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

Zero waste conditioner options

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. 

This article may contain affiliate links. See our full disclosure here.


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 conditioner bar will come naturally. If you can’t quite imagine ditching the liquid conditioner just yet, refillable options could be your saviour.


ZERO WASTE CONDITIONER BARS

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.

Moisturize HiBAR Conditioner Bar

zero waste conditioner bar
  • Plastic free
  • Sulfate free
  • Paraben free
  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan

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 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.

Buy HiBar Conditioner Bar at EarthHero or Amazon

Well Earth Goods Zero Waste Conditioner Bar

zero waste conditioner bar
  • Plastic free
  • Sulfate free
  • Paraben free
  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan

It looks fairly basic at first glance, but everyone who tries it raves about this plastic-free conditioner bar that’s infused with cocoa butter, macadamia oil, and seaweed extract.

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

At 1 oz., you get a bit less for the price than comparable brands, but it’s long-lasting if you look after it properly, and keep it dry between uses.

Buy from Well Earth Goods here

Aspen Kay Conditioner Bar 

  • Plastic free
  • Sulfate free
  • Paraben free
  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan

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

Aspen Kay offers 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.

Buy from Amazon here

Ethique Wonderbar Conditioner for Normal-Oily Hair

  • Plastic free
  • Paraben free
  • Sulfate free
  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan

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 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.

Buy from Amazon here


ZERO WASTE REFILLABLE LIQUID CONDITIONER

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. Try one of the super simple ‘return & refill’ zero waste conditioner options below.

Plaine Products’ Refillable Vegan Conditioner 

  • Sulfate free
  • Paraben free
  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan
  • Recyclable bottle

Plaine Products’ conditioner fulfills 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 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.

Buy from EarthHero or Amazon

The Refill Shoppe’s Customizable Conditioner Refill

zero waste liquid conditioner
  • Sulfate free
  • Paraben free
  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan
  • Refillable bottle

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.

Buy at the Refill Shoppe


ZERO WASTE CONDITIONING MASKS

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 shampooing and toweling 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 shampoo and follow with your normal plastic free conditioner. 

Andreas Organic Market’s Organic Avocado Hair Mask

  • Plastic free
  • Sulfate free
  • Paraben free
  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan

This vegan hair mask deep conditions and repairs damage with its mix of avocado butter, freeze dried avocado, jojoba oil, avocado 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

  • Plastic free
  • Sulfate free
  • Silicone free
  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan

This conditioning zero waste hair mask comes as 27 conditioning cubes in compostable 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 your hair feeling super soft and shiny.

Buy from Well Earth Goods here


DIY CONDITIONER

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

Apple cider vinegar and water 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 online. 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 and still get that perfect hair moment. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Malcare WordPress Security