Are Shampoo Bars the Way Forward?

You may know that I’m embarking on a little personal mission to switch my beauty regime over to entirely cruelty-free products (I have a page dedicated to brands that have the all-clear for my personal standards), and so it should follow naturally that I explore a few more of Lush’s products.

I will say that these two little lovelies were something of a treat for me, as Lush is usually a bit out of my price range, but I chose these on strong recommendation from a number of beauty bloggers and after extensive conversations with the staff instore about what sort of products would be best for my hair (if you have any questions at all, talk to them, they’re always so willing to help you out). They will also come in pretty handy for when I’m travelling up and down the country, as they’re so lightweight and transport-friendly (no spillages — woo!). I had very high hopes for both of these little beauties, so I couldn’t wait to try them out!

First to be put to the test is Seanik shampoo bar.

Seanik is a solid shampoo bar made with seaweed, sea salt, and lemon oil, and claims to ‘[give] great shine and volume, with an uplifting scent for that buoyant feeling’. It amasses only twelve ingredients in total, and it costs £5.95 for 55g, which is just about the same diameter as a can of pop, just the right size to fit snugly in the palm of your hand (unless you’ve got, like, stupidly small hands).


The bar is shaped as a round disc with two flat faces. It is vivid blue in colour, and looks like it would have quite a rough texture, but it’s really very soft and waxy, even with the bits of dried seaweed sticking out, and it leaves residue on your fingers  — probably from all the essential oils (mimosa, jasmine, and orange flower)! I can tell you the bar smells beautiful; the jasmine and lemon scents are particularly strong, but there’s a little hint of something fresher, almost eucalyptus-y, I think?


The lovely lady in the Meadowhall store showed me how to use it properly, and even though I watched her do it with my very own eyes, I wasn’t expecting it to lather as well as it did, if at all. I dipped it in my bath and rubbed it between my hands as you would with a bar of soap, and it bubbled up a little bit, but when I put it on my wet hair and massaged it into my scalp, the lather seemed never-ending! It wasn’t a thick, long-lasting lather like with other shampoos I’ve used, but I’ve been told the sign of a good shampoo is the lack of lather rather than a presence of it, so that was encouraging. The soapiness seemed to soak quite quickly into my hair and scalp, but as you can see, it lasted a little longer on my skin.

When I was done, I rinsed it out like every other shampoo, thoroughly enjoying the gorgeously fresh fragrance the lather had created, and marvelled at how clean my hair felt — it was literally squeaking through my fingers!

Next up was Big solid conditioner.

Big solid conditioner is the other half to Big sea salt shampoo, which I reviewed a short while ago. The fantastic results I gleaned from this shampoo was my main reason for choosing this solid conditioner in particular. It includes twenty-four ingredients in total, so twice as many as the Seanik shampoo bar: fine sea salt ‘for softness and body’; glycerine to ‘[help] retain moisture’; ‘protein-rich’ seaweed for manageability; and ‘a squeeze of fresh lime and lemon juice’ to make it all nice and shiny. All of this for just £5.95 for a 50g bar, which is again just enough to fit comfortably in your average-sized hand.


It is white in colour, and moulded to an oval shape, with one flat side and one domed with the words ‘Hair Conditioner’ shaped into it. It feels ever so slightly smoother in texture than Seanik, and leaves more of an oily residue too, which is encouraging for a conditioner! It has the same scent as Big shampoo only slightly subtler; it’s still very fresh and salty but it’s not as in-your-face. The seaweed is probably the strongest scent of them all, but you can detect the citrus hints of lemon and lime juice too.

I found Big solid conditioner a little trickier to use than Seanik, as obviously conditioner doesn’t tend to lather at all, and this bar was no exception (which was good). The website and the store assistant assured me that I wouldn’t need a lot, so with this in mind, I rubbed it between my hands for a while until they felt slick, and ran it through the lengths and ends of my hair and hoped for the best! Because I didn’t use a lot, I didn’t get that ‘coated’ sort of feeling I’d usually get from conditioner, as I’d normally use an enormous blob until I might as well have used a hair mask. I kind of wanted to put a bit more on, as I wasn’t used to doing it this way, but I stuck to it and rinsed it off after a few minutes.

The verdict?

Three hours after washing: My hair feels like silk. I’m sat here running my fingers through it trying to find at least one knot, but I can’t, and that’s a big deal for me as I never leave the house without my Tangle Teezer! Both bars claim to add some degree of volume, which I’m not too sure about; my hair isn’t exactly bigger, but it feels lighter and seems to move around a bit more. The ends of my hair (which are bleached and usually a bit crinkled and split from hair ties) feel so soft and healthy. It’s not as shiny as I was expecting and it doesn’t smell as gorgeous as it did when I used Big shampoo (when I seemed radiate the scent of lemons) but it looks and feels healthy and smells clean.

The next morning: Usually sleeping on freshly washed hair means it’ll look flat and even a little greasy  by the morning, but not today. It does feel a lot softer and smoother at my scalp than on the lengths, but it doesn’t look or feel greasy. It’s still really soft with barely any tangles to speak of, and the ends are still silky. I think the most noticeable difference however is that my hair doesn’t look dull like it usually does. The shampoo and conditioner bars seem to have brought out a vibrancy in my hair and lifted the colour.


Would I buy this again? I want to see how long it lasts in comparison to my usual shampoos and conditioners, but based on these immediate results alone, yes, definitely! They’re cruelty-free, travel-friendly and they work a treat!

Have you tried these bars before? Which other Lush products would you recommend? 


You may also like...


  1. […] that when I found out the company is not cruelty-free. I’ve since started using Lush’s solid shampoo and conditioning bars, which are AMAZING, and better yet don’t use any packaging! I’d say Lush are probably […]

  2. So tempted to try these for holiday!

What do you think?