In the About page I mentioned that one major goal for.our family this year was going 100% chemical free. This includes cleaning products, body products, remedies, and cosmetics. I’ve actually started a recipe journal of “wellness recipes” that encompass all these things. You can only sift through so many things in your favorites before going nuts…
The biggest problem I was having was my hair. I have thick, coarse, curly hair and have used the Curly Girl method for years with great success, but I recently gave up my Garnier Fructise with argan oil for natural products. I always had it in mind to make something myself to save money because most “natural conditioners” are just too expensive, especially since I’m trying to keep my hair long. I tried coconut milk with Dr.Bronner’s liquid soap to make a shampoo (you can find about 50 variations of this recipe out there) and that was still too harsh. I tried the Everyday Shea unscented conditioner and that was just awful. When I checked the ingredients again I realized why- there was WAX in there, which is why it was hard to wash out and hard to spread through my wet hair. The consistency was also “all wrong” to satisfy all my years of chemical-additive-textured-brainwashing, and despite many searches for recipes for “natural conditioners” with on-hand ingredients, I realized I would have to figure it out on my own.
I knew I was going to use coconut milk because it’s a great conditioner on its own without being too heavy. I debated what kind of oil or butter to add and decided that I would prefer argan oil, but that stuff is quite pricey and was beyond reach at that moment. So I decided to add a little more coconut oil and blend it into the milk to prevent lumps. Then I knew I needed a way to get that “fluffy creamy” texture that I’m used to from regular conditioners, which I thought would be the biggest challenge, but it struck me quite quickly: aloe gel. Duh!
So I gathered my ingredients and this is what we got…
You will need:
- 1 14oz can of coconut milk
- About 1 Cup aloe gel
- Optional: up to 2 tbsp oil of your choice
- Optional: essential oil or perfume oil of your choice
- Find a good sized food grade plastic squeeze bottle, like an old ketchup or Dr.Bronner’s bottle.
- Add the coconut milk and aloe gel and shake thoroughly.
- BEFORE adding your oil you may want to give this a test run as is. I found I added a bit too much oil, even for my hair.
- Add as much essential or perfume oil as you like, but remember you can always add more later. I personally love starting my day with peppermint and rosemary, but lavender is a popular choice for hair treatments and great for detangling.
How to use:
Use like you would a normal conditioner. You may find that you don’t need to use it every day, especially with an oil added to it. Make adjustments as you feel you need them to suit your hair type. For example, you may want no oil and more aloe if you have thinner hair.
I store it in the fridge (along with other cosmetics and body products!), but if you use coconut oil and don’t blend it into the milk/mixture you may experience lumps. It’s not a huge deal as it will melt quickly into your hair in a warm shower.
I have been using henna for a couple years now, though not as often as I would like, and I can say that this stuff definitely helps remove it from your hair after a treatment. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve come up with for a cheap, natural conditioner so far and I will continue to use it until the next experiment strikes me. I really can’t wait to try it with argan oil!
There are many skin and hair-healthy oils out there, only a few of which I have hands-on experience. I would love to know your findings in the comments and if anyone else had success with this recipe!
I’m considering adding one tbsp of henna, which is color activated by coconut milk immediately, to boost this conditioner’s hair health benefits and perhaps even make it a mini color maintainer between henna treatments. Has anyone else tried a method like this?