The Frugal Holistic
A Day at Your Favorite Spa: Your Own!
(Part 3 of 4 - Homemade Haircare)
Well, now if you have been paying attention and having fun, you have had a wonderful facial and you have had the best manicure and pedicure you have ever had. In this article, we are going to address your crowning glory . . . your hair. Did you know that you can make your own shampoos and conditioners? With some natural ingredients bought at your favorite grocery store or the natural health food store, you can have hair that people just oooh and aaah over.
The materials for this are pretty simple:
- A good hair brush
- saran wrap or a shower cap
- mixing bowls
- a brand new paint brush
- a blender (for some recipes)
I am also going to include some recipes for hair coloring. Please read through these carefully and follow the directions. Even if you are using natural products, you can be allergic, so be careful. The first step to a spa shampoo is a gentle brushing to get circulation up and to start the removal process.
Chamomile Fields Shampoo
This shampoo smells similar to apples. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Either annual (Matricaria recutica) or perennial Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) species can be used.
- 4 bags of Chamomile tea (or 1 handful of fresh Chamomile flowers)
- 4 Tbsp. pure soap flakes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons glycerin
Let the tea bags steep in 1 1/2 cups of boiled water for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and with the remaining liquid add the soap flakes. Let stand until the soap softens. Stir in glycerin until mixture is well blended. Pour into a bottle. Keep in a dark, cool place.
Suitable for all hair types
Soapwart: Saponaria officinalis contains saponins which is similar to soap. It lathers when agitated. Most health food stores carry this.
Lemon Verbena: for a citrus fragrance
Catnip: promotes healthy hair growth
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried soapwart root (chopped)
- 2 tsp. Lemon Verbena or 2 tsp. Catnip
Bring water to a boil add soapwart and simmer, cover for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add herb then allow mixture to cool. Strain the mixture keeping the liquid. Pour into a bottle. Makes enough for 6-7 shampoos. Must be used within 8-10 days. Store in a cool dark place.
Native American tribes in the Southwest have used Yucca to prevent hair loss and dandruff. The Yucca plant contains a substance called saponin which is a natural detergent. It is the saponin found in the Yucca Plant that creates foamy suds when agitated in water. Yucca are commonly found in the U.S. Southwest or Mexico. It's all in the root of the Yucca. To make your own version of Yucca Shampoo, look for fresh young Yucca plants. Cut off a piece of the root and peel the brown off of the root until you have exposed the white root inside. Once clean, take a hammer and smash the Yucca root until it breaks in pieces. Wet the Yucca root, while holding the root over a basin of warm water, rub the root like a bar of soap to get mounds of lather from it. Wash your hair with the lather for a few minutes, gently massaging the scalp. Rinse very well in warm water making sure that no Yucca pieces remain in your hair.
Natural Egg Shampoo
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. castile soap or mild unscented shampoo
- 1/2 cup water
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whip until smooth. Use shampoo immediately.
Herbal Secret Shampoo
Don't except mountains of soapy lather from this shampoo, it has gentle cleaning power. To customize this recipes for different hair colors, do the following: For blonde hair, double the chamomile and omit the sage; for dark hair, double the sage and omit the chamomile; for Red hair, add cranberry juice and omit chamomile and sage; for oily hair, add 1/2 cup of lemon peel; and for dry hair, increase the marigold to 1/2 cup. Try to use fresh leaves if possible (2 Tbsp. dry herb equals about 6-8 leaves fresh).
- 1 Tbsp. sage
- 1 Tbsp. rosemary
- 1 Tbsp. nettle
- 1 Tbsp. peppermint
- 2 Tbsp. red clover
- 2 Tbsp. chamomile
- 1/4 cup orange peel
- 1/4 cup marigold flowers
- 1/4 cup birch buds and leaves
- 1 Tbsp. orrisroot
- 5 cups water
- 3/4 cup castile soap
- 2 Tbsp. aloe gel
- Few drops essential oil
In medium pan, stir the water and spices and herbs and simmer for 15 minutes. Cover and let seep for about 30 minutes. Strain the liquid. In a blender, add 1 cup of the herb liquid with the aloe gel and blend on low speed until smooth. In a glass bowl, blend the soap and the remaining liquid. Whip with a wire whisk until smooth and frothy, then add the liquid from the blender. Pour the mixture into containers of your choice and add the scent last, a few drops to each container. Shake to disperse the scent Shampoo will last for 1-2 months if kept in a cool dry place.
