Love More, comes to mind when I think of Plantish's mission. They support small, Queer, BIPOC, and women-owner brands, founder Lydia Li says:
"From production to packaging, we intentionally explore low-impact, plant-based materials that perform better than plastic. Being makers ourselves, we also work with other makers here in Canada & US to develop zero-waste products. Through trial and error, we establish best practices of using, caring and disposing of the products to share with our community".
If you're looking to give your beauty and hygiene routine an eco-upgrade, Plantish has got you covered. Their Beauty & Bathroom collection is not just about looking and feeling good but doing good for our planet. Delve into their sustainable range and discover the Corn Starch Dental Floss, a 100% compostable solution to dental hygiene housed in a stylish bamboo case.
Plantish also offers shampoo and conditioner bars for hair care that infuse plant-based ingredients and essential oils for a natural clean, all complemented by a sustainable Bamboo Brush Set.
Regarding skincare, their Cleansing and Shaving Soap Bar and Zero Waste Deodorants prioritize non-toxic ingredients, ensuring a gentle touch without adding to microplastic pollution. Elevate your makeup removal routine with their reusable essentials, crafted to replace disposable cotton rounds, and keep your skin exfoliated and fresh.
Moving onto shaving, the brand's Aluminum and Alloy Safety Razors mark the end of disposable plastic razors. These durable, reusable options with five bonus blades provide a close, clean shave. Round off your shaving routine with their environmentally conscious Beard Oil and Aftershave Rub, formulated to hydrate and soothe without harmful ingredients.
And, for those who like to keep their tools sharp, Plantish offers Razor Blade Refills, ensuring an eco-friendly shave every time. With Plantish, every step of your beauty and hygiene routine becomes an act of love for the planet.
I've talked about Plantish in my Eco-Friendly Stocking Stuffers guide, and my Zero Waste Dish Soap guide cause not only do they sell beauty and bathroom essentials but they also offer a range of home and kitchen products all handpicked to make your low-waste journey a little easier!
2. Nature's Aid
Nature's Aid is a wonderful family-owned Canadian natural skincare company that's all about transparency. The company was founded when the owner was looking for a special ointment to treat one of her horses, but could not find one that worked, so she developed one herself!
The results showed an amazing skin gel that's good for horses and humans.
They now have a full range of products, including skincare, haircare, baby care, bath & shower, and pets! Their True Natural Solid Shampoo bars will feed your hair with nature's purest ingredients, including aloe vera, rosemary oil, and shea butter.
They offer four hair-loving varieties: Fortifying Lavender and Rosemary, Volumizing Rose and Geranium, Energizing Lemongrass and Mint, and Moisturizing Mango and Tangerine. Don't you want to try them all?!
Nature's Aid natural shampoo bars are biodegradable, vegan, and cruelty-free. They are all safe for color-treated hair, rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and contain zero nasties like parabens, SLS, palm oil, artificial colors, silicones, or fragrances.
You can also read about their impressive ingredients on their website, which I love.
These natural shampoo bars are not soap bars — they are specially formulated for your hair, so you get salon-quality products. I've been using the Energizing bar because I LOVE Lemongrass.
It lathers up beautifully and does not leave any residue. I paired it with the geranium conditioner bar, leaving my hair feeling full and manageable!
All their ingredients are sourced ethically and responsibly, and many are organic. They focus on using reclaimed and salvaged wood, steel, and repurposed waste streams and found objects.
With these bars, you can skip the plastic packaging and support a company shaking up the sustainable beauty game!
Isn't the name just an invitation to indulge? Imagine drawing a warm bath, sinking in, and then pampering your skin with some of the industry's finest balms!
That's precisely what I envision! Bubbles & Balms, the brainchild of Judith and Justin Sweeney, is a treasure trove of nourishing ingredients.
Their products boast an extensive array of oils, botanicals, plant butters, mineral-rich salts, and vibrant earthen clays, each contributing uniquely to holistic skin care.
Not only is Bubbles & Balms Leaping Bunny Certified, but they also champion sustainability with 100% compostable packaging and labels. They're committed to using raw and natural ingredients.
