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Hello and Welcome! I decided to start this blog for everyone out there who has an interest, or WANTS to be interested, in living a life that is a little more sustainable. I am still learning, and invite you to follow this blog to learn along with me. I will share what I have learned as we go, and hopefully you will pitch in and share what YOU are doing to live a little more off of what you can grow and DO from home. PLEASE BELIEVE ME when I say, if I can learn how to do this on a very small backyard plot in a city, then ANYONE can do this!!

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

NEW SERIES: Natural Living So Easy Even I Can Do This! DIY Natural Shampoo and Creamy Conditioner

I am not "crunchy."  At least I didn't think I was, or would be for that matter.  I am referring to a term used by many to describe a person that has gone "all natural" or has changed/ altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons.  Ever since I started this journey to living a more sustainable lifestyle by trying just one new thing each month, I have realized that I may have created a monster (in a good way).  I have been blown away at how easy and CHEAP it is to make your own stuff; everything from bread and tortillas to household cleaners to garden markers and personal care products.  I have found that my homemade products work better than the store bought items; but the best part is that they are FREE of chemical-laden ingredients that are not good for my families health and well-being.  I have been really busy testing a LOT of recipes for a LOT of different things, and I am so very excited to start this series titled: "Natural Living So Easy Even I Can Do This." 

Today I would like to share how you can DUMP your store bought go-to bottle of chemical-plastic shampoo and conditioner!  I have fine hair that is long and Blond.  I previously dyed my hair and live in Colorado where it is pretty dry most of the year.  Translation: my hair sucks up conditioner like no tomorrow and can be a bit difficult at times.  Since I have started using the below natural recipes, my hair has balanced out it's natural moisture, is brighter and shinier, and is growing like crazy! 

A couple things to note when making 'the switch:'

*Your store bought shampoos have that super creamy/slimy consistency because of the chemicals/preservatives that are added so that it can sit on the shelf for a couple of years before going 'bad.'  The below recipe does not include any of those chemicals and will have a different consistency; more like liquid soap.

*Your store bought products actually contain a type of plastic that coats your hair to make it 'feel' soft and conditioned (when it really is not).  The below recipe does not contain said chemicals/plastics.  Your hair may go through a detox period when getting rid of these things from your hair and scalp (the chemicals added change the pH and natural oil balance of your scalp-in a not-so-good way).  DON'T WORRY-your hair will be softer and healthier than ever if you just stick with it.  Anytime you make healthy changes to your body, it needs to move out the 'bad' in order to make room for adding the 'good.'  This is the easiest way I know to simply explain the detoxification process.

*You may need to try a few different recipes and/or combinations of the recipes to customize it to your specific needs (Dry, Oily, Frizzy, Damaged).  Give each change at least a week or two so that your body has time to adjust.  This way you can make accurate assessments about how/if it is helping your hair and what you may need to adjust.  Yet another wonderful thing about making it yourself-the ultimate in customization!

OK-On to the recipes!  As I mentioned, I have tried a TON of recipes on myself (and co-workers, family members and friends) and I have found the below Shampoo and Conditioner recipes to be the simplest and most effective.  It took me a couple of  batches to get the conditioner the way I liked it (creamy with enough conditioning/moisturizing agents for my hair), but it is my favorite/easiest recipe thus far.

BASIC SHAMPOO RECIPE (see below for a Basic Herbal Shampoo):

1/4 C water
1/4 C Liquid Soap (Castile)
*1/2 tsp Carrier Oil (see below)
**OPTIONAL: Essential Oils for your hair type (see below)


SWEET ALMOND OIL: All hair types to Dry/Damaged: aides in hair loss prevention, heals split ends, adds shine, moisturizes dry/flaky/sensitive scalps

JOJOBA OIL: All types: Light sunscreen agent, Softens, Strengthens, Detangles, Balances Oil production (is said to be the closest to our natural skin oils)

GRAPESEED OIL: Regular to Oily: absorbs easily-is one of the lightest oils, thickens hair shaft

OLIVE OIL(Extra Virgin): Best for thick/coarse, dry/damaged: Ultra-Hydrating, strengthens, adds elasticity, adds shine, smoothes hair cuticle (coats hair shaft)

COCONUT OIL: Best for Regular to Dry Hair: Moisturizes scalp/dandruff control, adds shine, aides growth, softens, detangles

AVOCADO OIL: Best for Dry/Damaged: heals dry/damaged/mature hair, softens, aides hair growth *Goes rancid quickly.  Mix with Jojoba Oil and store in refrigerator to prolong 'shelf life.'

SESAME OIL: Sunscreen (blocks 30% UV rays) *Goes rancid quickly.  Mix with Jojoba for longer 'shelf life.'

**ESSENTIAL OILS (EO's) FOR HAIR (use 20 drops per 4-8 oz shampoo):

ROSEMARY: Dry scalp/Flaky scalp, promotes growth, darkens color
BASIL: Controls Oil production from scalp, promotes growth
LEMON: Controls oil/dandruff, natural blond highlights
LAVENDER: good for normal hair, treats dandruff and lice
PEPPERMINT: moisture aide, promotes growth
YLANG YLANG: (smells like jasmine): promotes growth, good for all hair types
*Visit here and here for some great EO blends by hair color and problem types.  Great websites to visit for more info!

To make the above into an HERBAL SHAMPOO:

1/2 C water
2 Tbsp dried or 1/3 C Fresh Chamomile, Lavender or Rosemary herbs
1/2 C "Basic Shampoo Recipe" (above)
2T Glycerin

*Bring water to a soft boil.  Add Herbs and remove from heat.  Cover and steep for 20-30 minutes.  Then strain out herbs/flowers to reserve the liquid only.
*Add shampoo and glycerin to the reserved liquid and stir well.
*Put in bottle and let sit overnight.

USE: Lightly mix bottle before each use.  Shampoo and rinse for 2 minutes with cool water.


The Easy Aromatherapies website linked above also contains the best creamy Conditioner recipe I have tried thus far.   Click HERE for that recipe. 
*The only thing I want to mention about the recipe is that you really DO need to make sure the temperatures of the water/herbal mixture and the oil mixture are as close as you can get them.  My first batch had the contents separate, but as long as I mixed it before using it still worked great.  Also, use the EO blends as suggested for your hair type/condition.  This gives you added benefit and it really worked wonders for my thin/dry hair/blond hair.

*There are also many recipes and suggestions for Hair Rinses for use in place of a conditioner.  I have tried many of these and have not found one yet that works well for my hair.

That's it for now.  HELP ME EXPERIMENT and try different recipes, then let me know what you have found!  If you try these recipes, I would love to hear your comments.  Just don't forget to give it a week or so before making your final judgment.  I am still experimenting and preparing to make some Shampoo Bars (that condition all in one) as well as a pH balancing recipe for Shampoo that does not contain Castile Soap.  I will certainly share my experience when I test those out too!

I hope you have as much fun on the road to "crunchiness" as I am!  Well, lets just call it "sustainable living."  I'm Cool with that too.


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