These just don't work for me as well as Dr. Bronner's. I love the idea of them, but in the end, the pros don't outweigh the cons for me. There has been some debate about the alkalinity of shampoo bars (and castile soaps in general) regarding their "safety" for hair for extended use: Chagrin Valley has updated their site giving a little bit of information regarding this and there's plenty on the internet for you to research. Personally, I wouldn't recommend them for frequent washing -- even every other day is too much for my hair with these types of soaps. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide. These types of soaps have been around for a long time…and in *my* experience, they're just like any other kind of soap: some are harsher than others. Listen to your body, it'll tell you what it likes and doesn't like!
- They do seem to leave my hair with more volume
- My hair seems to dry faster
- With soft water, a really lovely, rich later is very easy
- Good for travel, but *only* if you're traveling to areas with soft water.
- My sensitive/eczema scalp likes *all* of the samples I've used up (even if my hair doesn't!)
- The same bars that perform beautifully in soft water, do a 180 in hard water and leave my hair gummy and gross. This makes them unreliable for travel, imo.
- I find these too harsh/very drying over time on my long, fine, dense, color-treated hair
- I absolutely need to follow shampooing with some sort of conditioner. An apple cider vinegar rinse is not enough for me.
- Hair seems dull and wild for the first day. Second day, it settles down and is shiny again.
- Will fade color faster than pretty much every other shampoo I've ever used.
- I'm not a huge fan of most of the scents, personally. Most of them have a sort of very herbal/fresh-earth sort of scent. Not entirely *bad*, just not really nice smelling to me.
*Summer Sunshine was my preferred shampoo bar out of the seven samples that I used up.
**Soapnuts-Citrus: My face *loves* this for cleansing and I'm considering a full sized bar just for this. (But my hair finds it too drying.)
Over time, my hair has become increasingly dry. I thought moving away from sulfate and detergent based shampoos would help (and they have)....then my attention was drawn to the Chagrin Valley shampoo bars, made mostly from oils and botanicals, but then I was alerted to the fact that the shampoo bars are indeed soaps and soaps have a higher pH (alkaline) and damage the hair :(
I went to the Chagrin Valley website and sadly, they were very coy on the subject of the pH levels in their shampoos bars...coyness is always a tipoff.
Every hair scientist worth their credentials advises against alkaline based products on the hair (and this may be why Chagrin Valley advises the use of vinegar rinses to try to bring the pH levels back down after use).......
Not to mention that the shampoo bars can leave a certain gummy quality to the hair.
I am now conditioner-washing with other products.
I've been using Chagrin Valley's shampoo bars for over a year, because I wanted to find a more natural way to care for my hair. They arrive in brown paper packages and include a card letting you know who personally hand packed your soaps. I love the smell of all the bars - they vary from very herby to spicy. My current favorite is the Lavender Spice bar - it even imparts some golden tones to your hair! I like to switch things up sometimes, so I have a couple samples on the way. My advice to you is to buy the sample sizes, which last me at least a couple months, and experiment.
I really, really wanted to love these, but unfortunately my hair felt the opposite. First of all, I have well water and I was doing no-poo (not using shampoo) for a few months prior, so that may have made the difference. I used these bars for longer than 3 months.
After researching alternative, non-harmful shampoo alternatives to no-poo, I place a pretty hefty Chagrin Valley order with salves, whipped squalane (fabulous, by the way), soaps and (what i was most excited for) five shampoo bars. I picked the shampoo bars for my hair type based on reviews on their site, which I religiously read over. FYI, according to my hairdresser, I have a lot of hair that is ultra silky and fine so I think it can appear thin at times.
When I received my bar samples in the mail, I couldn't be happier. The fragrance of the box, albiet somewhat hippie-like, was pleasing and I thought the packaging was sooo cute with a little card telling you who personally packed it. I started using the bars immediately. Now, because I did no-poo, I only "washed" my hair once a week and it didn't get greasy because of the method.
I bought the Coconut Milk, Ayurvedic Herbs, Carrot Milk & Honey, Henna Strawberry, Rosemary Mint, Soapnuts, and Neem and Tea Tree. I would go into detail on each, but the story is pretty much the same.
For the first wash, I tried Coconut Milk. I used fairly gentle circular scrubbing, as suggested by their site (of course, there is not lather because it's not supposed to be sudsy), and came out with gummy hair that seemed like it had a waxy coat. I then had to rewash, which I did thoroughly with plenty of warm water and lots (I mean LOTS) of rigorous rubbing with my hands and fingers. Again, it came out gummy, although less than before.
I convinced myself that my hair was going through a transition period and that it would end so I continued this cycle at least twice a week for more than 3 months. (Yes, I'm a dummy. But, like I said, I really, really wanted these to work.) During this time, my hair was to the middle of my back and it did start to show more of its natural wave. BUT I couldn't hardly brush it because it would get so tangled. In fact, I pretty much just wore it up the whole time. Seriously, my head would ache after brushing as gently as I could, I'm talking spending more 45 minutes carefully brushing it like I was doing open-heart surgery!
Finally, after so long, I gave up and did a clarifying treatment on my hair to get rid of all the icky build up from these bars. I now use a natural liquid shampoo once a week. Look up Morrocco Method if you want a natural alternative to normal shampoo or no-poo. Seriously, don't waste your time and money on these shampoo bars.
