Beauty

This eco-friendly shampoo bar upgraded my hair care routine

Go plastic-free with this shampoo from HiBar.

A closeup on a person holding the HiBar shampoo bar up their wet hair as they take a shower. Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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As someone who worries about the current climate crisis, I’m always on the hunt to make my routines more sustainable. I’ve tried plenty of environmentally friendly trends that felt manageable and opted out of ones I can’t bring myself to test (reusable toilet paper is a definite no from me). But when I saw a shampoo bar for the first time, it piqued my interest. I took a look in my shower to see how big of a difference this would actually make and saw seven plastic bottles lining my tub. It appeared my environmental impact was building up like damage to the ozone layer. I knew then that I wanted to make the switch to a plastic-free solution.

After a deep dive into the world of plastic-free shampoos, I landed on HiBar, a bar shampoo that’s also free of controversial ingredients such as sulfates, phthalates, parabens, and silicones. It had everything I was looking for in a shampoo—namely
the promise to clean my hair and add volume—plus it’s vegan, made in the U.S., and certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny. With a healthy dose of skepticism that this solid bar would work like my beloved liquid shampoo, I gave it a try.

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What is the HiBar Volumize Shampoo Bar and what does it claim?

HiBar 5
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

HiBar eliminates pesky plastic from your hair washing routine.

HiBar was founded in 2017 by four friends who were fed up with plastic in our oceans. (At least 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.) So, they set out to design a salon-quality, plastic-free shampoo and conditioner. After three years, they came up with the formula and ergonomic design that HiBar has today. The bar comes in five varieties to ensure that there is a bar shampoo for every hair type or woe: dry, oily, color-treated, sensitive, or dull.

I chose the HiBar Volumize shampoo, which claims to be for “thin, fine, or lifeless hair," and offers many of the same promised results of my go-to liquid, the OGX Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness Shampoo. It claims to combat frizz with African dates and vitamin B5 as well as add definition to waves and curls. It has a unique, intuitive shape that's supposed to be easy to grip in the palm of your hand and the 3.2-ounce bar claims to last as long as a 16-ounce bottle of liquid shampoo.

What’s it like to use HiBar Volumize Shampoo Bar?

HiBar 3
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

HiBar's shape makes it easy to grip and move through the hair.

I order mine from HiBar's website or on the brand’s Amazon store to ensure that it will come in plastic-free packaging. Once it arrives, I take it out of the biodegradable box and recycle the packaging. The box is also compostable, if that’s something you are able to do.

My HiBar lives on a makeshift soap stand that I made out of rubber bands and a mason jar lid, so that it isn’t stored in standing water. If you are looking for something more aesthetically pleasing, I suggest buying a bamboo soap stand, but my contraption works for me. I make sure to leave my bar in the driest place in my shower, away from direct spray, to ensure its longevity.

The bar weighs about the same as a tennis ball, but its ergonomic design means it fits comfortably in my hand. The company suggests that you “cup the bottom of the bar in the palm of your hand, rest the long edge against the lengths of your fingers, then use your fingertips to guide the bevelled top through your hair.”

Once in the shower, I get my hair and the shampoo wet. Once dampened, the shampoo has a sweet, citrusy scent that smells fresh and not too overpowering. Holding it as instructed, I move the flat part of the bar all over the scalp. It begins to lather the same way regular shampoo does. I massage the product onto my scalp and hair with my fingertips. When I’ve thoroughly washed my hair, I rinse with water until it runs clear.

Does HiBar Volumize Shampoo Bar do what it claims?

HiBar 1
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Store HiBar in a dry area of your shower or tub.

To my surprise, I love the results I get with my HiBar shampoo even more than what I got with my old shampoo. I didn’t know I had wavy (as opposed to straight) hair until I let my strands air-dry after using it—my hair now has more body and well-defined waves than before. It leaves my locks smelling great and looking bouncier and fuller all while not contributing to the plastic problem. Its compact size keeps my shower looking tidy and makes it easy to pop it in a tupperware container so I can travel with my favorite shampoo. For $12.99, I feel I’m getting a great deal for the salon-level quality results I get from it. I liked it so much that I also gave up my plastic bottle of liquid conditioner in favor of HiBar’s matching conditioning bar, which leaves my hair soft and shiny, though I don't use it as often because it contributes to my hair's greasiness.

My only gripe is that the bar lasts about a month with daily use as opposed to the two months I got out of my liquid shampoo. I shampoo every day because of how greasy my hair gets, so that issue may be unique to me, but besides that, this product is one of the best sustainable switches I’ve made.

Is HiBar Volumize Shampoo Bar worth it?

HiBar 2
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

You won't miss your liquid shampoo after using HiBar.

This product is a great way to green your routine without giving up anything but a plastic bottle or two. If you're not ready to make the total switch, do what I did and give the shampoo a go first to make sure you like the mechanism and results. The results far exceeded my expectations and made my life a little greener. Although it was scary to try something outside of my comfort zone, the lasting benefits on the environment and my hair were worth it, and I’d recommend the switch to anyone.

Get the HiBar Volumize Shampoo Bar on Amazon for $12.99

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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