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Living Naturally Hemp & Patchouli solid shampoo

, ,A shampoo that travelled from Bristol to Dhaka and back again…

Solid shampoo bars -for obvious reasons- will find their way into any good zerowaster’s cupboard: they last a long time and there is generally no packaging, so what could be better? Also, I often find that solid shampoo’s contain less of the nasties that we should all actively be avoiding.


While I am not yet a ‘no poo’ person, I have been going sort of no poo for a long while, and trying really hard to locate the best solid shampoo for my very temperamental hair. I have now tried out quite a number of solid shampoo bars, and frustratingly many don’t work with my hair type, which I am told is ‘woolly’ 🙁 And so, the search continued. On a positive note, as they are easily transportable and double up as body soap, they never go to #waste.

Less nasties

As aforementioned, I always find that solid shampoo bars tend to avoid much of what I would identify as ‘poo’ compared to liquid ones in particular, and as a plus they’re refreshingly plastic free. Just to be clear on the ‘no poo’ concept I found this and thought I’d add it below:

The idea of shampooing less frequently may make you cringe. (Like this woman who didn’t shampoo for 5 years?) But according to certain hair experts and anti-shampoo advocates—some who follow what’s known as the “no ‘poo movement”—lathering up every day is unnecessary at best, and potentially harmful to your tresses (as well as the Earth) at worst. Shampoo has been around for less than a century, after all, and only in the last few decades has it become a daily essential.-Source:

What are the nasties we should be avoiding in our shampoo’s?

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)
A surfactant found in many cleaning products. Also an insecticide. The sodium and ammonium laureate sulfates are known cancer-causing ingredients. Also causes liver damage, skin rashes, depression, diarrhea and eye damage.

Fragrance of any kind isn’t good. It clogs the lymphatic system and induces major organ system toxicity. Also causes endocrine disruption.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine
This foaming agent has been associated with skin and eye irritation and allergic contact dermatitis. Although the government regards it as safe, many people have negative reactions to it.

With a moderate hazard rating, triclosan should be avoided at all costs. It can accumulate in our fat cells and keep our body in a state of toxicity. It causes irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs, and causes endocrine disruption and organ system toxicity.

Used to dissolve fragrance or other oil additives. Often found in conditioners. It leaves a residue on the skin and scalp, disrupts the skin’s natural pH and destroys the natural protective barrier of our skin and scalp. Polysorbate-80 is the worst of the bunch – but stay clear of all!

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
Often found in conditioners, PEG contains dangerous dioxin levels, often found as a by-product of the ethoxylation process in manufacturing. Dioxins have a direct link to cancer, and also cause organ system toxicity.

Potassium Sorbate
Potassium sorbate is used as a preservative in hair-care products. It causes skin and organ system toxicity.

Another preservative used in cosmetics and hair care products. Causes organ system toxicity, and is an irritant to the skin, eyes and lungs. The FDA even warned that phenoxyethanol can cause shut down of the central nervous system, vomiting and contact dermatitis.

Retinyl Palmitate
Retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A, can speed the development of skin tumours and lesions, making it a possible carcinogen. Causes reproductive toxicity and organ system toxicity.

Dimethicone is a silicone oil that can make the scalp and skin incredibly dry and irritated. It forms an almost plastic-like barrier on the outside of the skin and traps bacteria, sebum and impurities with it. It is also an eye irritant and is non-biodegradable and horrible for the environment.

Behentrimonium Chloride
Behentrimonium Chloride is a type of ammonium salt used as a preservative and surfactant. It is a toxic compound, with concentrations of 0.1% and higher having been shown to damage the eyes. It is irritating to the skin and causes inflammation.

This lovely chemical is another quaternary ammonium salt used as a surfactant and preservative in personal care products. It acts as a formaldehyde releaser and is definitely not safe. Formaldehyde is extremely carcinogenic, and should be avoided at all costs.


My favourite bar so far

My favourite by far is this one: Naturally Livings: Hemp and Patchouli solid shampoo bar:


The smell is exquisite and I was contemplating buying one to have as a room scent ?. The packaging is perfect too: a cotton bag ready for on the go, as well as as an incentive to keep the bar dry which will enhance its longevity. #wasteless

The wash

It is really easy to use and I found it produced a good amount of lather not to mention the fragrance which is just mmmmmm. I also found that I don’t use much each time, so after nearly 3-months it is still going strong!

Not a good start

I must admit that I did have to work out how to utilise the hemp and patchouli bar after the first tries. Perhaps I was using too much because a residue of shampoo was being left behind on parts of my hair, leaving it looking lank and greasy once it had dried 🙁

Just as I nearly lost faith in another solid shampoo bar, the shine on the rest of my hair convinced me to persevere and try to work out how to get the most out of it. I am very glad I did. I now like it so much it made it all the way to Dhaka and back with me.


The Hemp and Patchouli soild soap shampoo contains:


About Living Naturally Soapnut Apothecary:

I discovered Living Naturally Soapnut Apothecary on Instagram. I was initially intrigued by their stain remover for clothes I had seen on another instgrammers feed. It’s quite difficult getting stains out of the Beans clothes at times, which is why I thought I’d find out more about them. When I visited their website, I was amazed.

Living Naturally Soapnut Apothecary are a small family-run business based in London that specialise in natural handmade products for hair, skin and bath as well as laundry (their soapnuts). They’re certified vegan, natural, organic and their ingredients are ethically sourced, sustainable and cruelty-free. Their products are also free from SLS, parabens, mineral oil, palm oil, artificial additives or fragrance.

The founders, a husband and wife team, found that both of their children suffered with eczema and so, in order to avoid aggravating the skin condition, they decided to create a toxic-free home. On recommendation, the founders switched to soapnuts for everything from cleaning the house, their clothes and themselves, and were amazed at the improvements they saw in their children’s eczema and at how effective soapnuts were.


Soapnuts grow on trees and contain a natural surfactant that gently removes grease and grime. They’re biodegradable and compostable meaning they won’t add any bizarre chemicals into our water system as they’re planet kind. And so began the story of Living Naturally Soapnut Apothecary who now produce beautiful products that have been developed alongside herbalists and traditional Ayurveda. Many of their products have been acknowledged and nominated for awards in the green beauty category.

Living Naturally also gets my vote on the packaging, look how they packaged my order ↓

To further compound their credentials as a natural eco-conscious apothecary, look at how they packaged the goods I ordered:


I just love that they re-purposed an old tea carton instead of buying a brand new box. This should be standard.  I have purchased from a number of so called ‘eco’ and ‘ethical’ companies in recent years and am always surprised when they have used things like polystyrene for padding, wrap the item in plastic and provide an enormous box for something very tiny.




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