DIY-haircare-switch-juicygreenmomI honestly never thought I’d be making my own shampoo and conditioner – I figured I’d leave that to the super-crunchy people (I consider myself to be moderately crunchy). However – I’ve now been doing it for a few months and I am a convert! Here’s why I made the switch to DIY hair care.

1. It’s frugal.

I was paying about $8-9 for a bottle of organic shampoo or conditioner – and you can certainly pay more than that, I always looked for sales! Here’s a breakdown of what I use now and how much it costs.

My DIY Shampoo Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup Liquid Castile Soap (I like Dr. Bronner’s or Green Beaver)
  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 10 drops essential oil (I like using peppermint – I only use high quality therapeutic grade essential oils)
  • pinch of baking soda (optional)

I put all the ingredients into a glass bottle (formerly containing carbonated water) and shake well before using. I use 1-2 capfuls each time. (Note: some bloggers have talked about baking soda being too alkaline to be good for your hair. I make 1 batch of shampoo with and 1 without baking soda, and only use the baking soda when I feel my hair is heavier or oilier. I find that it cuts the greasy feeling leaving my hair softer – however I will update on this if it changes!)

UPDATE: I have now found a recipe that is pH balanced for hair, to avoid the problems with alkalinity. Check it out here (complete with cost breakdown).

My DIY Conditioner Recipe – (#6 No Fuss Conditioner Recipe in my recipe round-up):

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 8 drops essential oil (I like using lavender)

Same method as above, but I use 4-5 capfuls each time.

My cost breakdowns:

Product Amount  Cost Amount required Cost for recipe
Dr. Bronner’s unscented liquid castile soap 946 ml  $  18.39 125 ml  $     2.43
Shoppers Drug Mart brand distilled water 4L  $    1.69 125 ml  $     0.05
Young Living Peppermint essential oil 15 ml  $  24.75 0.5 ml  $     0.83
TOTAL COST   $     3.31
Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar 946 ml  $    7.79 15 ml  $     0.12
Shoppers Drug Mart brand distilled water 4L  $    1.69 250 ml  $     0.11
Young Living Lavender essential oil 15 ml  $  27.00 0.4 ml  $     0.72
TOTAL COST  $     0.95

Note: I always get Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap when it’s 20% off at, and the apple cider vinegar is frequently on sale as well. Also, I calculated the cost of essential oils based on the assumption that 1 mL = approximately 20 drops.

Based on these recipes, my shampoo lasts approximately 1 month (washing every 1-2 days – I know I should wash less frequently but I have a thing about needing to wash it!), and my conditioner lasts approximately 2 weeks. Assuming that a store-bought shampoo or conditioner lasted me 2 months, my DIY versions are still cheaper at less than $7 for 2 months of shampoo, and less than $4 for 2 months of conditioner.

2. I know what’s in it.

It’s no secret that there is a long list of toxic ingredients to avoid when buying hair products. Making my own ensures that there are no hidden toxic ingredients and I can customize it however I want.

3. It’s easy.

I really do not DIY things that I think are too complicated. As my husband says, my time is also worth money, so if it takes too long to make, I won’t do it. These recipes are so simple that it literally takes a few minutes to measure the ingredients and dump them into the bottle.

4. It makes my hair feel awesome!

My hair is lovely and somehow has become more wavy! (Which is a bit odd for my straight Asian hair – however my dad has curly hair so maybe it was in my genetic code but was never awakened until DIY hair care??) I’ve gotten so many comments about how nice my hair looks. There is a caveat – it took about 2-3 weeks for my hair to adjust to the DIY stuff. I was using natural/organic shampoo and conditioner for several years before doing this switch, but it still took some adjustment time (where my hair felt kind of gross and heavy). If you’re switching from conventional products, the “detox” would likely be longer. But – if you can muscle through those few weeks of detox, your hair, the environment, and your wallet will thank you!

Would you try DIY-ing your own hair care?

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