One of the most challenging aspects of creating an entirely handmade or entirely natural bath and body routine is hair care. Individual hair types can vary so greatly, that it is simply impossible for one recipe or product to be everything to everyone. Even when you find a product that you really love, the honeymoon can't last forever. Due to the residues that build up in your hair, most commercial shampoos and conditioners must be switched out regularly with new products to keep your hair looking its best. Finding a natural shampoo and conditioner that is both truly natural, and truly helpful can be a very frustrating task. This is because many of the synthetic ingredients found in shampoos and conditioners are responsible for the rich lather, and silky slip that you've come to expect in these products. The industry has spent countless dollars and hours racing to create the best compromise - products that contain more natural and less artificial ingredients while still behaving like classic shampoo and conditioners.
These semi-natural products are a good start, but what if you are looking for an all natural hair care routine? It may be time to try something completely different. Last year, I made the leap to using solid shampoo bars instead of liquid shampoo. Though I was a little weary at first, the results were amazing! My hair loved it, and I loved knowing that my shampoo was free of parabens, SLS, or any other questionable ingredients. Shampoo Bars can be made as simply as cold process or hot process soap. They are made in countless varieties, often incorporating specialty ingredients such as beer, Herbs, Botanical Extracts, Essential Oils, or Milk Products. Simply lather the soap in your hands, and spread it through your hair like you would a liquid shampoo. A good quality shampoo bar will not only clean your hair, it will help to condition it, eliminating the need for a conventional conditioner. Though I'm sure this can vary depending on the Shampoo Bar or Recipe you are using, and the price of your current hair care routine, I've found that making the switch to using a Shampoo Bar has also proved to make economic sense. A good quality bar of shampoo will last through many uses, and without the additional cost of conditioner I've cut the cost of my specialty hair care quite a bit. There are many Shampoo Bar recipes available online. You can find two nice examples here, at SoapNuts.com.
One drawback to shampoo bars is that they will leave residue on your hair after several uses. This problem is easily remedied by using a Rinse after every few washes. A simple rinse can be made as simply as combining 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar with one part Water. However, you can create more elaborate Rinses by incorporating teas, Infusions, Hydrsosols, Extracts, or other specialty ingredients. If you aren't crazy about the aroma of Apple Cider Vinegar, try adding a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil to your rinse. Also, check out our Herbal Hair Rinse Recipe or Ayurvedic Hair Rinse Recipe for something extra special.
Just as your skin can benefit from the occasional mask or facial, your hair loves being pampered now and then. How often you treat your hair depends on the type of treatment and your type of hair. Hair Oils can be used as an occasional intensive treatment, or can be applied daily to the hair's tips to keep ends healthy and conditioned. Check out the following links for all natural, moisturizing hair treatments that can be made by hand: