The best shampoo bars for squeaky clean hair without the plastic

Here are the highest-rated shampoo bars that are totally worth swapping to.

Best shampoo bars UK

by Cigdem Tanrioglu |
Updated on

There are so many factors to think about when you’re trying to find the best shampoo and conditioner for your hair. Will it hydrate dry hair? Will it thickenfine hair? Honestly, it is hard work having great tresses- and that’s before you even start to think about the environment.

With millions of shampoo bottles being tossed into landfills each year, it makes sense that more of us are switching to solid shampoo – because having luscious locks doesn’t have to literally cost the earth, right?

Enter shampoo bars – the plastic-free alternative that will leave your hair looking and feeling healthier than ever.

What is a shampoo bar?

Think of a shampoo bar like a classic soap for your hair. Unlike their liquid counterparts, shampoo bars are seriously concentrated – so all of the good stuff is squished down into one handy bar without any added plastics or unnecessary ingredients.

heat's best shampoo bars at a glance:

Editor’s Choice: The Body Shop Banana Truly Nourishing Shampoo Bar, £10

Best premium shampoo bar: Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Aloe And Oat Milk Ultra Soothing 3-In-1 Cleansing Bar, £22

Best budget shampoo bar: Garnier Ultimate Blends Honey Treasures Strengthening Shampoo Bar for Damaged Hair, £7.99

Why should I switch to a shampoo bar?

There are so many reasons why we should all be considering making the switch from traditional liquid shampoo to a shampoo bar.

Charlotte Vøhtz, founder of Green People fills us in, “Unlike liquid shampoos, shampoo bars are typically waterless, and this has benefits for you and for the planet.”
Not only will switching to a shampoo bar help the planet, but they’ll make travelling so much easier, because let’s face it we all struggle with that 100ml rule at the airport. Charlotte agrees, “solid shampoos cannot leak in the same way as liquid shampoo and take up little space so are great for travelling. They can be packaged without plastic and also use less CO2 during their manufacturing process.”

SHOP: The UK’s best shampoo bars that are totally worth the swap.

Editor's choice

The Body Shop Banana Truly Nourishing Shampoo Bar
The Body Shop Banana Truly Nourishing Shampoo Bar

This high street treat is perfect for anyone trying out a shampoo bar for the first time. The banana-infused formula lathers just as much as a liquid shampoo (because who doesn’t love the bubbles). As well as being super easy to use, this shampoo bar is also mega hydrating and will leave even frizz-prone hair feeling soft and squeaky clean.

Review: “This was the first shampoo bar I’ve ever tried and honestly, I am obsessed! It lathers up so easily, and left my long, dry hair looking seriously glossy.”


  • Ergonomic design so it doesn’t slip when using
  • Vegan formula
  • Lasts up to 50 washes – that’s 20p per wash!


  • The scent may not be to everyone’s liking

Best premium shampoo bar

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Aloe And Oat Milk Ultra Soothing 3-In-1 Cleansing Bar
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Aloe And Oat Milk Ultra Soothing 3-In-1 Cleansing Bar

If you suffer from a dry, itchy scalp, then this one is for you. Briogeo’s cleansing balm is packed with soothing aloe vera as well as calming oatmeal, which will gently heal irritated and inflamed skin.
Plus this handy bar doubles up as a body soap and facial cleanser – so you can literally use it from head to toe, which is ideal if you’re going on holiday and don’t want to decant your entire shower routine.

Review: “I don’t know how to describe it… I was so scared to use it, but apparently, this is The New Best Thing! My hair is soft and healthy, perfect for the body and even used it for my face. Always loved Briogeo and this one is my favourite"


  • Gentle formula is suitable for sensitive skin
  • Can be also used as a body soap and facial cleanser
  • Contains aloe vera, green tea and oats
  • Fragrance-free


  • The lack of scent may not be for everyone

Best budget shampoo bar

Garnier Ultimate Blends Honey Treasures Strengthening Shampoo Bar for Damaged Hair
Garnier Ultimate Blends Honey Treasures Strengthening Shampoo Bar for Damaged Hair

If heated tools and hair dye have left your tresses feeling dry and brittle, then Garnier’s shampoo bar is the one for you. Loaded with honey and beeswax, this delicious bar will hydrate hair and reduce the appearance of split ends and flyaways. Plus the formula is 97% biodegradable, meaning minimal damage to the planet too. We’re obsessed!

Review: “Using this for 6 weeks or so. Can get a good lather, hair feels clean and soft after, it washes out really well. Will definitely be buying again, in fact will probably permanently switch to this!”


