Aside from being an essential part of a zero waste lifestyle and being convenient for travel, shampoo bars also come with plenty of benefits for your hair. Our teammate tried this one from Squeaky Clean Kids for a month, and here's how it turned out.
Full disclosure: I am not entirely new to using shampoo bars since I often take these when backpacking. In the past, these products weren't easy to come by so I used to save them only for travel purposes instead of using on a daily basis. That said, I do have a few brands in mind for an objective comparison.
I can't stress enough how good this shampoo bar smells. It could be the combination of shea butter and cocoa butter since has that warm vanilla-like scent.
I also like the use of recycled paper in packaging, but I do wish it came with a description of the ingredients and social good cause or community it helps.
Checking the product description online, I learned that this is made of cocoa butter, shea butter, honey, rice bran oil, and virgin coconut oil. All natural ingredients and no chemicals!
No biggie. Just the usual routine of running the shampoo bar over the top and back of my scalp, kind of like combing my hair into a ponytail.
I like how this one lathers up quickly, so I skipped combing the bar along the middle of my scalp. It's a rich lather, too, just enough for my shoulder-length hair.
The square shape of the bar is a bit large for me to grip with one hand, let alone run through my hair when wet. I tried, but I dropped it one too many times.
I do have a habit of cutting up soap bars in travel-sized pieces, especially ones I use for my face like this purifying charcoal soap.
As with other shampoo bars I've tried, it leaves a squeaky feel after rinsing my hair compared to regular cream or liquid shampoo brands. What I've learned from experience is that it's best to comb hair first before washing so there'll be less tangles to brush after towel-drying.
And did I mention how good it smells? I just leave the bar in a soap dish in our shower, and my bathroom always smells like a spa. A friend who came by even asked what scented candle I'm using in there!
The shampoo bar is down to the size of a normal soap bar by now. I try to keep it as dry as possible after using, but I found that it doesn't really shrink as fast as other brands.
AND! I've gotten a couple of compliments on how shiny and healthy my hair is looking. I have untreated virgin hair so it's naturally, hmm, buhaghag.
I'm not too big on hair sprays or serums either, so for someone who's really low maintenance but would like to tame their mane, this is a godsend.
I've read that, being free from chemical additives found in most cream or liquid formulas, shampoo bars can restore your hair to its original healthy state.
One thing that I did start to notice for the past week was how I had less hair fall. I used to be able to pick up a whole clump of strands after showering and after brushing, but it seems to have been drastically reduced lately.
Now hair fall is something I'm insanely self-conscious about and I've tried almost every hair fall control product there is, but no results come close to the improvement I'm seeing these days.
By the end of a full month of use, I've still got enough of the shampoo bar left for a week-and-a-half trip abroad. I'll get a chance to test this out in colder weather soon, so stay tuned!
Here's the relative size of a new bar and one after a month's use for comparison:
In some days, I'm able to skip conditioner since I've noticed that my hair hasn't been so unruly. Further reading led me to learn that shampoo bars are able to retain natural oils and moisture in the scalp, unlike products with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate.
I do wish they also had a conditioner bar, though, since I need this every now and then to keep split ends in check. (UPDATE: Wish granted! They now make conditioner bars, too! Review soon.)
As for the price point, I think it is reasonably priced at P225 for 100g given the number of washes for a full bar. I'm able to consume a 340mL bottle of shampoo in a month and that's priced at around P200, depending which grocery chain I buy it from.
Note that this shampoo bar from Squeaky Clean Kids still has about a travel-sized bar left after a month's use, so I'd say that's more bang for your buck. They've also got soap bars that address common skin concerns, too!
Even better, a portion of their profits fund soaps for underprivileged kids and hygiene awareness campaigns in underserved communities. Learn more about their social good mission here.