Sunday, May 31, 2015

Homemade Hair Care Products

I've blogged previously about natural hair care, and wanted to share the latest updates to the hair products I make and use. My array of homemade hair products includes shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, styling paste, and dry shampoo. These products work well, they are inexpensive, and they are much healthier than conventional hair care products.  

Baking Soda Shampoo

I've been washing my hair with baking soda for nearly 4 years now.  This super simple shampoo works effectively to cleanse my hair, and it is easy to tailor to the dryness level of my hair, which varies somewhat throughout the year.

How to make Baking Soda Shampoo:
  • Thoroughly clean out an old shampoo bottle (or use one like this).
  • For each 8 ounces (one cup) of water, add 1/2 Tb baking soda (for normal or dry hair) OR 1 Tb baking soda (for oily hair). A funnel is very handy for preventing a mess if your bottle has a small opening.  
  • Add water and fill to the top the bottle. Put the lid on and shake well.  
How to use Baking Soda Shampoo:
  1. Give the shampoo bottle a quick shake before each use.
  2. Wet your hair.  Apply the Baking Soda Shampoo to your scalp, roots, and hair (only as far down as hair may be oily).  This shampoo is very watery, so I find it works best to just run the shampoo bottle all along the roots on the top and back of my head, which lets a trickle of the solution out.  
  3. Use your fingertips to scrub your scalp.
  4. OPTIONAL: Allow the shampoo to stay on your hair for a few minutes for extra cleansing action.
  5. Thoroughly rinse your hair.
If you want more information about how to use Baking Soda Shampoo, including what to expect during the transition period and more tips on how to tailor the shampoo for different hair types, I've blogged about that here.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Conditioner

For the first few years I was using homemade shampoo and conditioner, I used an apple cider vinegar-based conditioner. However, when we moved to our new house last year, I found that the water supply at our new house made my hair more dry.  So now I have modified the recipe to include a small amount of raw honey, which makes this conditioner more moisturizing for my hair.

 How to make Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Conditioner:
  • Thoroughly clean out an old conditioner bottle (or use one like this).
  • Using a funnel, for each 8 ounces (one cup) of water, add:
  • Add WARM water and fill to the top of the bottle. Using warm water allows the honey to dissolve more quickly into the mixture. Put the lid on and shake well.  If your raw honey was especially thick/crystallized, you may need to let this mixture sit for a little while, shaking periodically, until the honey is fully dissolved. 
How to use Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Conditioner:
  1. Give the conditioner bottle a quick shake before each use.
  2. After washing your hair with Baking Soda Shampoo, apply the Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Conditioner to the scalp, roots, and hair.  
  3. Massage the mixture into your hair and scalp. Let the conditioner stay on for a few minutes. 
  4. Thoroughly rinse your hair.  Then rinse it some more. Sometimes, the vinegar solution will grow some tiny SCOBY strands (these are like what is used to make kombucha), so you need to rinse your hair very well to make sure no little bits get left behind. 

Aloe and Sugar Hairspray

I've tried several different homemade hairspray recipes, and this one is my favorite. The recipe includes sugar, aloe, essential oils, and a small amount of alcohol (which helps the hairspray dry much quicker).  Rather than using aloe juice called for in the recipe, I use the natural aloe vera gel which we already keep in our home for treating itchy bug bites and sunburns.

I typically use this Aloe and Sugar Hairspray by spraying a small amount onto my hands and then scrunching it into my hair.  This hairspray works well for me, although if I apply too much it can give my hair a bit of that crunchy feel (just as most hairsprays can). I admit, though, that on days when I want to look especially polished, I still apply a last spray with Loreal Elnett Hairspray.  I have yet to find a good replacement for that type of finishing spray, which holds every hair very well since it is an aerosol and comes out in a very fine mist. That particular hairspray leaves my hair feeling soft and flexible while still holding well. But for everyday use, I stick with the Aloe and Sugar Hairspray. 

You can see the recipe and instructions for making Aloe and Sugar Hairspray here.

Hair Styling Paste

I discovered years ago that a small amount of my homemade hard lotion works fantastically as a hair
styling paste for short hair. When I have short hair, this Hair Styling Paste gives my hair a bit more texture and definition, without being sticky or stiff.

How to Make Hair Styling Paste:
[NOTE: This recipe is the same as my hard lotion recipe. This is such a versatile product!]

  • One part unrefined coconut oil
  • One part shea butter (I buy this in bulk at my natural foods co-op)
  • One part beeswax (if you have any local honey producers, you can probably get the best price by buying this directly from the beekeepers)
  • Optional: small amount of essential oil such as lavender or jasmine 
  • NOTE: you can make the end product harder by adding more beeswax or softer by adding more coconut oil. 
  1. Using small warmer crock pot or double boiler over low heat, melt the beeswax
  2. Add the shea butter and allow to melt. 
  3. Add the coconut oil and allow to melt.  
  4. Stir well to combine. If desired, add essential oils and stir a bit more.
  5. Pour the melted ingredients into plastic containers or mini-muffin tins. (This same recipe can be used for lip balm, so you could also pour it directly into lip-balm tubes.) 
  6. Work quickly to clean up the pot and spoons while they are still warm.  I find the best plan is to wipe them with a clean cloth or paper towel immediately.  If you leave them to cool, the beeswax will be very hard to clean off!
  7. Allow the Hair Styling Paste to harden in the fridge, and then remove from the containers.  I like to make enough to last for many months, so I just store the extra in the fridge until I'm ready to use it. 
How to Use Hair Styling Paste:
  1. To apply the Hair Styling Paste, rub a little onto your fingertips. Only a very small amount is needed for hairstyling.
  2. Apply the paste by "piecing out" clumps of hair or scrunching it into the ends of the hair.  Do NOT apply this paste at the roots of the hair, as that can lead to a greasy look. 
  3. I find this paste to be most useful for styling short hair. 

Dry Shampoo

I typically wash my hair once every two days, and my hair does not look oily on the second day. Sometimes, though, I don't have time to wash my hair on the 3rd day, and to combat oil on those days I use dry shampoo made from of cocoa powder and arrowroot (the link recommends using cornstarch, but I use arrowroot in mine). I use an old makeup brush to apply this dry shampoo and it works amazingly well.



Do you make any homemade hair products? Which are your favorites?

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1 comment:

Mrs Window said...

Dry shampoos haven't made sense to me as a no-pooer. After stopping shampoo use several years ago, I stopped getting oily hair. It always looks good, even though I typically wash with plain water most often, alternating with a variety of non-poo washes, and run my hands over the outer frizzes with a drop of jojoba if needed.

Oil, not a problem. Stink, however? um, well, my hair may sort of smell bad sometimes. So I tried various hygienic practices, and this is my best one: massaging rosemary oil or lavender or sage or another EO into my scalp (when dry). If I do that once or twice a week, all is well. It's a nice way to wake up anyway.

Bonus: i also find deodorants are unnecessary if i pre-empt odor with an a.m. and p.m. essential-oil pit massage. Frequently this holds true even if i go hiking or work in the yard.