Product Review – Druydès: zero-waste shampoo bars (Not Sponsored, just my honest opinion)
Where do I start! Probably at the beginning, when I was looking for a solution to simplify my hair care routine (or at least make it quicker!). As a long-time user of ayurvedic powders, clay, flours (of various sorts) and soap nuts to wash my grease-prone mane, I became quite annoyed when I was forced to switch back to regular (albeit organic, vegan and not tested on animals, of course!) shampoo bottles. Not only are they not as sustainable due to the plastic from the bottle itself, but I was also having a hard time finding a brand that was both affordable and didn’t simply damage my hair! I don’t know if this was due to years of using literally no synthetic products or if my hair was particularly fragile to begin with, but I ended up finding only one single brand I could tolerate: Helvetia Natura. A Swiss brand with good quality products, but nothing that could compare with the strengthening and bouncy effect I had been getting from straight plant powders…
I can’t quite remember how I came across their brand, but I know that it was a while back and, for some reason, I didn’t make a purchase immediately. What I did, though, was tell my sister – who was getting ready for a trip through South America at the time – about it and she was sold on the concept, knowing that she was possibly going to need to wash her hair and body in nature on occasion and not wanting to carry around gallons of shampoo or bars of soap that would certainly be no good for her long, curly hair. This is how she gave me some of Druydès’ travel-size bar to try… and I loved it, but I found the little cubes from the bar too small to really be convenient beyond the first two or three uses, especially when you have long hair. So I went ahead and ordered two full-size bars: one regular and one for children (because I was enticed by the ingredients even more!).
And I have to say that I didn’t regret my decision for even a second! Of course, I had both done my research and already tested out the regular bar, but getting them in full size changes everything. The first thing that made me exceedingly happy was the minimal packaging. You know what it’s like: a product claims to be low-waste – and the product itself might be – but they ship your order wrapped in layers of bubble wrap, plastic, or a box lined with other unnecessary materials.
I got none of that, and that really made my day! As promised, packaging was minimal, and the white cardboard sleeve (the delivery of which is – according to the French postal service – also CO2 neutral) contained nothing other than the two shampoo bars I ordered. No invoice, no packing paper, nothing other than the bars and the thin paper wrapped around them. And you know what? The shampoo bars were not damaged in the slightest! As for that little paper wrapper, here’s why it didn’t bother me one bit… Truly low-waste.
And six weeks later…
Not only are these recycled papers biodegradable, but they also contain flower seeds! Which means that on top of not creating any extra waste, they are less likely to end up in the landfills since even people with no compost pile of their own can still grab a pot and grow lovely flowers out of them. If you are curious (and speak French!) you can find out more about this paper here (not affiliated).
Now for the composition. Let’s be clear about one thing: I am no chemist and, while I can see that all but one of the ingredients in each bar are completely natural (and organic!), there is still the small factor of the surfactants, which are in fact both the foaming agents (the shampoos really do lather up very well!) and the main cleansing ingredients, even though some of the plants that compose the products can wash your hair very well on their own (more on that in a later post!). I also suspect that, since the bars hold shape perfectly well, they also contributes (along with the coconut oil in the classic version and the cacao butter in the kids’ version) to the texture – or even the structure – of the final product. With that said, these foaming agents are both derived from coconut. Both sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI) and sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate (SLMI) are sulfate-free and considered among the safest, most highly biodegradable surfactants available and seem particularly well tolerated by all skin types. And I’m definitely willing to trust Druydès on that one, since their products are not only probably the mildest I’ve ever used, but they also went the extra mile to ensure their shampoos are non allergenic in as many ways as possible (gluten-free, wheat-free, corn-free, soy-free, palm-free, GMO-free and vegan!). They explain all this (in French, sorry) better than I do here and here.
As for the whole hair washing experience – which is probably what you’re dying to learn about – here is what I have to report: wonderful! As I said above, I had already tested the classic version and was quite happy with it, but the kids’ version (which is the same as the “sensitive” one, by the way) really stole my heart and I can say without exaggeration that I now consider it the best shampoo I’ve ever tried, period! At this point I would like to remind you that I have no affiliation with Druydès and that this review is 100% honest. This is as close as it gets to using straight up ayurvedic powders, with the added advantage of not having to prepare the product myself when I sadly don’t have the time to. Plus, while the classic version smells quite nice (again, when you like these plants), that little teddy bear is absolutely heavenly! Think chamomile-infused hot chocolate. The scent is natural and delicate and makes shower time feel like a warm and fuzzy chocolaty hug: total indulgence! Post shampooing, my hair (with both versions) feels light, soft and bouncy but, again, the sensitive version (douceur) gives it that extra feeling of nourishment (and yes, I know my hair is not actually capable of “eating”!) and the detangling effect is even more pronounced, probably due to the presence of marshmallow (althaea) root in the mix. Finally, both bars feel so soft and gentle I’ve even been preferring them to natural, cold-process soap to wash my face.
Finally, after using each of the bars once a week for the last six weeks at least, here’s what they look like. As you can see, we can still faintly see the little teddy’s face and the pattern on the classic bar is still quite visible. In terms of thickness, we’re probably about a quarter of the way down, if not less, which means they should still last me a good four to five months. So I could probably go about three months on one bar using it twice a week. For less than 10 eur a bar, that’s really quite reasonable if you consider the quality of the product (and the fact that I have long-ish hair).
Have you tried these? Would you like to? Let me know in the comments!