Author Topic: Shampoo Bars..?  (Read 3202 times)

TreeLeaf

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Shampoo Bars..?
« on: July 24, 2023, 08:15:47 PM »
My wife has recently become obsessed with shampoo bars.

I know nothing about shampoo bars.

Her theory is they are better for her hair, better for the environment (no plastic container) and cheaper(in theory cheaper shipping costs since not shipping liquid with the shampoo) so she is using them now.

I don't really buy into her point of view. It seems like they are almost sold more as niche luxury beauty products, and lack the competition and market demand and mass production to really drive costs down. I have no idea how or why they would be better for hair.

Does anyone know anything about shampoo bars? Have you ever used them? Brand/online store where you bought them?

Thanks.

ETA: I'm not trying to get into an argument about shampoo bars. I'm mostly just wondering where the best place to buy these things is at besides whole foods, lol.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2023, 08:31:58 PM by TreeLeaf »

draco44

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2023, 08:49:42 PM »
Ha, I literally just mentioned shampoo bars in the "Ways to engineer plastic out of your life" thread.

You are right that shampoo bars are niche in the sense that there's definitely more liquid shampoo sold than solid bar shampoo. But there are many brands out there these days, not to mention gobs of independent sellers on places on Etsy, so it's not really that rare. As a spot check, I did a quick search on Target's website and see that they alone have 24 bar shampoo or bar conditioner products for sale. So even mainstream stores sell these products.

The big universal selling point with these bar products is the environmental benefits you note, typically no plastic packaging and less fossil fuels used to ship product because you aren't moving around the water that is mixed in with a liquid shampoo.

Some brands will also taut things like paying their workers or suppliers a livable wage or sourcing ingredients in ways that are supposed to be safer for the planet (avoiding palm oil operations that destroy rainforest habitat, for example) or not including ingredient that may create negative health effects in some people. Any of these claims will be specific to a given product's ingredients, so it's hard to generalize.

As for the effectiveness of the product on your hair, that again will be specific to the product in question. Some shampoo bars are crap and some are great, as is true of basically any product category. And a specific hair product, bar form or not, that works well for one person's hair type may not get good results for someone else with different hair qualities, like thickness or oiliness level or curl pattern. A bar shampoo that's great for your wife's hair will be good because of the ingredients it contains, not the "bar-ness" of it.

As for specific brands, I am wary of Lush's stuff because some of it contains dyes that may stain you or your shower. Some people like exfoliating ingredients like oatmeal or ground seeds mixed into shampoo bars but I don't because it made the one bar I tried like that seem prone to crumbling and I hear too much of that stuff can clog your drain. I think Ethique's products are great. I bought a sampler pack from their website and have tried two things so far and liked both of those. Their stuff even did a great job after I returned from a camping trip and was smoky from campfires. If I try another brand it will probably be HiBar next.

Re. longevity of product, a key to making a bar shampoo last is to store it properly. It shouldn't be getting sprayed with water in the shower when you aren't using it, because if that's the case product will just be running down the drain, like it would if a regular bar of soap stayed in the blast zone the whole time you are washing up.

Dancin'Dog

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2023, 06:26:30 AM »
I'm glad to hear about shampoo bars.  Traveling with tiny bottles of liquids is a hassle.  You're almost "out of shampoo" when they're full.  Besides that, it's a PITA when one leaks in your travel bag. 

So, thanks for mentioning the bars.  I'll have to try it. 

Rusted Rose

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2023, 07:12:08 AM »
I've used these exclusively for years and watched how products and availability have changed across time.

Reasons I use them: no plastic. No SLS. No artificial colors. They work for me. Basic, simple, real ingredients IF you know what to look for.

Any of these that are opaque are detergent-based, not soap-based, so I avoid those. The ones I get are solid castile soap (olive oil-based).

When these were more of a boutique item, they'd be maybe 3-oz. bars for like $8 each. Then a bunch of companies got into the field and up into the $15-per range. 🙄 In the last few years though, I discovered that Kroger-owned stores had a store-brand castile soap in the hippie section, NOT advertised as shampoo bars, 4.5 oz for less than $3 each.

Same ingredients (the soap version, not detergent). Which you can also find as Dr. Bronner's bars, but they're twice the price at least.

