Clean Head on the Cheap

I’m not too great at keeping New Year’s resolutions. But when a funky idea hits me – and it will save me money – I’m in. On January 1, 2007, I noticed the large pile of shampoos collected from hotels and motels across this great country of ours. And I decided to see if, using them, I could make it a whole year without buying shampoo.

Well, let me tell you, I did. And I’m still going strong.

A few observations:

[1] Among large scale hotels, Hyatt Place has the best shampoo . My opinion might be skewed by the fact that I think this is the coolest chain (when you must do a chain) hotel in the world, hands down, but still…

[2] The motels that pass out the little squeezable tubes where you can barely scrunch out enough for one wash. Cheap, man. Cheap.

[3] Niwot Inn wins best shampoo among independent / boutique establishments.

[4] I have discovered a moral dilemma: is it inappropriate manipulation to work the system in order to get multiple shampoo bottles? Once I embarked on this challenge, I found this constant urge to gather as much shampoo as possible. Amazing the many forms greed can take.

Still, my challenge continues. How long, I do not know. If you wish to send me your samples, feel free.

10 Replies to “Clean Head on the Cheap”

  1. I also find myself stockpiling shampoo at hotels by hiding the bottles each day so I can get a new one the next day. Is that considered stealing?

  2. How funny I thought I was the only one that did this sort of thing! I still have Aveda shampoo and soap from my New York trip.
    I will always put the shampoo in my cosmetic bag when I leave for the day and then when I return in the evening a “new” bottle of shampoo is waiting for me on the counter!
    Its great consolation to know I am not the only one who works the system.
    I do draw the line on hotel towels ~ but I am aware of a few friends that stock up on monogrammed hotel towels.

  3. I think if you grab a handful of bottles off the maid’s cart, that’s probably stealing, but other than that…

    Tamra, Aveda? Are you serious? What hotel uses Aveda? Miska might join in my challenge if I snagged Aveda for her to use.

  4. I know I love Aveda, too. Give me your address and I can mail you some. I really have that many! (lol)
    I will get back to you with hotel name ~ can’t remember at the moment!
    Take Care and wash your Hair!!!

  5. I wish I had kept the hotel-brand shampoos from my trip to Cambodia back in August. They would have made a fun novelty for your collection… but honestly, there’s a reason we didn’t use them. You probably wouldnt have wanted to either. Here’s a tip… stick to US-made shampoos… or at least those produced in non-third-world countries.

    Good luck.

  6. I have found that during the couple stays my job has allowed me to stay at the Hilton, I have been gifted with some fabulous hair products.
    Also, the Grove Park Inn in NC has, by far, the best product I have ever used – hands down. They sell the stuff in their spa and it’s ridiculously expensive. I still have about half of my small bottle left.
    But this past year I decided to work through all of my samples before purchasing new items. It didn’t last me a year, but definitely cleared up some drawer space.

  7. Not to detract from your research project, but the amount of hair involved deserves consideration in the magnitude of the accomplishment. Still, your feedback about the relative quality of shampoo supplied is valuable information. I could see a nice travel guide or even a big coffee table book with glossy close-up shots of the bottles or (tsk, tsk) tubes of shampoo photographed on elegant studio backdrops.

  8. When Tom and I were in Ravello Italy the shampoo was Givenchy! I still have it and that was 4 years ago! I can barely bring myself to use it!
    The Four Seasons Aviara in San Diego is all natural pure vegetable soaps and shampoos….the grapefruit is my favorite:) I made out with several bars of their soap because it works great on Danes allergy prone skin:)

  9. Shane Claiborne last week called us “freegans”… We eat (or use) whatever is free… consider your shampoo “shopping” being in solidarity with the poor…. 😉

  10. Indeed, freegans is a good thing. We have freecycle here in Charlottesville – very cool. Just got rid of some stuff tonight in about an hour that would have just gone to the recycle bin and dump.

    Alan, cracking on my thinning hair. Cold, man. Cold.

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