I have experimented with homemade self care and home care products for some years now and there are some methods and products and uses that I have perfected for my liking and have become a part of routine in my home. Soap nut use comes to mind first and foremost, I adore their versatility, pure naturalness and affordability.
I use them to do laundry with essential oils, pop a handful into clean reused foaming hand soap dispensers and top up with water and a few drops of essential oil for antibacterial action and fragrance for an instant hand soap, and I boil them up to make cleaning solution for every single surface in my home. I even use them to bathe my animals when the need arises and I could go on.
I’ve also used soapnuts to wash my hair countless times, along with other concoctions such as bicarbonate of soda and water, castile soap mixtures, lemon juice and salt, coconut milk and diluted vinegar. Whilst all have cleaned my hair and had their particular benefits, none have become that regular product and I have mostly remained buying in natural, vegan shampoo and conditioner such as Lush or Organic Surge brands.
Recently, I started to think about why, when pretty much every other product I had tried homemade had stuck, was I unable to switch to homemade hair care products? Then it dawned on me, I am accustomed to a convenient, squeezy bottle with a gel shampoo and a creamy conditioner. I don’t always have the time or bother to get out the measuring spoons and supplies before I shower and these solutions were not the kind that stored well. So, I got to work in creating a shampoo and conditioner that is simple to make, great for your hair and customisable to your hair needs, cheap as chips and with that all important consistency that we know and love.
Will make your hair feel super clean without stripping natural oils, soothing oats will also gently cleanse the scalp and your chosen blend of essential oils will aid your hair type – think citrus for oily hair, tea tree and lavender for dandruff or itchy scalp and floral or herb oils for normal hair.
Ingredients: Makes around 1 cup/250ml
- 1 1/4 cup/310ml maple water, coconut water, distilled water, purified or filtered water
- 1 tbsp oat flour or NuNaturals Oat Fiber
- 4 tsp tapioca or arrowroot starch (these are more gel like but other starches will likely work)
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 8 drops pure essential oils (I used 4 honeysuckle and 4 vanilla)
Mix the chosen liquid, oat flour and starch in a small saucepan and place over a low-medium heat. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula to get to the edges, until thickened to a light gel, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a jug and leave to cool before stirring in the bicarbonate of soda and essential oils and transferring to a re-purposed shampoo container.
Creamy and moisture rich yet light and won’t weigh your hair down with the perfect ingredient to seal your hair and make it super soft and shiny. I promise the vinegar does not make your hair smell!
Ingredients: Makes around 1 cup/250ml
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary or 2 drops rosemary essential oil
- 3/4 cup/180ml almond or coconut milk
- 1/2 cup//125ml maple water, coconut water, distilled water, purified or filtered water
- 1.5 tbsp oat flour or NuNaturals Oat Fiber
- 1.5 tbsp tapioca or arrowroot starch (these are more gel like but other starches will likely work)
- 8 drops pure essential oils (I used 4 lemongrass and 4 manuka)
If using the dried rosemary, leave to infuse in the vinegar preferably overnight. Skip this step if using rosemary oil instead.
Mix the chosen liquids, oat flour and starch in a small saucepan and place over a low-medium heat. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula to get to the edges, until thickened to a thick cream, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a jug and leave to cool before stirring in the vinegar (strained of rosemary if using) and essential oils and transferring to a re-purposed container.