Tag-Archive for » Shampoo bar reviews «

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 | Author:

Here’s a wonderful soap from Boondock G’s scented with yuzu fragrance. For those of you who don’t know, yuzu is a Japanese fruit, similar to a grapefruit.

Ingredients: saponified olive and coconut oils, mango butter, with goat’s milk, annatto seed for color, fragrance and tussah noil silk

Again, a soap with a nice, simple list of ingredients.

Smell: This soap has a citrusy-fruity-floral smell which is very light and refreshing. It has just enough strength to linger in my hair but not so much that it is overpowering.

Texture: This is a nice, hard bar that glides smoothly over my hair and lathers up really well.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Definitely! This bar is on the more cleansing end of the spectrum. It left both my hair and scalp squeaky clean and very light feeling.

How does my hair look and feel? It feels very clean and light, but slightly on the squeaky/grabby side. However, a little extra leave-on conditioner counteracts this very well.

Price plus shipping: $6.00 plus $2.80 for a 3 ounce bar

Verdict: Thumbs up. This bar is less conditioning than some, but is perfect for those with finer hair that tends to look limp. I bet it’s something I’ll gravitate to during the summer. Also, this seller has the most wonderful fragrances. I got samples of a bunch, and I can tell you that in addition to the Yuzu, I also love the Green Tea and Willow, and the Currant Thyme Tea.

Thursday, December 11th, 2008 | Author:

OK — so this is the first fragranced soap I’ll be reviewing. It’s not specifically designed to be a shampoo bar, but my friend Becky (from Becky’s Paper Creations), has convinced me that you can use (or at least try) any handmade soap on your hair. This is the Jasmine Fragranced Tea Soap from Soap Sense.

Ingredients: jasmine tea, saponified olive oil, castor oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, evening primrose oil, spring water, fragrance

Smell: OK — I feel like I could write a whole essay on the way this soap smells. First of all, I’ve loved the smell of jasmine ever since I was sitting in a park on the Greek island of Rhodes, smelled this amazing fragrance, and realized it was wafting over from these little jasmine shrubs. But anytime I’ve considered jasmine fragranced soaps, body lotions, etc., they didn’t smell anything like that soft, sweet smell I remembered. Well let me tell you, Dana, the owner of Soap Sense, has captured this smell so perfectly, it’s amazing. It’s every bit like what I remember of the real thing. And although, when I first opened the package, I thought the smell was a bit overpowering, it’s really not at all. It makes our shower smell nice, in an unobtrusive way, and after my hair’s been washed, the smell lingers very lightly, really not noticeable unless one is to bury one’s nose in my hair (which only a few people tend to do ;) ). Point being, it is a wonderful smell, makes me and my husband happy, and is not distracting to me at all.

Texture: This bar smooths its way over my hair easily and produces a rich, long-lasting lather that is a treat to feel in my hair.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? This bar is on the more conditioning end of the spectrum. I’ve found if I use it alone, that I’m feeling just a bit weighed down by the end of the day. So what I’ve been doing is first washing with my Honey Almond Shampoo bar from Dragon’s Den, and then finishing up with the jasmine bar. This also allows the jasmine bar to really lather up and do it’s thing. And keeps my hair clean feeling and fragrant all day.

How does my hair look and feel? So so soft, silky, and shiny. Really. I am honestly amazed at how soft and smooth my hair feels.

Price plus shipping: $5.00 plus $2.75 for a 4 ounce bar

Verdict: Definite thumbs up. People with finer or limp hair may find this bar too conditioning. But on my hair, and especially in the dry winter months, it is perfect! This is also really lovely as a hand or body soap. The conditioning nature of it means you absolutely won’t feel dry or itchy after using it. In fact, I might just try it on my face next!

Thursday, December 04th, 2008 | Author:

I’m on a roll — another shampoo bar that you can actually go and buy right now. And believe me, you’ll want to! This one is called Wild Mane and is offered by Dreamseeds Organics.

Ingredients: Extra virgin organic olive oil, infused with nettle leaf, usnea and horsetail, castor, sweet almond, avocado, coconut, palm oils, fair trade shea butter and eco friendly silk, saponified with nettle infusion; Essential oils of rosemary, peppermint, cedarwood, sage, lemon, ylang ylang and Italian lavender

Doesn’t this read like a list of all the best good-for-your-hair ingredients there are?

Smell: This shampoo bar has a stronger smell than most of the ones I’ve tested. It’s an earthy, herbal smell that I find very soothing. After washing, the smell doesn’t really linger in my hair.

Texture: This bar glides really easily over my hair and oh my, the bubbles! There are lots and lots of bubbles. It’s wonderful!

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Absolutely — it finds that balance between leaving me feeling perfectly fresh and clean, yet not too squeaky or stripped.

How does my hair look and feel? So wonderful. Ever since I started using shampoo bars, pretty much every day is a good hair day. But this bar takes it a step further and my hair is so, shiny, soft and drapey. I love it!

Price plus shipping: $6.00 plus $3.25 for a 4 ounce bar

Verdict: Double double thumbs up. I love this bar!