Their coconut-orange shampoo bar is a dream! It hydrates and ensures my hair remains manageable throughout the day.
Each bar promises around 60+ washes, maintaining a pH balance and steering clear of SLS, parabens, synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and silicones.
Moreover, their range caters to diverse hair types - fine, curly, colored, or grey. You can pick based on your preferred scent and specific hair needs, whether dry, oily, or a combination.
The coconut-orange variant is especially invigorating, and the best part? A complete absence of plastic bottles! Each bar is distinctively stamped, making the transition seamless, and even comes with visual guidelines to ensure a perfect wash from the get-go.
If terms like "artisanal," "family-operated," and "simplistic" resonate with you, Bubbles & Balms will feel like home. My hair has never felt more voluminous and healthy.
Dive into this charming brand that's truly a gem. There's something special about supporting a small business with such a big heart. 🏠❤🏡 And don't forget, use EcoHub20 at checkout!
Bubbles & Balms' Shampoo Bar Collection:
- Coconut Orange Shampoo Bar
- Best for: Balanced/Combination Scalp & Roots
- Experience: This eco-friendly shampoo bar envelops you in a delightful blend of orange and coconut fragrances. With 60-90 washes packed with herbal antioxidants, it's gentle on colored hair. The organic orange essential oil uplifts your senses, and the orange peel wax ensures protection. Say goodbye to plastic and hello to nature's best!
- Rosehip & Lavender Shampoo Bar
- Best for: Dry/Flaky/Itchy Scalp & Dry Roots
- Experience: Crafted for dry to balanced hair, this bar rejuvenates with natural antioxidants and coconut-derived cleansers. Its subtle essential oil blend is a treat for dry, sensitive scalps while championing an eco-conscious, plastic-free ethos.
- Tea Tree & Charcoal Shampoo Bar
- Best for: Oily/Flaky/Itchy Scalp & Oily Roots
- Experience: This bar is a haven for oily hair types. Offering 60-90 washes, its activated charcoal and organic tea tree formula cleanse and soothe. The aromatic blend of essential oils complements the gentle lathers, ensuring a refreshing cleanse devoid of harsh agents.
This small, local business is owned by a lovely woman named Tiu and her partner Rahul, who, after realizing the detrimental effects of our "throw-away" society, decided to "introduce fellow Canadians to a more simple and intentional approach to living everyday life. I aim to help you find useful, practical pieces for your home." It's one of the reasons I love this company so much.
Their products include Canadian-made goods, Fair Trade, and carefully selected makers and manufacturers from various regions worldwide.
Find an amazing selection of natural shampoo and conditioner bars.
They carry one of my top picks for all-natural shampoo bars: Jack59. I have curly hair, and the Citrus Shine Shampoo Bar makes my hair feel like I just walked out of the salon.
My hair was more manageable and soft but not too soft to affect styling.
The smell is also intoxicating. It combines "turmeric to stimulate hair growth, calendula to improve the health of your scalp, and chamomile to help brighten your hair."
Jack59 is plastic-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free, vegan, and even has gluten-free options! LOVE the fact that they have prevented over 500,000 plastic bottles from ending up in landfills.
Upfront's The Refreshing Shampoo Bar is infused with uplifting, fresh, herbal, floral tones from lemon, rosemary, and lavender notes. This sulfate-free shampoo bar creates an abundant lather that is pH-balanced to be gentle, non-irritating, and safe for color-treated hair.
Provitamin B5 helps retain moisture and protect your hair from the elements. Hydrolyzed oat protein adds softness, aiding in manageability. I LOVE Upfront and have been using their shampoo bars FOREVER! After much trial and error, this is my top pick for eco-friendly shampoo bars.
Upfront is all about being upfront about their ingredients; you will not find crappy ones here. Quite the opposite.
Their shampoo and conditioning bars are 65 grams of nutrient richness without the water weight or the plastic bottle. They use plant-based emollients and proteins to make your hair shiny, soft, and natural essential oils to refresh, awaken, stimulate, and soothe.
