Raise the bar: Efficient, water-preserving soap bars are here to stay

Easy to store, travel-friendly and cost-effective shampoo and conditioner bars will give your hair care routine a conscious make-over

Aatreyee Mohanta Published 21.02.22, 09:03 PM
The Switch Fix’s shampoo bars are plant-based (L); Earth Rhythm’s shampoo bars have trusted ingredients such as shikakai, amla and reetha

The Switch Fix’s shampoo bars are plant-based (L); Earth Rhythm’s shampoo bars have trusted ingredients such as shikakai, amla and reetha

Now that soaps are getting a greener and cleaner reboot, A-listers (read Jennifer Aniston, Hilary Duff, Drew Barrymore etc) and beauty gurus are going back to good ol’ soap bars.

Soaps are inherently water-preserving and reusable, which makes them a sustainable option. Moreover, if you want to switch to a non-toxic, plastic-free hair care routine this year, you should probably consider ditching your liquid shampoo for shampoo and conditioner bars. Each bar can offer anywhere between 30 to 45 washes. They don’t dry out your scalp and ensure your hair retains its natural oils. Not to mention, it’s also great for zero-waste travel.


Shampoo and conditioner bars are compact, cost-effective and efficiently designed to target your hair woes. And this return to the rudimentary use of ingredients seems to be the newest trend in the minimalist beauty spectrum.

“As our country faces soaring heat and rising pollution, we need more effective as well as sustainable ways to cope,” says Rhea Shukla, co-founder of the conscious label The Switch Fix, which offers a line of paraben-free, plastic-free shampoo and conditioner bars.

Here are the labels you should consider if you’re shopping for shampoo bars:

Shop by hair type:


Brunda Sreedhara Murthy’s vegan, zero-waste and plastic-free label Scentora offers a line of shampoo bars, designed to target common hair problems. You’ll find bars for itchy scalps, for dry or curly hair and normal hair. All their products are sustainably-made and they have a steady focus on traceability and a transparent production process. The team only works with ingredients that meet environmental and sustainability standards.

Their shampoo bars have a pH level of 5 which offers a perfectly balanced cleansing and moisturising routine. These shampoo bars are also known to be great for washing treated and coloured hair.

Earth Rhythm

Harini Sivakumar’s brand just released a line of pH-balanced, high-performance shampoo bars that use ingredients such as Salicylic acid, Niacinamide, Biotin, in conjunction with natural ingredients like shikakai, curry leaves, amla and tomato fruit ferment.

These plant-based shampoo bars are completely unscented and enriched with natural oils that help protect and maintain your hair. One of their top-sellers is the murumuru butter shampoo bar, which coats coarse curls, making them more supple and manageable and also offers intense hydration.

Goli Soda

Goli Soda uses all-natural ingredients which are locally sourced. All their packaging is plastic-free and completely biodegradable and their shampoo bars are also made from simple yet effective ingredients.

These shampoo bars have probiotics that help maintain your scalp health. Moreover, once the soapy water gets into the sewage, these probiotics also help maintain the water quality. Therefore, not only are these soaps great for your hair, but are also amazing for the planet, who doesn’t want that?

Shop by scalp and hair concerns:

Soap Square

Started in 2014 by Mahima Dissoria and her mom, Soap Square offers handmade soaps made with garden-fresh ingredients. Along with being paraben-free, their products are also sustainable and come in biodegradable packaging.

They have four shampoo bars and they’re all unique. Each bar is apparently equal to a litre of shampoo, which makes it a sustainable and pocket-friendly solution.

Juicy Chemistry

Pritesh and Megha Asher’s brand has been around since 2014 and is known for its sustainable and ethical line-up, which features everything from cold-pressed soaps and serums, to shampoo bars.

You’ll spot effective blends like fenugreek-brahmi-plantain and hibiscus-orange-bhringraj. While the former cleanses the scalp and balances its sebum production, the latter fights sign of premature ageing.


This brand was founded by sister duo Kangna and Sanjana Gupta and focuses on ingredients that are sustainably sourced. Their Mane Magic shampoo bar is made from coconut, olive and mahua oils, along with amla, reetha, shikakai, neem leaves, tulsi leaves and henna.

All these ingredients are organic and help fight dandruff and scalp dryness. They also ensure your tresses are soft, shiny and nourished.

The Switch Fix

Rhea Shukla’s The Switch Fix is focused on providing the best the earth has to offer. Their plant-based shampoo bar formulas are one-of-a-kind and effectively designed.

Their shampoo bars have delightful bright, plastic-free packaging. Available in 9 varieties for different hair needs, these bars are as luxurious as they come.

Bare Necessities

Sahar Mansoor’s label Bare Necessities is dedicated to offering zero-waste lifestyle solutions. Their Crans N’ Roses shampoo bars have hydrolyzed oat protein which is known to reduce hair breakage and protect your hair from damage, by forming a coating over hair strands that can make your hair feel and look thicker or volumised.

Their vegan, nutrient-rich conditioner bar features Seabuckthorn Oil, which is a Himalayan superfood, rich in Vitamins A, B, C, E, & K and promotes hair strength and elasticity.

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