Shampoo & Solid Conditioner Bars: Poll

Poll Results & Plan- Update 2/24

Stars and feathers, you all totally exceeded my expectations! I had over 100 people take the poll and a bunch also leave comments. The good news is that I’m still taking more poll data and comments if you still want to have your opinions heard–feel free to keep adding to the conversation in the comments below!

This is something I adore about my customers–that we’re doing a melding of the minds so I can develop what you really want. I had totally blanked on unscented versions and hadn’t considered a travel case (both things now on the docket!). Your feedback is so helpful and I’m grateful that you take the time to give it to me.

The better news is that the results were clear enough that I have a good place to start for my first shampoo and solid conditioner bar set.

Selkie Solid Shampoo & Conditioner Bar Set

The results were really close between Selkie and Eryn Euthil for what scent came out on top. I decided to do Selkie first because I have a really clear vision for how to bring you some of the amazing detangling ingredients in Selkie Herbal Detangler in a shampoo and conditioner bar.

Lovelies, I am REALLY FREAKING EXCITED because I had some successful experiments this weekend and I think I’m doing something literally nobody else is with solid shampoo and conditioner bars. I have a little more testing to do, but I think I’ll be ready to offer samples to Patrons at the Akarinu Guildmaster Tier and get their opinions in the (somewhat near) future.

Just be patient with me 🙂  I’m not launching a shampoo and conditioner bar company. I work full time, I’m editing Mourning’s Dawn, drafting the third book in The Iyarri Chronicles, AND I work full time. With any new product there’s testing, refining, ordering supplies for a batch for initial launch, packaging to order, labels to create, pictures to shoot, and listings to build. Every new product is very labor intensive, but I promise the wait will be worth it!

Solid Shampoo & Conditioner Bars 2/19

These aren’t official NightBlooming products, at least not yet. I’ve had customers asking me for literally years to do a ‘real’ shampoo (vs Moondust Dry Shampoo).  Some of the things people have asked for included a liquid shampoo, a whipped soap shampoo,  soap-as-shampoo bar, but the first two are heavy to ship and require single use plastics (because dropping glass in the shower is dangerous) and I didn’t want to do a soap-as-shampoo bar because pH balancing is super-important (I tried some soap-as-shampoo bars and after three uses my scalp was on fire.)

So why a shampoo bar and solid conditioner?

In the end I decided to work on formulating a shampoo bar and matching solid conditioner bar that was pH balanced, not going to kill my customers on shipping weight/cost, didn’t require plastic packaging, and was still of the quality and uniqueness that being a NightBlooming product demands. I have a lot to sort out before these become official products, but I imagine Patrons will get a chance at them before anyone else 🙂  They’ll likely join the Nymphéas Facial Toning Mister and the Green Clay & Kelp Mermaid Face Mask on the Akarinu Gildmaster tier for awhile and if initial testers are enjoying them there, I’ll release them to NightBlooming at large.

Sorting out some Final Details

I’ve been using them for awhile now, and I’m super-excited by how well they work–the base recipe is solid, but I’m at the stage where I have to start making some final-phase decisions. To that end, I’ve made a few poll questions so that the people who will actually be using these have their input heard.

There’s only 5 questions, but be sure to leave any extra thoughts or comments at the end. 🙂

[qsm quiz=1]

74 thoughts on “Shampoo & Solid Conditioner Bars: Poll”

    1. I thought about adding that one to the poll, honestly, but since two of the options up there have it (Nesah and Raven Queen’s Chosen) I opted not to. Your desire is noted (and reinforces that maybe I should have included it in the poll anyway!) XD

  1. What about a shampoo/conditioner bar for each hair colour? For instance. blonde could have ingredients such as chamomile, calendula and linden flowers, lemon essential oils, lemon, cassia etc….

      1. Jacquelyn Stewart

        Yes.. henna hair color boosting bar! I’ve gotten them from etsy sellers before, but some are drying, some leave a filmy residue. I’d totally buy a henna gloss bar from you!
        And obviously different shades would be awesome. Red, Dark brown, blonde, strawberry blonde.

