Ethique Vs. Lush Shampoo Bar: Key Differences Explained

Shampoo bars are one of the most convenient and sustainable options you’ll find for your hair. Lush and Ethique are the two most popular brands for this.

Ethique shampoo bar lathers less, is less drying, lasts long, and is pricy. Lush shampoo lathers more, is more drying, lasts for less time, and is more affordable.

Whether you’re switching to reduce waste or for healthier hair, bar shampoos are a win. Ethique and Lush are popular shampoo bar options for a reason, but which one should you go for?

Here’s a comparison to help you out.

A Quick Summary of The Comparison

FeatureEthique Shampoo BarLush Shampoo Bar
Lather and fragranceLathers less, is creamier, and has weaker fragranceLathers a lot, has strong fragrance
Dryness levelGentle cleansing, less dryingStrong cleaning, more drying
LongevityLasts long, sample sizes crumbleLasts for less time, doesn’t crumble
PricePricierMore affordable

Key Differences Between Ethique And Lush Shampoo Bars

Lush is a testament to quality in itself. Ethique isn’t too far behind either, at least not when it comes to shampoo bars. Both brands are very similar overall, but there are some pretty big differences too.

Lather and fragrance, dryness level, longevity, and price are the major differences between Ethique and Lush shampoo bars.

Here’s how these differences work out for both Ethique and Lush shampoo bars.

  • Lather and Fragrance
Ethique shampoo bar

For some people, lather tells them how good the shampoo will clean their scalp.

Ethique shampoo bars have a thicker lather and don’t sud up much.

They also have weaker fragrances. Lush shampoo bars lather up pretty well and have a stronger fragrance in them.

A lot of people believe shampoos are as good as the lather. Well, that isn’t exactly false.

The lather is triggered by the cleaning agent used for the shampoo.

The sulfate-based shampoos lather up pretty well and they also are stronger cleansers. Other organic or non-sulfate based shampoos lather up less and they’re more gentle on the scalp.

Ethique makes a point of using less harsh components in their products. So naturally, they trade the SLS-based cleaning agent for more organic coconut-based cleaning agents.

This switch tones down the lather and makes it less slippery. Organic cleansers are also gentler on scalps and they’re really good at holding curl patterns.

Most people like their hair smelling nice, but that comes with a cost. The fragrance used in shampoos is usually alcohol-based which can make hair more frizzy.

Ethique tackles this issue by adding less strong, barely-there fragrance. Your hair may smell nice all week, but it won’t be dry and frizzy either.

Lush shampoo bar is almost the opposite. The shampoo bars are geared toward people who feel like regular shampoo bars just don’t clear their scalps well.

Lush shampoo bars use SLS as their cleaning agent so you’ll get that “squeaky clean” scalp after you’re done.

This unfortunately means your hair will also be on the more dry side. If you have an oily scalp or normal to oily hair, Lush is a very good option. But if your hair is on the drier side, it is better not to pick Lush.

If you’re looking for something that smells nice, Lush has your back. Their shampoo bars use pretty strong fragrant agents. So you’ll have your hair smelling nice all week long.

  • Dryness

Well, this is probably the most important point of buying shampoo. Ethique shampoo bars are more gentle and won’t make your hair extra frizzy.

Lush shampoo bars on the other hand can make your hair frizzier specially if you have curly hair.

Ethique promotes gentle cleansing in their shampoo bars. They even traded the harsh SLS based cleansing agents for organic, gentler options.

This makes their shampoo a perfect fit for dry or damaged hair. And if you’re a CGM (Curly Girl Method) follower, this might just be your best friend for low-poo.

The natural cleansing agents are also the reason Ethique shampoo bars have a thick and creamy lather. If you’re used to bubbly shampoo, the switch might feel a little odd for the first few times. But you’ll definitely get used to it.

Ethique shampoo bars also excel in tuning down frizz and holding curl patterns. The gentle cleansing preserves your hair’s natural moisturizer and prevents them from leaking.

Lush shampoo bars are more for people who believe in deep cleansing their hair. The lather bubbles up like any other liquid shampoo, thanks to the SLS based cleansing agents they use.

If your hair tends to get greasy too much too fast, Lush shampoo bars can help. The cleansers are guaranteed to make sure every ounce of grease is gone from your hair.

The flip side of this is the frizz. Since the cleansers in Lush shampoo bars are stronger, they can sometimes eat away at your hair’s natural moisture. And that’s how you end up with frizzy, stringy, and lifeless hair. If you have curly hair, your curls might start losing texture too.

  • Longevity
Lush Shampoo Bar
Lush Shampoo Bar

Most people don’t think shampoo bars can last as long as bottled shampoos.

Well, they’re wrong. Both Ethique and Lush shampoo last just as much (if not longer) as average shampoo bottles.

But Ethique shampoo bars usually last longer, especially the full-sized ones.

Lush shampoo bar on the other hand doesn’t last as long.

Full-sized Ethique shampoo bars are overall thicker than the Lush shampoo bars.

So you already get more products in the bar.

And since the lather is creamy and thick, you’ll need a pretty small amount to clean your scalp. That is unless you believe in lathering and tend to keep going till you get full on bubbles.

But that’s not the case with the sample size of Ethique shampoo bars. The smaller bars tend to crumble a lot. This makes it pretty inconvenient and you keep losing out on product.

Plus sometimes the crumbled pieces just go missing. Overall, the sample-sized Ethique shampoo bars don’t last too long.

That’s not the case with Lush shampoo bars. Sample size or not, the shampoo bars don’t usually crumble unless you’re applying force.

The shampoo bars aren’t very thick but they still last a decent amount of time. Plus the cleansing agents are pretty strong so you can get away with using a small amount.

  • Price

This is the most visible difference between the shampoo bars. Ethique is a Kiwi company and their shampoo bars are priced slightly higher.

You can usually get them at $15-$20 depending on the product. Lush on the other hand is much more affordable.

Which Shampoo Bar Should You Pick?

That depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something gentle and long-lasting, then Ethique shampoo bars are your best option. Here is why.

But if you’re looking for something stronger or fragrant, Lush shampoo bars are very tough to beat.

Overall, Ethique shampoo bars are the better choice in this case. But if you want something affordable or stronger, go for Lush.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Lush shampoo bar equivalent to?

Depending on your usage, Lush shampoo bar can be equivalent to three 250ml bottles of shampoo.

Is Ethique a clean brand?

No, Ethique isn’t clean. But they’re cruelty-free and zero waste.

Is Ethique actually eco-friendly?

Yes, Ethique is an eco-friendly brand.

Does Ethique use silicone?

No, Ethique products are silicone-free.

What is the alternative to Ethique?

Nourish Savannah, Lush, and Ecoroots are the top Ethique alternatives.

Final Verdict

Ethique vs. Lush has been a pretty long-going debate. Both brands are good and make amazing shampoo bars. If you had to pick one, Ethique would definitely be the better choice.

But if you’re looking for something stronger, Lush is your best friend.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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