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Ethique Heali Kiwi Shampoo Bar Review- Is It Worth The Price?

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Disclaimer: The product I am reviewing was bought with my own money and my opinions are all my own! But this post includes an affiliate link so if you decide to purchase through this Very Special Link, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Just wanted to give you a head's up!

I've been on a quest now to be more eco-friendly and sustainable, thanks to people like my friend Julie, over at Dark Blue Journal, who have opened my eyes to the state of the environment and world today. I'm trying to limit my plastic use and find better, more sustainable alternatives to try to stop the pollution of our earth and its oceans, and one of the first things I decided to try was because of the very product I was using was running low: my shampoo!

After reading Julie’s blog, which prompted me to do my own research, I discovered the world of shampoo bars! Basically shampoo in soap form, they do away with the plastic bottles, usually wrapping them in either paper or sometimes even in reusable jars or canisters, plus, most tend to tout more natural ingredients in their items (no crazy chemical sulfates, which I learned aren’t a great thing!). Though I did learn another thing that came with a more natural, earth-friendly: the price tag!

Oof! I was NOT expecting that! I guess I was just used to my store brand Head and Shoulders shampoo! But after doing a good amount of research, the first shampoo bar I tried was Love Beauty and Planet’s rose shampoo bar, which I loved using (and it was pretty cheap compared to the other ones on the market!). Unfortunately, while I did enjoy the product, I kind of forgot in my excitement to finally be using a shampoo bar and not buying another plastic bottle, I need a shampoo that would help with my dandruff. And sadly, the Love Beauty and Planet one did not. (But I still use it as a soap and it’s lovely!)

So I was back to doing more research, and one brand I kept seeing on so many lists was this company called Ethique. They are a New Zealand based company that uses all natural products in their line (they have shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, and other products- all in bar form!) and are determined to help stop the pollution of the ocean from all of the plastic that’s being produced. I loved their message and the fact that their products come in compostable boxes.

I found that they sold them directly from their site (via New Zealand. Shipping = expensive!), but that they also sold them at Target stores in my state (just not in my city. And they also can’t be delivered to my zip code. What??), and that Amazon sells them (yay!). So I decided to try them via Amazon, despite the pretty pricey- well, price. It was about $16 for one shampoo bar, but it’s supposed to be the equivalent of three bottles of shampoo (at least as far as plastic usage). Compare that to the almost $5 I was spending on my either generic or name brand Head and Shoulders shampoo (times three, of course!) and the price actually isn’t too bad. If it lasts as long as three bottles of shampoo, that is!

So I’m here to unbiasedly (because I bought it with my own money, remember?) review Ethique’s Heali Kiwi shampoo bar for itchy scalps to see how it works, how the bar holds together, and how long the bar lasts, and finally, to see if the product is worth the price. I love the idea of Ethique and their other products, and they sound like a great company to support, especially if you want to start using less plastic, but will the shampoo bar be worth it and would I buy it again? Let’s find out!

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Just a disclaimer (I know, another one): since I’m trying to wash my hair less, but am out of the habit, I am currently washing my hair every other day (my hair can get very greasy if I don't wash it often enough!). I’m hoping to increase that to every two days, and so on. Obviously in the hopes that it will help my hair and scalp health, but also to prolong the life of the shampoo bar.

(Yet) Another disclaimer: I was honestly planning on waiting to write this review until I had used up the whole bar, but as you will see later on, that might take quite a while! So I decided to post my review now, after three months, which is honestly a lot longer than most reviews I’ve seen about shampoo bars. (Most just post their review after just one wash!)

First Experience and Impressions:

The box and shampoo bar were definitely smaller than I expected! But we all know we can’t judge everything by size! (Get your minds out of the gutter, people) The instructions on the box (which is also compostable! Cool!) say to swipe the bar down on your wet hair four times, and then lather in until it’s foamy, and then rinse out. I made sure to really massage my scalp as I washed my hair (you know, to get rid of the flakage). It honestly felt pretty nice and lather-y while I was washing my hair, and after rinsing, my hair felt clean, and I had a lot less flakes! No feeling of waxiness (which I’ve heard can be a problem with shampoo bars), plus the kiwi scent (which smells great from the shampoo bar) in my hair was almost non-existent (but if I sniffed my dry hair afterwards I could smell the faintest trace of it). I then dried off the bar and it (thankfully) didn’t fall apart and was exactly the same size. I read some complaints on the reviews for this shampoo bar that it fell apart pretty easily, so I made sure after I used it to carefully tap it dry it with a washcloth, let it air dry for a few minutes, and then wrap it up with another dry washcloth, and store it under my bathroom sink to avoid the moisture from the shower. I don’t have a special case for it (though Ethique does sell biodegradable ones!), but this seems to be working so far!

