Are Solid Shampoos and Conditioners Solid For Travel? A Redhead Finds Out

You might say, my hair and travel are my trademarks. Blessed with the rarest hair color in the world, one only 2% of the population has naturally, I take great pride in being a redhead, even on the road. I have previously shared what’s inside my travel toiletry kit, but I still had a hole in that bag in terms of the shampoo and conditioner issue when I travel. I had heard about Lush solid shampoos and conditioners before and decided to give them a go on a test run this past week.

If your hair is long and tangles easily, traveling with liquid shampoo and conditioner is a necessity. I struggle with my bag being too heavy due to this necessity. I cough up $25 for a checked bag because I need at least two bottles of conditioner for a month long trip. Solid shampoo and conditioner seemed like the only alternative to these problems.

The Product

I purchased a bar of Seanik, Lush’s mineral-rich sea salt volumizing shampoo. At $10.95 a bar, I wondered if it would be worth it. A quick sniff and I was back to thinking I was Ariel in the Little Mermaid. With Irish moss seaweed and Japanese nori seaweed, the solid shampoo Seanik makes every shower seem like bathing in a blue lagoon.


I also picked up Lush’s Jungle solid conditioner at $7.95. The smell is something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, supposedly fruity and filled with cocoa butter. I am a conditioner queen so I was skeptical if this solid version would untangle these red tresses.

Pros For Travel

I had heard travelers say how much they loved Lush solid shampoos and conditioners for travel. The first day of using both solid bars, I was surprised to have very soft and shiny hair. You too could look something like this when you travel, if you want to that is.


An obvious advantage to using the solid shampoo and conditioner is avoiding baggage fees. You can feasible go carry-on only and still have enough shampoo and conditioner to last over a month. The solids make for a more economical decision. They also help free up space in your bag. The shampoo lathered really well for a solid and left my hair smelling like the sea all day.

Cons For Travel

For me, the conditioner did not condition. Day after day, I would try to get a lather going on the Jungle conditioner. It felt like nothing was going on my hair. The main problem came when I would go to brush out my tresses, nearly crying over the pain of untangling those locks that weren’t conditioned. I didn’t cry like a did when I managed to get a hair brush stuck in my hair at the age of 8, but you get the idea.


From a travel standpoint, these solid soaps take a long time to dry out and lather up in the shower. While traveling, I never really find the time for lengthy showers. I found myself spending longer in the shower just to work up a lather on the conditioner. Also as the soaps dry very slowly, if you were packing up and heading to your next destination after a shower, you will meet a gummy mess when you arrive. Perhaps it was the Lush soap containers, but my shampoo bar turned extremely soggy in its container. I tried to let the solids dry out each day, but often found the soap stuck to dish. At one point, I had to run to the kitchen for a knife to pry out the bar of soap. I don’t see how a traveler could deal with this, unless they were in one place for weeks on end.

Would This Redhead Recommend  Solid Shampoo and Conditioner for Travel?

That question is not so easy to answer. While I wouldn’t recommend the solid conditioner to anyone with long hair that tangles easily, the shampoo had its moments of shiny glory. I would travel with the solid shampoo, but certainly not the solid conditioner. Men or woman with short hair might find the solid shampoo and the solid conditioner just right for travel.

I would advise trying your own soap dish rather than Lush’s containers. When I placed the soaps in a different container, they seemed to fare better in the drying department. Overall, I am still left with that conundrum when I travel of how to tame this red head. In the meantime, I have to go wash my hair.


Note: This review was conducted completely independent to Lush. In other words, no one paid me to test these products out.

Have you tried Lush’s solid shampoos and conditioners? Have a brand you like better or have you solved the shampoo and conditioner conundrum for travel?


  1. Ginny says

    Not crazy about Lush shampoo and conditioner in the past. I’m a redhead, too but have just started having to color the grays that are peeking through. And Lush products aren’t formulated for color.

  2. says

    I started my current long-term trip with a Lush shampoo bar and hated it. My hair never felt really clean and I had the same problem you describe with the bar not drying out, getting mushy and sticking to the container. My hair rejoiced when I returned to my old Pantene shampoo & conditioner less than a month after starting with the Lush bar (which by the way I was told would last up to 90 days and it didn’t even make it 30).

  3. says

    Really fantastic and interesting advice! I didn’t even know solid shampoo and conditioner were out there. Usually when I travel, I get out of the airport and head straight to the local grocery store to buy toiletries. Unfortunately, this can often get expensive… but it’s not as expensive as the solid bars. Thanks!

  4. says

    I’ve tried the solid shampoo and conditioner from lush, and I had the same issues you did. I’ll definitely have to try using my own container for the soap to help them dry out faster.

  5. says

    Sounds like such a cool idea, so it’s disappointing to hear it wasn’t very successful. I have long fine, curly hair and there’s a huge amount of it! I cannot cope without conditioning my hair. Does anyone know of an alternative solid conditioner?

  6. says

    Thank you so much for the review Suzy! I have been gazing longingly at lush bar shampoos and conditioners, but the high price tag kept me from taking a risk on them. I use their dry shampoo and really like it, but I don’t think I’ll be investing in the bar shampoo any time soon.

