I've been gathering some recipes for natural, homemade beauty products. The older I get, the more natural I want and the more self-sustaining I wish to be. I've already made the switch to mineral make-up, which I love and would like to learn how to make my own someday. However, that is quite involved so for now, I'm sticking to homemade shampoos, conditioners and lip balms. The internet is a wealth of information for such things. I was surprised at how easy it is to make your own lip balm. You just need some beeswax (1 T grated), carrier oil (2 T--almond or olive) and a vitamin E capsule (for natural preserving). You put that all on the stove on low until the wax melts, then you can add in essential oils (note: vanilla is VERY expensive so I'm opting for peppermint and maybe sweet orange and/or cinnamon). I'm still at a bit of a loss for coloring. I read you can add some henna powder or beet juice but that's about all I could find. For a really natural lip gloss recipe, you simply heat 1 tablespoon of almond oil, 10 fresh cranberries and 1 tsp. of honey. Heat until the mix begins to boil, stir and mash the cranberries. Then let stand for 5 minutes. Strain. Stir and allow to cool then put into little containers.
I've been wanting to make my own shampoo for some time. I found a recipe where you add 4 oz. of castille soap (plant based soap--any scent) along with a mix of herbs such as nettles, sage and rosemary that have been made into a tea (2 cups boiling water) and strained. However, lately I've heard about women bypassing shampoo altogether and simply using conditioner with some added brown sugar (which is a mild cleansing agent that does not strip the hair of natural oils) or baking soda (which is an excellent agent for removing build up and in my opinion, should only be used sparingly. Too much and you will look like you have a birds nest on top of your head.) The conditioner will remove basic grime and dirt. I've found even the most natural of shampoo's strip my hair.
My hair is weird. It's heavy and tends to be flat on top while poofing out on the sides. I have to style it somewhat if I don't want to look like a dork. I also have a lot of it. I have to get it thinned out every few months and even at that, I still have a lot of hair left. When my stylist is done, she always looks on the floor and comments how there resides enough hair for one person. Some of it is coarse, but most of it is fine. As a result, it's a real pain at times. Thankfully I have a natural wave that keeps it from being a complete pain in my a&&. Today I decided to just use conditioner. The result? My hair was more manageable, softer and had more body.
Sometimes, when I remember, I'll add an apple cider vinegar rinse. I think it's something like 1/4 cup of vinegar to 1 cup of warm water. About the only difference I noticed with this was my hair was a bit shinier. I've also read where stale beer (cheap will do--don't want to waste the good import) adds a lot of body, although I have yet to try that. Here's a recipe I found for a homemade hair conditioner: 1 mashed avacado added to some coconut milk (I'm also thinking hemp milk would work) until it's shampoo consistency. Comb through hair and let sit 10-15 minutes. Rinse.
I have this blend of pure essential oils blended in with coconut, hemp and olive oils that I use now and then. It's a bit of a nightmare to wash out though so I don't use it that often even though the ingredients are so wonderful for the hair. I bought it from Uncle Harry's (see the link under my faves). It was only around $6 for a 4 oz jar which is a bargain.
I have also found a recipe for homemade hairspray. I haven't tried this one yet. It looks simple enough. You chop up 1 orange, place in a pot of 2 cups of water. Boil until half the liquid remains. Remove. Cool. Strain. Add 1 oz of rubbing alcohol if you wish to keep it in the cupboard otherwise store it in the refrigerator. Add more h2o if the liquid is too sticky. (Use a lemon instead of an orange if you hair is oily.)
I found a website that carries a lot of these ingredients (waxes, essential oils, carrier oils, liquid soaps, herbs). Mountain Rose Herbs. Great prices and very green practices.