I’ll give you the recipe first, and then explain the world of hair as I’ve come to know it within the last year. Because I usually never read the backstory of why a recipe came to be, I just want to jump right in. However, you should read a little background about why you’re about to put something on your hair. Haha. Don’t blindly trust anyone, me included.
TWO TO ONE RATIO FOR A BATCH
Instead of measuring specific measurements or using a scale, you can easily remember this recipe by remembering for each scoop of BLANK and BLANK, you do two scoops of BLANK.
Make a bulk batch if your heart desires. But keep it dry until you are ready and keep it unscented until you are ready. That way you can change your mind with the seasons and add essential oils at your liking. You can even make this shampoo with festive scents for the holidays. But I warn you, your non-homestead friends may think you’re losing your mind.
Many homesteaders take pride in growing their own food and preserving the world around them, but then they reach for crappy over the counter products. Your scalp/skin is a large organ that takes abuse like any other part of you. If you’re not nourishing it and treating it properly, it’s going to show.
A year ago, I chopped off my mermaid hair. It was dull, dry, frizzy, and lots of split ends. I mean, my splits had splits. Haha. I tried salvaging it with silicone and bonding serums and realized I couldn’t afford to keep up. Plus, I’m a very lazy hair girl. Hence, the damage.
I have also never had long hair, except for the last decade or so. Growing up it was a bowl cut with no imagination. Then in highschool, a drastic cut (think P!nk the singer) led everyone to think I lost my mind, but my hair has always been wavy and unruly. I never saw girls with my hair type. It’s very, very thick and not straight, but not curly either. I no longer own a straightener because it took forever to do and just caused more damage.
Anywho… here’s what I’ve learned. The hair has a natural apex. An area where, in its natural state, is more prone to breakage. As we get older, that area where it becomes naturally brittle gets shorter and shorter.
I’ve tried making my own shampoo, but not all natural fits the bill. Many homesteaders have extremely hard water. The inside of my washing machine is a lovely orange color forever and always. And those minerals are also building up on our hair. A lot of natural homemade shampoos can’t adequately remove this. Also, the hair is left a little dry. I am not fortunate enough to be able to use castile soap and get away with it.
Then I stumbled upon a few tips, tricks, and hair magicians. By no means do I have supermodel hair, but I have come to love my hair and enjoy what it’s doing in its natural wild and wavy state. That’s something people pay money for! One day we will get around to creating a replica of one of our favorite shampoos. The first ingredient is potassium cocoate. This is literally the byproduct of coconut oil and potassium hydroxide. Soap friends, it’s potash and coconut oil. If you’re an avid soap maker, you have the base for liquid hair magic. The problem then comes with a conditioner.
Hair in its natural state is not the soft and silky touchable hair you see in over the counter hair commercials. Also, those over the counter shampoos don’t actually make your hair look that way anyhow. Hair is supposed to be a little wirey (is that the word? A little thread like?). A little more wild.
This mineral shampoo fits the bill. The only downside to it- it’s not recommended for rivers lakes and streams– no soap is. I’ve read different things about how safe it is for fish in waterways. So if you’re in a yurt in the wild washing your hair under a waterfall, use caution. SCI or sodium cocoyl isethionate is not something you can make yourself, but it is a gentle foaming cleanser that makes a great bubble bath, shampoo, and body wash. It’s earth friendly as it is biodegradable. You can even use it on your pets. What’s great too is you can buy it in bulk and it is a great value. Less than $20 of ingredients gives my family shampoo that lasts us nearly 6 months (keep in mind we do not shampoo our hair daily).
The next ingredient, Rhassoul clay or even Bentonite clay (also sometimes called Indian Healing Clay) is a type of volcanic mineral (from volcanic ash) that is used in face masks, hair masks, and body products. Fun fact: Bentonite clay is named from a place near Fort Benton, Montana, where it’s found. Any hair clay with moisturizing properties could easily be swapped out. Arrowroot powder can be purchased at the grocery store.
Note: Sodium coco sulfate found in most shampoo bars is another biodegradable option, but sodium cocoyl isethionate is considered more biodegradable, though (I will say it again for the people in the back) you should never put soap (no matter how natural) in a river, lake, or stream. Even Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, which is biodegradable, advises caution when washing outside. It’s actually recommended to bury soap when used in the wilderness at least 6 inches and 200 feet from a natural water source.
