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Zero Waste Conditioner: A Sustainable Way to Achieve that Silky Shine

We all want that hair commercial moment. The head whip that causes silky tresses to swirl forward, or running a hand through hair that cascades perfectly into place. That moment most commonly brought to you by conditioner. 

Yet traditional conditioner comes with plenty of pitfalls. If you thought the ingredients in commercial shampoo were indecipherable, conditioner is no better, and its packaging is no more sustainable.

Even when recycling is possible, only 1 in 5 people consistently recycle bathroom packaging, according to a study commissioned by Johnson & Johnson.

Fortunately, there’s an abundance of zero waste conditioner options available that are made with natural and beneficial ingredients. Keep reading to learn how to ditch plastic bottles for bars, refills, masks, or DIY conditioning solutions. 

Zero waste conditioner options

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Zero Waste Conditioner Options

When choosing which plastic-free conditioner is right for you, think about how it will fit into your existing routine.

If you’ve already committed to switching to zero waste shampoo bars, following up with a solid conditioner bar will come naturally. If you can’t quite imagine ditching the liquid conditioner just yet, refillable options could be your saviour.

Related Reading: Eco-Friendly Hair Brushes / Zero Waste Hair Ties


Long-lasting, eco-friendly, and packed with natural ingredients, there’s a reason conditioner bars are one of the most popular forms of plastic free conditioner.

Just run your bar of choice along your hair and massage it in, or use water to create a creamy lather first. Rinse it out, and your hair will be left moisturized and soft. 

Here’s our pick of the best zero waste conditioner bars.

EcoRoots Conditioner Bars

EcoRoots plastic free conditioner bars come in a range of heavenly scents, and are all formulated to leave your hair and scalp wonderfully nourished and soft.

Suitable for all hair types, these sulfate free bars are made with beneficial coconut and Jojoba essential oils, as well as calming cocoa butter.

Massage it into your hair after using the EcoRoots shampoo bar for the best benefits.

They’re also paraben free, phthalate free, cruelty-free and vegan.

If properly stored between uses (we recommend using a soap stand like this one), each bar will last more than 50 washes.

Buy it at EcoRoots

Moisturize HiBAR Conditioner Bar

HIBAR Moisturize Conditioner Bar: Fortifies and Revitalizes Frizzy, Dull Hair, Enhances Moisture Retention with Rice Water, Color-Safe and Eco-Friendly Packaging

With its unique teardrop shape, the Moisturize HiBAR Conditioner Bar can be easily applied to your hair and stored standing up (which makes it last longer).

Coconut oil and rice protein nourish hair and work well on thick, dry, and color-treated locks. These paraben free conditioner bars can be found at stores nationwide or shipped plastic-free, and their paper packaging is compostable.

Although the scent has mixed reviews, we love that it leaves your hair soft without weighing it down. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and sulfate free.

Buy it on Amazon

The Earthling Co. Conditioner Bar

The Earthling Co. Conditioner Bar - Promote Hair Growth, Strengthen & Moisturize All Hair Types - Paraben & Sulfate Free formula with Natural Ingredients for Dry Hair (Vanilla Coconut, 1.8 oz)

Everyone who tries it raves about this plastic-free conditioner bar from The Earthling Co. It’s infused with jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and cocoa seed butter.

It leaves all hair types – including those that are colour-treated or bleached – silky and lightweight, and comes packaged in recyclable paper materials.

It’s naturally sulfate-free, vegan, paraben and silicone free, and it’s long-lasting if you look after it properly, and keep it dry between uses.

Buy it from Amazon

Aspen Kay Conditioner Bar 

Solid Conditioner Bar, Made With Natural & Organic Ingredients, All Hair Types including frizzy hair, Sulfate-Free, Cruelty-Free & Vegan 2.3 Ounce Bar. (Lemongrass & Sweet Orange)

The use of organic herbs like nettle, chamomile, and turmeric to repair, soothe, and strengthen hair make this zero waste conditioner bar from Aspen Kay stand out from the crowd.

Available in both lemongrass & sweet orange and rosemary & peppermint options, so you can choose your favorite scent. And the bars are handcrafted in the US and packaged in a simple paper box.

Aspen Kay conditioning bars have excellent detangling abilities, and they’re suitable for all hair types. They’re also great value, as each bar is the equivalent of three bottles of regular conditioner.

Naturally, they’re also vegan, cruelty-free, and free of sulfates and parabens.

Buy from Amazon here

Ethique Wonderbar Conditioner for Normal-Oily Hair

Ethique Wonderbar- Lightweight Solid Conditioner Bar for Oily to Balanced Hair - Vegan, Eco-Friendly, Plastic-Free, Cruelty-Free, 2.12 oz (Pack of 1)

New Zealand’s Ethique is one of the world’s first and most sustainable zero waste beauty brands. They also go one step further by donating 20% of their profits to charity.

