Today I am going to be starting a new series on my blog called ‘Autism Reviews’. If you didn’t know, I am autistic, which means I often have difficulty communicating, I like things to stay the same and I often get sensory overload, which is common in people with Autism.I will explain a little more about all of those things I’ve just mentioned in a moment, in case you don’t know much about Autism, but I will hopefully be writing a post soon all about Autism and my Autism specifically, so you can subscribe to my blog if you want to make sure you don’t miss that!
What is Autism Reviews going to be about? Well, I had the idea a few weeks ago to start this series because I have tried a lot of things and others have recommend to me and ended up hating them because of something to do with my Autism. It’s the same with places I’ve been as well because the world we live in is, unfortunately, not accessible to many people, so I wanted to start a review series, but talk about the products, places or things I try from an Autistic point of view. I felt that this was a huge gap in the market and of course I will only be talking from my own experiences and can’t talk for any other kind of disability, but I hope that someone will find this series useful. So to answer the question, this series is going to be a review series that includes my experiences as a disabled person.
A little about my Autism:
I am a high-functioning Autistic, which means I am able to speak with relative ease, I can do many of the things neurotypical people can do and I generally blend in fairly well with society. I can look after myself perfectly well, but I do struggle with communicating sometimes as I don’t understand a lot of social cues, I tend to fixate on my special interests and can forget to let others talk. I, like so many people with Autism, like things to stay the same; I like routine and don’t deal well when that routine is changed. I do much of the same thing everyday, I eat the same foods everyday, I have a strict morning and night routine and I plan everything else in between as well.
Sensory Overload is also a huge part of my life that I try to avoid if possible. Sensory Overload is when one or more senses get over-stimulated from the environment they’re in. For me sensory overload happens when the environment is too loud, too busy (therefore meaning people tend to jostle you) or sometimes from too many scents, but that is usually the last straw when I’m already stressed, rather than it setting it off individually. Sensory Overload happens in children quite a lot as well and isn’t a thing that solely happens to people with autism; however, almost everyone with autism does experience it and it can be triggered by the tiniest of things like lights being too bright, dust in the air, a messy room and so much more. People with autism are incredibly observent and notice everything in their vicinity, which can be incredibly stressful, especially when something isn’t how we like it. That can sound selfish to many people, but you wouldn’t like it if you were in a constant state of panic and anxiety because someone wouldn’t do something as simple as turning a light off either.
This will be different for everyone because Autism is a spectrum and that is very important to remember. I definitely sit much further towards the high-functioning side of things, but I can become non-verbal and more ‘stereotypical autistic’ if I am in a highly stressful environment. I can’t speak for all people with autism, but I hope my voice will be the first of many to come and that it will help educate others about autism.
Now I have explained a little about what this series is going to contain and about my autism, let’s get into the review. I am going to start with talking a little about the product, which today is Lush’s shampoo and conditioner bars, why I wanted to try them and my first impressions. I am then going to do a simple pros and cons list before picking out the most important things from those lists to talk about them in more detail. I expect this post will be fairly long because I want to make sure I explain everything fully and do it justice, but I will try to keep it as short as possible. With that in mind, let’s just get into it…
Why Lush Shampoo and Conditioner Bars?
If you don’t know, Lush has a range of products called ‘naked’ products, which are essentially just their usual products, but they come with absolutely no packaging, meaning they are 100% waste free. You also get them in a reusable tin that you can fill up every time you run out of whatever product you purchase. I think most people are aware of the zero waste movement and, while I know for a fact i will never be zero waste, I am really passionate about the environment and have been looking for ways to reduce my waste as much as possible without sacrificing my well-being. I had already been looking for more environmentally friendly hair products when I heard about Lush’d naked products, so hearing about them when I did was the final push I needed. As I said, I never expect to go completely waste-free, but I knew that if these Lush products worked for me, then it would be a big step in the right direction because they are zero-waste.
I did my research before I went and bought my first Lush Shampoo and Conditioner bars and I watched a lot of YouTubers who had tried them. Most of the people I watched gave them pretty good reviews and the general consensus seemed to be that their hair still felt great, but that they were a little hard to use. My main priority was that my hair was still going to feel good because my hair is a huge sensory thing for me as someone with autism, but I was willing to put in the little bit of extra effort to use the products as long as that requirement was fulfilled. I didn’t have particularly high expectations, but I was definitely leaning towards the positive side of things and hopeful that they would work for me.
Any trip to the lush store is never a nice one for me because it STINKS! I know some people like it, but I absolutely can’t stand it because there are just too many scents, my local shop is a little too small for my liking and my eyes water all the time because of the stench. Usually I would send my mum in, but I needed to choose my own scents, so I had to venture in, which wasn’t the most fun, but I did and I was impressed with the selection of different scents for both the shampoos and conditioners. It is probably worth mentioning as well that I have used their bath bombs in the past and I do really like them, so I do use lush products and the bath bombs don’t cause me any sensory issues. It’s just the shop that is a bit much for me. The staff were really lovely and helped me pick, so the experience of going to get them was all around very positive, so everything was going well so far.
