Boy do I ADORE Chagrin Valley Soaps! I have an entire shoebox bulging with just these soaps. All natural, very reasonably priced, and just BEAUTIFUL. When I first switched from my other commercial soaps and products, it really took me some time to get used to the "natural" scents, but I really appreciate how they smell now. I have tried almost all their soaps, and here are my favorites:
1. Winter Survival
2. Chocolate Almond
3. Honey Butter
4. Aloe Aloe Aloe
For Face and Body:
1. Rhassoul Clay & Yogurt - Absolutely ADORE this one
2. Cornmeal & Honey
3. Grapeseed & Shea
I have been using Chagrin Valley soaps for about 5 years now & have never used anything better! It is true that once you've used them you won't want to go back to regular soap or shampoo again (although it might take a while for you – and your hair – to get used to using them).
I first heard about Ida & Chagrin Valley soaps on the www.naturallycurly.com website. I have very thick, long (bra strap length), curly hair that tends to get dry & frizzy when I use commercial hair products. I was looking for a shampoo without sulfates and other damaging chemical ingredients but couldn't find anything in stores (even in the “natural foods” type stores), so I was very interested when I learned that Ida doesn't use any artificial or chemical ingredients (not even colors or fragrances). It's also nice to be supporting a small, family-run company.
The concept of using a shampoo bar is very eco-friendly since there is no bottle to go to a landfill. They are small, travel well, and you can use the same bar for your body and your hair so there is less to pack. Each bar comes in a small paper bag and is shipped in a cardboard envelope (both of which are recycleable).
Since my hair tends to be dry, I've found that I'm able to use both the soap and shampoo bars on my hair. According to their website, the difference between the two products is that the soaps are superfatted at a higer range than the shampoo bars so they actually have more oil to moisturize dry hair. My hair loves the extra moisture, although it may be too much for fine, thin, or oily hair. Don't worry though – they have many, many other shampoo types and there is bound to be several that are just right for your own hair type. They have a ton of different varieties to choose from – each formulated a little differently. Since everyone is different, the best way to find what works best for you is to just experiment – which is not only fun, but Chagrin Valley's sample-sized bars make it very inexpensive, too!
As for which soap bars work best on my hair, I've used the Avocado Oats & Shea, Castile & Calendula, Chamomile & Calendula, Cucumber Lime Yogurt, Dead Sea Spa, Marshmallow & Lemongrass, Olive & Shea, Orange Creamsicle, Rhassoul Clay & Yogurt, and Peppermint Twist soaps – all with great results. (Be careful not to get the Peppermint Twist lather in your eyes though – or other sensitive body parts! - as it can sting a bit!)
Of the shampoo bars, I've used the Babassu & Marshmallow, Chamomile & Citrus, Mud & Clay, Olive Babassu, and Summer Sunshine and love them all.
The only ones I didn't really care for were the Honey, Beer & Egg (I didn't like the smell & it didn't seem to be as moisturizing for my hair) and the Rosemary Mint (again I didn't care for that smell). I tend to like the fresh, citrus-y scents best, but everyone is different.
Today I just received an order including three of their newest bars – the Aloe, Aloe, Aloe! Soap and the Ayurvedic Herb shampoo bar and Butter Bar Conditioner shampoo bar (they describe it as having “double the extra oils and butters of even our shampoo bars” - a “buttery lotion bar hair conditioner and
shampoo combined into one super moisturizing bar”). I can't wait to try them!
As I said in the beginning, it may take you some time to get used to using a shampoo bar since they do leave your hair feeling differently when you first rinse out the lather. You won't have that “slip” feeling you get from regular shampoos (which are actually coating your hair shafts and causing build-up). Your hair might feel a bit tacky or waxy after first using a shampoo bar – don't worry, it won't feel that way when it dries. Some people report going through a breaking-in period in order for their hair to get rid of the build-up caused by the regular shampoos they had been using. I've heard either apple cider vinegar rinses or baking soda rinses help that (you can find recipes for those on the www.chagrinvalleysoapandcraft.com website). I never had that problem, though.
I've found the best way for me to use bar shampoo is to thoroughly wet my hair, using a plastic wide-tooth comb (the kind that hangs from your shower spout – I think mine is made by Goody) to gently comb out any tangles. Then I wet the shampoo bar and bend over slightly to the side, rubbing the bar directly on my wet hair from ear level through the ends (I bend to the other side to reach it when I'm done with the first side). Lastly I rub in own the crown area & scalp. Then I use my hands gently massage my scalp and finger-comb the lather down all the way to the ends. When I'm ready to rinse, I use the wide-tooth comb again to comb through my hair while the shower spray is directed down on my head. I comb until the rinse water runs clear and ta-da – I'm done. It may sound like it takes a long time, but once you get the hang of it, it goes very quickly and the end results are definitely worth it!
I hope Ida keeps making her soaps for a long time to come! :-)
I love these soaps (the shampoo bars didn't work out for me, sadly) and it's true that once you start switching from commerical soaps to natural soaps, it'll be hard to go back. I don't need to use moisturizer anymore after taking a shower, especially on my legs which used to get so dry! My favorite is Coffee Spice, which smells amazing and deodorizes really well too. One warning though--the soap will basically fall apart in the shower really quickly if you keep it sitting out. I'd suggest a wooden soap box or something to store it in.