BTW, these are ALSO the same ingredients in hippie pet soap, because people buy "pure," gentle basics for their dogs before thinking of doing the same for themselves. Not any cheaper going the pet route tho.

Because this is soap and therefore alkaline, after rinsing I spray on a diluted apple cider vinegar solution and rinse that out too, to balance scalp pH.

Happy suds!
« Last Edit: July 25, 2023, 07:18:29 AM by Rusted Rose »

the_hobbitish

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2023, 07:21:23 AM »
Ok I am intrigued and a potential convert...

@Rusted Rose What ratio are you using on the cider vinegar/water? Is there any remaining vinegar smell?

Can anyone comment on how they do with hard water? Or hard-water based scalp buildup?

Dancin'Dog

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2023, 07:26:56 AM »
I've used these exclusively for years and watched how products and availability have changed across time.

Reasons I use them: no plastic. No SLS. No artificial colors. They work for me. Basic, simple, real ingredients IF you know what to look for.

Any of these that are opaque are detergent-based, not soap-based, so I avoid those. The ones I get are solid castile soap (olive oil-based).

When these were more of a boutique item, they'd be maybe 3-oz. bars for like $8 each. Then a bunch of companies got into the field and up into the $15-per range. 🙄 In the last few years though, I discovered that Kroger-owned stores had a store-brand castile soap in the hippie section, NOT advertised as shampoo bars, 4.5 oz for less than $3 each.

Same ingredients (the soap version, not detergent). Which you can also find as Dr. Bronner's bars, but they're twice the price at least.

BTW, these are ALSO the same ingredients in hippie pet soap, because people buy "pure," gentle basics for their dogs before thinking of doing the same for themselves. Not any cheaper going the pet route tho.

Because this is soap and therefore alkaline, after rinsing I spray on a diluted apple cider vinegar solution and rinse that out too, to balance scalp pH.

Happy suds!




Where's the "hippie" section in a grocery store?  I've never noticed them around here.

GuitarStv

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2023, 07:34:51 AM »
Don't overcomplicate things.  I've been using bar soap on my hair instead of shampoo for years.  Works about as well as shampoo.  :P

Hula Hoop

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2023, 08:17:41 AM »
It took me a while to find a shampoo and conditioner bar that works really well on my and my kids' curly/wavy hair.  The one we're using now costs around Euro 4.50 per bar and lasts for ages and ages.  Would not go back although the only problem is distinguishing in the shower which is the bar soap, bar shampoo and bar conditioner and keeping them separate.

Maybe @GuitarStv is right - we should just use soap for our hair but I suspect that he doesn't have long, extremely tangly curly hair?  Or does he?  If we used soap and no conditioner in my hair I'd have to spend hours detangling my and my 2 kids' hair every couple of days.

GuitarStv

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2023, 08:29:13 AM »
FWIW I've never had hair longer than my shoulders and at that length it's slightly wavy / not tangly at all.

getsorted

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2023, 08:56:46 AM »
The environmental advantages are that they are typically soap-based rather than detergent-based, and soap breaks down much more readily and doesn't act as a surfactant in the water system. And also, the environmental cost of shipping something that doesn't have water added is usually better than something that does. It's hard to make a good comparison unless you know how long it takes you to get through a bottle of shampoo vs. a bar.

Wal-Mart sells shampoo bars where I live. It's not Whole Foods only!

I experimented with shampoo bars and every other type of shampoo alternative, including water-only, for years, but I never liked the results much.

former player

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2023, 09:26:04 AM »
Shampoo bars (and conditioner bars) are an easy environmental win: no more plastic shampoo bottles thrown away for the rest of your life.

Probably any of them will do the job unless you need to fuss about your hair, in which case buy a different make each time until you find one that suits.

Rusted Rose

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2023, 11:19:58 AM »
Ok I am intrigued and a potential convert...

@Rusted Rose What ratio are you using on the cider vinegar/water? Is there any remaining vinegar smell?

Can anyone comment on how they do with hard water? Or hard-water based scalp buildup?

First, I don't have hard water so can't comment on that one, sorry.

Ratio of vinegar to water I use is roughly 1:1. Most of the scent is washed out at final rinse, and if there's any left over, it dissipates very quickly.

