13 Zero Waste Shampoo & Conditioners For A Plastic Free Do
The number of zero waste shampoo and conditioners has exploded over the last few years (kind of like the plastic shampoo bottles in your suitcase when you travel…).
Which is great because many of us are so conditioned (pun fully intended) to see hair care as liquid in a plastic bottle that inevitably…ends up in a landfill.
The best zero waste shampoos and conditioners are often also free of animal byproducts and harmful chemicals like SLS, while also keeping plastic far away from your personal care routine.
Ethique’s shampoo and conditioner bars do all that and more, in one compact package.
For those who love liquids, Plaine Products accommodates with a refill service for their plastic free liquid shampoo and conditioner.
Everist puts a new take on sustainable aluminum shampoo bottles with their concentrated metal tubes of zero waste conditioner and shampoo.
Bear in mind, the plastic bottle isn’t all that matters. To learn more about our criteria for choosing sustainable shampoo brands, rinse through to the end of the brand list.
*This post contains affiliate links
About Ethique’s Plastic Free Shampoo Bars and Conditioners
Ethique makes some of the best zero waste shampoo and conditioner bars around.
We LOVE bars because they can be securely wrapped in recyclable paper or not wrapped at all. If you travel a lot, say goodbye to TSA liquid restrictions, because bars are a breeze at the airport.
Ethique’s sustainable shampoo and conditioners are palm oil-free, vegan, natural, and cruelty free.
You can also get specific zero waste shampoo for curly hair, frizzy hair, or oily hair, as well as a zero waste dandruff shampoo.
They’re also more concentrated than regular products. Their Conditioning Wonderbar, for instance, is the equivalent of five bottles of conditioner.
Ethique originates from New Zealand, but thankfully, their plastic free shampoos are available to you wherever you are in the world.
They’re not only certified cruelty free and vegan, but also palm oil-free and packaged in biodegradable wraps or tubes.
Ethique is a certified B-Corp, certified climate neutral, and donates the higher amount of 2% of revenue or 20% of profit to charity.
Available: Amazon | Holland & Barrett (UK) | Nourished Life (AU)
About Everist’s Zero Waste Liquid Shampoo
Did you know most shampoos are >70% water?
There’s enough of that in the shower, so Everist decided to say heck no to H2O with their waterless formulas.
Being 3x concentrated equates to a whole bottle of sustainable conditioner or shampoo that can fit in a small, recyclable aluminum tube, soon to be made from 100% recycled aluminum, too.
Only the caps are plastic, which can be returned to the brand for recycling via their CapBack program. Once you collect 10, email them for a free shipping label, and mail it off.
The plant-based ingredients—like aloe vera, alma extract, and essential oils—won’t strip your scalp’s natural oils and will stimulate hair with phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
They’re color-safe, cruelty free, and palm oil free.
Female-founded Everist is here for the “eco-optimists and the blue sky thinkers”.
Their vegan zero waste shampoo, body wash, and konjac plant sponges are award-winning and contain no parabens, sulfates, silicones, dyes, or synthetic fragrances and preservatives.
If you have questions about any ingredients and what they’re used for, check out their transparent ingredient glossary.
Shipping materials include 100% recyclable and recyclable or compostable boxes with paper tape—all products in North America.
A member of 1% for the Planet and Climate Neutral certified (through which they support biodiversity projects), they prioritize a localized supply chain, most of which is within a 70-mile radius.
They’re also active supporters of PlasticBank.
*Note: Not all etee products are vegan, but their shampoo and conditioner bars are. They do not use palm oil directly, but some ingredients may be palm derived.
About etee’s No Plastic Shampoo
You can keep it simple with etee’s plant-based and color-safe zero waste shampoo and conditioner bars.
Scented with a variety of essential oils coupled with foamy properties through non-SLS-means, these long-lasting bars provide a clean, moisturized scalp with no animal testing or byproducts.
While all products are free of SLS, the zero waste conditioner bars contain other sulfates, except their Nudiepants Bar which is free of everything, including fragrance and parabens.
None are palm oil free as they contain several palm-derived ingredients depending on suppliers.
They’re also not mineral-free, containing mica, iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.
Since shampoo and conditioner “go together like peanut butter and jelly”, theirs are mostly sold in duo packs, but singles are available too.
