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Most men and women may not be keen on experimenting with home-made, all-natural shampoo because let’s face it, we love our hair and want it to shine at the healthiest, most optimal degree.
Nobody wants oily, bogged down, tangled, stringy, or smelly strands of hair. It’s just not a good look.
Yet the chances of this happening are unlikely once you find the right shampoo recipe that works for your hair. Everyone is like a snowflake and the temperament of hair is no exception. Some have hair that is naturally oily and baby-fine, whereas other’s have a coarser, thicker style mane.
What works exceptionally well for one person’s strands may not work for another.
Yet experimenting with all-natural methods that work for your hair is an adventure that’s worth the risk. Why?
♦ Chemicals, Chemicals, and More Chemicals
A store-bought shampoo is, in essence, a harsh detergent. It works to clean hair of impurities and oils but it also does the scalp a great disservice by excessively stripping it of its natural oils. These oils are what work to keep hair strong, healthy, and soft. Over time they accumulate and may be washed away. Yet regular shampoo does this to such a degree that hair may become prematurely greasy after the next washing to make up for its loss of oil, and thus the process repeats.
Such chemicals as Laureth sulfate, phthalates, sodium lauryl, DEA/diethanolamine, parabens, fragrance, and others all pack a wallop inside a small bottle. The word ‘fragrance’ alone may be hiding upwards of 4,000 separate chemical ingredients!
♦ Access To The Bloodstream
These chemicals aren’t just damaging to hair, they have the potential to access the bodies bloodstream as well. It takes only around 26 seconds for the products we apply to our skin to access the bloodstream and once there, they can linger for a long time, with possible adverse effects. Hives, itching, rashes, dryness, among other issues might surface due to chemicals found in our health and beauty products. The skin is our largest organ (this includes the scalp), and is incredibly porous. We should take caution with what we allow to enter our system and take care that only natural, organic substances are used as much as possible.
♦ Inflating Costs
Using shampoo requires an unnecessary dependence due to the stripping and over-compensation of oils. All hair really needs to be strong, healthy, and radiant – is to be clean. Chemicals and additives that create an artificial shine or fragrance only serve to jack up the cost.
Not to mention the various types of shampoo such as ‘tear-free’ for children, dandruff reducing for dry scalps, or the addition of artificial protectants, such as conditioner, to counteract the abrasiveness of shampoo. In time, these cause hair to become limp, flat, dry, frizzy, and/or lifeless despite what it claims on the label.
Plus, in order to pump new life back into hair, products such as styling gels, mousse, pomades, serums, hairsprays, and others are introduced which only add even more chemical build-up, thus exacerbating the cycle. All these do considerable damage in the long-run not only to the quality of hair but also to the wallet.
So how can we make our own all-natural DIY shampoo for those seeking home-made, organic options?
Shampoo Replacement – Baking Soda
The number one option most ‘poo-free’ advocates would vouch for is baking soda. It’s gentle on the scalp and hair and gently clarifies it of oils and chemical buildup. The amount used may vary depending on the texture of your hair. Those with thick or curly hair may need to use more while those with thin or fine hair may need less, though usually, about one tablespoon of baking soda per one cup of water is what suits most.
What works exceptionally well is to fill a simple condiment bottle with one tablespoon of baking soda (using a funnel) then fill it the rest of the way with water. Shake well, wet hair, and use the mixture primarily on the scalp where oils originate from. The rest of the hair, despite its length, is cleaned by what trickles down as well as simply being rinsed with water. Massage the baking soda in as you go, leave in for a few minutes, then rinse out.
Voila! Hair is naturally clean, excess oils are stripped away and healthy oils subtly remain to keep hair vibrant and strong. All while still appearing clean and non-greasy.
If instead of using a condiment bottle, or any other form of container, simply tap a tablespoon of baking soda into your hand straight from the box. Get it slightly wet and massage into the scalp, starting at the crown, and continuing with the same process.
Conditioner Replacement – Vinegar
The use of vinegar acts as a healthy alternative to conditioner. Raw, organic apple cider vinegar is most recommended, though white vinegar is fine as well. To do this, simply mix 1 part vinegar with 4 parts water. The vinegar acts as a mild acidic which works well to counteract the baking soda and makes an excellent replacement for conditioner.
The use of apple cider vinegar also helps detangle hair, seal cuticles and balances the pH balance of the hair. Just like with the baking soda, however, a little bit goes a long way. Another condiment bottle works well to have this solution prepared beforehand. Shake before use, apply evenly to hair after washing with the baking soda, then let it rest for a few seconds before rinsing out.
Whereas the baking soda gets applied primarily to the scalp to deal with oils, apply the vinegar primarily to the shaft as well as at the ends of the hair follicles to aid in detangling. If interested in another interesting conditioner option, check out this DIY organic conditioner for healthy, shiny, and vibrant hair!
– Tips & Tricks:
- Comb hair out in the shower to further aid in detangling knots.
- A very small amount of baking soda can also be used as a dry shampoo.
- To get the effect of suds, use 1/4 cup coconut milk with 1/4 cup liquid Castille soap instead of baking soda.
- Add 10-20 drops of organic essential oils to minimize the smell of vinegar (such as peppermint, lavender, rosemary, orange, among others).
- Be sure not to get the baking soda or vinegar in the eyes, tilt head back if need be when applying and rinsing.
- Rinse with cold water to seal in moisture. This will help with frizz and static, making hair smoother and adding shine.
- Shake well before each use, and keep both mixtures in the shower for up to a month.
- Experiment with a ratio that works best for your hair type. Some find that a 50:50 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water used as a rinse helps make hair cleaner and increases shine.
– Notes of Concern:
- Hair may appear slightly oilier, temporarily (depending upon your hair type), when transitioning to baking soda and vinegar for the first time. This is due to the pH balance of hair follicles adjusting to the change as it eliminates the buildup from year’s of chemicals and being stripped of its oils.
- The baking soda and vinegar method do not foam and there are no suds. If you feel this is something you need in order to feel clean, consider the above option with coconut milk and Castille soap.
- If hair oils don’t clear up after the first 2-3 week transition period, consider using less vinegar, or switching to something such as lemon juice as a natural acidic clarifier instead.
- If hair becomes too dry or brittle, consider using less baking soda or swap the use of vinegar for raw, organic honey instead.
- If hair becomes frizzy or static, use a tiny amount of raw, organic coconut oil as a replacement for pomades, serums, and other hair styling products.
Both baking soda and vinegar is a method that is highly affordable, incredibly effective, easy as pie, and above all – chemical free! Typically once hair is accustomed to this new method of cleansing, it will stay clean and oil-free upwards of 2-3 days before needing re-cleansed.
If looking for an extra-special and unique shampoo idea that is home-made and also makes a great gift idea, check out how to make all-natural, organic shampoo bars for beautiful, luxurious hair.
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