Soak and Float: The Shampoo that Saved My Scalp

My hair, while it has gone through a few over-processed phases, has pretty much always been healthy and I've always had a lot of it. That was part of my problem. I had always, always had long hair and we tend to want things we don't have. One day when I was 18 I walked into a hair salon and told them to chop it all off. Short. Very, very short. It was really just a shade above being buzzed. That's when my problems started.

Within two weeks I knew I'd be growing out my hair. Short hair was just far too much maintenance for me. With long hair, especially when I wasn't colouring it, I could easily go six months without going a salon. You can't do that with short hair! As my hair was growing out I noticed I was having some scalp issues. Dry, flaking skin and occasional scabs. SEXY! When I went to my doctor she told me it was just my eczema, which I'd had my whole life, making its presence known on my scalp. There wasn't much to be done for it. It it was really bad they could give me medication but the medication sucked. Maybe my scalp had gotten used to being exposed to more air when I had short hair. Maybe it was reacting to the climate change as I had moved someplace with much colder, drier winters. Maybe it would have happened anyway but the long and the short of it is that I now had eczema on my scalp and it sucked.

I tried changing up shampoos. Some were better than others. Those shampoos whose whole advertisements are based on giving your shiny, great smelling hair? Horrible for me. I'm guessing it was the perfumes. I had better luck with some salon brands but they were only better and not great. I tried not blowing my hair dry and I tried blowing my hair dry. Things were usually a bit better if I didn't let my hair air dry but, again, not drastically so. I tried not washing my hair every day. That helped though that might just because I was getting my head wet and soapy less often. I know it certainly helped stretch out the cost of those salon shampoos. Unsurprisingly, you use a lot less shampoo and conditioner when you are only washing your hair twice a week.

But this past winter was bad. Really, really bad. Yes, the flakes were noticeable but the worst part was that my head was covered broken skin and it hurt. A lot. Imagine your scalp with a bunch of scabs on it and trying to brush your hair. And imagine getting shampoo on them. No fun at all.

Credit: I've had good luck with Lush's Dream Cream soothing minor eczema flares (I try to avoid the topical steroid creams as much as possible) so I went to their website to see what their shampoo options were. I found myself looking at Soak and Float. The description for Soak and Float said it was for sorting out itchy, irritated scalps and I figured I qualified. The next time I was near a Lush store I grabbed some. I figured I didn't have much to lose and it certainly cost less than a bottle of the salon shampoo I had been using.

The result? Almost instant improvement. I was, and continue to be, shocked by this. I'm not going to say that I never get minor flares and spots. I still do but it's such a huge improvement over it what it was. I can run my hands through my hair and there are no flakes. I can scratch my head and there are no flakes. I can wear dark colours again being self-conscious. It rocks.

The big test was when I went to see my hair stylist. He asked me what I was using on my hair because he could smell it. I thought he was going to say something negative but he actually said my hair looked good and my scalp looked great. More to the point, considering he had just coloured my hair, he was really impressed about how it hadn't stripped my hair colour. It got a thumbs up from him.

How did he notice I was using something different? It's simple. Soak and Float has a pretty strong smell. Lush's website is very honest about and they say it smells like tar and campfires and it totally does. It's because of the cade oil. It's strong and pungent and totally the shampoo stinks up the bathroom, at least at first. We don't notice it anymore but maybe we've just gotten used to it. That said, I only ever notice the smell when my hair is wet. When it's dry I don't notice it at all and my hair was wet when my stylist noticed it.

Soak and Float is a solid shampoo, which perplexed me a bit at first. How much should I use? I hit up Google and I found that rubbing the solid shampoo bar in three circles around your head is usually enough. I have long hair so I also run it down the length. It lathers up well and rinses out easily.

I bought one of Lush's metal storage containers and I do recommend that. When I was reading around the web everyone emphasized that keeping the bar dry between uses improves that bar's longevity. That seems to be the case for me. I've been using Soak and Float since early December and it's just about half gone. While I do only wash my hair about twice a week, that's still pretty good longevity for a shampoo.

I did try not using a conditioner with Soak and Float but that didn't work very well for me. My hair needs a conditioner. I am not using any of Lush's conditioners because I have a huge bottle of a salon brand here that I'm trying not to waste. I may try one in the future. I am being more careful about only conditioning the ends of my hair and avoiding my scalp.

So in sum, Soak and Floak totally rocks for me. No flakes, waaaaayyyy fewer eczema flares on my scalp and I am no longer self conscious when I run my hands through my hair in public. Total win.

This is not a compensated post. No one at Lush knows me. They did not send me the product for review. I bought Soak and Float with my own money and I fully intend to buy some for family members who have had the same scalp issues.