    1. I didn’t list out the individual essential oils here, but in case you or others are curious, here they are!

      Selkie Aroma: Crisp sea-spray over alluring sun-basked vanilla and herbs. Essential Oils: Lavender, Cedarwood, Vanilla C02 Absolute, Petitgrain, Lime, Sage, Catnip

      Raven Queen’s Chosen- Aroma: A deep, heady incense with a crush of poppy flowers. Essential
      Oils: Dragon’s blood resin, Myrrh, Sandalwood, Ravensara , Wild Orange, Jasmine, Neroli, Patchouli
      Pilzin- Aroma: Crisp, cold juniper, swirled in dewy davana and topped with a crush of neroli. Essential Oils: Juniper, Davana and Neroli
      Samhain Spell- Aroma: The scent of autumn- patchouli and dark forests with touches of spice and sweetness. Essential Oils: Patchouli, Clove, Nutmeg, Petitgrain, Balsam Fir, Sweet Orange
      Nesah- Aroma: Arcane and innocent: incense curling around fresh flowers and vanilla bean. Essential Oils: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Dragonsblood, Palmarosa and Ylang Ylang
      Eryn Ethuil- Aroma: Springtime in the Forest of Neldoreth: woody, green, with an edge bordering a sunlit meadow. Essential Oils: Elemi, Muhuhu, Sage, Balsam Fir, Bergamot

    1. There will for sure be a fragrance free option! I might do a straight Dragonsblood as a limited request, but it is in both Nesah and RavenQueen for current poll options 🙂

  2. I would love an extra-moisturizing option! My naturally curly hair craves moisture, even in the summer and especially in the winter. Even if it’s mostly in the conditioner bar, that’s totally cool, but I need a little extra love for my dry ends.

    1. This is for sure something I want to offer is a really moisture-rich option 🙂 Not having curly hair myself I’ll be leaning on people who have it do do some testing for me!

  3. Hot cocoa for scent (or other foodie types)! Personally my biggest concern for my hair is split ends and dryness – it’s about tailbone length so the ends are quite old and to combat that I keep them moisturized and oiled all the time.

    1. I think the foodie type options would be idea for limited edition holiday type blends 🙂 The main thing with the conditioner bars I’ve found is that I had to change how I used conditioner a bit. Before, with a liquid conditioner, I’d squeeze as much water out of my hair and then work the conditioner in. The bars work much better on sopping wet hair because it activates the bar more, and then disperses the conditioner more readily / makes it easier for hair to drink it up 🙂

  4. Raven queen would be my first choise, but I’d be happy try them all. I’d also love an Aurelia bar. Not having used shampoos for years, I probably wouldn’t use a shampoo bar either, but I’d Love to try a conditioner bar from my favorite hair care brand!

        1. Ah trust me, I wanted to add it to the list because it is a really popular oil, but the ones I ultimately put in the poll were at the intersection of 1) broadly popular 2) have EOs that can/should hold up well in a bar and 3) aren’t prohibitively expensive. Aurelia fails hard on #3 because it’s a super-expensive blend of essential oils. Although I charge the same for all the 1/2 ounce and 4 ounce oil bottles, they vary a lot in their cost on the essential oil side, it just evens out over time. (If you look at the listing for the 1 dram bottles of just the essential oils you can get a feel for the cost spread on them). That, sadly wouldn’t be the cost with the shampoo / conditioner bars because there’s no way on earth I can offer that much variety. I think this is where offering custom / more expensive scents as a Patron perk or as a limited edition bar (say with a book release or something) would come in. 🙂

          1. I totally get that! 🙂 I’ll try a conditioner bar first and perhaps in the future I’ll order a custom one of Aurelia. And I definitely would be interested in seeing it as limited edition or a patreon perk 🙂

  5. I’m curious how they work on fine/delicate hair – most shampoos for fine hair end up being drying/stripping, but moisturizing/scalp-friendly shampoos can be too heavy. I’m so excited for these as I have LOVED your hair products for a while now!!

