In my last blog post I shared that Head & Shoulders has launched a solid shampoo bar in the UK, and that you should go and buy them.
All of them.
The more they sell, the more likely we are to see a future where men in the UK throw out 0 shampoo bottles per year instead of the estimated 64 million they do currently!
I also shared that I had already ordered 3 Head & Shoulders shampoo bars myself and that I'd share my thoughts on them once I'd had a chance to use them.
Well, I've had a chance, and I'm a man of my word, so here are my thoughts.
Unboxing the Head & Shoulders solid shampoo bar
The first thing that struck me as I opened the package that my 3 bars were delivered in was just how light weigh each bar was.
Based on the product photos on the Head & Shoulders website and on the Boots website (where I'd ordered them from) I was expecting a bit more heft to the bars.
Each bar is 70g, so not far off the minimum 75g per bar we promise our Tidy bars to be. They just feel very light.
The branded box that each bar is incased in is paper based and recyclable.
Photo - the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar box - front.
Photo - the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar box - back.
Photo - the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar box - side.
Photo - the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar box - other side.
Photo - the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar box - top.
Photo - the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar box - bottom.
Inside the box, the shampoo bar itself is wrapped in what feels like a waxed paper of some sort (pictures on the box indicate that this paper is recyclable too).
Photo - Unboxing the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar.
Photo - Unwrapping the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar.
You can see from the residue on the waxed paper in the photos, the bar needs to be wrapped as it is a little sticky / oily to the touch. It would damage the paper box if it wasn't wrapped in the additional protective paper.
Before opening the box there's a distinct "fresh" aroma. Once opened the smell is stronger, but not over powering.
I ordered the "gentle clean" bars that have added aloe vera, and they smell of that. Other bars may vary in how they smell.
First impressions of the bar feel
Photo - the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar - massage domes.
Photo - the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar - curved back.
The bars themselves are round in shape. The "back" of the bar has a convex curve to it, making them easy to hold in the palm of your hand.
The "face" of the bars are sculpted with a series of small domes, designed to massage your scalp when using them.
The bar does feel oily to the touch. Not wet, just slightly oily. You'll want to wash your hands after handling these, whether wet or dry.
They are firm enough that you'll not be able to easily crush them while dry, but I'd imagine they may break apart if dropped on a hard surface from a height.
Photo - the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar fits in your palm.
Each bar has a looped rope incorporated into the bar itself to allow you to hang the bar after use.
The rope is a nice touch from a practicality point of view, it does make it super easy to hang in the shower once you've used it. Having said that it is one extra bit of material that you'll need to dispose of once the bar has been used, so I'm not sold on it being the most environmentally friendly idea. A bar with a rope is much better than a single use plastic shampoo bottle though, so let's gloss over that for the time being 😄
Photo - the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar back view.
Photo - the Head & Shoulders Anti-dandruff shampoo bar profile view.
First use of the Head & Shoulders shampoo bar
My solid shampoo bar routine is pretty simple: wet my hair, rub the bar over my head ~5 times to build lather, rinse the bar and put away. Then work the lather into my hair and scalp before rinsing.
I wash my hair one or twice a week with Tidy shampoo.
To date I've used the Head & Shoulders bar twice.
It lathers well. Very well. It produces a silky, luxurious feeling lather that really covers your hair, scalp and hands while using.
No big bubbles, but lots of tight lather than feels almost creamy to touch.
The bar itself feels slightly grainy, but it is easy to hold and work into your hair.
The scalp massage domes kind of worked the first time I used the bar, I certainly noticed the bar was bumpy at least. I'm not sure I really got a massage feel from it though...
By the second use, the bumps are reduced in size and had even less impact.
You're not buying a shampoo to massage your head though right? So I don't see this as a massive fail.
So, did it clean my hair. Yes. Very well. Too well, for me, in fact.
It's been years since I've used a liquid shampoo, but how my hair felt after using this bar reminded me of how my hair used to feel when I did wash using liquid shampoos. It was super soft, fluffy and totally unmanageable. 😆
Now, that is probably the best possible thing for the majority of men looking for a solid shampoo to replace their liquid shampoo; you get the same results from this solid shampoo bar as you would your liquid shampoo. Win.
For me though, having used Tidy bars for so long now, I'm not looking for that fluffy hair feel after I've washed my hair. I know most folks are, but I'm not. Simply because when my hair is that fluffy, I need to add product post washing it to make it manageable. For years I used to wash my hair, then add waxes or "moulding putties", etc to tame things back into a style-able, manageable state.
Then I'd have to wash my hair pretty much daily because it was always full of product.
With our Tidy bars, which mildly condition your hair as well as wash it, I don't need to do that. My hair is still clean once washed, but it's not super fluffy. There's just enough of a conditioning effect to keep it from being _too_ clean if that makes sense? I can wash once or twice a week and style my hair without the need for extra products. Between washes I rinse my hair in the shower, and it dries nicely without the need for waxes or putties, etc.
BUT, overall I'm confident that if you like Head & Shoulders liquid shampoo offering, you'll get on very well with their solid shampoo offering.
I can't talk to their claims of it being anti-dandruff, I don't have that issue, so can't test their claims. But if their liquid shampoo works for you in that regard, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and suggest their solid shampoo will probably help address that too.
Should you avoid this shampoo, should you shortlist it or should you just go ahead and buy it?*
I think you should just buy it.
Even if it doesn't work for you - and I really think it probably will! - just signalling to the folks at Head & Shoulders that you're willing to try such a product will boost the chances of them pursuing solid shampoos in the future.
And that would be worth it.