As a mixed-Black traveler with 3C curls, I'm always looking for curly hair travel products and hacks to upgrade my natural hair routine when traveling.
I'm also always conscious of the products I use on my hair—not just for the sake of my curls but also for the environment. Not only are single-use plastics a growing concern, but international air travel (which I do a lot of) has a heavy carbon footprint. I'm determined to do my part where I can to reduce waste.
And, of course, packing light! Which is hard to do with multiple conditioners, shampoos, edge controls, cremes, gels, and mousses. So when I stumbled upon bar shampoos and conditioners in this Travel+Leisure article, and my eyes lit up—I knew I needed to try them out!
In concept, bar shampoos and conditioners would be ideal for minimizing plastic use and perfect for my digital nomad lifestyle because I could pack months' worth of them into a carry-on! Which is currently impossible for me with liquid products.
I found 5 bar shampoo and conditioner lines with great reviews and bought them, and I wanted to see how they worked on my hair in general and if anything, popped out as a life-changing hair revelation. Here are my thoughts:
This post may have affiliate links. Meaning if you buy something using them, I get a small % for recommending it. It won't change the price for you and it's a super easy and nice way to say thanks for the work I did creating this 🙂 Cool? Cool.
1. Good Juju Dry / Curly Hair Shampoo Bar
Price: $21.98 USD
Quality: The Dry/Curly Hair Shampoo Bar is supposed to be designed for dry curly hair, which is so me when I'm traveling, so I was looking forward to trying this one most. The brand—Good Juju—claims to have created a nourishing blend that caters to the needs of my 3C curls with natural oils and butter to minimize frizz and maximize hydration.
🌿 Eco-Friendly Factor: The packaging is zero waste, and the ingredients are eco-friendly, aligning with my goal to minimize my environmental footprint.
Good Juju definitely had my favorite packaging! It seemed the most “expensive” of all of them, considering they're practically bar soap. Being the first one I tried, I was surprised by how easily it lathered, and I really liked the scent.
2. Ethique Too Delicious™ Intensive Solid Conditioner Bar
Quality: Ethique's Too Delicious bar is an intensive conditioner—it claims to offer up to 120 washes in its dense packaging! It's rich in ingredients like cocoa butter and coconut oil, which can definitely seal in moisture and provide some hold.
🌿 Eco-Friendly Factor: Ethique is known for its sustainable practices, and this bar is no exception. It's 100% biodegradable and cruelty-free.
If it delivers on its 120-wash promise, the $18 price tag doesn't sting much. However, its defining feature was its richness in oils, which can result in build-up depending on your hair type… Like mine, which tends not to like oils.
It wasn't my favorite bar I tested, but if your hair likes oils, it may be a perfect curly hair travel product for you!
3. Ethique Curliosity™ Co-Wash and Conditioner Bar Mini
Quality: This mini co-wash bar from Curliosity™ is a two-in-one offer. It claims to cleanse gently while conditioning. A fairytale for curly girls… But maybe it's finally come true?!
🌿 Eco-Friendly Factor: The bar is made from natural ingredients, reducing chemical runoff and plastic usage.
I appreciate the convenience of the co-wash and conditioner in one, but any curly girl cringes at the idea. I don't think we'll ever fall for a 2-in-1 because there's no way it can ever clarify enough as a truly good shampoo or moisturize enough as a truly good conditioner.
But it does save time and space—which I think would be perfect to have on hand during a pool or beach trip!
4. Ethique Untangled™ Detangling Solid Conditioner Bar
Quality: With a focus on detangling, the Untangled™ Detangling Solid Conditioner Bar was a lifesaver for my sometimes unruly curls. It eased out knots without causing breakage or excessive shedding.
🌿 Eco-Friendly Factor: Untangled™ maintains a commitment to the environment with its sustainable packaging and ingredients.
Overall Experience: A definite winner on price (who knew bar soap was so expensive?!).
But this bar surprised me with how well it worked for detangling! I could see myself packing it as a shower-detangler 100%. I would still need a styling product for the day, but this passed my test with flying colors.
5. The Earthling Co. Shampoo Bar
Quality: The Earthling Co.'s Shampoo Bar offered a rich lather and left my hair feeling clean but not stripped of its natural oils.
🌿 Eco-Friendly Factor: The company's dedication to sustainability is evident in its zero-waste packaging and natural ingredients.
A great option for a cleansing shampoo bar. It worked well in combination with a moisturizing conditioner.
Trying out bar shampoos and conditioners was a fun experiment! I'm always trying to reduce my carbon footprint and, of course, pack lighter. But I never want it to be at the expense of my natural curls!
Each curly hair travel product had its unique strengths:
- Good Juju excelled in moisturizing.
- Ethique's Too Delicious™ stood out for intensive conditioning.
- Ethique's Curliosity™ offered convenience with its co-wash feature.
- Ethique's Untangled™ was exceptional in detangling.
- The Earthling Co. balanced cleansing without drying out hair.
It's important to note that individual experiences may vary based on hair type and personal preferences. However, these products have shown that it's possible to maintain healthy, beautiful curls while being environmentally conscious and travel-friendly. They've become staples in my hair care routine, and I encourage others to explore these eco-friendly options.
Remember, every small step towards sustainability counts, and with these bar shampoos and conditioners, we're not just caring for our hair; we're caring for our planet. 🌍✨