I've been using CV products exclusively for my hair and face over a year now, and I have no intention of ever going back. I've tried pretty much every shampoo bar they make, and I love that I've been able to purchase sample sizes to try them all out. I wash my medium-length hair every other day at most, and I find that sample bars last for over a month. With full size bars, I cut them into thirds to make them easier to handle, and they last a very long time, too (and I get to alternate between bars this way!)
While some bars are too heavy and weigh down my hair, I've been able to find the ones that really work for me (Rosemary & Lavender, Lavender Spice, Mud & Clay, Olive Babassu, Nettle, Summer Sunshine, and I've a few more still to try). I use a cider vinegar hair rinse every second or third wash, and all in all I find my hair looks healthier and shinier.
Love the stuff CVS makes, and I'm always excited when it's time to order more!
I really wanted to like these. But from the instant they arrived in the mail (and all my roommates wondering what the hell the weird smell was -- potently herby and soapy, and not in a pleasant way) they were a disappointment.
First, I tried the Babassu and the Coconut Milk bar, both of which were highly recommended for my hair type. My entire country has soft water as a rule, but these bars refused to lather without using a good chunk of product, and when I rinsed, my hair felt lovely and soft.. but upon drying, I'd notice a gummy, oily, sticky, soapy-smelling reside and have to hop back in the shower again. And this was with an acidic rinse used faithfully, even though I technically didn't need it due to soft water. I even tried without!
Time went by, and I took the word of others that it depends on bar type. So I tried a few of the more cleansing bars (Rosemary Mint was my favorite) but I still found they had a problem lathering thoroughly and rinsing completely.
The price of each (large!) bar doesn't seem particularly bad, until you notice that you've already used 1/16 of it just to get a decent lather. Pile that on top of how much international shipping was and.. no thanks!
I've since switched to Sweet Creek Herbs, which give much more consistent results between bar types and rinse clean.
These bars really depend on your hair type I guess. First I bought some for moisturizing and for my hair type, so Coconut Milk and Chamomile Citrus, as well as a henna bar. These all worked great. Then I tried volumizing ones. Big mistake on my part. I tried the Mud and Clay, and the Honey, Beer and Egg. Both were far too rough, especially the Mud and Clay. I've never had so much hair fall out!
I'll keep buying them, but I probably won't try volumizing ones again.
My husband and I have both been using the coconut milk shampoo bar with great success! We've both been very happy with how it's worked with our hair types (he has thicker, dark hair, and I have medium-thick hair). I have not felt my hair get dry. I usually follow this with some coconut oil to condition. Great product, and great company! Will be repurchasing!
Edit: Also love the herb garden bar!
Side note: I am excited about this for plane travel, no more worrying about liquid shampoo!
Okay, I wanted to like these bars. I really did.
I have type 2b hair - naturally wavy, mid-back length, quite thick, prone to dry ends, and takes a long time to get oily. My hair was in really good condition when I started out using these - I haven't used chemical hair dye in just over a year and had virtually no split ends or excessive dryness.
I needed to change my hair care routine during winter and figured I would give these shampoo bars (Butter Bar Conditioner & Cafe Moreno) a try, having heard such good things about them.
I did a lot of research on the No-Shampoo method and the benefits of using different organic products (honey, ACV, aloe vera, coconut oil etc.) for conditioning and cleansing my hair, and despite hearing a lot about having greasy hair during the "transition period", decided to give it a go.
Huge mistake on my part. After the first wash I did notice a change in my hair's volume - the Cafe Moreno bar in particular really enhanced my hair's natural curls, but the benefits ended there.
After two washes, my hair felt... squeaky, for lack of a better word. Tangled harder than I'd even though possible and as I kept using them over a period of three weeks, this only got worse. My hair felt brittle, dry, damaged and frizzy. Quite literally, like straw. I had ridiculous amounts of flyaways. My ends started to split like crazy and my hair literally crunched and snapped whenever I tried pulling it up in a ponytail.
In the end, vanity got in the way. I wish I could have stuck these out for longer to see if there was any improvement, but I couldn't handle constantly looking as though I'd just fallen out of a tree, or the scraping noise my hair made on my pillow whenever I rolled over in bed. It look me about four deep conditioning treatments to get my hair feeling back to normal again, and now I'm effectively left with a couple of bars of expensive soap.
I've heard it works for a lot of people, and great for them if these products really work on their hair - but for me, I'm running sobbing back to Tresemme.
These bars are so variable for each person, depending on their hair type, that I feel a bit silly even writing a review. You really do have to try them for yourself. I had wildly different results with the three different samples I tried. a little bit about my hair: its very thick, but finely textured, straight and very prone to tangles. Butter conditioner bar made my hair GROSS. It left a residue on my hairbrush. I feel like when something like that happens it negates that whole " try it out for a few weeks" thing. Neem & tea tree was okay, I like it better as a soap, though, as a shampoo it was nothing to write home about. Babassu marshmallow was pretty great detangler, and it was one of the few bar shampoos ive tried where i feel like im washing all the way to the scalp, if that makes any sense(because of the thickness of my hair, a lot of shampoo bars only seem to cleanse the top surface of my hair, and it wont rinse through to the rest of my hair.) but this bar doesn't do that. However, I've had a bear of a time getting any of them to rinse clean, probably because of how superfatted their shampoo is. Their shampoo bars actually work okay as soaps, but the other bars that rinse cleaner would totally strip my skin. I have a feeling maybe the soapnuts kind would work for me because of the additional saponins ,but I really don't feel like spending more money at the moment, especially since I have other shampoo bars I like more. I use the babassu marshmallow on the ends of my hair if its feeling dry, but I'm just using the other two as backup soap.