Homemade Shampoo

Calendula flowers in Summer

Okay, the following recipe was on the regular morning news of AOL (amazing) but a few years ago I stopped using shampoo because even the “organic” ones with organic herbs still have Sodium Laurel Sulfate and other very toxic and dangerous chemicals…some on the “top 10” list, which I will try to get and post later…  So our family uses Castile Soap (which leaves a lot of residues) followed by a vinegar hair rinse. There is a very simple and fun recipe below.

I actually make a big jar in the summer of herbal apple cider vinegar to bring out highlights and remove residues. I infuse rosemary, nettles, calendula, sage and comfrey for dark hair (or chamomile, calendula, comfrey & marshmallow for light hair). Just put the herbs in the vinegar and let it sit in a dark place for 6 weeks. When you are ready to use it strain some out, and mix 1 part vinegar to 5 parts water (6 parts if you have dry hair). Or like they say below, use a mint tea, what a great idea!

Blue Comfrey flowers

Come by this summer if you need any of the herbs, and I’ll show you how to make it – or just try it, you can’t really do anything “wrong”! Maybe I’ll do a demo at the Shutesbury farmer’s market (Starts May 22). Read on, and enjoy.

Save Money (and the Environment) With Homemade Hair Treatments

by Deborah Dunham

Homemade hair treatments does your ‘do — and the planet — good.

With Earth Day right around the corner, what better tribute to Mother Nature — and your wallet — than some DIY, eco-friendly hair treatments?

“Making your own products are super simple — it is a lot like cooking,” Lauren and Janice Cox, authors of “EcoBeauty — Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends,” told StyleList.

“If you have extremely dry hair you can whip up an all natural hair conditioning pack when you need it,” adds Lauren.

“You can also customize your hair care products to what you need — if your haır is dry add a bit more oil, oily add some lemon juice, damaged try honey. Many of the treatments and recipes have been used for years such as olive oil as a hair conditioner or lemon juice as a rinse to cleanse and refresh.”

Not only do homemade, eco-friendly beauty products use all natural ingredients with no animal testing, it’s a great way to reuse ingredients from the kitchen and recycle packaging. You can also save a boatload of cash. “You can make for pennies what you spend dollars on in the store,” she says.

The most important thing to keep in mind when masterminding your own products? “Keep it simple,” says Lauren. “When it comes to hair care and natural beauty, less really is more.”

Here are a few of their favorite homemade recipes to soothe your tattered tresses:

Basic Shampoo
This is a great basic shampoo for all hair types. If you hair is oily, omit the optional vegetable oil, but if your hair is dry or damaged, you should definitely include it. This shampoo is gentle on hair and won’t strip away its natural oils, so it will help keep it healthy and shiny.

1 /2 cup water
1 /2 cup mild liquid soap (try castile made from olive oil)
1 /2 teaspoon light vegetable oil

Gently stir all of the ingredients together, being careful not to beat the mixture, as this will cause it to foam up. Pour the shampoo into a clean squeeze bottle or plastic container. To use, shampoo as you normally would, then rinse well with cool water.

Refreshing Mint Hair Rinse
If you’re in need of a refreshing pick-me-up for dull, limp locks, this rinse will do the trick. Together, the mint tea and vinegar will get your scalp really clean and leave your hair fresh and shiny. Mint is naturally energizing and will give your scalp a tingly, fresh feeling, and the vinegar will rid your hair of any residue from styling gels or soap based shampoos.

1 /2 cup boiling water
1 to 2 mint tea bags
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Pour the boiling water over the tea bag and let it steep until cool. Remove the tea bag, pressing it to extract as much tea as possible, then stir in the vinegar. To use, shampoo and condition your hair as usual then apply the entire mixture to your hair. Massage it into your scalp and work it through your hair, then dry your hair as you normally would, without rinsing it out.

911 Hair Rescue Mask
This great hair conditioning mask for repairing dry, damaged hair is especially good if you use a lot high-heat styling tools, such as a blow dryer or straightening iron. It will help revive lackluster hair, from your scalp to the ends of your hair.

1 /2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons light olive oil
3 to 4 drops essential oil of peppermint or 1 sprig of fresh mint
1 to 2 drops essential oil of rosemary or 1 sprig fresh rosemary

Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until you have a smooth mixture. To use, first shampoo your hair, then apply the entire mixture and massage it into your hair and scalp. Put on a shower cap or wrap your hair in an old towel and leave the mixture on for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse well with warm water and style as usual.

While the results of these hair treatments will be “amazing”, says Cox, “they may feel a bit different from the commercial products you are used to using. In other words, your homemade shampoo may not be as foamy or your conditioner may feel a bit thicker.”

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