Photo by That Weird Girl Life

Other Subsequent Washes aka Months 1-3:

Still some flakes after the first shampoo (I mean, I did have a month’s build up, so it’s not like the Heali Kiwi shampoo bar can knock ‘em out in one wash!), but after a few more washes, the dandruff was pretty much gone! Also, thankfully, the shape of the bar hasn’t changed at all (except to get slightly smaller, obviously and I keep to my gently-drying-the-bar-then-using-a-washcloth-to-keep-it-in routine), and my hair feels so fresh and lovely. I honestly look forward to my hair washing days! (And not just because my hair gets greasy if I don’t wash it! Well, that’s partly one of the reasons I look forward to washing my hair) I really like using this shampoo bar and now I’ve added a (non Ethique) hair conditioner to my wash routine as well (just for the lower half of my hair. My greasy roots do NOT need any more moisture!). But here come the big questions that need to be answered:

So… How Does the Ethique Heali Kiwi Shampoo Bar Hold Up And Is It Worth Buying?

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Does the bar help with dandruff?

Yes! I also love that the bar uses natural ingredients to fight dandruff, instead of all of those chemicals doctors have given me in the forms of potions and lotions (which I have needed at times when my psoriasis was bad, but no one wants to willingly use tar shampoo! That smell...). As I mentioned above, after the first few washes, my dandruff was still there, but as I used the shampoo bar more and more, my dandruff disappeared! It seems to work on keeping it away, since I can go about two days without washing my hair (you know, until it gets super oily again) and I will rarely find a flake between those days!

Does the bar hold together?

For me, it totally did! The bar is small (about 2 ¼ inches in length on each four sides, so basically a perfect square, and is about 1 ¼ inches thick) but has kept its shape and hasn’t gotten too much smaller, and I think it’s because of me being extra diligent in keeping it as dry as possible between washes. Like I mentioned before, people online have complained about it disintegrating, but I think that’s because it has oatmeal in it, which of course, is famous for being an anti-itching remedy for chicken pox in the form of oatmeal baths. Obviously if you’ve ever had a bowl of oatmeal before, you know that oats get mushy, so that makes sense that some people might have issues with this bar and keeping it solid. But for me, my bar was fine and my air dry/small towel technique seems to have worked in keeping it from falling apart! (The corner of one part did get slightly smooshed when I put it against something under the bathroom counter when it wasn’t quite dry, but it was only a little dent!)

How long does the bar last?

So far, I’ve been using this bar for about three months, starting with using it every other day for the first month and then to every two days in months two and three. (Listen, my hair is very, very oily, and if I go without washing my hair for more than two days, I look like a 1950’s greaser guy, but gross and with much longer hair. I'd love to wash my hair less, but what can you do?) Right now the bar is only slightly smaller, measuring in at 2 inches in length on all four sides and and the bar is now just over an inch thick. So really only slightly smaller despite my frequent use! It’s still square in shape, only now it has an inverted dented dome at the top from where I swipe it down my hair when I use it! I’m hoping since it’s lasted three months and has only gone down in size just a smidge, it’ll at least last me a year! (Fingers crossed, knock on wood!)

Is the Heali Kiwi shampoo bar worth the price?

Overall, I really love this shampoo bar! I feel like it’s helped control my flakage, and I really do love the smell. It smells like real kiwis, not an artificial or strong smell, but very pleasant and fruity. You can barely smell it on your hair after you wash and dry it, but I don’t mind, honestly. My hair looks and smells clean! 

I love that Ethique is filled with natural ingredients (though there is some controversy over a natural sulfate used in their shampoo bars) and is dedicated to cutting down on plastic use and waste. So for me, it makes me feel better that I’m not buying shampoo in a plastic bottle that will probably not be recycled, even though I always try to recycle my plastic items (if the plastic can even be recycled, that is!). Plus, it makes my bathroom look less cluttered without all of the plastic bottles hanging around the shower!

