Selection of goap soap and shampoo bars

Choosing the Right Natural Shampoo For You 63

When you choosing a natural shampoo and natural shampoo bar you are likely to see different qualities being advertised such as “SLS free” or “palm oil free” amongst others. But why is this a good thing? Read on to find out more about these words and what they really mean

Sodium laureth/lauryl sulphate

Sodium laureth or sodium lauryl sulphate are otherwise known as SLSs and are the chemicals that help shampoo mix with water, creating the foam that you associate with conventional shampoos. Some companies refer to these as ‘soap’ or ‘foaming agents’ and they have been associated with cell damage and the stripping away for natural oils and hair proteins. Choosing a natural shampoo or natural shampoo bar that doesn’t contain these ingredients will be beneficial for your hair. Because when used over time they can actually make the condition of your hair worse, not better, as well as irritating your skin.

Palm oil

The farming of oil palm trees is very bad for the environment and has been responsible for at least 8% of global deforestation as well as leaving many species of animal on the brink of extinction. It is estimated that over the last 18 years, over 100,000 orangutans have been killed along with elephants, rhinos, and tigers, due to their habitats being destroyed during the farming of palm oil. If you can avoid it in your beauty products by choosing organic, vegan, cruelty free, natural shampoo or natural shampoo bar that is palm oil free, you can help to reduce the demand for this product that has little benefit for you, your skin, or your hair.


Shampoo and conditioner often comes in plastic bottles or tubs, they are rarely recycled and are damaging for the environment when they are produced. Instead, you should opt for eco, organic, vegan, cruelty free, natural shampoos that come in bars, like our natural shampoo bars which do away with the need for any kind of plastic container making them 100% plastic free, and are all completely eco-friendly and zero waste.

Artificial fragrance

If you see ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’ on a shampoo ingredients list it usually refers to a blend of chemicals that are there to give a certain odour to a product. In commercial products, more often than not these are man-made synthetic compounds, often petroleum based. What actually goes into these combinations is often hidden from us so we have no idea what we are putting on our skin, or hair. They not only have a negative impact on your health, drying your skin and hair, but they also have an environmental impact due to their manufacture and also the fact they end up in rivers and oceans when we wash them off. Choosing a 100% natural shampoo or natural shampoo bar that is chemical free is a lot kinder not only to our hair but also our planet.


  1. I have coloured hair what shampoo bar should I use?

    Jacquie Rawlings
    1. Hi Jacquie, all of our shampoo bars are made from 100% natural ingredients so they won’t strip the hair at all. This means that they are all suited to coloured hair! We do have the Rosemary shampoo bar for Dark Hair and the Chamomile shampoo bar for light hair, but both of these can be used on any colour too!

  2. I have naturally curly hair which hair bar would be best ?

    1. Hi Lucy, I would recommend the Bain & Savon – Nettle & Marshmallow shampoo bar for curly hair!

      1. Thank you! I used the Nettle and Marshmallow shampoo bar along with the dry hair conditioner bar and they are both fantastic!. My hair is supper soft, the curls are more defined and it smells amazing!

  3. Hi there,

    I have dry hair and dandruff, what bar would you recommend me?

    1. Hi there, I would recommend the Fenungeek shampoo bar for dry hair or the Nettle & Marshmallow shampoo bar. Both of these have great moisturising properties and will help to combat dandruff!

  4. I have greying, very thick hair. Non greasy or any dandruff. What will be the best bar shampoo for my hair type please.
    I’m eager to get going on plastic free as much as possible. I have already change deodorants.

    1. Hi Sonya, I would recommend the Powder Shampoo, it is great and really easy to use when you are first transitioning to 100% natural! Or the Sunny Orange shampoo bar is also good and smells lovely!

  5. I have bleached blonde hair with some grey. It usually needs washing daily as gets greasy but is also very dry at ends. Could you recommend a shampoo bar and conditioning bar for me. Thank you.

    Natalie Roberts
    1. Hi Natalie, you will probably find that if you change to 100% natural shampoo, once through the transition you won’t need to wash your hair as much! This is because your hair will be back to its natural state. I would recommend the Primal Suds Fenungeek shampoo bar or the Powder Shampoo. The powder shampoo should be great for you dry ends! I would also recommend using the Liquid conditioner for dry hair, you will probably find you only need to use a small amount on the ends of your hair. Try not to use a conditioner until you are through your transition period. If you need some more information on transition periods, please check out our blog ‘The Ultimate Guide To Natural Shampoo’. It is on the last page!

