One of the first products I tried on my journey to zero waste was a shampoo bar from Lush and, despite it’s price, I was a convert. I loved the fact that I could buy it without packaging, save a sticker saying how much it was. Well that was over a year ago and now I’m back on the bottled shampoo, why?
After using Lush’s Trichomania shampoo bar for approximately 6 months I started to develop really bad eczema on my feet of all places! Obviously the residue of the shampoo was landing there and creating an issue.
So I hunted around for an alternative shampoo bar and decided upon a transitioning shampoo bar from AB Studio which I bought at the Zero Waste Festival in June. I really liked the smell of this soap and it lathered up very well but my hair definitely didn’t like it. I was told that it can take hair a while to get used to their shampoo bars so I persevered for 5 weeks, at the end of which my crown was lank and greasy and my ends were straw-like. Not a good look!
I then sourced a lovely Lemon & Chamomile shampoo bar from Airmid, which I bought in South William St Pharmacy on Dublin 2. Again a lovely smell and a bar that lathered up really well. The first wash looked promising, my hair felt lighter and smoother, but after a few more washes I was back at square one with a lank, greasy crown.
The last shampoo bar I trialled was the vegan Rosemary and Seasalt soap from Clarkes of Dublin. This isn’t branded as a shampoo bar but a friend who used it as one said they found it good, plus the supplier said it would be suitable as a shampoo bar. The soap smells lovely, is a good size and lathers up well, but from the very first wash I could feel the residue building up on my hair.
Fed up looking like a cross between a bag a chips and a scarecrow I gave in and used Faith in Nature’s Aloe Vera shampoo, which I can get refilled in Hopsack in Rathmines, D6. Finally I had hair that I didn’t have to hide away in a pony tail anymore.
I think the problem wasn’t so much with the bars themselves – except for the Lush one, which I think was a direct cause of my eczema – I think the hardness of the water in my area was causing the soap in the shampoo bars to form a scum on my hair, which wasn’t being rinsed away. Perhaps someone living in a soft water area wouldn’t have the same issue.
I will say that I thought the smell from the shampoo bars were all fantastic and I felt that the soap from AB Studio’s seemed to reduce the least of all of the bars I tested, with the Airmid bar a close second. I found the Lush soap melted away extremely quickly and although the cheapest initially cost me the most in the long run.
PS – To give you some context here is my hair washing routine. I have long fine hair that I wash 2-3 times a week and I use a vinegar rinse of 1.5 tblsp of Organic Apple cider vinegar to a pint of water. I’ve been using this vinegar rinse for over a year now. I have slightly sensitive skin and have had eczema from time to time but it’s not a regular issue for me.