Fancy making your own shampoo? Not only is it much cheaper than shop-bought varieties, it allows you to take complete control over the ingredients so you can tailor it your unique hair needs. All you No Poo-ers out there, take note – these are perfect for your haircare routine.
PS: When we refer to No Poo-ers, we’re not being crass…it’s a movement of people who have ditched commercial shampoo! Read more about the No Poo method here.
Why make your own shampoo
Shampoo is just one of those things in life we don’t usually question. If it does the job then it does the job, right? The thing is, when you’re not in control of the ingredients, you never really know what effect they are having on your hair.
Commercial shampoo often contains man-made chemicals like SLS and parabens that can affect your scalp’s natural oil production. This can lead to dry hair and greasy roots – not exactly a winning combination we’re sure you’ll agree!
Here at Holland & Barrett, all the shampoo we stock is as natural and good for your hair as possible and free from chemical ingredients where possible, but if you still want to try making your own, we’re all for it! Here are some ideas to get you started:
The dream team: Baking soda and apple cider vinegar
Baking soda and apple cider vinegar come together to make a wonderful alternative shampoo and hair treatment. The baking soda cleans your hair and then the apple cider vinegar steps in to condition it.
Who is it for? This method is suitable for all types except curly hair which doesn’t get on with baking soda as it is too harsh. Don’t use it after you’ve been swimming either.
How do you make it? There are two steps to this process – first the baking soda wash and then the apple cider vinegar cleanse:
Baking soda wash
Mix around 1 tablespoon of baking soda into about 250ml of water and pour it into a spray or squirt bottle. Apply to the scalp and massage it in thoroughly for a few minutes, then rinse out completely.
This should be enough for about 1-3 applications. You will probably have to do a bit of experimentation to find the perfect amount of baking soda to use, it’s different for everyone – start small is our recommendation and if your hair is still dirty after, up the ratio. Too much baking soda can be damaging for your hair, so if possible, alternate it with other washes.
Apple cider vinegar rinse
Combine 1 part ACV with 3 parts water in a spray bottle and spray generously over all your hair, focusing on the ends. Let it soak in for around 2 minutes and rinse away. It’s important to use a acidic rinse like this one after washing with baking soda to restore the ph balance of your scalp. Do not use undiluted ACV as this can harm your skin.
Give rye a try with this rye flour wash
Rye flour is full of minerals and vitamins, so it only makes sense that it’s good for nourishing your hair. You can use any type of rye flour (light, dark, etc) just make sure it is ground finely – if its not then giving it a whizz round your food processor should help.
Who is it for? A good all-rounder, rye flour is great for most hair types.
How do you make it? Mix up equal parts rye flour and water (2-4 tablespoons should do it) and stir until there’s no lumps left. Add some essential oils if you wish, … is a nice one. Then wet your hair and massage it into your scalp and hair. Let it do its thing for around 10 minutes and then rinse it out of your hair completely.
If you’re struggling to rinse the flour out, use a finer ground flour or dilute with more water next time.
Take the plunge and go water only
Whether you want to go totally ‘water only’ or add a few water-only washes to your routine – here’s how:
- Wet your hair with warm water
- Detangle your hair with your fingers or a comb while the water is running over it
- ‘Scritch’ your hair – massage your scalp with your fingers for 5-10 minutes to encourage oil production
- ‘Preen’ your hair by using a brush or comb to pull the oils through and out of your hair. It helps to section up your hair and brush from the roots to the ends. The whole process usually takes 10-20 minutes
- Pat dry and detangle with your fingers if necessary and let your hair dry naturally.
This method can be used as often as you like, and you may find it useful to incorporate ‘scritching’ and ‘preening’ into your normal routine without the water too. If you have hard water, water-only washing may not be for you!
And there you have it, now you know how to make your own shampoo and conditioner. There’s no guarantee any of these will work for you, but it’s worth a try. Happy experimenting everybody!
Last updated: 29 April 2020