How to Green Your Hair Care Routine: Homemade Shampoo and Eco Friendly Products

I’ve talked a lot about getting rid of toxins in the products you use in order to protect yourself from endocrine disrupting chemicals and restore your metabolism.  But sometimes that seems very difficult, as there are TONS of products out there that claim to be eco friendly, but really aren’t.  Not only are the ingredients hard to pronounce and unknown, but a lot of the organic products are very expensive!  If you’ve been reading here for any length of time you know that I’m very frugal, so when I started revamping my personal care routine, I tried lots of different ways to eliminate toxins without spending a fortune on products.  Here’s what I came up with.

I tried the no shampoo method of using baking soda and water to scrub your hair, then rinsing with dilute apple cider vinegar water.  The rinse left my hair shiny, but I was not thrilled with the baking soda and water method.  I felt it left my hair feeling dry, and it was just difficult to apply.  I was committed to finding a shampoo recipe that worked, and finally stumbled across this one  from Peaceful Acres Farm.  I use old honey bottles for my shampoo and ACV rinse.

Homemade Shampoo Recipe

8 oz water

3 oz liquid castile soap

20-60 drops essential oil

1 oz jojoba oil (or more, depending on the dryness of your hair).

Mix all ingredients together in a squeeze bottle.  Shake before each use as the oil and water will naturally separate.

I love it because you can tailor the scents and the amount of oil to exactly what your hair needs.  Even though my hair is a bit on the dry side, right now I’m just using 60 drops of tea tree essential oil in my recipe, and its worked out just fine.  The tea tree oil helps with dandruff, and I love the smell anyway.  I use unscented liquid castile soap, so I can make the scent whatever I want it to be.  If you do use the extra oil, I would definitely stick with jojoba.  It’s more expensive than olive oil or sweet almond oil, but its the oil most like our own natural oils and gets absorbed into your scalp much better.  When I tried the almond oil, I noticed a definite difference, and my hair felt a bit greasy.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

3 T apple cider vinegar

1 quart water

Mix together, and pour into squeeze or spray bottle.  You can either pour it on and then rinse out after a few minutes, or spritz on and leave in, letting it air dry.  The vinegar smell will dissipate as your hair dries.

Apple cider vinegar is actually great for balancing the pH of your hair and scalp.  When I’ve shampooed but forgotten to use the rinse, I feel like my hair is dry and not as easy to comb through afterwards.  If you really don’t like the smell of ACV, you can infuse it with herbs.  For me this was just an extra step that I never seemed to have time for anyways.

So that’s what I use for shampoo and conditioner, and I’ve been very happy with it.  What about styling products?  I have thick, curly hair, and when you combine that with the sometimes 80% humidity we get here in central Florida, frizz is a definite problem.  I haven’t tried any homemade recipes for mousse or gel because I haven’t seen any that look very promising.  This is where the Skin Deep database came in handy.  I perused the selection of products at the local health food store and then checked the skin deep database.  I finally settled on the Giovanni brand, which seemed to have an overall rating of low on most of their products.  The ones I use weren’t listed in the database, but the ingredient list was easy to read: purified water, sunflower seed oil, a bunch of different plant extracts, and minimal hard to pronounce ingredients.  Is it perfect?  Probably not.  But I think its pretty good, and since I wear my hair in a surgical cap for work most days anyway, I don’t use these products very often.  Yes, they are a bit expensive, but the shampoo and conditioner I make literally cost me pennies each batch, so I’m ok with paying a bit more for products I feel good about using.

There are tons of different recipes and resources for homemade shampoo out there, so feel free to do an internet search to find which one works best for you.  And if you’re one of those lucky girls that doesn’t need to use any products in your hair, I’m officially jealous.  Enjoy your good fortune!

Check out more posts like this over at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable.


5 thoughts on “How to Green Your Hair Care Routine: Homemade Shampoo and Eco Friendly Products

  1. oooh great post. i recently tried straight dr. bronners on my hair (we use it as my daughter’s bath soap) and i didn’t have much success. i’ll have to try it with the other ingredients you listed. also, have you heard of 100% pure? their products are completely plant-based, and they’ve got a reasonably priced balm that might help with the frizz. here’s a link

  2. Thanks for the shampoo recipe! I too tried the baking soda shampoo, and wasn’t pleased enough with it to go more than a couple weeks. I haven’t used a squeeze bottle yet, but one issue I run into when trying alternative shampoo methods is not working it through all my hair evenly, leaving me with a greasy spot on the back of head. Any tips for a fellow thick-haired girl?

    I do use the ACV as a conditioner and have been pleased with the results. I keep a small container of it in the shower. I pour a couple tablespoons in a cup, fill the rest with water, and dip as much of my hair in it as will fit (that way I know the ends get it) and pour the rest over my head.

    • The squeeze bottle is key! I also tend to have a spot on the back of my head that gets missed, so I just try and squeeze some on my head, lather it up, and then if I’ve missed a spot, I squirt directly onto it and keep lathering. It’s much easier that way. You can reuse a honey bottle that you’ve cleaned really well, or just get one of the cheap kitchen squeeze bottles like they have for sauces.

      I like the idea of using a cup for your ACV, I’m sure I probably miss the ends with my ACV conditioner. I’ll have to try it out!

  3. Pingback: Homemade Laundry Detergent | owningwellness

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