Starting with original beeswax wraps and extending through their now wildly varied line of natural products, they’re committed to being 100% plastic free and helping you do the same.
For those seeking zero waste shampoo from Canada, know theirs are made using renewable energy in Toronto.
etee donates profits from certain items to charities such as Hue Man Race.
etee has featured in an article on zero waste face wash.
*Note: Most products offered by EcoRoots are palm oil free.
About EcoRoots’ Plastic Free Shampoo Bars USA
Compact in size, EcoRoots‘ zero waste shampoo tablets promises to clean and soften your hair without stripping away its natural oils.
Handmade of mostly coconut oil and cocoa butter, these bars also contain a variety of other nourishing plant oils (sans palm oil) and Pro-Vitamin Complex for shine and strength.
They’re vegan, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free, and paraben-free.
Besides being some of the best plastic free shampoo, they’re good for ~50 washes. If you wash your hair every few days (as recommended), two bars will last you almost a year.
Colorado-based EcoRoots is a full-on zero waste online store with all sorts of ethically sourced products for the home, kitchen, and bathroom.
If you’re just starting your zero waste journey, build your zero waste kit with them to ensure you get it in recycled and biodegradable materials like compostable cornstarch packing peanuts.
All the beauty and personal care products are zero waste packaged, mostly palm oil-free, SLS-free, and vegan.
They donate a portion of sales to the Ocean Conservancy to aid in ocean restoration.
EcoRoots has featured in an article on natural dry shampoo.
5. BY HUMANKIND
Note: by Humankind uses RSPO and Fair Trade certified palm oil in other products and their silk floss is not vegan. We are confirming policies directly with this brand.
About by Humankind’s Low Waste Shampoo and Conditioner
by Humankind offers two types of plastic free shampoo and conditioners.
Their recycled paper-wrapped solid bars are designed to preserve your hair’s natural oils and cold-processed manufacturing helps them retain glycerin to moderate skin pH.
Enriched with vitamins and natural amino acids, they’re suitable for all hair types but they recommend those with colored hair to check with your stylist before using.
The plastic free liquid shampoo and conditioner also utilize sulfate-free, silicone-free, and vegan ingredients to hydrate and reduce breakage.
They come in a recyclable aluminum bottle—don’t forget to transfer the plastic pump to your next one though.
Regardless of your choice, the essential oils will leave your hair smelling like grapefruit, eucalyptus, citrus lavender, lemongrass, or peppermint (which is excellent for curls, by the way, making that their best zero waste shampoo for curly hair).
None are palm oil-free, containing either “sustainable palm” or derivatives like Cetearyl alcohol.
About by Humankind
With their zero waste mouthwash or sustainable shampoo bottles and bars, by Humankind wants to make personal care kind on the planet.
Combining mostly plant-based, scientifically-proven ingredients with compostable, refillable, or recyclable packaging, they aim to keep their impact small.
That’s made smaller still by offsetting 100% of their carbon footprint through reforestation projects and allowing customers to offset their plastic consumption through Plastic Bank.
Products are ethically made in the US, UK, or China.
Available: by Humankind
6. PLAINE PRODUCTS
About Plaine Products’ Zero Waste Refillable Shampoo and Conditioner
If you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to traditional liquid shampoo and conditioner, Plaine Products offers refillable shampoos and conditioners in 100% recyclable and aluminum bottles (travel sizes included).
Here’s how it works:
For your first order, you’ll receive a sustainable metal shampoo bottle and pump in custom-fit 100% recycled boxes (no packing peanuts, Styrofoam, or airbags).
Once empty, order a refill and be sure to select “no pump”.
Once your zero waste shampoo refill arrives, switch over the pump, and send the empty bottles back in the same box to be scrubbed, sanitized, and sent to someone else.
If you choose not to refill your zero waste shampoo bottles, recycling the aluminum bottles requires less energy than the original production.
Who knew a liquid brand could be one of the best zero waste shampoo and conditioner brands around?!
About Plaine Products
Plaine Products is a sister-owned company, founded by Lindsey and Alison Delaplaine.
Not only do the sisters personally test all products on themselves and their families, but they also run every ingredient through the Environmental Working Group database to ensure they’re non-toxic.
7. BUTTER ME UP ORGANICS
*Note: Butter Me Up Organics uses things like beeswax and honey in other products, but not their shampoos or conditioners.
