So it's been about a month since beginning our foray into the land of castile soap, homemade shampoo and conscious avoidance of all things containing SLS (Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate). When I first decided on this venture Mike threatened a psychiatric eval for yours truly but he eventually (reluctantly) agreed to give it a go for a few weeks. I love that he can be so patient (yes, tolerant) with my projects and schemes! :) And the verdict is: we LOVE it!!!
We are using Tom's of Maine SLS-free toothpaste that still does a great job (in my opinion, a much better job) of cleaning our teeth and although not as "foamy" as regular toothpaste has a great fresh taste/aftertaste to it. Mike's already gone through an entire tube- and has only had one time where he thought he was getting a canker sore but it never came to fruition. Success! I order it online for about half the price of what it costs at our local health food store.
Next up on my list of purchases was a gallon-sized container of Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap- I bought the Tea Tree version since I wanted to try it out for cleaning and other purposes as well. I got a few cheap ebay "foamer" hand pumps for each of our bathrooms, placed a small amount (maybe 2-4 Tblsp) of soap in the bottom of the containers and filled them the rest of the way with water- voila! Cheap, great smelling handwash! Plus it's instant bubbles- Eileigh is a big fan to say the least.
My shampoo journey has been a bit more involved. Mike had great results from the get-go (hair and scalp) but my hair went through detox for a couple weeks. I rotated the homemade shampoo with a baking soda rinse (to cut oiliness) and then did an herb and vinegar rinse about twice a week for conditioning. While my first shampoo recipe was great for Mike, I upped the shampoo content of the next batch for myself and seemed to have a lot better results as far as oiliness is concerned. Since I've never thought of my hair as oily I'm not sure if my hair might still be detoxing or if pregnancy is causing some changes but whatever the case, my hair has responded well to a higher shampoo-to-water ratio. Now that I'm figuring it out I love having ONE bottle in the shower (yes, ONE- my entire life I've maintained an average of 5-10 pairs of shampoos/conditioners in the shower to rotate through) and it smells great, works wonderfully and is definitely cost-effective! I use the shampoo for a body wash as well although I did just buy a few of Dr. Bronner's bar soaps to try out some of the other scents (I'm wondering if Mike will mind the lavender...). You can try out all different kinds of herbs for the shampoo or rinse- check them out to see what they'll do for your hair- and though I've tried parsley as well, rosemary is definitely my favorite so far.
So here are the recipes:
Homemade Shampoo #1
1/4 c. Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Liquid Castile Soap
1 c. strong rosemary tea (pour boiling distilled/spring water over 1/4 c. fresh rosemary and let steep for 30 minutes)
1 tsp. olive oil
*Easiest is to microwave the water and then pour over the rosemary. Strain through a coffee filter or dishtowel to keep the herbs out of the shampoo when adding to the soap. I keep ours in a spray bottle since it's more liquidy than regular shampoo. Use a normal amount of shampoo when washing hair.
Homemade Shampoo #2 (my most recent batch and works better to get rid of oiliness)
1/4 c. liquid castile soap
1/4 c. distilled/spring water
1 tsp. olive oil
*Mix ingredients together. I miss the rosemary scent so next time I'm going to make the rosemary tea and then just increase the soap amount.
Herb and Vinegar Rinse (use about twice/week to condition and detangle, rinse briefly- once hair dries it doesn't smell like vinegar, don't worry!)
2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 c. chopped herbs
*Place herbs in glass jar. Heat vinegar before pouring over herbs and steep in refrigerator for a few days before using. (Or if not in hurry can cover herbs with cold vinegar and steep/refrigerate two weeks). Strain herbs through coffee filter into fresh clean bottle. Refrigerate up to 6 months.
TO USE: Dilute 1 Tblsp. herb/vinegar mix to 1 c. water, rinse through hair after shampooing.
Baking Soda Rinse (use to cut oiliness as necessary)
1 Tblsp. baking soda
1 c. water
I just take a container with the baking soda into the shower with me and fill with water so it's warm and then rinse it through my hair! (And I do the same with the herb/vinegar rinse).
Next up: homemade deodorant!! Maybe YOU can let me know how that goes.... :)