10 Natural Canadian Shampoo Bars That Work (and how to use them)

If you are trying to reduce the number of plastic bottles in your bathroom, it might be time to try a shampoo bar. Scrub a dub dub, here are 10 NATURAL CANADIAN SHAMPOO BARS THAT WORK (and how to use them)!

Gone are the days of hippie-dippy bars that don’t work and cause your hair to be limp and dry! This new breed of natural shampoo bars is packed with plants and botanicals that will leave your hair feeling hydrated, clean and nourished!

Like with all things here on The Eco Hub, I want to make it easy for you to choose ethical and sustainable products for your home and body, but before you can do this, you need to understand the nuances and meaning behind the terms sustainable and clean beauty.

When it comes to shampoo bars…. Let’s talk transition, there is one!

Your hair and you are not used to using a shampoo that does not lather like crazy when you add water. Your hair is also most likely used to Synthetic detergents and harsh chemicals (used to create lathering and foaming) and found in most conventional bottles of shampoo.

I’d say the number one issue that arises when starting to use a shampoo bar is the transition period.

Not everyone goes through it, but many people often do. Your hair is used to the chemicals you’ve been using from conventional shampoos which are intended to strip the natural oils from your hair.

Synthetic surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate are very common in liquid shampoos. SLS and other detergents strip the hair of its natural oil, which can cause several problems.

When you first make the switch, your hair might continue to produce those natural oils at the same rate as it was with your previous shampoo but now you aren’t stripping the oils from your hair, which can cause your hair to look greasy.

Your hair naturally produces oils and when you use bar soap because there are no chemicals stripping the oil from your hair, it can appear a bit greasy for the first two weeks.

Your hair should adjust. My advice: keep an open mind, have patience and try a few before you give up, with so many on the market you are bound to find one that works. I did. 🙂

Shampoo bars also come with minimal packaging, helping to reduce the number of plastic bottles heading to landfill!

You will save money, research has shown that we tend to use more shampoo in a bottle than we need too.

They are amazing for travel!

a stack of shampoo bars

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT NATURAL CANADIAN SHAMPOO BAR FOR YOU!

The best advice I can give here is to simply do your homework. Learn as much as you can about the ingredients and talk to the makers. It might take you a bit to find the one that works for you.

HOW I USE NATURAL SHAMPOO BARS: 

Step 1 – Wet your hair, the wetter the better

Step 2 – I add water to the bar in my hands, it will most likely not lather the way you think it will, then I scrub the bar into my roots first and work my way down to the ends

Step 3 – Rinse

You will find what works for you!

1) How to pick a shampoo bar? 

Ingredients matter! Confirm that what’s in there is right for you and your hair type. While the basic need for a shampoo is to clean your hair, you may want your shampoo to protect, condition, and improve dryness. Try a few! Some will work for you better than others, just like any product.

2) Some misconceptions about shampoo bars are…

Shampoo bars can be made from either soap (saponified oils) or mild cleansing agents (detergents). Both clean your hair but there are some important differences. Soap-based shampoo bars generally have a higher pH which is great for adding volume to hair.

Handmade soap-based shampoo bars are ‘super-fatted’ which means not all the oil is turned to soap (some of the originals oils remain), which is ultra-hydrating. Some hair types may be sensitive to the higher pH level in a soap bar or, need more detangling in which case detergent-based shampoo bars can perform better. Check the ingredients to see which type is right for you.

Shampoo bars offer better value than liquid and have less packaging or no packaging.

The moist environment of the shower could deteriorate your shampoo bar when you’re not even using it, making those 20-50 washes far fewer, so store in a dry place!

Not all shampoo bars are natural. They can still be formulated with sulfates, parabens and phthalates. Again, check the ingredients to be sure.

a few natural canadian shampoo bars

Here are some great Natural Canadian shampoo bars to choose from: 

KINSFOLK SHOP

Not only does this small, amazing, local business carry natural Canadian shampoo bars, they also offer a wide range of amazing zero-waste products. This small, local business is owned by a lovely woman named Tiu, who after realizing the detrimental effects of our “throw-away” society decided to “introduce fellow Canadians to a more simple and intentional approach to living everyday life. I aim to help you find useful, practical pieces for your home.” It’s one of the reasons I love this company so much.

