I really wanted to make my own shampoo. It just seemed like such a great way to save money AND control the ingredients in my shampoo. I tried a few different recipes, including a couple from one of my favorite blogs/go-to resources for all-things-DIY-bath-and-beauty. But DIY shampoo just didn’t work for me.
The recipes I tried used basic ingredients. I didn’t want to have to buy anything “weird” or end up with a boat load of an ingredient because a shampoo recipe called for a tiny bit. So maybe I would have had better success if I had been willing to expand my ingredient criteria. But aside from saving money and controlling the ingredients, I also wanted it to be easy.
I don’t like DIY recipes that aren’t easy.
I tried a clay shampoo, which was a disaster! I knew it sounded like a ridiculous idea, but I gave it a shot. It was horrible. It would not rinse out of my hair and left my hair feeling dirty. I don’t know if maybe that type just isn’t good for long hair (mine is waist length).
The recipe I played around with the most used Castile soap mixed with other ingredients like coconut milk and carrier oils. But I never could get the recipe just right. At first, my hair felt awful, like a big sticky tangly mess. So I tried a vinegar rinse. That did help and actually made my hair feel very smooth and soft. In fact, with the right balance of Castile soap to “other stuff”, my hair did feel very moisturized! The problem was that it was never good on my scalp. Those Castile soap shampoos always made my scalp itchy and flaky. I don’t know if it was buildup or dry scalp, or maybe a combination of the two, but it was gross, uncomfortable, and embarrassing!
I tried using baking soda to clarify my scalp, but it only worked until the next time I washed my hair. I didn’t want to use baking soda every time I washed because baking soda is harsh on hair and leaves it dry and brittle after extended use. I tried skipping a few washes, then skipping washes and rinsing with apple cider vinegar, but once I washed with the Castile-based shampoo, my scalp was back to itchy and flaky.
I used some variation of a Castile soap shampoo for a good 6 months while I tried to figure this all out! That is a long time to tolerate an itchy flaky scalp – especially for a working mom who has to face clients on a regular basis.
Then I learned about an affordable shampoo that scored well on the EWG Skindeep Database. There are many options that score 0-2, but not all of them are affordable (some are +$40/bottle!) and not all of them work well.
I now use Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Oil and Argan Stem Cell shampoo and conditioner. They score 1 and 2 respectively in the EWG Skindeep Database and are around $10 a bottle. Yes, I know that is still very expensive for some folks who are used to spending less than $2 per bottle. And if you know of a brand that costs less and scores just as well or better AND works, let me know and I’d be happy to try it out! But so far, Acure is the best balance. I actually like the products so much that I’ve purchased a few of their skin care products to try as well.
You can find Acure Organics on Amazon (and their products are Prime eligible!) and some Target stores carry their products (or you can get them on Target’s website – and right now you can get a $10 gift card with a $40 purchase!).
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Do you make your own shampoo? What are your secrets to success? What is your favorite brand for eco-friendly shampoo?