They have diverted 272,035 plastic bottles, planted 2,000 trees, and donated $20,000 to charity!
Their Natural Canadian Shampoo bar with Rosemary doubles as a body soap and is SLS-free!
It’s made with rosemary leaf oil to stimulate the scalp, and castor oil to leave your hair feeling soft. Rosemary oil increases circulation to the scalp, while castor oil leaves your hair feeling smooth and soft. This shampoo/soap bar is perfect for taking on vacation, as it can be used as both shampoo and body soap.
Rocky Mountain Soap Company is based in Alberta and has a HUGE range of green beauty products. They have recently started to phase out some of their plastic bottles which is awesome, they are also 100% Natural, tested on people, not animals, and GMO-free.
The Rhassoul Clay Shampoo Bar adds volume and shine while cleansing your hair and scalp. This incredible ingredient has been a trusted secret for over 1,400 years.
With continued use, our conditioning and mineral-rich zero waste shampoo bar may help reduce dandruff and double as body and hand soap. These bars contain sodium hydroxide, which has a higher PH than your hair.
Just a heads up on that! They are free from nasty chemicals that are typically found in shampoo. These bars are cruelty-free, vegan, and made with shea butter sourced sustainably through the Global Shea Alliance.
Lavami's shampoo bar will cleanse your hair and leave it soft and manageable. It got so many great ingredients like Jojoba oil, castor oil, and olive oil. Jojoba oil in liquid wax and the chemical composition resembles the natural sebum produced by the scalp.
It's a lubricant and emollient and may help repair damaged shafts and protect them from environmental damage.
They note on their website, "These bars clean your hair differently, and if you're looking for something simple, these are for you. However, if you're looking for the same performance as salon products, check out our Juicy, Revitalize, or Restore shampoo bars." Love that they have this option.
All the bars are natural, cruelty-free, vegan, good for sensitive skin, and come in eco-friendly packaging!
The Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar from Wild Jasmine is great for normal hair, it's a natural conditioning low-waste shampoo in a bar form, formulated with natural plant oils, butter, botanicals, and pure essentials oils that nourish your hair and scalp.
The combination of peppermint and rosemary is said to stimulate the growth of hair follicles and leave your hair clean and shiny and your scalp with a cool refreshing tingle.
Wild Jasmine is all about integrity and that shows in their line of body and facial care too. All are packed with potent ingredients that will leave your hair and skin feeling and smelling wonderful.
Saltspring's little powerhouses pack a lot of cleaning power—in an awfully convenient form. They last longer than liquid shampoos, and they’re chock full of essential oils, natural ingredients, and fresh scents. The Calendula Chamomile Shampoo Bar is specially formulated for those with fine, light hair. Want extra-thick lather? Well… you’ll find it in this one.
Castor oil, chamomile, and calendula all work together to give you soft, silky hair. Sensitive scalp? This is your shampoo bar.
Saltspring knows natural skin and hair care, they have been around for over 40 years and have made products rich in organic ingredients and natural botanicals. Today, they offer a complete line of handmade natural soaps as well as skin, hair, and body care products.
This shampoo bar is chemical-free, cruelty-free (we do not test on animals), gluten-free, paraben-free, preservative-free, silicone-free, sulfate-free, and tree-nut-free. It’s also vegan-friendly. At $7.95 per bar, these are the most affordable natural shampoo bars.
I have been in love with this brand forever! Their body butters are to die for and now they have a line of the most delicious-smelling shampoo bars. They come in three scents, citrus, lavender- tea tree, and rosemary- mint, my bathroom smells like a spa.
The bar lather well, my hair feels clean and bouncy and no weird residue is left. Plus it smells amazing. If a scent is your vibe make sure to check out the scents page.
Love Fresh is based in Toronto, Canada, and has been in the green beauty space for many years. You could call them the OG for sure!
They use natural and botanical ingredients in all their creations and are starting to introduce plastic-free options for their hair care and deodorants. One of this thing I love most about them is the branding. It's chic and simple and will go in any zero waste bathroom.
