A detailed review of my experiences using LUSH solid shampoo and conditioner bars, including Jungle, Godiva, Seanik, Honey I Washed My Hair, and Big Solid, as well as some other LUSH products.
Carrying liquids is a major problem for a digital nomad.
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 shampoo and conditioner bars 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 baby-fine, stick-straight hair. It is transformed!
Lovin’ the solid hair products!
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 other than a little spritz of salt water. I’ve left my travel curling iron and blow dryer behind. I honestly don’t need them anymore.
Before I share the reviews, here’s my best tip for keeping these products dry and fresh (they will melt away if you let them get wet, so this is important!)
Best way to store & carry shampoo bars
These Humangear GoTubbs work so much better for me than the LUSH tins. They 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 “medium” size is a perfect fit for standard-size LUSH shampoo bars like Godiva, and Seanik, and I’m able to force the conditioner bars in there as well with a bit of determination.
I also use these for bobby pins, hair ties, pills, and other small items in my travel bag.
The Winning LUSH 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.
Solid Shampoo Bar: Seanik
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. I wouldn’t use this on dry or damaged hair, though.
Solid Shampoo Bar: Honey I Washed My Hair
I didn’t try this for a long time because I just hate the name so much. But now I’m a huge fan.
As much as I love Seanik, it is a little drying to my hair. This Honey bar lathers just as well, makes my hair feel clean and soft, and also feels moisturizing to my hair and scalp. The scent is really mild and pleasant, too.
Godiva Shampoo/Conditioner Bar
Godiva is great if you only have room to carry one bar, because it’s shampoo and conditioner in one product. The smell is super strong and I hated it at first, but I ultimately grew to crave it, and now I’ve made room in my pack for a Godiva just for the smell.
The jasmine fragrance scents the entire bathroom, even when the bar is dry, and I can smell it on my hair all day. However, Godiva has a tendency to melt and get gummy if you don’t keep it immaculately dry, and it doesn’t last as long as the Seanik/Jungle combo. I also feel like shampoo/conditioner combos don’t get my hair quite as clean as separate products. But the smell… and it leaves my hair super shiny and soft.
Discontinued: Jungle Solid Conditioner Bar
It took longer to sell me on LUSHconditioner bars, but now that I’m used to it, I love it. I stroke this down the length of my hair four or five times, then work it through the ends. It disappears. I have to trust that there’s any product at all going onto my hair because I can’t feel it. But after I rinse and dry, my hair feels incredibly soft and smells mildly herbal.
I’m not alone in this. The most frequent complaint about conditioners on the Lush website is that people don’t think they’re getting any product on their hair — and yet they say their hair comes out soft, full, fluffy, and manageable. 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. Trust the results.
Jungle was a great product for fine hair, very light and nongreasy with a fresh grassy scent. I’m still looking for something to replace this in my life.
The Ones I Left Behind
Big Solid Conditioner Bar
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 that I understand you don’t need handfuls of cream to condition your hair, I’d like to give it another shot.
But Big was a huge chunk of product that didn’t fit in a case or tin, 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.
Update: I did give the Big bar another chance. I liked it better the second time, but it doesn’t leave my hair nearly as soft and full as Jungle does.
Rose Jam Shampoo Bar
Rose Jam smells like heaven, but it didn’t do much for my hair and crumbled to dust even though I treated it very gently. I can’t recommend this one for anybody unless they fix the formula so it holds together better.
NOTE: Rose Jam has been discontinued. I think “Jason and the Argan Oil” is an improved version of this product, but I haven’t tried that one yet.
Other Brands from Amazon
I had such good experiences with shampoo bars that I started trying some of the brands available on Amazon. I’ve had really good experiences so far!
Wow, did I fall in love with this!
The”Hidden Waterfall” smell is light and alluring (it comes in other fragrances as well). The shampoo makes a thick, luxurious lather and leaves my hair soft and clean. I feel very indulged when I use this beautiful bar.
The square conditioner bar is too big to fit in my waterproof case, so I cut it in half with a kitchen knife. It’s very soft, so it needs to be kept dry so it won’t melt away. It did lightly condition my hair and left it soft and shiny.
This is what I’m currently using, after noting that it has over a thousand five-star reviews. The castor oil formula is very hydrating. My hair is smooth, bouncy and shiny. I feel like this bar will last a long time.
Kitsch also comes in strengthening and clarifying formulas. I’m curious to try them!
Other LUSH Products For Travelers
Silky Underwear Dusting Powder
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 indulgent. I’ve even used it as a dry shampoo in a pinch.
It’s expensive but lasts forever. The only downside is the lid tends to pop open on flights, so I have to keep it in a ziplock baggie.
Hottie Massage Bar
I love this bar. It smells like vanilla and black pepper, and has a warming effect on the skin.
All the Lush massage bars are great for travel — especially if you’re traveling with a friend and you can rub each other down after a long day of walking.
They are also the perfect spillproof moisturizers for hands, feet, and legs.
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