Monday, March 30, 2009

Homemade Conditioner for Your Hair

I've been making our own conditioner for over a year now. While I played around with the "recipe" for a bit, I've finally figured out a good base recipe. I decided to post this here, as it is something you make in your kitchen; kitchens and cooking aren't just for food!
So here is my recipe for Homemade Conditioner:

I use a 1/2 gallon glass milk jug to hold the conditioner. The first thing I add is some apple cider.

As you can see, I fill it up to that base line. If you're using a different type of glass jar, you can guess-timate, or add about a cup worth of apple cider vinegar (err on the less side).
Depending on the season, I will also add up to a 1/2 cup of lemon juice to help lighten up my hair some. I didn't do it this time as I am currently plenty blonde. This would be where you could add other herbs or juices to help infuse your hair with extra color if you wished.

This next step is optional. As you can see in the above photo, I add one tea bag each of Chamomile & Lavender tea and Nettle tea. Chamomile tea is a good herbal conditioner in and of itself ~ I chose the blend just because I liked the scent. I use Nettle tea as nettles are also very good for your hair and scalp. You don't have to use any tea, you can just use plain water if you'd like - it's your choice. However, if you DO use tea, heed this: "warm up" your glass jar first by swirling some hot water inside it and also on the outside (it will feel warm to the touch, just as a nice mug would) -- if not, you run the risk of the glass breaking when you pour boiling water in! I put my tea bags directly in the glass jar and get some water boiling. I will pour the water in after the next step.

Yes, that is beer. Preferably, you want the beer flat. Mainly because then you don't have to worry about waiting for the head to die down. Drink half the beer, pour the other half into the jar. Although you don't have to use beer, this is the ingredient I consider the *key* ingredient. Beer is wonderful at conditioning your hair and I've noticed a great change in my hair since I started adding the beer. Any beer will do. We homebrew, so I use beer I like (you might as well). This was a brown ale, and it has worked quite well. Last time I made conditioner I used some of our Stout beer. It was pure heaven!! The scent was stronger (though it does NOT stay in your hair - you can just smell it while you're in the shower, then it is gone) and this was something I really liked, but that was more thanks to the stout beer than anything else. I wouldn't use miller lite or budweiser, but then again I wouldn't drink that stuff either - I'm a beer snob. But you can use any type of beer. I have a feeling that the heavier beers condition your hair better, but no proof yet to back that up.
After I add the beer, I add the hot/boiling water. I do this over the sink, somewhere where I don't have to have my hands on the jar. I tend to burn myself otherwise. Fill up the jar with the water. You're pretty much done now.

The bottle beside the glass jug is what actually stays in the shower. It isn't anything special, but the top works great for dispensing the conditioner. You could use an old shampoo or conditioner bottle, or even an old sport drink/water bottle. That little pull-up top is what I like, it keeps it all from coming out too fast (this isn't cream rinse!) for me. The bottle is a different color in the photo only because I didn't need to actually fill it up, but took it out of the shower so I could have it in the photo - I had used a different beer last time, hence the different color. You can fill up your bottle right then, or wait till it cools down some. I store the glass jug in the fridge and just fill the bottle up as needed. It has never "gone bad" and is extremely economical!! This is some really good stuff here, we have great hair and no complaints. The only difference I've noticed is that my hair doesn't feel as "instantly" silky as it did with the store-bought stuff, but after my hair dries that goes away. I think I can live with that.


Carole and Chewy said...

Funny you posted this - I got all the supplies out for making another batchof detergent tomorrow (and yes, it'll go on the blog), and was thinking I'd like to make my own shampoo/conditioner. I'll be trying your recipe. Currently -we buy the cheap stuff (Suave), but add 8 drops of rosemary essential oil to the bottle, and also use the cider vinegar as a rinse. Thanks!

Sadie from said...

Linking to you with love!!

Pomegranate said...

Awesome recipe!

Carrie and Justin said...

Thanks for the comments! :)
Just wanted to add a tip for when your locks are in need of some lovin' ~ beer.
Straight beer. I swiped some extra bottles of our homebrew and took them into the bathroom with me. Used them straight on my head, after shampooing. Just the beer, nothing else.
My hair was AWESOME after that!! I used the beer for a good week (just used up the bottles), and seriously, my hair loved it. Frayed, frizzy (aka - needs trimming) ends became smooth and manageable again. Bounce, body and all that jazz too!
I would recommend doing this all the time, but seriously - if your locks need love, give them a week or so of nothing but beer.
I DO think I am going to start adding more beer to my over-all conditioner recipe. Maybe cut back on the vinegar a smidge. ~ I am REALLY bad about actual measurements, so the amount I use is never the same twice.
Everyone's hair is different though, so I encourage you to play around with the ingredients until it is right for your hair. Don't give up, don't lose hope if you don't think it comes out just right the first time.

My natural haircare said...

Very creative !
That’s actually really cool,
Thanks. for the recipe
wonder i hope im making sense.
.Yes we easily can get natural shampoo (its everywhere..both online and in stores).i luv the company..i literally nearly torn

when i found out i couldn't use its medicated hair loss shampoo (cause it has natural herbs which works) only use it in
extreme situations like when my hair is too messy.
I know .finally walk down the streets with my healthy new hairs i use so much shampoo but i have thick hair that's very currrrrly.
I signed up
Iht9, the thriven will be for my mom, were both heavy users when it comes to this shampoo..our hair just enjoy it up.
she had a gud success with acacia concinna i mean truly guud results.but the problem with it, it smells great. i literally transformed.

Natural Hair Conditioner said...

Hi I found very useful Herbal hair conditioner.....I think it's may be useful for you also.....have a look on it!

Anonymous said...

Hhmmmm, I don't know what i think about this. I mean, on the one side i like beer.It has treated me well in so many ways in the past. but on the other, this is a conditioner made by someone who has natty dreads in their photo.Whats up with that. It's like a toothless hillbilly telling you how to make toothpaste. But in the end, the beer always wins. I will give it a try.

Carrie and Justin said...

Dear Anonymous,
Wow, thanks for that back-handed insult there. Let's see if we can correct your blinding ignorance.
1) Please look at the date of the post: 2009. I stated then that I had making my own conditioner AT THAT POINT for over a year (you seem to be lacking math skills, so 2008).
2) I put my dreads in last November. They are now 9 months old. Ironically enough, 9 months old TODAY to be precise.

So .. we add those facts up and we get (3) I used that conditioner for THREE YEARS before I had dreads. During that time I had long hair, and it was beautiful. My husband and children also use the conditioner and none of them have dreads.

Now .. let's address a couple other things shall we?? Beer IS good for your hair. Look it up, do some research.
Having dreadlocks does NOT mean you have nasty, disgusting, dirty hair. You have knotted hair that is/has formed into locks. Again, do some research.
Toothless hillbilly is a very slanderizing image, one which I don't appreciate. Especially not when it's handed down from some arrogant, ignorant, thick headed, cruel hearted twat such as yourself.

Thanks for your comment. Hope the conditioner works out for you!

Christi Wilson said...

How long will this last? Will it spoil if kept in the shower?

Carrie and Justin said...

Christi -
As you can see in the photo, I keep a small squirt bottle (it is clear with an orange top) in the shower. The larger bottle I keep in the fridge.
Depending on how much you use in the shower and how often you shower I wouldn't worry at all about it spoiling in there.
In regards to how long it will last in the fridge, I would say it should be good for a couple weeks at least. You're not drinking the stuff, just pouring it on your hair. More than likely though you'll go through it before you have a chance to worry about it spoiling.

~Mama Taney