This post is sponsored by Conscia, a sustainable line of hair care products that are waterless, soap-free, gluten-free, vegan and responsibly packaged.
Solid shampoos and conditioners aren’t exactly new. Anyone who’s been loitering around neighborhood health food stores for as long as I have will be familiar with the paper-wrapped bars proclaiming they can do triple duty as hand, body, and hair soap. More recently, as more folks have become more concerned with the implications of so much single-use plastic, the concept has gone even more mainstream. But while the products have become more ubiquitous, the experience of using them has often remained decidedly lackluster.
In the past fifteen years or so, I’ve tried a great number of solid shampoos and passed over even more, unconvinced I could get them to work for me. So many have left my hair feeling dirtier than it was before; my scalp coated in soapy build-up. Others have left my hair feeling stripped of its oils, dry and limp. More often than not, the bars have crumbled or turned gummy before I’ve had the chance to properly finish them. I’ve relegated the soapy remains to regular body soap or watched them slip down the drain and never looked back. Suffice to say, when Conscia reached out to me about test-driving their plastic-free shampoo and conditioning stones in December of last year, I had my reservations.
Still, the soft ocean-tumbled look of their stones lured me in. I was tempted by the promise of a full sensory experience from aromatherapy to a healthy scalp microbiome. The idea that my shower caddy might have nothing more on it than a few sculptural stones made the offer too good to resist and I’m glad I didn’t. Using these stones for the last five months has been anything but onerous and I’m happy to offer my own review in case it gets any one else closer to experiencing the sensory delight of these not-so-humble stones.
Conscia’s shampoo and conditioning stones are made by hand by Nicole Brown, owner of San Francisco’s Tailored salon. In her more than twenty years in the industry, Nicole struggled to find haircare products that were both environmentally friendly and high quality and so she decided to make her own. After trial and error and beta testing the products on salon clients, eventually, Conscia was born—a line of waterless, soap- and cruelty free luxury hair products.
We’ve been using the Hydrate Lapis Shampoo and the Hydrate Resina Conditioner since January. The stones arrived in a cocoon of plastic-free packaging: tucked in paper, labeled with seed paper, and wrapped up in hemmed hemp off-cuts. (The cloths are the perfect size for little kid/dessert napkins and we’ve happily welcomed them into our family’s napkin stash.) The smell is intoxicating. Conscia says “uplifting citrus and crisp green grass” and I say something that makes it impossible not to inhale in big greedy huffs. Yes, they also make our bathroom smell incredible. Yes, using them on my kids means sniffing their scalps is even more irresistible. More importantly, in contrast to just about every solid shampoo I’ve tried, the Conscia stones lather beautifully, dry quickly, and hold their shape. They also rival the nicest liquid shampoos I’ve used for effectiveness and ease of use.
Conscia markets its full-sized stones as being equivalent to three 8-ounce bottles of typical liquid shampoo. As far as it’s useful to know, I can say that all five members of this family have been exclusively using Conscia’s stones since the beginning of the year and that in that time, we have worked our way through one full-sized shampoo stone and one petite-sized shampoo stone. Our original full-sized conditioner stone is still less than half-way gone. As far as upkeep, we don’t do anything special except to let them air dry between uses on our shower caddy that’s kept out of the shower stream.