You can make your own gentle shampoo in your own kitchen, using ingredients found on your cupboard shelves and setting in your refrigerator. If you like a shampoo that lathers, use liquid Castile soap. Castile is a gentle foaming soap. Just remember, shampoo does not have to foam to be effective.
Cleaning the hair consists of removing any dirt and debris from the hair, along with some of the oils that your scalp adds daily. Often, when you use a commercial shampoo, it will leave a residue on the hair shaft and on the scalp. This residue can cause itching and flaking of the scalp, as well as dandruff. Residue that accumulates on the hair shaft can make your hair lay flat and look oily, instead of making it bouncy and shiny; hence the need for clarifying shampoo.
However, when you don’t use a commercial shampoo, there will be no residue to stick to the scalp or the hair. Your scalp is cleaner, free from irritation, and both scalp and hair will be healthier.
“No-poo” shampoo is gaining in popularity. This shampoo consists of substances that do not foam up to clean the hair. In its simplest form, some people just wash their hair with water, although I have never had success with that method. It just depends on your hair. Still, there is no need for suds; you can get your hair clean without them.
This chapter includes a variety of hair cleansers, including both foaming and non-foaming shampoos. There are even a few dry shampoo ideas.
I do have a warning if you color your hair: you run the risk of your color fading or even being removed when you use these homemade products. Before you use any of these on colored hair, you’ll want to test them on some hair that is relatively hidden.
Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Cleanser
Apple cider vinegar may smell like you are putting salad dressing on your hair, but trust me, when it dries there will be no smell. Vinegar is a great pH balancer and will do wonders for your scalp, including the removal of flakes and dandruff. This is a no-poo formula that will not foam.
To use this solution place two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and add one and a half cups of water . Turn the spray nozzle on and spray in sections from root to tip. Massage this into both scalp and hair, then wait about three to five minutes before rinsing it out. Yes, you will smell like salad, but that will fade as your hair dries. Within 30 minutes your hair will be odor-free.
Black Tea And Sage Shampoo
Only use this shampoo if you have dark hair, because it will stain your hair. Sage is known for keeping gray hair at bay and black tea does the staining. I know an older woman who swore her hair had only a touch of gray, simply because she used sage, rosemary, or thyme on her hair. When she passed away, at the age of 92, only the slightest wisp of gray hair was visible at her temples; the rest was a dark brown.
To conjure up this shampoo, brew one cup of strong black tea for about 60 minutes, along with one teaspoon dried sage leaves or three fresh sage leaves. Use a tea bag to contain the sage. Remove the solids and combine the tea into one cup of liquid Castile soap , in a bottle. Add a few drops of an essential oil , if desired. Shake the bottle before each use.
Coconut Milk Foaming Wash
Coconut milk adds many nutrients to the hair shaft; although hair is actually dead, it can still benefit from the right nutrition. This recipe will restore moisture to dry hair.
Take a can of coconut milk and mix it in a glass bowl with three quarters of a cup of liquid Castile soap and one teaspoon of olive oil . Melt one teaspoon of coconut oil and add it in, whisking the liquid until frothy.
Pour this concoction into a plastic bottle and apply it to wet hair. You only need a little bit on the top of your head. Don’t overdo it, or you’ll end up with greasy hair. A dot the size of a quarter should be enough. Comb it through your hair to the ends and rinse it well.
Grandma’s Favorite Foaming Shampoo
This shampoo creates lather, but it is very gentle. The following ingredients make up the base. In a plastic bottle combine:
One quarter cup of water, One quarter cup of liquid Castile soap, and One half teaspoon of olive oil.
You can substitute Jojoba or grapeseed oil if you want something lighter than olive oil. Mix this up and store it in a closed plastic container. I would suggest adding a few drops of essential oil for a refreshing fragrance. If you have an itchy or scaling scalp, add a few drops of tea tree oil . Lavender oil and lemon oil work well for oily hair; these are astringents that cut down on the oil your body produces.
You do not have to add essential oils that will actually “do something.” If you enjoy the scent of apples or strawberries, add a few drops of those essential oils to the shampoo. It will linger in your hair after it is washed. My favorite fragrances are a mixture of apricot and pineapple.
Healthy Green Tea Shampoo
Green tea is not just good for your body; it is also good for your hair. Green tea contains a stimulant, an antioxidant known as EGCG, that can promote hair growth. Green tea can also keep your scalp healthy, which in turn, can help you keep your hair alive longer and prevent baldness.
Green tea helps to balance your skin’s pH and works to reduce any inflammation on your skin while getting rid of unwanted flakes.
This shampoo does foam a bit. Mix one cup of liquid Castile soap with one cup of strong brewed green tea that has steeped for about 30 minutes. Add one tablespoon of olive oil . You can also add essential oils to this shampoo.
I have a friend who adds one teaspoon of honey to it as well, but be careful if your hair is curly or coarse; you may have a hard time getting it out. Honey is a great healer and it smooths the cuticle, if your hair can tolerate it. Store this shampoo in a bottle and shake it well before each use.
Foaming Honey Cleanser
For Itchy Scalp And Dandruff If you have curly, frizzy, dense, or coarse hair, this is not for you; the honey will not come out of your hair easily and you will end up with a sticky mass that attracts insects. For everyone else, however, this shampoo is great for dandruff and itchy scalp. Not only will it get rid of dandruff, but honey will help your hair retain its moisture, thus strengthening the hair follicles.
Mix together in a bottle:
1 tablespoon of honey,
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar,
4 ounces of aloe vera gel,
1 teaspoon of coconut oil, melted,
1 teaspoon of Castile soap,
3 tablespoons of water,
and 10 drops of tea tree oil.
Shake the mixture well before each use. Massage a small amount into your scalp and down to the tips of your hair, then rinse well.
Refreshing Peppermint No-Poo Solution
Peppermint contains a substance, called mentha, which is extremely stimulating. You can feel the tingling on your tongue when you drink mint tea or chew peppermint gum. This stimulation increases blood circulation to any area it touches. As a result, this cleanser not only makes for a clean head of hair; it can also boost circulation to your scalp, keeping it healthy and stimulating your hair to grow.
Make some peppermint tea by steeping less than a teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves or a sprig or two of fresh mint in a single cup of boiling water. Let it steep, covered, until cooled to room temperature. Strain out the peppermint solids, then add a few drops of peppermint oil , mix well, and apply it to your hair, massaging it into your scalp. This will make your scalp tingle and will definitely help wake you up in the morning.