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The top 5 best vegan and plastic-free shampoo bars

As part of our Real Eco awards, Ellen Tout selects the best ethical, vegan and plastic-free shampoo bars

by Ellen Tout

Shampoo bars use less water and packaging than bottled haircare – and because the bars are concentrated, they last longer and weigh less, therefore creating a smaller carbon footprint. I’ve been using shampoo bars for years and whilst it can initially take time for your hair to adjust, I love that they are easy to use, make showering quicker and are great for travelling. I’ve chosen these bars because they are vegan, plastic-free, cruelty-free and really work – as approved by our panel of testers.

Eco Champion: Friendly Soap

Made in Yorkshire, Friendly Soap’s shampoo bars are certified cruelty free, vegan-friendly and free from palm oil, SLS and parabens. All packaging is recycled, recyclable and plastic-free. A pioneer in eco soaps, it wins our Eco Champion award for being friendly through and through!

Reader's verdict: "I was sceptical, but my hair feels great. The lather was rich and creamy." Vera 

Buy it: Lavender and tea tree shampoo bar, £2.75, friendlysoap.co.uk

Readers' Choice: Eco Warrior

Our panel loved the new Eco Warrior range from The Little Soap Company, earning it our Readers’ Choice award. Made in the UK, it is vegan, certified cruelty free and free from SLS. It contains only RSPO certified sustainable palm oil, and its packaging is plastic-free and recyclable.

Reader's verdict: "Absolutely loved this. Leaves hair squeaky clean and is gentle enough to use on our young children’s hair." Kat

Buy it: Eco Warrior Orange and Ginger shampoo bar, £4, littlesoapcompany.co.uk

Shortlisted: Wild Sage + Co

A family run business, Wild Sage + Co makes cold pressed soaps and natural skincare. It aims to reduce waste where possible and all packaging is plastic-free. Bars are handmade, natural and cruelty free, as well as free from palm oil, SLS and parabens.

Reader's verdict: "I was surprised by how many washes you get out of this bar. I have used it for a week and it has hardly diminished in size. I love it and I am definitely going to look into buying more." Leona

Buy it: Rosemary and Lavender shampoo bar, £6, wild-sage.co.uk

Shortlisted: LUSH

The essential oils in this bar leave your hair feeling soft, which impressed our reader testers. It is certified by the Vegan Society and is cruelty free. This bar can be purchased ‘naked’ instore or delivered in plastic-free packaging.

Reader's verdict: "I was wonderfully surprised. I loved this product, it lasts for ages and you only need to use a little every wash. It smells gorgeous and leaves you hair very soft. I didn't need any conditioner." Ros

Buy it: Jason And The Argan Oil shampoo bar, £8, uk.lush.com

Shortlisted: My. Hair Care

Our testers all praised the lovely aroma of this product, which is certified vegan and cruelty free. A luxury take on shampoo bars, it is free from SLS and palm oil and also delivered plastic-free.

Reader's verdict: "I didn't expect to like this product based on my past experience with shampoo bars but I really  loved  it. It is a nice product and felt nice in my hair." Emma

Buy it: Volume shampoo bar, £13.95, beautybay.com

Psychologies Real Eco Awards

Each Real Eco product is carefully researched and scrutinised by Ellen, before testing with our honest panel of 25 green queen readers to be rated and approved. Learn more, here. Read more reviews at psychologies.co.uk/real-eco.

Follow #PsychologiesRealEco and @Ellen_Tout

Image: iStock/Getty