I love the shampoo bars from this company!
I have waist length, thick, somewhat wavy hair that is dry (without the help of this and leKair cholesterol plus conditioner!). I wash about twice a week, and for those times that I do wash my hair, I use the cafe Marino shampoo bar. The result is soft, healthy, voluminous hair!
but please DO NOT use this every day, it is too drying for that. If you need to wash your hair more often, the butter bar conditioner shampoo bar is a great option.
As for the body and face soaps. I have very dry skin, and these bar soaps did not help for my skin. I have tried the butter bar body soap, cucumber lime complexion soap, oatmeal and honey soap, neem and tea tree soap, and the calendula soap.. all were too drying for my skin. But I can imagine the cucumber lime yogurt completion soap being amazing for oily skin!
Would I repurchase? Maybe.
Over the years I have used quite a few of their products, from their soaps, to their shampoo bars, to their body butters.
Hair: Despite a lot of effort and time, I was never a person who could get shampoo bars to work for my hair. It's too bad, because I really like the idea. But the bars, both these and Lush, left coatings and didn't create a good canvas for my thick conditioners, (which are non negotiable).
Skin: I love the Chagrin Valley soaps. If I had bunches of expendable money I would certainly use them quite often. I love scents, the lather is good, and I found them not to be as drying as my standby castile liquid soap. The small batch manufacturing and down home feel of the company are also plusses. Ultimately they are too expensive for me, and there are much cheaper comparable alternatives that are easily gettable. As a treat, sure. But not as a regular thing.
I have used their whipped body butters also, and although they work quite well and smell amazing, they are very expensive for the minute quantity that you get. Making your own whipped butter is less expensive..
Overall a great company and great products, but too overpriced for what you get. If you can afford it, I would highly recommend these products.
HINTS: buy them in advance and let the bars cure. Keep them dry between uses and they should last a bit longer. For the poo bars, break of small sections, put in a container, add a little hot water. After a short time you'll have something much easier, (and gentler), to apply to your hair.
These are a love, as are all the shampoo bars I have tried. Honestly, I do not see much difference between one and any another of the different brands, all are so gentle on the hair. I do love the environmental green concept, and not having to deal with plastic bottles. Switching to these from liquid shampoo is a matter of figuring out what works for you and experimentation. They last a very long time, much longer than bottled shampoo, probably because it is hard to use too much of these. They don't lather that much, which is fine with me. The samples will last eons and are inexpensive , so these are very safe to try if you are not sure. I do not do ACV rinse as I do not see the need/ benefit. Probably not for folks with oily hair. We were indoctrinated to shampoo daily back in the old days but healthy hair is frequently a matter of less shampooing. I was previously using non SLS liquid shampoo but these are even better-and less expensive.
Cons: I didn't have an adjustment period to the shampoo bars, but to me they're similar to cleansing conditioners in that you HAVE to really lather up and get ALL of your hair sudsy before THOROUGHLY rinsing. When I get lazy I always get this patch in the back of my head that's flat and sticky because I didn't really wash it well. I had the exact same problem when I was using cleansing conditioners a few years back, so if you're looking towards a super quick lather-and-go you're out of luck.
Pros: The delivery time is quick-to-standard, I've never had to wait more than a week. The packaging is economical--just brown paper wrapping for each soap, which I can recycle. Also, when I DID get lazy, as noted above, I washed my hair with regular shampoo and conditioner a few times. The third time, I noticed my scalp was super, SUPER dry, and my hair felt rough. Although I hadn't seen a noticeable difference in my hair without CV shampoo bars, my scalp and hair were actually in much worse condition once I went off the bars. This is a pro because I saw for myself that the CV bars were healing my scalp and hair!
Now to what I've tried! Which I'm sure is what you really want to know ;)
Neem & Tea Tree Soap: MAN does the neem smell strong in this. It doesn't seem to do much for my skin tbh, but it also doesn't make me breakout which is a plus. My acne is endocrine-related, though. But I can wash with this at night and wake up with no NEW acne in the morning, so it must be working even a little. It can burn sometimes if I use in the shower (on my face), probably because my skin is oversensitive from the steam. It rinses clean off my chest, back and shoulders, where I use it preventatively.