  6. Hi,

    I have fine hair which gets oily after 2 days and I live in a very hard water area. Which shampoo bar would you recommend?

    1. Hi Katie, as you live in a hard water area, i would recommend the Beauty Kubes shampoo cubes for Oily Hair. Hard water can sometimes make it impossible to use 100% natural shampoo, these cubes still contain 1 synthetic ingredient so that your hair doesn’t need to transition! If you prefer liquid shampoo, i would recommend the Moo Hair Miracle Shampoo, this is suitable for all hair types!

  7. Do you have any shampoos suitable for babies/toddlers? Something that won’t sting if it got in their eyes?

    1. Hi there, I would recommend choosing a shampoo bar that doesn’t contain any essential oils as children can be sensitive to these. Our most popular shampoo bar for kids is the Primal Suds Nonscents. But the Bain & Savon – Coconut Milk and the Hatton – Unscented would also be fine! All of these shampoo bars are made from 100% natural ingredients so they won’t cause any harm if they get in eyes.

  8. Hi, I have quite a sensitive scalp that hasn’t reacted well to the B&s coconut milk bar. My scalp got really dry and itchy, with lots of dandruff. Is their a bar that would work better for me, I have longish curly hair that gets quite dry?

    Shannon-Anne O'Brien
    1. Hi Shannon-Anne, oh no that is such a shame! It can be tricky to find one that works for us. I can’t recommend the Zero Waste Path shampoo bars enough. They are 100% natural but you have no transition period and they lather up really well. I would recommend giving the Itchy Scalp or the Dry & Curly hair one a go! Have a read of the descriptions and see which one will best suit you! Both have great moisturising properties.

  9. I have curly hair that’s often frizzy with many shampoos. I use frizz ease at the moment as it’s the icky one that seems to manage my hair but I’m keen to switch to a natural product. Please can you recommend which shampoo, conditioner and hair styling to use from your range.

    1. Hi Rachael, I would definitly recommend the Zero Waste Path 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner bar for curly hair. They are 100% natural but you don’t get a transition period which is so great! They contain ingredients that are great for hydrating hair and defining curls! I would also recommend the Moo Hair Miracle Milk, you can use this on wet or dry hair and is great for de-tangling, taming frizz, defining curls and conditioning hair!

  10. Hi I am looking for a shampoo and conditioner I have short hair which I wash daily, I have problem hands which blister due to certain products which is why I want to go completely natural in my skin care routine. So hopefully my hands won’t one into contact with harsh products. Not sure about shampoo bars? Can you assist?

    Michele Salkeld
    1. Hi Michele, great to hear you are moving over to natural shampoos! 100% natural should be a lot kinder to your skin! If you are wanting something for super sensitive skin then i would recommend the Coconut Milk shampoo bar, it takes a bit of work to lather it up but if you have short hair that shouldn’t be a problem. It contains no essential oils so is really kind to the skin. Alternatively, if you think you would be ok with essential oils, the Zero Waste Path shampoo bars are amazing, you don’t get a transition period and they are 2 in 1 so no need for conditioner!

  11. Hi there
    I have shoulder length fine hair, and I prefer shampoo that isn’t too moisturising because my hair is so fine, if it’s too soft it is impossible to work with. And it can also make it look greasy quicker. My usual shampoo is a lavender & juniper shampoo bar from lush which has been amazing but I want to support smaller businesses! 🙂 which shampoo would you recommend? I don’t mind what form it comes in. Thank you!

    1. Hi Ash, thanks so much for choosing to support our small business, we really do appreciate it! I would recommend one of the Bain & Savon shampoo bars. They are 100% natural so you may go through a slight transition period, but once through they should be perfect for you. The Sunny Orange is my personal favourite! I would avoid the Nettle & Marshmallow one as this is specifically for re-moisturising the hair! Alternatively, the Primal Suds Shamsoo shampoo for Oily Hair would be great as it wouldn’t be too moisturising. I hope this helps!

