The perils of googling homemade shampoo recipes

| by Lou | 11.05am UK time |

This is a public service announcement folks. If you run out of shampoo and think "I'll just whip up a homemade coconut shampoo recipe from the internet" - don't. I mean, I love natural homemade products from the internet - I use homemade laundry detergent*, I use homemade face masks**, I use homemade body scrubs*** - but boy oh boy was this one a mistake.

To set the scene: I haven't used chemically commercial shampoo in years. I tried the 'no-poo' thing, but living in an area with extremely hard water it just didn't work for me. So now I do buy shampoo, but it's the most natural I could find that would work for my long thick curly locks (Lush Curly Wurly coconut shampoo, should you be wondering), and I don't use any conditioner or styling products. I can comfortably go a week between washes and it never gets greasy or gross-looking.

However, I ran out of shampoo and there isn't a Lush near me. So first I used baking soda. It completely and utterly dried my hair out - much worse than back when I was using it in a transition to trying 'no-poo' - and I spent a few days with fly-away brittle hair until enough natural oils brushed through to help it out a little. Still hadn't got to a Lush, so come next time it needed washing I thought "I'll just google a homemade coconut shampoo recipe". I find one on a website called 'Style Craze' (I don't want to link to them in case anyone else feels curious enough to try) that I had the ingredients for - coconut milk, olive oil. It assured that this mix is enough to cleanse the scalp, and that hot water would wash it all out.

No no no no no no NO.

It didn't seem to be coming out so good, so I turned the hot water up to scalding and hoped for the best. But honestly - my hair felt like it was slicked in oil. My neck became covered in oil. I looked like I'd dunked my head in grease. My boyfriend came home and said "I hear the greasy hair look is very fashionable right now", then snickered to himself every time he looked at me. Eventually it was dry enough to plait it, pin it to my head, and tie it up with a scarf, before scrubbing my neck for the 5th time.

I managed to get to a shop that sold natural castile soap, so this morning I whipped up a different homemade shampoo that actually used soap this time, turned the shower up to scalding, and tried to wash it out. Nope. My hands were still coming away drenched in oil. Okay, just the castille soap by itself then. Nope. Alright, how about African black soap? Nope.

Okay fine. After years - YEARS - of my hair having been kept from harsh commercial chemically shampoos, I reached for my boyfriends cheap shampoo, squeezed out a handful, and lathered up. I turned the shower up as high as I could bear it, and scrubbed.

It seems okay - still a bit of an oily residue, but probably a little bit mad at me for exposing it to silicon and whatever-the-fuck-else is in that bottle. I've probably taken ten steps backwards on the well-trained weekly-wash ecosystem, but at least I don't look like I work over a fryer at the local fish 'n' chip shop. [Update at 3.40pm - my hair is now dry and still looks like someone poured a gallon of oil over it.]

I shall continue the quest for a homemade shampoo that actually cleanses and doesn't leave behind a gallon of oil, and will update if successful.

TL;DR - don't let the internet trick you into using coconut milk and olive oil on your hair.

*Homemade laundry detergent: 2 parts each of washing soda and borax, 1 part grated bar of natural soap, give it a couple of pulses in a food processor to get the soap granules as tiny as possible
**Homemade face mask: Full-fat greek yoghurt with a splash of vodka
***Homemade body scrub: 4 parts brown sugar, 1 part olive oil, a tiny dash of honey

This entry was posted by Lou. Bookmark the permalink.

One thought on “The perils of googling homemade shampoo recipes ”