A detailed review of my experiences using LUSH solid shampoo and conditioner bars, including Jungle, Godiva, Seanik and Big Solid, as well as some other LUSH products.
Carrying liquids is a major problem for a traveler.
Dealing with airline restrictions on liquids is a nuisance — but the real problem is the risk of spillage. When everything you own is packed in a bag that will be handled by airport gorillas, the idea of finding your belongings doused in foamy shampoo or slimy conditioner is horrifying.
LUSH solid shampoos and conditioners are spill-proof, worry-free, and easy to carry to the shower even when I’m in a hostel and the shower is down the hall. But the real surprise is how happy I am with my hair, now that I’ve found the right combination of products.
My hair is baby fine and stick-straight by nature. Think Golem. Adding body to my hair has been my life’s mission. As a nomad, I’m also concerned with build-up, as I can’t carry a variety of products to rotate. Plus, I need my hair to get really clean and stay fresh without stripping it of moisture. I often shower only every other day, for reasons ranging from ‘no hot water’ to ‘sharing one shower with seven girls in a hostel.’
I am so happy with my hair these days! (I have never used all those words together in a sentence in my life). I finger comb it and let it air-dry most days, and it comes out full, silky-soft, and with a hint of natural wave I never knew it had before. I no longer feel like I need any products to make my hair manageable. I’ve left my travel curling iron behind, and soon I will drop the styling product and blow dryer I’ve been carrying around. I honestly don’t need them any more. I worried about build-up at first, and bought local products to alternate with my LUSH products. But I’ve been using Seanik shampoo and Jungle conditioner exclusively now, and the longer I use them, the better my hair looks and feels.
I asked Craig for a second opinion on how my hair felt and smelled. He said it feels very soft, and smells neutral. Then he volunteered that he’s noticed how great my hair looks recently. In spite of the fact that I now spend exactly zero time styling it. Wow.
I started out using the LUSH tins, but now I use Humangear GoTubbs. They are easy to pop open one-handed, don’t leak, and don’t dent when dropped. Translucent lids and color coding make it way easier to grab the right product in the shower. The plastic material might be less environmentally sound than LUSH’s tin option, but these just flat work way better. The “medium” size is a perfect fit for standard-size LUSH shampoo bars like Jungle, Godiva, and Seanik.
The Winning Products
I didn’t find the perfect products for my hair right away, and YMMV unless you have the same hair as me. But these two products are perfect for me, and all I use at the moment.
I’m on my third bar now (the first two each lasted more than four months). It seems impossible, but stroking it over my scalp three times— like Fonzie’s comb, side, side, middle— gives me enough for a rich lather. The sea salt in the bar is supposed to add body and volume. Seems to be working for me, better than any product I’ve ever tried. The scent isn’t strong, but it smells of sea breezes without the fish.
It took longer to sell me on the conditioner bars (see below). Now that I’m used to it, though, I love it. I stroke this down the length of my hair four or five times, then work it through my ends. It disappears. I have to trust that there’s any product at all going onto my hair, because I can’t feel it. It’s like the Emperor’s New Conditioner up there. But after I rinse and dry, my hair feels incredibly soft and smells mildly herbal. The most frequent complaint about conditioners on the Lush website is that it’s hard to get any product. I think people are looking for that handful of goo they get with liquid conditioners; this isn’t like that at all. But it works.
Godiva is great because you only have to carry one bar! The smell is super strong and I hated it at first, but eventually I grew to crave it, and now I’ve made room in pack for a Godiva just for the smell. The jasmine fragrance scents the entire bathroom, even when the bar is dry. However, Godiva has a tendency to melt down and get gummy, and doesn’t last as long as the Seanik/Jungle combo.
I’m not sure I gave this product a fair chance. It was my first conditioner bar, and I never felt like I was getting enough product on my hair. I alternated it with liquid conditioners because I just didn’t trust it. Now I know that a little bit does the trick, I’d like to give it another shot. I’ve learned that you have to evaluate a LUSH conditioner by the way it affects your hair, not what your experience in the shower is like. But it was a big chunk of stuff, didn’t fit in a case, and became a mess inside a plastic baggie. I left it behind somewhere in South America, and wouldn’t have tried a solid conditioner again if I hadn’t received the Jungle bar for Christmas. Moral of the story: Conditioner bars don’t give you that handful of slimy goo you’re used to, but that doesn’t mean they’re not working. Give it a chance.
Other LUSH Products For Travel
I also carry & use LUSH’s Silky Underwear Dusting Powder, which contains grated cocoa butter & fresh jasmine. I’m addicted to the smell. I use it in hot countries to prevent chafing & sweating, and sprinkle it in my shoes periodically and on my sheets when I’m feeling romantic. It’s expensive, but lasts forever, the only downside is the packaging tends to come open on flights.
I love the Hottie Massage Bar. It smells like vanilla and black pepper, and also works as a moisturizer.