Ready for a new shampoo that not only keeps your hair gorgeous but cuts back on all that bottle waste? Thanks to Liz’s recommendation that I try out Green Ablutions Moroccan Argan Oil bar shampoo to see how it works, I think I’ve finally found my new favorite shampoo — no small task after the journey I’ve been on the last two years to find one I love.
I tried the Moroccan Argan Oil bar, but they also offer a purifying peppermint shampoo bar, and a fragrance-free shampoo bar. (However there’s no noticeable fragrance to the moroccan oil bar, in my opinion.)
If you’re the type who likes bold scents, they also have a limited edition Key Lime bar…which sounds kind of terrible to me. But to each her own.
If you want the verdict up front, I’ll tell you that this shampoo, much to my surprise, checks all my requirements: It’s eco friendly, using no plastics and only the water that’s already running in my shower. It has safe, responsibly sourced, cruelty-free vegan ingredients without parabens or phthalates. It’s affordable, it makes a fantastic lather while you wash, and my hair feels clean with good results afterward.
Also, I like that it’s a small, woman-run company based out of Pennsylvania.
Okay so “my hair feels clean” aside, I’m realizing this list makes me sounds like I’m a super picky shampoo snob, but that’s really not the case. It’s just that this shampoo makes it easy to get a great wash with safe ingredients that don’t hurt the environment. And that’s a win, right?
With that in mind, here are more details so you can see whether the Green Ablutions Shampoo Bar is right for you, too.
-My hair type and typical shampoo routine
-How you use it
-The results after one day
-The results after one month
-How it works for the kids
-The final verdict
-A surprise added benefit
This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission from certain purchases to help support the work we do at no additional cost to you. Green Ablutions sent me one bar of shampoo and conditioner to try out for this review. But as you’ll see, our review is, as always, my 100% honest opinion.
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First, about my hair
Before I dive into the review, let me tell you a little bit about my hair and my normal hair routine, so you can get a good basis for comparison to your own.
My hair is just below shoulder-length and falls somewhere between wavy and curly, tending toward frizzy. It’s about as natural as it gets — it’s never been dyed and I use very few products on it besides the occasional spritz of hairspray.
I typically wash it 2-3 times per week and then usually let it air dry. After that I use my straightening iron to get out the frizz.
My typical shampoo routine
For years, my routine was just to grab whatever shampoo was on sale that week at the grocery. Then, I tried Hairstory shampoo. It was a disaster for me, but my review has really resonated with our readers, each offering their own successes and failures. It’s worth reading the comments. (Y’all have strong opinions.)
After that, I discovered Earthling Co.’s bar shampoo, and I loved the lather and the way it cleaned my hair, even if I found the conditioner a little lacking. But I really loved the environmental benefits of using a bar shampoo. No single use plastic was a big win for me, so I purchased a few more and used it through most of 2020.
Then Liz asked me to try Green Ablutions for another take on bar shampoo. So…the TL;DR?
This is officially my new favorite shampoo.
Don’t worry, I’ll elaborate so you can read as many details as you want to see if it’s right for you!
Related: Does bakuchiol really work? An honest review of this Pinterest-favorite beauty product.
What is bar shampoo and how do you use it?
When I first tried bar shampoo, I was hopeful but a little reluctant. Now, I’m sure I’ll never go back to bottled.
To use, you simply rub across your wet hair. Compared with others I’ve tried, the Green Ablutions shampoo creates a thick, satisfying lather that feels like it’s deep cleaning without stripping my hair, while the moisturizing properties from the Moroccan Oils make it shiny and soft.
I tested the bar conditioner as well, and unlike other brands, this one was light and (actually) conditioning, without adding heaviness or oiliness to my hair. I’ve regularly used it every time I wash, all over my hair — and not just the ends, like I did with cream conditioner.
I’ve also used this bar soap on my daughter’s hair when I give her a bath, and it hasn’t bothered her at all when I rinse it out and the soapy water goes over her face. While she doesn’t typically complain about water in her eyes, it’s nice to know this didn’t seem to sting or hurt her at all.
