Homemade shampoo may seem as the next logical step for those who have grown accustomed to making their own soap. Or for some of you it may be where you start. The good news is that you need commercial shampoos no more than you need commercial soap. And even better, making your own shampoo can be even easier than working with natural soap. You’ll be able to have the healthy hair they talk about in the commercial without the associated chemicals or price.
That shining head of hair you see on television
Considering that hair is dead material, it is rather fascinating how many benefits makers of shampoo commercials can come up with. Most of their claims about “repairing” hair, providing it with essential nutrients and so on are to be taken with a pinch of salt. What a shampoo can do at best is to add a temporary cosmetic effect. The overall health of your hair has to be handled by a more holistic approach, in which your diet of course plays a crucial role.
For example the “repairing” effect talked about with shampoos and conditioners have in the past been achieved by using silicone that sort of glue the worn and damaged hair back together. The shampoos themselves often contain a mixture of harsh chemicals that are not good for you nor the environment, and more than likely canceling out any good effect of the various vitamins and other things supposedly good about the product.
It is also worth pointing out that commercial shampoo, despite the different packaging, is virtually indistinguishable from “ordinary” liquid soap. Or from dish-washing liquid for that matter.
What actually provides a lot of benefits to your hair when you wash it is the massaging action that stimulates the circulation in the scalp. This provides your follicles, the place your hair actually grows, with a better supply of oxygen. It is worthwhile to do a little head massage every now and then, even without any shampoo involved. Use firm circular motions with your fingertips.
Various approaches to homemade shampoo
So the case for making homemade shampoo is rather evident, and very similar to the reasons for making your own soap. You get to choose exactly what you put in and, if you want to, you can even save some money in the process.
Just like the rest of the body, you hair benefits greatly from truly organic products derived from natural ingredients. The harsh chemicals present in many commercial shampoos will give you a very clean scalp, but in the process they are equally effective at stripping away the natural coating of sebum on your hair. Sebum is the the hairs natural moisturizer that is produced within the body’s own glands and hair follicles.
It may take a time to get used to living without the strong detergents in commercial shampoo. But particularly if you suffer from and itchy or flakey scalp switching to homemade shampoo will usually relieve these conditions considerably.
The purpose of using shampoo is of course to remove dirt, old skin particles and excess oil from the hair, preferably without making it unmanageable in the process. You do not need strong detergents in order to accomplish this and in fact followers of the “no poo movement” think that your hair is actually better of without using any shampoo whatsoever.
If you feel only water doesn’t get your hair clean enough you can try your hands at making homemade shampoo. It can be made in a very similar fashion as making a bar of soap, using saponified oils (for example olive oil, coconut oil etc.) to create a very similar bar of shampoo. Among ingredients you can add are goat milk that has a very suitable pH, or beer (yes you read correctly) for added shine. Since we all have different types of hair – dry, oily, short, long, curly etc. – you may need to experiment with various recipes until you find one you like.
Making your own shampoo can also be replaced by using something else to wash your hair with. A simple mixture of vinegar and water can be used to make a vinegar rinse that most people will perceive as producing similar results as a conditioner. Baking soda can be great for washing oily hair, as is freshly squeezed lemon juice. For dandruff some people have found using eggs as shampoo to be beneficial.
So as you see, making homemade shampoo can actually be very easy, affordable and fun. You don’t need to pick and choose among all those fancy shampoo bottles in the store, that in the end all contain exactly the same stuff anyway. Making your own shampoo and soap requires a little getting used to, but once you make the transition you will never want to go back.