We think raising awareness about shampoo bars is a truly great thing, as we have over 500 million shampoo bottles (not including conditioner bottles) to divert from landfills, and every bit counts. And those 12,000 bars sold means 12,000 less shampoo bottles in the landfill or clogging up recycling streams!
Given all the media hype and in the anticipation (and great hope!) that package-free self-care products will become more of a norm, we wanted to take the opportunity to talk about what makes our solid shampoo bars and hair conditioner bars different from others, including those from Lush.
Funny story about the beginning of Unwrapped Life before we dive in. I mentioned previously that when I was suffering from post-partum anxiety, I started researching solid shampoo bars. Oddly enough, at the time, my Google searches never resulted in me finding Lush shampoo bars. Had I known that Lush produced a hair bar that might do the trick of reducing single-use plastics in my daily routine, I would have ventured into one of their candy-coloured stores to pick up a couple of bars and called it a day.
But alas, I only found saponified oil bars in my Google search, which did nothing for my hair but turn it into a gummy mess! And so I set about trying to formulate something that worked for my hair and hence, Unwrapped Life came to be.
We recognize that we aren’t the first company to come up with the idea of solid shampoo bars and conditioner bars, but we definitely do things differently than some of our peers and we wanted to share those differences with you, to help you make the best decisions for yourself as you continue on your own Unwrapped journey.
So let’s get to it!
Lush Shampoo Bars and Others vs. Unwrapped Life
Ingredients + Performance
I’ve since tried other hair bars, including Lush shampoo bars, to get an idea of how they compare to ours. Yes, they do work similarly, but I am sensitive to smells and I find the sulfate these other bars use (sodium lauryl sulfate) quite drying.
It’s interesting if you dig back in the realm of Google and search ‘Lush SLS-free’ or ‘Lush sodium coco sulfate,’ as it appears there was a time when they used SCS in some of their formulas.
In fact, someone who participated in a community forum was discussing the use of SCS vs. SLS and appears to have copied and pasted from a now-defunct Lush link: "Sodium coco sulfate is less irritating than SLS because it removes less moisture from the top layers of skin. For people with sensitive skin (prone to dermatitis, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and chemical sensitivity), the drying property of SLS may cause flare-ups of skin conditions or may worsen existing conditions."
We recently did a long blog post talking about SCS as our main surfactant, so take a look at that for more details.
Take a look at other companies’ conditioner bars compared to our conditioner bars, and you’ll see some BIG differences. Lush conditioner bars, for instance, all contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
On the other hand, the main ingredient in our conditioner bars is behentrimonium methosulfate, which is a gentle and very moisturizing ingredient derived from rapeseed oil.
We also offer a wide selection of specifically formulated conditioner bars to pair with all of our shampoo bars. We feel that combining active ingredients in both our shampoos and conditioners provides better performance and long-lasting results. They are all sold separately as well, so that you can mix and match to find the perfect combination for your hair type.
We’ve heard many reviews from customers who have used both our conditioner bars and other competing companies’ bars, stating that ours are much more moisturizing while at the same time they don’t weigh down their hair.
Dynamic Duos for all Hair Types
As I just mentioned, our hair bars come in pairs, or you can mix and match, and we have something for almost every hair type.
We think this element of our hair bar selection is important, as the selection of conditioner bars is much broader than at other companies, and the bars are designed for various hair conditions.
Our Wanderlust Collection is great for normal to oily hair, and our Wildcrafted Collection selection guide is helpful to see what hair bar duos might be best for you if you have particular concerns with the condition of your hair and scalp.
Stop and Smell the Roses
I know that I’m not alone with my sensitivity to fragrances. I’ve always had a difficult time going to stores like Lush, where the experience was fragrance-first. This was a big consideration for us when we formulated our bars.
Our Wildcrafted Collection includes hair bars that are exclusively 100% scented with essential oils. These luxurious bars also include many additional active ingredients to combat many common hair and scalp issues.
Our Wanderlust Collection includes bars that contain paraben-free and phthalate-free fragrance oils, along with essential oils, and these are some of our most popular shampoo bars. We formulated the bars so the relative proportion of scenting wouldn’t be overpowering. With our main mission being waste reduction, along with high performance, we want to have something in our line that appeals to those who enjoy “fun” scents, like fresh oranges in our Daytona bars, or caramelized sugar and sun in our Laguna bars.
For those who are sensitive to fragrance, we have our completely scent-free Aspen duo, which are also great for kiddos!
In formulating our bars, ensuring they are vegan was very important to us. This is because we see no need to use animal products unnecessarily, even if it’s honey or egg yolk. As we grow our business, we will stay true to this.
From our research, we have also found other vegan shampoo bars and hair conditioner bars, but it seems that some companies offer both vegan and non-vegan options.
Naked/ No Packaging
Like Lush, our bars are naked with no packaging. We ship them in paper, or within tins if you order one of our travel sets (link). We are even currently working on plantable packaging (all that’s left is a beautiful flower or herbs) for our travel sets so there will be zero waste! We feel very strongly that even if something is ‘recyclable’ this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be and we want to do our part to reduce the stress on recycling systems worldwide.
Our hair bars are also very long-lasting relative to traditional liquid shampoo and other shampoo bars. The shampoo bars typically last 50-75 washes, if not longer depending on your length of hair. This means the bars displace up to three normal-sized shampoo bottles! The conditioner bars often outlast the shampoo bars, as they are quite solid and provide dense product distribution.
I hope this post has help shed some light on what makes Unwrapped Life’s hair bars different than others on the market. As always, if you have questions or need further clarifications, feel free to reach out to us!
Also, as a bit of a teaser… We’re always working on new formulations and are looking forward to launching some truly unique products in the coming months, so stay tuned!