Rusted Rose

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2023, 11:28:09 AM »
I've used these exclusively for years and watched how products and availability have changed across time.

Reasons I use them: no plastic. No SLS. No artificial colors. They work for me. Basic, simple, real ingredients IF you know what to look for.

Any of these that are opaque are detergent-based, not soap-based, so I avoid those. The ones I get are solid castile soap (olive oil-based).

When these were more of a boutique item, they'd be maybe 3-oz. bars for like $8 each. Then a bunch of companies got into the field and up into the $15-per range. 🙄 In the last few years though, I discovered that Kroger-owned stores had a store-brand castile soap in the hippie section, NOT advertised as shampoo bars, 4.5 oz for less than $3 each.

Same ingredients (the soap version, not detergent). Which you can also find as Dr. Bronner's bars, but they're twice the price at least.

BTW, these are ALSO the same ingredients in hippie pet soap, because people buy "pure," gentle basics for their dogs before thinking of doing the same for themselves. Not any cheaper going the pet route tho.

Because this is soap and therefore alkaline, after rinsing I spray on a diluted apple cider vinegar solution and rinse that out too, to balance scalp pH.

Happy suds!




Where's the "hippie" section in a grocery store?  I've never noticed them around here.

Ours tend to have a little section for "natural"/"conscious"/"organic" kinds of personal care items separate from all the usual industrial brands. (Not to be confused for "independent," since many of them get bought up by the big guys who, as is current tradition, don't broadcast it.)


And to the general discussion, FWIW, I've tried "regular soap" and not only is it generally MORE chemically complicated than these basic formulations, it's not always actual soap. But try whatever you want! Whatever works.

uniwelder

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2023, 11:39:18 AM »
Iím a convert and just finished my first bar. It lasted me for about 15 months and cost $10. Itís the JR Liggettís brand. Washed most days, my hair is about 2Ē long, and the bar stays dry, so it really lasted quite a while. I like the way my hair feels and itís much nicer than the times Iíve tried regular bar soap.

TreeLeaf

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2023, 05:11:14 PM »
Iím a convert and just finished my first bar. It lasted me for about 15 months and cost $10. Itís the JR Liggettís brand. Washed most days, my hair is about 2Ē long, and the bar stays dry, so it really lasted quite a while. I like the way my hair feels and itís much nicer than the times Iíve tried regular bar soap.

15 months. Wow.

This almost reminds me of my lotion bar. I have had it for 10 months now, use it everyday, only taken a small dent out of it lol. I assume it will last me for years.

Also thanks everyone for your ideas and suggestions!!

I mostly shop at Aldi and sam's club, and did not see them there.

I will check Kroger and Target and Wal-Mart next and look for the "hippie" sections as suggested, lol. 🤣

Thanks!

uniwelder

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2023, 07:34:13 PM »
Iím a convert and just finished my first bar. It lasted me for about 15 months and cost $10. Itís the JR Liggettís brand. Washed most days, my hair is about 2Ē long, and the bar stays dry, so it really lasted quite a while. I like the way my hair feels and itís much nicer than the times Iíve tried regular bar soap.

15 months. Wow.

This almost reminds me of my lotion bar. I have had it for 10 months now, use it everyday, only taken a small dent out of it lol. I assume it will last me for years.

Also thanks everyone for your ideas and suggestions!!

I mostly shop at Aldi and sam's club, and did not see them there.

I will check Kroger and Target and Wal-Mart next and look for the "hippie" sections as suggested, lol. 🤣

Thanks!

I ended up ordering off Amazon.  A friend said they bought it locally at some point, but I haven't been able to find that particular brand in any store around me.

As mentioned by someone else here, keeping the bar dry seems to be key.  I just rub my wet hands on it a little, set the bar back in its place, then rub my hands through my hair to lather.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2023, 02:26:12 AM »
Ok I am intrigued and a potential convert...

@Rusted Rose What ratio are you using on the cider vinegar/water? Is there any remaining vinegar smell?

Can anyone comment on how they do with hard water? Or hard-water based scalp buildup?

