In my pre-travel frenzy of research, I came across this piece of advice from a fellow traveller – Take a shampoo bar with you instead of a regular bottle. They last months and are so small so they save you so much money and space, and you don’t have to worry about replacing it! Well it sounds like a dream doesn’t it?
I think a few places sell them but I was recommended ‘Lush’ so I went to check them out. Well there were so many options, it was hard to not get carried away! Shampoo bars, conditioner bars, shampoo and conditioner bars, bars that smell like lavender, rose, coconut, chocolate, bars for greasy hair, dry hair, bars with petals in them… Ok I did get carried away… I think there’s something about Lush. The intoxicating smell of soap gives you some kind of mad product-buying adrenaline rush…
But anyway I’m getting off track here. I bought a shampoo bar was the conclusion to that story. I had been deliberating it, as it would mean more space for shoes, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to wash my hair with a bar of soap. But after the heady concoction of products in Lush, I just went for it. And even got a cute tin for it to live in.
I took it with me to Asia. I was not impressed.
- You only get as much lather as a regular bar of soap so washing your hair is hard work.
- In terms of haircare, it’s down there with 2 in 1 shampoo and you really don’t want to spend an unnecessarily long time detangling your hair when you could be scuba diving or exploring a temple instead.
- And the thing that annoyed me most, was that you were meant to wait for it to dry completely before putting it back in its tin and packing it. That’s just not an option when you’re backpacking. Everything’s spontaneous and fun and you can’t be worrying about washing your hair in time for your shampoo bar to dry…
- …So you pack it anyway, and then at your next destination the tin has stuck to the bar and cannot be opened. Not cool.
Honestly, I really wish I liked the shampoo bars because they are super cute and space saving. But they’re just not practical for backpacking in my opinion.
I think I lasted a respectable 6 weeks with the shampoo bar before giving up and buying normal shampoo! So you see I did TRY to be a frugal, space-saving backpacker once upon a time… And it made me become a flash-packing princess that tells you to take anything that makes you happy!
Feel free to try them yourself but I would recommend trying them before you go. But seriously, don’t be swayed by the backpacking nazis, or the Lush sales assistants at that.
If you wouldn’t use a bar of soap to wash your hair at home, you’re not going to want to use it when you’re away. It’s as simple as that.