Saturday, October 2, 2010

Homemade Shampoo

I have been wanting to lower my use of artificial, synthetic, and chemical products for a while now. I've pretty successfully eliminated them from my food as I've gone to a real foods, whole foods diet. And I've slowly been trying to eliminate chemical products from my house.

One way that I've wanted to do this is by steering clear of shampoo and conditioner. Some of you may have heard of the "No 'Poo Challenge" out there right now, which has intrigued me. I think it involves just washing your hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Well, I don't think I really want to completely eliminate shampoo, just find a healthy alternative to it. (My hair gets really gross when it's greasy!) But I don't necessarily want to go expensive, either.

I've been trying to buy some "organic" and "all natural" products out there, but are they really that much better than the regular products out there for the price you pay? If you look at the label, some "organic" products contain just as many weird hard-to-pronounce ingredients as the regular products!

I listened to a podcast by one of my fav bloggers, Cheeseslave, a while back. You can listen to the podcast here. She interviewed the owner of Actual Organics who was talking about how many chemicals are in products we use every day, and eventually our body won't be able to handle the chemical load anymore and it will manifest as some disease or cancer. I don't remember exact details, but one thing I do remember is that anything with "eth" anywhere in the ingredient name is bad! Please listen to this podcast to get more details!

While I don't think I will ever be able to afford her products, the DIY-side of me got to thinking...why not make my own? I don't think I'll ever be able to do make-up, but when I came across this shampoo recipe, I thought, "Here's something I can do!"

I found this recipe in a cookbook called Healthy Choices put out by Keepers at Home Magazine.

Homemade Shampoo

1 bar castile soap (I bought a 3-pack of Kirk's Original Coco Castile Soap" from the local U-Save Store for about $3.49... not sure if that is a good price or not, but even at about 1.17/bar, this shampoo is quite reasonably priced!)
1 pint boiling water
1 egg

1. Flake soap, and melt in the boiling water, then cool. (I just cut the soap into shreds with a knife and put in the water.

2. After water is cool, put soap mixture into a mixing bowl and add one egg. Beat with beater. (It really foams up!

3. Put in jar. After it is settled, it is ready to use. This shampoo will keep.

For me, it filled a quart jar and a pint jar. I thought the texture would be very liquid, like store-bought shampoo, but it's not. Once the mixture settles, it's thicker than what it looks like. You need to make sure you scoop out enough to get it to foam up in wet hair. For me, I need about a tablespoon.

Also, I thought castile soap was an olive oil based soap, but I guess it refers to any vegetable-based soap, as opposed to soap made with animal fat like tallow or lard. (Don't worry, homemade lye and/or lard soap is on my list of things to do....!) Kirk's is coconut oil based, which is cool. I like coconut oil.

Like I said, this is easy, I like it, and it's in my price range. :-)

About conditioner, I have been steering away from it, but I'll look into a homemade version soon!


  1. Do you know what the egg does? I have that soap in my bathroom right now that I'm using on my body. I wonder what would happen if I just lathered that up and put it in my hair???

  2. I read an article this morning on homemade conditioner because I was sick and tired of seeing alcohol/"hard to understand words" in my shampoo and conditioner. Seeing this, I feel like I am not the only one who tired of these horrible chemically hair products!

  3. For conditioner have you tried Aloe Vera? Works really well.......I spray it on and leave it in. It isn't like commercial stuff so doesn't make your hair really slick but is definitely a natural alternative. I use Borax water and citric acid to wash and rebalance my hair.
    JC/from NT in Warroad

  4. are you still using this? How is it working over time?

  5. Heather, I am still using this, it lasts a looooong time. I still like it. I still haven't used anything for conditioner, so I still need to carefully detangle my hair after washing. Someone suggested aloe vera, and I just haven't gotten any yet. I've also been reading about other conditioner alternatives. I've read about using apple cider vinegar mixed with water as a detangler. Haven't tried that either... as you can see, I'm not very motivated. I wash my hair every other day, so it gets the grease out well enough. It's been very dry here this winter, so I've been having some issues with split hairs, and not sure if I can attribute it to the shampoo or the dry air. Hope this helps!