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.