DIY: Shampoo

DIY hair shampoo

Update on August 5th, 2014: If you enjoyed making this recipe please donate $5 to help the author cover her costs for Leukemia

Ed’s note: This post was written by contributor, Lu Lyons

Becoming green

Several years ago I became interested in sustainability, and started switching my beauty purchases to products that were not only not tested on animals, but had a minimal impact on the planet. To move toward a more sustainable consumption habit, many sustainable living gurus will tell you, switch one item at a time. I started with shampoo.

Frothy shampoo is a beauty misconception

After going organic, I noticed some shampoos won’t froth up like regular shampoo. In my research on organic hair care, I discovered that regular shampoos contain SLS or SLES, sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. These manufactured chemicals help make shampoo, toothpaste, detergents, soaps, and pretty much every household cleaner, thick and frothy. They also can cause skin irritation, and once absorbed by the skin become an oestrogen mimic, leading to all sorts of horrible health issues. SLS/SLES also take a while to break down in water down the drain, and may be toxic to sea creatures, or animals that ingest the water. Fun!

Lesson number one: bubbles do not necessarily mean squeaky clean. The good news, the SLS-free shampoo cleaned my hair no problems. My hair initially felt different, mainly a little drier. After a few washes this was no longer a problem, and I put it down to the new shampoo washing away the toxins of the old stuff. My retained the shininess of using regular shampoo.

The problem with buying shampoo comprised of organic where possible ingredients, is the price. Eek! Lesson number two: organic is expensive!

Luisa Lyons hair shampoo

The perfect recipe for healthy hair

In an effort to counter this price, I looked at making my own shampoo. The internet proved very helpful, and after a bit of experimentation, I discovered the right recipe for my locks using ingredients sitting in my kitchen cupboard.

What you’ll need:

* 1-2 tablespoons of bicarb

* a tablespoon of honey

* a tablespoon of lemon juice

* a cup of warm water

Mix all the ingredients in a bottle or jar, and voila! The bicarb and lemon clean the hair, whilst the honey adds moisture and shine.

The final result

I confess I was slightly nervous about putting this concoction on my head, as I was anxious about smelling funny, or my hair becoming strange looking, but the fear was abated by the result of clean, shiny hair. My hair felt different when using the bicarb shampoo, but ultimately cleaner. Over time the bicarb made my hair dryer than I’m used to, but adding more honey helped. The homemade can be a bit of a pain when traveling, so I usually take a bottle of organic shampoo with me when I’m on the go. Alternating between homemade and bought organic is cheaper than going all out store-bought certified organic, but it’s fun to experiment with different “recipes”.

It’s great knowing that there are products that help you look great, without doing harm to the environment, and all the creatures that live in it… including ourselves!

Ed’s note: If you’re on the hunt for a shampoo by sustainable, cruelty-free brands who care about the environment try Organic Care by Natures Organics which Kate recently reviewed and loved. Other great eco-friendly companies are Lush, Moogoo or Sukin. They have recyclable packaging, carbon neutral status and source products from sustainable farms.

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 Luisa is an Australian actor-musician and writer living in London. Whilst looking out for things sustainable, delicious, and fun, she also writes an inspiration blog called breathe just breathe.

Update on August 5th, 2014: If you enjoyed making this recipe please donate $5 to help the author cover her costs for Leukemia

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6 thoughts on “DIY: Shampoo

  1. Really enjoyed reading this! 🙂 so I have a question seeing that your shampoo is water based what would you use to preserve the shampoo? extend the shelf life?

    • Thanks Sheereig! Great question! As I have short hair and only need to wash it once or twice a week, I only make small batches and haven’t had to worry about shelf life. Additionally, the recipe takes only a minute to make, and I’ll often just make a batch when I need it. All part of the hair experiment fun!

  2. I found you through pinterest. But when I clicked on the link pinterest told me it was spam. No idea why. I was brave enough to click through 🙂
    Thanks for your shampoo recipe.

    • Thanks so much for letting us know Ann. I wonder why it said spam.

      And so glad you like the recipe – would love to know how you go & if it suits your hair 🙂

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