  12. Hey! Is the dry shampoo suitable for someone with dark brown hair, as some dry shampoos are “too visible” in dark hair? As your products sound great.

    1. Hi Jean, we do a dry shampoo specifically for dark hair. It is called Barnet, by Primal Suds!

  13. Hi I am 61 have dry and fine hair. I only wash it once a week. Which shampoo do you recommend? 😊

    1. Hi Liz, the Moo Hair range is absolutley amazing for dry hair. It really does leave your hair feeling nourished. It is the higher end of the price range but it is very concentrated so you only need a small amount each time. Alternatively, the Zero Waste Path shampoo and conditioner 2 in 1 for dry hair is lovely!

  14. What shampoo and conditioner bar would you recommend. I have shoulder length hair that tends to get tangled. And I’m a sea swimmer so it’s often wet, sandy and cold! I just wash it twice a week at the moment. Thanks

    1. Hi Claire, I would recommend the Sunny Orange shampoo bar or the Zero Waste Path shampoo for dry and curly hair. They are both very moisturising so should hopefully help with the tangling! I would also recommend to use a conditioner on the ends of your hair too, it can help to leave it in for a little while to help with hair that tends to get tangled!

  15. Hi
    I am a Male with short wavy hair that doesnt act well to conditioner.which shampoo bar would you recommend. Thanks for your help

    Christopher Brown
    1. Hi Chris, if your hair doesn’t recommend well to conditioner then i would recommend the Bain & Savon Sunny Orange shampoo bar or one of the Bain & Savon shampoo tins (the fresh thyme one smells amazing!). Alone, these should condition the hair enough to keep it healthy so that you don’t need a conditioner!

  16. Hello, I have long, thick hair that can get oily/greasy at the scalp but the ends are dry. What shampoo and conditioner bars would you recommend?

    1. Hi Helen, any 100% natural shampoo bar should really help to balance your natural oils. You will find that your hair doesn’t get as oily/greasy as often once you have transitioned! I would recommend starting off with the Zero Waste Path for Oily Hair, as well as helping with the oils in your hair, it will also keep those ends nice and moisturised. I also love the Sunny Orange shampoo bar. It creates a good lather and so is great for your first shampoo bar.

  17. Hi! I have a dry and flaky scalp, but it’s also prone to oiliness near the roots. My hair was frizzy before shampoo bars but the bar I’m using right now isn’t suitable for my hair. Which one would you recommend for me?

    1. Hi Nikki, I would recommend either the Zero Waste Path shampoo for Itchy Scalp or the Awake Organics shampoo powder. The Itchy Scalp bar contains ingredients that will relive the dry scalp whilst helping to balance your natural oils. The shampoo powder is great for keeping the scalp moisturised whilst taming that frizz! Both are 100% natural so are really kind to the skin. The liquid conditioner for dry & itchy may also be a good option for you!

  18. Hi,

    I have oily hair, kind of thin and have dandruff. My scalp also feels itchy occasionally what would you recommend?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Amy, either the Itchy Scalp or Oily & Fine Zero Waste Path shampoo would be great for you. Have a read of the special ingredients and see what you think would be more suited to you! Alternatively, the Bain & Savon Nettle & Marshmallow could be a good option for you as the Nettle can be used to treat dandruff. It is worth mentioning that you would have a transition period with the Bain & Savon shampoo! We also stock a liquid conditioner for Dry & Itchy Hair, you could use this as a hair mask and leave it on your hair for an hour or so and then rinse off to help with the itchy scalp!

  19. I have tried shampoo bars and although my hair feels in better condition after continuous use the roots get extremely greasy and lank. I now use one which leathers slightly. Which soap bar would you recommend? I do colour it fair and am in my 50’s.

    Joanna Emmerson
    1. Hi Joanna, it might be worth giving the Zero Waste Path 2in1 shampoo bar for oily hair a go. If your roots are sometimes oily, i would only recommend to use a conditioner on the ends of your hair (when using a normal shampoo bar) The ZWP shampoo bars are 2in1 so you would probably only need to use a conditioner every few washes on the ends. They are great for colour retention too!

  20. Hi, I have very long (past my waist), thick and dark hair. If I dont use lots of conditioner the ends get dry. What shampoo and conditioner would you recommend? Im currently using a solid shampoo and chemical free conditioner but they contain palm oil ingredients and I would prefer not to. Many thanks.

