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Concentrated shampoo or soap is popular with hikers and long-distance backpackers, but the suds also have applications for casual travel.
Readers on our HPLWorld community wanted to know the best concentrated shampoo for travel- the brands and how many travelers use it. While picking up hotel shampoos as you go, filling up travel-sized bottles and not using shampoo at all are options, using concentrated shampoo is another you might want to consider for your next trip.
Have you used concentrated shampoo yourself? Leave your opinions in the comments below!
What is Concentrated Shampoo?
Just as it sounds, concentrated shampoo comes in a smaller bottle or package and creates lather when a tiny amount is mixed with water. It’s great for camping because you don’t need as much in the bottle. If you don’t have sensitive hair, concentrated shampoo can be used for long trips so you don’t have to restock constantly.
Why Use Concentrated Shampoo?
So what’s the point in traveling with concentrated shampoo? The biggest reason is light packing, as it’s a smaller bottle. Standard shampoo bottles include a large amount of water, so you can cut down on the liquid itself while still getting all the benefits. They last a long time and are better for the environment as most are biodegradable. The best types won’t affect natural bodies of water if you’re washing your hair in the outdoors.
Best Concentrated Shampoo: Brands to Try
Some companies market what they call camping shampoos and others sell soaps that you can use as shampoo like Wilderness Wash. While I don’t recommend this for everyone, especially those with sensitive hair like I have, it can be an easy way to pack one less item.
Sea to Summit Trek and Travel Shampoo with Conditioner, $4.50
The biggest brand is by one of our favorite companies, Sea to Summit. Their two-in-one shampoo and conditioner comes concentrated in a leak-proof TSA-approved bottle. It’s paraben free, biodegradable and comes in a green tea fragrance. You only need to fill a cap’s worth and mix with saltwater or freshwater. They also make a version in solid form, called soap leaves.
No Rinse Shampoo, $1.50
Another option is No Rinse Shampoo, which is used by backpackers, hunters and even NASA astronauts! This concentrated shampoo doesn’t require additional water and is left into the hair after massaging into scalp and towel drying. The biodegradable and pH-balanced shampoo doesn’t contain alcohol and doesn’t leave residue, so it’s better for those with sensitive scalps.
Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps, $3.50
Many people swear by Dr. Bronner’s as a way to wash your hair, body, clothes and dishes. It comes in bar and liquid from and dozens of scents. While not concentrated shampoo, this all-natural soap doesn’t require much to get the job done and comes in a TSA-approved bottle size. It leaves a residue for some people’s hair, but you can’t beat the many uses.
Lush Shampoo Bars, $9.95+
Lush makes shampoo bars that are also concentrated, leaving behind the excess water and lasting as long as two to three bottles of shampoo. They’re made of natural ingredients and are vegan-friendly. Lather them in your hands and massage into your hair like you would any other type of shampoo. They even claim to be good to 80 uses!