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Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Fortune Cookie Soap's Shampoo & Conditioner Bars

I got a $10 gift voucher from my Fortune Cookie Soap (FCS) subscription box (review here), so I had to use it somehow. Someone mentioned they have awesome shampoo & conditioner bars, so I had to try them out. I finally finished these bars so my review also includes how my hair reacted after I switched to different products.

The Sweet Spot Shampoo Bar

"Fresh picked melon, strawberries, and peaches twisted with sour mandarin oranges and pineapple, all sprinkled with a touch of sugar. Guaranteed to hit your sweet spot. ;)"

And this is how I discovered I'm in love with shampoo bars.

They're convenient for traveling, better for the environment since you're not using up plastic bottles and so fun to use! You wet your hair, and then rub the bar against your hair the way you'd rub a balloon over it when trying to showcase static electricity at work.

FCS's shampoo bar is very bubbly and leaves my hair squeaky clean. Too squeaky clean, even. My guy complained about his hair drying out but that's his fault since he won't use their magical conditioner bar (more on that later). I've only tried Clairol's Herbal Essence in early 2000s so I'm not sure if they've improved, but this is at the same level of level of squeakiness. Squeakiness doesn't necessarily mean oil reduction though, since my hair still got oily after 1-2 days like with my usual shampoos.

I'm a huge sucker for novelty, so I kept using this even though I quit using Clairol's after 2-3 washes. It's really that much fun. Unfortunately for me, my scalp disagreed with me on this. After I finished this shampoo and went back to my regular shampoo, I discovered my hair gets oily faster than before. It'll even get oily in less than a day after washing (so if I wash it in the morning, it gets oily at night) instead of the usual 1-2 days. I guess it's a bit too harsh for me, so my scalp has been reacting by producing more oils. However, I like the concept of shampoo bars so much, I'm looking at other brands of shampoo bars in case there's gentler ones out there.

Scent-wise, it's strong. It definitely fills up the entire shower when you use these scents and the drawer I kept the bar in before I used it still has the smell of the shampoo bar 3 months later. Every FCS scent I've tried has been highly artificial and closer to Bath & Bodyworks or Lipsmacker type of scents, and this is no exception. This scent is nice enough -it's a sweet artificial fruity scent that reminds me of Bonne Belle & Lipsmacker lip products. Unfortunately, it's not really for me, but I can see people liking it.

Cupcake Conditioner Bar

"Here at FCS we are not only obsessed with soap, but also cupcakes! I mean, who isn't?! They are sweet, adorable, and you can't help but smile when looking at one! Just like when you smell this delicious fragrance a huge grin will spread across your face!"

This conditioner bar is AMAZING. It's as moisturizing as L'Oreal's hair masks and I haven't found anything indie OR mainstream that's as good. This is why I kept using the shampoo bar even though it dried out my hair like crazy. I had this conditioner bar to counter it with super moisture, so my hair stayed soft and silky. I never knew how drying the shampoo bar was until I ran out of the conditioner bar!

The first conditioner I switched to after finishing this bar was Black Violet's conditioner. My hair felt like plastic after washing and that's when I realized how drying the shampoo is. I switched to Cocoa Pink's Argan Therapy conditioner next and it's much more moisturizing than my Black Violet conditioner, but my hair still didn't feel as soft as it usually does. Finally, I switched back to my L'Oreal hair mask and my hair finally felt like normal. That's how I know how good the conditioner bar is.

Unfortunately, conditioner bars in are a pain to use. This is my first conditioner bar, but I'm pretty sure this problem is across the board and not limited to any particular brand of conditioner bar. To use it, you rub it against your hair to get the oils on your hair, only it often wouldn't melt at all. I kinda expected it to be more squishy (like solidified lotion) at first, but it's as hard as a soy wax tart and almost as hard to melt. So, you just have to be patient and wait until it melts on your hair. I'm impatient so this was driving me nuts..especially since it adds an extra 2-3 minutes to my shower routine, and sometimes I just need a quick shower.

Not only that, the slight "stickiness"you get (think a semi-melted soy wax tart) from conditioner bars drags against your hair. If your hair is extremely fine like mine, this means you keep accidentally ripping strands out every time you run the bar across your hair. My shower drains were definitely more clogged than usual these past few months.

This conditioner bar is so amazing though, that I had to keep using this. My strategy to sort of work around the downsides of conditioner bars is to put the bar in a ziplock bag and sit on it for a while. This warms it up enough to get some of the oils out. Don't worry about smooshing the bar this way, it's so solid, that all it does is bleed out some oil. Once you have some of the oils out, you take the bar into the shower and use it. TMI, but in the shower, I hold it under my armpits to stop it from solidifying again...I'm pretty sure if I let my underarm hair grow out, they'll be so lustrous and glossy.

Scent-wise, this is that metallic sweet smell I get from certain gourmands. I personally love that metallic smell, though I'm a bit weirded out since I always assumed it's my skin chemistry causing certain notes to turn metallic. 

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