You don’t have to choose between nourished, healthy hair and non-toxic products. You can have it all: natural hair care goods and vibrant hair. Gone are the days with limited natural options (thankfully!).

These days, there is an array of brands doing things differently… and better. That includes plastic-free shampoo bars made from safe, natural ingredients. 

I love seeing low-waste hair care options grow, but this is creating some confusion around safety and toxicity. The fact that a shampoo is plastic-free or comes in a bar doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe or non-toxic. Unfortunately, there are lots of bar shampoos on the market that are made with harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances, and other potentially harmful ingredients. But don’t fret: I’ve got your back. 

I’ve tested and tried six different natural shampoo bars and in this article, I’m discussing the pros and cons of each. I’ll share my honest review of each so you can make informed decisions as you transition to non-toxic shampoo bars. 

But first, let’s start by answering a common misconception…  

best non toxic natural shampoo bars reviewed on

Are Shampoo Bars Less Toxic?

Do shampoo bars have less chemicals?

If you’ve been walking the non-tox path for a while, you’re probably aware of the toxic ingredients and irritants in conventional shampoo—I’m talking fragrances, parabens, phthalates, and more.

And if you’re just dipping your toes, shampoo is a great starting point. 

Although companies making shampoo bars tend to tap more into natural ingredients, the answer is no: the fact that a shampoo comes in a bar doesn’t necessarily make it less toxic. Even if it’s plastic-free, it can still be loaded with harmful chemicals. 

As with most products, reading the label and ingredient list is essential. That’s the only way to know if a product is truly safe. A natural, non-toxic shampoo bar is always free of:

🚫 Undisclosed fragrance ingredients

🚫 Parabens such as methylparaben and ethylparaben

🚫 Phthalates

🚫 Quats like polyquaternium-7 

🚫 Titanium dioxide

best organic shampoo bars on

Looking for Shampoo Without Harmful Ingredients? Here Are 4 Best Natural Shampoo Bars to Try Out (+2 So-So Brands)

Here are some of the best non-toxic shampoo brands and my experience (so far!) with each of them. All of the brands below came in plastic-free packaging, except for the free soap sample Apple Valley Natural Soap sent, which came in a small plastic bag (but you can ask them not to send a sample if you want your order to be plastic-free).

1. ATTITUDE (Best Overall)

best non toxic shampoo bars from ATTITUDE on

Price: $14.95 single purchase, $13.46 with subscription
Certified vegan + cruelty-free: Yes, certified by PETA

ATTITUDE is already a household staple when it comes to non-toxic brands and products—and the shampoo bar is no exception. 

I tried the Leaves Bar Hydrating Shampoo with pink clay and castor oil and loved it. They also have:

Ingredients-wise, this is a top pick. ATTITUDE’s shampoo and conditioner bars are EWG Verified, with safe yet effective ingredients and lots of transparency on what’s in them.

Note that these bars are naturally scented. I personally prefer subtle smells, and this was absolutely perfect. You can perceive it, but it’s not overpowering. 

From the moment I opened the box, I loved the silky texture and gentle smell. During washing, it lathered very quickly, and just a bit of rubbing covered my whole hair—and I have lots of it! The feel of the shampoo is very luxurious. It made my hair feel glossy and smooth in the best way possible. Plus, I didn’t feel like I needed conditioner after washing it. 

Their product description claims to leave your hair “irresistibly soft and shiny”—and I wholeheartedly agree! Once dried, my hair looked nourished and glossy, but not greasy or oily. It also lasted for three whole days looking great. 

What I love: 

  • Superb texture
  • Amazing smell but not overpowering
  • Leaves hair feeling light
  • Lasts clean for days

Could be better: 

  • They currently don’t have an unscented option for bar shampoo (but their fragrances are natural and safe).

2. Chagrin Valley (Best for Fine Hair)

best organic shampoo bars from Chagrin Valley on The Filtery

Price: $10.50
Certified vegan + cruelty-free: Yes, Leaping Bunny Certified

Chagrin Valley is a small, family-run business with a range of natural personal care products—including an entire line of natural bar shampoos. They use nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, castor bean oil to support hair growth, and organic essential oils.

All bars are certified organic and we loved the natural ingredients in all of them, so I’m giving them a try! 

I chose the Ayurvedic Herb Bar and by far, my favorite thing about it is the smell. It has an earthy, herby smell that is very relaxing. The shampoo itself lathers very well and it has a soothing feeling to it. A true spa-at-home experience. 