About Butter Me Up Organics’ Natural Zero Waste Shampoo USA
If hair care is a journey, Butter Me Up Organics can help you reach your destination.
If you’re going the no ‘poo route, their apple cider vinegar conditioning rinse is a minimalist option especially suitable as sustainable mens shampoo.
For the conventional, they offer organic daily shampoo, plastic free dry shampoo, and an organic shampoo bar.
The bar is one of their best plastic free shampoo alternatives.
It looks like a chocolate bar, smells like a chocolate bar, and given it’s made with food-grade ingredients, you could actually eat it like a chocolate bar (although we wouldn’t recommend it).
In addition to a conditioning rinse, they offer a healing hair oil, organic scalp oil, and a hair and nail mask.
All liquid products can either come in glass bottles though the tops are still plastic.
About Butter Me Up Organics
Butter Me Up Organics makes body, hair, and home care products so good they can be eaten.
The California-based company chooses non-GMO, organic, and cruelty-free ingredients and never uses synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, phthalates, palm oil, or parabens.
Founder Julian makes everything with love and mostly fair trade or locally sourced ingredients.
You’ll find many vegan products (no waste shampoo and conditioner included), but some products contain organic beeswax or milk.
This zero waste company buys in bulk and ships the tin or glass containers in recycled/recyclable packaging.
8. BATTLE GREEN
About Battle Green’s Plastic Free Shampoo Pods for Travel
Travel meets zero waste in Battle Green’s zero waste shampoo from the UK. For all readers with wanderlust, this ‘poo is for you.
Small but mighty, these biodegradable shampoo bars are designed to last for about 80 washes (replacing 2-3 shampoo bottles!).
They come in three available scents, including citrus, mint, and lavender tea tree.
With coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and olive oil as the principal base for each, these shampoos use oil-based cleansing properties to ensure your scalp maintains its own natural oils.
Each is PETA-certified vegan, cruelty free, SLS/SLES-free, palm oil-free, and paraben-free.
Plus, on each product page, they list every ingredient and the ‘sub-ingredients’ in each essential oil. Puts a new spin on “clarifying shampoo”.
About Battle Green
From the snowy mountains of Wale, Battle Green has been slowly expanding its line of zero waste personal care products.
In addition to zero waste deodorant, they also make bamboo cotton ear swabs, reusable menstrual pads, and more.
Every cruelty-free and vegan product is handmade in small batches and mailed using biodegradable, plastic-free packing materials.
Battle Green gives back by being active members of the Surfers Against Sewage 250 club, through which they volunteer and fund local beach clean-ups.
9. KATIEMAE NATURALS
*Note: While Katie Mae’s shampoo is vegan, not all products are strictly vegan as some contain beeswax
About KatieMae Naturals’ Zero Waste Dry Shampoo and Shampoo Bars
It’s packaged in a reusable/recyclable glass container and is made using arrowroot powder, kaolin clay, organic cocoa powder, non-GMO corn starch, and essential oils.
When you do need a full scalp scrub, there are two different zero waste shampoo bars in either rosemary mint or citrus sage.
Be sure to let your bar dry thoroughly after use to extend its life. A bamboo soap dish with good drainage should do the trick.
Neither the zero waste dry shampoo nor bars contain animal byproducts, parabens, phthalates, chemical preservatives, synthetic dyes, or fragrances.
About KatieMae Naturals
Katie Mae Naturals wants to give women an alternative to exposing their bodies to over 160 chemicals per day.
That’s why their zero waste sunscreen, zero waste lotion, and more are cruelty-free, palm oil-free, and contains no pre-made bases, fillers, preservatives, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dyes, or synthetic fragrances.
Some products contain beeswax and are thus not vegan-friendly.
Katie Mae and her husband Johnny handcraft every product on their 100-acre family farm, using herbs from their own garden. Suffice it to say that local sourcing is a priority, using Fair Trade suppliers when it’s not possible.
By spearheading a local sustainability group, they’re giving UK citizens the ability to vote on environmental issues.
Katie Mae isn’t 100% zero waste; they re-use plastic materials to ship if they or their friends received it in the mail. Drop a note and they’ll intentionally omit any plastic.
10. FRIENDLY SOAP
About Friendly Soap’s Zero Waste Shampoo Bars UK
At risk of stating the obvious, Friendly Soap makes planet-friendly soaps, including some of the best zero waste shampoo.