Really, my only issue with Ethique is the price! I get that natural ingredients will be more expensive than chemical and artificial ones, and these are being made and shipped from New Zealand, but yeesh! Maybe I’m just used to buying cheap, generic shampoo and will have to get used to buying more expensive, but natural and eco-friendly items that last longer. If they could lower their prices a tiny bit, or have sample sizes of their products available in America (they have sample size packs of shampoos/conditioners, face washes, etc. But they are about the same price as one Ethique shampoo bar!), I think I would definitely want to recommend them more to people, as the price wouldn’t be so intimidating to people! (It certainly took me by surprise when I first saw it!) But to me, if this shampoo bar lasts a year or more, it’s worth the high price because it’s eco-friendly and sustainable and I get flake-free hair!

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
All in all, I’m really impressed with Ethique and the Heali Kiwi shampoo bar! My hair feels great, my flakes are at a minimum, and the bar is holding up! I don’t know if it will last as long as three bottles of shampoo, but I like the fact that I’m not using plastic and this is better for me and the environment. But the bar itself is certainly still big and I hope I can get a lot more washes out of it! I’d love to try more Ethique products, such as their hair conditioners (would be interesting to see how it goes with the Heali Kiwi bar!) and the deodorant (I’m still on the lookout for a good, natural deodorant that actually works in the desert heat!). 

Would I recommend this to people with itchy and flaky scalps? If you have the money, I would say go for it! I’m sure there are other, possibly cheaper shampoo bar alternatives for dandruff-prone hair, but this bar came with such good reviews, that I really wanted to try it out and so I splurged (plus I had an Amazon gift card, so that helped with the price!).

If you want to give the bar a try, you can find it over on Amazon or by clicking on this link to buy it:

Very Special Link: Buy the Ethique Heali Kiwi Shampoo Bar on Amazon

And that was my (long-winded) review of Ethique’s Heali Kiwi Shampoo bar! I have to say, I actually really like this shampoo bar! I’ll definitely buy it again (with the help of an Amazon gift card). Have you used any eco-friendly/sustainable shampoo bars or conditioners? What brands did you try (any Ethique) and did they work for you? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear some brand suggestions and stories! Also, should I do an update on the Heali Kiwi shampoo bar later in the year to see how it’s still holding up?? I kind of want to report on how long this bar lasts!

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Let's Start Getting Rid of Some Things (Movies Edition)- My Minimalism Journey, Part 1

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
We all love movies. Watching them and going to them (well, not so much now! I'm writing this deep in 2020, so you know what I'm talking about). And from streaming services to renting services to our own home collections, we've all been watching them a lot while we've been staying at home. So I decided that my first act of minimalism would be going through my own collection of DVDs and blurays and declutter my movie collection!

I hinted at this in my previous post about what I was up to in May, so if you want to read my little blurb about it, click here!

Hey, It’s a Start!

I know, I know...this may not be the right way to to start to declutter, but I decided to dip my toe into minimalism the easy way- because honestly, all I've been doing has been watching a lot of movies and TV (okay, not all I've been doing, it just seems like it!) and it made me think, "if I'm watching all of these TV shows and movies on streaming services, what am I not watching in my own movie collection? If I'm not going to watch it anytime soon or in the future, do I really need to own it?"

That's always the question that gets me when I declutter: do I need it? But in this case, it was more of the question: “Will I watch this again in the future (numerous times)? And will this be something I’d recommend to family and friends so they could borrow it?” With that, I culled through my DVD/bluray collection!

My Life in Movies (and How My Tastes Have Changed)

I will have to admit, though my DVD collection isn’t huge, I was still surprised at how many I had and hadn’t watched in so long! Some of my DVDs were OLD! (Like I have an original copy of Signs from when it was first released. That was in the early 2000’s, I think? That’s pretty impressive, you gotta give me that! Also, that scene with Joaquin Phoenix in the closet watching TV with the alien footage is still the best reaction scene ever!)

It was actually pretty fun to go through my collection. It was like a walk down memory lane. I was reminded of why I bought the movies in the first place, where I was in life, what I was going through, the memories that movie (or even that copy of the movie) holds for me. I honestly buy movies because I like them and I really do mean to rewatch them, but even though the movies are good, I tend not to rewatch certain ones, for some reason or another (I blame streaming services! And books. Books always distract me).

So I gave myself a little mission: watch some of the movies I was unsure about, and decide if I really want to keep them or not. Because, honestly, I hadn’t watched some of these movies in such a long time, that I had forgotten if they were any good or not! (I mean, I obviously thought so if I bought them in the first place, but it had been so long!) And you know what: it worked! I ended up being reminded of movies I thought I liked, but now didn’t really enjoy (no fault to the movies. Sometimes your movie taste just changes over time!). Into the pile they went!

