DIY natural body care products

Going green with DIY hair care

For some time I have been committed to green living – food, household products and personal care products. For me that means shopping for local organic ingredients and using environmentally sound products for personal care and for household cleaning. Even though I do buy retail, wherever possible I much prefer to make my own cleansing products – fresher, cheaper and fun to make!

Six months ago, I started looking for alternatives to commercial hair care products. Like many of you, I was spending a lot of money on shampoos, conditioners, serums, styling products and more…. The organic and environmentally friendly products are great, but I wanted to find some I could make myself.

After lots of searching on the web (huge credit here to the Simple Mom blog, the source of this info), I learned that there were two simple ingredients most of us have at home that would clean and condition our hair, and leave it soft, shiny and pH balanced: baking soda and apple cider vinegar. For six months, I’ve been using a simple formula of water and baking soda to clean my hair, and a simple formula of water and apple cider vinegar to condition my hair. My hair looks great, feels great and here’s how you can do the same.

Baking Soda Hair Cleanser

Baking sodaWhy baking soda? It has very mild alkaline properties and can remove chemical buildup from your hair.

The basic formula is one tbsp of baking soda to one cup of water. You may need to change the ratio a little for your hair, so experiment with the basic formula – a little more for thick hair and a little less for thin hair. Use distilled water if you like, but plain old tap water is fine. Combine both into a pump-dispenser bottle (or use an old shampoo bottle!) and give it a good shake.

To clean your hair, dispense a little of the mixture onto your head starting at the crown. Massage into your scalp – as that’s where the oils originate – and leave in for a minute or two, then rinse. No suds, but your hair will be squeaky clean!

Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner

Apple cider vinegarApple Cider Vinegar has very mild acidic properties, so will balance the alkalinity of the baking soda. It also is great for detangling the hair. Some people prefer to use lemon juice instead of the vinegar, but either will do. Please use organic ingredients if at all possible.

The basic formula is one tbsp apple cider vinegar to one cup water. Play with the formula if necessary to achieve your desired outcome. Combine both ingredients in a spray bottle, and shake to combine. After cleansing your hair with the baking soda mixture, spray your ends (not so much on the scalp) with the apple cider vinegar conditioner and leave on for up to a minute. Rinse. Comb.

And that’s it!  If you like to leave your hair with a lovely scent (and don’t worry, you won’t smell like Apple Cider Vinegar without this next step!), consider rubbing a couple of drops of essential oil into your palms – lavender is a good option – and then massage into your hair before drying.

It may take your hair some time to adjust to the new regimen(mine adjusted within a week), so please be patient! You may have to tweak the formula slightly depending on your hair type, texture and length. For your first efforts, consider making your product in smaller batches, e.g. 4 oz instead of 8 oz of water but using the same ratio of ingredients.

I found that with the new regimen, I wash my hair less often and I rarely need styling products. And if you’re penny conscious, this is definitely a frugal product – less than a penny per wash!

Do give this a try – and post your comments!

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