Lush Shampoo Bars Are a Wonder for My Hair

Aerial view of rainbow solid shampoo bars.

Courtesy of Lush

Long-lasting, deep-cleaning, and package-free, they're a frugal zero-waster's dream come true.

My hair has undergone a number of quirky experiments over the years. First there was the switch to washing with only baking soda and apple cider vinegar. That lasted almost two years, with fantastic results. Next up was a strict "no 'poo" experiment, where I did not wash my hair with anything but water for 40 days. The results were good, all things considered, but it wasn't something I wanted to continue doing.

My latest hair-related discovery is surprisingly simple, something that many of you readers may already be familiar with -- the famous shampoo bars by Lush. For anyone who's trying to reduce packaging waste, these are an easy go-to solution. They are hard, round bars that can be purchased loose and stored in a little metal tin, a zero-waster's dream.

Thanks to several Lush-sponsored trips I've taken over the years, I've acquired a couple of these shampoo bars, but because of my ongoing hair experiments, I am embarrassed to say I didn't actually get around to using one until this summer. Then, as soon as I did, my mind was promptly blown.

A woman with red nails lathering shampoo in her hair in the shower.

Topalov / Getty Images

Here's why: I have ridiculously thick hair that requires a handful of shampoo to get any sort of lather. It's not uncommon for me to wash and dry my hair, only to discover that the bottom layer is still greasy because I didn't get enough shampoo through it. I've learned that irritating lesson a few too many times!

The Lush shampoo bar lathers up almost instantly, as soon as it comes into contact with wet hair. It takes only about 4-5 swipes around my head before there's plenty of shampoo to work into my scalp and, wow, does it ever foam up beautifully. (I realize that's partly due to the controversial SLS that many natural beauty fans aren't fans of, nor am I, but it's necessary to pick one's battles. In this case, zero packaging wins the day.) For someone with thinner or shorter hair than mine, you'd need even fewer swipes to get an impressive lather.

I scrub once, rinse, and skip the conditioner. Whereas I used to be obsessed with loading on the conditioner, I find my hair doesn't even need it with the Lush shampoo bar. Once in a while, I do a hot oil treatment, which provides whatever moisture may be lacking. Lush does sell solid conditioner bars, but I haven't tried these yet.

My current shampoo bar, whose scent is called New, has been in use for over two months and doesn't look any smaller than the day I started using it; that being said, I only wash my hair every 5-7 days, so it doesn't see a lot of use. After washing, I stand it on edge, let it dry, and pop it back in the tin. Lush says its shampoo bars are supposed to last up to 80 washes, equivalent to 3 bottles of shampoo. That means my same old New bar should be in operation for at least another year.

I'm a big fan of beauty products that are long-lasting, low-impact, and highly effective. I do believe that we need to wean ourselves off the constant turnover of products, the surplus of plastic containers, the excessive amount of product that we use, and the associated exposure to chemicals and expense. The Lush Shampoo Bar is a very smart alternative to this. I now know what I'll be putting in my family's Christmas stockings this year, and I urge you to give it a try, if you haven't already.