What better time than summer to experiment with natural beauty? I've been playing around with a more natural approach to my beauty products lately. For my first experiment I went an entire month without washing my hair! Well, to clarify, I washed my hair, but not with traditional shampoo and conditioner. I tried three different natural methods: 1. Baking Soda & Apple Cider Vinegar 2. Honey Washing 3. Castile Soap and Coconut Milk Shampoo
The results were definitely interesting, and I learned how to get creative with scarves and up-dos in the process! The baking soda/vinegar combo dried my hair out, the honey left it way too greasy and not clean enough, but the castile soap and coconut milk was just right! I'm not sure I'll switch to natural shampoo for good, I've been going back and forth since the month ended, but it's good to know there are natural products out there that really do work.
While Castile/Coconut worked best for me, the other methods might work for you, so give them a shot! There might be an adjustment period your hair goes through where it freaks out a bit because it's so used to the chemicals we use in it, but if you can get through that it is totally worth it. Not to mention, this stuff smells amazing! Here's my recipe for DIY haircare:
This makes a pretty big batch. If you want to make less to start just use 1 part milk to 2 parts soap and adjust the other ingredients accordingly. I’ve read in different places you can keep it in the shower for up to a month, but it’s probably best to store it in the fridge, especially (and only up to two weeks tops) if you use fresh coconut milk like I did.
1/3 cup coconut milk (I made my own! It's really easy, recipe for that is at the end of the blog. If you use store bought, try to find the most natural kind you can.)
2/3 cup castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s unscented, but it comes in a ton of scents. The great thing about DIY beauty products is you can totally customize it to your personal preferences!)
1 tsp avocado oil
A few drops of your favorite essential oil. I used lavender, but whatever scent you like will do!
OPTIONAL: 1 tsp coconut oil. If your hair is really dry this could help. People with oily hair might do better to skip this ingredient, but experiment and see what works for you! If you use this, melt it in the microwave for a few seconds so it mixes in easily.
I used a bottle I already had. Just pour everything in and shake gently to combine. GENTLY! It bubbles! Use just like shampoo. It’s more watery than shampoo, so if you make this and think you screwed something up, you probably didn’t. You only need about a tsp to tbl depending on your hair length.
A separate conditioner isn't necessary, but if you want a quick and easy natural conditioner you can use Apple Cider Vinegar. Just mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water in a spray bottle. Spray on hair, leave on for a couple minutes, comb and rinse out. If you're worried about the vinegar smell, don't be! It rinses right out and leaves your hair soft and shiny.
NOTE: this isn't really meant to be used every day. I only wash my hair 2-3 times per week. I also don't color it, so all you ladies with color treated locks might want to proceed with caution when it comes to natural haircare.
If you try this out, share your experience in the comments section. We'd love to hear from you! -Jaimie
Oh, and here's that Super Easy Coconut Milk Recipe I promised you:
Put 1/2 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut in a blender.
Add 4 c. REALLY hot - just about boiling water.
Pulse together in a blender for about 30 seconds.
Strain through a sieve or cheesecloth into a container with a lid. Keep running it through until all of the milk is drained from the coconut. Tip: If you use a sieve you will probably get a bit of coconut oil rising to the top after the milk is chilled. Don't throw it out, use it in your shampoo or as a lotion!
And what to do with all those leftover coconut shreds? Roast 'em! Make macaroons. Blend into a face mask. There are a million possibilities. Thanks, Google. :)