Let's Not Forget Bawang

Su Ping kept telling me about this brand when I was visiting her in Hong Kong. After all, when we bunk in with friends, we also are privy to their bathroom and personal care items.
She told me about this shampoo which I didn’t really pay attention to until I got into her bathroom and saw the black bottle. And she kept telling me about it.
The thing is, it had a funny name.
It’s called Ba Wang.
Endorsed by Jackie Chan though I can’t say I like Jackie much. His movies are a bit too formulaic and lacks finesse but that’s me. I know hordes of Chan fans.
“It has herbs and all that and helps your hair grow,” enthused Su Ping. She convinced me to try it.
I did. It smelled of ginseng and all the Chinese herbs I am used to eating, rather than shampooing my hair with. But it did clean well.
When I came back, I decided to buy a bottle and try it out. I was getting sick and tired of Pantene ProB and its sickly sweet fragrance.
So this is what I bought. It wasn’t cheap at RM26.90 for 400 ml. It’s more expensive than any of the commercial shampoos in the market.

Bawang shampoo - from cheap to chic
Bawang shampoo - from cheap to chic

Mr Ba Wang isn’t called Ba Wang at all. Mr Chen is the founder of this China-made shampoo and he is very rich indeed. When his shampoo business IPO-ed in China, he became super rich with his wife. That’s the China rags-to-riches story or you could call it clever marketing.
He started in 1989 with a shampoo that was just like any other shampoo (except that it has Chinese herbs) and selling for just a few yuan. But in China, everything is mass. You don’t sell 1 shampoo, you sell millions. Or billions. Mr Chen was smart enough to get Jackie Chan to endorse his products for a cool fee. And barring me, everyone loves a hero like Jackie.
Anyway, does the shampoo work? It supposedly contains ginseng, notoginseng and gingko. It’s supposed to nourish hair.
The bottle is not very fashionable, it’s almost too shameful to show! It’s old-fashioned and it’s really China packaging that peeves.
A little dollop the size of a teaspoon is good enough to wash a whole head of shoulder-length hair like mine. It foams well but I don’t want to know – all this foaming is due to something which I’d rather NOT know about. Anyway, foam doesn’t a clean head make. But I do feel my scalp is cleaner and my hair is smoother and softer, like the fur on the belly of my fat tabby.
I don’t mind the herbal fragrance. It reminds me of a Chinese medicine shop!
Here’s something else: I read that not washing your hair will, over time, result in more glossy hair. I can’t say I can live with that but you can skip shampooing daily. Washing your hair every other day is better than daily shampooing. After sometime, your scalp gets used to it and sebum production normalizes and your hair is healthier than before. I used to wash my hair every day so now I am trying to wash it just every other day to see if this tip really works!

6 thoughts on “Let's Not Forget Bawang”

    • Thanks so much! Oh dear. This is terrible. I want to give China made products the benefit of the doubt but then again, look what unscrupulous things they do. I think I best stick to my Paul Penders shampoo. Thanks goupama for the heads-up. I am going to email my friend in HK now and tell her to stop using the shampoo.

  1. hope you are no longer using it, as this is a bad product that the factory that almost closed down make a full with historical background story to cheat the market… brilliant CHINA!

    • Hi Hoyoyi: Yeah, Chinese products are scary. They’re so unscrupulous and such con-men! Never buying BAWANG shampoo ever again.

  2. I’ve been using Bawang for almost 4months the black color shampoo. Yeah,it really work for me. My bald hair almost gone. Before I used yun nam product but it sucks!!! I’m so happy with my Bawang…

    • Hi Mary: Thanks for your comments. I stopped using Bawang for a long time already, no thanks to the chemical scare. I am now using a natural, chemical-free shampoo and conditioner from the Down To Earth range which supposedly will strengthen my hair and prevent hair fall. It’s still early days so I cannot vouch if the shampoo is doing its job but these days I prefer products which don’t have SLS or added chemicals.


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