That’s because they’re vegan, cruelty free, and, free of parabens, palm oil, sulfates, triclosan, and phthalates.
They’re also made with only a handful of ingredients like castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, lavender and tea tree essential oils, and water.
Reviewers say they’re super foamy, last for ages, and don’t dry out hair (thus eliminating your need for a zero waste deep conditioner).
Contained in compostable boxes means they’re basically package free shampoo, too.
About Friendly Soap
Friendly Soap is an award-winning maker of soap and sustainable shampoo in the UK that holds a “Best” rating with Ethical Consumer.
All products are 100% natural and made via cold process manufacturing, which ensures ZERO by-products.
Their packaging is plastic free and made of recycled materials, including shipping boxes.
Available: Amazon | Ethical Superstore
11. ANDREAS ORGANIC MARKET
*Note: Most bars are vegan, but there are two that are not.
About Andreas Organic Market’s Waste Free Shampoo Bars
Infuse your hair with herbal magic, using Andreas Organic Market’s fragrance-free no waste shampoo bars.
They come not just wrapped in compostable paper, but in recycled paper.
Each bar is made using the cold-press method, combining various extra virgin plant oils, herbal tea, lye, rosemary-infused raw apple cider vinegar, aloe, and various herbs and essential oils.
While suitable alone as zero waste dandruff shampoo, they pair well with their hair masks for extra nourishment.
For vegan options, choose between the Autumn Breeze, Coconut Milk, Tropical Flowers, and Avocado varieties.
Non-vegan options include the Egg Yolk and Banana (which has honey) bars. They “never use ingredients that require the death of an animal in any of our products.”
About Andreas Organic Market
Founder Andrea wanted to “create products that I can feel good about selling and you can feel good about using” after realizing that many “natural” products are anything but.
Despite the huge product selection of tinctures, culinary goodies, foot soaks, and over 50 different skincare products, Andreas Organic Market is run by a small and talented team of three in Muldrow, Oklahoma.
All are natural, non-toxic, palm oil-free, cruelty-free, and made from fair trade ingredients.
Most products feature zero waste packaging and any that have plastic pumps or sprayers have an option to buy a “refill” with a recyclable metal cap. For non-liquids, they use compostable refill pouches.
They compost on-site and donate imperfect products to their local blessing box and churches.
12. DIRTY HIPPIE COSMETICS
*Note: Dirty Hippie has announced that one of their suppliers no longer guarantees certain ingredients to be palm oil free. While they search for a new supplier, see below for some of the products to avoid.
About Dirty Hippie Cosmetics’ Zero Waste Shampoo and Conditioner Australia
Dirty Hippie Cosmetics makes shampoo for everyone: liquid, solid, or powder.
Aside from solid bars, they offer non-GMO zero waste dry shampoo, zero waste leave in conditioner, and liquid conditioning hair rinse.
The last two are bottled in beautiful reusable amber glass bottles with a pump for your first order and recyclable aluminum caps for all after.
These shampoos include the naturally extracted Vitamin B5 and pH balancing citric acid to heal brittle or frizzy hair.
Other ingredients in their shampoos include neem oil (effective for treating dandruff and itchy scalps), bamboo powder (a natural source of silica), and certified organic plant oils and butters.
About Dirty Hippie Cosmetics
They grow many of their own ingredients locally and only purchase certified Fair Trade for the rest.
Every product is cruelty-free, vegan, and package in either recycled cardboard tubes or reusable tins and glass with vegetable ink labels.
Though, their Cetearyl olivate and Sorbitan olivate suppliers no longer guarantee palm oil-free sourcing.
Until they find a new supplier, this means their Hydrating Hempseed and Red Raspberry Facial Primer moisturizing creams, cruelty free concealers, zero waste mascaras, and eyeliners may not be palm oil-free.
Based in a zero waste community in Bywong, Australia, they use solar-powered renewable energy and collected rainwater for their headquarters.
They also donate a portion of all proceeds to various animal rescue, environmental, and health care charities.
*Note: NaturisticBath uses sustainably certified palm oil in their soaps but none in their shampoo.
About NaturisticBath’s Sustainable Shampoo Bars
The best sustainable shampoo packaging is none at all.
NaturisticBath’s concentrated shampoo and conditioner bars fit the bill and last as long as 2-3 bottles of traditional liquid.
