TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - The colorful bars look like soap and smell like soap, from coconut lime to a cologne scent appropriately named "boyfriend." But they're actually a new trend -- in shampoo.
When most people walk into Naples Soap Company in the Tyrone Square Mall, they have no idea what "hair bars" are, according to the manager.
Shampoo in a bar instead of bottle appeals to the eco-conscious consumer looking to cut down on packaging waste, as well as travelers looking to avoid the hassle of travel-sized bottles under the liquid ban.
So how does it work?
"The cocoa butter flecks that you see, that's what’s going to keep your hair hydrated and this is actually our conditioner bar," said store manager Samantha Murchake.
The bars are available at stores like Naples Soap Company and Lush, and can even be found on Amazon.
The shampoo costs between $9 and $13 a bar depending on the brand, and most boast up to 80 washes per bar.
But how does it actually do? I decided to put it to the test.
At Naples Soap Company I headed to a sink to see how it lathers up on my hands. Once I got it going, it felt just like shampoo.
But would it work just like it? I took the hair bars to the Wexford House salon in Tampa.
Stylist Sheila Lathos worked it into my hair, saying, "it does take a little bit to get going here."
She decided to add some more water, concluding, "it does get to a pretty nice consistency though."
So far so good on the shampoo. Now to try out the conditioner.
Shiela commented that the conditioner was a little toughter to get going. My hair didn't feel as slippery smooth as bottled conditioner after it was rinsed, but the moment of truth would be after we dried my locks.
So would my stylist give it a shot?
"I definitely would," she said, running her fingers through her finished product. "Just not in the salon because of the time consumption. I would use traveling or at home. It feels really soft, not all that different than any shampoo from a bottle.
She continued, "It does feel really great. I'm kind of shocked because I felt like we weren't getting really much out of the conditioner and then after combing it and blowing it dry I think it feels pretty good."