An inexpensive way to clarify your hair is to use your usual shampoo. During the first lather, take a handful of baking soda and work it into the lather thoroughly. Let it set for a few minutes, depending on how much styling buildup you have on your hair. Rinse and shampoo again without baking soda, then condition. The baking soda makes an excellent chelating aid. It is also advisable to clarify at least every two weeks to remove product buildup. Always clarify before doing a deep conditioning treatment. Otherwise, you will be conditioning over product buildup which really won't be beneficial. Chelating also removes traces of prescription drugs that build up in your hair.
The next step is to rinse your hair and there are many options to this. You can choose one to highlight your hair color or for your hair type, the choice is yours. A cold water rinse is also very good for the hair and leaves it bright and shiny.
For Light Hair
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chamomile leaves
Combine the ingredients and let boil for 15 minutes, Strain and cool and store in a tightly capped bottle.
For Dark Hair
- 2 cups malt or red wine vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup sage
Combine ingredients in pan and boil for 15 minutes and store in tightly capped bottle.
For Red Hair
- 1 cup dark berry juice (any kind will do)
- 1/2 cup rose hips
- 1/2 cup cloves
- 1/4 cup strong black coffee
Mix all ingredients. Distribute evenly throughout your hair. There will definitely be some left over, but put in as much of the mixture as your hair can hold. Leave on for 10 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with warm water and let dry. This will keep red hair vibrant and never dull.
For Damaged Hair
- 1/4 cup sea kelp
- 1 cup either lemon or sage rinse
Combine the kelp and rinse in pint or quart size jar, Putting lid on lightly and shake. Apply generously to freshly shampooed hair, leave on twenty minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
For Normal Hair
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. rosemary
2 Tbsp. red clover
2 Tbsp. nettle
Combine all ingredients and boil to a rolling boil. Decrease heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Cover and let seep for thirty minutes. Strain and bottle into glass or plastic container.
Apple Cider Softness
- 1-2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups distilled water
Pour over your hair as the final rinse. It will leave your hair feeling soft. Good for all hair types.
Green Tea Rinse
2 bags green tea
2 cups boiling water
Make green tea as if you were going to drink it. Steep for at least 30 minutes. Cool and then rinse hair for smooth and shiny hair.
Dandruff Control Rinse
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 6 aspirins crushed
- 1/4 cup witch hazel
Mix all the ingredients in glass container and shake. After shampooing, apply rinse and let sit for 10 minutes while massaging then rinse with again with warm water.
For everyday conditioning try one of these wonderful conditioners.
Lavender-and-Rosemary Scalp Treatment
- 2 tsp. vodka
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 6 drops essential oil of rosemary
- 10 drops essential oil of lavender
- 4 drops essential oil of rose geranium
Mix ingredients together (makes enough for several treatments). Bottle and shake. Massage a small amount onto the scalp (hair may be dry or damp). Do not rinse. Towel dry. Alcohol and herbal oils invigorate and stimulate the scalp while adding fresh fragrance to the hair.
High Protein Scalp Conditioner
This high-protein, all-natural hair conditioner will help to dislodge any debris or pollution that may be clogging the tiny openings in your scalp. This conditioner will open the tiny openings for better passage of nutrients into your hair. This scalp conditioner also enriches the hair, helping to make it stronger and more lustrous.
Blend together, preferably in an electric blender:
- 1 cup fresh skimmed milk
- 1 egg yolk (separated from the egg white)
- 2 capsules of wheat germ oil contents (you may have to open up capsules and squeeze the contents out)
- 1 Tbsp. of fresh wheat germ
- The contents of 1 Tbsp. of lecithin granules (you may need to open capsules)
- 1 Tbsp. natural wheat bran (available in bulk also)
Note: You may find all of the above ingredients at a health food store. It is unlikely that your local grocery store will carry most of the ingredients other than the milk and eggs.