Instead of sulfates, phthalates, and parabens, you get plant oils, pro-vitamin B5, quinoa protein, and herbal extracts.
With pH 5-6, they’re balanced for most skin and hair types and come with delectable and fun names like Fresh Pear & Cashmere and Mermaid Vibes.
They’re packaged in recyclable glassine paper bags but you can also add an aluminum travel tin and organza bag to properly hang-store the bars in between uses.
NaturisticBath started the way many natural brands tend to: with harsh, chemical-laden traditional products causing problems.
Creator Sandra couldn’t use most items found in stores, so she started creating her own soaps, moisturizers, deodorants, and other skincare products.
All are vegan and cruelty free, and palm oil free, though other soaps contain RSPO-certified palm oil.
No sulfates, silicones, parabens, and phthalates mean all her products are clean for the skin and no plastic packaging (outside reusable spray tops) means they’re clean for the planet.
ZERO WASTE CONDITIONER
Many people find that by switching to organic, all natural shampoo bars, their hair receives enough moisture and nutrients it needs, eliminating the need for conditioner.
However, if you have extra long, fine hair, you may want to supplement with some zero waste conditioner bars or a conditioning rinse.
Here’s a simple household one we really like:
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR AS ZERO WASTE HAIR CONDITIONER
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of the best zero waste conditioners because it cleanses your hair, removing any build-up or greasy residue left behind by your shampoo, while not completely stripping its own natural oils.
This leaves your hair silky, smooth, and tangle-free.
ACV also improves overall follicle health, as it balances the pH of the hair and scalp, acts as an anti-bacterial agent, and balances scalp moisture.
Say goodbye to greasy looking roots or dandruff!
Because ACV does not strip natural oils, your scalp will no longer need to overproduce oils to compensate, which is what usually occurs with commercial shampoos and conditioners.
This means you can start going longer between washes, creating less waste, using less water, and spending less on shampoo bars.
There’s nothing we love more than eco-friendly thriftiness!
Best of all, it’s SO EASY to make and use.
Just dilute one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with one cup of water and pour over your hair or spray from a repurposed spray jar, then rinse out.
Anything else you add is up to you. Some people like combining with a few drops of tea tree oil or other herbs, which can depend on your hair type.
For instance, if you have naturally oily hair, try adding sage.
To steep dried herbs in AVC, add about two tablespoons of herbs to one quart of vinegar in a covered jar and set steep for two weeks. At the end of the steeping period, just strain out the herbs and dilute with the same ratio of AVC to water as above.
Apple cider vinegar’s smell doesn’t necessarily have the shower-clean scent, but once your hair dries, you won’t smell the vinegar at all.
If you’re lucky enough to have a bulk store near you, you might be able to find it sans plastic by refilling your containers. EarthHero sells all kinds of zero-waste reusable containers. Otherwise, take a look at the many online bulk stores or try a general ethical online shop.
Otherwise, make it yourself by fermenting your own apple cores and scraps.
FINDING THE BEST ZERO WASTE SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER BRANDS
- Vegan: We make occasional exceptions for ethically sourced beeswax and honey.
- Non toxic
- Palm oil free: Or use sustainably sourced (like RSPO certified) palm oil and derivatives.
- Ethical ingredient sourcing policies
- Thoughtful packaging: For this article, this meant zero waste, which means compostable or refillable, ideally, but also reusable or readily recyclable. Aluminum, for example, can be recycled indefinitely with no loss in quality, unlike plastic which is “down-cycled” to lower grades until it’s no longer recyclable.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SUSTAINABLE SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
Commercial beauty standards lead us to believe that we need all this stuff to maintain beautiful, healthy hair.
The fact of the matter is…it’s just not true.
Worse still is that because these options are so prevalent and have been the status quo for so long, there’s an unconscious mental barrier to buy-into waste free shampoo alternatives. Even if they’re better for you and the environment.
But they’re out there.
And by making a switch to one these best zero waste shampoo and conditioners, together with an eco friendly hair brush (when your old is no longer useable), you’ll be doing yourself and the planet a huge favor.
Remember, personal beauty doesn’t mean sacrificing natural beauty.
Encourage your friends to keep their hair clean and healthy—while making sure the planet stays the same—by sharing this list of plastic free conditioner and shampoo options.