I have been using solid bar shampoo for well over a year now – following a horrendous period of trial and error where I tried various brands, ended up looking like someone who had never washed their hair ever, and started all over again.
Eventually, Holland & Barrett started stocking Ethique and I got to have good hair again! At least, people started asking me about my haircare again (hair had previously used to be one of those things people would compliment me on) and my hair felt good – both of which felt like a huge win.
So having been using their products for ages, I thought I’d share a quick review of 3 of their products – Heali Kiwi Solid Shampoo, Coconut & Lime Butter Block and Charcoal, Kaolin & Oatmeal Solid Bodywash.
Founded in New Zealand in 2012 by biologist Brianne West with a mission to ‘rid the world of plastic waste’ – or at least the 80 billion plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles that are thrown out globally each year. From a kitchen lab, the company has gone from strength to strength, exporting their products all over the world and (to date) stopping over 6 million plastic bottles from being made and disposed of into landfills. Not bad…
The brand is not only plastic-free, but plant-based, fairtrade and cruelty-free. Their ingredients are ‘100% naturally derived’ and they explain the origin of all of them on their website which really helps with understanding what’s going into your products (and onto your skin and hair).
Heali Kiwi Solid Shampoo – this is my favourite Ethique product by quite a way. I have never even tried the other Ethique shampoo bars as it works so well for me. I also share this bar with my husband and he finds it great on his sensitive scalp.
Coconut & Lime Butter Block – designed to be used on damp skin straight out of the shower or bath, this is an appealing product for someone (me) who is generally too lazy to moisturise my whole body.
Charcoal, Kaolin & Oatmeal – this cleans well and lasts a decent amount of time (like all Ethique products, it states on the box roughly how much bottled product it is replacing.
Heali Kiwi Solid Shampoo – if you are used to bottled shampoo, it’s really easy to overuse this as it doesn’t lather up as quickly. But if you trust the instructions – sweep it down the lengths of your hair once (or twice, if you really want loads of lather) and then rub into your scalp to lather up – it really does pay off. One other tiny issue, the bar is formulated with oatmeal (not a problem as such) – it’s very finely milled but occasionally, I do find a small piece in my hair when drying it.
Coconut & Lime Butter Block – I don’t find this moisturising enough on its own, BUT I have developed a good system that is not too much extra effort. I rub a small amount of pure sweet almond oil (a big bottle to save on packaging and money) over my body and then seal in the moisture with the butter block. The butter block adds a nice scent and stops my skin being greasy.
Charcoal, Kaolin & Oatmeal – this bar doesn’t lather up much and doesn’t smell of much on your skin (which will definitely suit some people). I like it but I have definitely found other bodywash bars that I prefer.
There’s nothing ugly about the products themselves but part of me does wish I could find something as good that has been more locally made. The prices are quite high too, but in the case of the shampoo bar particularly – I find that the cost is comparable to bottled shampoo as it lasts a long time if you use it according to instructions.
I love the company’s ethical approach as much as I love their quality products.
Heali Kiwi Solid Shampoo 4.5/5
Coconut & Lime Butter Block 4/5
Charcoal, Kaolin & Oatmeal Solid Bodywash 3.5/5