Setting the bar

Lush has been making this cult product for over 30 years

Lush has now sold over 57.6m shampoo bars globally, saving the use of 167.5 million plastic bottles.

With awareness of climate change at an all time high, many of us have been ditching the bottle in favour of naked products. Reducing packaging is something Lush has been working on for many, many years. In fact, solid shampoo bars were invented by Mo Constantine (Lush Co-founder) and Stan Krysztal (cosmetic chemist) in 1987, for Cosmetics to Go, the former mail order company owned by the founders of Lush. 

Discover the whole story behind the shampoo bar invention below.

“In Lush we work in an industry where the packaging costs the customer more than the product. Now, the customer needs to worry about how to recycle something they didn’t want to buy in the first place. This seems like a raw deal to us. If we can cut out all the plastic packaging, we can give our customers better value for money”

Mark Constantine OBE, Lush Co-founder and Managing Director


The Invention of the Shampoo Bar

One of Cosmetic to Go’s (the former mail order company owned by the founders of Lush) proudest moments was the birth of the Shampoo Bar. A brand-new invention that would revolutionise hair washing all over the country, produce beautiful barnets and save the planet too!

The humble shampoo bar has an interesting invention story, which began after Stan showed Mo a new type of soap that he was working on. He had nicknamed it his “worm soap”, so called because he was playing around with wormy looking synthetic detergent noodles. He had the idea of using hand presses to squeeze the noodles into shape. Mo joined him in his experiments, but suggested he swap out the synthetic noodles for some surfactant needles.

With the noodles to needles switch in place, the perfectly pressed discs looked great. Sadly they discovered during testing that they had the wrong consistency of lather for soap. He and Mo were disappointed and puzzled over what to do, until Mark had a look and pointed out that what they had created was not soap at all. They had actually unknowingly invented a brand new product. What they had come up with was a solid shampoo bar. Such is the nature of Mother Invention. She likes to make you think you are heading in one direction and then throws you a curveball.

Each bar was a very hardworking shampoo that acted as a perfect base for all the lovely ingredients that they wanted to deliver gently to the hair and scalp. Once Mo and Stan realised what they had created, the possibilities were limitless.

An Inventor is Born

Although many of the Cosmetics to Go team enjoyed the limelight, Mo preferred operating quietly behind the scenes. She could be found in her shed or in the lab working on ideas that were to become standout products for the company.

During her work with Stan, especially on the development of the soaps and shampoo bars, Mo had a lot of breakthroughs through her experiments. Her method was to start with a simple idea and spend time working with ingredients until she would emerge blinking into the sunlight holding something quite wonderful in her hand.

Cosmetics to Go applied for and won a patent to protect the invention of shampoo bars. There was much celebration when the patent was granted to Stan and Mo.

This official recognition and Mo’s growing list of unique products inspired her to proudly write Inventor as her occupation when her new passport arrived.

Discover Lush’s complete range of shampoo bars here

Discover Lush’s current best selling naked product here. 

Audio player image