A zero waste conditioner bar that... actually works? shampoo - PollyBarks.com

I found an epic conditioner bar that actually works

Finding a shampoo bar you like is all well and good but for me, the real game-changer is a good zero waste conditioner bar.

As someone with curly, thirsty hair the moisturizing effects of a conditioner bar are critical to a shower experience that doesn’t end with straw hair. But getting into a good zero waste hair routine is easier said than done…

A zero waste conditioner bar that... actually works? shampoo - PollyBarks.com

Packaged with biodegradable, cornstarch-based packing peanuts.

Problem #1: the “transition” period

Many people suggest there’s a transition time when you move away from conventional shampoo and conditioner. Because most conventional products strip the hair so thoroughly, your hair and scalp may go through a period of re-alignment.

To a degree, they’re right. Changing up routine affects your body. But there’s also some combination of products that aren’t right for hair and – to be honest – without some of the chemicals (like parabens) in your routine your hair just won’t get that silky feeling.

I talk more about the ingredients we should try to avoid in conventional hair care products here.

As someone with curly hair, this is really important to find a zero waste conditioner bar that works for me; otherwise my hair will quickly become a rat’s nest.

Regardless, I can tell you from testing many different types of zero waste shampoo and conditioner bars – you can tell within one or two tries whether a product will work or not.

A zero waste conditioner bar that... actually works? shampoo - PollyBarks.com

So many variables to make or break the shower experience.

Problem #2: All of the variables

Everyone’s hair is different. What works for my (frankly) indestructible thick, curly/wavy hair won’t work for someone with pin-straight thin hair or a very tight curl.

I can recommend a product all day long but there’s no way to really know how well it’ll work with other textures.

Everyone’s water is different. While I lived in Virginia, I happily washed my hair with just water or maybe occasionally a clarifying ACV rinse.

In Indiana, our water is so hard I’m lucky if conventional conditioners make my hair feel just a little smooth. Some conditioner bars just aren’t up for the challenge.

I went into this expecting to try the EcoRoots shampoo and conditioner bars at my house, be really disappointed, and then need to try them at the gym where the water is slightly less hard.

(I’ve been using a conventional shampoo and conditioner for several months now because our water is so poor it leaves black stains where it dries.)


A zero waste conditioner bar that... actually works? shampoo - PollyBarks.com

ecoroots zero waste shampoo and conditioner review

I grabbed the Forest Mist shampoo and conditioner bars first. No reason, just smelled great.

After using the shampoo bar, my hair had the initial waxy-residue feeling. (If you’ve ever used shampoo bars, you know exactly what I’m talking about!)

At this point I was apprehensive about another letdown. Still, I went in with the conditioner bar to see what would happen.

The conditioner left my very dry hair feeling decidedly… normal! For me, I can tell that a conditioner bar won’t be moisturizing enough when I can’t wet it slightly and run it over my wet hair. If it sticks or tangles my hair, we’re in for a bunch of trouble.

The EcoRoots conditioner bar passed the test!

A zero waste conditioner bar that... actually works_ hair - PollyBarks.com

Freshly dried hair after the shower. The regular curl and wildness intact – no sad greasy hair here!

I got out of the shower and let my hair air dry as usual. None of the usual heaviness associated with a shampoo bar! The zero waste conditioner bar I tried slid over my hair and removed the waxy feeling left behind by the shampoo bar.

I honestly don’t know why some bars do this and others don’t. I’m no chemist and the limited ingredients their zero waste conditioner bars use don’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary.

Still, it works – whether it’s a good formula or just plain magic. Definitely recommend the combo!

A zero waste conditioner bar that... actually works? - PollyBarks.com

Tips on using conditioner bars

  • Make sure your hair is really wet. Shampoo and conditioner bars really only work when your hair is really wet. If your hair is too dry, it won’t distribute well across your hair.
  • Store them somewhere airtight. Bathrooms are naturally humid, so if you get more than one unpackaged shampoo or conditioner bar at a time they can get a little melty or sweaty after sitting for a while.
  • Use an oil pre-treatment if needed. Most people experience a grease problem with shampoo or conditioner bars. If that’s not your issue – or your ends remain really dry – pre-treat the ends of your hair with an oil. I usually use coconut oil because it’s what I have on hand, but olive or argan also work well.
  • Let them dry out between uses. Make sure you store your in-use bars somewhere that they can dry out on all sides. If not, you’ll start losing product more quickly. A soap dish or rack of any kind works perfectly.
A zero waste conditioner bar that... actually works? - PollyBarks.com

Final thoughts

I’ve used the conditioner bar 3 times over the past few weeks and had the same positive experience each time. Remarkably normal (for my hair!). The only thing I notice is my hair getting greasier a day or two faster than normal but that’s been pretty typical of sulfate-free washing for me.

I’ve only had the chance to try the Forest Mist bar, but I’m excited to dive into the other ones and see if I have the same experience.

If you’re looking for a conditioner bar that actually clarifies hair from that waxy feeling, I can’t recommend EcoRoot’s line of bars more!