A bottle of shampoo on the leave

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What shampoo is biodegradable?

What is the best biodegradable shampoo for camping and hiking?

Should you even care about it? Answering the latter – yes, you should. If are planning to take a shower or wash your hair outdoors, you should be using natural and eco friendly toiletries only. Because you don’t want to hurt the planet, right? Another thing to remember is that you shouldn’t be using any toiletries next to any water source, not even biodegradable. Some 200 feet away is considered a safe distance.

Ok, but let’s talk about biodegradable shampoo.

Best Biodegradable Shampoo

What are the options? And which one to choose?

What are the best biodegradable shampoo brands?

Quick Answer:

To put it simply – if it completely disappears, if it breaks down into water and carbon dioxide, then it’s biodegradable.

1. 100% PURE Kelp & Mint Shampoo (click for more details)

An eco friendly shampoo for camping and use at home.

While made of natural ingredients the shampoo features green tea and pro-vitamin B5, which make your hair look better and healthier. Perhaps not the first thing you think about when going on a camping trip. But if you do really care about your hair, and don’t mind carrying a luxury like this, then the 100% PURE shampoo might be the best shampoo for camping for you.

If you are going very light, if that’s what you’re used to, I guess there’s no shampoo on your ultralight backpacking gear packing list.

SIZE: 8 fl oz / 235 ml

2. Reef Safe Shampoo Bar (click for more details)

An environmentally safe shampoo bar.

If you don’t like carrying a bottle or caring about liquid toiletries, nowadays there are solutions like this one. In this case made of only natural ingredients, vegan friendly and fully biodegradable. One thing to remember, especially if you’re not used to solid shampoos – always put the bar somewhere dry, when you’re done washing your hair.

If you’ll need a soap case, check out this list of travel soap cases.

WEIGHT: 3 oz / 85 g

Best Biodegradable Shampoo and Conditioner

3. SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Shampoo & Conditioner Set (click for more details)

A set of eco friendly shampoo and conditioner.

Same like the 100% PURE shampoo this set is more on the expensive side. So it’s not really the biodegradable shampoo for camping for everyone, but more for those who do like to indulge themselves. And also for those kind of trips, when you don’t really care that much about the weight of your equipment.

And even then it’s a good idea to just take a travel size bottle with shampoo.

Of course, you can also use it at home.

In your indoor or – yes – outdoor bathroom.

SIZE: 16 fl oz / 470 ml (x2)

Best Biodegradable Shampoo and Body Wash

Many of the best biodegradable shampoos are multi-purpose.

You can use them also as a body wash, some – also to wash dishes, as a travel laundry soap or to wash your dog.

4. Sea To Summit Wilderness Wash (click for more details)

A multi-purpose washing liquid.

One that you can use also as a shampoo to wash your hair. You can actually use it to wash anything you need during your camping trip or travels, everything from your body and hair to dishes and clothes. The perfect solution for people like me, who likes to have as little gear and staff as possible.

Since it’s a very concentrated solution, you need to apply very little of it.

The Sea to Summit shampoo is available in 2 sizes, also in travel size (carry on friendly).

SIZE: 8.5 fl oz/ 250 ml

5. Dr. Bronner’s – Pure-Castile Liquid Soap (click for more details)

Quality liquid soap that you can use for everything.

Not only it’s made of organic oils, but also 70% of ingredients are certified as fair trade ingredients. If you do care about nature AND ethical working conditions, you should be caring about this. As all of the best eco friendly shampoos it has no synthetic preservatives or agents. And it’s 100% vegan.

Available in different sizes, from 2 fl oz to 128 fl oz.

Do you want to save money? Buy the big bottle and refill it in travel bottles.

6. Sierra Dawn Campsuds (click for more details)

It’s cheap and it’s multi-purpose.

If you are looking for a cheap earth friendly shampoo, that simply does its job, look no further. Yes, it’s an all-purpose cleaning solution, and you can wash dishes and clothing with the Campsuds, but you can also wash your body and hair with it. It works both in hot and cold water.

And since all you need is only a few drops of it, one bottle can last you quite a time.

Available in different sizes.

7. Joshua Tree 8 oz. Body Wash (click for more details)

A biodegradable shampoo and body wash.

Suitable for almost anything. For body, hair, dishes and even your dog.

Made of organic and natural ingredients, and fully biodegradable.

SIZE: 8 fl oz / 235 ml

Persons hands covered in white water
Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

What Makes Shampoo Biodegradable?

And what does it really mean?

If it breaks down into water and carbon dioxide within 6 months, then it’s considered biodegradable.

To put it simply – if it completely disappears, then it’s biodegradable.

That’s not the case with most shampoos, shower gels and soaps most of us use daily. Most of these products contain chemicals. These chemicals are there to make these products antibacterial, to give them longer life, but at the same time it also makes them less earth friendly. And you should definitely avoid using them outdoors.

Popular shampoos and soaps that we regularly use contain chemicals like sulfates, triclosan (now banned in soaps), and phosphates. They make soaps antibacterial and the shampoo lather and give them a longer shelf life, but the chemicals are not biodegradable, so they’d flow into the earth or clean water resources.

Learn more here.

Do you use shampoo when hiking and camping? What earth friendly shampoo do you use?

Featured photo: by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Book Your Trip Like a PRO

1. Book Your Flight

Find cheap flights using Kiwi.com, Momondo.com. Or subscribe to Dollar Flight Club, if you don’t want to be searching for the flights yourself. Momondo usually is my first choice.

2. Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!

3. Buy Your Travel Insurance

World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.