    1. Hi Lorraine, I would recommend using one of the 2in1 Zero Waste Path bars along with an additional conditioner. I personally think the liquid conditioners are easier to use on long thick hair as the bars can sometimes take a while to get a lot of product off of them so if you are needing a lot of conditioner, they aren’t the best. The 2in1 bar already has conditioner built in to it but using an additional one one on the ends will really help. You could try using it every other wash and see how you get on, you may find you only need it once a week or you may find you need it every time! Just use it on the ends, not on the crown!

  21. Hi. What would you recommend for dry, curly/wavy hair with dry, itchy scalp and dandruff (dry, flour like). Thanks

    1. Hi Lucy, we have had great feedback for the Zero Waste Path 2in1 bar for Itchy Scalp being great for clearing dandruff so this could definitely be a good option for you. You may want to introduce a conditioner once every 3 washes, or however often you feel you need it, just to be used on the ends of your hair to help with the dryness and help define your curls.

  22. I wanted to choose the best shampoo bar for me, as the title said. Instead, this is a list of substances to avoid. Obviousky I know all about that already or I wouldn’t be looking at this website. Being completely new to shampoo bars, I need some help deciding which one is right for me (so I don’t have to read the description and ingredients of every single one). How about providing a guide to bars for each hair type? Or how they work?

    1. Hi Cathy, I will have a look in to this and hopefully get something written up. Unfortunately, it is difficult to recommend exact bars for exact hair types as everyone is different. People have different preferences and the hardness of water differs across the country which affects the use of shampoo bars. If you would like to get in touch and let me know some details of your hair type i will be sure to try recommend one for you.

  23. Hi, I have bleached blonde hair and it’s curly, which shampoo bar would you recommend?

    1. Hi Saskia, all of our shampoos are made with natural ingredients so they won’t strip the hair of any colour. If you dye your hair regularly, i would recommend to use a shampoo that doesn’t have a transition period so that your transition isn’t affected after you have had your hair died. We have the Moo Hair range, the Zero Waste Path, Bain & Savon shampoo tins, Awake Organics Shampoo Powder and the Eco Living shampoo bars. It sounds as though the Zero Waste Path 2in1 bar for Curly Hair could be great for you. Or one of the Eco Living shampoo bars. Neither need a conditioner but you may feel you need to use one every now and again on the ends of your hair to help define your curls!

  24. Please can you advise me as to which shampoo and conditioners are good for dry hair which splits, and then also a separate range for dandruff sufferers that also have oily hair. Me and my daughter have very different hair needs
    Thank you

    Chloe Maddin
    1. Hi Chloe, all of the natural shampoos will be great for dry hair as they are very nourishing. I would recommend the Zero Waste Path 2in1 shampoo bar for both of you. I would recommend to use the one for Dry Hair on the hair with split ends. I would also recommend to use a natural conditioner every other wash just on the ends of the help to help keep those ends extra nourished. For the dandruff sufferer i would recommend the one for itchy scalp. Even if you don’t suffer from an itchy scalp it is really great for tackling dandruff. You should find that after switching to a natural shampoo, it will help balance out your hairs natural oils and help with the oily hair. Alternatively, the Awake Organics shampoo would be great for both of you as it has really nourishing ingredients. You could then both use a different conditioner – one for dry hair and one for oily hair. I have found the liquid conditioners to be the best!

  25. Hi there
    My hair is fine with a strong wave. Our water is soft. Recommendations please?
    Jill x

    Jill KIRKHAM
    1. Hi Jill, if the water is soft in your area (lucky you!) you will be fine to use any shampoo bar! You will find that natural shampoos will really help with defining the waves in your hair. The Wild Sage – Rosemary & Lavender shampoo bar is lovely, as is the Bain & Savon Nettle & Marshmallow. The latter is great for hydrating lackluster and dry hair and especially good for curly hair.

  26. Hi, I’ve been using shampoo bars for a couple of months (washing twice a week) and my hair still feels really sticky/lank/waxy at the roots. I have long, ,thick dark hair and since moving to shampoo bars have had an itchy scalp and some dandruff. I think there’s probably a better bar out there for me, I really don’t want to go back using supermarket bottles but once lockdown is over and I have to go back to the office, I won’t feel as relaxed about having hair that looks unclean (even if it’s only just been washed).
    Thanks for all the info on your site, there’s lots I didn’t know! Any recommendations gratefully received!

