homemade shampoo

Posted on May 15th, 2013 by mountain girl  |  12 Comments »

Ever since we moved west to the mountains, I’ve struggled with my hair.  It used to be bouncy and curly, but here it’s either flat, dry, and static, or, with conditioner, it’s flat, greasy, and heavy.  I think it’s due to a combination of the dry air and the type of very hard water we have.

This year I decided to try the no poo method.  The reasoning behind “no poo” goes something like this: shampoo has chemicals and detergents in it that strip the natural oils from your hair, with other unhealthy side effects.  To compensate, your hair overproduces oils to try to battle the stripping effect.  When you quit using it and use things like baking soda, vinegar, or even just water, your hair has a chance to re-balance its own oils.  But first, there is an extremely greasy time period (of weeks or months) where your hair is still way overproducing oils.

I started in January, using baking soda to wash it, and apple cider vinegar to condition.  It was super greasy–which I was okay with, since I knew it would eventually balance out.  The baking soda also broke off a lot of hair every time I used it, which I was not okay with.  After a month I decided to make my own shampoo.

I tried a few recipes.  One popular homemade shampoo uses liquid castile soap and coconut milk.  Castile (like Dr. Bronner’s) has always made made my hair feel sticky and coated.  I gave it another few tries with coconut milk, and sure enough, sticky and coated.  I tried coconut milk alone, and it didn’t clean well enough and seemed greasy.  Then I heard of someone using bentonite clay (which I keep on hand) so I tried that.  It seemed to clean well, but didn’t leave my hair very soft.

Through trial and error, I eventually came up with my own recipe.  I’ve been using it for about 3 months, and I really like it.  My hair isn’t as full and buoyant as it was in the humid Midwest or on the East Coast, but it’s better than it was out here with regular shampoo.  And I like it much better than the baking soda/no poo method.

I only wash it every couple of days, and it seems to be regulating itself well.  Sometimes I rinse a little apple cider vinegar into it afterwards, and sometimes I treat it to a store-bought natural conditioner.  I also use it on Zia and Cash, and I’ve noticed their hair looks more shiny and healthy than before.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup water

3 tablespoons coconut milk (I use homemade)

3 tablespoons bentonite clay

3 drops aloe vera gel

3 drops vitamin e oil

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until combined (the bentonite generates a lot of heat, so don’t blend too long).  It should be a smooth, pudding-like consistency.  Spoon into a container and store in the fridge–it will keep a week or more.

What homemade or natural products do you like to use on your hair?

12 Responses to “homemade shampoo”

  1. Lyssa says on :

    Where do you find bentonite powder/clay?

  2. mountain girl says on :

    You can find it in health food stores like Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage, or online at Amazon and Vitacost.com.

  3. Sofia's Ideas says on :

    Nice! You made your own recipe. How cool are you?!?!

    I also tried no-poo and hated it. I now use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile diluted, then condition with their citrus hair rinse. I do it every 3 days or so and it works for me. It did take some getting used to, but I’ve been doing this for several years now and still like it. I also use a tiny amount of jojoba oil as needed, because I live in south florida.

  4. mountain girl says on :

    I’ve never tried their citrus hair rinse, but I just made a citrus hairspray that I’m really loving. Do you use the jojoba oil as a conditioner?

  5. Poco Mountain Girl » Blog Archive » hair care sans shampoo says on :

    […] my last hair post, I’ve changed my hair care regime again.  You might remember that coconut-clay recipe I came up with to help me adjust to going shampoo-free.  That recipe was great for the […]

  6. Tammy says on :

    Oooooh citrus hairspray? care to share?

  7. mountain girl says on :

    Tammy,
    Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.diynatural.com/how-to-make-hairspray/
    I make it without alcohol and keep it in the fridge.

  8. mary says on :

    I have a question, does this method have the same transition period as the no poo method?I tried no poo and it did not work for me but getting through that period was the hardest part. just wondering if maybe this would be a little less oily or if I’m looking at the same transition with hopefully better end results. tia!

  9. mountain girl says on :

    Hi Mary,
    I think this is a much easier transition for going into no shampoo, or you could just use this and not transition. It is much less oily than going straight no-poo. After doing this for a couple of months, I got lazy and tried baking soda again–and found my hair had already made the transition into no shampoo, without all the oil. Let me know what you think if you try it!

  10. mary says on :

    thanks! Will do!

  11. Julie says on :

    Would I be able to substitute Bentonite Clay with Diatomaceous Earth?

  12. mountain girl says on :

    Hmm..I’m not sure. I’ve only used B. clay…please let me know how it works if you try it!

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