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Recommendations for bar shampoo

I am looking to both lighten my travel load and to be more environmentally responsible. Looking for comments/recommendations regarding using bar shampoo and conditioner rather than the typical liquid ones.
For those of you who have already made this change, do you have a favorite brand?


Posted by
6618 posts

I’d recommend you trying this well before you travel.

I’ve tried a couple of kinds - one made locally and purchased at the Farmers Market and some pretty expensive stuff from The Lush shop in Bath, UK. Neither worked for my hair, even with the really cute young sales guy in Lush assuring me this his product would work for menopausal gray hair. Yikes, it was a mess.

I know some who love it but it is going to depend on your hair!

Posted by
1434 posts

I use JR Liggett Bar Shampoo (here's a sample). There are several types - I tried a couple until I found one I liked and that didn't bother my sensitive skin. They do sell a travel kit, but it's just as easy (and cheaper) to cut each bar into smaller pieces - one slice will last me multiple long trips. Bar shampoo does take some getting used to, so I start transitioning over about a week before I leave. I use leave in conditioner which I take in a small spray bottle (that used to house eyeglass cleaning fluid).

Posted by
1638 posts

I've tried a lot of bars over the years. I like the Basin ones best:
All brands seem to have great shampoos. They hard part is the conditioner. Many of them don't condition at all. Even for the Basin ones, I end up running the bar through chunks of hair over and over until it feels soft-ish. It takes a bit to get used to.

Posted by
13275 posts

I use the shampoo supplied by my hotels. From that you will deduce that I am not picky about hair products. When traveling overseas with permed hair I take a solid conditioner made by Dirty Diva Soaps, which sells through Etsy. My need is for something to prevent tangles. I have no idea whether the product would meet other needs, but there are some reviews on the website.

Posted by
768 posts

I started using Lush Jason and the Argan Oil bar shampoo to save room in my liquids bag on a trip and I liked it so well it has become my regular shampoo. For conditioner I use Ethique bar conditioner that you can get on Amazon. The Ethique is kind of pricy but it lasts for months, and I have thick hair that is a few inches past my shoulders. I previously tried Lush Jungle bar conditioner, but it didn’t work on my hair.

Posted by
3195 posts

I walked the Camino de Santiago last year and, with the goal of lightening my pack, brought two Liggett bars along instead of liquid shampoo. After trying several out it was the brand that cleaned my hair the best and didn't seem to leave a lot of residue after rinsing. It cleaned my hair just fine BUT my hair was like straw by the end of my journey. I have very thick hair to begin with so wasn't expecting great things but by the time I got to Santiago (35 days later) it was pretty bad. I didn't care all that much because out there no one does. Over a long period of time I found that it was quite drying for my hair and it just stripped it of all it's natural oils. Thank the stars for the wonderful woman in the salon across the street from my final hotel who resurrected my hair!
If you are picky about your hair then make sure to try out different kinds before you go. They aren't ideal but will do the job.

Posted by
919 posts

I used jr liggett for a 20 day trip and was quite happy, but I only wash it every other day. If you buy the yellow pouch, there is room along side for a hotel sized bar of soap.

Posted by
4 posts

I really like Lush bar shampoo. Smells great and does a nice job on my hair. The conditioner is worthless. The gal at the store actually suggested that I dissolve the conditioner in water and then put it on my hair - so they clearly know they have a problem product. I'm not sure I believe there's a difference between the different Lush bars - the seaweed versus cinnamon versus rose, etc. The first is supposed to make your hair fuller, the second helps your scalp health and the third leaves it soft. I think they just smell great AND I use them as body soap. I'm sure a Lush rep would tell me to buy Lush body bar soap, but so far my skin hasn't fallen off or degraded in any way. Looking forward to using the honey bar. :)

Posted by
11241 posts

I've tried a dry shampoo product from REI that comes in leaves. I wasn't happy with it, however, so now pack a 3 oz. container of a decent shampoo/conditioner in one. I do use similar REI sheets for laundry. I wasn't happy with them at first either, then realized you're supposed to mix them with water before adding them to the laundry (rather than just throwing sheets in). Maybe it's the same with the shampoo and I'd like it better if I followed directions?

Posted by
2170 posts

I like the lush products, but then they are more easily accessible to me. There are several kinds, so you need to define what works best for you. I also use them as my body soap on the days I wash my hair (not every day) and also as laundry soap for sink washing. Because I don't wash my fine hair every day, I don't use conditioner, so not a point for me.
I go through bouts of using them at home as well as at the pool and on travel. Purple for home use, blue seaweed for travel....the extra volume seems to work for humid weather and reduces need for products and styling while in the road. Doesn't work as well in cold dry winter home life.
I have a health food store near by with lots of soap choices and friendly cosmetic products. Maybe you do to....worth a visit there to see what you can get (all that packaging and transport costs for mailorder shopping sort of defeats the environmental desires....IMO)

Posted by
3 posts

I've tried the Lush brand. I love the shampoo, but the conditioner was useless.

If you color your hair, be aware that any added salt in a shampoo will strip the color. Lush brand bar shampoo has salt. They now make a bar shampoo for color treated hair, but I've not tried it.

Lush has a tin you can buy to put the bar shampoo in. I would suggest having them cut the bar shampoo in half or thirds. It REALLY goes a long way. If you are also using the bar conditioner, get that cut in half too. I had them cut the bars small enough to fit both the bar shampoo and the bar conditioner in one tin.

Good luck! elisa

Posted by
13275 posts

Washing my hair virtually every day, I find that one ounce of solid conditioner lasts me nearly a month. However, my hair is fine and rather short; I only need the conditioner because it is permed.

Posted by
95 posts

My DH uses one of the lush bars and really likes it. But he can use any shampoo. I HAVE to pack shampoo and conditioner because of my thick hair and it’s tendency to be dry.

Posted by
931 posts

Yet another recommendation for Lush bars here. I used the Godiva one on my last trip. I have thick, wavy hair but I blow it out and straighten it with a flat iron. The smell was lovely! It lathered very easily (it contains sulfates if this bothers you...) I only wash my hair every other day. My hair was filthy by the second day as we were in Spain and it was hot. It did the trick. I did NOT have a conditioner bar. Little did I realize until I looked it up on Lush's site just now that apparently it was a 2 in 1 bar. LOL. So I was using a liquid conditioner with it since I didn't know that. But honestly, I probably would have done that even if I HAD known it. I am a stickler for a high end conditioner to make my blow out last for the two days. (My hair wasn't greasy or heavy even after using the liquid conditioner.) I don't use this at home, it's my travel shampoo. But when I finish this bar, I will be replacing it with the same thing. It's wonderful.

Posted by
2539 posts

I am looking to both lighten my travel load and to be more
environmentally responsible.

Make this simple. After you arrive at your hotel/BNB/etc and drop off your bags, go buy your bar shampoo/conditioner locally so you won't have to carry it with you across the ocean. I always try to buy local.