12. Art Soap Life
Art Soap Life's soft shampoo bar is unscented and great for sensitive or dry skin, as a shampoo bar and facial soap. Saponified organic olive oil, organic coconut oil, chamomile & calendula infused organic sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, cocoa butter, castor oil, Manitoba beeswax, and vitamin E, gently cleanse and moisturize and soothe dryness, promoting healthy, refreshed, glowing skin and hair.
The cold process is used for all soaps so can they create bases of pure oils. They source local botanicals and Manitoba beeswax. No chemical preservatives or artificial fragrances are used in the soaps and all aromas derive from therapeutic quality essential oils, ground botanicals, spices, butter, oxides, micas, and clays.
I love the Chamomile and Calendula Soap and Shampoo Bar, great for my sensitive skin. The soaps are all made using the cold process method with select organic or local oils and butter. All the skincare is made with raw ingredients that nourish your skin.
Local sourcing is important to this company. The beeswax and hemp seed oil are from Manitoba. All ingredients and packaging are sourced from within Canada.
Art Soap Life collaborates with local craft breweries to make beer soap and hop-infused balm and contracts, local artisans, to make custom-designed eco-friendly natural birch boxes for balms and salves.
Art Soap Life also makes all-natural cleaning products.
Where to find natural shampoo and conditioner refillable options?
Eco+Amour offers this service in Toronto.
Bring clean, dry containers of your choosing, or shop our selection of refillable containers. Fill your containers with our amazing natural products and pay by weight. Enjoy the great vibes you get from making a more sustainable purchasing decision.
Looking for other zero waste shops, I've got you covered:
Common FAQs we get when it comes to natural shampoo bars
What is a shampoo bar?
A shampoo bar is a shampoo in solid bar form.
How to pick a zero waste shampoo bar?
Shampoo bars can be made from either soap (saponified oils) or mild cleansing agents (detergents). Both clean your hair but there are some important differences. Soap-based shampoo bars generally have a higher pH which is great for adding volume to hair.
Handmade soap-based shampoo bars are ‘super-fatted which means not all the oil is turned to soap (some of the original oils remain), which is ultra-hydrating. Some hair types may be sensitive to the higher pH level in a soap bar or, need more detangling in which case detergent-based shampoo bars can perform better. Check the ingredients to see which type is right for you.
How long does a natural shampoo bar last?
It depends on the brand and how often you wash your hair, but generally, a small bar will last 50-70 washes.
How do you use a shampoo bar?
Step 1 – Wet your hair, the wetter the better
Step 2 – I add water to the bar in my hands, it will most likely not lather the way you think it will, then I scrub the bar into my roots first and work my way down to the ends
Step 3 – Rinse
What are some of the benefits of natural shampoo bars?
They are affordable (because they last so long) and great to travel with and very convenient to use.
Is a zero-waste shampoo bar better for the environment?
With the plastic crisis, many people are looking for ways to cut back on the amount of plastic they bring into their homes. Opting for a shampoo bar is a great way to reduce the plastic bottles that shampoo typically comes in. A shampoo bar has a lower carbon footprint as no plastic is manufactured to keep it in.
How long does it take for hair to adjust to a shampoo bar?
It depends on your hair and the bar you are using. A good rule of thumb is to try it for at least 2 weeks to give your hair some time to adjust and fully remove build-up from commercial shampoos.
Can you use shampoo bars on Coloured hair?
Yes, you can.
How should I store my shampoo bars?
Never leave your bar in standing water. Use a soap dish and make sure it gets lots of air. Try to keep them away from direct sunlight to avoid melting.
A final word on natural shampoo bars
You need to give your tresses some time to adjust to the bar, for some it happens pretty fast, others not so much. Stick with it. You will find one that works for you and don't be afraid to reach out to the brand directly to answer your questions the reviews are also a really great place to learn more about a particular bar. My favorite zero-waste online stores carry a wide range of Natural Canadian Shampoo Bars.
And if shampoo bars are not your thang! These eco-friendly shampoos and conditioners might be just what you need!
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