I find the experience behind something is also really important to me, as well as first impressions because any negative emotion behind something really sticks with me and tends to taint anything from that point onwards. The fact that I had had only positive things happen around them so far was a good sign for me, which I know doesn’t have loads to do with the product directly, but I know a lot of autistic people won’t go back to something or want to use something that they’ve had any kind of negative experience with. I also think it is worth mentioning that the products themselves are very aesthetic. This of course doesn’t effect how useful they are, but things looking the way I want them to and generally fitting my overall ‘vibe’ is quite important to me, so I liked that they fit the aesthetic.
Pros and Cons:
I hope you liked my cute pros and cons chalkboard graphic I made for you, but let’s actually talk about each of the points in more detail now. I tried using the products twice, so I’m going to talk about each of the points in terms of each time I tried them.
The First Wash:
The first thing I learned is that you need to take them out of the tins before you get in the shower because they are VERY difficult to get out. This isn’t exactly the end of the world, but it sure was annoying and significantly lengthened the time I took in the shower.
Once I had managed to successfully get the shampoo out of its tin though, I sudded it in my hand and applied to my hair like I was supposed to. I was pleasantly surprised at just how well the shampoo sudded up, but the bars were incredibly difficult to hold and I dropped them several times, which was frustrating and didn’t make for an easy wash. The conditioner didn’t sud like the shampoo, but I’m sort of guessing it wasn’t meant to.
The first thing I really didn’t like about the shampoo and conditioner bars was that you couldn’t feel the effect they were having on your hair while you were in the shower. I usually use Treseme and I can feel the difference as I wash my hair in real time, but I couldn’t feel anything happening whilst I was in the shower, which was a little upsetting and made me panic a little that they weren’t going to work. I mentioned earlier that my hair is a huge sensory thing for me and it really is because I truly cannot function if my hair doesn’t feel right. I tend to play with my hair a lot for comfort, so if my hair is greasy or just doesn’t feel right to me, then that is naturally going to be upsetting when I try to play with it. I pushed through though, despite the fact I couldn’t feel the product working and I was surprised that my hair felt alright once it has dried.
The emphasis there is on alright. I am used to my hair feeling silky soft and while my hair was soft, it certainly wasn’t silky and actually felt a little stiff as if I hadn’t washed out the conditioner properly. I spent nearly an hour in the shower in total because the bars were difficult to use, so I’m sure I did wash it all out properly, so I don’t think that was the problem. It felt okay, but it was generally just a bit meh and it looked very dull instead of shiny and healthy like it usually does. I do have to say that my hair did have a lot more volume to it though rather than the usual flat as a pancake hair that I have usually, which was nice, but it wasn’t enough to replace the stiff, dull feeling of it. My hair was also easier to brush, which is a small positive.
The Second Wash:
Even though I wasn’t that impressed with the first wash, I did try using them again just in case I had used them wrong, but I had the same results and, if anything, my hair felt even more ‘meh’ than before. I decided to call it quits at that point because my hair felt all wrong and I knew the bars weren’t going to work for me if this was the result.
Overall I decided to rate the lush shampoo and conditioner bars a solid 2.5/5 stars.
They did produce some positive results and of course, the fact that they are completely zero waste is a huge bonus, but they just don’t work for me. They did do the job because my hair definitely felt clean after I used them, but they didn’t take it the extra mile and make my hair feel amazing, which is what I really need. The scent of the conditioner in particular was also just a little too much for me. If I was having a good day, then the smell would add to my good mood, but if I wasn’t then i found it increased the chance of sensory overload a lot. The scene clung to my hands specifically, which is what annoyed me the most. I think it was fine on my hair because I don’t exactly go around sniffing my hair, but it being on my hands meant it got everywhere and I could smell it all the time, which was just far too much for me. Honestly, I think that would be far too much for a lot of people too, not just myself and other people with autism.
I did wonder if it would be possible to make scentless shampoo and conditioner bars for anyone who has sensory issues like myself, has allergies, or just doesn’t like the scent because, while I definitely won’t be using them day to day, I do think they would be great to travel with! I always bring a lot when I travel and I find the restrictions of liquids and such things incredibly stressful because I rely on a lot of things others call luxuries to function, so being able to bring shampoo and conditioner in a solid bar, frees up a lot of liquid space and space in my suit case in general as they are very compact. I think I could live with the scent and the non-perfect state of my hair while travelling because I have always resigned myself to non-perfect routines when I am somewhere so incredibly different.
And that is it for this review! I may not have particularly liked the Lush shampoo and conditioner bars, but I do still really support what Lush is doing and what they stand for, so I do encourage you to at least give them a try if you think they may work for you. In the meantime, I have gone back to using Treseme, but I am still searching for a more environmentally friendly shampoo and conditioner, so please leave your recommendations down below! ⬇
Do you use Lush’s shampoo and conditioner bars? What rating would you give them? I’d love to know, so leave a comment down below or come and chat to me on my Instagram: @thephotographydragon. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog via email to make sure you don’t miss the next review, using the side bar on the right hand side!
Goodbye for now!
Over and Out