Four Genius Ways To Condition Your Hair Naturally (WITH OUT the chemicals!)
As the popularity of the mighty solid shampoo bar soars, so does the question of conditioning. While a lot can be said for a sulphate and synthetic ingredient free shampoo bar (find my favourite here), some of us don’t feel as though our hair care routine is quite complete without the conditioning phase.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t conditioned my hair since I made the switch to a solid shampoo bar – and my hair is as soft (if not softer) and as tameable as it’s ever been. To me, a simple hair care routine is a thing of beauty which I embrace whole heartedly (between two kids, a husband, running a small business, and all that early pregnancy glow, where would I find the time for any more!?). Simplicity helps me rock my mum bun day in, day out.
We all deserve a little extra pampering from time to time though, and now hair conditioning can be a luxury indulgence rather than a necessity brought on by the addition of harsh ingredients in commercial shampoo’s. To highlight your conditioning options, I’ve taken to the bathroom where I have tried and tested a few easy and affordable natural hair conditioning recipe’s that you can make easily at home using things that most people have in their fridge and pantry. Some of these you’re going to want to rinse out, others act as a stay in conditioner.
- The Trusty and Affordable Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse:
Simply add 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (even better if you brew your own using this super easy DIY video tutorial) to ½ a cup of warm water. After you’ve rinsed your solid shampoo lather out of your hair, just pour the vinegar water through your hair from the tips to the ends and dry as normal.
Apple cider vinegar is hugely moisturising, can help repair and tame hair, gives your hair a beautiful lustre, and can assist in the removal of build up. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar on standby, you can substitute it for raw and unprocessed Kombucha.
My verdict: a fabulous, fast and easy all-rounder suitable for all hair types, and particularly amazing for dry and damaged hair.
- Shea Butter Leave In Conditioner
This conditioner is for those with dry and damaged hair. It helps lock moisture into and soften hair, as well as tame the frizz. It’s simple to use, and you only need a teensy amount, so you make it once and you’re set for a while!
To make this up, you’ll need 50g of Shea Butter, and 50g of Olive Oil (or another light oil you have lying around – canola or rice bran are great hair loving alternatives). Melt them together (you can use a pot or do it in the microwave), pour it into a container, let it cool, and you’re set! If you like a little extra aroma to your hair, the addition of essential oils can be fab too – just add in a few drops to the melted mixture. (Note: don’t use synthetic fragrance, and only ever use essential oils you know your skin can tolerate if you have sensitivities).
To use, simply rub a tiny amount on your fingers and then smooth it over and through the ends of your hair – avoid making contact with your scalp and roots as this concoction is oil based and may leave your hair looking oily! This is most effective when done on wet hair after you’ve shampooed and rinsed. After you’ve rubbed it all in, dry your hair as normal.
My verdict: Not so good on my typically oily hair, but it was hugely nourishing so would be more suitable for dry and damaged ends. If I feel like a condition, I will do this after an evening shampoo, sleep with it, and wash it out if needed in the morning.
Mayo is a necessity to chicken sandwiches, hot chips, and dim sims (seriously, wipe that look off your face and try it, it’s delish!). This might sound a little strange to you, but it’s also fantastic for conditioning and strengthening your hair!! Simply apply enough to cover the dry and damaged parts of your hair with mayonnaise. You need to do this to your freshly cleansed, damp hair and let it sit there for ½ an hour before rinsing it out and cleansing once or twice with your solid shampoo bar.
If you’ve ever made mayo, you’ll know that the 2 main ingredients are eggs and oil – both of which are super conditioning for your hair and will leave it feeling sleek, strong, and nourished. If you don’t like the additives in your fridge mayo, here is how to make your own (it’s soooo easy!)
You’ll need a very fast kitchen stand mixer (I use my kitchen aid) or a nice, powerful stick blender.
- Crack an egg into your bowl and give it a splash of apple cider vinegar (if you’re using this only as a hair conditioner, don’t worry about adding a dash of mustard and some salt – if you’re going to eat this, these two additions are great for extra flavour)
- Mix it up til that is all combined – it won’t take long
- Pour 1 cup of liquid oil (rice bran is my favourite because it doesn’t have a strong flavour, but I prefer olive for hair – just don’t use an oil that hardens in the cool climate) into a pouring vessel
- If you’re using a stick blender, this step takes some coordination. The idea is to slowly add your oil to the mixture, while it is being stirred very quickly. If you’re using a stand mixer, turn it onto high and slowly pour in your oil so it combines with the eggs – it will turn pale yellow and creamy. If the oil is starting to separate from the egg mixture, you are pouring it too fast. Slow down, and let your mixer catch up. Don’t put too much oil in, otherwise it will split. If you’re using a stick blender, blend and add the oil at the same time until the described consistency is achieved.
- Keep this in the fridge. If I don’t lacto-ferment mine, I tend to use it straight away.
My verdict: It definitely makes your hair look shiny, and does a lot to tame and repair the damage, but it can make your hair feel heavy. Don’t over-mayo your hair, and make sure you rinse the mayo with one or two shampoo’s before blasting it with a hair dryer. Try this on a weekend – you don’t want to go to work with mayo-hair if this one doesn’t work for you!
- Yogurt and Honey Hair Mask
If you love soft, strong hair then a yogurt and honey hair mask may be an excellent addition to your solid shampoo bar routine. Hair masking for half an hour using a plain, natural yogurt can help boost hair growth, help repair hair damage, and help prevent dandruff. And whipping one up is oh, so simple! Get ½ a cup of plain, natural yogurt (try culturing your own – it’s lots of fun, and you can use the whey to lacto-ferment your mayo!!) and add 3 tbsp of honey (ping it in the microwave if it’s not really runny). Mix it all up, and rub it into damp hair. Make sure every strand of hair, as well as your scalp, is covered. Wrap it up, or tie it back, and leave it to set for half an hour before rinsing it out and drying as normal!
My verdict: I loved this one. It didn’t leave any oily residue on my hair, and left it so soft and smooth. It was simple, fast, and extremely cost effective. For a truly natural experience, make your own yogurt and source your honey from your local bee keeper!
And there you have it!! If you have any tried and tested conditioning recipe's, please feel free to share them in the comments!!