Their products include Canadian-made goods, as well as Fair Trade and carefully selected makers and manufacturers from various regions around the world.

Find an amazing selection of natural shampoo and conditioner bars.

Pictured first below is the No Tox Life natural Shampoo bar made with Seaweed extract which imparts proteins and minerals to the hair shaft to help with damage.

PLUS, Cocoa butter is a healthy and softening hair conditioning ingredient (from the cocoa plant) for shiny locks.

The solid shampoo lightly washes your hair but it doesn’t strip your natural oils. I can feel the moisture lock-in when I rinse. It has helped me detangle my long hair in the shower. This product has replaced my detangler spray bottle and my leave-in conditioner. 🙂 The smell is a light eucalyptus which I find simply divine first thing in the morning. This is by far my top recommendation! 

a selection kinsfolk natural canadian shampoo bars

ROCKY MOUNTAIN SOAP COMPANY 

Their Natural Shampoo bar with Rosemary doubles as a body soap and is SLS free!
It’s made with rosemary leaf oil to stimulate the scalp, and castor oil to leave your hair feeling soft. Rosemary oil increases circulation to the scalp, while castor oil leaves your hair feeling smooth and soft. This SLS free soap is perfect for taking on vacation, as it can be used as both shampoo and body soap.

individual shampoo bars

BAREFOOT DAUGHTER BOTANICAL BODY CARE

Natural Shampoo bar with Rosemary with quality oils, scented and coloured with only organic herbs & essential oils. No perfumes or chemical colourants. Never tested on animals, and contain no preservatives. they make a good suds and will leave your skin AND HAIR feeling silky smooth and hydrated. All bars are sulfate and palm free.

soaps on a table

BUCK NAKED SOAP COMPANY

The Rhassoul Clay Shampoo Bar adds volume and shine while cleansing your hair and scalp. This incredible ingredient has been a trusted secret for over 1,400 years. With continued use, our conditioning and mineral-rich shampoo bar may help reduce dandruff and also doubles as body and hand soap.

These bars do contain sodium hydroxide which has a higher PH than your hair. Just a heads up on that!

a collection of soap bars

UPFRONT COSMETICS 

The Refreshing Shampoo Bar is infused with uplifting, fresh, herbal, floral tones by agency of lemon, rosemary, and lavender notes. This sulphate-free shampoo bar creates an abundant lather that is pH-balanced to be gentle, non-irritating and safe for colour-treated hair. Provitamin B5 helps retain moisture and protect your hair from the elements. Hydrolyzed oat protein adds softness, aiding in manageability.

shampoo bars displayed on a table

LAVAMI EVERYDAY SHAMPOO BAR 

This shampoo bar will cleanse your hair and leave it soft and manageable.
Jojoba oil in a liquid wax and the chemical composition resembles the natural sebum produced by the scalp. It’s a lubricant and emollient and may help repair damaged shafts and protect from environmental damage.

shampoo bars stacked

 

BOREAL FOLK APOTHECARY 

The Juniper + Birch Soap/Shampoo bar is all about cleansing and moisturizing for both skin & hair, it creates a thick frothy lather. It is lightly scented with notes of geranium, juniper berries, and creamy wintergreen. JuniperContains anti-inflammatory virtues and is rich in antioxidants. Strengthens and conditions hair. These soaps also contain sodium hydroxide, FYI.

shampoo bars in a forest

WILD JASMINE NATURAL APOTHECARY

The Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar is great for normal hair,  it’s a natural conditioning shampoo in a bar form, formulated with natural plant oils, butter’s, botanicals and pure essentials oils that nourish your hair and scalp. The combination of peppermint and rosemary is said to stimulate the growth of hair follicles and leave your hair clean and shiny and your scalp with a cool refreshing tingle.

