How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

Want to start using zero waste shampoo bars but don’t know where to start? That’s understandable: We’ve been so conditioned to use shampoo that comes in plastic bottles. Just one walk through the shampoo aisle in a store will have you convinced that’s the only way to wash your hair. But is it really? No. You certainly don’t need to purchase shampoo that comes in wasteful plastic bottles. Nor do you need to settle for the questionable ingredients in those plastic shampoo bottles. Instead, you can make the switch to zero waste shampoo bars – here’s how to use them (and why you should).

This post is kindly sponsored by EcoRoots. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains some affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase one of these items I will make a very small commission at no extra charge to you. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.


How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

What are zero waste shampoo bars?

First and foremost, shampoo bars are essentially solid shampoo. They look like they could pass for body bars, but I assure you, they’re not.

Shampoo bars are plastic free and package free. The ones I have are from EcoRoots – these bars are  vegan, cruelty free, palm oil free and SLS free (more on that later). They also came completely package free, simply wrapped in brown packaging paper I can either reuse or compost.

They’re perfect for traveling because you can put them into a little tin or container. Heck, you could even wrap them in beeswax wrap. They won’t leak in your luggage while traveling either.

EcoRoots shampoo bars will last you several washes – approximately 50 to 75 washes, to be exact. They’re quite durable and last for much longer than liquid shampoo, that’s for sure.

To compliment shampoo bars, there are also conditioner bars. EcoRoots also sells these, and they’re totally amazing as well. But more on that later. 

Related: 10 Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps

How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

Why should I use zero waste shampoo bars?

As a society, we’re addicted to plastic. Since it’s initial production, we’ve generated over 8.3 billion tons of it. Worse yet, only 9 percent of that 8.3 billion tons has actually been recycled.

It’s safe to say we need to cut down our plastic usage as a whole. Recycling clearly is not the answer – eliminating single-use plastic is. While plastic has made some amazing advancements for our society, so much of it has become single-use and harmful to our environment.

Plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles are part of the problem. Did you know in the U.S. alone, more than 552 million bottles of shampoo and conditioner could be ending up in landfills each year?

Pre-zero waste, I was contributing to that (sadly). Makes me ashamed to say it but I’d go through at least one shampoo and conditioner bottle per month – that’s about 24 plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner per year I cannot take back.

And, to make matters worse, it takes up to 1,000 years for one plastic bottle to decompose. As they’re breaking down, they’re still leaking harmful chemicals into our environment too.

Related: 5 Easy Ways to Reduce Trash

Did I mention the ingredients in conventional shampoo and conditioner bottles are also problematic? Not only do they contain harsh chemicals that can make your hair brittle and irritate your skin, but these ingredients wash down the drain and pollute waterways too.

That’s outrageous! Our earth (and our bodies) deserve way better.

I’m so glad I made the switch over to zero waste hair care. Swapping out those plastic bottles for shampoo bars and conditioner bars was one of the best switches I ever made. Now, I can truly live my values and stop rubbing toxic, polluting chemicals into my hair at the same time.

How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

Which are the best zero waste shampoo bars to use?

It’s important to note not all shampoo bars are made equal. EcoRoots uses only the best natural ingredients in their bars, which is why I love them so much. 

I highly suggest their Forest Mist shampoo and conditioner bar, and their Moroccan Oil shampoo and conditioner bar. Those are the two I’ve tried and I love both. Their scents are amazing but not overtly girly or floral, making them fantastic unisex bars.

Good smelling scents aside, you want to know why I love EcoRoots shampoo bars so much? Simple: They work.

As simple as that sounds, there are tons of shampoo bars on the market that leave your hair feeling greasy and almost waxy to the touch. The reason for this? Lots of bars leave out Sodium Coco Sulfate.

While sulfates tend to get a bad reputation for being unsafe, Sodium Coco Sulfate is completely safe. It’s made from the fatty acids of coconuts, not petroleum like sodium lauryl sulphates (SLS’s).

Any shampoo bar that doesn’t use sodium coco sulfate is basically a block of oil without the cleanser. This leaves people complaining their hair feels “gummy” or “lifeless”. Usually, these types of bars need to be paired with an apple cider vinegar rinse or else the oils from the bar will literally stay in the hair.

That’s not exactly healthy: Too much oil in your hair can damage the hair follicles and even cause hair loss in some people. And too much apple cider rinse can be very drying on the scalp.

So, what’s the best option? Find a shampoo bar that uses natural ingredients, including sodium coco sulfate – the only safe, naturally derived sulfate you can trust.

EcoRoots uses sodium coco sulfate which is why it actually works and leaves your hair ultra soft, shiny and clean. Which is what you want!

Here are more reasons I absolutely adore EcoRoots’ shampoo and conditioner bar collection:

  • They only use natural and organic ingredients
  • Totally palm-oil free
  • Always plastic-free and zero waste
  • Super travel-friendly bars
  • Vegan and cruelty free
  • Sulphate free, silicone free and paraben free
  • Handmade with plant extracts and natural essential oils

This goes for any of their shampoo and conditioner bars – not just the ones I’ve tried. What’s not to love, am I right?!  You can shop their entire collection here.

Here’s a little bit more about each of my favorite EcoRoots shampoo and conditioner bars.

How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars
Left, shampoo bar. Right, conditioner bar.

