Homemade Natural Shampoo: what I’m doing now

IMG_5130I just made up a recipe this morning and bottled it, since I’m running low on what I keep in the bathroom.  I bottled some before traveling, a month ago, and all of that is now packed into my teeny tiny travel bottles.

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 12.30.50 PMI buy Zum lavender and frankincense & myrrh shampoo bars online, and when it’s time for more shampoo, here’s how I do it:

~Get a saucepan with about an inch of water warming up on the stove — low heat, very gentle heat, just enough heat but not too much
~Measure out 12 ounces of water into my quart-sized glass measuring cup
~Grate the whole shampoo bar right into the quart measuring cup with the tiny-sized grater
~Place the quart measuring cup right in the saucepan of warming water
~Stir the soap & water mixture a few times with a bamboo chopstick; it should melt together and become liquid just fine, with the very small sized grated pieces, but it’s still fun to stir it a little, now and then
~Once it’s all melted together, let it cool
~Pour it into a clean plastic bottle and use it!

It helps to use a funnel.


What I’ve experienced, using this shampoo:  the lavender variety cuts into the scalp (in a good way) and leaves my hair feeling really clean and smelling good. I don’t have to shampoo again for maybe a week, using this.  If my hair starts to feel like I want to wash my hair, or it’s summer and I’ve been sweating, I’ll rinse my hair in the shower with just plain structured water, and it’s fine.

The trouble, then, is when I get out of the shower; my hair is hard to comb through; that’s why I’m experimenting with different vinegar rinse recipes.  But my oh my, my hair IS clean and STAYS clean for a long time after shampooing with this homemade shampoo.

What I’ve been doing is when I get out of the shower and my hair is a tangled mess and hard to comb through — go with it.  Leave it a tangled mess.  It’s long, so I twist it into a very long twist, and spiral that around and put a stick through it to hold it on top of my head, and let it dry that way.  Maybe the next day, or maybe the day after that, I’ll try combing through it.


I washed it last on Friday — Thursday? — and this is Monday. The day I washed it, I didn’t comb it, but twisted it in a long twist and secured it with a stick to the top of my head. Did the same thing Saturday and Sunday, and decided this morning to comb it out, finally, after not combing it for at least three, maybe four days! This is how it looks, and it combed out fairly easily. No black gunk on my comb, not a lot of combed-out hair to put in the trash either. In my days of using store-bought shampoos this would be unheard of, going the second, third, and FOURTH day (and maybe fifth!) without shampooing! My hair would have been slicked-down on top and disgusting by now. Today, no oil slick on top of my head, that’s for sure, and it doesn’t feel like one is forming any time soon either.

This kind of works for me.  But I’m also looking for other alternatives; see my other post today on vinegar hair rinse.  I’ve tried different recipes for vinegar hair rinse and I’m still looking.

The Frankincense and Myrrh variety of the shampoo bar shampoo — I make it the same way, 12 ounces of water, grate the bar, let it liquefy, cool and then bottle it…and the scent is luscious and deep and I love it, but at the same time my hair behaves totally differently with this variety.  There might be different oils, or more oils in it.  My hair is kind of more manageable / yet feels a little thicker, gunkier, faster, using this one.  So I’ll switch back and forth between the two varieties:  when I want to cut the gunk, I use the Lavender shampoo; when I want more conditioning and softness, I use the F&M variety.

And that’s where I am currently on my Quest for the Perfect Combination of Homemade Natural Shampoo, Softer Water, and Homemade Natural Conditioner.

Also I’ve tried medium-sized-hole graters, and great-big-huge-hole-sized graters, and found that the teeny-tiny-holed grater works the best for this purpose.


About Susan Bame

Writer, Mediator, Facilitator, Teacher, fascinated with indigenous forms of conflict resolution. I love watching people become empowered. I have a master's degree in conflict resolution and a personal interest in organic food, detoxing and healing the body, alternative holistic approaches to health, self-empowerment and win-win solutions through mediation, Structured Water™, and energetic healing. I lived on the Omaha Reservation in northeast Nebraska for ten years, worked with Native families in the area, and have a great interest in Native history, culture, practices, traditions, stories, and current affairs. View all posts by Susan Bame

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