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Bar soaps recently had a major moment, reemerging on the beauty scene with more options available than ever before. But while they were stealing the spotlight, there was an unsung hero quietly waiting in the wings—shampoo bars. As is the case with soap, these solid sudsers are poised to give their liquid counterparts a run for their money.
Typically made without the sulfates and other harsh detergents used in liquid formulas, shampoo bars are lauded for being gentler, cleansing hair without stripping it. Not to mention that they’re perfectly travel-friendly, and have minimal impact on the environment thanks to their lack of plastic and packaging. Granted, it can take some getting used to the idea and act of rubbing a bar on your head (though FYI, cutting a bar into smaller pieces can make it easier). Still, if you want to make the switch from liquid to solid, these shampoo bars are where it’s at.
Keep scrolling for our picks of the best shampoo bars.
Best Overall: JR Liggett’s Virgin Coconut & Argan Oil Shampoo Bar
Not only does this contain moisturizing coconut and olive oils, but it also contains strengthening argan oil to help keep your strands long, strong, and healthy. It protects against pollution and UV damage too, thanks to antioxidant-rich vitamin E and sunflower oil. And how cute is the vintage packaging?
Best for Colored Hair: Love Beauty and Planet Murumuru Butter and Rose Shampoo Bar
Sulfate-free and ultra-gentle, this newbie is specially made to keep your hue shiny and vibrant and won’t strip color. Using ethically- and naturally-sourced ingredients, it’s also housed in a carton made from 100% recyclable materials. But we’d be remiss to not mention the scent, one of our favorites of all time—it’s the perfect balance of floral and sweet, and will have everyone asking what perfume you’re wearing.
Best for Curly Hair: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Rhassoul Clay Shampoo Bar
Some shampoo bars have a tendency to leave hair tangled, particularly thick and curly hair. Not the case with this one, specially made to leave your spirals soft and full of body and bounce. The mineral-rich bar also has a unique curved edge that makes it super easy to work into your scalp.
Best for Dandruff: Ethique Heali Kiwi Shampoo for Dandruff or Scalp Problems
This brand offers some of the top-rated shampoo bars on Amazon, including this one. It’s 100% soap-free and uses neem and karanja oils to treat scalp issues; users repeatedly comment on how well it works to fight flakes. Soothing oats combat itchiness, too, and the zero-waste brand places a special emphasis on minimizing their environmental impact, always a good thing.
Best for Dry Hair: Bar None Hydrating Shampoo Bar
A trio of heavy-hitting hydrators—coconut, shea, and cocoa butter—make this extra creamy bar choice for parched hair. Plus, there’s also an accompanying solid conditioner, too, a product that’s not so easy to find. Happy reviewers rave about both and comment on the pleasant scent, too.
Best for Fine Hair: Lush Seanik Shampoo Bar
Lush offers an impressive array of 11 different shampoo bars, but if extra volume is your goal, make this your go-to. Using, you guessed it, a host of sea-based ingredients, sea salt adds body and boosts limp locks, while two different types of seaweed keep your hair soft.
Best for Oily Scalps: Basin Charcoal Shampoo Bar
Charcoal is a commonly used skin care ingredient, thanks to its abilities to both remove excess oil and purify the skin. Breaking news: It can do the same for your scalp and hair. This bar, which lasts 50 to 75 washes, uses bamboo charcoal to eliminate oil and excess product residue, leaving your scalp and hair feeling cleaner than ever.
Best for Travel: Apple Valley Natural Soap Shampoo Bar Sampler Pack
Any shampoo bar is great for travel by definition since you don’t have to worry about spills or it getting snatched up by the TSA. But since most of them last for a long time, if you don’t want to have to deal with bringing the bar back home after your trip, grab this sampler pack. It features small slices (about 1/3 ounce, each good for three washes) of the brand’s 15 different shampoo bars. Take a different one with you each time you travel and figure out which one you like best.
Best Multi-Tasker: Meow Meow Tweet Rosemary Avocado Shampoo Bar
Looking to streamline your shower situation? This solid sudser does it all, working to effectively cleanse both your hair and body, with certified organic and fair-trade plant-based ingredients. Not to mention that it’s safe to use for kids and even pets, too.
Best Natural: Friendly Soap Natural Handmade Shampoo Bar
Most shampoo bars tend to have fewer chemicals and questionable ingredients, but the ingredient list of this one takes the cake. It contains castor, coconut, and olive oils, tea tree and lavender essential oils, and water, and is free of parabens, palm oil, plastic, and sulfates. Amazon shoppers love it, though do point out that it’s better suited for oily rather than dry hair.
Best for Sensitive Scalp: Christophe Robin Hydrating Shampoo Bar with Aloe Vera
Have fine, straight hair? Thick, curly hair? This bar works for every hair type and texture, using 100% plant-based ingredients such as aloe vera, castor oil, and coconut oil to gently cleanse strands. It’s also fragrance-free, perfect if you have a sensitive or easily-irritated scalp.