Others were easier to decide to give away. They were the ones I had once loved, but had outgrown. Or ones I still liked, but rarely watched and were just gathering dust. And what’s the point of having a whole bunch of movies if you’re just never going to watch them?? Plus, I reminded myself that it’s not like these movies are disappearing forever or I have the only remaining copies in the world (I’m not that special!). I can always borrow them from the library, rent them, or watch them when they pop up on a streaming service! Or the old school way- borrow them from a friend! (Remember when we used to do that sort of thing? And Blockbuster and Hollywood Video?? Okay, now I’m really showing my age!)

And it gave me a fun reason to send my niece a fun package in the mail! I have a few kids movies that are nostalgic favorites, but I never really watched, so I thought maybe I could share a bit of my childhood with my niece (I had, and still have, excellent taste, even as a child). So not only was I able to let her borrow some of my personal favorites (and I gave my sister the option to keep them if my niece really liked them!), I was also getting rid of a few more movies! Bonus!

A big stack of just SOME of the movies I got rid of! Also, can you spot the random cat hair amonst the cases? Photo by That Weird Girl Life

What Movies I Decided To Get Rid Of*

*and a little reason or two on why I decided to not keep them:

Black Swan- I love me a thriller! But I rarely watch this one, despite loving ballet and all of the dark themes.

Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging- I loooved these books as a tween, and was so excited when I heard they made a movie about it in England years ago! The movie is super cute, but not one I watch on the regular. I may just be a little too old for it. (Also, Georgia is supposed to end up with Dave the Laugh! Even though the guy who played Robbie in the movie is super cute!)

Aquamarine- Another one I’m just a little too old for. But it’s adorable and it’s all about mermaids and the power of friendships. Not going to lie though, I saw this when I was legit 18 years old and loved it.

Shutter Island- Here’s another thriller while I love, but again, don’t watch that often. That twist though! Still makes me shiver!

Oculus- I remember watching this one in theaters and being so disturbed by it! In case you didn’t know, horror is my favorite genre, and while this movie is good, it’s not one of my go-to horror movies and one I’ll watch over and over again.

Whip It- Girl power and roller derby! Ellen Page and the rest of the cast is amazing in this, and I love the empowering message in it. But again, I couldn’t remember the last time I watched it (judging by the layer of dust on top of it, not for quite some time!).

The Haunting in Connecticut- This was a horror movie I initially liked when I first saw it, but after rewatching it, I didn’t really like it that much! Just shows you how your tastes can change!

Hook- Oh, Hook. A childhood favorite! A lot of people think this movie didn’t age well, but I still like it. Just not enough to keep it and watch it on repeat like I used to when I was little! Rufiooo!

Moana- Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Moana! But the bluray, not the movie itself, holds some bad memories for me. Thankfully, I can give away the bluray, but always watch the movie some other way (again, streaming services!).

Mad Max: Fury Road- Man, this movie was good! But intense. And not one I watch all that much. (Though I will pretty much anything with Tom Hardy in it, let’s be honest, good or bad)

Girl, Interrupted- You know how you really relate to certain movies at certain times in your life? This was one of them and as much as I still think it’s an excellent movie, I really don’t ever watch it (it hits a little too close to home, you know?).

Mama- This was another horror movie that I really liked when I first saw it, but then on a recent watch, decided it just wasn’t as great as I remembered. Or even as scary as I remembered! As someone who likes horror, I have to admit that I like my horror movies more on the scary side than not. (Also, I thought the original short it was based on was way more creepy. Sometimes less in a horror movie is more!)

The 40 Year Old Virgin- This is one of those classic movies that makes me laugh, but I’ve just seen it one too many times. I’d probably be happy to watch it in a year or so if it ever goes back onto a streaming service, but not to own.

The Back to the Future trilogy*- For some reason my family had two of these sets on DVD? We don’t need two, we just need one. How did we get two sets of these movies??? Sorry, older edition, you’re out!
*Not pictured

Signs- As mentioned above, I have one of the first releases of this movie on DVD (humble brag). And as great as this movie is (unlike some of M. Night Shyamalayn’s latest movies...ahem), this is one I’ve seen a lot and really don’t plan on watching in the future (at least anytime soon).

Heathers- Okay, I love me some Winona Ryder and this movie truly is a cult classic, but did I watch it more than twice since I bought it years and years ago? Nope! Sorry, Veronica! Also, what's your damage, Heather?

Jennifer's Body- Another cult classic, but one that I watch frequently? No. (But you should totally check it out! It’s highly underrated!)