As much as I loved the smell and feel of the shampoo, after rinsing, I noticed my hair felt a bit dry and rough. This could be due to the PH of the bar. However, after drying my hair felt great. Clean, nourished, and bouncy. I recommend pairing it with conditioner.

Chagrin Valley also makes it easy to shop according to your specific needs and preferences. You can filter according to hair type (oily hair, dry hair, thinning hair, etc.) and ingredient preferences (including gluten-free, coconut-free, and vegan, and fragrance-free).

What I love: 

  • Small, family-run business
  • Amazing earthy smell
  • Good lather
  • Hair feels clean and nourished

Could be better: 

  • Needs conditioner (especially if you tend to have dry hair)
  • Hair can feel a bit dry while washing (but feels healthy and shiny once dried).

3. Apple Valley Natural Soap (Best for Thicker Hair)

best natural shampoo bars from Apple Valley Natural Soap on

Price: $10
Certified vegan + cruelty-free: They mention that their bars are cruelty-free (no certification).

Apple Valley Natural Soap is a small, family-run business with a collection of body and hair care products. Their natural shampoo bar uses ingredients like organic castor oil, organic coconut oil, and organic jojoba oil—so I was very excited to try them out!

I chose the Lavander Buttermilk shampoo & body bar. If you’re into multitasking products and minimalism, you’ll love that this bar works as both hair and body soap. The bar has an amazing smell and it’s huge. I loved the feel of the bar too and the minimal packaging. Plus, it came with a small free sample of another body soap that I also loved! 

When washing, the shampoo took some effort to lather, but with patience and some rubbing, it ended up lathering really well. The bar is big, which is great but it also made it a bit difficult to grab—especially if you have small hands like me. 

I noticed my hair looking a bit more straight than usual, like it had more body and weight to it. It also felt less frizzy. This is a bar you definitely want to use alongside conditioner. 

Also, something important to note is that they have a few bars that use phthalate-free fragrance oil. Most of their bars and scented naturally but a few still use fragrance oil. You can see which ones here. 

What I love: 

  • Rich smell
  • Free sample (!)
  • Multitasker bar
  • Hair felt nourished and strong 

Could be better: 

  • Bar is a bit difficult to hold
  • Some formulations use fragrance oil 

4. liv/nature (Best for Hair Growth)

best all natural shampoo bars from liv:nature on

Price: $14.50
Certified vegan + cruelty-free: Yes, Leaping Bunny Certified

liv/nature is a small business that focuses solely on creating natural bar shampoos and conditioners. They have a collection of scented and unscented shampoo bars with safe ingredients that I was excited to try! 

I decided to try the Lemongrass, Lavender & Tea Tree oil bar. Although it claimed to be lightly scented, when I opened the box the smell was a bit strong for me, but I’m also very sensitive to smells. I did notice that the smell wasn’t as strong once I was actually using it, and my hair didn’t smell too strong afterward either. 

The shampoo felt very gentle. It lathered quickly and the round design made it very easy to maneuver. The bar feels a bit small, but a little bit goes a long way! I liked the after-rinse texture and my hair felt very soft and clean after. 

What I love: 

  • Round, easy-to-hold design
  • Lathers quickly and cleans hair really well
  • Loved my hair’s texture after washing. 

Could be better: 

  • Bar feels a bit small

5. Viori

Price: $18 single purchase $12 with subscription
Certified vegan + cruelty-free: No. They don’t share any information about their products being vegan or cruelty-free.

If you’re in pursuit of the perfect shampoo bar, you’ve probably heard of Viori. They’re a highly popular haircare brand and their shampoos have thousands of reviews! It’s important to say that we’ve been hesitant about Viori…

They have a few questionable ingredients in their shampoo bar, like behentrimonium methosulfate, which makes us weary. Plus, they haven’t been fully transparent about what’s in their fragrance either, although that has gotten a bit better recently. Overall, the ingredients are okay. And since it’s a mainstream brand, we wanted to give it a try. 

I was a long-term user of Viori’s shampoo and conditioner. It was my go-to for months maybe years. At first, I loved it! My hair felt clean and healthy, the scent was nice and subtle, and it lathered very well. 

However, after prolonged use, I noticed my scalp getting really itchy, dry, and with lots of build-up. I would take breaks and then as soon as I started using it, I felt the itchy dryness again. As soon as I switched bars, my scalp and hair felt so much better. This can be an effect of the behentrimonium methosulfate, so if you have sensitive skin, this is something to keep in mind. 

