So I have a secret. I haven’t shampooed my hair since February.
Can you tell?
Ok, so that isn’t exactly true. I’ve had my hair cut, and I’m not so militant about the poo-free movement that I didn’t let my stylist use shampoo on me, but in my day to day life, the shampoo is gone.
There has been a lot of fuss lately about sodium lauryl sulfate, what it does, if it’s necessary, or if it’s harmful. I really don’t know. I have friends who can’t use it because it irritates their scalp or causes their hair to freak out or for whatever reason, but I personally don’t have anything against it. I just like that when I make my own shampoo I know EXACTLY what goes into it.
So do you want to give it a try? Here’s what you’ll need:
Baking soda, herbs or flowers to scent it and water
Find yourself an empty bottle that you can pour your finished shampoo into. Mine is an old 32 oz castille soap bottle. Boil your water. My bottle holds 4 cups, but boil what works for yours.
Once your water is hot, add in 1 tablespoon of baking soda for every cup of water. Again, for me, that’s going to be 4 tablespoons baking soda to 4 cups of water. The soda is going to bubble like crazy, but that’s fine, just be careful not to burn yourself! Throw in your herbs and stir it up.
I usually let mine cool for around an hour to let the herbs steep and to make sure I won’t have to worry about melting my bottle when I pour it in. Once it’s cool, use a funnel and a mesh strainer (a piece of cloth or a paper towel would work too) to pour the liquid (without the herbs) into your bottle.
If it’s going to be especially hot weather, or if I know I’m going to be doing a lot of sweating (hello zumba class!), I mix in about a tablespoon of castille soap just to amp it up. Now your shampoo is ready!
To use it, shake the bottle (so the baking soda doesn’t all settle out) and DRENCH your wet hair. I use about 1/4 cup per wash. Scrub with your fingers. Unless you’ve put in the castille soap, you’re not going to get any suds to speak of, but the baking soda will help get rid of excess oils in your hair while your fingers scrub out the dirt.
Play around with the herbs you put in until you find something you really like. Dried herbs and fresh herbs both work. I’ve had really good luck with cloves, rosemary and lavender. I’m trying a combination of rose petals, thyme and lavender this time…I’m a little afraid I’m going to smell like a dressed turkey. The herbs don’t leave a strong smell on your hair after you wash it out, but it’s nice to have the scent while you’re washing.
I also occasionally do a vinegar rinse with this new shampoo. It helps get rid of any product build up you might have, and if you’ve ever seen a grade school volcano, you KNOW it gets any baking soda that might be lingering in your hair out! I use apple cider vinegar and soak my hair and then rinse like crazy (the vinegar WILL leave a scent if you don’t rinse really well).
As always, if you have any questions, let me know!