Why I Started Making My Own Shampoo

You have no idea how many times I've tried to get my hair to comply with my wishes. How many times I've tried to be patient with its disobedience as I wean it off its preferences and wait for it to catch on. All the way back to sixth grade when I got a home perm (oh yes), it has had a mind of its own. What I anticipated to be loose, bouncy ringlets became poodle kinks. (Fortunately I think all photos are destroyed from that era.)

Over the past few years, the latest plea I've presented to my tresses is not having to wash  them everyday. All I'm shooting for is every other day. They get their washing wish. I've tried all sorts of shampoos, dry shampoos, baby powder, conditioners or no conditioners at all to try to make it to the 48-hour mark. Yet when the 24 hour mark hits, the oil gushes forth and there's no hope for going even an hour more.

Especially because I have such fine, thin hair, I know it's healthier for me to not be washing my hair everyday. But until now, there seemed no feasible (or attractive) solution. Forgoing my collection of shampoo and conditioner bottles, I have started using the shockingly simple answer of: baking soda and water. Yes, not a soap sud in sight. But it works.

When I went to the hairdresser last, I absolutely loved the shampoo they used on my hair. I really, really wanted to buy some because a day after getting my hair done, my hair was still not oily. This was the first time I'd ever experienced such a thing! Such freedom! But when I looked it up on Skin Deep (a site that rates how safe certain cosmetic and beauty brands are for you and the environment), it was marked as having "developmental/reproductive toxicity." Whoa. Which sent me on a search to find a shampoo that would be kind to my hair and to me.

After looking up a half a dozen "safe" shampoos to no avail, I happened upon a recipe to make your own shampoo using just baking soda and water. I was a little weary how this solution would work, but since I had both ingredients on-hand, I decided to give it a go.

Tomorrow, I'll post my day-by-day reactions to trying this new "shampoo," as well as the recipe for this ever-so-simple little concoction, if you'd like to try it for yourself. Skip ahead to Part II.

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  1. Thin, greasy hair. My worst nightmare.

    And after 22 years of putting up with it, i went drastic... 18 months ago I dreaded it.

    Not for the faint hearted and it took a good whole 9 hours for the lovely boyfriend to do it for me.

    But now, it's full of volume and i only have to wash it ever other day (or every three days, or every 4 days if i really want to push the boat out).

    best thing about them? it still looks like normal hair! because my hair is so fine the ends can't dread properly and i have 'wispy bits' but i love them so so much.

    wonder if i ever would have done it if i had found a secret shampoo recipe......... (but that would be a shame, as i do love them).

    hope it works!!

  2. This sounds awesome! I can't wait to see the results and I think I'll have to try it. I can only ever go 36 hours :( What about conditioner? Do you use any or make your own or do you still need it?

  3. My hair isn't thin but its always oily. Hope this works for you. I might have to try it

  4. Yep, it has worked out quite well, and I'd encourage anyone to at least give it a shot.

    I just posted an update, detailing my experiences and the recipe here:



  5. Hats off to you!! Chemicals in personal care products is one of my pet-peeves. The stuff that foams in a shampoo is called sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate, and it's used in car garages, etc as a degreaser.

    That's how it gives you that "squeaky-clean" feeling after washing, because it strips all the natural oils.

    People often find they have oily hair after swapping to all-natural shampoos, and think that their new shampoo doesn't work. This is not the case, it's just that their scalp has gotten used to over-producing oil.

    SOmetimes it can take months for hair to adjust to all-natural products, and many people give up before then because they don't understand why their hair is always greasy.

    It sounds like it's worked out well for you. I'm currently using a hemp-oil shampoo, but when it's finished I might give this a try. (It would certainly be cheaper...)


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