The Best Shampoo Bars for Travelers in 2022


If you’re an avid traveler, chances are a leaking shampoo bottle brought a truly unwelcome surprise to your destination. Fortunately, for this reason, solid shampoo bars are not only an attractive replacement for liquids in plastic containers, they also save space. These swaps also contain more natural ingredients (and fewer chemicals) and less waste when finished.

Our top pick is The Earthling Co. Shampoo Bar, thanks to its cleansing effectiveness on a variety of hair types, from curly to color-treated hair. But if you’re looking for something more specific, read on because our list brings together the best shampoo bars for all your hair and scalp needs. Whichever you choose, be sure to get a bag or tote like this to hold the bar when you travel.

Here’s our breakdown of the best shampoo bars:

Tips on buying shampoo bars

Consider personal hair needs

Before you buy a shampoo bar, do your research and find out what works best for your hair type. Look out for ingredients that suit your needs. Avoid bars with strong scents if you have sensitive skin or are prone to eczema on the scalp and hairline. For dry hair, for example, a coconut oil bar is a natural and effective way to moisturize. The condensed ingredients in shampoo bars are usually pretty strategic, so choosing one that works with your hair the first time can save you time and money.

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Think about storage

Some bars come in a recyclable cardboard box that doubles as a carrying case when traveling. But other than that, consider getting a cloth pouch or storage tin for your shampoo bar so it doesn’t crumble or mess up your bag.

Give your hair time to adjust

When you’re switching from liquid shampoo to shampoo bar (or when you’re testing new products), give yourself time to adjust. It can take a few weeks for your hair to get used to the condensed ingredients in a shampoo bar.

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frequently asked Questions

  • How do you use a shampoo bar?

    Once in the shower, you can rub the bar directly into your scalp or lather it up in your hands. Work it into the scalp to create a nice lather coverage through your parting to the bottom of your hair. After massaging it thoroughly with your fingertips, rinse off the shampoo with warm water and condition as desired.

  • Are shampoo bars more beneficial than liquid shampoo?

    Shampoo bars are very travel friendly and last a little longer than most shampoo bottles. The bars also often contain more natural ingredients than the liquid alternatives. However, shampoo bars may need more rinsing than liquid shampoo to completely remove the product. So be sure to use it accordingly.

  • Why should I switch to fixed?

    Switching to a shampoo bar not only eliminates unforeseen spills in your luggage for easier travel, but it’s also good for the environment. Bars also use less water in the actual solution since it is concentrated shampoo. Finally, you can reduce your overall plastic consumption by making this solid swap.

Why trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, travel journalist and photographer Jess Kelly looked at dozens of shampoo bars and picked the best ones for jetsetters to pack for their next trip. Jess lives in New York and has written for over 10 different publications including HuffPost, Condé Nast Traveler, Insider, Food & Wine, Cosmopolitan, Thrillist, Roadtripper and Bon Appetit. Follow her travels and adventures on Instagram @Adventures.Are.Waiting.

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