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How my hair looked after one day with Green Ablutions shampoo
After my first wash, my hair felt clean and soft. I could immediately tell that some of the conditioning and moisture had returned to my hair, which was starting to feel a bit dry and brittle — especially after a year of pandemic hair care. (You know what I’m talking abut!)
The great news is that there was no big adjustment period like you evidently need with Hairstory shampoo. Pretty much every comment taking issue with my review of that shampoo was that I needed to give it more time. But — and hey, call me picky — in my opinion it shouldn’t take a month to adjust to a new shampoo!
As usual, I styled my hair after it had air dried and got lots of bounce and shine. I kind of pretended like I was in a shampoo commercial in front of the bathroom mirror for a second.
How clean did my hair get? I was able to go four whole days without washing it again!
A note on other kinds of hair
I should mention that I’ve been using this on my 6 year old daughter, who is Korean. Her straight jet-black hair is loving this shampoo too, and I find it’s softer and shinier than it had been with the mass brand baby shampoo we’d been using for her previously.
Related: Why this is the best soap our resident beauty product junkie has ever tried
How my hair looks after one month with Green Ablutions bar shampoo
After a month, my hair is still healthy and shiny. I’ve been consistently able to go about 4 days between washes — yay for time saving! — and I’m more comfortable letting it just go naturally curly now. I’m crediting that to the Moroccan Argan oil that’s in the particular bar I tried, which seems to be giving my hair the conditioning I didn’t realize it needed.
Also, looking at these two photos, I’m thinking that my hair may have grown faster than normal too. But I can’t exactly credit the shampoo with that.
The one negative I have to share is that I have noticed a more split ends than usual in my hair. But since I’m not a scientist, I can imagine that may also be a factor of the less frequent haircuts I’ve been able to get during quarantine. (Also, who knows what stress has done to my hair for the past year, sigh.)
The other negative is that it isn’t exactly some gorgeous looking bath item, if aesthetics are a thing for you. Especially the one I tried, which is brown and sort of rough-hewn, giving it that crunchy look.
But hey, these days that matters a lot less to lots of us. And you can always go for the fragrance free if you prefer a cleaner, more neutral looking white bar.
The verdict on Green Ablutions bar shampoo
For about two months now, five of us in my family have been using this bar shampoo, and we still have about 1/4 of the bar left. That’s $12 well spent, in my mind.
It’s not that using traditional shampoo is particularly difficult, but we all — and especially my sons — love how easy it is to just grab the bar of shampoo to wash our hair and then toss it back on the shelf. No fussing with caps or turning upside down to squeeze out the last of a bottle.
In comparing Green Ablutions to Earthling Co bar shampoo, I have to say that Earthling Co really wins out for better packaging, in terms of environmental impact. They ship their bar shampoo in a recyclable padded mailer and each bar is packaged simply in a paper sleeve. Green Ablutions uses a cardboard box and paper wrap for each bar of shampoo.
That said, I’ve ordered several more bars for my family and will just be sure to recycle my packaging each time.
Kind of a minor point but I’ve come to really like how bar shampoo seriously reduces the clutter in my shower! Now I just have a bar of soap, a bar of shampoo, a bar of conditioner and my razor in there. Minimalism for the win.
(Liz on the other hand, likes all her bottles and scrubs and liquid body soaps, so that may be a me thing.)
One more hidden benefit of this bar soap
You know how you can accidentally squeeze way too much liquid shampoo into your hand — and your kids really can? And then you feel like you’re wasting so much because you can’t get it back into he bottle? Well one lasts benefit of using bar soap is that it’s hard to use too much.
That means that one bar, which costs $12, is equal to about 3 bottles of shampoo, or about 80 washes by their estimate.
So all in all, with Green Ablutions I’m eliminating some single-use plastic from my routine, saving 4 liters of water, and even supporting endangered sea turtles through the company’s charitable give-back program. Yes, this Millennial mom does feel very VSCO right now, in all the best ways.