However, it is a new year and I'm overcoming my fears!!
Obviously January is almost over, but never fear! I've already started a project: DIY conditioner (hair rinse). I've been doing a lot of research and apparently there are three options: Vinegar, Citrus or Urine.
Obviously urine is out of the question.
According to my research, it's important for hair to have some sort of mild acidic rinse to help rinse out the shampoo residue and to close the hair cuticle which makes hair softer and shinier.
I am a brunette.
I have fine, thin hair and a dry scalp.
Excuse the bad picture. That's 3 days without washing my hair or styling it. And no make up. Again, I'm sorry.
Normally if I didn't wash my hair every day, the second day would be sketchy, but by the third day I was a complete grease monkey. Commercial shampoo strips the hair of it's natural oils which makes it produce A LOT of oil which is why even girls with dry scalps end up getting oily hair after 2 to 3 days. Natural cleaners help maintain the natural oils and keep your hair healthier.
That's why I do NOT look like a grease monkey. I was trying to do an experiment as to how long I could go without washing my hair before it looked like it needed it. I was betting on day 3, but I was wrong. I was still going strong on day 4, but I couldn't take it anymore. It looked and felt fine, but I just felt wrong doing it! I normally wash my hair everyday and not doing anything to it for 4 days! It just felt wrong.
What I've Tried:
First, I bought JR Liggett's Old-Fashioned Shampoo Bar based on some positive feedback I've gotten. I've really enjoyed it. It is made of all natural products: Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide (lye) and pure Spring Water. What is most different about it is how clean your hair feels after you use it. The first time I used it, it was almost impossible to run your fingers through my hair which, at first, is a little concerning, but it got better with each use and now my hair really does feel clean and soft even if I don't use the rinse.
So, that was easy. Shampoo-- done. Check!
As for conditioners, I first decided to do the lemon based shampoo: fail. My hair was oily, slightly sticky and stringy. They (a million blog posts) say that you need to give your scalp time to "balance out" because it essentially freaks out when you stop using normal shampoos as they strip your hair. My hair never really "balanced out", but I did enjoy the natural blonde-ish highlights the lemon juice gave my hair.
Then I decided to try apple cider vinegar: so much more love going to the vinegar. My hair is softer, shiner, less frizz, and easy to manage. It does take a little tweaking to find your right vinegar level because it's affected by your hair type and how hard your water is, but it's really a matter of 1/2 TBSP to 1 TBSP more or less. Don't worry-- it's not rocket science!
And don't worry-- the vinegar smell is mostly washed away by the water (I don't even notice it) and by the time your hair dries-- it's completely gone.
Now that I'm in love with the apple cider vinegar rinse I'm trying to add different things to it to give my hair more of a little something something-- like a nice aroma, more bounce, less dandruff.
I Use the Following Ingredients:
1) Apple Cider Vinegar: Closes cuticle due to acidic pH, helps hair retain moisture, gives hair shine, bounce and definition.
2) Hibiscus tea which has astringent qualities and releases darkish purple dye that can be used to color greying hair (don't worry-- it's not purple, more reddish). It can deepen underlying color and/or enhance natural highlights, and even provides slip to aid in detangling.
3) Lemongrass Tea- strengths hair and helps dry hair
4) Rosemary stimulate growth and stimulates the scalp. It can also darken hair. If you're blonde I hear camomile can make blondes look brighter.
I've wanted to add Lavender because it can help with dandruff, thicken thin hair and it even repels mosquitoes! I admit that I'm still having issues with dandruff, but we just got a cold spell so I don't really know if it's the weather or if it's the changes away from shampoo and conditioner.
I wish that I took before and after pictures, but my hair is so different from before! It's already thicker, less frizzy, and it needs to be washed less-- I can easily go four days before I need to wash. That may sound gross at first, but honestly it's a sign of healthy hair. It's a sign that you are producing a proper amount of oil from your scalp. Shampoo didn't even exist until the 1930's! They used to wash their hair with soap every two weeks. So, not every day is okay.
It doesn't mean I don't shower every day-- I just use a really sexy plastic hair cap. Rawr.
So This is How I Do It:
The standard is 1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar per 1 Cup of Water. I usually make a decent size batch because it lasts nearly a month. With this amount, I use about 1/2 c of any herbs I want to use and then I let it simmer on the stove for about an hour. As it cools, I add the hibiscus tea bag for about 10 minutes. Sometimes I'll strain out all the herbs right away or I'll let it sit over night which makes a really potent formula.
I loved the addition of the lavender-- it really helped with my dry scalp. I made some for my mom too and she says that she has practically no frizz and her hair is much softer and healthier.
I always follow it up with just a little bit of jojoba oil into my damp hair. Perfection.
Update: Hair Rinse updated
For Shampoo I use JR Liggetts shampoo bars. Changed my life!