    1. You’re not the only customer to bring this up! I’m thinking / hoping the blend of cleansing agents I picked hits a really good balance between gentle and effective 🙂

  6. My biggest hang-up with hair bars is that they’re not easy to transport. I’d love if you also sourced an eco-friendly carrying case I can throw in my gym bag (of course those interested would expect to pay extra for this).

    1. I think this is a great idea! It might be out of scope for me for launch (unless I get struck by some sort of inspiration on how to do it), but for sure something I wrote down for future development.

    1. Neither the shampoo nor the conditioner bars contain shea butter. They both do contain a (very small) amount of cocoa butter / kokum butter because it’s this brittle butter that gives the bar it’s structure so it doesn’t turn into a giant pile of goo when wet. One of my pet peeves with a lot of shampoo and conditioner bars is that people load them up with oils and butters and then call them ‘moisturizing’ which can’t be farther from the truth. WATER and water-based infusions moisturize–oils and butter will help seal it in, but they in themselves don’t moisturize anything (they can and do impart some nice fatty acids to the hair, but still, that’s not moisture). So trust me when I say I considered this when I developed my base recipe and method for these bars <3

  7. No scent would be great as this is sometimes a migraine trigger. Do not ever care what it looks like as long as it works. A shampoo and conditioner set would be nice.

      1. The carrying case is a great idea–it might be outside the scope of what I’m able to do in the near future but for sure an idea I jotted down to mull over 🙂

  8. I’m so excited by this prospect! I have very fine hair that gets weighed down and oily too easily. I have to use an acv rinse with any bar shampoo I use and would love to find one that cleans my hair without weighing it down.

  9. Ok so here’s my follow up comment for the survey. Regarding scalp its picky…Im not sure if it was dandruff or dry scalp but your products have it so under control it’s sooo not even an issue.

    The scent free is a brilliant option! I also say Aurelia and also seasonal scents. How about a men’s one too? Im pretty sure I can get my hubby hooked if they work well!

    Woohoo Im sooooo excited for these!!! <3

    1. Unscented for sure (I can’t believe I didn’t think about it and that’s why I’m so glad I asked everyone!) I think a lot of my scents can be pretty unisex, so I’d be more likely to try to develop maybe a two in one bar with a unisex scent rather than “A Man Bar”. 🙂

    2. I love the idea of eliminating plastic bottles! It seems like the recycling just gets more & more limited. Glass here stopped a couple years ago. The ONLY plastics now taken locally are pop bottles: #1 or #2 plastic, narrow necks. No detergent bottles with big necks, no yogurt cartons, no pill bottles…on and on it goes. For a “man bar”: cedar. Or cedar and patchouli. (Would definitely go for that for myself too!)

      1. Oh goodness that’s super-restrictive recycling! I picked up a few supplies today to give the potential packaging a run and everything so far is paper-recyclable and/or compostable!

  10. I would like more single-note scents, such as parsley, strawberry, lemon, lavender, vanilla. But the choices you are thinking of sound great as well. I like the option of a custom scent if it isn’t too expensive.

    1. I think this would likely fall into the ‘custom scent’ option 🙂 I’m not sure what pricing will look like yet (it’ll take an evaluation of ingredients and my time), but I know one of the things people love about NightBlooming is that they can always ask for the exact things they need, and I want to try to keep that up with these bars to the best of my ability!

  11. So, I don’t actually have any particular hair needs or problems (in regards to the third question). But there wasn’t a “nope, my hair and scalp is pretty healthy already” option. 😉

  12. Nicole L Calderon

    It would be great to have only eco friendly wrapping. I have no special needs for my scalp. I do have very dry, frizzy hair though that benefits from some taming.

    1. It will for sure have eco-friendly packaging! That was one of the main reasons I opted to develop bars rather than liquids–I really want to limit the amount of single use plastics my shop generates. That inspired me to swap to the Eco Enclose mailers (which are both recyclable and compostable) and also I’m looking into swapping to glass jars for the my hair salves and Thraie Scalp Scrub. The only thing I haven’t figured out how to get away from it entirely is the Selkie refill pouches, but hopefully a solution will present itself there, too 🙂

  13. Miranda Sutherland

    I would love to see shampoo bars for different shades of red. I’ve tried henna bars from other shops and it always leaves a nasty residue.
    Another thing I would love to see is a bar that is curly hair friendly! I have really wavy hair and I find that most shampoo and conditioner leave my hair bogged down. If I could get a curl friendly shampoo bar I would never go back to normal shampoo.

