These days, most of the products we use to wash our hair are synthetic and contain substances that can damage our health as they travel through the pores in our skin and make their way into the blood stream. If you want to protect your hair from all this, here’s an all-natural shampoo recipe that’s easy to make at home!
Shampoo manufacturers want their products to smell attractive and create a lot of foam, and we don’t realize that these are actually very powerful products and are detrimental to our health when used over time. For example, most of them contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a surfactant (tensioactive compound) which is used as an industrial detergent and degreaser. When we apply it to our scalp, it removes the natural oils on our scalp and irritates and dries the skin. It is also toxic.
A natural and healthy alternative is to use organic shampoos, made with natural and plant-based ingredients and scented with essential oils, although these shampoos can be more expensive than conventional products.
To get around these problems, one solution is to use a traditional formula which is natural and cost-effective and that you can make at home, for example the following shampoo made from sodium bicarbonate and apple vinegar.
What you’ll need
How to prepare your shampoo and conditioner
For normal hair, mix a tablespoon of bicarbonate into a glass of warm water until it dissolves and fill half of one of the bottles with it. This first mixture is your shampoo. Add more bicarbonate for oily hair, or reduce the amount if you have dry hair.
Mix a quarter of a glass of apple cider vinegar with one glass of water in the second bottle. This second mixture acts as a conditioner. The drier your hair is, the more vinegar you’ll need to add.
How to apply your natural shampoo and conditioner
- Apply the bicarbonate mixture to wet hair, covering the scalp in sections and gently massaging it in.
- Rinse well. The hair will feel a little rough, but the vinegar will neutralize its pH.
- Apply the vinegar mixture over the hair and scalp, and then rinse it out.
Other optional ingredients
We can add essential oils to these natural hair products to give the hair a pleasant fragrance and to benefit from their therapeutic properties. For example, tea tree oil helps with dandruff, and rosemary oil helps prevent hair loss. Lavender is relaxing for the scalp and leaves a lovely scent. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell will disappear when your hair dries.
The hair needs a little time to adjust to the use of natural products, to replace that natural layer of oil that keeps our hair and scalp healthy. Once you leave chemical products behind, you might experience notable changes, such as greasier hair or more dandruff. Do be patient, however, because after a couple of weeks the positive effects will start to show. Another option is to make the transition slowly, using progressively less chemical products each time you wash, and progressively more natural shampoo and conditioner, until you’re eventually no longer using those damaging chemical products at all!
Image courtesy of Richard Foster