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Reviewed and rejected: Snake Oil Dandruff Scalp Treatment Bar by Lush

Is a Solution for:
Dry or Brittle Hair
May 24, 2009 Reviewed by admin 2 Comments
In general, I am a fan of the Lush products. I have tried a great variety and as with all product lines, I find that some work well for me and others do not. But I am always willing to give Lush products a try with an open mind because the company is committed to the use of natural ingredients, it makes an effort to skip the stuff that is bad for you, the products are "fresh" and are also generally good value. I also like Lush's philosophy of no animal testing (and they won't buy ingredients from other companies that do), and that they don't take themselves too seriously. That being said, the most recent Lush product I tried was a complete bust for me.

The Lush Snake Oil Scalp Treatment Bar seems to have a duel purpose... combat flaky scalp/dandruff and terrify anyone who snoops through your bathroom drawers and closets. Do NOT make the same mistake that I did and buy this product thinking the name is a clever marketing ploy to make a benign product sound more interesting. I can only think that Snake Oil Scalp Treatment was created as some kind of in-house prank gone terribly wrong. The only way this product could have been made to be less appealing to me is if Lush had managed to package an actual snake in the box and trained it to jump out on command.

The scent is quite unpleasant which surprises me based on the ingredients. I would have thought the scent would be somewhere between (at worst) non-existent and (at best) delicious, and I couldn't have been more wrong. The scent is really strong, and not in a good way. The texture is extremely greasy, which shouldn't have surprised me based on the ingredients, but I expected it to fall more into the "hair/scalp moisturizer" category, not the "thick axle grease" category. It took two full doses of shampoo to get the greasies out after I used the treatment bar, which seems counter-intuitive to a "conditioning" treatment for the scalp and hair. Perhaps if someone has an extremely dry or sunburned scalp (and this were the only cause of the flakes) this would work, but for "normal" or oily hair/scalp, this is simply too heavy. Maybe the scent and texture could be overlooked if it were absolutely THE MOST effective product ever against dry scalp or dandruff, but it didn't work for me at all. That in itself was a surprise because it does contain an effective anti-dandruff ingredient...tea tree oil, albeit in a small percentage. The Snake Oil did nothing for the slight case of itchy scalp I can get during the heat of the summer, the result of wearing sun-protecting hats for hours and hours on the weekends.

The instructions call for "melting" a small amount of the soap bar by warming it with your hands, rubbing it into your scalp, and leaving it on the scalp to "work" for 20 minutes or longer.  I am told some people even leave it in OVERNIGHT!. Are you kidding? Between the aroma and the texture, I would fear that anyone who accidentally drifted off to sleep with this on their hair might awaken to find their pillows in complete decay.

Full disclosure....I used this product for only 10 days....which for me is three shampoo's... instead of my normal 30-day trial period but I did do my best to find the proper "dosing". I used  large and small amounts, and I tried leaving it on for short periods of time and longer periods of time.... it simply did not work for me. Sorry Lush..... maybe the next product I test will be a winner!

Snake Oil Scalp Treatment Ingredients:
Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Alkanett Extract (Alkanna tinctoria), Peppermint Oil, (Lavandula hybrida), Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree Oil) , Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Fragrance.
  • July 15, 2009

    by melatonineffects

    for dandruff i just you Ketoconazole Nizoral or some Zinc based shampoo. it works most of the time.

  • July 15, 2009

    by Kate

    Hi Melatonineeffect,

    Thanks for the suggestions... I have actually tried both and while those additives did work, the shampoo base itself contained sulfates which I am now avoiding. I have found a wonderful Tea Tree Oil shampoo and matching conditioner from Pure & Natural, and they work fantastically, and without sulfates or parabens. They are some of the best "all round" shampoo and conditioners, and are anti-dandruff as well! If you are interested, you can read the details in the review by keying in "pure and natural shampoo" into the TIA "search" box.....

    much appreciated.

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