When I lived in New Hampshire, my house had an artesian well with excellent water quality. When I moved to San Diego, I began to understand how fortunate I had been. Among other disadvantages, San Diego’s water leaves a gross, itchy residue on my hair and scalp, so once again my minimalist, environmentalist hygiene regimen needed adjustment.
I used conventional shampoo for several months (Pantene or something) while looking for a better option, and finally I found one: Lush solid shampoos. I’ve been using Squeaky Green for a month now, so I thought it was about time for a review.
In the store: why I chose Squeaky Green
There were many different types of solid shampoos available, and I wasn’t sure which to choose, so I asked a salesperson for a shampoo that’s good for curly hair and a dry scalp. She recommended Soak ‘n Float, Godiva, and Squeaky Green.
Soak ‘n Float is for dandruffy scalps. It smells like a campfire… but not a very nice one. Maybe a campfire built of wet wood that has gone out and is blowing smoke in your face. I could deal with it, personally, maybe even grow to like it, but my partner recoiled so violently that I decided I would not subject her to smelling that on my head all the time.
Godiva is for moisturizing, which sounds like it would be very nice. It smells like jasmine, which is lovely but is more my partner’s scent, not mine, so it was kind of confusing to me when I thought about having it on my head. If there were no options I liked better, I would have gotten that one.
Squeaky Green is full of herbs, which is for dry scalps and makes it look kind of prickly, but it smells like a pine forest because of the rosemary. That is one of my favorite scents in the world. It seems to go along nicely with my own sort of almond/vanilla cake smell, and my partner approved, so that is the one I chose.
In the shower: trying it out
The way you use Lush solid shampoos is pretty much the same way you use a bar of soap: get your hands wet, rub the bar on your hands to get some lather, and put the lather in your hair. Scrub your head just like you would with conventional liquid shampoo, and rinse. The salesperson said that one bar should last for sixty washes.
I was half expecting that the bits of herbs would be left in my hair and make me look like some kind of forest child, but I haven’t had that happen yet. The lather is very soft and it leaves my hair feeling soft, without the “stripped away” feeling that I get from conventional shampoo. After using conventional shampoo, my hair and my scalp feel all thin and somehow raw, as if they’ve been scrubbed with a scouring pad, and I used to think that’s just what clean felt like. Now I think that’s just what being washed with detergent feels like, because conventional shampoos are detergents. With Squeaky Green, my hair and scalp feel clean, but not like they’ve been scoured.
When my hair is very short I occasionally use a vegan styling glue by Giovanni to liven things up, and Squeaky Green cleans that out nicely.
And, of course, the scent is awesome. Whenever my partner gets a whiff of it she leans in to smell it again, saying, “Your hair smells gooood.” Thumbs up, Lush.
The verdict: I’m sticking with it
I still don’t use shampoo every day; I’ve found that once every three or four days is a pretty good interval. When I’m in the shower I wash my hair with water first, and if it still feels kind of gross after that, I get the shampoo. Then when I’m done I leave the bar out to dry for about twenty-four hours before I put it back into its tin, because if you put it back into the tin wet, it will get stuck in there and you’ll never get it out.
Solid shampoo is great for travelling, because it’s very compact and because you don’t have to put it in a liquids bag for airport security. It’s also great because there is no plastic involved and no packaging waste. I picked up the bar from a stack of bars in the store, put it into a tin, and put it into my bag to take home. And, of course, because it’s a Lush product it seems to have healthier ingredients than most shampoos.
I’d like to be able to be comfortable without any shampoo at all, but I just can’t do that in my new city, so I’m doing what I can.
It feels like I’m a Lush spokesperson or something. I swear, they’re not paying me. Next time I will tell you about when I tried my partner’s collection of Lush stuff, which is great for her but doesn’t fit me quite as well, and things will feel more balanced.