Tuesday, December 02nd, 2008 | Author:

You’re in for a treat — an awesome shampoo bar that is actually in-stock! Today we have a wonderful shampoo bar from Sweet Creek Herbs.

Ingredients: coconut oil, castor oil, extra virgin olive oil, jojoba, added emu oil, avocado oil, essential oils of tea tree, rosemary, and basil

If you ever get into a convo with Kathleen, you’ll find that she takes her soapmaking extremely seriously and has done a ton of research. So you can be sure that every ingredient on this list is there for a reason.

Smell: This shampoo bar has a very soft, herbal smell. I think it’s mostly tea tree and rosemary that I detect, but it is not overpowering at all. Once my hair is washed, the only thing that lingers is a comforting, soapy smell.

Texture: This is a nice, hard bar that glides really easily over my hair. It lathers up really well, with nice, long-lasting bubbles.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? You betcha — this bar does a great job and rinses away very cleanly.

How does my hair look and feel? Fantastic! I love how soft and silky my hair feels. And I think it looks even shinier than usual when using this bar.

Price plus shipping: $5.00 plus $4.80 for a 4+ ounce bar

Verdict: Absolute thumbs up, this one’s definitely a keeper. I tried the Green Herbal bar, but Kathleen also has Chamomile Ylang Ylang, Marshamallow Root, Rosemary Honey and Lavendar Shea shampoo bars listed. Yummy!

Sunday, November 30th, 2008 | Author:

First off, you should read the ‘About me’ page for this store — what a great story. I love how entire businesses can grow off of chance occurrences. Your child takes piano lessons at a goat farm and next thing you know, bam!, you’re running your own soap-making business :)

So our next shampoo bar is the beer shampoo bar from Country Soaps by Marlene . Let me start off by apologizing for reviewing another sold-out shampoo, but the good news is that Marlene does have a few other shampoo bars listed.

Ingredients : Olive, Castor, Almond, Jojoba, coconut, almond butter, palm, wheat & silk proteins, beer & NaOH

This bar has some of the ingredients I’ve learned to love in shampoo bars, including jojoba oil, wheat and silk proteins, and, of course, beer.

Smell: This soap is basically unscented, but the almost oil/butter gives it that almond-y smell I tend to associate with maraschino cherries. It’s very soft and subtle.

Texture : This is a slightly softer bar than some, rubs on easily and lathers up really well.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Yes, it did. It seems to have a slight bit of waxiness right up against my scalp, but nothing that affected the look and feel of my hair.

How does my hair look and feel? Very nice — this one leaves my hair slightly on the squeaky side so I think it would work best for fine hair.

Verdict: Thumbs up :)

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 | Author:

A Scentsible World (BJRussell) offers several yummy sounding shampoo bars (the Herbal Silk bar I’m reviewing today is shown on top in the picture, the Peppermint Tea Tree I’ll save for another day, but that’s the one sitting below).

Ingredients: coconut oil, babassu oil, palm oil, castor oil, rice bran oil infused with marshmallow root, chickweed, nettle leaf, Horsetail and Chamomile, shea butter, cocoa butter, hydrolyzed silk proteins

I’ve heard lots of good things about marshmallow root in shampoo bars, horsetail is one of the ingredients in the Giovanni leave-in conditioner I like so much, so I’m happy to see that in here, and the silk proteins I’m finding are great for giving me that silky, glide-y feeling.

Smell: This bar has a surprisingly earthy smell (surprising to me, based on the ingredients — I’m not sure what is imparting the most fragrance). I find it quite pleasant, but it is on the stronger side compared to most of the other bars I am reviewing.

Texture: This is, again, a nice, hard bar of soap which glides very easily over my hair, forming a nice, long-lasting lather.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Yes, very well indeed.

How does my hair look and feel? Really nice — soft and silky, and not weighed-down at all. I’m really happy with the results of this one.

Price plus shipping: $6.95 + $2.95 for a 4-5 oz bar

Verdict: Big thumbs up! Barbara also offers herbal hair rinses in her store, which might interest those of you looking for something a bit more special than plain old vinegar.

Monday, November 10th, 2008 | Author:

Here’s another lovely beer shampoo bar, this one from CCrafters. In addition to this one, there is also a Botanical shampoo bar that sounds yummy as well.

Ingredients: Saponified oils of olive, coconut, palm avocado, hemp-seed, castor and shea butter, beer, purified water infusion of rosemary, burdock, nettle and chamomile, essential oils of pink grapefruit, lemongrass, rosemary

There’s that beer again, and rosemary and nettle, both of which are supposed to be excellent for promoting healthy hair.

Smell: This shampoo bar has a delightful citrusy note to it, but it’s very light, not overpowering in the least. I think it’s probably the grapefruit and the lemongrass I smell. When lathering up, I also detected a little bit of hoppiness.

Texture: This is another slightly grabby soap, but it lathers up very well. The bubbles to break down a little sooner than other soaps I’ve tried, but they are definitely sufficient to get a nice head full of clean hair.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Yes, definitely!

