How to make your own ShampooHave you made the resolution to go greener in your household and are ready to take another step and also include your personal care? Or have you been trying products over products and not found a good way to get your hair as shiny and healthy as you hoped it would be?
Many people criticize commercial shampoos and conditioner for having too many chemicals on their ingredient lists. If you go by „you cannot pronounce it, don't use it“, then you are a good candidate for natural shampoos that do not contain detergents and surfactants and who knows what else. Health food stores or the „green“ section of your drugstore are places where you can find them, but also check your local farmer's market for some naturally made soaps. There you may find a great solid shampoo bar made of natural oils.
Be careful though, the word „natural“ next to the name of the product alone does not mean it is free of all of the chemicals that you don't want to get touched by. Always read your labels.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a very common ingredient that is in about every bottle from shampoo to shower gel and bath bubbles to even tooth paste. It is the stuff that makes all of these foam and bubble. It is also cheap in its production, another reason why is has become so widespread and popular. It is a detergent, that means it is soluable in water and acts as a cleansing agent by letting oils mix with water. One side effect are the bubbles that we all love, but there are others that are not as much fun. Sodium Laureth Sulfates can irritate your eyes and skin, depending on sensitivity and amount of exposure. At the same time they do have a drying effect on your skin and hair due to their oil disolving abilities. Then add perfumes, preservatives, coloring agents to the mix and it looks more and more like a chemical cocktail.
One way of course to make sure that you know exactly what cleans your hair, is to make your own shampoo. It is fun to do, you get to play creatively and make something that could not be more custom for your needs and wishes.
Not only will you do something good for the environment, but you can have a fun afternoon with some friends, playing alchemist and following up with a pamper session. Don't forget a cup of herbal tea, champagne or a sliver of dark chocolate. The goal is to simplify your life and to be good to yourself as well as to the planet. Just think of all the plastic bottles that can be saved this way!
How to make your own Shampoo
Start with something easy, like a basic shampoo that uses ready made soap as a main ingredient. If that works for you then you can go all the way and even made the soap from scratch.
Find a simple soap made out of plant oils, like a castile soap. Use about 4 ounces of the soap. Shred it into small shavings on your cheese grater. Then mix it with 4 cups (about one quart or one liter) of boiling water. Shake it up, not too much though … basically just let it dissolve.
Once it is cooled off it is ready to go, but you can make it even better and more suited to your personal needs and tastes by adding some essential oils to it. Pick your favorite scent or go for a specific effect. If you want an invigorating shampoo that leaves you feeling fresh and tingly in the morning, add a few drops of peppermint or lemon oil to the soap mix. For a soothing, calming effect, use lavender. Tea tree oil is well known for its antifungal and antiinflammatory effects and a great treat for a disstressed scalp, dandruff and also head lice. Rosemary oil is said to boost the strenght and growth of the hair by stimulating the scalp. These are just a few examples. Just add about 5 or 6 drops of the essential oil of your choice, dissolved in a teaspoon of alcohol, to your shampoo mixture and enjoy the effects.