Lush’s ‘Godiva’ shampoo bar has been a staple in my travel toiletries bag since discovering it in 2012. It lasts so long, that I’ve taken it on three separate 6-week trips so far and I’m still only half way through it! Recently I’ve started trying more solid products in everyday life in order to cut down on wasteful packaging. Shampoo and conditioner use a lot of packaging and the bottles tend to run out quickly, so what better place to start?
Lush’s ‘Godiva’ is a shampoo bar containing chunks of solid conditioner. I’ve mentioned before that it works great as a shampoo, leaving hair quite literally “squeaky-clean”, but it is a poor conditioner. It leaves my hair a knotty mess and is very difficult to detangle without using a leave-in conditioner or hair oil afterwards. I decided to try the ‘Jungle’ solid conditioner, despite some less than stellar reviews, hoping to find its reputation undeserved. To make the shipping worthwhile, I also ordered the ‘Seanik’ shampoo bar and ‘Full of Grace’ face serum bar (which I can review after using it a bit more). I had heard that Lush were great at including samples in your order, but I didn’t expect to find an entire ‘Honey I Washed My Hair’ shampoo bar as a sample! Score!
Seanik is Lush’s volumising shampoo bar. I’ve seen people describe it as a solid version of the popular ‘Big Shampoo’ which uses sea salt to add body to the hair. It’s a gorgeous vibrant blue colour with bits of seaweed (sounds odd, but protein-rich seaweed is supposed to be good for your hair, or so they say). Seanik gets my hair squeaky clean, just like the Godiva bar. I can’t really say I ‘like’ the squeaky feel of my hair after washing it with these bars, but at least I know it’s actually clean. Most liquid shampoos coat the hair in silicone, which gives it an artificially smooth feeling. Lush’s shampoo bars are silicone-free, so they feel a bit strange at first, but you get used to it.
‘Honey I Washed My Hair’ Shampoo
Honey I Washed My Hair has the same scent as the popular ‘Honey I Washed The Kids’ soap, and boy is it strong! Apparently a lot of people really like the scent of honey. I can’t say I’m one of them (so far Seanik is my preferred shampoo bar scent), but I find the smell doesn’t linger in my hair so I don’t really mind it. Honey I Washed My Hair doesn’t seem to leave my hair as “squeaky” as Godiva and Seanik, so if you’re after something a little more mild, this might be the one for you. Like the other shampoo bars, you definitely still need to use a conditioner afterwards.
After reading a lot of mixed reviews on the Jungle conditioner bar, I was a bit apprehensive about trying it, which is why I’ve put it off for so long. It’s true what they say – when you use it in the shower it really doesn’t feel like it’s doing anything at all. You can rub the bar either directly on your hair or rub it between your hands a few times and then run your hands through your hair. You’ll wonder if there’s even any product in your hair at all. The first time I used the Jungle conditioner, the only thing I noticed in the shower was that the “squeaky” feeling from the shampoo went away. I left it in for a few minutes, hoping it would do something and then rinsed it out. It left my hair feeling much smoother than after the shampoo, but nothing special.
I got out of the shower and combed my hair (I know, I know – you’re not meant to comb or brush your hair when wet, but if I don’t, my hair is a frizzy, knotty mess afterwards) and left it to dry. Once it was dry, my hair was nice and soft – more so even than with regular conditioner, so it does the job. However, it’s still not very good at detangling. I still need to use a hair oil or serum on the ends of my hair to help with the knottiness, though I’m way overdue for a cut which could be exacerbating the problem. I have to use a serum with regular liquid conditioner anyway, so to me it’s not a big deal. The solid conditioner leaves my hair much softer and more manageable than when using solid shampoo alone.
Lush sells round tins that are just the right size for the shampoo and conditioner bars, but I don’t suggest you buy them. The bars tend to stick to the tins and later turn to mush if you don’t let them fully dry before putting them in. Mine is a bitch to open – I had to get a knife to pry the lid off the last time before giving up on it. Instead I bought a plastic soap container – one with raised ridges on the bottom to help the bars dry out, and a hinged lid that snaps closed which is perfect for travel. I leave the lid open whenever possible to really help the bars dry out. Look for one big enough to store soap, shampoo and conditioner all in one and make trips to hostel showers a breeze (or just cut the bars up into smaller pieces if they won’t all fit).
After using both the shampoo and conditioner, my hair is still a bit frizzy & flyaway (damn) so I still need to use a smoothing product, but my hair does feel lighter and more voluminous, and I find that I’m able to go a day longer than usual before needing to wash my hair again. I am very happy with both the shampoo and conditioner and I don’t think I’ll be switching back to liquid products in a hurry. These bars last a really long time, so their higher initial price tag evens out in the long run. Aside from the scent, I haven’t noticed any discernible differences between the shampoo bars in terms of what they do to your hair, though I’ve only tried three so far and there are many others available. My favourite of the three is Seanik for its bright colour and fresh scent.
I highly recommend the Lush solid shampoo and conditioner bars. The conditioner takes a little getting used to, and I don’t know how well it performs on other hair types (mine is fine, but frizzy), but it’s definitely worth trying. You’ll save so much weight in your toiletry bag!