Friday, July 9, 2010

Homemade Hair Conditioner....I bet it's in your kitchen now!

I have fine, straight, thin hair. It doesn't do much, won't hold a curl to save its life and TANGLES.  I've had tangles the size of my fist, I kid you not. They just appear, overnight. When I was five, they got so bad despite daily brushing that my Mom cropped my hair into a boy's cut.  All the conditioner in the world didn't help them and always left the rest of my hair looking limp and greasy. Since my hair tends toward greasy anyway, the extra conditioner needed to prevent the tangles made it really awful!

So when I finally decided to give up shampoo and switched to a gentle castille based soap for hair and body, I was seriously worried about the tangles I was setting myself up for. Surprisingly, the monstrous knots didn't get much worse. But they also didn't get any better...and I was SO sick of ripping my hair to shreds every day just to leave the house looking presentable!  Then, whilst reading up on the no-poo method of hair washing someone suggested using a vinegar rinse to balance the hair's pH level.  Well, ok. I have vinegar...let's try it!  Added some vinegar to an old shampoo bottle, topped it off with water and squirted it over my hair in the shower one night. Wasn't too keen on the vinegar smell that wafted from my hair until it dried, but decided to reserve judgement until the next morning once it had dried and I could comb the tangles out...except for the first time I can remember (having hair longer than three inches in length), there weren't any tangles to comb out!  I couldn't believe it! I was so thankful I'd found something that worked and didn't leave my hair greasy, I just wished it didn't smell like vinegar! Coming out of the bathroom smelling like salad dressing was not  my idea of a relaxing shower experience. Fortunately, help was at hand over at One Green Generation!  She mentioned that she'd switched from apple cider vinegar to white vinegar with a vanilla bean pod in it for a prettier smell. DingDingDing-we have a winner! I started several different jars of vinegar with assorted flavorings to see what worked...and thus far, they ALL did! So I present to you my choice for smoooth and silky hair, naturally!

No-tangle, Shiny Hair Rinse

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Flavorings: cinnamon sticks, orange or lemon peel (just the colored zest from the peel-no white stuff!), mint leaves, vanilla bean pod, I've heard rosemary springs are nice, too!
  1. Add mint leaves, cinnamon sticks, lemon peel, vanilla bean pod, whatever-you're-trying to bottle.I've used leftover jelly jars, Tupperware, bottles with a cork...anything with a lid on it!
  2. Pour 1/2 cup (or more) vinegar into the container, add the lid and shake once or twice.
  3. Set it somewhere dark-ish where you're bound to see it once or twice a day. I used my snack cupboard. At least once a day for a week, shake or swirl the bottle/jar of vinegar and flavorings.
  4. Decant the vinegar out on day seven, pour into an old shampoo or squirt bottle and add 2 cups water.
  5. Use in shower like a conditioner. Apply, let sit a minute and rinse out for sleek and shiny hair!
After some experimentation, I like the lemon peel best during the summer. Come colder weather, I think I'll be switching to vanilla and cinnamon. I have a mint vinegar rinse marinating now, so check back next week for a review of the mint rinse!

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