I love: 

  • They have a fragrance-free option (but still has a couple of so-so ingredients)
  • They give back to native communities

Could be better: 

  • More transparency on what’s in their fragrances
  • They use a couple of questionable ingredients which may cause build-up and dryness in the scalp

6. Kitsch (Best for Damaged Hair)

Are Kitsch shampoo bars non toxic? Review on

Price: $14
Certified vegan + cruelty-free: Yes, Leaping Bunny Certified

Kitsch is a highly popular brand for all things self-care and sustainability, and they have an entire collection of haircare products, including bar shampoo. 

When it comes to ingredients, there are a few things to be aware of. Although their bars are free from commonly known toxic chemicals (parabens, etc), they’re not entirely transparent about all of their fragrance ingredients, and they also use artificial dyes

I decided to give it a try since it’s a popular brand, but we want to be clear, so you can make informed decisions. 

The shampoo itself works great. It has fantastic lathering that’s supported by the amazing design, which makes the bar easy to hold and maneuver and the stripes help in lathering quicker. Plus, a little bit goes a long way; my hair was soapy and fully covered in seconds! 

I liked the scent and texture but after rinsing off, my hair felt a bit dry and rough. This is somewhat common for natural shampoos and it wasn’t bad enough that I wouldn’t use this bar. However, I would recommend using conditioner. 

What I love: 

  • Great design and smell
  • Easy lathering
  • They carry an unscented option
  • Hair feels clean and nourished after washing it 

Could be better: 

  • They use artificial dyes and don’t fully disclose what’s in their fragrances.

Even More Non-Toxic & Natural Shampoo Bars to Try

Looking for even more options ? Here are some more organic and natural shampoo bar brands that I have not personally tried yet but that you may want to check out!

  • Badger
  • Earthley (including options specifically for dry hair, curly hair, and oily hair)
  • EcoRoots
  • Good Juju (my one caveat here is that they use an ingredient called Varisoft®, which is a trademarked ingredient and they don’t tell you what exactly is in it)
  • Moon Valley
  • The Yellow Bird

Making The Switch: Adjusting to Natural Shampoo

When moving away from products with harsh chemicals to more natural options, there’s usually a transition period. This is true for products such as deodorant and shampoo. Your body and skin need time to adjust to the new ingredients and “detox” from the old ones. 

If you’re just making the switch, and you’re feeling like your hair getting clean or the texture feels off, give it time! Certain ingredients in conventional shampoo strip your hair from its natural oils and some chemicals cause build-up in your scalp. When you introduce a natural shampoo, you might notice that your hair feels greasy, heavy, or waxy. This is totally normal. 

I know how uncomfortable the adjustment period can be. No one wants to walk around with greasy-looking hair. But it won’t last forever and it’s worth the wait. To support your hair in the transition, in the first weeks of using natural shampoo make sure to rinse very well and even shampoo twice if necessary, but try not to wash your hair every day. You may want to use a non-toxic dry shampoo to help you get through the transition as well!

Is Ethique Non-Toxic?

Although I didn’t give Ethique a try this time, I wanted to include a bit about them, since they’re also a popular brand for bar shampoo. I actually tried their shampoo about 5 years ago, but I think their formulation has changed since then, so I won’t base this review on that. 

Instead, I want to focus solely on the ingredients they disclose to answer the question if they’re non-toxic. First, their shampoo bar uses behentrimonium methosulfate which you’ll also find in Viori’s shampoo and it may cause build-up and dryness on your scalp over time. 

Their shampoo bars also use undisclosed fragrance ingredients. Although their site claims that the parfum they use is natural, they don’t disclose any ingredients or give any information as to what’s actually in it. You’ll also find linalool, which is not a problem for a lot of people, but is a fragrance allergen that some are sensitive to.

So for those reasons, we would not consider Ethique a non-toxic bar overall.

Looking for Non-Toxic Liquid Shampoo?

If you still want to stick with a more conventional liquid shampoo (or maybe even use both!), then check out this guide for some of the best brands.

About Ana

Ana is a sustainability-focused copywriter and the founder of Copy That Co. She helps eco-conscious businesses grow through action-driven copy, inspiring storytelling, and an honest and positive approach to marketing.

Related Posts

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I’ve tried solid shampoos and have found they tend to leave a film. This is bound to happen if there are any saponified oils in them. Castile soap is a classic example. In these ratings I would’ve LOVED to know if there were any that didn’t leave a film. A test would be to smear some shampoo on a piece of glass or, better yet a hand mirror, and rinse. Very scientific, haha!