We have extremely hard water and we've had luck with this brand of shampoo and conditioner bars that I get off Amazon Italy for around Euro 4.50. We have curly, very tangly hair.  Not sure where you're located or if this brand is sold where you are: https://foamie.us/collections/shampoo-bars


Metalcat

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2023, 04:50:44 AM »
Depends on the shampoo bar. They can be fancy and filled with organic whatever's or they can be basic. They range in quality and content almost as much as regular shampoo.

I get mine at Bulk Barn for $2.

namasteyall

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2023, 05:53:09 AM »
Anyone used soap nuts? ( From a tree in India.) My neighbour uses them.

Metalcat

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2023, 06:29:25 AM »
Anyone used soap nuts? ( From a tree in India.) My neighbour uses them.

I've used them for laundry

economista

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2023, 07:29:23 AM »
I'm curious if anyone has had issues with dandruff and successfully used shampoo bars? I have tried many different brands and each time I end up with terrible dandruff after only a few weeks. I have also tried using an ACV rinse, regular conditioner from a bottle, and bar conditioners and that doesn't make a difference for the dandruff. I wash my hair roughly 2x per week when it starts to get greasy.

I really want to use bar shampoo and conditioner, but I just haven't had luck. My hair is brown, perfectly straight, and on the thin side, so dandruff stands out and is really obvious.

Metalcat

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2023, 08:10:14 AM »
I'm curious if anyone has had issues with dandruff and successfully used shampoo bars? I have tried many different brands and each time I end up with terrible dandruff after only a few weeks. I have also tried using an ACV rinse, regular conditioner from a bottle, and bar conditioners and that doesn't make a difference for the dandruff. I wash my hair roughly 2x per week when it starts to get greasy.

I really want to use bar shampoo and conditioner, but I just haven't had luck. My hair is brown, perfectly straight, and on the thin side, so dandruff stands out and is really obvious.

It depends on the cause of the dandruff.

Also, if you switch away from bottle shampoo to any alternative treatment, you need to clarify your hair first and get the silicone deposits off. Those will interact with anything you use and make everything gross, and they will just stick around and often make it impossible to transition.

Most people who fail to transition away from commercial shampoo/conditioner failed to clarify properly.

Even people who do use conventional shampoo and conditioner should clarify now and then. Silicone is persistent shit and it doesn't play well with scalp oil.

Kris

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2023, 08:48:24 AM »
I researched and bought a shampoo-conditioner bar for a trip last year. I try to travel light and liquid products were a hassle. I ended up loving the bar I got. Iím still working through a stock of shampoos and conditioners I already own, but when Iím done with those I plan to go to using the bar full-time.

Dee_the_third

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2023, 09:10:56 AM »
OP, shampoo bars and soap in general is actually very easy to make. You need to be comfortable handling some very strong chemicals but common sense gets you a long way. Fifty bucks and youíll probably be set for the next decade.

Cranky

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2023, 09:23:48 AM »
Iíve used a couple of different shampoo bars and they seem fine. I havenít had as much luck with conditioner, though.

Iím pretty sure the last one I picked is from one of the if shampoo companies so I suspect that are keeping an eye on this trend.

Metalcat

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2023, 09:26:58 AM »
Iíve used a couple of different shampoo bars and they seem fine. I havenít had as much luck with conditioner, though.

Iím pretty sure the last one I picked is from one of the if shampoo companies so I suspect that are keeping an eye on this trend.

I stopped using commercial conditioner and just use a bit of jojoba oil instead.

Telecaster

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2023, 10:03:25 AM »
I'm curious if anyone has had issues with dandruff and successfully used shampoo bars? I have tried many different brands and each time I end up with terrible dandruff after only a few weeks. I have also tried using an ACV rinse, regular conditioner from a bottle, and bar conditioners and that doesn't make a difference for the dandruff. I wash my hair roughly 2x per week when it starts to get greasy.

I really want to use bar shampoo and conditioner, but I just haven't had luck. My hair is brown, perfectly straight, and on the thin side, so dandruff stands out and is really obvious.

The key to eliminating dandruff is to vigorously massage your scalp with your fingers when you shampoo.  Type of shampoo doesn't really matter.