These soaps are fantastic, but you definitely must be prepared to experiment until you find the right ones for you. As the owners themselves admit, there's no way to know without trying what will work for your hair or skin. Take advantage of the sample sizes (I have gotten from 10-15 uses from them, so they last a while) and get a good mix before you buy the larger sizes.
I have combination skin, and I have found that Chamomile & Calendula soap works best for my skin. Since I began using it, my skin is very soft and never feels dry after showers. I also find I rarely feel I need to use moisturizer anymore, which was a really nice bonus.
My hair is fine and straight, with a tendency to become limp the day after a shampoo. After trying a number of Chagrin Valley's shampoo bars, I found that Summer Sunshine and Chamomile & Citrus worked the best for me. The soaps lather nicely, smell wonderful, and leave my hair surprisingly tangle-free (I don't use conditioner at all anymore). My hair has more body than it ever did before and holds curl much better, and I find that it stays cleaner-looking a bit longer than it did with conventional shampoos.
So, to anyone willing to experiment and risk a few bad hair days, I highly recommend these soaps. Not only do they do the job they're supposed to do, they are a considerable improvement over conventional soaps and shampoos!
I really love the soaps soooooo much! I really liked the smell of the shampoo bars and the concept was great, but it didn't work for me so I was left with two shampoo bars with nothing to do with. I decided that since the only difference between a soap and shampoo bar was the oil content (according to the site), I'd just use the shampoo bars on my body- it was a success! Right now, I'm using the nettle shampoo bar on my face and body and o m g- the two pimples on my forehead that looked as if they were going to become inflamed are now pretty much gone and flattened. My body is left clean without that terrible dry, tight feeling. The packaging for the soap is in little, brown paper baggies so it's pretty earth-friendly.
I'll be back at the site pretty soon to repurchase again. The Chagrin Valley soaps are generous in size and can last forever if you care for them properly. Give them a try if you're trying to go green and looking for an affordable way to do so.
I had been debating on trying several of these products for months. I finally ordered samples of shampoo bars, complexion soaps, bar soaps, lip butter, whipped shea butter, and the lotion bar. Overall, I am torn. The smell of the whipped shea butter and lotion bar are not good initially, but do dissipate. They are a bit greasy, but that is to be expected. The soaps all smell very earthy and natural, which I really tried to like, but just don't. The sea salt soap scratched my skin and made me itch like crazy, The shampoo bars were ok, but I just prefer liquid. The mocha lip butter is nice.
Overall, if you enjoy natural products definitely give these a try. The shipping was quick and the samples are very generous. Her site itself has a lot of good information and tons of stuff to choose from. I wanted to like the products, but most were just not a good fit for me.
Chagrin Valley Soaps are awesome. I've completely replaced every commercial bath gel, shower gel, traditional soap (which are really detergents) in my house with Chagrin Valley Soaps. They're that good. Customer Service is fantastic; shipping is quick and the products are reasonably priced. Try the Honey Butter, Honey Beer, Almond Chocolate, Grapeseed Shea, Avocado Oats & Shea, Olive & Shea, Rhassoul Clay & Yogurt Complexion soap bars!!
I am in love with Chagrin Valley soaps. I've been using these soaps exclusively for over a year now. One bar lasts me about a month so I feel these are reasonably priced. I started out using the shampoo bars, but those were way too rich for my hair and began using them on my body instead. Then I went a little crazy and started ordering the soaps in almost every scent. What's unique about these soaps is every scent is formulated differently. Usually, only the scent is changed from one bar (or bottle) to the next with most brands, but not these. The ingredients vary widely and are of good quality and of all the bars I've used, I've only found one I didn't like, Dead Sea Spa. This one irritated my skin but the rest are lovely...very moisturizing, pleasantly scented and are pretty to look at. I get really excited when I am about to run out of a bar and get to choose the next one for my shower since each bar is so different. It's hard to choose a favorite because I love almost all of them, but a few that come to mind are: Lavender Oatmeal Spice, Orange Creamsicle and Scarborough Fair. I also like purchasing from Chagrin Valley because they are a family-owned business and there is no wasteful plastic packaging involved. Highly recommended!
I have been using CV for close to a year now, and LOVE LOVE most of them, to let you all know, I stayed at a friends family home for the week, although they use water catchments for showering, and its considered hard water, and there is some chlorine in there water catchment to keep there shower water sanitary it caused my scalp to break out in some acne, and itchy scalp, well, out of desperation, i finally had the urge to try that Mud and clay shampoo bar and the coconut shampoo bar and I had to cross my fingers hoping it would heal my scalp of the itch and acne, WELL Bless Ida and sam, This mud and clay healed my scalp excellently, No acne it went away and I had NO itchy scalp either, so Now if I visit my family friends again, Mud and clay and Ida's other body soaps will be my companion always!!!!! I love Chagrin valley shampoo bars and body soaps!!!
This review is for Chagrin Valley as a whole and all their excellent products. First, their site is wonderful, full of information and things you probably didn't know about skin and soap. Second, their customer service is outstanding. They usually ship within 24 hours (and their site is up-to-date, telling you what is ready to ship and what isn't). And third, their products are marvelous. Rich, buttery bars of soap and shampoos that smell and feel so good. I order unscented products and a package arrives that smells like clean and laundry and linens.
With great prices and products and a wide variety of choices, this is going to be my go-to etailer for soaps.