Let’s get one thing clear from the get-go: I am not a natural DIY’er, especially when it comes to making hair and/or skin products. That distinction belongs to our formidable Yvette Moon, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to products and product ingredients. But me? If a product recipe involves more than three ingredients and five minutes of my time, I am most apt to “pfffttt,” then call Yvette and ask what she’s cooked up this week for me to try. I haven’t the time, patience or, frankly, the inclination to routinely make my own hair and skin products.
That said, I ran into an article a few weeks ago on the numerous uses for castile soap, which I dearly love and have on hand at all times. I do make my own face wash (three ingredients, two minutes), body wash (three ingredients, three minutes) and natural pesticide (really! Two ingredients, two minutes) with castile soap and have been more than happy with the results.
So I was intrigued when I saw a recipe for homemade shampoo, which involved just three ingredients and two minutes of effort. “No Poo’ing,” or cleansing without shampoo, has never worked well for me and, although I only shampoo three or four days a month max, my scalp and hair shaft seem to occasionally demand that lather-y deeper cleansing I can’t get by using conditioner only.
The recipe, which I found on One Good Thing by Jillee, was crazy simple:
1/4 cup coconut milk (I used Trader Joe’s organic coconut milk)
1/3 cup liquid castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Pure-Castile Liquid Soap)
10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oils (which I did not use because 1] I used lavender castile soap, and 2] you know, lazy)
Combine all ingredients in a shampoo bottle or jar and swirl and/or tilt well to mix (if you shake it, you are apt to have a burst of unwanted lather). You typically only need about one or two teaspoons per use. It will keep for up to one month, although I added a few drops of Optiphen Plus so I can keep it in my shower longer without refrigeration.
Of course, I couldn’t be bothered to measure, so I eyeballed it and the mixture turned out kind of thin (I think I dumped in a bit too much coconut milk). But I washed out an old dish detergent bottle to store it and it works well if I tip my wet head back and squirt a little bit of the shampoo over the top of my head before working it into what turns out to be a rich, thick lather.
The first time I used it, I had the same panicked reaction when I first did my activated charcoal deep clarification: My hair shaft felt squeaky clean and I thought I had dried out my hair. However, when I conditioned it and combed it through, the tangles fell right out and my hair felt amazingly soft, clean and completely clarified.
Best of all, the little nagging patches of seborrheic dermatitis that have popped up to plague me here and there on my scalp over the past year went away … and haven’t come back yet (Caveat: I am NOT a licensed medical professional, so please consult with your medical provider about seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis or any other disorder of the skin or scalp!). I have used my homemade shampoo twice so far and overall, I am extremely pleased with the results. This shampoo will definitely be a part of my product rotation for the foreseeable future.
Let us know in the comments if you decide to give it a try and what you think!