Metalcat

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2023, 10:20:28 AM »
I'm curious if anyone has had issues with dandruff and successfully used shampoo bars? I have tried many different brands and each time I end up with terrible dandruff after only a few weeks. I have also tried using an ACV rinse, regular conditioner from a bottle, and bar conditioners and that doesn't make a difference for the dandruff. I wash my hair roughly 2x per week when it starts to get greasy.

I really want to use bar shampoo and conditioner, but I just haven't had luck. My hair is brown, perfectly straight, and on the thin side, so dandruff stands out and is really obvious.

The key to eliminating dandruff is to vigorously massage your scalp with your fingers when you shampoo.  Type of shampoo doesn't really matter.

It really depends on the cause of the dandruff, and for a lot of caused, the composition of what you put on your scalp does matter quite a bit, especially if it's fungal.

mtnrider

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2023, 08:28:49 AM »
Don't overcomplicate things.  I've been using bar soap on my hair instead of shampoo for years.  Works about as well as shampoo.  :P

Same. 

No plastic bottles, less product to ship, less stuff to keep track of, cheaper.  If I shower in the morning though, my hair feels like straw for a while after it dries.  It softens up in a few hours.  It may depend on the bar soap you use.

I also use soap for shaving after the shower.

Good to hear about these shampoo bars, I'll mention them to my wife.

Dancin'Dog

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2023, 09:50:09 AM »
Don't overcomplicate things.  I've been using bar soap on my hair instead of shampoo for years.  Works about as well as shampoo.  :P

Same. 

No plastic bottles, less product to ship, less stuff to keep track of, cheaper.  If I shower in the morning though, my hair feels like straw for a while after it dries.  It softens up in a few hours.  It may depend on the bar soap you use.

I also use soap for shaving after the shower.

Good to hear about these shampoo bars, I'll mention them to my wife.




Ivory makes my hair frizzy.  I only use it in a pinch, like if I'm camping & my hair's gotten a bit greasy.




jeninco

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2023, 07:10:34 PM »
OP, shampoo bars and soap in general is actually very easy to make. You need to be comfortable handling some very strong chemicals but common sense gets you a long way. Fifty bucks and youíll probably be set for the next decade.

Also, you need to be comfortable dealing with the strange looks from the hardware store staff when you buy pure lye (also used to make meth).  Of course, I live in Hippistan, so they're used to it...

More seriously, you do need to have the time and focus to avoid getting gnarly lye burns. A good hood is also helpful (I use the one over my cooktop).  I like the instructions on this site: https://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-make-cold-processed-soap-v-2.html  and there are plenty of soap calculators online to choose from, to calculate ratios. You'll also need a digital scale...

To the OP, Trader Joe's sells tea tree shampoo bars that seem fairly uncomplicated.

Just Joe

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2023, 03:27:26 PM »
I'm working my way through a bar of Ivory soap. Works great on all parts of me including my hair.

Have used Irish Spring in the past. No problems either.

These are 50-60 cents per bar. Found everywhere. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2023, 03:37:47 PM »
Irish Spring is great!  It's the soap of choice when you want to smell like what an American ad exec thinks Ireland should smell like.  It's also why I can never travel to Ireland . . . the disappointment would be crushing when I get off the plane and don't smell Irish Spring.

:P

getsorted

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2023, 06:24:39 PM »
Irish Spring is great!  It's the soap of choice when you want to smell like what an American ad exec thinks Ireland should smell like.  It's also why I can never travel to Ireland . . . the disappointment would be crushing when I get off the plane and don't smell Irish Spring.

:P

I don't know what's in it, but I am violently allergic to Irish Spring. Sets off a chain of sneezing that is virtually unstoppable. I don't have that reaction to any other soap, or anything else at all.

I have checked and I don't have the same reaction to Ireland. But it was autumn when I went there.

Just Joe

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Re: Shampoo Bars..?
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2023, 02:48:48 PM »
I thought I had another bar, but nope. Now working through some gift soaps I found in the bathroom closet from last Christmas. I think the current bar has something to do with Darth Vader! Maybe a Duke Cannon soap.

Irish Spring works great as an air freshener in the car. Just lay it in a soap tray under the seat. When the fragrance fades away, just repurpose it as a bar of soap again.

Sorry to hear you have an allergy issue with it. At least you know what to avoid.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!