Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Homemade Shampoo/Body Wash - First Try

Shampoo/Body Wash
Yes, I have decided to take the step towards using simple ingredients we already have in our pantry to mix up a batch of natural, homemade shampoo and body wash. Since I have so many allergies and chemicals seem to effect me more than your average bear, it is actually surprising to me that it didn't occur to me before now to try making my own shampoo. Well, it occurred to me, but like many things I assumed it was too difficult an undertaking and outside my budget. Actually, it turns out I already have many ingredients that can be used to wash my hair. I found many sites with recipes for home made shampoo. Some include soap, others do not, and most can be used as a combination shampoo and body wash. I am going to go for a soap free gel like option, because I do not like the film soaps leave on my body, and I already have dry skin. Instead I will be attempting to make a cleansing yet moisture rich concoction. After reading many sites such as this one:  ...and many personal blogs such as this one: seems to me that a mixture of aloe vera, olive oil, and tea tree oil would probably be a good start.

This is just another area of my life that I have been living almost on remote by a set of pre-programmed habits. And as I have been looking at my life and trying to be more mindful of my actions, I have started to notice where I spend my time, energy, money, etc. does not always mesh with my goals and intentions. Some things that I do habitually are directly opposing to the way I want to live.   It has also been interesting to notice what I have been putting into my body without even thinking of it. Did you know that the skin is our largest organ? And it soaks things in much like other parts of our body, in a form of osmosis. So we are actually taking in our environments more than one might normally consider. It has occurred to me, that all the chemicals, preservatives and allergens hiding out in my shampoo and body wash are being applied to the largest organ of my body on a regular basis. Let's face it, this seems like a bad idea. But it's one that was so ingrained in my behavior that it took me a while to really consider changing it.

I remember a psychology proffesor saying that the definition of insanity is to repeat the same action expecting different results. Change is good. We do not always think so, but I am finding it to be more than a cliche. And so today I set about researching and mixing up my first batch of home made shampoo. Here is the recipe I have decided on for my first batch. I decided to use an old medicine bottle which I have cleaned out because it has a darker plastic which will help protect the ingredients from light and hopefully help them to not spoil as quickly, and because the bottle I had planned to use was accidentally put in the recycling and I didn't feel like digging through old dog food cans to retrieve it. I also am choosing to make a smaller batch both because this is a first attempt, and because I do worry that the aloe will spoil if I mix too large of a batch. Next time I will try steeping Rosemary to add to it as I believe it will be helpful to my skin type which is mixed oily and dry with acne.

1 Cup Aloe For Blender
1 Teaspoon Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Drops Tea Tree Oil
1/4 cup Organic Aloe Vera Gel

Foamy Aloe Gel - After Blending
In blender, mix the gelatinous insides of about 1/2 leaf from an Aloe plant, or enough to create 1/4 cup Aloe gel with 1 teaspoon of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Pour into shampoo bottle of your choosing, add 2 drops tea tree oil, close lid tightly, and shake to mix.

- This will be very watery and not like normal shampoo consistency. I mixed in 1/4 teaspoon of Xantham Gum into mine and it gave it a more gel like consistency. (Guar Gum or ground Flax Seeds would probably work as well, I'll try Flax in the future and let you know)
- One can of course, alter ingredients to make shampoo that is more specific to your hair and skin type. That is what I have done here. I chose to mix ingredients which I believe will be of the most benefit to my skin and hair in their current state. I also went with ingredients we happened to already have on hand. Other ingredients I plan to try in the future are baking soda for exfoliation, apple cider vinegar for it's cleansing properties, almond oil or sesame oil in place of olive oil for moisture, chamomile tea, and rosemary. But since this was a first effort, I thought it best to keep things as simple as possible.
- I have been warned to be careful about getting essential oils such as Tea Tree Oil directly on the skin unless mixed with another natural oil like jojoba, almond, unflavored sesame, or olive oils.
- I have chosen to stick with organic versions of ingredients, and home grown whenever possible in an effort to stay away from chemical pesticides and the like.
- Keep in a dark cool place to extend the life of the product

Please let me know if you make your own natural shampoo and/or body wash, and what ingredients you use! I always enjoy hearing others ideas. None of the entries on this blog are intended as medical advice, and I am new to making my own hair and body care products, so I have much to learn. I hope you enjoy reading about the process along the way. Here is another helpful link I found about how much tea tree oil is recommended to mix into one's shampoo and why: Since I already have used tea tree oil, I know that I am not hyper sensitive to it, and chose 2 drops for the whole container of shampoo.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sean-Michael, thanks for sharing this - I know its been a long time. MY family just started on this journey of living healthy - better late than never. So, how was the soapless soap? Did it lather? Was it really cleansing? Have you made variations of it now? Awaiting your response. Thanks in advance.