Lush washed my hair at Bluedot Festival and now I’m a shampoo bar convert

When I’m at a festival, after 24 hours all I want is to rinse the muck and grime out of my hair. As someone whose hair gets oily quite quickly, I often only get one good hair day out of a wash, too, which isn’t ideal for a weekend-long camping event.

But this year, at Cheshire’s Bluedot Festival, Lush have set up a Shampoo Bar so that festival goers can get their locks refreshed and feel even lusher than when they arrived. 

I was one of the first in the queue on Thursday, July 21 as the festival opened at the iconic site of Jodrell Bank Observatory. It was Lush’s first time at the science, music and culture event, as well as mine, so I was excited to see what a pop-up salon would be like. 

The Lush bar has three main areas: Shampoo Bar, Self-Styling and a No H2O Menu. The latter is for those who aren’t looking to get their hair washed, but want to get it styled with Lush’s ethical and sustainable knot wraps into braids or a high pony. The experience costs £7 and you even get to keep the wrap. 

Read more: The £6 Revolution Pro liquid blush I got in EVERY colour – and is a dupe for Charlotte Tilbury

Then there’s the shampoo bar, where I would be heading for a personalised consultation, followed by a self-styling station. My HairLab expert, Matilda, asked me some questions about my hair such as its condition, how my scalp feels and how I’d like my hair to look and feel before heading off to hand pick some products. 

Matilda picked out the Seanik shampoo bar and Montalbano, as well as the American Cream and Golden Cap naked conditioners. She talked me through all of the products and their properties, describing how each would set out to make my hair feel. I was able to feel and smell the products and instantly fell in love with Montalbano, because it smells of sherbert lemon.

The bar contains ingredients like green olives, Sicilian lemon oil, fresh lemon juice, fresh lemon peel and lemon slices, so it’s no wonder it has that zesty fragrance that smells sumer clean. The yellow shampoo bar – which needs no plastic packaging like traditional liquid shampoo – even features popping candy, which I just thought was so fun.

Matilda sat me at one of the luxury washing stations and talked me through how she was methodically washing my hair, and gave me a brief history on the patented product. Lush’s packaging-free, plastic-free and self-preserving shampoo bars were invented by co-founder Mo Constantine back in 1988. The small but mighty product has been flying off shelves and rescuing the hair of festival goers, campers and the eco-conscious ever since. In 2019, Lush sold 6.6 million shampoo bars saving over 19 million shampoo bottles from going to landfill.

The Montalbano bar felt ultra-cleansing, lathered more than I thought it would, and smelled even better on my hair than it did dry. After a thorough rinse, Matilda added some American Cream conditioner to add some moisture back into my locks, massaging my scalp and releasing the sweet strawberry and vanilla scent of the packaging-free conditioner. 

Following a second rinse, she kindly wrapped my wet hair in a compostable hair wrap, and showed me around the self-styling station. Here there’s everything you need to leave with your hair feeling salon fresh, including hairdryers, straighteners and fresh handmade styling products. And while styling your hair is down to you, there are specialists on hand to offer advice and get you achieving the locks you always longed for.

I added a spritz of Super Milk conditioning spray and sea spray to add texture as I dried my hair, with Matilda overseeing my technique from afar. When I’d finished styling my hair, I was able to take my shampoo bar home in a lovely tin that I can reuse over and over again when I buy a new  bar. That said, I won’t need to do so for a while, seeing as one bar can last between 60 and 80 washes!

The Lush festival treatments last around 15 to 30 minutes, and there is also a small shop where you can  purchase naked haircare, hairbrushes and various lifestyle items. While slots are fully booked for the whole weekend, there are still walk in appointments available between 8am and 10pm Friday through until Sunday. 

The Shampoo Bar treatment costs £12 per person, but includes your free shampoo bar, which usually retails at £9. 

My hair felt, and smelled incredible after my session, and while it was my first time trying a naked shampoo bar, it’s safe to say I’m well and truly a convert. My hair had never felt cleaner after using the Montalbano bar, and didn’t leave product build up behind like I feel with some shampoos. 

As a sustainable festival, Bluedot was the perfect choice for a Lush pop up Shampoo Bar, and I’d pay £12 for them to wash my hair and personalise my products any week of the month. Find the Lush Shampoo Bar over at Tranquillity Base at Bluedot Festival 2022.

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