I started looking into natural organic no-poo DIY haircare once I started researching more about natural and organic health, beauty, and domestic products. I learnt that most of the things that I considered safe to use and natural were, in fact, quite the opposite. Often under the label of “natural” or “organic” I would find ingredients that I would definitely NOT expect to be listed as such – parabens, fragrances, and others. So I started carefully looking at the ingredients list of all the products I was thinking of buying, and learnt to understand different scientific names for chemical ingredients, as well as more about the natural substitutes for potentially harmful ingredients.
Sadly, after a long search I could barely find any natural AND organic haircare products on the market, which left me with only one option…make my own!
The idea behind is that everything you put on your body will eventually get inside your body (for example, through the pores of your skin). Hence, the more toxic substances you put on your body, the more toxic your body can become, potentially affecting your health and wellbeing. You can read more about the harmful ingredients in beauty products in the upcoming posts – watch the space!
There can be a few solutions to the problem.
First one, and the easiest (as I thought) is to buy a certified organic natural hair and beauty products. However, in reality this option turned out to be not as easy as it sounds. I have come across a number of hair care products labelled “organic” and “natural” only to later find that by “organic” and “natural” they meant “containing organic and natural ingredients”, which is always such a tiny percentage of the whole product! So I learnt to always read ingredients and small prints before I buy any products.
Another problem with any natural and organic beauty products is that, unlike food industry, in beauty industry there are actually no regulations for organic products. To the point that you can produce a product with minuscule percentage of organic compound in it and label it organic!
So, on top of a big challenge of finding natural and organic hair products, I now also had to look for CERTIFIED organic to make sure it is, indeed, organic… At that point, the task seemed impossible. I deterred to yet the only solution I could think about – make my own hair products! Now I am making nearly all my beauty products and cosmetics (excluding soap and toothpaste, but I am working on it!), and am very happy I have come to the DIY method, which is fun, creative, cost-effective, and the results are usually great natural organic products which last forever and are much more pleasant and effective than many of the products I used to buy!
After trying a few DIY shampoo and conditioner methods, I have stopped at this one for several reasons.
Firstly, it is very quick and easy to make. 1min, and your natural shampoo and organic conditioner are ready!
Secondly, there are only 2 simple ingredients which are cheap and easy to get.
Thirdly, and most importantly, it actually works! Indeed, I have tried several DIY methods involving coconut oil, Castile soap, and others – they simply did not work! There was always some oily residue left on my hair making it look greasy and unwashed… It was like I did not wash my hair at all!
This method definitely worked the best for my fine oily hair. However, saying that, it is possible that if you have dry hair you will need another DIY method, but I would at least give this method a try! I read that it works as well on dry as on oily hair, so just try to see for yourself (I would highly recommend trying on your day in though – so that in case you don’t like the effect, you have plenty of time to wash it off and don’t need to go out looking like a mess!)
Lastly, I love the effects of this shampoo on my hair! After using mostly synthetic shampoos and conditioners which would cover my hair with synthetic silky layer to give a glowing and shiny effect, I was pleasantly surprised that you can achieve the same glow (and even better!) naturally. Moreover, my hair felt much softer and was much more voluminous.
Another interesting effect was that my hair seemed to lighten up a bit! I read on some blogs that it can actually happen, probably due to the natural shampoo and conditioner overtime washing off the layer of synthetic products from your hair, making it look lighter.
I was also pleasantly surprised that I needed to wash my hair less often – I now wash hair once in 3-4 days compared to before, when I used to wash it once in 2 days.
And lastly, I think my hair actually became healthier – it feels thicker, and after a few weeks I noticed dramatic growth – I am not contributing it all to my natural DIY shampoo, as there are so many factors that could influence your hair’s health like diet, health, well-being, stress, environment, and others, but I think DIY natural shampoo and conditioner certainly helped!
Preparation time: 1min
baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). I buy mine in bulk here
certified organic apple cider vinegar. I buy this one from amazon
2 jars with caps on top – I re-used medium ones from olives or pickles
- put baking soda in a jar with warm water (soda to water ration 1:3, meaning if, for example, you put 3 t.s. of soda, put 3*3=9 t.s. of water in the jar). Shake well until completely diluted.
- put organic apple cider vinegar in a jar with water (vinegar to water ration 1:4, meaning if, for example, you put 3 t.s. of apple cider vinegar, put 3*4=12 t.s. of water in the jar). Shake well until completely diluted.
That’s it! If you would like, you can also add a few drops of certified organic essential oil to vinegar and water solution to give an extra boost to your hair. You can use essential oils even if you have oily skin and hair (like me), because some essential oils can help control sebum production, and possess antimicrobial properties that help fight bacteria on oily skin and scalp.
