Herbal Shampoo – Natural health starts at the top


This is part one of a two part post on herbal shampoos & conditioners – part 1 is the from scratch version – and part 2 delivers a short cut to making your own.

Making your own hair products from scratch is not as big a job as you might think. Treating your tresses with Mother Nature’s bounty is a great way to pamper yourself and to let your hair recover from the rigours of modern life. Do not expect these products to feel the same as the commercial stuff. Commercial shampoos have all manner of artificial ingredients to make it fluff up and lather like mad. The natural (and hopefully organic) version will be a lot lighter on the foam. It still has suds and certainly has the cleaning power, but then it’s not the bubbles that do the cleaning.

This recipe makes a gently soapy, conditioning shampoo.

600ml boiling water
handful of dried soapwort
250ml strong herbal infusion

Pour the boiling water over the soapwort, cover and leave to cool. Meanwhile make a strong cupful of infusion of the herb most suited to your hair – leave to cool. After 30 minutes strain the soapwort. Combine the soapwort water and the infusion – bottle.

If soapwort is not available you can substiture soapbark or yucca root.

There are herbs to suit all your hair needs

* Dry Hair – comfrey, elderflower, marshmallow, nettle, parsley, sage

* Greasy Hair – balm, lavender, marigold, rosemary, southernwood, witch hazel, yarrow

* Anti Dandruff – chamomile, lavender, nettle, parsley, rosemary, thyme

* Limp & Dull Hair– basil, horsetail, lime flowers (linden), marigold, rosemary, sage

* Itchy Scalp – catnip, chamomile, comfrey

Inspired by Brenda Little’s Illustrated Herbal Encyclopedia

Find out more about which herbs work for your hair on Herbology

Conditioners & Rinses– Conditioning herbal oils can be made just like the infused oils you’d make for cooking.

Choose the herbs for your needs, bruise them and put them in a glass jar. Cover with oil (sunflower, safflower, soya or if you are a brunette – olive oil). Cover with muslin and keep in a warm spot where the temperature doesnt fluctuate too harshly. Shake every day for a fortnight. Strain & bottle. To use: Warm oil slightly, then rub through hair and onto scalp. Put on a plastic cap or a warm towel. Wash out after 30 minutes.

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