Confession: I am a total LUSH junkie. If you don't know LUSH, it's an eco-friendly/natural body shop. You'll be able to smell it down the block. They're most famous for their soaps and ball bombs/bubble bars, but since I hate solid soap and I don't take bathes, I've been struggling to find something for me at LUSH. I really wanted to like something from the store, since I love their brand mission and their products smell amazing.
Well, I found four new favorite things! Right now, LUSH has 3 limited edition 'Head Case' sets for sale. They're sets of 4 hair products, each with three sample size products and one full size solid shampoo bar, and they're all just under $24. There's a Volume & Shine box (which I got), a Protect & Nourish box (meant for curly/frizzy hair) and a Balance & Repair box (for damaged hair).
The Volume & Shine box has a 3.4 ounce tub of Marilyn deep conditioner, which is about an $8.50 value (look at me doing math), a 1.6 ounce tub of Big shampoo, a $3.20ish value, a 3.3 ounce bottle of Veganese conditioner, a $5.25 value, and a full size Total Shine solid shampoo bar, which retails for $10. So that's about a $27 value. It's not an amazing deal, but it is a good chance to try out a ton of LUSH hair products and find out if any of them work for you.
So here's the Marilyn deep conditioner and the Big shampoo. Marilyn was the one thing that I was least excited about. It's a deep conditioner and brightening treatment for blondes. I am a natural blonde, but I dye my hair for a reason. I most certainly do not want a mask that makes me blonde. So I did a little Googling, and it turns out that this can lighten you a little/add a few golden tones if you have actual blonde hair, but on my dyed dark hair it won't do anything. It's packed full of chamomile, olive and linseed oils, and a bunch of citrus oils and juices. It has a very thin, goopy consistency that made it hard to get out of the pot, and smells like olive oil with a hint of lemon. Now, LUSH doesn't use silicones, which are what make your hair feel all slippery and smooth with normal conditioners and masks. So this may not feel very effective--it really feels like runny lotion. But once your hair dries it does add a lot of shine and softness. The smell lingers pleasantly, and my hair feels happy, so I'm pleased with it. I probably wouldn't purchase the full size just because I don't want lightening agents anywhere near my hair, but it is a lovely conditioner. Big shampoo is my favorite product from this box. It also looks the weirdest. It actually looks like a salt scrub in the tub, and it honestly smells like laundry detergent to me (very cottony and clean). I stared at it for a while in the shower before I could work up the courage to use it. You need about a nickel sized amount, and you rub it vigorously into very wet hair. It lathers up a lot, and the salt kind of melts away, leaving your hair and scalp feeling very refreshed. I was a little scared of the idea of washing my hair with a shampoo that has salt and salt water and seaweed infusion in it, since my hair does not do beach hair well, but this stuff is MAGICAL. It makes my hair feel so soft and look so shiny, and gives it a TON of volume. I have thick, flat, normal/not-oily hair, and this manages to add texture while still making my hair feel clean but not dried out. I imagine it would be wonderful for oily, thin or limp hair. The only downside is that Big isn't cheap (the full size tub is $23), but this is a once or twice a week shampoo. It would be very drying it used on a daily basis, since it's meant to strip all the product residue out of your hair. That means even though it ain't cheap, it will last you a long while.
Here are Veganese conditioner and Ultimate Shine solid shampoo bar. Veganese is a 100% vegan conditioner (no lanolin), and is full of rosemary, lavender, and seaweed infusion. It's a pale creamy yellow with the consistency of thin lotion, and smells like rosemary and lavender. The herbal smell doesn't linger long, however. Again, since this has no silicones it doesn't feel like it's doing much in the shower, and it certainly won't work out any stubborn tangles. This is LUSH's lightest conditioner, so it's great for keeping your hair from getting weighed down when you want a lot of volume. I have dry ends, and this is a little on the light side for me. It made my hair really soft and shiny and happy, but my ends were still a little parched. I think Veganese could be great for girls with thin hair that's easily weighed down. Ultimate Shine shampoo bar is my second LUSH shampoo bar. They're these little hockey pucks of concentrated solid shampoo, and once you get used to using them they are AMAZING. I like them for traveling, since you can put them in your carry-on, and they'll never spill all over your luggage, plus they're so much lighter than a bottle of shampoo. Plus, they last forever. My only issue is storage, since these need to dry completely before being put into any, or they'll basically melt onto whatever surface you put them on. The Ultimate Shine bar has glitter (?!), violet leaf, gardenia extract, elemi tree oil, and smells just like eucalyptus to me. The scent doesn't last, however, and neither does the glitter, thankfully. Ultimate Shine lathers up really nicely, and leaves my hair feeling clean and soft. It doesn't add texture or body, but it does get rid of any excess oil without stripping hair dry. My hair is naturally very shiny, so I can't say if it adds shine.
You can only get these sets in store, so hop over to your local lush now!
Overall I'd give this set an A-/B+. I'd give Big an A+, since it's possibly my favorite shampoo of all time, and Ultimate Shine a B+ for being a good, dependable (if not mindblowing) shampoo. I'd give Veganese an A-, because even though it's not great for me I think it's still a great conditioner for most people, and Marilyn gets a B for being a decent deep conditioner.
Images via amazon.com, beautyjunkielondon.com.