I like to use rosemary essential oil (good for hair growth, I recommend this one), tea tree oil (for oily scalp, I use this one), and orange essential oil (for oily hair, I recommend this one). You can also use lavender oil – it can have a mildly relaxing affect, and is also known for its ability to disinfect the scalp and skin – so it is very good for those suffering from dandruff, oily skin, or any skin/scalp conditions. Plus your hair will smell amazing afterwards!
I usually use a couple of drops of two or three of these oils in apple cider vinegar and water solution once a week. Essential oils can make your hair softer, scalp healthier, and also act as natural hair perfume.
In this method, you would want to use baking soda and water mixture as shampoo, and apple cider vinegar and water solution as conditioner.
Baking soda has many uses, from getting rid of nearly any type of dirt in your house, to potentially helping with some health conditions. Its topical use if safe and non-toxic, and it is believed to help itchiness when added in small doses to water.
Soda’s cleansing and potential healing properties make it a perfect ingredient in DIY hair shampoo! Simply rub the soda/water mixture on your scalp and hair for a minute or so, then wash it off with warm water. If there is some baking soda left in the jar after you use the mixture, add some water to create more mixture and rub it into hair and scalp. Avoid contact with eyes – if it gets into eyes, use plenty of water to wash them.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is yet another miraculous product with lots of health and beauty uses. Its pH levels are very close to human skin pH levels, which makes it perfect as a pH skin regulator. When the skin pH is kept within its healthy levels (between 4.5 and 5.5), it prevents fungal and bacterial growth, keeping your scalp and hair healthy. Also, the acid in apple cider vinegar has an antimicrobial property, thus preventing or, potentially, even curing dandruff and hair loss. It can also help remove product residue on hair if left for 3 minutes, detangle hair (thus commonly used as conditioner in many no-poo methods), add shine, reduce frizz, prevent damage to hair (by smoothing down cuticles of the hair), stimulate hair growth, and help with split ends and breakages! You can read more about the uses and benefits of apple cider vinegar in upcoming posts.
You would want to use apple cider vinegar and water solution as a conditioner. After you have washed off baking soda and water mixture, apply apple cider vinegar and water solution on your hair (I also like to gently massage it into scalp) and leave it for 3min. Wash off with warm water ((be careful not to get it into your eyes as it might sting. If that happens, use plenty of water to wash your eyes). I also like to rinse my hair with cold water afterwards as I believe it can help smooth down the cuticles on hair, making it more resistant to damage. It also gives my hair extra shine.
After washing my hair, I always let it dry by itself (without using hair drier). I don’t usually use any products either, as I think this method gives my hair very nice natural glowing and luminous look.
I use the Ayurvedic method of combing hair – I comb it only when it is completely dry, and I use soft detangling hair brush, start on the ends and proceed up to the roots. This way it is believed that hair is less damaged in the process, as wet hair is very delicate and can get easily deformed and/or damaged when combed.
Last note about DIY No-Poo Natural method. In many cases, once you will start using any DIY No-Poo Natural method, your hair and scalp can take a few weeks to readjust to a new haircare, which means that your hair might feel a bit greasy and get dirtier quicker. This is because while non-natural methods tend to strip most of the oils from your scalp, your scalp has to produce lots more sebum to compensate for the loss of oil. Natural methods do not strip your scalp of essential oils, which means that your scalp would need to produce less oil (which might explain why many people claim that, over time, with DIY No-Poo method they don’t have to wash their hair as often). And while it is transitioning into producing less oils, your hair might feel and look a bit greasy. This should subside within a couple of weeks or so – in my case, it was only a week and it was not that bad!
Also, if you have fizzy or/and dry hair, you might want to try this DIY Natural Shampoo method. Wellnessmama website (which I absolutely adore, and which gave me lots of inspiration for my own blog) has lots of interesting ideas for DIY No-Poo method, so you can have a look and see if one of them works better for you! I would love to hear your thoughts on it!
Lastly, some people (including myself) reported that this “no-poo” method dried their hair and scalp out, in which case you might want to try the shampoo method above or my favorite rye flour “no-poo” method.
In case you do not have time to prepare your own DIY shampoo or conditioner, or maybe you are travelling and bringing the ingredients to do a DIY method is not very convenient, you can try Neal’s Yard Remedies shampoos and conditioners – they are natural and organic, with very nice smooth consistency and smell. They will leave your hear look fresh, clean, and soft. I buy a bottle of NYR shampoo and conditioner each time I go travelling, and I love them! You can get yours here.
If so, what did you use? Did you see any positive effects on your hair?