And hair we are...

I've been meaning to get to this post.  I've been excited about it.  But I also wanted to wait until my hair finally didn't suck at all anymore before I carried on about the wonders of homemade shampoos (and someone I know decided that nap times are for wussies, so there's that).

About 3 weeks ago, I was FED. UP. with my stupid hair. I used to have amazing hair. Yup, gonna brag a little. It was shiny, long, straight without any product or blow dryers or flat irons. The color was awesome and natural. I totally took it for granted. I was in high school and I vowed I would never cut or color my hair.

Seriously.  LOOK AT THAT HAIR!!!  (do NOT judge me. it was the late 90's, i hated getting my pic taken, i've left out all innocent parties, and the beret is because we were on our way to Paris.)

Then college happened. And I SO wanted to be trendy. So I lopped off my hair into "the Rachel" - seriously stop judging me- and I dyed it Ronald McDonald Red. No, I don't have any pics that I would ever be willing to share at my house, thank you very much.

My hair had never recovered.  I've gotten perms, dyed it every color on the red/ burgundy and blonde scale, and lopped off nearly all of it to see if it would grow back healthy.  When none of that worked, I spent insane amounts of money on trying to buy the perfect shampoo/ conditioner for my grease slick, yet somehow fried mop. My sister-in-law, who IS the hair whisperer, helped me out tremendously showing me how to style my hair curly.  You can hide damaged, crappy hair if you scrunch it.

I had run out of curling spray, and was not up for an outing, so I decided to see what a little salt water could do- considering my hair in Jersey, at the beach, after a dip in the ocean usually looked pretty good. I found a recipe on that called for a little hair gel, water, sea salt and coconut oil. I just left out the hair gel part (since part of this experiment was to rid myself of chemicals in all foods and vanity items). And it worked. SO. WELL. Here's the pic to prove it:
I let it air dry and diffused it at the end to give it a little body. So, here's the recipe I use for the beachy, wavey curl spray:

*8 fl. oz. of filtered water.
*Sea salt. I used the more finely ground stuff because it mixes easier and faster with the water. Use 1 tsp for each 8 fl oz of water.
*Coconut oil: 1/2 a tsp - use more if you have extra dry hair.

Put all the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake the crap out of it. Shake it before each use as well. So easy. So good. So cheap.

Since that was such a smashing success, and I was spending a small fortune on Wen haircare, I decided to try making my own shampoo. I had heard of the "no-poo" plan and didn't think that would work on me. I am a GREASY italian, and by the end of the day my bangs alone could supply enough oil to cook a meal. No thanks. So I went trolling on the internet and found a ton of options. I went to Wellness Mama, and found her shampoo recipe, along with an awesome pic of her daughter's hair. I loved that she talked about how she had fine, straight hair and couldn't do the no-poo and this one worked for her and her family.

Natural Homemade Shampoo Recipe:

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup liquid castille soap (like Dr. Bronners)
  • 1/2 of a teaspoon (or several capsules) of vitamin e oil(completely optional- I did not use)
  • 20 drops of Essential Oils of choice
  • For dry hair: add 1/2 tsp olive or almond oil (optional)
Silly silly me. I went ahead and added a little olive oil. Just a 1/4 tsp. STILL TOO MUCH. I was for sure a grease ball....
That is the look of not so pleased. It's Day 4 of using the shampoo, but the first time I decided to wear it straight. It's hard to tell from that angle, but notice how it looks like it may still be a bit wet?  NOPE. GREASE. I mean, it was smooth and shiny, and there is no product in there making it not frizz out, but still. Not a good look for me. Perhaps this was just me getting the coconut oil I use as face wash in my hair?  Maybe my hair has to get used to it?

So I searched some more. I landed on Mother Earth Living, who had a ton of different shampoos, conditioning masks, and recipes for anything you could ever possibly want.  Want highlights?  Use chamomile or rhubarb. Need shine and bounce?  Make a beer shampoo. Well alrighty then. I liked the results as long as I used a cider vinegar conditioner with it. Here are the recipes:

Conditioner: (I found this particular recipe on a ton of different pages)
* 1 tbsp organic cider apple vinegar
* 8 fl oz filtered water
* 15 drops essential oil (my pick is ylang ylang....smells nice)

Beer Shampoo:
* 1 cup beer (can be stale or flat...I used Guinness)
*1/3 cup Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap
*1/4 cup coconut milk (I made my own)
* 20 drops essential oil

This is a tad different than what is listed on Mother Earth Living website, because I like the coconut milk in there (it acts as a detangler), and I needed more soap when using the coconut milk. 
Day 6. Still a little greasy looking, but better than the other attempt. Still no product in my hair. Seems like we're getting closer...
Day 10. The day before I used the beer shampoo/ cider conditioner (yes, I was starting to smell like a distillery). This day I only used the cider conditioner, and I REALLY started to like the results. My bangs were surprisingly not that bad (which has never ever happened in my life, ever). Sometime during the day I decided to sprinkle a little baking soda on them cause they were starting to get a bit oily, and that stuff is magic!  So, my homemade DRY SHAMPOO RECIPE: sprinkle some baking soda on it. comb. done.
Day 11- back to the first homemade shampoo I made and some homemade curl spray.  SUCCESS! This shampoo is nice for the curly hair because the oil in it helps hold the curl. Don't ask me how. I don't do science.
Day 13. I am now happy. My hair seems to have transitioned to my crunchiness, and the grease slick is gone. This pic was taken not only on a day that I only used the cider conditioner, but also AFTER i completed a ridiculous steep hike while carrying a toddler, which caused much sweating. And to all my smart ass friends out there???  Sometimes, I hike. In cowboy boots. What.

I have no more pictures to show, but let's face it, there is WAY too much me going on here. I will say that I just made another, slightly different batch, and I've mixed it up because summer is coming and come hell or high water I. WILL. BE. BLONDE.

*1/4 cup coconut milk
*1/3 cup + 1 tbsp Dr Bronners Castille Soap
* Juice of 1 lemon
* 20 drops essential oil (ylang ylang)
*1/2 cup chamomile tea (I steeped 2 bags for a while to get the tea strong)

Since lemon helps cut grease and helps highlight, and the chamomile also helps lighten, I'm hoping this will be my perfect summer shampoo mix. I get to use it tomorrow for the first time.

Oh, and the recipe for the homemade coconut milk? Buy the Let's Do Organic creamed coconut, and for every tbsp of that add 2 tbsp of filtered water and heat until it mixes together.  Easy peasy. I found their product in Whole Foods.

My bathroom *might* look like a lab, but whatevs. I'm saving money!


UPDATE (June 14, 2013)

I've finally found the PERFECT shampoo/ conditioner combo that makes my hair pretty awesome, with little effort from me. The shampoo is 1 cup boiling water, 6 chamomile tea bags (organic), 1 tbsp honey. Let steep for 20 minutes. Then add 1 1/2 tbsps coconut milk and 1/4 cup castille soap.  Conditioner is 8 oz filtered water, 1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar and the juice of 1 lemon (that's to help cut any grease, and also to help the highlights along in the sun).  I put these in spray bottles, and that's how I apply in the shower. It's too liquidy to try to pour out into your hands. I just got the travel size spray bottles from target. It won't all fit in the spray bottles, so the stuff that's left over leave in your fridge- I learned that the hard way. The one spray bottle amount lasts for about a week if I wash my hair every day. Then you just go and refill from the fridge. So easy. and such great results!!!


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