Many, many, moons ago, I decided to take yet one more step on my journey to a healthier home. Let’s be honest, going chemical free is not something that can be done over night. If you even tried you would go broke, drive your husband miserable and loose your ever-loving mind in the process.
It is an important goal. It is a goal worth putting your time and effort in to. The average home has over 60 toxic chemicals. They are in cleaners, paints, cosmetics, lotions, soaps and perfumes. Studies have confirmed that within 26 seconds of being exposed to cleaning products, traces of these chemicals are found in every organ in the body and according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 150 common products have been linked to birth defects, cancer, allergies and psychological issues.
But if you are here looking for a DIY shampoo recipe, you probably already know that. Because, who would be wanting to take the time to brew up their own shampoo rather than dropping it in their shopping cart. With their floral essences and silky smooth talking commercials, you’d have to just be one of them crunchy hippies to resort to concocting your own.
Or maybe you’re just smart enough to put your foot down and take your health (and your hair) into your own hands.
So, back to my original story, after taking baby steps of making my own household cleaners, baby products and toothpaste, I decided to go for the “no poo” crunchy mama badge.
My hair has always been a problem.
Back in my traditional shampoo days, I had to wash it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. In the morning. Without fail. Or I would be left with an oily, limp, wet spaghetti mop. And for a girl who spends 10-12 weekends a year camping and hunting, that’s just not something I could do. I spent our time in the woods cringing as I tucked my oily mess under a ball cap and couldn’t wait to get in the shower the second we got home.
So the baking soda and vinegar route, sounded ideal. I had read about these women who were going 2 weeks without a wash! I had also read some bad reviews from those who had done it for a few years and really felt like it wrecked their hair, but in order to get away from the chemicals and the daily demand of a hair wash, I figured it was worth the try.
It did okay. Really it did. At first. I couldn’t go 2 weeks without a wash, I was lucky to go 4 days but even then it was looking grungy. Day one would be great, but over time it just started to look sad. The volume I was getting started to feel more like build up and I started to have a serious problem with a bad, dry scalp. Like cradle cap bad.
I knew my baking soda days were over. I even tried to go back to regular shampoo, but I was faced with the same limp locks and oil factory that I always had dealt with before.
That’s when I got really brave. I decided to take the plunge and start experimenting with my own recipe using castile soap as a base.
There were some definite fails, but by George, I found it. I mean, I really found a fantastic option for a natural, homemade shampoo and I’m NEVER going back.
My hair has NEVER looked like this before. Not even with that fancy, store-bought, chemical-laden stuff. I have never had volume like this until now.
And guess what? I don’t have to wash my hair every day anymore. It is quite happy to go 4 days, with just a dry shampoo boost on day 3 or 4 if needed. (Don’t worry, I SHOWER EVERY DAY. I just leave my hair out of it.)
NOW … for the super crazy secret ingredient … A teensy, tiny smidge of Young Living’s Thieves Household cleaner.
I warned you it was crazy, but it makes all the difference. I found this out by accident when I once mistook my bottle of Thieves Cleaner for my bottle of ACV rinse in the shower one day. The results were magical and the rest is history. You SHOULD already have this in your chemical free arsenal. If you don’t already have it, YOU NEED IT. Seriously, an amazing smelling, incredible, plant based household cleaner for less than $1 per bottle? You’re crazy if your not using this stuff.
If you don’t have the YL Thieves cleaner, you can replace it with vegetable glycerine, but I honestly do prefer the Thieves.
Without further rambling, I’ll lay the basics on you and get you to the recipe.
Here are some things to take note of:
- If you don’t have oily hair, you can probably get away with significantly more oil in your shampoo mixture. Most recipes I have seen online use more. But if I use the tablespoon they call for, just call me Severus Snape for the next week. –When trying out your homemade shampoo for the first time, it’s better to start small with the added oil and work your way up to find what works for you.
- Start with a small batch in case you don’t love my version, adjust it to suit your own hair.
- If you are switching over from traditional shampoo, be prepared to have your hair freak out for the first week or so. As our body learns to balance with the new shampoo, sometimes it goes a little oil crazy. Don’t give up. It WILL find it’s balance and you’ll be pleased as punch with the results.
- I use an apple cider vinegar rinse to condition my hair. I typically don’t apply it to my roots, due to my oil issues, but most folks can. I will rinse the entire scalp with the ACV mixed 50/50 with water about once a week or so to keep my scalp healthy though. — I also use a (homemade/healthy) conditioner spray on my ends as needed if I feel like my hair is feeling a bit dry or do a natural, deep conditioner occasionally if my ends are starting to feel dry. Again, if you are able to use a bit more oil in the shampoo base, you probably won’t need to worry about that.
Here’s the recipe!
1/2 cup liquid castile soap
1/2 cup strongly steeped chamomile tea
1/2 tsp grapeseed oil or jojoba oil
A few drops Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner concentrate (It’s crazy, I know.)
(Replace Thieves concentrate with 1/4 tsp vegetable glycerine if desired)
- Add all ingredients to a plastic bottle with a small spout (the only time you’ll hear me say, NOT a mason jar. You will use too much shampoo and waste it!)
- Shake well before using.
- Drizzle just a few drops here and there, all over the scalp. It will not spread well throughout the hair, so you’ll need to strategically place your drops in each quadrant of your scalp. But it lathers like CRAZY, so you don’t want to use too much!
- Gently scrub scalp.
- Follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse for conditioning.
And as always, if you have questions about the recipe or the essential oils products I use, please reach out to me in the comments here or at firstname.lastname@example.org.