Up your zero-waste game with these natural & ethically-made plastic-free shampoo brands…
I have a confession to make…
Although I recycle religiously, choose products with natural and eco-friendly ingredients, and even make some of my own cleaning products, for some reason I have never stopped to think about all the plastic packaging that comes with personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, and skin care. Or, to the extent that I did think about it, I didn’t realize there was an alternative.
However, I recently stumbled across this article, and it has changed my perspective on shopping for personal care products. I’m now on the hunt for products that not only contain eco-friendly ingredients that are safe for myself and the planet, but are also packaged in a way that is more sustainable as well.
Please note that I haven’t tried all of these yet, myself, but I have listed my favorite one so far as #1 below…
Here (in no particular order) are 10 plastic-free shampoo brands that are making a name for themselves in the realm of eco-friendly packaging:
Female-founded Everist offers award-winning vegan zero-waste shampoo, body wash, and natural plant sponges that contain no parabens, sulfates, silicones, dyes, or synthetic fragrances and preservatives.
They also provide a fully transparent ingredient glossary so you can learn about the ingredients in their products.
They ship in 100% recyclable or compostable boxes with paper tape, all made in America.
They are members of 1% for the Planet and Climate Neutral certified, and they prioritize locally sourced products – mostly within a 70-mile radius.
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.
Etee started out making natural beeswax wraps, but has now branched out into a wide range of natural home and personal care products. They are committed to being 100% plastic-free, and they manufacture their products in Canada using renewable energy.
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.
From zero-waste mouthwash to sustainable shampoo bottles and bars, by Humankind combines plant-based ingredients with compostable, recyclable, or refillable packaging to keep their footprint small.
They also utilize carbon offsets through reforestation projects and allow customers to offset plastic consumption through Plastic Bank.
Their products are ethically made in the US, UK, or China.
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 check with their 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.
Based in Colorado, EcoRoots is a full zero-waste online store that provides ethically sourced products for the home as well as personal care products. You can find everything from kitchen and bathroom cleaners, to hair and body care products, to compostable cornstarch packing peanuts!
All of their beauty and personal care products are packaged in zero-waste packaging, and are vegan and mostly free of palm oil and SLS.
They donate a portion of sales to the Ocean Conservancy to aid in ocean restoration.
About EcoRoots’ Plastic Free Shampoo Bars USA
Compact in size, EcoRoots‘ zero-waste shampoo tablets promise 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.
Friendly Soap is a UK-Based maker of soap and sustainable shampoo, and they hold a “Best” rating with Ethical Consumer.
All of their products are 100% natural and made with zero by-products using cold process manufacturing.
All of their packaging is also recycled and plastic-free.
About Friendly Soap’s Zero Waste Shampoo Bars UK
At the risk of stating the obvious, Friendly Soap makes planet-friendly soaps, including some of the best zero-waste shampoos.
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.
Dirty Hippie makes a wide variety of beauty and personal care products, including zero-waste skincare, sunscreen, deodorant, and makeup. Most of their ingredients are grown locally and the rest are certified Fair Trade. They are also cruelty-free and vegan, and their products are packaged in either recyclable cardboard or reusable tins and glass.
They use solar-powered renewable energy and rainwater for their headquarters in Bywong, Australia, and donate a portion of all proceeds to environmental, animal rescue, and health care charities.
However, some of their moisturizing creams and makeup products may not currently be palm oil-free.
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 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.
Female-founded NaturisticBath was created to avoid the problems caused by harsh, chemical-filled commercial personal care products.
They make soaps, moisturizers, deodorants, and other skin and hair care products, all of which are vegan and cruelty-free, and contain no sulfates, silicones, parabens, or phthalates. The only plastic included in the packaging is in the form of reusable spray tops.
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.
Plaine Products is a sister-owned company specializing in vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free, chemical-free, and biodegradable hair care products, hand soap, and natural body wash. They use a unique model of refillable packaging to avoid waste, and use carbon offsets to offset carbon emissions for shipping products.
The owners personally test all products and also run every ingredient through the Environmental Working Group database to ensure they’re non-toxic.
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.
The UK’s Battle Green produces zero-waste personal care products including shampoos, deodorant, bamboo cotton ear swabs, reusable menstrual pads, and more.
All products are cruelty-free and vegan and are handmade in small batches, and packaging is biodegradable and plastic-free.
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.
New Zealand-based Ethique offers plastic-free shampoo, conditioner, and other personal care products ranging from face moisturizers, to deodorants, to lipsticks, as well as household cleaning products. They even carry biodegradable plastic-free soap trays and mesh bags to store your bars.
All of their products are certified cruelty free and vegan, as well as palm-oil free, and their packaging is 100% biodegradable. (I love the fact that their packaging is home-compostable – even their deodorant and lipstick tubes!)
Ethique is certified climate-neutral and donates 20% of profits to charity.
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 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.
If you’re looking to reduce your impact on the planet, reducing plastic use is one of the best places to start. You don’t have to cut all plastic out of your life all at once, but once you switch your shampoo to plastic-free packaging, you just may be inspired to look at your packaging choices a little differently, and like me, you may find yourself looking for ways to switch more and more of your purchases to plastic-free!