26 August 2014

Snake Oil Scalp Treatment Bar

When I initially purchased this product, I hadn't carried out any research beforehand, so I didn't have a clue about what it was supposed to do or whether or not it was suited to my needs. At the time, all that mattered to me was being able to place an order through the Australian Lush website and pick up some rare items that I couldn't get in the UK. 

While I was waiting (rather impatiently, I may add) for my package to arrive, I had a look into the product's purpose, and realised that it couldn't really offer me anything that I needed in a cosmetic. However, I often find that Lush products can work in multiple ways, so I was hoping this unique item would do the same.

Comprised of tea tree, lavender and peppermint oil, Snake Oil Scalp Treatment is a solid block of carefully selected oils and butters; brought together to work with the scalp and eradicate itchiness and dandruff. This block also contains a combination of shea and cocoa butter, which not only help it to stay solid at room temperature, but also work at softening your head. 
Fortunately, I don't suffer from a dried scalp at all, which is quite surprising given how dry the rest of my skin can get. For this reason, I really didn't know how my scalp or hair would react to this. When it arrived, I was immediately taken back by its scent - this is definitely not a product that holds back, and it's right at the top of my list for 'worst smelling Lush product ever'. Yes, it really is that bad! 

Yet despite it's terrible odour, I find it very difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes this smell so unappealing. You can definitely pick out the peppermint, tea tree and lavender, yet it has a potency that far outstretches all three of these ingredients. My flatmate describes it's scent as being in line with what she can imagine actual poisonous snake venom to smell like. And for once, I wouldn't argue with her sentiment. 

Much like Lush's massage bars, this works by melting it between your hands and building a layer of 'grease' to use on your scalp. I would recommend that you rub this between your fingers, rather than your palms, as it makes it easier to apply. Once you have the desired amount, massage this into your scalp, using as much or as little as you need. I found that I used the bar a total of four times to get enough oil to cover my whole scalp. You then leave it on for 20 minutes to 'work it's magic'.
There were two issues I found when it came to using my treatment bar; Firstly, the bar is extremely greasy and reacts immediately upon contact with your body heat. Therefore, it's vital that you handle it as little as possible. The first time I took this out of the packet to inspect it, my hands ended up covered in grease which was then wasted when I washed my hands afterwards. Secondly, I found that once I had the oil on my fingers, it was a little tricky applying it directly onto my scalp. The first few times I tried this out, I probably had as much product on my hair as I did on my head. 

For the latter reason, I found that after I had washed this product out and used my regular shampoo afterwards, I found that my hair felt rather dry and lifeless; nowhere near the quality I'm used to attaining from my solid shampoo bar. This roughness and almost 'brittle' condition of my hair persisted for a few days, even after I washed and conditioned my hair for the few successive days after initial use. 

Snake Oil Scalp Treatment is supposed to kill off the offending microbes that cause and encourage dandruff, while conditioning the scalp. And while I've heard wonderful success stories from those who have been 'cured' by this solid bar, it's clearly not one that my head wants or needs. 

It is for this reason that I believe I've suffered such a negative experience with this product. I suppose it's a little like buying a car when you don't know how to drive - it's pointless. It's definitely not a product I would buy again, but as I'm in no need for a dandruff eradicator as it is, I consider this to be a good thing. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Cocoa Butter (Theobrama cacao), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Alkanet Extract (Alkanna tinctoria), Peppermint Oil (Mentha piperita), Lavender Oil (Lavandula augustifolia), Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £5.50 each.


  1. Can I buy this product still in Lush UK?

  2. It's recently been added back to the Kitchen area of the Lush website :)