Shaun of the Dead- a great horror-comedy that's so funny and clever. But I haven't watched it in so long! (Also, I’m kind of over zombies at this point)

*Bonus* Loaned to my niece (and she has the option to keep them if she likes them!):

Annie*- Such a classic and one that I hope my niece will sing the songs over and over again to annoy my sister and brother-in-law (I’m such a good aunt!)

Coco*- I love this Pixar movie, but every time I watch it, it makes me sob! Damn you, Pixar, for making some stellar animated and emotional movies that hit me right in the feels! That's why I can rarely watch it! Wah!

Anastasia*- This movie was my go to as a kid and I still love it to bits! But do I watch it over and over like I did as a kid? Nope. The soundtrack is still really good though! (But again, I just listen to that via Spotify or YouTube!) 

*Also not pictured

The After Effects of Getting Rid of a Whole Bunch of Movies

Going through my movies was actually really, really satisfying! It gave me a chance to look through what I had, evaluate my taste in movies (it’s changed a lot!), what I was holding on to just for the memories, not necessarily the movies themselves. And it really reminded me that movies are for watching, just not collecting. I mentioned above that I used to watch certain movies over and over again as a kid, but obviously as adults, we don’t do that. So the movies we do keep tend to be favorites that we don’t watch that often, but watch often enough that we actually own copies of those movies. Or at least, that’s how it should be. So after going through all of my movies and deciding on the ones I want to keep, I know that the ones I’m keeping are the ones I’m definitely going to watch multiple times in the future and are going to be the ones I like enough to recommend enough to others (and enjoy watching myself!).

In fact, my mom’s friend was asking for a movie to borrow and I asked her what she was in the mood for. No musicals, nothing scary or dramatic, just something that she’ll enjoy and is an overall great movie. Thanks to my pared down movie collection, I knew exactly what she would like: the 1994 version of Little Women. And guess what! She loved it! We even had a great discussion after she watched it (the Jo, Laurie, and Amy love triangle is timeless) and then I suggested she watch the 2019 version when she could so she could compare the two movies. See! My decluttering helped!
Also, I came up with a few tips (four, exactly) that helped me when I was decluttering and they may help you get rid of a few of your DVDs, blurays, and old tv shows (or laser discs or VCRs or whatever old school devices you may watch movies on. I don't judge!):

My Tips For Going Through Your Movies/TV Shows and Getting Rid of Them 
  1. If you’re unsure about it, give it a watch! See if it still makes you laugh, cry, or if you still simply enjoy it. Then think about if you’re going to watch it again multiple times. If you will, keep it. If not, let it go!
  2. Give yourself time to think it over. I initially thought I wanted to keep one movie after rewatching it, but after giving myself a few days to think about it, I decided I really wasn’t going to rewatch it anytime soon. Buh-bye!
  3. Think of places to donate your old DVDs/blurays to! Whether it's a thrift store, a used bookstore that also takes movies, or a charity or even a friend, think beforehand where you're going to give them away so they just don't sit there! Also, make sure your movies are not scratched and are in good working order. If not, look into how to properly dispose of them or recycle them in your area! (Or somehow reuse them if you're a super crafty DIY person!)
  4. And just remember, it's not like you’re never going to watch any of these movies again! Like I mentioned previously, there are tons of ways to watch movies without owning them- renting/streaming and borrowing! So don’t be afraid to give away a movie you just “like”, not “love.” You’ll always be able to watch it again! (You just won’t own a physical copy of it!)
All my books ready to donate in my cute cat canvas bag! (I'm not donating the bag though!) Photo by That Weird Girl Life
A sneak peak inside the cat bag of all of the movies I'm giving away! There were more than I thought! Photo by That Weird Girl Life
It may not have been the most earth shattering decluttering cleanse in history, but I cut my DVD/Blu-ray collection in half! I'd definitely say that's a success for my first dip into minimalism! I definitely feel a lot more organized and I liked that I prioritized what movies I really liked and wanted to keep. Now I just have to figure out where to donate all of these movies to! (This trying to stay at home thing is really getting annoying when you want to get rid of things!)

What did you think of the start of my minimalism journey? It may have been an easy start, but it was a great way to practice on how to think through what you want to keep or give away. Any suggestions on what I should sort through next?  And I can't wait to get started on my next decluttering project! (Dresser drawers? Books? My closet? Ack!!)  And if you have any tips for me on decluttering and getting rid of things, let me know in the comments!

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