    1. Hi Emily, do you know if you live in a hard water area? As if so, it may make it impossible to get through your transition period. I would recommend trying one of the natural shampoos that can be used in a hard water area. These shampoos don’t cause a transition period. They are all still 100% natural and plastic free! There is the Zero Waste Path 2in1 range, they do one for Itchy Scalp which could be good for you. There is also the Eco Living shampoo bars which have had great reviews. Both of these don’t need a conditioner, you might want to use one every few washes on the ends of your hair if they are a little dry but you won’t need one every wash. We also have the Awake Organics shampoo powder and the Bain & Savon shampoo tins. If you do give another one a go we would love to know how you get on!

  27. Hi. My slightly longer than shoulder length hair is naturally thin, dry, curly & gets knotty/dready unless I comb or tie it. However, when I do wash it, I always do after oil treatment. I am following a very effective oiling regime and seeing a lot of improvement. I need a shampoo that will remove the oil but not dry my head. Which type do you recommend? Oily or dry or normal? I live in a hard water area.

    1. Hi Shyama, if you live in a hard water area i would recommend one of the shampoos that don’t cause a transition, they are still 100% natural. These are the Zero Waste Path 2in1 bars, Eco Living shampoo bars, Awake Organics shampoo powder and the Bain & Savon tins. It sounds like the ZWP 2in1 for dry and curly hair could be great for you! It should rid your hair of the oil too. If your hair is prone to knotting, you may want to introduce a conditioner every other wash just on the ends of your hair.

  28. Hi I’m allergic to so many things my head gets itchy and feels sore and little red pimples appear occasionally which bar would you recommend please I tend not to use a conditioner after every wash

    1. Hi Yvonne, it might be best to go for the Coconut Milk shampoo bar or the Chamomile shampoo bar. You will get a transition period with these bars as they are soap based, i am not sure if you live in a hard water area or not, but this can sometimes make it very tricky to get through a transition period. If you don’t think one of these would be right for you, you could try the Zero Waste Path 2in1 for Itchy Hair. You won’t need an additional conditioner and we have had great reviews from customers who suffer from an itchy scalp, dandruff, sensitivity etc. You won’t get a transition period with this but it does contain essential oils so i would just check to see if your skin will be okay with essential oils!

  29. I live in a very hard water area and have thick wavy hair. I have tried many different shampoo bars before and none have worked for me. They have left my hair feeling almost waxy and really unmanageable. Do you sell any that might be appropriate or shall I give up and visit my local zero waste refill shop to refill my bottles?

    Jose Gilbert
    1. Hi Jose, i would definitly give the Zero Waste Path 2in1 bar a go before you completely give up! They have been a game changer for myself and many of our customers. They work well in hard water areas and lather up well so are good for thick hair.

  30. Hi, I’m looking for something for my five year old daughter to help with scalp eczema affecting hair growth. I think the normal
    Shampoo may be exacerbating the problem. Is there anything safe for kids that might help?

    1. Hi Liz, anything we recommend to you we would advise to check with your GP first as we aren’t medically trained! Do you know if she has had any reactions to essential oils in the past? As we have had great reviews for the Itchy Scalp 2in1 bar but it does contain essential oils. Customers have reported back that it has helped to clear their scalps up no end! Alternatively, we have the Coconut Milk or Chamomile shampoo bar. They are a little different as they don’t lather up but they contain no essential oils and are really kind to the scalp! Using 100% natural ingredients should be better for her. We have had a customer get in touch previously to say that the Rosemary shampoo bar had cleared up all of the psoriasis on her scalp and head so natural is definitely safe!

  31. What shampoo bar would you recommend for adding volume to hair. Previous attempts at using solid shampoo have left my hair lank and greasy

    1. Hi Sarah, if you use one of the shampoos that don’t have a transition period, you won’t experience the lanky/greasy feeling. These shampoos are the Awake Organics shampoo powder, Zero Waste Path 2in1 shampoo bars, Eco Living shampoo bars, Bain & Savon shampoo tins. I hope this helps!

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