Carrot & Honey Complexion: This makes my skin SO soft. I use it when I have dry irritated skin from acne medication, or when I just want a simple clean wash because I'm too tired, lol. Really mild and very moisturizing.
Rhassoul Yogurt: This is pretty drying for my skin, but works well as a mask on super oily areas. It burns and stings sometimes though...and I don't consider my skin sensitive.
Tomato Grapeseed: Okay, look. if you are an artist, YOU NEED THIS SOAP. This stuff removes ANYTHING. Charcoal, oil pigments, you name it, AND it leaves your skin soft. No more scrubbing! No more alcohol! No more Ultramarine Blue under your nails for three days! It goes without saying this removes makeup easily and well. Amazing stuff.
Nettle Shampoo Bar: This was great for my dandruff and SD-prone oily scalp. Now my hair and scalp are drier due to spironolactone, and the nettle bar dries my hair out *cry*
Ayurvedic Shampoo Bar: Amazing for my hair! It actually made my hair stronger and shinier. After I ran out of my sample, my hair fallout increased a bit again and my hair didn't hold its natural wave quite as well, sadly. It also took a bit of work for me to lather it up.
So there you go. IDK about customer service, but the products aren't bad. The samples are decently priced, and if you cut them up in sections they'll last AGES. I bought all mine in March and still have them all except the Ayurvedic, and all were samples save the Nettle.
Oh, and the shampoo bars I've tried were only somewhat color-safe. My rinse-water is still blue (thanks to Directions' Ebony) but my hair color isn't too badly affected. Still, I prefer to use the shampoo bars on my scalp when my hair is colored, and a cleansing conditioner on the length of my hair.
I have 4c natural hair, and I did not like the stripped and stringy feeling that the Babassu Marshmallow and Neem & Tea Tree shampoo bars gave to my hair. I combed through when the soap was in and after rinsing, and it felt as if my hair was weak and was going to break. I did use the ACV rinse afterward, which recovered a good feeling, but I would rather not feel that I was stripping my hair and then recovering it with the ACV rinse. I would heavily recommend the Terressentials shampoo for 4c natural hair.
I came across Chagrin Valley on my quest to find products to help my Rosacea. My skin is super sensitive to everything. I started using their coconut milk shampoo bar as an all in one for hair, face, and body. It's been great for my hair and body but to harsh on my face. For some reason if I was my face with it my skin started to sting really bad then would severally dry out. Even with use of their wonderful moisturizers. I use their Seabuckthorne and Tamanu oil face oil , coconut delight body balm, Tamanu oil salve. They are all great to help calm my skin when irritated. I also use the Olive and Babassu Oil soap which is nice on my hair and skin especially for winter. But sadly that too made my face burn and sting. So I ordered the Seabuckthorn and Tea Tree complexion bar and I've used it once. Usually my skin will burn pretty much immediately when I start to wash it. This one didn't but only time will tell. I have a few other samples I ordered from them and will give each a week of use to see what I can and can't use on my face. The coconut milk shampoo bar is great on my hair now that hot weather is setting in. I didn't have much of a transition period for my hair since I had already been using all natural products before switching to shampoo bars. I will say that they are great in soft water which we have. If you have hard water an ACV rinse is usually needed to cut that waxy feeling out of your hair. If I travel I won't use them on my hair because I can't use ACV that often due to irritation to my face. I hope the Seabuckthorn and Tea tree bar is a winner for me as I HATE trying to find something, anything to not irritate my face. One With Nature dead sea salt soap is all about I can use currently with no problems and is a great soap as well.
Last year, I was recommended to try CV through a beauty community on LiveJournal. I had been looking for a shampoo for excess sebum/seborrheic dermatitis and they have a shampoo bar so I figured why not.
I ended up purchasing 3 products - Apples & Spice soap, Tea Tree & Neem shampoo bar, and Whipped Vanilla Bean body butter.
I live in Canada and the shipping is ridiculously expensive ($15) so I got the products sent to a US relative's for $6.
I tried all three products when I received them and have to say, I would never purchase from CV again.
The shampoo bar smelled alright (very medicinal) but left my hair feeling incredibly greasy. I already have an oily scalp but this just worsened it. It did nothing for my hair or my excess sebum.
