Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Chagrin Valley for Asian Hair - First Wash

To set the context, I will provide some background information before I get to the review.


1) I have always been told about the harmful effects of commercial shampoos (thanks to a very health-conscious Mum). If you are interested, go Google it and considered yourselves warned that you are gonna be very paranoid when you wash your hair afterwards.

However, it's just impossible for me NOT to wash my hair EVERYDAY. I have rather thick hair and I live in Singapore, where it is very humid and hot ALL YEAR ROUND.

2) Then I came upon SHAMPOO BARS *adds sparkles all around* and I almost became PASSIONATE about them. The Chagrin Valley website was very homey and informative, let alone the very very yummy photos of the soap. I was intrigued right away and I couldn't wait to get my hands on them! I kept thinking about these wholesome organic shampoo soap bars the whole time during the shipping period, reading their reviews and telling everyone about them. OMG I WAS SOSO EXCITED!

Just look at them! Almost as delicious as comfort food!

The international shipping cost was quite steep - US$23.95 for orders under $75 - but nothing could stop my burning passion for organic soaps at that point in time. When the package finally arrived after 10 days, my heart was literally racing. 

Oh my dear babies    
The envelope was a flat priority mail box and the soaps are packed with fully recycled paper. 

  • Permed 3 times this year
  • Last dye was 1 year ago
  • I NEVER use conditioner cos it is SO slimey and I have to use so much time rinsing it
  • Scalp gets slightly oily at the end of the day but hair is normal

There are a lot of positive reviews about the CV soaps, but there are very few by Asian customers and different hair types may react differently to the same soap. So here's one review by me (who is obviously a very certified Asian) to recap about my first wash with CV soaps.


I decided to start my journey with the Honey, Beer and Egg Shampoo Bar.

The website says:
Beer and egg yolk create a mild, protein rich natural shampoo that adds shine, bounce and body to your hair. The proteins from the malt, hops condition hair and help repair damage. Vitamin rich eggs revitalize dull and dry hair and improve texture. Enriched with cocoa butter to provide deep nourishment for the hair shaft. 
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil; Organic Avocado Oil; Organic Sustainable Palm Oil; Organic Beer; Organic Jojoba Oil; Organic Castor Oil; Sodium Hydroxide*; Organic Cocoa Butter; Organic Mango Butter; Organic Canola Oil; Organic Aloe Vera; Organic Honey; Organic Free Range Eggs; Organic Rosemary Oil Extract 


Anyw, to avoid wasting the soaps in the bathrooms, I cut out a small cube and put the rest into small containers for travel and storage. Btw another reason to use soaps is that the annoying aviation 100ml rule does NOT apply to them AWESOME!

Since Singapore has very hard water, I prepared a vinegar rinse, which was highly recommended for hard water users and beginners (whose hair normally need a transition stage from the sudden switch from chemical-loaded shampoos to organic alternatives).

I did not use the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse because I personally hates using them SO MUCH. I bought a bottle of Bragg Organic Raw to use it as a toner and omg I really hate it. IT IS .REALLY. SMELLY, and I already diluted it like 10 small drops to 100ml of water. Sometimes I would accidentally spray the ACV toner too close to my nostrils and that would leave gagging from the stench for a whole minute.NO WAY this thing is going up my hair!!

To give justice, ACV from Bragg is really one of the best for its kind becos it has the 'Mother' and is authentically organic. And right becos it's so pure, its smell also doubles that of the other brands. So it's still a very good ACV, it's just I cant take the smell personally.

So I used a Black Vinegar, which is very common in Asian culinary. My mum has been doing a Black Vinegar Rinse (albeit still with commercial shampoos) for years, and her hair is the one of the best I've ever seen. There are A LOT of benefits of BVR for hair (e.g.adding shine, softening, anti-dandruff, slowing hair whitening process etc) and it seems like a more apt option for Asian hair, since yea it's from Asia too. Haha I hope I made sense here...


Many people talked about how the shampoo bars are hard to lather and to wash off, especially in hard water, so imagine my surprise, when mine worked so smoothly almost like all my other commercial shampoos.

The lather was of course not as much, but it was comfortably sufficient and came off very easily. I massaged it into my scalp first then the rest of my hair. It felt so good that I massaged a little too long, and that was when I realised the lather was disappearing. So I quickly rinsed it off. Though the rinse was easy, my hair felt squeakily clean afterwards, and it was TOO squeaky to feel comfortable.

Thanks to all the reviews I read beforehand, I didnt freak out cos this was a very common thing for many. So I proceeded to my BVR, where I just poured bit by bit all over my head. I massaged a little more, waited for a while, before rinsing it off.  

Note: It's very common for hair to smell quite a bit of black vinegar after the rinse (I used to complain about about my mum's), but it will COMPLETELY disappear once the hair is dried. The same goes for the bathroom, so you really dont have to worry about that. In my opinion, it is still like ten times much better than the ACV.

I do not know if it's bcos of the BVR or that I have been preparing my mentality for the switch, but I did NOT experience any uncomfortable transition stage (e.g. waxy hair, oily scalp, tangled hair etc). In fact, my hair was completely normal after the first wash, but just softer and seemed to be lifted with more volume when it dried.

How my hair looked when it was almost dried after the wash.
I was so glad that I didnt experience the clumpy hair/wax residues that the rest had mentioned about their first wash.

My hair felt absolutely wonderful when I woke up the next day!

Thanks so much to Chagrin Valley for making such amazing shampoo bars and also Mummy for introducing the black vinegar wash!

The first wash has been marvelous for me and hopefully it will continue be as such from now on.