Let’s admit it – it’s winter, it’s dry, and your poor hair needs a refresh. I know my hair and skin always suffer in the cold weather, and my usual shampoo and conditioning treatments haven’t done the trick. But like many consumers, I’m not too keen on going to a drugstore and buying a sulfate-filled product served up in a plastic bottle that will end up in a landfill. That’s why I turned to Kitsch, a vegan and sustainable haircare brand that makes shampoo bars – read on to find out if you should too.
What’s a Shampoo Bar?
I’d never heard of a shampoo bar, but believe it or not, it’s just like a bar of soap. You lather up your hands, scrub your hair, and wash it as you normally would. One of the great things about a shampoo bar is that it comes in a recyclable cardboard box. Kitsch also sells bar holders so your shampoo bar won’t get clumpy or slimy, along with silk pillowcases, razors, hair styling tools, and more.
In my trial with Kitsch, I used their two most popular products: Rice Water Shampoo and Conditioner. With all the TikTok videos I’ve seen about the strengthening and moisturizing benefits of rice water, I was excited to try these tools. Truthfully, I had vastly different experiences with the two products I tried – but I’ll start with the similarities. They both smelled great, looked great, and came in sustainable packaging. After a couple of weeks of use, both bars looked as good as the day I bought them, so it’s not hard to believe they’ll last through a hundred washes. Additionally, they both had a wonderfully fruity and sweet clean scent, and the white tea and mandarin flavors left my hair smelling great.
Shampoo Bars: A Hit Or Miss?
The shampoo, unfortunately, just wasn’t for me. In many ways, it was reminiscent of a clarifying shampoo, leaving hair a little dry and brittle after use (so don’t even think about buying it without the conditioner). Also, while the box labeled the product as color-safe, it only took a few seconds of scrubbing before I saw the suds turn a pale blue color, a tell-tale sign that my raven locks were being stripped of their unnatural tint. Some online reviewers also corroborate that this shampoo can be a little hard on colored hair.
So while this product seems like it would work wonders on weaker virgin hair, my experience leads me to think that those of us who pay for dark hair might want to try another Kitsch product lest we end up with lighter locks. Kitsch’s incredible customer service model also offers free returns within 90 days, so if you try one of their products and find it isn’t the right fit, your bank account won’t suffer.
The conditioner, on the other hand, is a game-changer. I put a healthy amount on my hands, rubbed it on my hair, brushed it through with a wide-toothed comb, and kept it in for about seven minutes before a nice long rinse. In my experience, some conditioners can leave hair with a slimy or unnaturally silky feel, but Kitsch’s Rice Water conditioner left my hair the healthiest it’s felt all season. As this product also serves as a leave-in conditioner, I experimented and took a little before leaving it in my hair to dry. It definitely served as that little moisturizing boost I needed. All in all, I’ll definitely continue to use this product however I can – as a conditioner, a weekly treatment, or a styling product.
The Final Take: Try It For Yourself
All in all, Kitsch’s business model is a great idea. I love the form of a shampoo bar, the smell, and the way the conditioner leaves my hair. But a word of caution for buyers: not every shampoo is for every type of hair, but Kitsch has plenty of offerings in case you’re more of a purple shampoo or castor oil person.