The Whole Loaf

Adventures in “Guinney-poo” — Or, How to Make Your Own Shampoo

Ok, tired of watching the gorgeous woman flip her hair around on TV and then buying the magic bottle, only to find your hair greasy and flat after about, oh, a half hour? Yeah, me too! Plus I’d rather buy fancy fresh mushrooms for dinner with that bit of grocery money, so I decided to do something really insane. Yes, I have finally gone over to the “crunch” side — I made my own shampoo.

Oh, how they mocked me — oh, how my husband laughed! But one really, really bored afternoon, I did it. And guess what? The first day I used it, my hair was more curly (I get some natural waves that are hard to babysit with most products), light feeling, and less frizzy than I’ve ever experienced. No, I am not kidding! I actually wanted to wear my hair down, and I usually can’t stand the feeling of my hair being down (or the frizz that ensues). It was, as my hubby would say, glorious.

So how’d I do it? I shopped around a bit online, did some research, and raided the cupboards. I used what I had, so you can tinker to accommodate your stock and interests. Here’s my recipe:

  • (Most of) 1 bar all-natural Castille Soap (mine was unscented, although I could have wished for a scent)
  • 1 Tbsp. organic whole-leaf Peppermint Green Tea
  • 1 tsp. Rosemary, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin Olive Oil (or to “taste”)
  • A few squirts of liquid Lavender Honey Soap

Equipment needed:

  • Cheese grater (or food processor)
  • Blender
  • Bottle!

Boy, that was simple. Here’s what you do:

Step 1: Grate your cheese — um, I mean soap

I started with a regular-sized bar of soap and grated till my hand got tired (and my fingers started to fear being grated themselves — I’m notorious with a cheese grater!).

Step 2: Brew your tea

Here’s the fun part. You get to pick whatever kinds of things to put in your special “brew” to create your own custom hair blend. This website here has some awesome “recipes” for various hair types. That fickle internet, though — I found a wonderful website before that neatly laid out all the herbs & extracts that are useful in shampoo/body products and what they do, but now it is lost to me.

In the end I chose Rosemary and Peppermint, which are generally recommended for hair stimulation and healthy growth, minimizing oiliness. I placed 1 TB of my loose-leaf organic peppermint green tea in the strainer part of one of those personal-cup tea makers (basically a mug with a fitted strainer and a little ceramic lid), but you could also, of course, use a loose-leaf tea ball. I added 1 tsp. of Rosemary leaves that I crushed in my hand to the loose tea leaves, then poured in my boiling water, covered with lid (this is important for making any kind of tea) and let it steep for about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Blend ‘er!

I poured my tea into a liquid measuring cup to check how much it was, and it was almost exactly 1 cup. So I poured half of my soap shavings and half of my tea into the blender (not having any idea how much to use) and started blending.

Good idea on the halvsies! The foam was so intense it immediately filled up my entire blender. So I did it in two batches, pouring my foamy “shampoo” into various containers as I played trial-and-error to figure out how much I had at the end of things.


Try not to eat it!

Step 4: Wait n’ separate

So once I finished the second batch, I came back to my first, once-full jar, and found it was slowly going through a reverse-Guinness process, going from entirely foam to a black-purpley-brown liquid concoction. This continued till all I had was enough liquid to fill one small mason jar and one small squirty-thing.

Mmmm…. Guinness….

And that’s it! I put the little squirty-jar in the shower where my old shampoo bottle was and when that time comes ’round I just shake it up a little, and squirt a few squirts into my hand, then massage into my hair. It doesn’t lather up like normal shampoos do, of course, and I’ve got a lot of long, thick hair, so it usually takes quite a few squirts before I feel satisfied. But my hair is so lovely now! And if it starts to get a little tangley from the lack of greasy hair product left in it after the shower (aka, non-Guinneypoo-shampoo) I just use a little Apple Cider Vinegar conditioner…. but that’s for another post!

So, be brave, leave the store-bought bottles behind, and give it a try! But don’t forget to watch your fingers on that cheese grater….

Aye, there’s the nub!

This entry was published on July 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm. It’s filed under Body and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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