Clean Beauty

These Are the Best Portable (and Plastic-Free) Shampoo Bars to Lather up With

Allie Flinn

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Photo: Stocksy / Aaron Thomas
Last year, after a conversation with a freediver at an event for work (I know, weird flex), I made the decision that I seriously needed to do something about cutting back on my plastic consumption. We were talking about ocean plastics, and she told me a story about how dolphins like to play underwater by passing things like shells and pufferfish to each other… but now, she sometimes sees them playing with pieces of plastic. It's been estimated that there is going to be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. And while it may be too overwhelming for most of us to go cold turkey and completely detox our homes from plastic, like this writer did, small plastic-free changes definitely make an impact. The beauty industry is a big contributor to plastic consumption—like, I hate to say it, your shampoo bottles. That's where shampoo bars come in.

These little guys have been gaining popularity because they have way less plastic packaging than your fave liquid shampoo because, you know, they're bars. Bonus, they're also TSA friendly. (That also means you won't have to use those tiny shampoo bottles they put in your hotel room.)

A word of caution to this tale: If you're switching from a shampoo that gets super sudsy—i.e. probably contains SLS—bar shampoos may take some getting used to, because they don't lather as much. That means your hair probably isn't going to feel as "squeaky-clean" as it would after sudsing with a traditional shampoo. Also, most directions involve rubbing the bar directly on you head which, not gonna lie, sounds like it may be strange at first. Just like with any beauty product, not all shampoo bars are created equal. We scoured the internet to find the best shampoo bars on the market. Of course, one of those viral Lush bars made the list (and reviewers say that these bars last seemingly forever.) Behold, the fruits of our labor.

Here, an environmental expert shares another easy way you can help reduce plastic waste without completely overhauling your life.

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