Using Seaweed and Botanicals for Happier Hair and Skin

Frustrated by conventional shampoos? Ditch the chemicals and try natural seaweed and botanicals instead! Your hair will thank you. These Maine-made body care products contain seaweed and herbs to nourish your hair.
Frustrated by conventional shampoos? Ditch the chemicals and try natural seaweed and botanicals instead! Your hair will thank you.

I’ve been on a long and sometimes painful odyssey to healthy, happy hair. I’ve tried a range of shampoos from the cheapest conventional options, to slightly more pricey concoctions, to bottles with varying percentages of “natural” ingredients.

The conventional shampoos dry out my hair, increase my dependency on shampoo (the more you use, the more you need to use), and dull my hair’s natural colour. And to make matters worse, they’re full of toxic chemicals that are either entering my skin or flowing into the water supply (or both!)

On the other hand, I’ve had very mixed results with the natural shampoos. Some of them have mysteriously stopped working after a few months. Others are semi-natural but still contain ingredients I’m not happy with.

With my hair product frustrations, I was eager to try a completely different approach when Claire of Dulse & Rugosa told me about the shampoo bars that her family makes on a small island off the coast of Maine.

I’ve never tried using a shampoo bar, so that’s the first thing that intrigued me, but I was also curious to see how seaweed, one of the main ingredients in the bar, would benefit my hair. Rich in minerals, seaweed nourishes and strengthens your hair while also stimulating your scalp–which promotes hair growth and relieves itching.

The mother-daughter team behind Dulse & Rugosa wild harvest and grow all of the botanicals and seaweeds for their skincare products. Besides shampoo bars, they also craft lotions, scrubs, perfumes, healing balms, and more. I tried three of their products, although I have my eye on several others!

Here’s my mini-review of each item I tried:

I love that this seaweed shampoo bar is non-drying and doesn't strip my hair of its natural oils.

Sweet Melissa Shampoo Bar

I can’t stand a shower crowded with bottles, so I love the compact shape of this simple bar! It feels a bit grainy to the touch and does smell faintly of seaweed…but that’s actually a plus in my book! Your hair will not smell like seaweed after it dries, though. It will just smell clean!

I love that this shampoo bar is non-drying and doesn’t strip my hair of its natural oils. Conventional shampoos contain detergents which are harsh on hair and make conditioner an absolute necessity. With the seaweed shampoo bar, I’m able to use conditioner alternatives (see below) that cost just pennies per use.

Dulse & Rugosa shampoo bars are small but last a long time. Wet the bar under the water, then rub it with your hands to release a creamy, faint lather. You won’t get lots of suds like you’re used to with conventional shampoo because these bars are free of sodium laurel sulfate, the detergent that produces foam (and dries out your hair!)

If you’re new to natural shampoo, you might experience an adjustment phase when you first use the seaweed shampoo bar. You might not like the texture of your hair at first, but after a few weeks your hair will likely calm down, adjust, and become much happier than it was before. I was already using a pretty natural shampoo when I tried the seaweed bar, so my hair didn’t really need to adjust much.

Dulse and Rugosa's herbal vinegar will help to detangle your hair, balance its pH levels, and make your hair glossy.

Herbal Vinegar

This vinegar hair rinse is infused with botanicals like rose petals, chamomile, bergamot, and more. It smells amazing! Previously, I’ve used apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse, but plain vinegar doesn’t have the fancy, indulgent feel that this blend does. Dulse & Rugosa’s herbal vinegar will help to detangle your hair, balance its pH levels, and make your hair glossy. In fact, the red undertones in my brown hair are much more noticeable when I use the vinegar rinse. I love it!

Dulse & Rugosa sells a spray bottle option, but I just pour a few splashes of vinegar in a cup or mug and dilute with water. I like to dip the ends of my hair into the vinegar rinse first, then pour the rest over my head, let it sit for a minute, and finally rinse thoroughly. I use the vinegar every second or third shower.

This herbal-infused hair oil nourishes, conditions, and shines your hair!

Hair Oil

This might just be my favourite product from Dulse & Rugosa so far! The hair oil comes in a glass tincture bottle with a dropper dispenser, so it’s easy to control the amount you use. And a little goes a long way! You can use the oil in a variety of ways, but I’ll tell you what works for me. After showering, I comb my hair and then put a few drops of the oil onto my palm. I rub my hands together to spread the oil a bit and then rub my hands through the ends of my hair. Then I comb my hair again to help distribute the oil. The hair ends are what need the oil the most, though, since it’s hard for the natural oils in your scalp to work their way down the hair shaft, even with proper brushing.

Dulse & Rugosa’s hair oil not oil moisturizes your hair, but also gives it extra shine and helps to tame frizz. You can rub a little on your hands and then slide your hands over dry hair to help tame flyaways. You can even put this oil on your face as a moisturizer, and rub a drop on your lips before bed to help nourish and repair your skin while you sleep. It’s very versatile, and because you only need a few drops at a time it will last you a while!

If you’re not interested in hair care, they offer many other products as well such as Rose Petal Creme for the face, Sea Salt Scrubs, and much more!

