I say this many times on my blog, as it's mostly created from opinion rather than fact, that what works for one person, may have the completely opposite effect on another. Some would argue that my obsession with Lush means that I couldn't possibly look at every product objectivity, but I can honestly say that I do. I am definitely not afraid to rate a product for what it is, and this is one such time when I don't have a lot of nice things to say.
Ultimate Shine Solid Shampoo Bar is a product I've been eyeing up for quite some time; partly because I'm determined to test out every single one of Lush's solid hair care range, and partly because it looks delicious - like rounded slabs of creamy white chocolate. Made from a combination of elemi oil, violet leaf oil and ylang ylang, this shampoo promises to leave your hair feeling beautifully clean, whilst showcasing a healthy shine and a clear scalp.
Elemi oil is the most prominent ingredient in the product - a gum resin that is extracted from leaves to not only nourish and replenish your hair, but give it a natural, spicy scent like nothing else on the planet. The addition of ylang ylang adds to this fragrance whilst helping to balance your scalp and leave you flake free, whilst the violet leaf gives your head a deep cleanse and leaves it dirt free.
As with most of Lush's solid shampoo bars, the scent Ultimate Shine gives off is a very mild one. What I find strange about the fragrance of this product, is that it smells very much like rosemary to me, which is odd as there is nothing here that would suggest that this would be the case. There is a slight woody element to the aroma as well, but this is more of an afterthought and it is the herby smell that makes the biggest impression. I quite enjoyed the scent, and I feel that even if you don't, you can still use this product as the scent is very mild.
This shampoo bar is like every other solid shampoo that I've tried so far; it's very easy to use. You can either massage it through wet hair, or rub it between your hands and create a lather, which can then be applied to your locks. Either way, you can really tell how much shampoo is compacted into a single bar as it lathers up really easily and it'll take weeks before you notice the bar shrinking in size.
However, unlike every other solid shampoo bar I've tried so far, I noticed that this one also lost it's foam just as quickly as it was created. What I mean by this, is that once I had applied the shampoo onto my head, I normally leave it on for a good five minutes while I continue washing myself, giving the product enough time to cleanse my hair. With Ultimate Shine, I found that within seconds of application, the foam had all but disappeared and I was left with a head of hair that didn't look like it had been washed at all. What was worse, was that my hair felt instantly dry and damaged - something that I only remember really cheap shampoos doing to my hair years ago, before I discovered Lush.
I lathered on my Veganese Conditioner, hoping that this would soften my hair and return it to normal, but I found that my locks continued to feel and look dry, even two - three weeks after I'd given the shampoo a chance to familiarise itself with my hair.
Reading up on the ingredients in this shampoo, I discovered that elemi oil is known for balancing sebum production, meaning that it can reduce natural oils in your scalp and hair, and this is probably the reason why my hair felt so dry and deflated. This is probably a shampoo best suited for those with naturally greasy hair, who need something to cleanse whilst also drying out the natural oils in their locks. For those of you with rather dry hair, this is probably not the shampoo you want to go for.
It took me a good 4-5 weeks to get my hair back to the way it was before I began using Ultimate Shine, and it's definitely not a product I would ever try again. This obviously works wonders for some people's hair as it's still in production and voted very highly amongst Lush fans. However, just be wary that this may have some less-appealing side effects for those of you with hair similar to mine.
Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Perfume, Water (Aqua), Ammonium Laureth Sulphate, Elemi Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil, Violet Leaf Absolute, Gardenia Extract, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Linalool.
2014 Price: £5.75 for 55g.