Which is Better, Shampoo Bar or Liquid Shampoo?

Last Updated on January 28, 2023 by Gaga

charming blonde woman with clean straight hair

In today’s climate-minded culture, shampoo bars and shampoo bottles are fighting for space on store shelves. Though these bars were once a thing of the past, this growing trend of environmentalism coupled with a keen eye for chemical-free products is continuing to grow.

The traditional shampoo bottle still has its diehard fans, with some refusing to accept this new eco approach. Some customers find a way to stay environmentally conscious by using biodegradable liquid shampoos. Some others go one step further by purchasing liquid shampoos packed in aluminum bottles that can be reused or recycled indefinitely (Plaine Products).

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of both packaging types.

shampoo bottle and shampoo bars

Shampoo Bars Pros and Cons


1. Shampoo Bars Are Environmentally Friendly

Consumers are taking note of the damage single-use plastic has on our oceans and planet. More and more people are doing their part to bypass the purchase of this plastic altogether, instead opting for a biodegradable bar that won’t damage sea life. Sold in compostable packaging, the bar is the ultimate alternative to shampoo bottles for people who are looking to cut down on single-use plastic consumption.

The carbon footprint is also significantly offset in the shipping process, considering shampoo bars are more concentrated than their plastic counterparts that can contain up to 95% water.

2. More Natural than Bottled Shampoos

Consumers are opting for all-natural options as the long-term damage of harsh chemicals found in bottled shampoos is becoming more widespread. Most shampoo bars are made using all-natural or organic ingredients and don’t use as many synthetic ingredients as commercial bottled shampoos. While these natural formulas protect hair from damage, they also benefit those with sensitive skin.

Buyers can rest easier knowing their shampoo bar is sulfate-free and created without artificial fragrances that tend to cause skin irritation and dryness.

shampoo bar on a wooden holder

3. Cost-Effective

A little goes a long way when it comes to shampoo bars. While it depends on hair length, volume, and frequency of use, a standard bar typically lasts between 80-100 washes. Compare this to the 25-35 washes in a standard bottle and the cost benefits become immediately clear.

Just be sure to store the bar in a dry container away from water, allowing it to fully dry between uses.

4. Travel Friendly

Solid shampoo bars are compact and easy to put in a travel bag. There’s no need to waste time filling a smaller container the night before a trip. Liquid content isn’t an issue, so you won’t have to comply with awkward airport restrictions and regulations, and mid-flight spillages won’t be a possibility.

Convenience is also a factor in terms of bathroom space. With a shampoo bar, you won’t have your bathroom cabinet cluttered due to shampoo bottles stored in it.


1. Waxy Residue & Buildup

Shampoo bars have a waxy consistency, meaning a layer of wax can cling to strands, building up in your hair and inevitably weighing it down. While this results in a greasy and unsightly look, it’s easily remedied. Haircare pros recommend a bi-weekly apple cider vinegar rinse to deal with wax buildup.

2. More Tangles and Knots

Many shampoo guidelines instruct users to rub the bar directly on their heads to properly lather up. Those with long, porous, or curly hair may find it difficult to comb their hair after washing it with a shampoo bar. Applying a bar directly to wet hair their hair may result in more knots, hassle, and hair breakage.

To reduce the possibility of tangles, try to rub the wet bar between your hands to create a lather that you can then apply gently to your hair to reduce any damage. Once that’s done, wash as you would with liquid shampoo.

3. Adjustment Issues

Sometimes the transition from chemical-filled liquid shampoos to an all-natural shampoo bar is not smooth. Trying out a new product, especially for those with problematic hair, can be intimidating. It may take a few weeks to get used to this new type of shampoo. Your hair and scalp also need time to adjust. But there are good chances that your patience will pay off.

Why are Bottled Shampoos Still a Favorite?

girl holding two shampoo bottles
  1. Essentially, nobody likes change. Consumers develop a sense of brand loyalty and will always return to a product that meets their demands.
  2. Bottled shampoos come in eye-appealing packaging which may attract some customers. Their content is often colored for the same purpose.
  3. You can put the bottle anywhere without worrying that it will dissolve due to moisture in your bathroom.
  4. And while the convenience of traditional shampoo bottles can’t be denied, the process of using a shampoo bar requires just a little more effort. But the benefits of shampoo bars clearly outweigh the negatives.
charming blonde woman in wite shirt with clean hair

About the author

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Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.


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