I have been on hunt again for a low waste method for washing my hair. For a while, I had used the rye flour method to wash my hair, but I wasn’t too happy with the results, as even though I rinsed my hair well, I would still have some residual flakes from the flour. I have tried a number of shampoo bars, but many of them either dried out my hair, or left too much residue in my hair, likely because of the high concentration of oils. Many shampoo bars use coconut oil, which my skin does not like. I am not a fan of coconut oil at all, as I find that it sits on the skin rather than moisturizes it.
I had avoided trying Lush shampoo bars because they contain SLS. Liquid shampoos with SLS have been disastrous with my hair, leaving a veritable rats’ nest behind. If have to douse my hair in conditioner to overcome the damage from the shampoo, then clearly there’s a problem. This article, admittedly written by Lush, suggested that SLS in shampoo bars might be less damaging because you apply only the foam to the hair, rather than the product directly: When you use a liquid shampoo you apply the neat material to your scalp, but you don’t get that with a shampoo bar — you only get the foam that comes off the material, which means that even people with the most sensitive scalps can use it. I don’t know if this statement is scientifically sound, but I was willing to give it a try.
Choosing a shampoo bar at Lush is a challenge in that all of the bars contain fragrance. I know that Lush takes pride in its fragrances, but I do wish that some unscented products were made as well. Shampoo, at least, rinses out, so I crossed my fingers. I selected the Jason and the Argonauts shampoo bar, which is vegan. I use the shampoo bar only once a week, as my dry scalp does not like to be over washed; I wash with water and conditioner in between shampoos as necessary. I’ve been pleased with the results. The bar lathers well, and you use very little of it, so this bar should last me for a number of bars. It cleans the scalp and hair well, and does not appear to over dry my hair. I was pleased to note that the scent of the bar does not linger in the hair. So, this bar is a win-win with regard to zero waste and effectiveness.
Update: I have had to give up on this soap bar. As I feared, the sulfates in the bar eventually became a problem, drying out both my hair and my scalp. On the other hand, I’ve been using a silicone-free conditioner to wash my scalp for about two weeks now, and this has been working very well. Unfortunately, the conditioner does come in a plastic bottle, but I can’t seem to find a plastic-free option that works for my scalp and hair.