I’m excited to have Dulse & Rugosa as a source for natural, hand-made hair and skin care. I love everything about this small business, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spread the word!

This post is sponsored by Dulse & Rugosa, and all opinions are enthusiastically mine.

35 Comments

    1. Hi Sheri, It’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. You will love shampoo bars. I originally got into seaweed because I had such an itchy scalp and nothing worked and now trying to reduce my plastic consumption shampoo bars are great. And I’m so happy with my hair (and scalp).

  1. The sweet Melissa shampoo bar for fine hair is something I’d love to try. I’ve tried other shampoo bars before with lackluster results, so maybe this one would be better.

    1. Hi Lara,
      It’s Claire from dulse & Rugosa. The Sweet Melissa shampoo bars has a blend of oils that moisturizes but isn’t too heavy. Plus Maine sugar kelp pumps up the protein which is what your hair craves.

    1. Hi Laura, It’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa, even thought our shampoo bars cost a bit more they are actually very economical because one bar last 2 months or longer. And we use only wholesome ingredients, many harvested on our Maine island farm.

    1. I really like the sound of the face oil especially. I have heard so much good about oil cleansing and I’d love to give it a try!

      1. Hi Jamie, It’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. Our Sweet Island Face Oil is one of my favorite products. It’s such a nice soothing night time routine and leaves my skin feeling lovely and not dry.

  2. I would love to try the Hot Island Bath Tea! 12 hour work days, 6 days a week are rough! Want to use that 7th day in the tub! Haha

    1. Hi Ashley, It’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. If you are lucky enough to have a bath tub and the time for relaxing baths we make some lovely products. we originally started making bath goodies because we both love baths so much- but had to expand because so many don’t have tubs or time.

  3. I think it’s so cool that a mom and daughter went into this business together. They look so sweet! I personally find the vinegar rinse the most fascinating. I do regular vinegar rinses, but I like the idea of having it infused with something extra that benefits my hair. Also, seaweed in general is pretty awesome.

    1. Hi EriChanHime, It’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. Our vinegar rinse is lovely, filled with Maine island grown botanicals and seaweed is so good for you. inside and out. If you want to try adding seaweed to your diet many companies make a seaweed sprinkle. It’s easy to use on anything- pasta, potatoes and popcorn. Plus seaweed is great with chocolate, I have a brownie and cake recipe on my blog.

    1. Hi Betty, It’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. It’s fun being a mother/daughter business but a bit weird being bossed around from your daughter. πŸ™‚

  4. I would love to try the Sweet Melissa shampoo bar and the herbal vinegar! They sound wonderful! The other products look really neat too!

    1. Hi Neva, It’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. When I switched to natural hair care products I was a bit tentative because I was a former hair product junkie. My hair dresser would see me coming and $$$ would light up in his eyes! But I am so much happier with my hair and instead of shampooing every day can easily go every 2 or 3. The change was great for me.

  5. The shampoo bars and vinegar rinse sound fun! I’m always looking for ways to declutter the shower, and this seems like a good (plastic free!) family option.

    1. Hi Jenna Beth, It’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. I wrote a blog in early Jan with easy tips to reduce your plastic and switching your personal care items is an easy one. Our shampoo bars last 2 months and there is very little shower clutter.

  6. Vanity draws me to the cellulite scrub πŸ™‚ And the lip scrub. I am one of the unlucky people who had that weird reaction to EOS lip balm. It’s been over 2 years since I used it but still suffer the effects.

  7. I would definitely try the shampoo bat and vinegar rinse. But, the smelling salts are so unique – I’d probably need to throw them in my shopping cart, too. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Julie- it’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. Our smelling salts are super fun and make great gifts. I keep a bottle of our Sinus Relief right in my tissue box during cold season and it helps clear me out.

  8. I am on a journey to find more natural products for all aspects of my life. I would be so excited to try any/all of these products!

    1. Hi J Brett- It’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. The natural product journey is a great path and you actually can save money. If your product doesn’t contain water you know a little goes a long way. It’s one of the big adjustment people need to make especially with body lotions. And a product that lasts longer means less trash/waste for the planet.

  9. I would like to try any of the face products but mostly the rose petal creme. Products look yummy & would enjoy trying them out. Thanks for the giveaway!! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Michelle, it’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. Our Rose Petal Creme is amazing. It has a base of rose petal infused witch hazel and Dulse seaweed which means it’s light but nourishing.

  10. I have long curly/wavy hair that tends to frizz and dry, while browsing it seems the Lovely Rita Shampoo bar would be an excellent choice for me.

    1. Hi Brandy- It’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. Our Lovely Rita bar is perfect for your hair type. We have quite a few blog on our website about shampoo bars and natural hair.

  11. I’m always on the lookout for natural and nourishing options in my life, and would love to give the Rose Petal Creme a try. Thank you for this giveaway!

    1. Hi Karen, It’s Claire from Dulse & Rugosa. Our Rose Petal Creme is amazing. It starts with a base of rose petal infused witch hazel and Dulse seaweed. It’s light and nourishing.

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