Their conditioning, sulfate and paraben-free Wonderbar is made of organic, fair-trade coconut oil, cocoa butter, and vitamin B5, and works well on normal to oily hair. And it can even double as an in-shower moisturizer, making it a great multitasker!

One Wonderbar will last around five months of regular use – saving you as much as five bottles of regular conditioner. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free.

Buy from Amazon here


Understandably, some prefer liquid conditioner for its ease of application and storage. Most bulk or zero waste stores offer refills, but if you don’t have this option, you don’t have to give up on zero waste hair products just yet. The next best option is to try one of the super simple ‘return & refill’ zero waste conditioners listed below.

Plaine Products’ Refillable Vegan Conditioner 

Plaine Products Eco-Friendly Conditioner - Citrus Lavender - Sulfate Free, 16 oz (Refillable Bottle with Pump)

Plaine Products’ conditioner fulfils every requirement you’d want in a sustainable conditioner, and on top of that, it comes in a reusable aluminum bottle, making it a great zero waste option too.

When finished, just order a new recyclable bottle without a pump and send your old one back to be reused, using their free shipping label.

Plaine’s conditioner is a little more expensive than conditioner bars, but we love how easy it is to use.

The scents are also very pleasant and for those looking for a minimalistic aesthetic, the bottles will fit right into your bathroom decor.

You’ll also love this conditioner for being free of sulfates and parabens, vegan, and cruelty free.

Buy it on Amazon

BE Herbal Care Zero Waste Conditioner

BE herbal care creates this nourishing conditioner that’s infused with vitamin E, organic coconut oil, ylang ylang, and lemon balm.

Sold in refillable and recyclable bottles, the handmade conditioner is perfect for medium to thick hair, and can be used as a treatment for damaged locks.

BE partners with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every order purchased.

Buy it on Etsy

The Refill Shoppe’s Customizable Conditioner Refill

All of The Refill Shoppe’s liquid products come with a refill-by-mail option. Refills are sent out in pouches, which you can then mail back for reuse.

However, the really special thing about their system is that every product is fully customizable. When you order, select your container size and make your own scent blend with up to six scents, ordering them in preference of strength and specifying the overall strength of the scent.

Each liquid conditioner is also free from sulfates, and parabens, and is vegan and cruelty-free too.

Buy at the Refill Shoppe


When your hair really needs a good dose of moisture, a once or twice weekly conditioning mask will do the trick.

Apply a zero waste hair mask to damp hair after using your plastic free shampoo, and towelling dry. Starting with the roots, spread it throughout, and let it sit for the recommended time before rinsing, using a shower cap or towel to cover the hair for extra effectiveness. Wash the mask out with zero-waste shampoo and follow with your normal plastic free conditioner. 

Andreas Organic Market’s Organic Honey Hair Mask

This vegan hair mask deep conditions and repairs damage with its mix of avocado oil, raw honey, argan oil, pumpkin seed oil, and vitamin E oil. It’s made with organic ingredients and comes in an eco-friendly glass jar with a metal lid.

Although there are no refill options, everything is fully recyclable and even the shipping materials used are biodegradable.

But we think you’ll find plenty of uses around the home to reuse your little glass jar – like for storing your DIY beetroot lip stain!

Buy from Etsy here

Beauty Kubes’ Conditioning Hair Mask

This conditioning zero waste hair mask from Beauty Kubes comes as 27 conditioning cubes in compostable, plastic-free packaging.

After you crumble 1-2 cubes in your hands, add water to form a paste and smooth over your wet hair.

Ingredients like marshmallow root, macadamia oil, pink clay, and oats are 100% natural and vegan. And they’ll leave you with shiny hair that feels super soft and healthy.

Buy it from The Ethical Superstore


Even more than solid shampoos and other beauty products, a zero-waste, vegan conditioner can be simple and cost-effective to make.

An apple cider vinegar rinse can remove build-up and detangle hair. Melted coconut oil works as a once or twice weekly zero waste hair mask. And banana combined with olive oil or aloe vera can act as a leave-in treatment.

Making a liquid conditioner or bar, however, requires getting some kind of emulsifier and preservative – things you won’t find in a typical grocery store. But it’s fairly easy to source ones that are natural and eco-certified in online stores. So try your hand at this neat DIY!

Committing to zero waste hair care doesn’t mean leaving shiny, glamorous hair behind. In fact, the natural ingredients in zero waste conditioners are the perfect thing for nourishing hair back to health.

From the ease of a conditioner bar to experimenting with making your own, there’s a way for everyone to be kind to the environment, reduce plastic waste, and still get that perfect hair moment.