Slowly and firmly massage the mixture into your scalp. Leave the mixture on for about 10 minutes. If you cover your head with a shower cap or you drape a towel around your head and lie on a slant board while the conditioner does its work, you will benefit even more because of the gravity effect. After 10 minutes, thoroughly rinse the conditioner from your hair with warm (not hot) water. Follow with your usual shampoo and conditioner.
- 1 tsp. baby oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup water
Beat the egg yolk until it's frothy, add the oil then beat again. Add to the water. Massage into the scalp and throughout your hair. Rinse well.
Herbal Scalp Tonic
- 1/4 cup Distilled water
- 1/8 cup Witch hazel water
- 1 Tbsp. Burdock Tincture
- 1/4 tsp. Vitamin C (Powered Vitamin C can be bought a health food store)
- 1/4 tsp. Vitamin E acetate
- 5 drops Lemon essential oil
Mix all of the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and shake. Apply and leave on 15 minutes with head wrapped. Rinse with warm water.
Now it's time for a deep conditioning and I bet you're wondering when the brand-new paint brush would come into play. Well, here it is. This is what you apply the deep conditioning pastes with.
Banana Hair Mask
- 1 organic ripened banana
- 2 Tbsp. plain organic yogurt
- 2 tsp. organic wheat germ oil
- 1/4 tsp. of lecithin
- 1/8 tsp. of organic honey
- 2 tsp. of sweetened condensed milk
- 2-4 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
The ylang ylang essential is used to give a special relaxing and soothing effect. Not only does this magnificent oil calm and soothe raw nerves and emotions, it is famous as a softening agent for skin and scalps. Mix all ingredients and apply with paint brush. Wrap hair in saran wrap or shower cap and then apply hot towel. This can be a wet towel that you have wet with hot water from the tap or a towel warmed in the dryer or microwave. Leave on for one hour or can be left on overnight if applied one hour before bedtime so it dries somewhat on hair. Rinse with warm water and apply hair rinse, if desired.
- 1 avocado (peeled and mashed)
- coconut milk
Combine mashed avocado with some coconut milk. Mash together until its smooth and about as thick as shampoo. Comb it through the hair and let sit for 10 -15 minutes, wash out.
Dry and Breaking Hair Conditioner
Before washing or even wetting hair, put about 1/6 - 1/4 cup of olive oil (closer to 1/6 for shorter hair, and closer to 1/4 for longer, thicker hair) on it and work it through from the scalp to the ends. Leave it on for about 10 or 15 minutes. After that, you can shampoo and condition as usual. This works because its very oily, but not the nasty, dirty grease that builds up. It's not heavy at all, but in fact, very thin and loose. It works great for smoothing and moistening dry hair.
Kinky or Curly Conditioner
For people with really kinky, curly, dry ethnic hair, try this for a deep conditioner:
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup bland oil (either grapeseed/almond/sesame)
Put in a little pot, heat it until warm. Apply to hair, put a plastic bag over your hair and leave it for 30 minutes. Wash and condition as usual. The result; hair feels soft and moisturized. You can forgo the bland veggie oil if you want to, but I find that it helps the honey and oil to 'flow'. Or, you could try and investing in some jojoba oil and follow the same instructions for deep conditioning above. Jojoba oil contains the same sebellum as our skin, so it conditions without weighing hair down.
Superbody Hair Treat
- 2 Tbsp. Molasses
- 2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
- 1 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Tbsp. stale beer
Combine ingredients in small bowl. Comb or brush into hair. Cover hair with a plastic shower cap and leave in for 30 minutes. Shampoo and rinse.
Avocado Scalp Pack
- 1 egg
- 1/2 avocado, peeled and mashed
- 2 Tbsp. wheat germ oil
Beat egg until frothy, either in a blender or by hand. Then add the avocado and the oil and beat until smooth. Use immediately. Apply with paint brush and then cover head and leave on for 30 minutes. Cover with warm towel. Rinse with warm water and a little shampoo.
