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Do Shampoo Bars Really Work?

Organic soap

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. This love affair lasted a year but then I went back on the bottled shampoo. If you want to find out why then read on.

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The Shampoo Bar Brands I trialled

I did enjoy using Lush’s Trichomania shampoo bar, but replacing it became too much of a hassle for me. The closest Lush store to me is in the city centre and I rarely visit there now. Normally I’d stockpile stuff like this but the smell from this product is quite strong and I wasn’t keen to have it’s strong smell outside of the bathroom.

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 this shampoo bar. 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 washes I had 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.

Other Irish Brands of Shampoo Bars

Other Irish brands of shampoo bar include Skellig Soaps, Lucy Soap KitchenThe Natural Aroma Company, Three Hills Soap, Justine Le Guil and Heartworks, Blathana and The Soapbox Project. In the UK you’ve got Beauty Cubes who also use a high percentage of organic ingredients in their shampoo and conditioning cubes.

The Last Straw

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 liquid shampoo. Finally I had hair that I didn’t have to hide away in a pony tail anymore.

Final Verdict on Shampoo Bars I tried

How did the Shampoo Bars Smell?

I thought the smell from the shampoo bars I tried were fantastic, and doubled up as a room fragrance.

How long did the Shampoo Bars Last?

To give you some context, here is my hair washing routine. I have long fine hair that I wash 2-3 times a week. When I was using these shampoo bars I was also rinsing my hair with vinegar.

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.


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