Here’s Part 2A about why I stopped using commercial shampoo.
And finally, the part that you all have actually been wanting to read – the recipe.
I found this recipe in a ReadyMade magazine a couple years ago. At the time, I thought that it sounded like too much work and figured that I’d never be able to find the herbs and other ingredients that the recipe called for. So I discarded it. Then, last fall, I found the same magazine at the library and decided to give the recipe a try. It took me until last March to actually get around to making the recipe.
I located the ingredients very easily at my local health food store, the recipe was easy to make, and I blithely started to wash my hair with homemade shampoo. And then, my hair freaked out – for months, it felt like (actually more like 2-3 months). And I almost went crazy. And almost gave up. And almost went back to commercial junk. But at some point it started getting better, until one day I realized, “Hey, I don’t hate my hair anymore! I don’t look like I wash my hair with bacon grease.” And I was happy again – and free of poisons. The End.
Well, not the end actually – there’s a bit more to the story than that. That’s the essence of the story though. So before I give you the recipe, here are some FAQs.
1. Why did your hair freak out when you started using homemade shampoo?
Commercial shampoo is very harsh and is designed to strip all the sebum (beneficial oil) from your hair. So the sebaceous glands in your hair go into overdrive to produce enough sebum to keep your hair moisturized. When you start using non-harsh shampoo, you stop stripping your hair but your glands don’t realize it. So all of a sudden, you have complete over-production of sebum and extremely greasy hair. It takes the glands awhile to realize that they don’t have to work so hard but once they calm down, your hair isn’t greasy any more. This is also why you have to wash your hair every day or else it’s greasy the next day – using commercial shampoo that is. It’s part of the shampoo companies’ diabolical scheme to get you to buy and use more shampoo.
2. How often do you wash your hair now?
I wash my hair twice a week – once during the week and once on the weekend.
3. What do you do with all the extra time that you now have because you’re not taking longer showers and spending all that time with your hair dryer?
Good question – a better question is, “How did you find time to wash and dry your hair every day before?” I have no idea. I actually get annoyed on the days when I have to wash and dry my hair because it takes so long.
4. Does your hair feel dry/greasy/weird?
Not now – now it feels great. Probably better than it ever felt before.
5. Do you use any other hair products on your hair?
No. I used to use gel or mousse but now I don’t feel like I need it. Plus, I also found that using other hair products on my hair after washing with homemade shampoo made my hair feel worse, rather than better.
6. Will this shampoo work for everyone?
Not necessarily. It has castile soap in it, which is made from olive oil. I’ve read that castile soap is good for hair that’s in the normal to oily spectrum of hair. So it might not work for people with dry hair. Also, when I visited Jon and Leah in England, my hair absolutely was not happy with my homemade shampoo and their water – which is very hard. In fact, in 5 days, it felt like I was getting dreadlocks. So, if I lived in England, with my hair, I would have had to find another formula.
7. Have you considered going “no-poo“?
Yes – but I’m not quite brave enough to do it yet. For now, I’m quite happy with my homemade shampoo.
8. Are you ever going to give us the shampoo recipe?
OK. Fine. Here it is.
Heavily adapted from ReadyMade magazine from a couple years ago.
1 tsp dry nettle leaves
1 tsp dry coltsfoot
1 tsp dry horsetail
1 C boiling water
Pour the boiling water over the herbs, stir, and let sit, covered (important), for 20 minutes. Strain out the herbs and pour the herbal “tea” into a squeeze bottle.
3 T castile soap (I use castile soap that I get from my health food store. It’s unscented but I think it also might have a little aloe vera in it – so that may be an additional ingredient.)
1/2 tsp sweet almond oil
2-4 drops of essential oils (I currently use lavender and cinnamon but I’m going to switch to other scents the next time I make it)
Shake well to combine. Use as needed.
That’s it! 7 ingredients, all of which are non-toxic, you can pronounce, and figure out what they are. This recipe usually lasts me about 3 weeks (washing twice a week). You need to put it in a squeeze bottle of some kind because it’s so watery. If you try to put it on your hands and then onto your hair, it just runs all over the place.
Have fun! If you try it, let me know how it goes.