If you've ever tried washing your hair with a regular bar of soap, you may cringe at the idea of bar shampoo. But don't let that squeaky, tacky bar soap experience turn you off bar shampoo, which is specially formulated to be used in your hair. There are some surprisingly moisturizing bar shampoos that can be even better than liquid shampoo.
There are a few benefits to bar shampoo: less packaging means it's eco-friendly (not to mention TSA-friendly, according to the TSA website), and it's harder to accidentally get too much on your hair and waste it. While these bar shampoos can seem a bit more pricey than your average drugstore shampoo (though they're still relatively cheap at under $20), they tend to last longer than liquid shampoo (some producers advertise up to 80 washes), so you're getting more bang for your buck.
But as someone with curly, fine, and somewhat persnickety hair myself, I was initially skeptical of the idea of bar shampoo. My hair demands to be moisturized with the nectar of the gods, or it will frizz out and become a hellish, Boschian horrorscape. Luckily, I've found a bunch of bar shampoos that promise maximum hydration for your hair, with gentle ingredients and high ratings from buyers. And maybe it's just because I'm a bit hungry, but these bar shampoos look surprisingly delicious (disclaimer: don't eat shampoo, no matter how much it looks like a luxury dessert).
1. LUSH Avocado co-wash
Co-wash is a new trend in haircare, where shampooing is replaced with more hydrating "conditioner washing." It's a godsend for folks with curly, finicky hair. It melts into your hair, and includes ingredients like avocado, cupuaçu butter, cocoa butter and cider vinegar. It's bergamot scented so you will smell like a fairy prince or princess.
2. LUSH Jason and the Argan Oil
My main problem with LUSH products: I want to eat them. This shampoo bar looks like a delicious raspberry sugar cookie. Sadly, it's not edible, but your hungry hair will eat it up. It's Rose Jam scented (come on, LUSH, stop trying to get me to eat your shampoo) and is infused with Moroccan argan oil and moisturizing glycerin. LUSH claims it lasts up to 80 washes, or three bottles of liquid shampoo. That is, if I don't eat it first (seriously don't eat these, learn from my mistakes).
3. Soap & Salve Rosemary Lavender Shampoo Bar
This flowery shampoo bar is made from aloe vera and organic jojoba oils, mango butter, rosemary, lavender, and tea-tree oil. sulfate, silicone, and paraben free for sensitive scalps and hair. It's also sensitive to the environment: it's cruelty-free and vegan.
4. Soap & Salve Coconut Milk Shampoo Bar
One of Soap & Salves more popular bar shampoos, this is made of conditioning coconut milk and coconut oil. It also contains sweet almond oil and avocado oil. Seriously, I know it's only for your hair and you can't eat it, but why do these companies keep trying to make their shampoo sound so delicious?
5. Whiff Shampoo Bar & Conditioning Bar
Do you want your hair to smell like a delectable Thin Mint? These moisturizing peppermint shampoo & conditioner bars look like giant Altoids mints for your hair. I wouldn't try to freshen your breath with them, though.
6. Ethique Eco-Friendly Solid Shampoo Bar for Oily Hair
Does this look like a lemon bar to anyone else? With Rosemary, juniper, basil, lime, lemon and orange extracts, I'm going to be spending most of my shower time just smelling this dang shampoo bar. It also contains humectants to draw moisture into your hair.
7. Ethique Eco-Friendly Solid Shampoo Bar for Normal-Dry or Frizzy Hair
This Ethique bar soap is for frizzier, dryer hair. With Samoan coconut and cocoa butter and pH balanced, it's a nice treat for your hair. But not your mouth, despite the fact it looks like I should be able to drizzle some caramel on it and eat it.
8. 4-in-1 Bar Soap, Functions as Hair Shampoo, Beard Shampoo, Body Wash
Ah, finally, a shampoo that doesn't make me hungry. Still, this looks incredibly good for your hair (or beard, or wherever). Bossman may look like a tough hunk of black concrete, but it's made with gentle organic oils, like coconut oil, shea butter, palm oil, safflower oil, plantain leaf powder, cocoa powder. Wait, cocoa powder? Delicious cocoa powder? Again with the appetizing shampoo ingredients. Et tu, Bossman?
9. J R Liggetts Shampoo Bars
Alright, here we go, just some plain, no-nonsense bar shampoo in "Original," "Moisturizing," and "Tea-tree," scents, nothing appetizing about that. But wait... it comes in coconut, herbal, and peppermint flavors? And according to the website, it came from an old New England cookbook? Stop trying to confuse me, shampoo bars. This shampoo is inedible (sigh), but highly rated and moisturizing.
10. By Humankind Bar Shampoo
Alright, these unassuming bars look very shampoo-like, I don't think they'll make me hungry. They're vegan, sulfate-free, and gluten-free. It comes in unscented (okay off to a good start here), peppermint (hmm), lemongrass (stop it), citrus lavender... okay, I give up. I'm going to go eat a bowl of sorbet so I can stop thinking about eating shampoo.