Have you ever stood in the shower a few minutes longer than necessary and aimlessly read the back of your shampoo bottle? Water, sodium laureth sulfate, cocamide MEA, glycol disterate, sodium chloride, dimethicone, and so on, and so forth. What are all those things, and do luscious locks really require so many chemicals?
It’s hard to see beyond the hype after decades of body product marketing campaigns ingrained in our brains, but there are many beauty products that you can make at home on your own with natural ingredients. Sure, it’s easier to pick up a colorful bottle full of promises. But if you’ve already started taking a natural approach to your diet, why not match your outsides to your insides?
When it comes to shampoo, you can go as simple or elaborate as you like. Believe it or not, the simplest and cheapest way to make your own shampoo involves just baking soda and water. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 8 ounces of hot water and voilà! While this might appeal to some frugal and low-maintenance hair washers, many of us wouldn’t mind sprucing this recipe up a bit.
For a easy and more nourishing blend, try Money Saving Queen‘s mix of 1/3 cup Castile soap, ¼ cup coconut milk, and ½ teaspoon olive oil. Other all-natural shampoos get their cleaning power from chamomile tea and essential oils, like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, almond oil, and rosemary oil. Although you can buy ready-made soap flakes in health food stores, you can also make your own soap flakes at home with a good ole’ fashioned bar of soap. If you’re in the good habit of not washing every day to let your hair retain its natural oils, you can make your own dry shampoo with cornstarch, cocoa powder, ground oatmeal, and even dried lavender.
Most homemade conditioner recipes involve apple cider vinegar, essential oils, honey, and water. If you’re looking for an occasional deep condition, toss in a little extra coconut oil, essential oils, and honey. To ensure that your body smells as good as your locks, you can even make your own all-natural homemade deodorant. Try blending cornstarch, baking soda, coconut oil, shea butter, and peppermint oil and refrigerating the mixture until it solidifies to a “body butter” consistency for easy application.
Whether you’re serious about keeping unnecessary chemicals out of your life or just curious about trying a homemade recipe, all-natural beauty products aren’t rocket science. Although these recipes don’t require a chemistry degree, they will require a bit of patience as you perfect the trial-and-error approach. Pick up a few reusable plastic containers around to hold a couple variations of your concoctions, and label them so you can keep track of your favorite mixes. You’re not going to put the chemical beauty industry out of business, but you might feel a bit better about your body, both outside and in.