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ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY BEAUTY | LUSH SHAMPOO BAR

Lush are well known for selling natural, vegetarian, animal friendly, funky beauty products. Most well known for their bath bombs I guess, they also do a huge range of bath, hair and body gloops and slimes, and have an excellent reputation for their environmentally friendly values. When I wrote my Ten Ways to Cut Waste post a few weeks back I mentioned that I had recently purchased one of the Lush shampoo bars because they come with no packaging (naked, if you like…). Quite a few of you asked me to report back once I’d had time to formulate an opinion on the solid shampoo thing, and so here are some words on my first experience of naked beauty.

The display in Lush, Lincoln.

I went into my local Lush store here in Lincoln and got immediately distracted by the bath bombs as always happens – they’re quite expensive when you consider they’re a one-use product so I tend not to give into temptation very often. I was saved when one of the shop assistants came over and asked me if I needed any help today; yes, I do, show me to the shower bars!

Lush Shampoo Bar.

I was surprised to see there was so much choice, and asked the lovely lady what she would recommend for my fine and brittle locks. We decided on the Jason and the Argan Oil bar, with argon oil, rose jam, lemon, geranium and all kinds of other bits and bobs, it’s supposed to be good for creating stronger, shinier, softer hair. As with everything in Lush, all the ingredients are natural, the bars are handmade, not tested on animals, and the bonus with this particular product, comes with no packaging other than a little paper bag to help you get it home in one piece.

The shop assistant did the usual upsell and persuaded me to buy one of the conditioner bars too. Well I figured they do really go hand in hand, and it’s all so colourful and cheerful I couldn’t resist! I went for The Plumps, a blend of sea salt, cedarwood and honey, and with a lovely smell of sandalwood.

The Plumps Conditioner Bar.

The shampoo bar cost me £5.95 for 55g and the conditioner £6.95 for 50g, which is double what I would spend on shampoo and conditioner normally, but as I was promised 80 washes from each I was pretty happy spending that as cost per wash would be on a par if not better.

Oh and I headed back after a couple of weeks and bought the round tin to make transporting my shampoo when travelling much easier. I wanted to take it down to the New Forest and didn’t really want to take the massive Tupperware type box I’d been using. The tin was only £2.50 so that hasn’t broken the bank, and it is very handy. While there I was offered a sample of a hair mask, which I accepted (of course!), but that’s still sat in my bathroom cupboard waiting for me to have 20 minutes to leave some product on my hair before I have a shower. Anyway.

My Lush Shampoo Bar in the tin after around four weeks.

There is no point buying fancy products if they don’t actually do the job, so I’m very pleased to report that the shampoo bar is brilliant. I really like it. After a couple of weeks of using this I have become a total convert; it bubbles up very easily when wet, creates a good lather so I can feel my hair and head being cleaned properly, and leaves my hair feeling and looking great. It easily cleans my hair as well as the stuff I have been using from a plastic bottle. After a month of using this every other day (ish), the bar hasn’t reduced in size much at all. These photos were taken just the other day, not when the bar was new.

Using the bar.

I haven’t really used the conditioner bar much at all; it really is going to last a long time! I like it, it is super easy to use and leaves my hair feeling lovely, but just seems to work better when I blow dry my hair – which isn’t very often. So when I know I’m going to leave my hair to air dry, I use the shampoo and don’t bother to condition. If I am going to blow dry and/or straighten my hair, then the conditioner gets used.

There is one thing I’m not sure about. The advice, quite rightly, is to allow the shampoo bar to dry out before you put it in the tin (or box or whatever you’re using). Which is fine in my bathroom at home – I can leave it on the side of the bath or shower to dry, wipe up the excess purple (which doesn’t seem to stain, if you were worried about that), and then put it in the tin. When I’m travelling it’ll be fine if I choose to wash my hair in the evening, but if I do so in the morning I don’t think the bar will dry out in time to pack it away, especially if the ventilation in the bathroom is less than ideal. And if I’m camping there is no chance at all of it drying out before I have to bung it in my pack because I can’t have a damp and soapy shampoo bar rolling around my tent – euwww. I bet it’s fine really; it’s not going to go mouldy on a long weekend camping trip if I make sure I dry it out when I get home. But I’d love to hear your advice if you use these bars for travelling – how do you make sure it’s dry/keeps well?

A bit of water and it lathers up nicely.

That small thing aside, I am really very happy with the shampoo bar from Lush, I’m so glad I gave into the hype and gave it a try. I am pretty sure I shan’t buy shampoo in a plastic bottle again, I’ve no need.

If you are looking for ways to reduce your plastic waste and be a little kinder to the environment, or if you just want to try a nice new shampoo, then you should definitely try this out. There are quite a few to choose from but I found the people in store super helpful when it came to picking the right one for my hair. I may try a different one next time, just for variety, but that isn’t going to be for a while yet!

What environmentally friendly beauty products do you use? Comment below and link to your favourites so I can go and check them out.

And as an aside, I was pleased to read the other day that Head and Shoulders has announced it will be using a recyclable shampoo bottle made of recycled beach plastic; that is, bottles made from recycles plastic picked up from the sea. Nice one! More like this, please.

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