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Shampoo bar has steadily risen to popularity in the past years. Admittedly, I was a little late in the game as I have sensitive scalp and thick hair and was just honestly afraid to try - that changed last summer.  After going combing through the interweb for the best shampoo bar, I decided to start my quest with Ethique Shampoo Bar.

Before I continue on with my review, let me start with a quick introduction on shampoo bars.

A shampoo bar is shampoo in bar form - Imagine your regular shampoo in a bottle, sans 80% of water, concentrated into a solid shape (cube, rectangular, etc). And since it's in solid form, it doesn't require usual plastic bottle that regular shampoo are packaged into.

Ethique claims to use 100% naturally-sourced ingredients that are all biodegradable - including cardboard with soy inks without plastics or laminates. Ethique also sells their own plastic-free in-shower containers that are made from bamboo fibres and cornstarch (as you will see in the succeeding pictures, I did not purchase said case. Instead, I used an old mason jar lid and rubber band to keep my shampoo bar from melting in the shower!). Each bar costs between $15-20 - that's roughly the same cost as 3 regular shampoo bottles that Ethique claims is equivalent to 1 shampoo bar.

As earlier mentioned, I have a sensitive scalp and one of my non-negotiables is finding a shampoo bar with good pH balance. Average human skin, including scalp, has normal range between 4.0 to 6.5 pH and most soaps bar (shampoo bars included) tend to have high pH balance ~8.0 and up. Ethique claims to use a mild blend of coconut derived surfactants, oils, butters, clays and other actives to create shampoo bars which are balanced to a pH of 5.5-6 so they don't cause the hair cuticle to open and stick out.


Do you remember litmus test in Chemistry class where pieces of paper were submerged in various liquid to detect if a solution is acidic or basic? Yes, you can test pH of your shampoo bar at home with litmus paper.

Average human skin, including scalp, has normal range between 4.0 to 6.5 pH and most soaps bar (shampoo bars included) tend to have high pH balance ~8.0 and up.

As of 2019, there are 11 Ethique shampoo bar variants:

  1. Damage Control for Normal-Dry Hair
  2. Frizz Wrangler for Dry &/or Frizzy Hair
  3. Heali Kiwi for Dandruff or Scalp Problems
  4. Oaty Delicious gentle shampoo for the Little ones
  5. Pinkalicious for Normal Hair
  6. St Clements for Oily Hair
  7. Sweet & Spicy Volumizing Shampoo
  8. Tip-to-Toe 2-in-1 Shampoo & Shaving Bar
  9. Tip-to-Tot Multi-purpose for the little ones
  10. Tone It Down Purple Solid Shampoo (toning shampoo - great for blondes!)
  11. Wombar Limited edition bar normal hair ($1AUD from the sale of this bar goes to The Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors foundation.)

I decided to try Frizz Wrangler which is perfect for my frizzy hair. Based on the box description, looks like this bar has coconut as the main scent/ingredient (coconut cream and coconut butter, anyone?). Bar is encased in a cardboard box that has "hello, I am biodegradable" sticker on it.

Ethique claims that their packaging including packing tape (encircled in green) is plastic-free.

I caught a light whiff of coconut fragance as I opened the box. The shampoo bar inside felt buttery to touch - like a creamier version of a regular hand soap. At this point, I got more curious - will this bar lather like regular shampoo? or will this feel like washing with lotion?

The test:

While instruction calls for swiping the bar several times down the hair from roots to tip, I find that the best way is to wet hair and start swiping the bar from tips, gently massaging my way up the roots. Surprisingly, I get the most decent lather from the bar using this method.

The coconut scent is light and does not linger after rinsing. Shampoo cleans well and leaves my hair soft. Pleasantly, this is a gentle shampoo doesn't seem to leave any residue or build-up. It always leave my hair feeling fresh, bouncy, without the dryness.

Decent lather from the shampoo bar.

To provide context, I have thick, shoulder-length hair that I shampoo approximately every other day. I started using the bar in late September and still have a decent amount of the bar by mid-December (refer to the photo below). I keep the bar dry and based on my current utilization, looks like it's on track to last for a year!

After 2.5 months of use, still a long way to go with my Ethique shampoo bar!!

My verdict is that Ethique's Frizzy Wranger is a GO! Great shampoo bar for frizzy hair with light coconut smell. Not only is the product sustainable and awesome for your hair, it is also sustainably-packaged that's awesome for the planet!

If you want to try Ethique's shampoo bar, you may purchase by clicking HERE.