For the hair rinse, I’ve been told by many hairstylist friends never to put vinegar in my hair, but this isn’t the same white vinegar– NEVER USE WHITE VINEGAR. This is apple cider vinegar (acv)– bonus points if you infused it with rosemary because it’s going to smell better. ACV remove any left behind residue from the mineral shampoo. If you don’t have hard water and can get away with not needing the rinse, more power to you. If you’re not sure– do a hand test. Wash your hands with the shampoo and then dry them. They will still feel soft like they’re coated with something (minerals). After you dry your hands, rub your hands together. If you see white film, you will probably need an acv rinse to aid in getting what water alone can’t. Fun fact: you can also use an old beer, kombucha, or kefir water as a rinse.
Cost savings- if you’re making your own acv, you are saving more money than buying it, obviously. It just takes about 6 weeks to create. But if you are making your own acv, I wonder if you could add the rosemary to infuse it at the same time? Otherwise, if you want to infuse with rosemary, it’s going to take a few more weeks. Again, though, that part is all extremely optional. You can purchase and use right away. If you’re buying acv, please buy something with the mother. While you can technically buy acv from the Dollar Tree, it’s not the same. At least that’s been my experience. The higher quality acv doesn’t have the same lingering vinegar smell.
What’s great about having the clay and arrowroot on hand is you can combine them for a great texturizing dry shampoo or you can just use the arrowroot powder alone. I find that I don’t have to wash my hair nearly as often anymore and I don’t have a period of having to get used to it like you do when you go low poo or no poo.
Have fun experimenting with plants!
APRICOT KERNEL OIL
I periodically put apricot kernel oil on the ends of my hair after it is dried– even while still damp. It keeps my hair shiny but not oily. Being blonde, it was hard to find a hair oil that I liked. Jojoba was too much for our hair needs. Blonde hair can’t handle oil as well as you brunettes out there. Your hair looks lustrous with nearly any oil.
Apricot kernel oil can even be infused with anti-inflammatory herbs for added benefit. The options there are endless.
WHERE TO FIND
You can find these items on your favorite billionaire’s website, ebay, and smaller companies listed in the shopping portion of Google. You can find some at the grocery store, too. Make sure you are finding companies that are environmentally friendly. I’m not tagging any one because I’m not brand loyal and I’m don’t want you think I’m getting paid for this content. This is just the opinion of one gal, a year’s journey, and how we’ve come to love our hair.
HAIR TIPS AND TRICKS
Other things I have learned that have helped my hair from breakage and damage- get yourself a silk scrunchie. A real one. Your hair will be so happy. I don’t use the little ponytail holders anymore. Also, if your hair is super thick, a nice sandalwood comb really helps keep the hair less frizzy. I don’t brush my hair often. The comb is awesome, but when I need to get a rats nest out or if I decided to frantically roll around in our sleep, I like the ouchless brush. I use it on my daughter who has curly hair. It has saved our relationship and works better than any wet/dry brush I’ve found.
Note: No tags or affiliations because there are many options out there.
If you have the budget, and a great hairstylist, there are great salon quality products that are designed to work extremely well and some of them are less toxic.
Also, this shampoo is deemed safe for color treated hair.
Now to the curl cream. Or flax seed goo, if you will. It’s amazing. Curly or wavy hair becomes more so if you give it protein and mucilage content. That’s why you see people putting egg whites in their hair. It works! Here, I just take a tablespoon of flax seeds in a about a cup of water (I use distilled so it lasts longer). After the seeds boil, they will begin to breakdown and create a goo. Strain the seeds and watch the goo thicken up as it cools. This is now your curl cream. It may take some getting used to, but it’s a rockstar when it comes to applying to damp hair and then using a diffuser on your hair dryer. It also can be used a heat protectant. I find that a few drops of rosemary essential oil extends the shelf life of it as it should be stored in the fridge and used within a week. That’s why you want to make this in small batches.
What to store it in? I usually make a mason jar batch of dry mineral shampoo and then add a few tablespoons to an old ketchup bottle (you read that right). It’s the perfect for squeezing out the product and if I make it too thick or too watery, it still comes out of the bottle. Plastic or silicone bbq bottles also work. You don’t have to buy anything. I initially had them in salvaged amber glass bottles, but glass and water in the tub is a bad idea. I knocked it over and was left with a mess. Same with the acv. An old ketchup bottle works very well for this, too.
I hope you give mineral shampoo a try. I hope it works for you as well as it has for me. Also if you skipped to the end and didn’t read the middle, I don’t have ANY affiliate links in here. I’m not getting paid– AT ALL. I never want to provide information to the world that I don’t confidently agree with. These are just my humble hair opinions for my wild and crazy hair.