I Tried Organic DIY Shampoo For Two Weeks To See If The All Natural Composition Would Give Me Luscious Locks
I am an advocate for an all-natural beauty routine, which is precisely why I was interested in making my own DIY natural shampoo. Instead of smearing chemicals and ingredients I can’t pronounce onto my face, I prefer using organic ingredients like coconut oils and cornstarch that not only do a better job, but also save me time and money. And since I’ve had such a good experience with homemade organic products so far (I’m still absolutely in love with my all-natural translucent powder), I decided I would try a new recipe for a beauty item that almost everyone consumes: shampoo.
Most of us are picky about the kinds of beauty products we use, but when it comes to shampoo, I personally just use whatever I find. But when I came across this recipe online, I was pretty stoked to try it. The Wellness Mama described her homemade organic shampoo as "easy to make with lots of return," so I decided to give it a shot. It seemed easy enough, and my long, thick hair would do a good job of gauging whether it made a difference or not. And while I have used plenty of sulfate-free and paraben-free shampoo in my days, I was excited and eager to see how this completely natural shampoo would treat my hair.
So, with high hopes and lots of interest, I tried out organic, all-natural, no-chemicals-at-all shampoo over the span of two weeks. And, well, the results weren’t exactly what I expected. But at least it was an experience, right?
The DIY Process
As far as recipes go, this one was easy peasy. It only calls for three ingredients, and they were readily available at my local Whole Foods. So, I mixed together 1/3 cup of liquid castille soap, ¼ cup of coconut milk, and 20 drops of essential oil, sticking to tea tree scents on both the soap and the oil.
But once I combined the ingredients, the liquids sort of separated (not unlike oil in water). Once I shook it all up in the jar, it got all fizzy and soapy. I wondered if that was normal, but I didn’t worry about it because it quickly fizzed down and became a flat liquid.
Besides the consistency, everything was what I expected during the preparation process. It was simple and fool-proof. Now, the experimentation process was a little different.
Here we go! In the shower, like any other day. Except, instead of reaching for my usual Herbal Essences bottle, I reached for the glass jar with my homemade shampoo in it. I was super excited to try out my new concoction (although my excitement did not continue for much longer). My first concern was the consistency of the shampoo. It was basically a liquid. Usually shampoos have more a gel feeling to them, but this just felt like water. I tipped the bottle into my palm and managed to hold onto a little liquid, but the rest of it just fell into the tub. By the time I got my hand to my hair, I'd lost some more.
I know some homemade shampoos don’t lather, but once I worked this one into my hair, that was not a problem. The scent, however, was pretty strong, especially for tea tree. But I got used to it after I rinsed my hair off. I figured I would use it just like I do my regular shampoo, so I washed and rinsed twice. But I regretted it. After touching my hair post second wash and rinse, it felt super rough and dry.
And my regret was only solidified after I got out of the shower and tried to brush through the weirdly stringy and thick locks, which were all clumped together. Just imagine me, standing in front of my bathroom mirror, trying to brush through my hair as though I was a cartoon character who didn't actually, really have hair. I thought the coconut oil and soap combination would make my hair feel nice and smooth, but it did quite the opposite. It wasn’t exactly what I expected from a first impression, but I was willing to stick with it to see if my experience would change.
This time, I was smarter about how I shampooed. Instead of doing a double wash and rinse, I just stuck to one. And instead of focusing on lathering up, I really worked the shampoo into my skull and tried to focus it around my roots instead of at my ends. This proved to be better practice because my hair was more easily tamable post shower, and didn’t just clump together.
What I noticed this time was how frizzy my hair was once it dried. I didn’t put any product in it, and just simply blow dried as I would on any normal day. But my hair seemed to combat the warm heat by just frizzing up and becoming rough and thick — and not in a good way. The frizz did not get any better as the night went on, and I resorted to putting my hair in a bun.
By this wash, I dreaded reaching for my natural shampoo. I obviously didn’t have the greatest experience with it so far, and I felt as though my bottle of juicy, fruity, and fresh Herbal Essences was calling my name. But being the determined person I am, I did not give into any temptation and stuck to my homemade ‘poo.
The good news was that by wash three I think my hair got more used to the homemade shampoo. It felt cleaner, it was easier to comb through, and it didn’t make my hair as coarse as it had been the first two washes. That being said, I was still dealing with major frizz. So instead of fighting it with hairspray, I just teased my hair to amplify it and make it look on purpose. The bad news was that my hair started gaining a waxy texture, as though each strand of my hair was covered in a residue that would take major scrubbing to get out. It wasn’t exactly the silky soft feeling I usually covet, so — suffice it to say — I wasn’t excited.
Round four. Here we go. Something’s got to change, right? It’s got to get worse before it gets better? Nope, not necessarily. The shampoo worked just like it did the first three washes. I did one lather and rinse and brushed through my hair as per usual. But instead of taking any heat to it, I just let it dry naturally. The shampoo surprisingly didn’t do anything weird to my natural hair, but again, there was still some unwanted frizz.
Is it weird that I only washed my hair five times in the span of two weeks? That’s probably an article for a different day. But by this point, I was ready to be done with this shampoo. On a positive note, I think my hair officially got used to the shampoo, or in turn, I just got used to dealing with its waxy, coarse, and frizzy texture, so it wasn’t too bad the fifth time around.
That being said, I was still tempted to use the good ole store-bought shampoo in my shower. I genuinely missed the feeling of smooth liquid across my scalp and hair, and washing it away in luscious, flower-smelling bubbles. But alas, I stuck to my coconut milk and natural soap combination and the results were no different from the previous wash. Except at this point it wasn’t just me, but also my hair that thirsted for a real good wash with some sudsy shampoo.
As much of an advocate and supporter I am of promoting natural beauty routines, I don’t see myself using this shampoo in the future. Yes, I know sulfates and parabens are terrible for your hair, even though they are disguised beneath layers of juicy scents and a thick cream that creates voluptuous, voluminous hair. And while this shampoo gets rid of all those chemicals and fabricated ingredients, it doesn’t do a great job of making my hair look or feel good. While I enjoyed carrying out the experiment, non-sulfate shampoos do exist and they don’t make my hair look quite as frizzy and coarse.
I really, truly wanted this shampoo to revolutionize the way I think about washing my hair — to totally shift my shower into an all-natural, organic friendly zone while making my hair feel better than it’s ever felt before. But unfortunately, I just could not get into it. While I’m sure there are different homemade shampoo recipes out there, this one did not cope well with my hair, and failed to convert me into a natural shampoo user for life.
Ultimately, this homemade, all-natural shampoo didn’t work for me. While I loved the idea of avoiding chemicals in my hair all while saving time and money, the results weren’t up to par with what my regular shampoo score. But I haven’t given up all hope. Like I said before, there are plenty of homemade shampoo recipes to try out.
So, excuse me while I hop in the shower and pretend like I’m in a shampoo commercial now.
Images: Melodi Erdogan; Giphy