    1. Aye I think that residue is because a lot of henna gloss bars are literally henna powder dissolved into a ton of oils and butters, which means that in addition to the henna plant wax (which is good!) you’re getting way more coating substances than you are color 🙂

      Multiple colors of gloss bars will be a challenge because a gloss bar is, essentially, diluted henna, and diluted henna always ends up pretty orange in the end 🙂 The other challenge is that other herbs, like indigo, are super-volatile when it comes to their exposure to oxygen and water so they’d naturally lose their ability to color in a way that henna won’t.

      tl:dr- I might be able to do something like a blonde-enhancing bar and a red-enhancing bar, but getting more specific than that is likely impossible because the potency of the dye just isn’t present in a diluted gloss bar 🙂

  14. YEA! what an exciting new announcement!! I know that they will be fantastic, as is everything you create! although the mica and flower options would be pretty, I am not sure if they would add to the use of the bars…I also would be interested in a possible unscented version due to migraines, but I do love the Raven Queens Chosen scent and use it in my hair 😀 the idea for the optional carrying case someone mentioned would also be a nice addition. Looking forward to this!! let me know if I can help 😀

    1. The mica and flowers would indeed just be for the pretty factor, but so far given the responses I’m thinking they won’t be included. Which is just fine, that’s part of why I picked such pretty molds to start 🙂 I might hit you up for your thoughts on a carrying case! I poked around a bit and didn’t like many of the options out there, but something in bamboo would be interesting.

  15. Great ideas. I love all of the scent choices and no scent. I use shampoo and conditioner bars now. Its so easy and no plastic, bit I have definitely been waiting for this. The other company has these interesting cardboard containers that they come in and are great for travel and storing between washings. Thank you for all you do. ?

      1. That looks like it but without the window. They keep the bar dry, they dry out easily if they get wet and they are pretty durable for travel. Hope its the same . ??

  16. Please no bits of flowers/herbs in the bars. I have tried bars like that in the past. (I think this particular bar had ground oatmeal in it.) While I loved the bars themselves, the bits of oatmeal were extremely hard to rinse out of my hair. Even after brushing my dry hair, I still had bits of stuff in it.

  17. I’ve been using shampoo/conditioner bars for over a year now and the one tip I have: make the shampoo bar bigger than the conditioner bar. For some reason, when the conditioner is formed into a bar, the concentration of it makes it last FOREVER in relation to the shampoo bar. Typically I have to get 2 shampoos vs 1 conditioner, and the conditioner still outlasts them.

    1. Then you’ll be glad to see Selkie is the first bar! I’m specifically working to get the detangling and hydrating ingredients of Selkie into the bars 🙂

  18. I know it won’t be feasible right away, but would you ever sell samples of the bars? I have had terrible luck with shampoo bars in the past, and really want to be able to use yours. Just want to possibly be able to test them out before I fully commit. Again I know, not early on, and of course I don’t want you to take a cost blow. Just curious! 🙂
    And as much as my old ladies soul wants flowers in the bars, please have pity on the curly haired people and don’t put stuff in that’s going to get stuck. LOL

    1. Actually I am going to do samples off the bat! That is something I’ve always made sure to do with my products because I know how costly and frustrating it can get trying different products.

      And no worries, the results are leaning pretty heavily for “no flowers or other bits” so I won’t be doing those except for perhaps special limited edition bars it seems 🙂

  19. I have never tried a shampoo bar before, mostly because they’re more on the moisturizing/chock full of oils side. I have seborrheic dermatitis and have to do scalp only washes nearly daily to keep it at bay, so a bar option would be nice instead of keeping a shampoo bottle at my kitchen sink (which my husband just loves /s) 😛
    As for scents, I’m going to echo everyone else here and go with dragonsblood!

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