Forest Mist

Such a refreshing, uplifting scent. My mother especially loves this bar – and she’s very picky about the shampoo she uses, because she has colored hair. Try the shampoo bar and the conditioner bar together for best results.

Smells like: A clean, sensual and earthy scent with wild berries, woodsy notes and blue flowers that’s delightful for both men and women.

Ingredients: Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Lemon Juice, Powdered Lemon Peel, Cocoa Butter, Jasmine Oil, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Patchouli Oil, Essential Oil Blend, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Provitamin B Complex, Clay Powder, Dried Flower Powder for Coloring.

How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars
Left, shampoo bar. Right, conditioner bar.

Moroccon Oil

I love this bar – it’s the one I’m currently using. It lathers nicely in my hair and it smells wonderful, even when not in use. Try the shampoo bar and the conditioner bar together for best results.

Smells like: A light, earthy and oriental scent with a hint of lemon and musk that’s quite pleasing for both men and women alike.

Ingredients: Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Lemon Juice, Powdered Lemon Peel, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Moroccan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Essential Oil Blend, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Provitamin B Complex, Clay Powder, Dried Flower Powder for Coloring.

How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

How do you use zero waste shampoo bars?

So, here’s the big question you’ve all been waiting for – how the heck do you actually use shampoo bars? What about conditioner bars too, for that matter?

Well, I’m happy to say it’s pretty straight forward. There are variations to consider, but I’ll begin with the one I use.

Method 1: Use the bars directly on your hair

This is my favorite method because it’s so straight forward, and hard to mess up.

Once your hair is wet, just wet the bar and rub it between your hands until it’s lathered up nicely. Rub the bar directly onto your hair – I like to clump my hair into a messy bun of sorts on top of my head and rub the bar in using circular motions.

You can also gently rub the bar in by using a combing motion from your scalp to your ends, to make sure each section is covered.

Since I’m rather impatient, I kind of just scrub it into my hair and massage my head using my free hand. When I’m finished, I just rinse my hair clean – trust me when I say my hair literally feels clean after using EcoRoots shampoo bar too. Check out my favorite bar here.

Method 2: Lather in hands first

I don’t prefer this method, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with it! It’s all a matter of preference.

To use this method, simply wet your hair first, wet the bar, then rub the bar between your hands to lather it up and get it all sudsy.

Once it’s lathered up enough, put the shampoo bar down and work your fingers through your hair, making sure to massage in the lather from the bar. You can also comb your fingers through your hair, if you prefer, from scalp to ends. If you ever need more lather, grab the shampoo bar again and repeat the process.

This is a good option for beginners, plus if you wind up getting soap in your eye, you won’t have to search for the soap dish with your eyes closed. I speak from experience.

There may be a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, but trust me, it’s so worth it! You’ll quickly fall in love with shampoo bars. Check out the entire shampoo bar collection here.

How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

Using conditioner bars

Don’t think I forgot about these bad boys. Conditioner bars are excellent as well! I love pairing them with my EcoRoots shampoo bars. The best part is EcoRoots makes conditioner bars designed to pair with all of their shampoo bar scents. Check out EcoRoots’ entire shampoo and conditioner bar collection for yourself.

To use your conditioner bars, make sure you’ve rinsed all the shampoo out of your hair first. Next, take your conditioner bar, wet it, and then gently use a combing motion from the middle of your hair to your ends. You don’t want the conditioner bar to touch your scalp – just the ends of your hair.

Comb it through your ends a few times (until you feel it’s dispersed well enough). This bar will not lather the same way the shampoo bar does, so keep that in mind while using it.

When you’re done and feel you’ve evenly dispersed the conditioner onto your ends, simply rinse it out. You’ll be amazed at how soft your hair feels afterwards!

How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

How should I store shampoo bars?

Personally, I keep mine on this bamboo soap dish from EcoRoots when the bars aren’t in use. I recommend shaking the water off them and leaving them to air dry on the soap dish.

I love EcoRoots’ bamboo soap dish because I can compost it at the end of its life. Check it out here.

You could also put them into a little tin – just as long as they stay dry when not in use. That’s what matters most.

How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

Conclusion: Make the switch to shampoo + conditioner bars

Truly, do the planet (and yourself) a favor – make the switch to shampoo bars and conditioner bars today. You won’t regret it – plus it’s so much fun to use.

Just remember…not all shampoo and conditioner bars are created equal.

EcoRoots sells some of the best, most trustworthy shampoo and conditioner bars on the market right now. Not only can you trust they’ll actually wash your hair, but you can feel good knowing they’re all natural, organic and plastic-free.

I personally love and have tried their Forest Mist shampoo and conditioner bar, along with their Morccon Oil shampoo and conditioner bar.

There are so many shampoo bars on the market that still have hidden chemicals in them, or leave your hair feeling greasy. Don’t do this to your hair.

Don’t shop around and get stuck with a bad shampoo bar – go straight for EcoRoots’ shampoo and conditioner bars. You’ll be happy you did.

How to Use Zero Waste Shampoo Bars

Will you try using zero waste shampoo bars?

For more zero waste hair care tips, check out my zero waste dry shampoo and my favorite zero waste hair brush.

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By Ariana Storniolo (Palmieri)

Ariana Storniolo is the founder of Greenify-Me, a blog dedicated to zero waste and sustainability. Her work has also been featured on Going Zero Waste, Green Matters, Mother Earth Living and several other online publications.

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