Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Going Green: Hair products

The plot:
My first order of business in getting back to nature is my hair. I haven't used 'shampoo' in many years, and have only used mainstream conditioners a few times. I was using more 'natural' gel for a while, but when money gets tight I have had to buy the cheap drugstore kind. Even my no-poo and condish were super expensive, so I didn't always have that. But I never gave in to regular shampoo. Never. Organic and natural products can be pricey but that doesn't mean they are the only way to be organic or natural. So, I've gone back to my baking soda wash, acv or hemp powder condish (although, I am testing Tate's Miracle Conditioner from my local health food store), and have made my first batch of homemade gel!

Behind the scenes:
Gel is pretty easy to make. There are many recipes online, too many to try them all in fact. Last night I did a simple one: unflavored gelatin powder, water, aloe vera gel, and a few drops of lavendar essential oil. It came out ok. I kept adding powder because the directions told me to in order to get the consistency I wanted. Well duh, it meant after it sets up in the fridge, not before. I ended up adding the whole packet of gel powder... it was clear jello this morning! It did do the job though, even if it was a little too crunchy for me. I will have to find a way to make it more conditioning, and less stiff. It made my hair too stringy for my taste today ( I like bigger curls), but I am impressed that I made a hair product.

The sequel:
Tonight, I will try it again. The next recipe is 1/2 cup boiling water, 1/4 tsp. gelatin, and a few drops of vanilla extract (for aroma). This may add a slight tint, but I don't think it will show up on my hair.

The budget:
The box of knox gel cost me $1.37 for 4 packets, I had a bottle of aloe vera gel which was probably $2, the bottle of oil was $10, and I have some vanilla extract. I can probably make at least 12 batches of gel from this if I measure the powder correctly (!), and still have aloe gel, vanilla, and oil left for many many more batches. I will only have to replace the powder occassionally which is super cheap.This is much cheaper than store bought hair products.

The review:
Since our scalp is skin, and skin is our largest organ, anything we put on our hair ends up in our bodies, so homemade is healthier too, not just economical.

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