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snake oil bar

Okay so this is a product that I picked up due to its uniqueness and even though I will not repurchase it, I have to review it for the same reason. I have got used to LUSH shaking up some of my very basic assumptions about beauty products, what with solid shampoos and conditioners, solid toothpaste and solid henna bars. So when I saw this solid oil bar ( LUSH calls is Treatment Bar), I just had to pick it up.

First things first, it’s not like the “solid” oil we have seen- namely the coconut oil that solidifies in the freezing North Indian winters and then you put the bottle either in the sun or in hot water before using it. This one is meant to be solid and is not solid because of extraneous conditions. And therein lies the novelty. The name “Snake Oil” had me a bit worried specially as the bar smells pretty bad. But thankfully it doesn’t have snake oil ( is there such a thing I wonder ?). Apparently it’s supposed to be helping irritated, flaky scalps with dandruff that are shedding like a snake and at the end of it scalp comes out as good as new. Hence the name.
The oil bar is pink in colour with a “S” marked on it. The smell is pretty strong and not in a good way. Like all LUSH products that have strong smells, it is better you try it beforehand. The list of ingredients is pretty impressive – Cade oil, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Alkanet Extract, Peppermint Oil, Cade Oil, Lavender Oil, Tea Tree Oil,*Geraniol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume. While cocoa butter is the secret behind the conditioning property of their henna bars, Cade oil is known as an effective fungicidal and antiseptic and is also used in the Soak and Float Shampoo Bar ( another nasty smelling thing!)

LUSH tells you to – “ Melt it on to your fingertips then massage it right into your scalp. Let the antiseptic essential oils to do their work for 20 minutes or so, and then wash off with shampoo. For best results, try our Soak and Float shampoo.” While this method will work well during summers ( you may even try to directly massage it onto the scalp), in winters it is difficult to use it like this. What I did was to scrape it off into shreds and heat those shreds either in microwave or on gas and then massage it into the scalp the way you would any oil. The peppermint leaves a nice tingling feeling on the scalp and while the lavender does mask its bad smell, yet the smell is something one should check out carefully. LUSH recommends it leaving for 20 minutes or so and I have normally left it for more than that, say 30-45 minutes. After that I shampoo it off with either Soak and Float Bar or any other LUSH shampoo. I follow it up with a conditioner as my hair is always on the dry side. Someone with normal hair can probably skip the conditioner as the Snake Oil does have a liberal amount of cocoa butter.

My take on the product

As I said at the very onset I picked it up not because of any scalp problem but because of the novelty of it. I don’t have any scalp problems but for occasional dandruff. With that this Bar helped me out. But so does any hair oil (I’ve been using TVAM and Forest Essentials hair oils). A friend who has severe dandruff and scalp problem tried it but sadly it did not help her. I guess the results will vary from person to person.
Will I repurchase it? No. I didn’t get it because of any scalp problems but out of curiosity. Once that is over, the curious cat( i.e. me) is going back to good old liquid oil. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures to share as I used it up before I thought of writing about it :-/ The picture I have put is from LUSH website.

For a quick recap-

1. LUSH is a cruelty free brand. So any product you pick up from them, you can do so without any burden on the conscience.

2. Since it is in solid “bar” form, there is no danger of spillage. However, in warm weather the product is likely to melt and thus not be so convenient in travel.

3. It claims to help with scalp problems – Some do stand by the claim, while others not so much. In any case it’s a natural product so well worth a try for any scalp problem before you go the chemical way.

1. The smell is pretty strong and not at all pleasant. Better check out the product before purchasing it. If you can’t tolerate it even for 30minutes, no point wasting money on it.

2. At Rs 530/- for a palm size bar ( 1.9 oz) it’s pretty expensive.

3. Don’t see it helping with chronic or severe scalp problems.
Available at all LUSH stores and on line at http://www.lushindia.com