When I was getting started making my own household products, one of the first things I thought about was, “What do I buy the most of?” Other questions followed: Where will I see the biggest impact for my effort? What is one of my “biggest ticket” items? All of these questions helped me settle on eliminating store-bought hair products. The fact that I was just about out of shampoo and in need of more also helped in my decision.
Here’s the recipe that I have been using to replace my store-bought shampoo that I absolutely LOVE. And it’s simple. The hardest part for me was finding a container to store it in.
You will need: baking soda, water, essential oil for fragrance, and a plastic squeeze bottle (preferrably re-used, not purchased new)
Mix one Tablespoon of baking soda and 7 drops of essential oil per one cup of warm water. Give it a few good shakes to keep the baking soda from settling. Yep, that’s it. It really is that easy.
As far as fragrance, I usually gravitate toward lavender oil, but I also enjoy tea tree oil in this recipe, and lately, I’ve been hooked on the fresh scent of rosemary oil. If you’re just starting out with the essential oil thing, find one you like, and you can use it in all kinds of other recipes. Or, if you like the scent of the tea tree oil, that one comes in handy in recipes for disinfecting cleaners and deodorants, so you may want to just go ahead and put it in your shampoo as well.
This mixture is much more watery than the store-bought stuff, so refilling your old shampoo bottle won’t really work. You’ll need something with a smaller opening, like a squeeze bottle. I keep mine in an old dishsoap container, and that works really well for me. If you’re trying to eliminate plastic from your life, a glass bottle with an olive oil spout might do the trick too.
It definitely won’t suds up the way commercial products do, but I’m convinced the suds factor is only a comfort thing: we THINK things get cleaner because there’s bubbles, but I think it doesn’t really contribute to cleanliness. It will foam a little as it reacts with the excess oils in your scalp, and it sure gets my hair really clean. Just squirt it right onto your scalp and rub it in. I find it works so well, I don’t need to wash my hair nearly as often, and my hair is generally on the oily side.
Ok, now onto the conditioner.
You will need: apple cider vinegar (NOT white vinegar, trust me, I learned this one the hard way), water, and another one of those plastic squeeze bottles (or glass bottle).
Mix 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per one cup of water. Squirt some on, work it in, and rinse. I’ve found that it’s a bit of overkill to use it with every washing, so I use it only about every second or third time I wash with the baking soda solution. You’ll have to experiment with it to see how often you need to use it, depending on your hair type. You might end up needing to use it every time, but I don’t.
Try them out, and hopefully you will enjoy saving the money, reducing the plastic you continually buy, and cutting down on the amount of scary chemicals you come into contact with as much as I have.