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Frugal hair care August 22, 2005 12:35 AM

This discussion began on the 'Frugal drain cleaner?' thread. Me going off-topic, as usual!

I look forward to the results of your experiment, M J L. I've heard vinegar makes a great hair tonic, so I might well stock up; (I have long hair as well, and it it tends to go all after washing. 

On the recommendation of a health magazine, I started adding rosemary oil to my regular shampoo. But it made my hair smell a bit odd, so I switched to tea-tree (another of those multi-purpose miracle products). Keeps my scalp happy, anyway.

As I said, I'm still using up what's left of my regular hair care products as I don't like to throw anything away. At the risk of going off-topic again, though: I used mousse once or twice and hated it, so I've a whole can of the stuff going spare. I've heard that shaving foam can be used to make marbled paper, so I presume hair mousse could as well.

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Hair Care August 22, 2005 7:45 AM

In reference to the baking soda suggestion on the frugal drain cleaner thread as use for shampoo- my understanding is that you are supposed to add it to your regualr shampoo.

I am a big fan of making all my own body care products and have had great success with everything except shampoo!!! I have long thick hair too and am very picky about it! So, shampoo and conditioner aare one of my big splurges- Aveda products. If anyone has any good shampoo recipes to share , please do!!

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 August 22, 2005 10:53 AM

Hi Desiree! Actually, you use it instead of shampoo. (I've just checked the page again, and the thread on the Vegan group, and it's definitely instead.)

I can well believe it as baking soda is great for cutting through grease (which is what shampoo is designed to do). I thought it might be too harsh for hair, but others have testified to its gentleness. 

By the way, for those who haven't thought about this: cleansing agents don't need to foam in order to work. Most commercial shampoo have foaming agents added to them, to fool consumers into thinking they're "rich" or "luxurious", or to make the experience more pleasurable. Same goes for any detergents; if they foam a lot, you've used too much. (Think about machine washing powder; it doesn't foam because there isn't room in the machine for that, but it still cleans your clothes.)

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anonymous hair August 25, 2005 6:11 AM

I also have had no luck making shampoo. My hair is only shoulder length but very thick and coarse. I use a vegan shampoo I purchased at Wild Oats, but instead of conditioner I rinse with vinegar infused with Rosemary. It really makes a difference in the shine and smoothness of my hair.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 August 25, 2005 6:56 AM

Ditto on the vinegar ~ I have long, fine hair and rinsing with the diluted apple cider vinegar helps it shine and helps with tangles.

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great topic, very interested in recipes August 27, 2005 2:36 AM

How often can you do the soda and vinegar? That seems like it would be pretty harsh, is there a good way to use it? My frugal hair care is baby shampoo (way cheaper than adult shampoo) and Doctor Bronner's. That stuff is awesome, and you can personalize it easily w/ your own essential oils, etc.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
my current routine.. August 27, 2005 8:25 AM

I've been using a close variation to the "no poo" routine for 4 days and it's working great. My long curly hair has body and shine and is soft and silky. I have been using it every day. I thoroughly wet my hair and scalp in the shower then gently massage in 1 tbsp of baking soda paste as directed in the "no poo" recipe then rinse. Then my variation uses 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup water poured over my scalp and hair. I make sure that I saturate the scalp completely. I got the vinegar recipe recommended as a dandruff remover. I then comb it through to the ends. What I find amazing is that as I do this, my normally dry hair becomes a bit oiler as I comb the vinegar through it from the oils in my scalp being released. Then I rinse. I know my hair is clean because it '"squeaks". After patting dry, I apply a mixture of 1 tsp olive oil with one or two drops of an essential oil of choice to the ends of my hair and comb it through. Then I let my hair dry naturally.

I also would like to add that while in the shower after washing my body (I use about 2 tsps. of Dr. Bronners soap for that--I bought a gallon almost a year and a half ago and I have 3/4 of it left)--that I put about a 2 tsps of the same olive oil mixture on my hands and rub it into my skin all over before I get out of the shower and dry off. My pores are open from the hot shower so the oil is absorbed into my skin easier. I am not greasy at all when dry off but my skin is soft and I don't have to use any lotions after the shower. 

 I use a sprinkle (about 1 tsp each) of baking soda and corn starch in my shoes and I dust about a tsp of cornstarch mixed with ground lavendar under my arms as a deodorant. As a finishing touch I dab a drop of essential oil behind my ears and knees.