How does my hair look and feel? Wonderful! This is another bar that leaves a little something behind to condition my hair and help it feel soft and silky. I haven’t tried it, but I would definitely experiment with skipping the vinegar and / or leave-in conditioner with this one.

Price plus shipping: $5.00 + $3.00 for a 4.5 oz bar

Verdict: Definite thumbs up. I can see this one becoming one of my regulars.

Thursday, November 06th, 2008 | Author:

OK — let’s talk about Bar Naked from Soapalaya. First of all, I love the name of this store — it’s a combination of “soap” and “jamabalaya.” That makes me happy for some reason :) This is both a soap and shampoo, and has tons of raves in Etsy feedback.

Ingredients: Saponified oils of coconut, palm kernel, avocado, rice bran, hemp oil, shea butter, and castor

As you can see, this bar is filled with gentle and moisturizing ingredients.

Smell: This bar is unscented and has no essential oils, so it’s really the smell of the base oils themselves that come through. You have to hold the soap or lather right up to your nose to smell it, and then you’re rewarded with this soft, milky, cake batter smell. I’m thinking it’s the shea butter talking. And although this is not a strong fragrance in any sense, my hair retains that smell and it’s very soothing.

Texture: This is interesting. First of all, I think I’ve learned the trick of how to reduce the gripping or friction between shampoo bar and hair. It’s to first wet the bar and lather it up somewhat before rubbing it across your hair. Makes a big difference. OK — so what’s interesting is that this soap lathers very well, with nice creamy bubbles. But the bubbles and soap seem to disappear when I try to work them across my scalp. So my hair is lathered well, but I seem to have more trouble getting a really clean feeling on my skin.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Yes, but I would definitely classify this as more of a moisturizing bar, at least skin-wise. My hair had the same squeaky-clean feeling I am now associated with all shampoo bars, but my scalp ended up with less of that squeaky feeling. This would probably be great for anyone who has dry skin on their head.

How does my hair look and feel? With the vinegar and leave-in routine, it feels quite good. By the end of the day, however, it was starting to feel a bit oily.

Price plus shipping: $5.50 + $2.85 for a 5 oz bar.

Verdict: Thumbs up — I think this would be a particular good shampoo bar with someone with super-sensitive and/or dry skin.

Tuesday, November 04th, 2008 | Author:

In case you’re interested, I thought I’d post a pic of the testing ground for this experiment:

As you can see, it needs to be frizz-free and sleek to look it’s best. You can also see where the wave’s coming back in towards the top (I had it straightened last spring).

The other thing to note is that my hair is very thick, both in the sense that I have lots of it, and the fact that each individual hair is thick as well (my husband calls them cables). So what works for me is a shampoo bar that leaves a little bit of something behind, to keep my hairs smoothed down. Someone with really fine hair, or hair that needs to be bouncy, might tend to find my favorite bars to be too heavy. I have tried to note when I think different bars might not work for me, but could be ideal for you, depending on your hair type.

Saturday, November 01st, 2008 | Author:

OK, next up we have a gem of a shampoo bar from BathLife. She has several shampoo bars listed, but Hush is the only unscented one.

Ingredients: Beer, wheat germ oil, jojoba oil, kukui nut oil, macadamia nut oil, orchid extract, castor oil, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, vitamin e

I’ve been fascinated with the idea of beer in a shampoo bar. The premise is that the protein in the hops and malt coat and repair damaged hair. Does this work? I have no idea, but people have been rinsing their hair with beer… probably since the advent of beer.

Beyond the beer, the kukui nut oil and macadamia oil sound luscious, don’t they?

Smell: This soap has a very light flowery / hoppy smell. It is very pleasant, and subtle.

Texture: Again, this bar has some grab as I rub it across my hair, and again, I don’t think this is a big deal, but am just making a note of it. It does lather up nicely and the bubbles stick around for a nice, long time as I work them through the crown of my head.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Yes, it really did. I think this will probably be consistent through all the shampoo bars that I test. They just plain clean my hair, and especially my scalp, better than regular shampoo. The thing that feels so wonderful is, that after my shower, as I run my fingers back from my forehead and through my hair, my scalp feels like skin. Of course, it is skin, but when I was using shampoo, it always had a different texture than the rest of my skin. Like it had a coating on it or something. Now it feels like fresh, clean skin, and it’s wonderful.

I would say with the Hush bar, that my hair got squeakier clean than it does with some other bars I’ve been testing. For me, this is not necessarily what I want, because I like my hair to have that silky, glide-y feel, where the hairs can just slide right by each other. If it’s too squeaky clean, they kind of get caught on each other. But if you’re looking for that super-squeaky-clean feeling, then this could be the perfect shampoo bar for you.

How does my hair look and feel? Like I said, a smidge on the squeaky side, but I used some extra leave-in to counteract this, and then my hair felt great. I don’t think I could skip the rinse or the conditioner with this bar, though.

Price plus shipping: $9.00 plus $2.00 shipping for a 5 oz bar.

Verdict: Thumbs up — I think this would be best for someone with oily or fine hair. It might work as a clarifying bar too, I will probaby experiment with it if I feel like I’m getting build-up from my other shampoo bars.