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February 2012
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Product Review: JR Liggett Shampoo Bars

By Karina | February 13, 2012

I’ve written before about my love of solid shampoos – since writing that post, I’ve started to use JR Liggett’s shampoo bars almost exclusively for about three and a half years! (For the record, this product review was not sponsored in any way and the products I am discussing were purchased by myself for my own personal use.)

I used to see JR Liggett’s in the awesome Pittsburgh Food Co-op and marveled at the old fashioned packaging – but I didn’t start using it then, for whatever reason. I think because I was still hung up on using baking soda and vinegar, and also because it was perhaps not fancy enough for me. I hate to say it, but it’s hard to believe that something so “traditional” could honestly be made of such simple ingredients. I spent some time reading about the Appalachian Trail in 2008, though, and it turns out that several journals (that I wish I could find now to link to!) wrote about how JR Liggett’s is the secret workhorse of the trail – because it’s biodegradable and doesn’t have any of the nastys that more conventiaonl soaps and detergents do. It also doesn’t have any SLS and comes in a plain paper wrapper (recyclable!).

All that is great, though, but how does it work?

I have pretty resilient hair type. It’s wavy-straight, fairly thick, and has lots and lots of it, so I don’t have to worry about it flattening out. The JR Liggett’s bars keep my hair clean and I don’t have to worry about using it every day (I’m on an every two or three day wash schedule for shampooing). I follow up sometimes with a mild conditioner and sometimes without.

My partner, on the other hand, has a thinner and more curly hair type and when I asked him what he would describe his hair as he said “oh, you know, high maintenance and greasy.” When pressed he said that was using traditional shampoos, and with the Liggett’s bars, it’s much less so – his hair is much more controllable and it doesn’t feel as dirty as quickly after shampooing as it does with traditional shampoos. He doesn’t use conditioner at all, and he doesn’t have any problems with his hair drying out or being tangled.

The Liggett’s shampoo bars are also long-lasting – we bought four bars of shampoo in August, and have used them exclusively since then (between two people – we tell the boys to wash their hair with them but they are only with us for showers every other week [it's just the way their schedule works out] and I’m pretty sure they dodge the scary shampoo bars). We just ran out of shampoo this week. That’s not a bad track record! Certainly long lasting, even with my partners predilection for making lots of soap foam when he bathes.

You can also use it as a body soap in a pinch, and boy is it nice body soap.

The convenience is really important to us too. We try to travel light, and my partner in particular has had long stints of one-carry-on-bag plane travel and loved having a slice of the Liggett’s bar with him (without worry of violating TSA requirements). I like that it’s biodegradable, because there’s nothing I like better than taking a nice outdoor shower at the beach and using soap without worrying that I’m impacting downstream waterways.

The one big problem is that I can’t get JR Liggett’s locally, so every few months I make a big on-line purchase. It is pretty easy to come by coupons at their blog, but it’s kind of a hassle when you run out of something and have to buy it quick and hope it arrives before that big dinner party! (*cough* not speaking from experience or anything…)

Any other JR Liggett Lovers out there? Do you have a personal favorite shampoo bar?

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Comment by irondad
2012-02-13 18:41:59

I hadn’t heard of these before. I think I will try it. As long as they’re a different color than my regular bar of soap! :)

2012-02-15 10:52:23

they’re a little more cube shaped than most other soaps, but they are white/off-white in color. irondad, this bar is great for motorcycling too – it fits into a small kit super easily and no worries about refilling travel sized shampoo bottles!

Comment by bethR
2012-02-16 11:55:09

I’ve been using it the last year or two (likely on your recommendation) and have been totally happy with it. I bought my first one online before stumbling upon them in our local Central Market.

2012-02-17 12:31:44

I’m glad you’re happy with it too – especially if it was a TC recommendation! :)

Comment by ruccha
2012-02-24 17:20:35

I love, love, love the rosemary shampoo bar made by Herbalix. It’s a bonus that it’s (for me) locally-made, as well, but you can order it online. I started using it when I was taking a trip and wanted to speed my trips through airport security by eliminating as many liquids/gels as possible. But then I fell in love with the bar, and haven’t gone back.

I love your blog, btw.

Comment by Lauren
2012-02-26 17:42:43

I have used them with success, but I found the original made my hair feel funny. The herbal formula seemed to do a better job.

Comment by Domain Registration
2012-03-14 02:37:52

I like your article,really what ever the information you shared here that is very helpful for me,thanks a lot..

Comment by JW
2012-03-15 09:37:37

I’ve been using these for 3 or 4 years now, and I love them. Convenient, good lather and smell, very easy to travel with, financially sensible, given how long they last. I have no plans to use anything else.

I especially like the Peppermint & Jojoba formula. My hair is fine, straight, and below my shoulders, and I feel like using these bars (and AC vinegar as a detangler) has given my hair a bit more body than conventional products.


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