Also, I use about 1 tsp of baking soda as a toothpaste each time I brush my teeth (3 times a day)and if I want that minty fresh feeling, I had a little Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap to the brush.

That's it. My guess is that an extravagent estimate of what my daily routine product use costs is about $.75 a day and everything I use is non-toxic and there are very few containers to recycle.


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get rid of the body soap and try this recipe... August 28, 2005 1:12 PM

here is a recipe for glowing skin, passed on to me from a group of hippies on salt spring island: SALT SCRUB in a big mixing bowl, combine: - approx. 2 cups sea salt - dump in olive oil until the sea salt is saturated - it usually takes about 2 cups of oil too - add as many drops of your favorite essential oils as you like until the scent is pleasing to you - stir it all together well - it should make a grainy paste without any oil settling to the top (if oil settles on top, add more salt) - put it into a lidded container (i use leftover plastic ones so that i don't get broken glass if my oily hands drop it in the shower) - take it into the shower with you (lidded) - wet your body down and then turn off the water - take handfuls of the salt scrub and rub vigorously all over your body (arms, legs, pits, wherever - i don't use it on my acne-prone face however) - cap the lid again and turn the water back on - completely rinse off all of the salt, but notice that most of the oil remains - get out of the shower (still greasy) and towel dry - do this for at least a week and watch your skin turn into a soft, glowing radiant body - you can do it for a week and then stop for a while, or just keep doing it every day - the only drawback is that you need to clean out your greasy tub frequently ENJOY! the sea salt draws out toxins and sloughs off rough skin - it also heals wounds the olive oil moisturizes  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Oats as well August 29, 2005 1:23 PM

This is one I have used for years, get an old sock, or a niece of nice natural fabric, a handful of oats, spoonful of sea salt and epsom salt, a few drops of whatever oils takes your fancy, tie and either throw in bath or use in shower when you squeeze the sock/fabric a milky slightly slimey lotion appears, oats are great for us as they are calming to the nervous system, epsom salts cleanse toxins and sea salt softens the water, the oils you chose are whatever you need at any given time, patchouli, bergamont and geranium are especially good for the skin. Everyone has heard of Cleopatra and her bathing in asses milk, well it was oats, all the vegans out there know you can buy or make oat milk and very tasty it is, but is lovely on the skin.

When my daughter had chicken pox many years ago I dunked her in a bath of lavender and oats every half hour for the first day, on the second she had about 4 baths throughout the day, by the 3rd she was almost clear, no anti biotics, just rescue remedy and the baths.

Happy bathing everyone oh meant to say try chamomile tea if you want the natural highlights in your hair to shine

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 August 29, 2005 1:31 PM

Over on another site, one thread covered "natural" care stuff. I remember one woman put in how she washes her hair.  I can't remember the exact formula, but the wash had baking soda in lots of water.  Actually, it was a 32 oz pump bottle for the wash, and a 32 oz squeeze bottle for the rince.  I'll try to remember to bring it with me next time I come.  For those who want to try to find this, It was at  I can't remember the thread, but it's probably in the archives.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Shampoo and Conditioner for all hair types March 09, 2006 5:14 AM

For the past few months I have been using a squirt of Nature Clean dish soap as my shampoo and followed that up with a conditioner of 1/4 tsp of Citric Acid mixed into 2 cups of warm water. I don't rinse off the conditioner...just squeeze most of the liquid out by hand and then towel dry.
*any type of good quality, natural ingredients, liquid soap will work as will any type of acid ie. cider vinegar, lemon...but citric acid is the least expensive and has no odour.

Using borax as a shampoo will cost even less than soap
From the recipes in Dr. Hulda Clark's books:
Plain Borax for shampoo, with a Citric Acid rinse for conditioner. To make shampoo add a half inch or so of borax to the bottom of a HDPE (#2) plastic container, fill with water and shake. Let settle. Pour off the liquid into smaller squirt or pump HDPE bottles, use as shampoo. It does not suds up, but works great. To make conditioner rinse, just add a 1/4 teaspoon of Citric Acid to a pint of water & shake. It takes awhile to get used to washing with such watery shampoo and conditioner, but it really works, and is all natural!