The soap was alright. It lathered well but smelled nothing like apples. I was disappointed with this product because all I could smell was spice.
The body butter was horrible. It smelled okay (I adore vanilla and this product had barely any scent). The container was half full of product (considering it was $8 for a tiny jar, that was disappointing that there was barely any product in the jar) and the product was yellow, not white as I had seen with tons of pictures I had looked at. It also wasn't fluffy at all. The main reason I will never purchase from CV again is because I had a severe allergic reaction to the body butter. The next day, my legs looked like I had been bitten by fleas and I just shrugged it off until it kept spreading to my arms and my face. My face had gotten the worst of it. For someone who has been blessed with very good skin, I had no idea what was going on. People kept asking me what was wrong with my face because they knew I had great skin. I couldn't cover it up since I don't wear foundation. I had visited the doctor's and they thought it was chicken pox until finally someone figured out it was an allergic reaction. I decided to try the body butter on my legs again and low and behold, the next day, they were broken out, even worse than before.
I contacted CV about this (my review was removed from Facebook by them) and received a pretty swift response.
Unfortunately, the response is another reason I would never buy from the company again.
I received a generic apology and was told I could try buying another body butter and seeing what happens. For $8 for the product and then $6 for shipping, I will pass on that.
I was told it was most likely the shea because virgin shea can cause reactions in people. I use shea in a lot of products and none have ever given me problems before.
I know people like this company but for me, it just isn't worth the hassles. I would have loved to receive a refund or even store credit, but none was offered. I had to toss the body butter because it was unusable for me and I haven't even touched the other two products since.
I am disappointed with how the company just doesn't seem to allow people to say anything negative about them. The reviews on their website are all but positive and I am sure I am not the only person who has had problems with their products.
Also, my face is still recovering from the body butter. I had very smooth skin before but now, I have random bumps all over it.
I've been testing several Chagrin Valley products for a few weeks now and I guess it's time to write a review. My skin seems to react better to natural soaps than commercial, detergent-based soaps. They always seems to clear up my mild acne, but after prolonged use, my skin becomes very dry and sore. I believe that most soaps are too alkaline for daily use. I was using Sibu Sea Buckthorn Face & Body bar which is LOVELY, but dries my skin horribly. I noticed that CV also had a Seabuckthorn bar, so I ordered that one along with a few other samples to test. I also ordered a small size of the Seabuckthorn Tamanu Facial Oil and asked to receive a small sample of the Whipped Squalane Face & Eye Mousse to test out, but received a note instead that stated they couldn't make samples, that Face & Eye Mousse was one of their bestsellers and that I should just try it. Ummmm.....Okay. How difficult is it to put a tiny sample into a tiny pot or even a baggie? Feels like a blow-off to me.
So, on my first order, I received the Carrot & Honey Complexion Soap, the Seabuckthorn & Tea Tree Soap, the Neem & Tea Tree Body & Hair Shampoo Bar and the small oil. I live 2 1/2 HOURS away from where they make the products and it took 6 days to receive. It took them 4 days to process and send my order and 2 days for USPS to deliver. I could have driven there and paid a bit more for gas.
I used the Neem & Tea Tree bar for the first couple of weeks. I used it on my hair, face & body. For hair, it just wasn't good. It gave me HORRID dandruff or perhaps it was just that I couldn't get all the soap out. It seemed like I had to rinse for AGES to get all of it out. I tried it by itself, with conditioner and with a vinegar rinse. Unfortunately, I got the same blah results each time. I also started using the Seabuckthorn Tamanu Facial Oil, which I absolutely HATED. First, it stunk horribly and was bright orange (which I already suspected), but my skin became SO irritated with this. It took a few days to calm down after only a couple days of use. My skin felt congested and sore. So strange. =(
The next week, I tried the Carrot & Honey Complexion Bar. I don't think I made it through the entire week with this one. It just didn't feel like it cleaned well enough, yet it made my skin dry and peely. This is around the time I received my second Chagrin Valley order. I had heard good things about their cream deodorant and I also really wanted to try the Face & Eye Mousse.