    I’m kinda dirty and don’t really wash my hair all too often anyways… too much work.

  7. says

    I tried using hotel-supplied amenities on my last trip and was pretty happy. They varied in quality but I have long hair too and it was fine. I planned to do the same thing on this trip but forgot we were staying in a beach house for two days! Luckily, my husband had shampoo! BTW, if you have a Skymiles American Express card, your luggage is free on Delta.

  8. says

    I used to swear by the shampoo bars for travel – I used the conditioning shampoo bar (it was orange, not sure what it was called). They’re great for short trips but I tried to take two around the world for a year and found that the unused one dried up and got all crumbly on me several months in. So I’d say, don’t stock up.

  9. says

    I hadn’t even considered using solid shampoos while I travel but it sounds like something worth trying out. I wonder it the shampoo paired with a great leave in conditioner would make a good fit? Thanks for the review!

  10. says

    I’m glad you wrote this review. I’ve just recently become aware of solid products, thanks to you. A few posts ago you mentioned a solid perfume, which I am seriously thinking of trying. The shampoo and conditioner, though, I’ll probably pass on. They sound like more of a pain than a benefit. A bottle of conditioner lasts for maybe a month for me, so I don’t have much of a problem with space in my luggage. It’s good to know these products exist, though.

  11. says

    I found this post incredibly useful, because I’ve been fretting over what to do about keeping my tresses clean while on the road. Initially I thought I’d just buy a standard bottle of shampoo and conditioner when my husband and I reached our first destination, but then I read about solid shampoos and thought that might be the route to go. There’s no Lush where we live, so we tried a Burt’s Bees solid shampoo with mixed results. Despite claiming this bar would last for at least a month, between the two of us, we demolished it in 2 weeks and had the same sticking issue you experienced. I was expecting far more longevity, so while I’m still open to a solid shampoo, I wouldn’t buy that brand again (though it cleaned and conditioned in one go). When we’re back up in Toronto in a month, I may pop by Lush and try out one of their bars to see if I like them any better.

  12. Cushla says

    Hi Suzy ????
    I am also a natural redhead and I’m presently looking into shampoo bars.
    I’m not opting to choose Lush products as they still use sodium laurel sulphate in their products.
    I’m choosing a shampoo bar made up of conditioning oils and essential oils. Google shampoo bars & avoid Lush (sorry).
    Also, apple cider vinegar diluted in water is an excellent conditioner. There is a site Lisa Natural Creations, and she has a great selection of shampoo bars and apple cider. She’s in US, but cheaper to purchase there than here, if you buy a couple.
    There is another site bee beauty in Tasmania, which has an excellent variety but postage is quite high.
    Goog luck if your still looking. Although I don’t travel (I wish), I’m trying to reduce the plastics in my home.


  13. Mich says

    I love the Lush solid shampoos

    a tip to help it dry out is it leave it in the tin at an angle rather than lying flat in the bottom – it allows for greater airflow and it can dry out before you need to store it again.

    as for the conditioner I liked it when it got kinda soft, I would gouge out a bit and mush it on the lid with a splash of extra water to make a nice conditioner paste then add a bit more water and use it through my hair just like regular conditioner!

  14. bagatha says

    I realize the last comment on this was months ago, but what the heck.

    With the Lush Jungle conditioner (which I love), it really helps if (similar to what the previous commenter said) you soften it a bit before using it. What I do is immerse a tiny chunk of it in some warm/hot water at the beginning of my shower so that when I’m ready for it, it’s nice and soft. Rub it between your hands until it’s spread evenly and then distribute it through your hair. It will seem like you need more than you’ve used, but you really don’t. I usually rinse it out with the water it was soaking in, so a tiny bit remains in my hair, and I’ve never had tangling problems from it. I have a lot of quite fine hair, if that helps.

    Obviously, even if you use it the way I’ve said, it might not work for you because everyone’s hair is different. :)

  15. Kelly says

    Lush’s Jungle solid conditioner has sodium lauryl sulfate as its first ingredient–probably a big reason why it didn’t work as a good conditioner for your hair. There are way better, and more natural, solid conditioners out there, so I wouldn’t rule them out quite yet.

  16. Ruth says

    I’m 10 days into my time backpacking in Mexico and REALLY disappointed by how much of my Lush solid shampoo and conditioner have disappeared already :(
    I too was told by the Lush assistant it would last as long as three bottles, which I was dubious about anyway.
    Also the conditioner doesn’t de-tangle my hair either :(
    Nice idea packing wise, just don’t seem to last or condition but I’ll try the hints about about mushing a bit in water first …

  17. Nina says

    The trick to the solid shampoos is to let them dry at an angle, as Mich said. I dry it like that in the lid of the shampoo bar tin (or soap container, whatever you like), while doing other things (often in a hostel room) for usually less than half an hour, come back and close it and chuck it in my pack. I use it as soap and to wash my clothes when I can as well. It lasts ages if you let it dry out.

    Haven’t tried the conditioners, I have dry hair so who knows if they’d work for me.

    Love the website (:

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