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The best shampoo bars for every hair type

Aside from reducing plastic waste, shampoo bars give you more bang for your buck since they’re super concentrated. Some of them can last up to 80 washes, which equals to about two to three shampoo bottles. While shampoo bars may be a bit intimidating at first, they’re pretty simple to use. Just swipe the bar across your roots and gently massage as you would with a regular shampoo. Add more water to create more suds. Rinse thoroughly and you’re done. So if you’re ready to make some (small) changes, here’s a roundup of the best shampoo bars for every hair type, whether you have curly hair, dandruff, or color-treated hair.

Best shampoo bar for beginners and all hair types

Honey I Washed My Hair, by Lush

Lush designed this shampoo bar with lifeless, dry hair in mind. Made with fair trade honey and a blend of sweet wild orange and bergamot oil, the delicate formula promises to soften, moisturize, and cleanse the hair without stripping away its natural oils.

It’s a great choice for newbies who are looking to switch to a shampoo bar that leaves hair bouncy and soft.  Plus, it’s lightly infused with a delicious honey-toffee scent.

Pros: This shampoo bar lasts up to 80 washes, (or three bottles of shampoo) and

Cons: The Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) in the formula is a great cleanser, but it may cause irritation on people with sensitive skin.

Best shampoo bar for curly hair

J.R. Liggett’s Coconut & Argan Oil Shampoo Bar

Virgin coconut and argan oil are the unsung heroes in this shampoo bar, both of which leave your hair clean, moisturized, and shiny. This shampoo bar’s formulation has six star ingredients: virgin coconut oil, regular coconut oil, argan oil, olive oil, castor oil, and vitamin E.

There are two types of coconut oil in the formula virgin coconut oil and regular coconut oil.  When combined, they moisturize and soften your locks, restoring your hair’s strength and smoothness. Coconut oil is a superb cleanser that penetrates the scalp and delicately removes bacteria and build-up. It also softens and smooths the scalp, gets rid of flakiness, and moisturizes the hair all at the same time.

Argan oil is also added into the formula, which makes hair smooth, manageable, and easy to detangle. There’s also olive oil, which helps slow down hair loss by improving blood circulation. Castor oil works by nourishing the scalp which promotes healthy hair growth. And lastly, vitamin E oil adds a layer of protection against UV damage.

Pros: Doesn’t change your hair’s texture. The formula is gentle and 100% all-natural.

Cons: May leave hair feeling greasy if you don’t lather thoroughly and your hair may get oilier faster versus other shampoo bars with stronger cleansing agents.

Best shampoo bar for colored hair

Love Beauty & Planet Murumuru Shampoo Bar

This sulfate-free shampoo bar promises to make your tresses – and the planet –more beautiful every day. All the ingredients in this formula have been ethically sourced and you won’t find any sulfates, parabens, dyes, or phthalates. Plus, it’s cruelty-free and the packaging contains 100% previously recycled materials.

This shampoo bar is for bleached and color-treated hair, (although users claim it works on virgin hair too!) Infused with Amazonian murumuru butter, (a type of fatty oil that comes from the murumuru palm tree), organic coconut oil, and hand-picked Bulgarian rose petals, this gentle bar cleanses without over-drying, adding an intense boost of moisture.

The murumuru butter and organic coconut oil are two strong hydrators that help hair retain moisture. Meanwhile, the rose petals and berries add a delicate floral aroma that takes shower time to a whole new level. This shampoo is also sulfate-free, which means it won’t dry out your hair or strip away your color.

Pros: Fully recyclable package. Can last up to 50 washes. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and contains zero parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and silicones.

Cons: Some buyers claim it’s hard to get a strong lather while others think it does a fine job at lathering. Since sulfates are what makes shampoo sudsy you may need to add more water, shampoo twice, or try to work up some lather in your hands and then transferring it onto your hair.

Best shampoo bar for dandruff and flaky scalps

Obia Naturals Neem and Tea Tree Shampoo Bar

Is your scalp dry, itchy, and you’re constantly noticing flakes of dry skin falling on your shoulders? Then you may be dealing with dandruff, a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis.

Get rid of your flaky scalp with a detoxifying sulfate-free shampoo bar like this one, which helps remove unwanted buildup and flakes thanks to the neem oil and tea tree oil, two high-performing astringents that leave the scalp feeling refreshed and clean without stripping it of its natural oils.

Neem oil is often used to relieve inflammation, soothe irritation, and balance oil production in the scalp, (which prevents you from getting dandruff again in the future). It’s also loaded with fatty acids, which allows your hair to retain moisture.  Meanwhile, tea tree oil has antifungal and moisturizing properties, which can reduce itching, flakiness, and treat other scalp issues.

Pros: This bar is suitable for all hair types, whether it’s thick, fine, curly, straight, wavy, or kinky texture, etc. It’s safe for high, medium, or low porosity hair too, and you can use it on chemically treated hair.

Cons: Neem oil is generally safe for use, but people with sensitive skin may experience irritation.

Best shampoo bar for dry, thin and limp hair

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Bentonite Clay Shampoo Bar

This is a solid choice for anyone looking for a bar that eliminates buildup and gunk while hydrating and repairing thirsty, lifeless, and limp hair.

The formula has a little bit of everything: it contains shea butter and castor oil, two powerful moisturizers known for their healing abilities. On one end, shea butter acts as a moisturizer that prevents hair loss, scalp irritation and split ends.

The formula also uses castor oil that sort of acts like a cleansing oil that gets rid of bacteria, dead cells, and dirt, while locking in moisture at the same time. Castor oil also increases scalp circulation and prevents dandruff and scalp infections thanks to its antifungal properties.

When Rhassoul clay, (a type of natural clay that absorbs dirt, oil, and bacteria) mixes with the shea butter and the Jamaican Black Castor oil, they restore moisture and smoothness to lifeless, dry, and even chemically-treated hair.

Pros: Decent amount of lather. Great scent. Very gentle on dry hair, natural curls, or color-treated locks. Works great on 3A 3B 3C 4A 4B 4C hair types.

Cons: According to reviews, it may make your hair feel dry if you have thick and heavy hair. Won’t work for anyone who dislikes the smell of clay.