a collection of shampoo bars displayed

SALTSPRING SOAP WORKS

These little powerhouses pack a lot of cleaning power—in an awfully convenient form. They last longer than liquid shampoos, and they’re chock full of essential oils, natural ingredients, and fresh scents. The Calendula Chamomile Shampoo Bar is specially formulated for those with fine, light hair. Want extra-thick lather? Well… you’ll find it in this one. Castor oil, chamomile, and calendula all work together to give you soft, silky hair. Sensitive scalp? This is your shampoo bar.

a selection of stacked shampoo bars

LOVE FRESH  

I have been in love with this brand forever! Their body butters are to die for and now they have a line of the most delicious smelling shampoo bars. They come in three scents, citrus, lavender- tea tree and rosemary- mint, my bathroom smells like a spa. The bar lather well, my hair feels clean and bouncy and no weird residue is left. Plus it smells amazing.

a selection of shampoo bars

ART SOAP LIFE 

This soft bar is unscented and great for sensitive or dry skin, as a shampoo bar and facial soap. Saponified organic olive oil, organic coconut oil, chamomile & calendula infused organic sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, cocoa butter, castor oil, Manitoba beeswax, and vitamin E, gently cleanse and moisturize and soothe dryness, promoting healthy, refreshed, glowing skin and hair.

Cold process is used for all soaps so can they create bases of pure oils. They source local botanicals and Manitoba beeswax. No chemical preservatives or artificial fragrances are used in the soaps and all aromas derive from therapeutic quality essential oils, ground botanicals, spices, butters, oxides, micas and clays.

I love the Chamomile and Calendula Soap and Shampoo Bar, great for my sensitive skin

shampoo bars wrapped up and displayed on a table

NATURAL SHAMPOO + CONDITIONER REFILLABLE OPTIONS 

Eco+Amour offers this service in Toronto.

Bring clean, dry containers of your choosing, or shop our selection of refillable containers. Fill your containers with our amazing natural products and pay by weight. Enjoy the great vibes you get from making a more sustainable purchasing decision.

Looking for other zero waste shops, I’ve got your covered:

Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Saskatchewan

Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Manitoba

Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Quebec

Zero Waste Shopping Guide British Columbia

Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Nova Scotia

Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Ontario

Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Alberta

Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Toronto

common questions we get when it comes to natural shampoo bars:

What is a shampoo bar?

A shampoo bar is shampoo in solid bar form.

How to pick a shampoo bar? 

Shampoo bars can be made from either soap (saponified oils) or mild cleansing agents (detergents). Both clean your hair but there are some important differences. Soap-based shampoo bars generally have a higher pH which is great for adding volume to hair.

Handmade soap-based shampoo bars are ‘super-fatted’ which means not all the oil is turned to soap (some of the originals oils remain), which is ultra-hydrating. Some hair types may be sensitive to the higher pH level in a soap bar or, need more detangling in which case detergent-based shampoo bars can perform better. Check the ingredients to see which type is right for you.

How long does a shampoo bar last?

It depends on the brand and how often you wash your hair, but generally, a small bar will last 50-70 washes.

How do you use a shampoo bar?

Step 1 – Wet your hair, the wetter the better
Step 2 – I add water to the bar in my hands, it will most likely not lather the way you think it will, then I scrub the bar into my roots first and work my way down to the ends
Step 3 – Rinse

What are some of the benefits of shampoo bars?

They are affordable (because they last so long) and great to travel with and very convenient to use?

Is a shampoo bar better for the environment?

With the plastic crisis, many people are looking for ways to cut back on the amount of plastic they bring into their homes. Opting for a shampoo bar is a great way to reduce plastic bottles that shampoo typically comes in. A shampoo bar has a lower carbon footprint as no plastic is manufactured to keep it in.

How long does it take for hair to adjust to a shampoo bar?

It depends on your hair and the bar you are using. A good rule of thumb is to try it for at least 2 weeks to give your hair some time to adjust and fully remove build-up from commercial shampoos.

Can you use shampoo bars on Coloured hair?

Yes, you can.

How Should I store my shampoo bars?

Never leave your bar in standing water. Use a soap dish and make sure it gets lots of air. Try to keep them away from direct sunlight to avoid melting.

a stack of Canadian natural shampoo bars

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