I purchased one of the Mia Belle Oil Balancing Shampoo Bars after having had a rather disappointing experience with Totally Balmy’s Shampoo Bar (click on the link to read my review).
I’ve used solid shampoo bars for years now, and they do vary quite widely in size, texture, lather, etc. from brand to brand. Unfortunately, having very oily hair does pose quite a problem for me … Finding a really great shampoo is extremely difficult. Some people have said, “Just wash you hair more often,” but washing it daily only aggravates the problem and causes my scalp to produce even more oil. If I wash my hair daily, it can start looking greasy in as little as six hours after washing.
Back to the Mia Belle Oil Balancing Shampoo bar. The product info on their website says, “Start the day with a boost for your hair with our solid shampoo and conditioner bars. Your hair will feel delighted as it soaks in the rich oils and plant extracts that are in our bars. Feel good knowing that you are looking after your hair and caring for the environment at the same time by not using plastic. They also last up to 3 times as long as your ordinary shampoo. Up to 80 washes per bar. What’s not to love?”
The square 95g bar comes wrapped in recyclable paper packaging. The size is good, it fits comfortably in the palm of my hand, giving me a good grip so that it’s easy to hold and to use, right down to the last sliver. The actual bar is nice and hard and doesn’t go squishy during use. I do store my shampoo bars in one of Ethique’s In-Shower storage containers, but I don’t leave it in the shower. Instead, I store it on the bathroom windowsill between uses so that the bar can dry out completely. This seems to help harden the shampoo bars, making them easier to use and they last longer, too.
The Mia Belle shampoo formula lathers up really well with just a few stokes on my hair, and the scent is not very strong. When stored correctly on a soap rack on the windowsill (to dry between uses), the bar lasts around six months.
Mia Belle Oil Balancing Shampoo bar didn’t clean my hair quite as well as well as Ethique’s St Clements bar did, but it’s a very close second, and is actually more comfortable to hold and use. The Mia Belle bar is much better than the Totally Balmy Shampoo Bar that I used last.
To compare these shampoo bars (prices below are from November 2020):
- Ethique St Clements Shampoo Bar 110g for $22. Approximately 120 washes, bar lasted for 11 months. (20c per g, or roughly $2 per month).
- Mia Belle Oil Balancing Shampoo Bar 95g for $18.50. Approximately 80 washes, bar lasted for 6 months. (19c per g, or roughly $3 per month).
- Totally Balmy Natural Shampoo Bar 60g for $14. Approximately 35 washes, bar lasted for 2.5 months. (23c per g, or roughly $5 per month).
Please bear in mind that the number of washes and the time that the bar will last you will all depend on how how thick and long your hair is, and how much shampoo you use. I have very fine, shoulder length hair.
The Ethique bar works out to be great value for money and it cleans my hair the best. The Mia Belle bar may be slightly cheaper than the Ethique bar, but it’s also smaller and doesn’t last as long, so I’d have to buy two Mia Belle bars for every one Ethique bar, which ends up costing much more in the long run. The Totally Balmy bar is the most expensive of these three, and is a very average product that I wouldn’t recommend.
To sum this up, I’ll probably be going back to using Ethique St Clements (use this link for past review) and will be keeping Mia Belle’s Oil Balancing bars on my shopping list as a back-up for when I can’t get Ethique, or if I want to change my shampoo for a month or two.
If you’re interested in purchasing any of these bars to try for yourself, use the links in the comparison section above, it’ll take you to the relevant brand’s online store. Each of these brands have various types of shampoo bars and are worth looking into if you want to go plastic-free.