The best and most environmentally friendly way to wash your hair while in the great outdoors is with biodegradable shampoo and conditioner. But which are the best biodegradable shampoos and conditioners to buy?
This article will outline exactly what biodegradable shampoo and conditioner are, and what to consider when purchasing. We’ll also round up some of the best biodegradable shampoos and conditioners your money can buy for your adventures in the great outdoors.
In A Hurry? Our Top Picks
|TopTop||Dr. Bronners - Pure-Castile Liquid Soap (Baby Unscented, 32 Ounce) - Made with Organic Oils,||Buy on Amazon|
|Top||Clean Freak Refreshing Shampoo and Conditioner Combo||Buy on Amazon|
|Top||Sierra Dawn Campsuds Biodegradable Soap (4oz in Nalgene Bottle)||Buy on Amazon|
|Top||The Honest Company Shampoo & Conditioner Set 10 fl.oz.(296mL), Pack of 2||Buy on Amazon|
What Is Biodegradable Shampoo?
So what is biodegradable shampoo?
In simple terms, something that’s biodegradable can be broken down by bacteria and fungi into its basic components. It then blends back into the earth without leaving any toxins behind.
For something to be considered biodegradable, this process must be completed within six months to a year.
So, although plastic is technically biodegradable, in that it will break down eventually, it will take a very, very long time. So, for this reason, plastic is not officially classed as biodegradable. On the other hand, leftover food is biodegradable because it breaks down quickly.
Popular shampoos contain chemicals like sulfates which are not biodegradable and poison natural environments. Sulfates can also be harsh for sensitive skin.
Many consumers have now turned to shampoos with more natural ingredients. These are better for your skin and hair and also better for the environment.
If you enjoy going camping outdoors, you may be looking for a biodegradable shampoo and conditioner that will have a less negative impact on the environment.
Well, we’re here to help!
Just remember that even though biodegradable shampoos and conditioners are better for the environment, they won’t break down straight away.
For this reason, you should avoid washing your hair directly in a natural water source. This is because the products will contaminate the water and harm wildlife.
Instead, if no showers are available at the campsite, you should wash your hair at least 200 feet away from water sources. Then bury your wastewater in a cathole.
5 Things To Consider When Buying Biodegradable Shampoo
There are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing the best biodegradable shampoo and conditioner to buy.
For example, you might want to consider the nature of your trip and how long you’ll need the product. Also, take into account the product packaging and your own specific hair needs. Here’s our list of things to consider before making your choice:
How Good A Shampoo Is It?
You mustn’t underestimate this point. Even if you’re in the middle of nowhere, there’s no need to skimp on quality when it comes to biodegradable shampoo.
You still want to have clean, fresh hair. It’s possible to buy multi-use cleansers that can clean dishes, clothes, and your skin as well as your hair. But if it doesn’t work well as a shampoo there’s little point.
Are You Packing Light?
If you need to pack light for your trip, you can buy shampoos that double up as conditioners, body washes, or general all-purpose soap (as mentioned in the point above).
These will save on valuable space and also money. It’s also worth considering how much you will get out of each use of the product. Products that are concentrated or lather easily will go further, so you won’t need to pack as much.
How Much Water Does The Product Require?
If your chosen camping site has outdoor showers, this isn’t really much of an issue. But if you’re camping in an area that has a limited water supply, such as a desert location, you’re going to need a product that requires little to no water to clean your hair.
How Environmentally Friendly Is It?
Many products these days are labeled as environmentally friendly or biodegradable as part of a marketing ploy.
Always make sure you double-check whether these products really are environmentally friendly.
Your Specific Hair Concerns
If you have dry or difficult to manage hair, it’s probably a good idea to pack a conditioner as well as shampoo.
We’ve included some shampoo and conditioner sets in our roundup of the best biodegradable shampoos and conditioners you can buy.
Top 10 Best Biodegradable Shampoos
This amazing multi-purpose soap boasts 18 different uses. Not only is it a shampoo and a body wash, but it can also be used to clean your dishes, do your laundry, clean your pets, and much more.
It is environmental gold too, as it’s fully biodegradable, made with over 90% organic ingredients, 70% fair trade, vegan, cruelty-free, and packaged in recycled plastic bottles.