Next was the Seabuckthorn & Tea Tree Soap. I like this one the most. It's less drying than the Sibu bar I was using, but it was still drying and made my skin look red and a bit irritated. I think it may have been from the tea tree oil. I read somewhere on a natural product forum that people also used the regular soaps as shampoo, so I tried this one as a shampoo as well. It made my hair greasy and limp. The day I washed my hair, I visited my mom and she asked if my hair was greasy or wet. *Face-palm* I also started sampling the Face & Eye Mousse at this time. It says on the website that it's a light, silky cream that penetrates quickly and absorbs deeply. Well, I found it to be extremely heavy and it NEVER seems to absorb. It just sits on top of my skin like vaseline would. It doesn't irritate my skin, which is a big plus, but it doesn't seem to help with dryness at all. When I use it, my skin feels absolutely parched (from the soap), but greasy on the surface. Not a winning combo. =( On the other hand, the Coconut Silk Cream Summer Rain deodorant I ordered was nice. It smells lovely and works most of the day. I HATE applying it with my fingers, but I can live with it.
Since this category is about Chagrin Valley in general and not just certain products, I wanted to mention that I think their sampling policy is seriously lacking. They charge almost $3.00 for a small soap sample and then almost $6.00 for shipping. They don't include samples with your order (that's part of the fun when ordering online!) and they don't seem to go "the extra mile" to make customers happy. On the "Specials" section of their website, they sometimes offer "scrap sacks" which are one pound bags of soap slivers, soap chunks, cracked bars and odd size end pieces. To me, this seems like the perfect opportunity to include little samples with orders so that customers could try and maybe find a new favorite soap! I'm just saying, it would be nice. Small things like that encourage repeat purchases.
EDIT 2/15/14: Been using the cream deodorant for several days now and my armpits are SO ITCHY and a bit rashy. I guess I must be sensitive to the high amount of baking soda.=( I notice that they do offer a version without it, so I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever purchase from them again. Considering the products I've tried so far, it's not likely.
I started looking into Chagrin Valley because I wanted a natural color-safe shampoo. I ordered samples of the Butter Bar Conditioner, Auburn Henna, and Herb Garden shampoo bars and I rotate between them. I then follow with either Aveda Madder Root Conditioner or the conditioner that comes with my hair color. I only wash once a week and it stays feeling really clean for about 5 days. The way my hair feels after rinsing is pretty awful... waxy and uncombable, but after conditioning it feels amazing and then my hair dries is great curls instead of weird frizz lol. Chagrin Valley does also recommend ACV rinses, which is like conditioner. I am really happy with these shampoo bars but I can't imagine using them without conditioner.
What I really love about Chagrin Valley are the complexion bars!! I have fig & plum and carrot & honey and I'm OBSESSED. I tried to choose sugary ones because sugar scrubs and the like have always worked wonders on my skin. The first time I used them I was seriously on the verge of tears, I felt so beautiful! I used them to take off my makeup and I actually liked the way I looked so much more just bare and clean! These really make you glow! I have sensitive skin that leans toward dry and peels in my t-zone, but these are super gentle and calming. I also have a problem with brow and lash loss, and after using these they are thick and full again! Seriously, the first time I used this I caught the hubby STARING at me over and over and then he'd tell me I was beautiful. You cannot beat that.
I also love that there is no plastic waste! I only ordered sample sizes and I've had them for months, even with using a complexion bar 2-3x a day.
Have been a CV fan for 7 years now. I have seborrheic dermatitis and my scalp and face therefore are always red, irritated, flaky, and can hurt. I had tried everything on the market including prescription soaps and shampoos. Nothing really worked. I could list what I love but it's not going to mean it will work for you. I suggest go to chagrinvalley.com and if you're not sure what to try first, there is a spot there called Idas Corner. It gives info and suggestions about what to try first for various skin/scalp types. The samples they offer are awesome! They don't look like they would last very long, but they actually do. You will have plenty of time with a sample bar to determine if that soap/shampoo bar is right for you. The selections they have is enormous!
I use their mosturizers as well. they offer more than soaps and shampoo bars, but a total natural organic skin line. I encourage you to check out chagrinvalley.com and read the website. They provide a ton of information in addition to selling their products. Customer service is bar none! Fantastic people! I am so glad Ida took her hobby to a business. There are tons of "natural" soaps out there but nothing comes close to this company's products!