The Best Zero Waste Conditioners for 2021 [Tested & Reviewed]

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Our Picks

Lather up some love with a bar that keeps its promises to your hair and the planet.
Best Liquid Conditioner: by Humankind Conditioner
Struggling to transition to bars? Enjoy a liquid conditioner with stellar eco-credentials.
Best for Curly Hair: Glory from Lush
Breathe life back into your curls with the magical touch of Okra.
Best for Dry & Damaged Hair: Viva La Body Conditioner Bar
With salon-quality ingredients, this baby doesn't just condition, it downright pampers!
A brilliant all-rounder with a divine citrus scent.
Give frizz the boot with the nutrient-pack Dindi bars.
Best for Thinning/Aging Hair: Superzero Conditioner Bar for Thinning Hair
A Fountain of Youth thanks to its restoring powers.

Since I've tackled the growing world of zero-waste shampoo options, it's only natural that I follow up with zero-waste conditioners. Conditioners are not so much second place in the hair washing regime, but rather the grand finale!

While shampoo rolls up its sleeves to tackle dirt and build-up, conditioner steps in to nourish and finesse. A zero-waste conditioner will not only center itself around eco-friendly practices and ingredients but should also include a variety of botanicals, oils, and nutrients that keep hair hydrated, soft, and shining.

I've compiled a list of zero-waste conditioner options that not only enrich your hair but also keep you in the planet's good books.

ETHIQUE Solid Conditioner Bar

Best Overall

Plant-powered and offering a range of uses, Ethique's Solid Conditioner Bar isn't here to play games. Thanks to its natural ingredients, these bars are vegan, PH balanced, and tick every box in the zero-waste criteria thanks to its compostable packaging.

I love that each bar not only effectively moisturizes and tames my hair but promises to do so for 5 months- a bonus only made cooler by the fact that these bars can also be lathered up into a shaving and in-shower cream perfect for sensitive skin types. As promised, the inclusion of organic and fair trade Coconut oil and Cocoa Butter brought luxurious hydration without any added weight or oil. It smells amazing too!

Beyond their zero-waste shampoo and conditioner bars, Ethique is making waves as a zero-waste beauty brand by ditching plastic and educating its users on sustainable beauty products and practices.

While this product has won over many hearts and hair, some users found it hard to work up a lather due to the bar's size and hardness. I actually found the bar's solidness to be refreshing in that it held its shape for longer and its size made it travel-friendly.

Any brand that can help me achieve zero-waste living AND a life with a high volume of good hair days is here to stay.

by Humankind Conditioner

Best Liquid Conditioner

Years ago people could make the argument that eco products were important, but not cool.

With brands like by Humankind popping up, that argument is now out to sea. Click the website link and I dare you not to be wowed - yes, you can have fun and be cool while also working towards a zero-waste lifestyle.

The by Humankind Conditioner comes in two divine scents: eucalyptus and grapefruit. Let’s face it, changing to bars can be quite challenging, but with this zero waste conditioner you don’t have it - it’s the perfect bridge from traditional conditioner products.  

I love that the bottles are aluminum and can be reused. I also love that they offer recycled packaging, free delivery, are 100% carbon neutral, and use all-natural ingredients that "lock in moisture to help hydrate your scalp and reduce hair breakage."

I had a great experience with my grapefruit conditioner but note that it is suitable for all hair types, which brings to mind "jack of all trades, master of none." I hope that in future they may provide more formulations targeting specific hair types.

I highly recommend giving them a try and considering their refill subscription model to reduce plastic waste.

Glory from Lush

Best for Curly Hair

Glory, glory hallelujah indeed! Lush really came through for the curly gang with their Glory Conditioner bar. The A-list ingredients (often organic and fair-trade) offer scalp-to-tip benefits that boast an impressive resume including, but not limited to: anti-inflammatory properties, hydration, and protection.

I was surprised to not only see Okra in the list of ingredients but, after some research, find it's doing a lot of the heavy lifting. Turns out the green gem is not just a divisive vegetable but a powerhouse in hydrating, defining, volumizing, and softening curls. Go figure!

When looking for a suitable zero-waste conditioner bar, people with natural afros or curly/coily hair need intensive care to ensure each curl is defined and wishing a bon voyage to frizz and flyaways. I loved that my curls kept their shape over an extended period of time and did not feel bogged down by added weight/oils.

Let it be known, however, that shampoos and conditioners in bar form can quickly deteriorate in the shower so it's best to extend their life by storing them in a container where they can dry and keep their shape.

Viva La Body Conditioner Bar

Best for Dry & Damaged Hair

Sure, I don't necessarily need a conditioner with all the bells and whistles, but that's not to say I won't jump at the opportunity for a downright pampering. Cue: Viva La Body Conitioner Bar, the Florence Nightingale of hair care.

It's not often a zero-waste hair product can boast salon results and live up to its promises but my oh my, does Viva La Body sign, seal, and deliver. The nutrient-packed formula is perfect for dry and damaged hair, breathing vim and vigor back into once-tired locks. My hair was left feeling more pampered and hydrated than a millennial vlogger's houseplants. After a few uses, my hair's elasticity, hydration, and shine were noticeably better and my curls held moisture and their natural shape for longer.

I found the bar a breeze but some users have noted that the ingredients can separate after multiple uses. I highly recommend you keep your bars stored properly so that they can maintain their shape and live up to the longevity they promise. I also loved the smell of Viva La Body Conditioner Bars but wish each type of conditioner had multiple scent options too- just to switch things up without losing out on the benefits I love.