An ideal eco-friendly shampoo to take on a camping trip that also doubles as a body wash and all-around multipurpose cleaner.
So it’s ideal if you’re looking to save space in your backpack. The only thing it doesn’t do is condition your hair, so you’ll need to take a separate conditioner. The company does do a conditioning rinse and leave-in hair cream.
This multi-purpose cleaner is perfect for camping. It comes in a convenient lightweight and portable bottle and is made of natural ingredients.
This is a concentrated formula so you only need to use a very small amount to get a good wash. Suitable for hair and skin and also for your camping pots and pans and even clothes.
And the really great thing is, it works just as effectively in hot or cold water, and even works in saltwater.
This is certainly a versatile and good value eco-friendly shampoo, ideal if you’re looking to pack light on a camping trip. It is also user-friendly, as instructions for camping use are on the bottle.
This cute combo will cleanse and condition your hair while you’re out on the trail, all without harming the environment.
The shampoo cleanses your hair without the use of any harsh chemicals, being free of sulfates, silicones, dye, and parabens.
It has a subtle scent of water mint and raspberry to revitalize and moisturize your hair, so you can feel stylish even out in the wild.
What’s great about the shampoo in this set is it also doubles as a body wash, so that’s one less plastic bottle for you to take on your camping trip. Or even one less bottle to keep in the bathroom.
Containing orange and vanilla extracts, this set is full of nourishing oils and will keep your skin soft and your hair smooth and hydrated.
The Honest Company has a great reputation for its environmentally friendly products, and this shampoo and conditioner set is no exception.
This is an eco-friendly choice for when you’re camping in locations that have a limited water supply if you do a lot of traveling or just don’t want the fuss of rinsing your hair. It’s even used by NASA.
How to use it? You simply pour a bit onto your hair and massage it until your hair is completely wet. No need to rinse. Then towel-dry it off and you’re ready to go.
It leaves your hair soft, manageable, and odor-free, and has an alcohol-free formulation that won’t irritate the scalp.
If you want to go the extra mile for the environment by saving on plastic, then say hello to Ethique shampoo bars!
This is a great way to clean your hair without needing to carry a bottle of shampoo around. And apparently, one shampoo bar is equivalent to three bottles of liquid shampoo, so a little goes a long way.
The St. Clements bar is specially designed for those with greasier hair. It contains lime and orange oils to balance out oil production, and no harsh stripping agents that will dry out the scalp.
This biodegradable shampoo bar will leave you feeling fresh, and there’s no need to use a conditioner afterward as it contains humectants that draw moisture to your hair.
If you do want to use conditioner, the company also does conditioning bars and body cleanser bars as well.
Of course, you can avoid using water and towels altogether on your hair for your camping trip, and stick to dry shampoo instead. This is ideal if you don’t want to deal with digging a cathole to bury your bathing water in.
This ultra-gentle formula will soak up excess oil and remove dirt and odors. It’s suitable for daily use and will leave no white residue on your hair.
Easy and light to pack and quick and simple to use, this might be the solution if you want to avoid having to wash your hair for a few days.
This delicious smelling set is specially designed for color-treated hair, so you can worry less about your color fading while you’re on your camping trip.
This biodegradable shampoo and conditioner are free of parabens, silicones, sulfates, and dye. They will gently cleanse, moisturize and detangle your hair with the power of plant-based cleansers and organic coconut oil while infusing your locks with the scent of rose petals.
This clinical-grade combo is hypoallergenic and contains no harsh synthetic ingredients, so it’s extremely gentle on your hair and on the environment.
The plant-derived ingredients gently cleanse and soften your hair, and leave your hair fresh for three days on average, apparently, so you can go longer between washes while you’re on the go.
Don’t let your curls suffer while you’re camping. Invest in a set of Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Shampoo and Conditioner.
Shea Moisture shampoos and conditioners are biodegradable, packed with natural ingredients, and add a little touch of luxury to your camping holiday.
This formula contains coconut oil, shea butter, and hibiscus flower extracts to smooth frizz and tangled ends, leaving your curly hair soft, shiny and manageable.
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