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Basic Herbal Shampoo and Hair Conditioner Formulas

Basic Herbal Shampoo and Hair Conditioner Formulas

Achieving great-looking hair without synthetic chemicals is not difficult, nor does it need to be expensive. With a few common kitchen ingredients and some specialty oils, herbs, and flowers, you can create a variety of treatments that your hair will respond to quickly.

The time you invest in creating these easy formulas will be rewarded with healthier, more radiant hair.

Choose herbs for your shampoo that will enhance your hair color and texture, and that address any special needs you may have. You can mix and match herbs from the following lists to develop an individualized combination that is best for your hair.

Dry: Comfrey root, avocado, elder flowers, orange blossoms.
Normal: Dandelion, horsetail, clover.
Oily: Watercress, strawberry leaf, white willow bark, lemon grass.
Ethnic: Comfrey, nettle, cherry bark, olive oil.
Shine: Egg, raspberry, nettle, vinegar, quassia.
Manageability: Yogurt, cherry bark, beer.
Softness: Cherry bark, burdock root, olive oil, marjoram.
Dandruff: White willow bark, birch bark, comfrey, nettle, peppermint, vinegar.
Growth: St. John’s wort, nettle, sage, basil, rosemary, onion juice.

2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
1 cup spring water
cup fresh herbs (2 tablespoons dried)
1 teaspoon almond or apricot kernel oil
2 drops essential oil

To make:
1. Place herbs in a clean 10-ounce glass jar with a lid.
2. Boil the spring water and pour over the herbs.
3. Cover and let steep for 10 to 20 minutes.
4. Strain the liquid from the herbs into a bowl.
5. Add the liquid castile soap and almond or apricot kernel oil and mix thoroughly.
6. Scent with essential oil and mix again.
7. Bottle in a plastic container with a spout or a clean recycled shampoo bottle.

Yield: Approximately 24 shampoos

Herbal hair conditions help make hair more manageable and often impart a smoother and softer texture. They are especially good for those who cannot live without hot rollers, curling irons and blow dryers.

Jojoba Conditioner
1 cup rose floral water
1 tablespoon jojoba oil
10 drops vitamin E oil

To make:
1. In the top of a double boiler, gently warm the rose water.
2. Once rose water is warm, add jojoba oil.
3. Pour the mixture in a blender and add the vitamin E. Blend at high speed for 2 minutes.

To use:
1. Wet hair with warm water.
2. Pour the conditioner onto your hair and scalp, massaging in thoroughly.
3. For damaged hair or extra conditioning, leave on for several minutes, perhaps while bathing.
4. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
5. Shampoo lightly and rinse again with cool water.

Read more: Beauty, Hair Care

Adapted from The Herbal Home Spa, by Greta Breedlove. Copyright (c) 1998 by Greta Breedlove. Reprinted by permission of Storey Books.
Adapted from The Herbal Home Spa, by Greta Breedlove.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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The Herbal Home Spa

Naturally Refreshing Wraps, Rubs, Lotions, Masks, Oils, and now


+ add your own
1:31AM PST on Nov 29, 2013

Good article,thanks for sharing

8:01PM PDT on May 22, 2013

The first time I ever experienced Shielo Hair Products (I tried the Smoothing Shampoo first) - it was when my hairstylist used it to wash my hair a few months ago. The first thing I noticed was it's distinct smell which was very pleasing. I left my appointment and went to a party later that night, not thinking again about the product the stylist used. I actually was able to go about three days without washing my hair after that appointment because my hair was clean but not oily.

Imagine my surprise when multiple times at the party, people asked me what product I used on my hair because it felt so soft and smelled so good!

11:19PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012


9:28PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

Nirvana J. Can you possibly order it on line from doing a search on who may carry it?

9:27PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

Very interesting!

1:29AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Its impossible to find castile soap in south africe. Any alternatives?

4:39AM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

sounds great but some of the ingredients are hard to come buy except online. best use an Ayurveda based shampoos and conditioners. natural coconut oil; plant derived ingredients.

11:47AM PST on Jan 16, 2012

It sure would be nice to partner with nature, rather than to continue exploiting her. Natural products, by definition, should be from cheap to free.
I was a machinist, we used all kids of chemo cleansers on our grimy hands. I found a torn up grapefruit was the best, and natural, hand cleaner.

10:47PM PST on Dec 28, 2011

Thanks for the information.

10:12PM PST on Dec 17, 2011

I would love to try this, but I'm worried about the cost and the shelf life of the ingredients. The sad thing is that in this economy, many people can't afford to "go green" because those items that are greener are (in my experience) almost always more expensive than the alternatives. Same thing with choosing animal-free products: it's just too expensive. :(

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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