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anonymous Kath, do you have oily or dry hair? March 09, 2006 5:27 AM

Mine is very dry.  Do you find that the citric acid has a moisturizing effect?  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
Hair type March 09, 2006 7:54 AM

Hi Tracye,

I have normal to dry hair. After using this method of washing the PH on my hair is starting to normalize so I think dry is going to be a thing of the past. My hair is also becoming softer with each use. As for using the Citric Acid I found that if I skipped that step my scalp became itchy.

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Tracye March 09, 2006 7:56 AM

Sorry about the Big Green Type...I don't know what I did to make that happen.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
olive oil soap March 09, 2006 10:50 AM

I started using it for everything.  It worked great for a few weeks - managable and added body to my fine hair, but now my hair is looking kinda greasy and messy. 

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Can I just put a powder in my hair? March 10, 2006 7:51 AM

It would be cool if I could sprinle it in and it would remove the oil and then fall out.  Seem to remember something like that for camping.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 10, 2006 8:27 AM

Baby powder will remove a great deal of oil - just put on a brush and brush through or sprinkle on your hair and then brush out.  It's not a long term cleaning option though.

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maybe I just need a hair cut March 10, 2006 9:33 AM

Yah....that's the ticket

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Hair November 13, 2006 1:59 PM

Me too, I experiment alot. I try to buy natural products then look at it to see what's generally the first couple of ingredients that way to make my own product. My hair is alot different than most women on this thread... more curly and dry but I found a way to condition my hair without using expensive cream conditioners.

In a bowl mix mannoyaise (that's right for sandwiches!! :oj)

honey-mix to your desired thickness

olive oil, or soybean, or canola-any vegetable oil

  I usually just damp my hair to get it all a little wet, the smother the goop om my strands and cover my head with something to tramp heat. I rinse, shampoo and comdition my locs.

I've been working on a shampoo but it either is too dilute or too strong and my hair gets to dry. If any body found a shampoo recipe don't be afraid to post!

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Shampoo November 13, 2006 2:01 PM

...Oh okay you guys did post on shampoo. I think I will try a lemon juice base for the shampoo and give it a try!

Thanks for the idea!

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Dr. Bronners wash November 13, 2006 2:04 PM

Be careful with Dr. Bronner. I tried this, but it made my hair and everything else dry! I think it works for people with very oily skin. I would not recommend it.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
anonymous  November 14, 2006 7:31 AM

After trying everything on the market, I just recently found what works for curly hair. I have very curly dry hair.

So I just use my own soap that I make as shampoo, and for conditioner, I alternate between seasons. In the winter, I use jojoba oil with rosemary and lavender. I just use a bit-no need to have an oil slick. A little goes a long way. Jojoba oil is great for hair.

In the summer, I use suave conditioner. It's like $.99, and it works great.  I always leave in the conditioner.

I use Loreal Studio Line Mouse-it's one for curly hair, I forget the name. It's not that expensive, and I don't use it every day. Only when I'm leaving my hair down, obviously. But it works!

To ease the frizz, I use body butter, or any thick conditioner that I am currently using.

And for my pregnant belly, I'm using some sweet almond oil w/a bit of shea butter and lavender to rub on my breasts and belly to prevent stretch marks.

Although these oils can be costly, they don't have to be. All you have to do, is shop around. The best place to look is usually or

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anonymous  November 15, 2006 8:00 AM

The great thing about curly hair, is that you don't have to wash it as often.

In Beauty school, I learned that really folks should only wash their hair about once or twice a week.

My hair being dry, I just wash it once a week, if that.

I don't need to "clarify" my hair, or cleanse the chemicals out of my hair. Really, a good shampoo or even a good homemade bar of shampoo soap could clarify your hair without having to go thru the whole of your kitchen cupboard.

Just remember to lather up your hair well, massage your scalp, and all that. Wash it twice. That should be all you need. Unless you wear a ton of waxy products in your hair every day.

Just my opinion

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 May 17, 2007 12:04 AM

Hi There, I have just joined and have been reading all the posts.  I am a faded blonde and for a rinse/conditioner use camomile flowers/leaves and on some occasions have just made a rinse out of camomile tea/warm water (when needs must lol).  I have found it  brightens the dullness and  keeps my hair soft and manageable.

This post was modified from its original form on 17 May, 0:06  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
anonymous  May 25, 2007 9:05 PM

Shampoo bars are something i'm starting to look into making for myself/family. I do know that you can buy some premade through sunfeather.comThey seem so spendy though, I bet it is much cheaper to make your own.

Here is a site that deals only with soap making

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