  • Available in most high-street beauty stores
  • Zero plastic
  • Leathers easily


  • Takes longer to wash out
  • Has a slightly sticky feel

Best for damaged hair

Green People Citrus & Ginger Shampoo Bar
Green People Citrus & Ginger Shampoo Bar

For a truly eco-friendly option, Green People’s offering ticks all of the boxes. Proven to reduce frizz by 30%, this handy shampoo bar will smooth and strengthen all hair types. Plus, this all-natural option contains both argan and macadamia oil, which will condition hair and boost shine, meaning you can even skip the conditioner. Consider us converted.

Review: “Over the last 2 years have tried many different shampoo bars and this one has been the best by far. Lathers well leaves hair nice and soft and helps with my frizzy hair.”


  • Lasts up to 60 washes
  • No need for conditioner
  • Suitable for sensitive skin


  • Harder to use once the bar wears down

Best for coloured hair

KinKind Make me SHINE! Shampoo Bar For Highlights & Coloured Hair
KinKind Make me SHINE! Shampoo Bar For Highlights & Coloured Hair

If you’re anything like us, then you’re probably thinking that a shampoo bar won’t work for coloured hair. Well, it turns out we are all very, very wrong.
Enriched with juniper and henna, KinKind’s offering will leave coloured hair looking as glossy as a model’s. Plus, it is gentle enough to ensure that super-expensive balayage doesn’t fade away.

Review: “I was sceptical and laughed when I saw the size. Using it for the first time I just smoothed it over my hair. Wow. So much bubbly lather. I’ll certainly restrain myself next time. It left my hair silky and smooth. I have bought a conditioner too but may not have to use it.
I think it will certainly last a long time and would highly recommend this product. No more plastic bottles and chemicals.”


  • Contains coconut oil for hydration
  • Lathers up easily
  • Lasts up to 50 washes


  • Small size can be harder to use
  • The strong scent may not be to everyone’s taste

Best for playing with colour

Bleach London Rose Shampoo Bar
Bleach London Rose Shampoo Bar

Hands up if you’re a sucker for cute packaging? Yep, us too. But trust us when we say that this cute pink bar does way more than look pretty.
Packed with rose-toned pigments, this shampoo bar will not only cleanse hair but it will give bleached hair a pink tone - so you can swap up your look without having to visit a salon.

Review: “This shampoo bar is absolutely brilliant: the colour is super intense and I love that there is no plastic packaging.”


  • Will remove green tones from bleached hair
  • Give blonde hair a pink tint without the use of permanent dye


  • Won’t be as effective on brunettes
  • Can get messy

Best for dry hair

Davines Love Shampoo Bar
Davines Love Shampoo Bar

The winter months can leave hair looking and feeling seriously dry and brittle. Enter Davines Love Shampoo Bar.
Enriched with olive extract, just one use of this shampoo bar will hydrate thirsty hair, and as we all know, hydrated hair is happy hair.
Best of all, it lathers up so easily that you can get squeaky clean hair thanks to all of the bubbles that you’re used to from a liquid shampoo. What’s not to love?

Review: “It smells very refreshing, rustic and back to basics but foams beautifully and cleans my hair very nicely. Better for the environment too. Love it.”


  • Lathers easily
  • Sulphate free
  • Manufactured with 100% clean energy


  • Paper packaging can’t be used for bathroom storage

What is the difference between a shampoo bar and liquid shampoo?

We’ve spent most of our lives shampooing away with the liquid stuff, so it is natural to feel a little strange when switching to one of the UK’s best shampoo bars. However, the two aren’t actually that different at all, “Both shampoo bars and liquid shampoo perform the same function of cleansing your hair and scalp” explains The Body Shop’s Global Product Efficacy Specialist, Margherita Bonetti. She adds, The main differences are that liquid shampoo typically comes in a plastic bottle, whilst shampoo bars are a solid product which often comes in a cardboard packaging, or ‘naked’ (i.e, no packaging at all)”

How do you use a shampoo bar?

Ok, so you’ve got your shampoo bar, what’s next? Margherita fills us in on just how easy it is to use a shampoo bar, “Begin by wetting your hair, as well as the shampoo bar. Next, rub the bar between your hands to create an ultra-foamy lather before massaging the bar and its lather from your hair’s roots to the ends (ensuring you cover all your hair). Rinse through thoroughly.”

Are shampoo bars better for your hair?

There’s no proven evidence that shampoo bars are better for your hair. However, as most shampoo bars are made with natural ingredients, it is fair to say that they will nourish hair a lot more than most liquid shampoos.
And just like you would when shopping for a regular, liquid shampoo, it is best to keep an eye out for key ingredients that would benefit your hair type, whether that is purple toner for blonde hair, or biotin for hair growth.

So there you have it – the cheat’s way to get great hair without compromising on the environment. Now excuse us while we go and replace all of our shampoo bottles with cute shampoo bars.

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