I highly recommend this conditioner bar for anyone looking for intensive hair care that restores and resuscitates dry and damaged hair. It's not compulsory but I highly recommend pairing this conditioner with one of the brand's zero-waste shampoo bars- they really know what they're doing!

Oh, and bonus points for being one of the only zero-waste conditioner bars to be truly palm oil-free; me and my orangutan-loving heart couldn't be happier.

EcoRoots Zero Waste Conditioner Bar

Best Scent

This was a late addition to the list - but I simply had to include it. EcoRoots are becoming a firm favorite of mine when it comes to eco and zero waste products. Straight out the box, I was impressed with the (lack of) unnecessary packaging, especially plastic.

The next thing that hit me was the scent - I got citrus but they have shampoo and conditioner bars in a range of scents. But let me tell you, the citrus conditioner bar is pure heaven. It's so delicious I was tempted to put it in the kitchen.

Thankfully, the good experience continued into the shower. The bar, unlike some alternatives, lathers quite very well and it actually handled my curls like a pro. No clumping and the moisturizing effect was tangible - perhaps due to the coconut oil and pro-vitamin complex. Everyone's hair is different though, so give it a try and see how it works on you.

I will say the bar is quite solid, which may not be to everyone's liking. I feel when it comes to conditioner bars there is a trade-off between creaminess and longevity. This conditioner bar is said to last over 50 washes, but I've only been using it for a week so can't speak to that yet.

With "eco" in its name, you expect strong eco-credentials and it delivers - this is a vegan conditioner bar that is free of palm-oil, silicone, phthalate and paraben - hurrah!

If you're looking for a plastic-free conditioner bar, I highly recommend EcoRoots - particularly the citrus scent.

Dindi Naturals Solid Conditioner Refill

Most Nourishing

Since a conditioner is responsible for the health and shine of our health, I look for zero-waste conditioners with lots of nutrients and benefits. Dindi's Solid Conditioner originally caught my eye because of its unique ingredients. I've been using blueberries and rice protein in my smoothies but it turns out they're excellent for your hair too!

The hydrating bar left my hair feeling soft and looking shiny without any added build-up or weight. The use of nourishing plant oils saw to my frizz immediately and I found my hair way more manageable than usual. While this product is essentially a refill for the original conditioner that comes in a tin, the refill works perfectly fine as a conditioner bar so long as you store it correctly between uses.

While my curls and I loved this product, the added oils mean it's not quite suitable for people with greasy hair who are prone to buildup. I recommend this bar to anyone who's looking for frizz-free, blissful haircare that leaves your hair as nourished as it is deliciously soft and manageable.

Superzero Conditioner Bar for Thinning Hair

Best for Thinning/Aging Hair

We all want lush, voluminous hair but sometimes, be it aging, genetics, or general wear and tear, our hair starts to thin and become frail. Well, not on Superzero's watch!

The brand's Conditioner Bar is an excellent salve for thinning and malnourished hair. The bar's healing blend of natural ingredients works to nourish, revitalize, and hydrate the hair, promoting improved hair health and growth.

The star of the show, however, is the bar's science-backed cocktail of caffeine, provitamin B5, and rosemary leaf oil (a current craze in the beauty world for its hair growth benefits). The bar is also safe for dyed hair, making it a crowdpleaser and excellent gift idea if you're thinking of introducing someone to the wonderful world of zero-waste hair care.

While I absolutely loved the minty scent of the bar, I do wish the brand had more options. I also noticed a few users were upset about not seeing immediate results but I encourage people who are concerned about thinning and aging hair the product time to work.

I love that this zero-waste conditioner not only helps keep my hair youthful and voluminous but does so with the environment in mind. Superzero is not just ditching plastic bottles but also actively donates and supports initiatives for ocean conservation. Any brand that promotes zero-waste consumerism AND actively contributes to a green world gets a green star from me!

FAQ

Are zero-waste conditioners good for your hair?

The long and short of it is a deafening YES! Zero-waste conditioners use natural ingredients and leave out harmful chemicals and toxins. The ingredients used to replace said chemicals are often nutrient-packed and brimming with hair beauty and health benefits.

Are zero-waste conditioners better than traditional conditioners?

Traditional hair care products are huge offenders in our growing waste and landfill problem. They also can come with a variety of harmful ingredients that strip hair of its natural oil, create buildup, and introduce harmful toxins into the skin through the scalp. This means traditional conditioners can be as damaging to your hair as they are to the environment and a big no-no when making the transition to green consumerism.

Zero-waste conditioners, however, create eco-friendly, body-safe products that nourish and hydrate the hair at no expense to the environment. If you've never used one before, I strongly suggest you have a go. There's quite literally no harm in trying.

Can I make my own zero-waste shampoo?

But of course! Nothing quite waves the zero-waste flag like a bit of DIY. Have a squiz at my article on how to make your own zero-waste shampoo and conditioner at home.

Final thoughts

Ditching the bottle has never been easier. With a host of zero-waste conditioners tackling a variety of haircare needs, I must say I feel rather spoiled for choice.

As the clear and all-round winner, I love ETHIQUE Solid Conditioner Bar for being an excellent conditioner and then some. ETHIQUE not only creates quality products but really takes time and effort to promote and educate around green consumerism. Second up, we have Viva La Body Conditioner Bar for providing salon-quality results completely derived from nature. Lastly, if you’re not a fan of conditioner bars, by Humankind has a brilliant refill solution that everyone should know about.  

To make sure you're not rushing off to buy something that might not work, it's important you research your hair type and its unique needs. There's happiness and then there's finding a zero-waste conditioner that gives you guilt-free, hair bliss and the added kick in your step in knowing that your excellent hair day is planet-approved and I wish that for all of you.

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