Natural Hair Coloring
Wash your hair with one of the following rinses. Pour the selected rinse through your hair 15 times, re-rinsing with the same liquid. On the final rinse, wring hair, and leave for 15 minutes before rinsing with clear water.
- Blonde: Mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice in 1 gallon warm water.
- Brunette: Rinse hair with a strong black tea, or black coffee.
- Red: Make a strong tea of rose hips or cloves, or use strong black coffee. A darker recipe for is any dark red wine and grapefruit juice.
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 3 cups chamomile tea (brewed and cooled)
Mix ingredients, pour over damp hair then let sit for an hour while you sit in the sun. Wash out. Follow with a good conditioner.
NOTE: This process must be repeated daily for a few weeks before you notice any changes.
How To Make Your Hair Blonde
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Take the lemon juice and rub it into your dry clean hair and sit in the sun for a few hours, rinse out and repeat until hair is blonder!
Enhance Red Hair Ingredients
- 1/2 cup beet juice
- 1/2 cup carrot juice
Mix ingredients together, pour over damp hair. Let it sit for 1 hour while you sit in the sun. Wash out.
Simmer 1/2 cup dried sage in 2 cups water for 30 minutes, then steep for several hours. Apply to hair and leave on until dried. Then rinse and dry. Repeat weekly, until desired shade, then monthly to maintain color.
Sage And A Bit Of Rosemary Natural Hair Color
To make a strong rosemary and sage tea, use equal amounts of rosemary and sage to 1 cup of water. Combine ingredients and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and refrigerate it, use liquid for the colorant. Now before washing hair, spray it on the base of the grey patches of hair, massaging it in. Leave it for 5 - 10 minutes and then wash as usual and care for your hair as you normally do. After a few weeks of this (do this almost daily), you will find the grey is disappearing. After using the sage, the normal coloring returns to the hair. It is not a 'color-change' shocker, and it softens and allows you to control the curls, and the amount of grey. When you stop using it, the grey gradually returns and it is even prettier than the time before.
"Funky" Colored Hair
If you want more "funky" colored looking hair like green, for example. Then use Koolaid with a cup and a half of water - NO SUGAR ADDED! Leave hair in the koolaid mix for about 10 to 15 minutes. Let it dry and there you have it! Green (or what ever color of koolaid mix) hair! Caution, this is permanent until your hair grows out!
To Obtain Black Hair
Obtain a cup of dry rosemary seeds and boil in a gallon of water for ten minutes or until water changes to a dark color. After every shower, apply it to the hair. Dry excess rosemary water from hair with towel and style as usual.
The finishing touches are two recipes for Natural Hairspray
Honey Hair Spray
Use honey-water instead of hair spray. I just rinse out a small plastic spray bottle, add about two tablespoons of honey to the bottom of the bottle, fill the bottle with hot water, and shake well. I store the mixture in the refrigerator, and I've found that it will keep for about two weeks. I would suggest that you use the mixture sparingly, and that you completely clean the bottle and spray mechanism every time you make a fresh batch. It works well on my long, straight hair and it seems to keep my dry hair moisturized too.
Lemon Hair Spray
This great for light hair but can be used on any color hair
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 2 cups hot water
Place lemon slices and water in pan and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer uncovered until the water is reduced by half about 30 minutes. Remove and cool. Strain through cheese cloth and squeeze out all the juice. Pour into pump type bottle. Will keep two months in refrigerator.
By Debra from Colorado Springs, Colorado
Editors Note: This is a four part article. Check out the other sections here:
Homemade Facials (Your Own Spa: Part 1 of 4)
Homemade Manicures and Pedicures (Your Own Spa: Part 2 of 4)
Homemade Body Scrubs and Wraps (Your Own Spa: Part 4 of 4)
About The Author: Debra Frick is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 7 grandsons. She is a published author and poetress. Born in California, she now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and many pets. Her hobbies include crocheting, reading, arts and crafts and bargain hunting.